AGM 2005 - Secretary's Report

Shannon Clements


This article part of the series: ICU Bulletins 2004-05 - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12


During the last year the Irish Chess Union (ICU) Committee met six times on 17th October 2004, 5th December 2004, 23rd January 2005, 10th April 2005, 19th June 2005 and 7th August 2005.

The Executive Committee were Eamonn Pitts (Chairman), Shirley Flynn (Vice Chairperson), Shannon Clements (Secretary), Gerry O’Connell (Treasurer), Johanna Lowry-O’Reilly (Junior Officer), Marion Vaughan (Munster Delegate), Pat Fitzsimons (Leinster Delegate), and Ronan Duke (Connacht Delegate).

The Operations Sub-Committee assisting the Executive were Vincent Bissett (Rating Officer), James Osborne (Membership Officer), Michael Crowe (Development Officer), Pat McCarrick (Public Relations Officer), Herbert Scarry (Arbitration Officer) and John Healy and Kevin Burke (Irish Chess Journal Editors). We were unable to fill the post of Tournament Director and this remained vacant for the term of the committee.

The 2004-05 year was very active with regards to tournament participation, with international representation at senior and junior levels.

    Olympiad, Spain: Held last October, Ireland’s men’s team seeded 51st comprised GM Alexander Baburin, IM’s Brian Kelly, Mark Quinn, Sam Collins, Gavin Wall and FM Joe Ryan. They were finished in 43rd place. The women’s team seeded 67th of Suzanne Connolly, Gearoidin UiLaighleis, WFM Hannah Lowry-O’Reilly and Deborah Quinn finished in 80th place. Special thanks are given to GM Joel Benjamin for taking over as men’s team captain when NM Eamon Keogh had to return home.

    European Team Championship, Sweden: Last month, Ireland was represented by a men’s team comprising GM Alexander Baburin, IM Brian Kelly, IM Sam Collins, and IM Mark Orr. The team finished 32nd (same as last year!) out of 40 teams.

    World Youth Championships, France: Ireland was represented in the U-18 section by Emily Alfred (4/11) and Alex Lopez (6/11); in the U-16s by David Grzymek (3½/11) and Stephen Moran (3/11); in the U-14s by Catherine Danaher (4½/11) and Liam Normoyle (5/11); in the U-12s by Stephen Hanley (4/11); and in the U-10s by Robert White (4/11).

    European Union Youth Chess Championships, Austria: Ireland was represented by Oisin Benson (3/9) and Jamie Flynn (4½/9) in the U-14 section, Shane Manning (3/9) in the U-12s and Robert White (5/9) in the U-10s

    Glorney and Faber, Liverpool : The Glorney team finished 5th from 6 and comprised David Fitzsimons, Calum Leitch, Dara Murphy, Sam Osborne, and Rory Delaney. The Faber team was Susan Critchley, Sarah McCormican and Aileen Wallace, and they finished 4th from 6 teams.

    European Club Cup, Turkey: Last October the Dublin Chess Club participated in this event. They were seeded 36th and finished 29th.

    British Chess Championships, Isle of Man: Stephen Jessel (6½/9) took one of the places allocated to the ICU, finishing joint 8th. Other Irish players were Matthew Dignam (4½/9), James McDonnell and Michael Waters (3½/9).

    Junior Matches: A match between Ireland and Wales in Wexford saw Ireland winning all three sections (U-16, U-14 and U-12) by 36 points to 12. In Shannon Ireland played a team from Sussex, winning the U-16 and U-14 sections, but losing the U-10s.

Irish ‘title’ events included the following:

    Irish Championships, Dublin: The senior championship was won by FM Colm Daly (8/9), the Intermediate by Killian Delaney (5/6), and the Junior by Colin Menzies (6/6).

    Irish Junior Chess Championships, Longford: Held in March, the six sections were won by Matthew (U-19), Calum Leitch / Stephen Moran / David Grzymek (U-16), Liam Normoyle (U-14), Steven Hanly (U-12), Robert White (U-10), and Ronan Fenn (U-8).

    Junior Interprovincials, Belfast: Held in March, Munster winning the U-19 section and Leinster the U-16.

    Irish Veterans Championship: Held in August and won by Pat Loughrey.

    National Club Championship, Ennis: The four team event was won by the Phibsboro Chess Club with Ennis Chess Club coming second. These two teams have accepted their position in the European Club Cup to be held in Italy later this month. Rathmines and Galway also participated.

    Grand Prix: This year saw the introduction of a Grand Prix series at Senior, Intermediate and Junior levels. These were won by GM Alexander Baburin, Paul Kiely and Kenny McIntyre respectively.

There were also the regular weekenders throughout the year including Kilkenny, Bunratty, Gonzaga, Malahide, Belfast, Cork, Bray, Drogheda, City of Dublin, Galway and more. Thanks to all the organisers involved and to our Ratings Officer Vincent Bissett for having to go through all the results tables to rate them.

The inaugural European Union Championship was held in Cork as part of the European Capital of Culture for 2005. Many thanks and congratulations are given to Michael Burniston and his team for organising the first major international event in Ireland for some time. It is hoped that the event will also be held in Cork next year (potential sponsors are encouraged to contact Michael!). First place was shared by GM’s Zoltan Gyimesi and Mateusz Bartel, with the top Irish player being GM Alexander Baburin who finished joint 6th.

It is hoped that at the AGM someone will come forward to take on the role of Tournament Director, a position that has been vacant for some time. With the increase in the number of events now being held, it will be very important to maintain an up to date programme calendar for players and organisers to use. A section has now being added to the website, which also has tournament reports and results cross tables.

Three players have earned FIDE titles over the last year. Sam Collins (International Master) and Hannah Lowry-O’Reilly (Woman’s Fide Master) at the Olympiad, and Alex Lopez (Fide Master) at Cork. Gerry Graham also achieved FIDE Arbiter and International Arbiter norms at Cork.

A significant development during the year has been the creation of a new ICU website, located at www.icu.ie. Many thanks are given to IM Mark Orr for his great work as webmaster in setting up and continued development of the many features on it. Thanks also to the first editors David McAlister, Vincent Bissett, Gerry Graham and myself for contributions to the content. It is hoped that as the site expands and more features are added, that more editors will get involved for key responsibilities.

A few months ago the Irish Chess Journal was ‘re-introduced’. Two issues have been sent out so far this year. It is planned that the publication will eventually be available on the website, in an ICU members only section. This will reduce the high printing and postage costs. Many thanks are due to John Healy and Kevin Burke the editors for their work in producing the publication.

In 2003 the title of Senior Player of the Year was established. This is based on the following criteria: (1) Improvement in rating from September 2004 to May 2005; (2) Performance in the Irish Senior Championship; (3) Team, league and tournament participation; (4) Wider contribution to Irish Chess; and (5) Performance in International Chess and honours received. IM Sam Collins won the first award, followed by Stephen Brady last year. This year the award will be presented to Gerard MacElligott.

The development of chess in Irish schools has continued, and special thanks should be given to John Alfred and Michael Crowe for their school leagues programmes. Hopefully through this promotion of the game, more young players will continue to play and get involved at all levels. John Alfred will also be introducing a rapidplay system, with up to date online rating. At the June AGM of the Ulster Chess Union, their members decided to leave the ICU and plan on seeking international recognition with FIDE and the European Chess Union as the National Chess Federation for Northern Ireland.

Regarding disciplinary action, as a result of inappropriate behaviour by IM David Howell at the Cork event, the ICU Committee have banned him from any ICU run events, and will recommend a ban on him by other tournament controllers, until the end of 2007. The ban that had been imposed on FM Colm Daly was lifted in August.

In other news of interest, FIDE has changed / modified some of the rules of chess. The most noted being that all moves must now be made on the board before recording them on the scoresheet.

On behalf of the ICU Committee I would like to pass on our sincere condolences to families and friends of our fellow players that have passed away since last year, as well as to Committee Members Ronan Duke and Herbert Scarry on the loss of their fathers.

Finally I would like to give thanks to all the members of the Committee for their work over the last year, and to wish my successor and the new Committee the very best of success in continuing the development and expansion of the chess community.


Created 2005-09-01 ◦ Last updated 2014-07-23 ◦ Editor SLC


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