Rathmines Juniors, Scott, Michael, Fiachra, Stephen, Eoghan, Dierdre, Liam and Oscar participated in the Kilkenny Congress. All players exceeded their expected scores at one of the top chess tournaments in the ICU calender. Saturday proved to be a very successful day with 3 wins for Scott and 2 wins and a draw for Liam, with everyone from the club scoring at least 1 pt or more on the day. Congratulations to you all on well deserved results.
Report from Kilkenny Congress by Nick Scallan
The second big country weekender competition of the season took place this past weekend in Kilkenny and it proved to be a very satisfying weekend for a large contingent of Rathmines Junior players. The competition was split into 4 sections, with the top section including 4 Gm’s. 8 Rathmines Juniors took part this weekend, with 5 in the “Challenger” section and a further 3 in the “James Mason” Section.
The middle section in Kilkenny is known as the “James Mason” and had a field of 58 players. Scott, Michael and Fiachra represented Rathmines Juniors and all three had very successful tournaments. Pride of place went to Scott Mulligan (1381) who finished joint 3rd overall with a super score of 4.5/6.0 having taken a travelling bye on Friday night. Scott had 4 very impressive victories, which included victories over both of his clubmates on the Saturday in hard-fought 3 hour battles. Scott’s rating performance this weekend was in excess of 1500 reflecting very strong play on the high boards. It’s hard to believe that last season’s Kilkenny Congress was Scott’s first weekender, and that his rating at the time was only 626.
Michael Higgins (1168) had an excellent weekend, featuring 4 draws with 1300+ players and a victory over fellow Irish squad member Jeffrey Alfred, with Michaels only loss coming to clubmate Scott on Saturday morning. Michaels tournament performance was an excellent 1335 for the weekend.
Fiachra Scallan (1002) was “playing up” in the middle section for the first time after his recent strong performances at the City of Dublin and Galway Chess Congress. Fiachra picked up three excellent draws against higher rated opponents, and in a quirk of the weekend fixtures, also beat his fellow Irish squad member Jeffrey, and lost to Clubmate Scott.
KILKENNY CHALLENGERS (under 1199 rating)
The challenger competition had a very large field of 74 players, with Rathmines Juniors represented by Liam, Oscar, Eoghan, Stephen and Deirdre. The weekend proved very rewarding with a series of quality wins for all the players.
Liam Coman (700) kicked things off on Friday evening for the whole squad, with a very impressive win over the tournaments number 1 seed on board 1, and by Sunday morning had worked his way very impressively up to board 2. Liam finished with an excellent 3.5 points, with a tournament performance over 200 points above his current rating.
Friday evening was turning out to be a great night for the juniors, as Oscar Twomey (700) picked up a super win over Rathmines senior player Pat O Brien (rated over 1000), to go along with a further victory over a 900 rated player, en route to a score of 3.0. Oscars tournament performance was also an excellent 150 points above his current rating
Eoghan Turner had the longest match of anybody on Friday evening, when his first match took almost three and a half hours. Whilst Eoghan unfortunately lost the epic match, he bounced back to pick up three points on Saturday , before losing a couple of matches to two very experienced players in Eoin Doyle and John McGann on Sunday. Eoghan is very quickly settling into the Irish weekender scene, having moved back to Dublin this summer, with strong performances back to back in Limerick and Kilkenny
Stephen Higgins (700) arrived down in Kilkenny on Friday evening with an injured knee, but played what was probably his best chess ever, including a first ever win over a 1000 rated player on Saturday afternoon to also finish on 3.0.
Deirdre Turner was the lone female member from the club taking part this weekend (Ciara played in the more junior girls event run in conjunction with the weekender), and recorded a very solid score of 2.0
Both Eoghan and Deirdre can look forward to their first ratings in the January listings after their impressive recent outings.
All in all it was a very productive weekend for the whole group, with all our young players, aged from 9 to 13 years old picking up some very impressive match results against quality opponents.
The next “big” tournaments for our Juniors, with be the Leinster Juniors which run over back to back weekends in January, in Bewleys Sandyford, and then the Gonzaga Classic which takes place in Ranelagh at the end of January. (Gonzaga is the tournament were traditionally the Dads, also enter the field and have the pleasure of losing to the kids!! – calling Liam, Gerry, Enda, John, Dave and others to make their debuts this year)