An Irish junior team competed over the weekend of the 15th-17th June in the bi-annual match against Sussex. The match represented an excellent opportunity for Irish juniors to test themselves against some of the strongest young players in England.
Unfortunately from an Irish point of view, the match result was never in doubt as Ireland were missing a considerable number of stronger players, and went down on a scoreline of 142.5 to 46.5. Sussex are the strongest English county at junior chess and boasted no less than six England junior internationals in their squad as they put out their best team. Nevertheless there were some notable Irish performances.
U-8 Sussex 52 - 29 Ireland
Ronan Magee did really well on board 1 with 7/9 followed by Eoin Doyle and Zoe Morris on boards 5&6 at 4/9 each.
U-10 Sussex 39.5 - 6.5 Ireland
David Carroll from Kerry scores well with 2/6.
U-12 Sussex 23 - 9 Ireland
Kieran O'Riordan from Cork scored a tremendous 4/4 on Board 5, while Ashley Campion scored 2/4 on Board 2.
U-14/16 Sussex 28 - 2 Ireland
Hugh Doyle on Board 1 drew with 2000+ Fide rated player.
The Irish contingent in Sussex
The first move from Sussex-Ireland match in the game George Salimbeni vs Hugh Doyle being made by Tim Loughton Local MP and Shadow Minister for Health and Children
England's (and Sussex's) newest Grandmaster 16 year old David Howell came and gave a simultaneous display against many challengers. Here is David against Ruari McKenna Carroll (Ruari lost!)
Is this rugby or chess? A scrum in the departure lounge in Gatwick on the way home.
In spite of the result, everyone I spoke to seemed to enjoy the trip and were glad they went. Sussex had an impressive set up and gave us an important lesson in training and organisation. More pictures from the match are available at the Sussex Junior Chess website. Thanks are due to everyone involved in organising the trip especially Nicky Deacon.