The Stephen's Green Hibernian Club have generously offered to become the host to Irish Women's chess meetings every two weeks with a launch event on January 22nd. The launch event will be taking place on a Sunday while future meetings (commencing on February 8th) will take place on Wednesdays. We are very grateful to SGHC for their support and look forward to a bright future together. We hope that you will join us in supporting this event and these meetings as we would like to get this project off on the right foot.
The aforementioned launch event will commence at 2pm on Sunday, January 22nd. It will feature a blitz event, the presentation of the new Irish Women's Championship perpetual trophy (inscribed with the names of the 5 previous winners - and provided by our sponsor: Awards and Gifts) to current champion Monika Gedvilaite, a lecture from GM Alexander Baburin as well as other events. SGHC will provide complimentary tea, coffee and sandwiches to all attendees. The launch event is open to any women who are welcome to bring a plus one.
Following the launch event, meetings will take place every second Wednesday, commencing at 7.30pm and concluding at 9pm. It is hoped that these meetings will be used for lectures and coaching while the ICU will be providing boards, sets and clocks for any games. In supporting this project, we also hope to have other special guest lecturers, simultaneous displays and events. The meetings are open to women of any chess strength who have an interest in chess, have ever wanted to learn or would just like to support this venture.
Our partnership with SGHC will be reviewed after 6 months to ensure this project is working for both parties. We hope anyone attending these meetings and the launch event will be respectful of our host's etiquette and house rules with particular emphasis on their dress code.
At the start of this year, I listed some fairly lofty goals for Irish Women's chess about where it should aspire to be and how it should get there. This particular project was the brainchild of ICU Women's Officer, Hannah Lowry O'Reilly, who has also spearheaded it and brought us to this announcement today. This is certainly not the only current project related to women's chess with plans afoot for how the Gilbert team can go one better this year and how our Olympiad team can reach new heights.
The other, perhaps more obvious, goal is to encourage more women to play chess in Ireland. We hope that these meetings nights will offer an alternative to club nights and tournaments which for whatever reason may not appeal or suit everyone and draw in a new crowd.
What you can do to help
This project will rely upon ICU and non-ICU members spreading the word of both the meetings and the launch event so please encourage anyone you know who would be interested to attend.