Text by ICU Developments Officer Gary O'Grady
Garry Kasparov in O'Donoghues
A packed crowd of the great and good of Irish chess past and present gathered excitedly in ODonaghues Bar in Dublin. Famous for its nightly traditional fare of Irish music and the birthplace of the Dubliners it now played host to possibly the greatest player in the history of the game Garry Kasparov. Barak Obama had been scheduled to visit O'Donoghues before the Icelandic cloud scuppered his plans.
Rather like a rabbit in the headlights Kasparov stood momentarily stunned with so many faces looking at him perhaps waiting for a party trick which didnt appear, Eamonn escorted him through to a quieter part of the bar offering him a Guinness on the way. This came as quite a shock to Garry who you could see internally was thinking why are you giving me this glass of black liquid?, what am I supposed to do with it? Explaining that Guinness was the national drink of Ireland wasnt enough to induce Garry to even take a sip, so I drank it for him. Ive not had a match since so am unsure if any of the greatness has rubbed off but probably not.
As he walked through to the next bar a very nice chap by the name of David Dunne piped up I played you in 77 in the world juniors! to which Garry thought momentarily then responded Yes you shouldnt have moved your knight to e4! So lets recap he played a match 37 years ago and still remembers his opponents losing move. Incredible Ill think youll agree. He explained afterwards that he never played Irish players often so can remember these a little better.
He then sat down to a queue of autograph seekers before chatting with one junior giving him a good grilling of questions. Whilst Garry was enjoying himself in the pub his wife and daughter were getting a guided tour of Dublin courtesy of the Viking Splash tour which caused squeals of delight to his daughter who was totally exhausted at the end of the day.
A report from the Ulster Chess Union website is available here.
Meeting young chess players
There is no doubt that Garry's eyes light up when surrounded by children.
|Garry Kasparov meets Fiachra Scallen and Oisín Lee Keating.|