Kilkenny Congress 2010

Gerry Graham


When this year’s Kilkenny Chess Congress got under way in Butler House and the Club House Hotel in Kilkenny, few were expecting the Masters event to be as strong as it was, an incredible 7 grandmasters from 5 different countries were joined by 3 Irish international masters and a host of other strong players to compete for the coveted Kilkenny Masters title, not to mention the honorary Kilkenny Jumper. Rumour has it that the only way to prise one of these precious garments out of Jack Lowry’s hands these days is to make a donation that would embarrass the IMF!!

Ivan CheparinovGM2661Bulgaria
Gawain JonesGM2576England
Sebastien MazeGM2571France
Mark HebdenGM2542England
Alex BaburinGM2528Kilkenny
Fabien LibiszewskiGM2496France
Mihai SubaGM2459Romania
Alex LopezFM2403Cork
Mark HeidenfeldIM2393Kilkenny
Sam CollinsIM2390Gonzaga
Mark QuinnIM2378Kilkenny
Ryan-Rhys Griffiths2252Kilkenny
Philip ShortFM2246Galway
David Fitzsimons2237Elm Mount
Keith Allen2232Isle of Man
Ivo Timmermans2215Netherlands
Andrej Vospernik2205Slovenia
Mark OrrIM2201Scotland

It was interesting to note that the clash on board 9, Thomas Hauptmann vs Mark Heidenfeld deserved the best dressed prize as both players were sporting their official Kilkenny jumpers, nice touch lads.

There were no real surprises in round 1, the only seed not to win at the first hurdle was our own Mark Quinn who was held to a draw by an injured Darren McCabe. Darren appeared with his left leg in a cast, which had nothing to do with the first hurdle, his Friday night excuse was that he was the victim of an unfortunate accident on a bouncy castle but this explanation was to change form day to day during the event! Vospernik allowed a back ranker against Jones.

The second round did produce a few surprises, Olympiad debutant David Fitzsimons (pictured below) beat Alex Baburin with Black on board 5 while a surprise in the form of our own Irish Champion, Alex Lopez, lay in wait for Ivan Cheparinov on board 1, Alex claimed a famous ½ point against Topolov’s second.

David Fitzsimons, Kilkenny Masters

Top board for round 3 was an all French affair, Fabien Libiszewski vs Sebastien Maze, and the French friends certainly didn’t come to draw, the in-form Maze (pictured below) winning a tactical battle. Mark Hebden beat Mahai Suba while Gawain Jones and Alex Lopez beat Irish IMs Mark Quinn and Heidenfeld respectively while Fitzsimons lost to Cheparinov.

Sebastien Maze (GM, FRA) Kilkenny Masters

By the start of the 4th round, there were only 2 players on 3/3, Sebastian Maze and Mark Hebden so this encounter was watched for most of the game by quite a contingent of spectators. Sebastian had done his preparation well for this game and it paid off. Sam Collins was playing the other French grandmaster and he did quite a bit better than Mark Hebden (pictured below).

Mark Hebden (GM, ENG) Kilkenny Masters

The top of the Masters leader board at the end of round 4 looked like this:

1Sebastien Maze25714
2-7Mark Hebden25423
Ivan Cheparinov26613
Gawain Jones25763
Alex Lopez24033
Mihai Suba24593
Sam Collins23903
8-13Mark Heidenfeld 2393
Alex Baburin2528
Philip Short2246
Ryan-Rhys Griffiths2252
Keith Allen2232
Mark Quinn2378

Gawain Jones managed to squeeze a win in a tight time scramble after a tough game in which, if there was a slight advantage for either player, it seemed to change a few times! Chaperinov managed to win with Black against Hebden and Suba claimed the full point in his game against Alex Lopez who arrived 45 minutes late for the game due to an alarm clock malfunction. Sam Collins emerged victorious against fellow Irish IM Mark Quinn to join 4 other players, all on 4 points, going in to the final round. Local junior Ryan-Rhys Griffiths also managed to hold Alex Baburin to a draw with a fine performance on board 6. This left the final pairings looking like this:

1Ivan Cheparinov 4Sebastien Maze 4
2Sam Collins 4Gawain Jones 4
3Mihai Suba 4Fabien Libiszewski3
4Mark Heidenfeld 3Mark Hebden 3
5Alex Baburin 3Philip Short 3
6Ryan-Rhys Griffiths3Alex Lopez 3

This was shaping up to be an exciting finish and it seemed the spectators knew this too as the playing hall for this round was pretty full. Ivan Cheparinov (pictured below right) won fairly quickly on board 1 to set the bar at 5/6, a bar which Sam Collins met with a fine win over Gawain Jones. This is Sam’s second year in a row ending up on top of the Kilkenny Masters, something agrees with the young man from Dun Laoghaire when he’s at Jack Lowry’s event! Fabien Libiszewski managed to overcome Mihia Suba in a tight endgame to end up on 4, a score that was to be equalled 4 other players.

Kilkenny Masters

Ivan Cheparinov, Kilkenny Masters
1-2Ivan CheparinovGM 26615
Sam Collins IM 23905
3-7Sebastien Maze GM 25714
Gawain Jones GM 25764
Mihai Suba GM 24594
Fabien Libiszewski GM 24964
Alex Baburin GM 25284

Best Irish Player: Alex Lopez (FM, 2403) 3½. Cross table.

Kilkenny Major

I don’t normally give a game from the Major but I couldn’t resist this slug-fest between Mark Collins and Semyon Mkytchyon, it has a pretty finish!

1Mark Collins18375
2-6Matthias Rahneberg1807
Tom John 1784
Shane McCabe 1960
Bernard Boyle 1756
Arnaud Aoustin 1925

Grading sections: 1 Henk de Jong, 2 Paul Roger, 3 Terence Fayne, 4 Pat Fitzsomons. Cross table.

James Mason

1Turlock Kelly
2–5Shane Brennan
Stephen Murphy
Andrew Rodger
Cezary Glegolski
Keegan O'Mahoney

Grading sections: 1 Denis O’Connell, 2 Anthony Baker, 3 Eugene Donohoe, 4 Gerard Flynn, 5 Geoffery Keating. Cross table.

Minor Results

1–5Jonathan Kiely5
Seamus Flynn 5
Cian Guinan 5
Kevin Kilduff5
Cathal Murphy5

Grading sections 1 Pat O’Mahoney, 2 Adrian Bradley, 3 Jeffery Alfred, 4 Dave Casey, 5 Michael Morgan. Cross table.


Created 2010-11-30 ◦ Last updated 2014-07-23 ◦ Editor MO


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