We want to be open about our plan for events moving forward as it obviously won't be the status quo or a return to normal for at least a little while yet. Last summer, there were several weekends and weekdays where events potentially could have been run but, for mostly reasons to do with the summer generally being a quiet time of the season, a few opportunities for events were missed. The ICU itself mainly wanted to focus on ensuring we got regulations surrounding the Irish right and could return to chess safely and but for a snap lockdown, we may have had a few more Irish events in August.
However, our mindset will change slightly this summer. While we will be putting our usual efforts, resources and focus into the Irish Championship events - we will aim to line up more events in July and August in the hope of at least summer getting over the line. This will likely mean some last minute cancellations but we will of course offer full refunds in those cases. Each time we line up these events, we do so with all levels of chess in mind and while we have announced the Irish Championship main event, we hope to announce details of the supporting weekenders in April when restrictions throughout the country are due to be reevaluated. These are almost certainly not going to run during the 9 day event but as of now, our plan is to run those weekenders on the weekends directly preceding and following the Irish.
We will have to be realistic with our selection of events as events with 50 entrants or more are unlikely to be possible until restrictions are fully lifted. We also have to note that while last summer did present opportunities for events, this summer may not, with new variants a particular ongoing concern. However, we gain nothing by not planning for the possibility of these events being possible and so we are prepared to plan, organise and run or cancel/postpone as necessary. If an event is not possible a particular weekend, we may look to the following weekend.
We will also look to help organisers who want to run their own events so please get in contact if you would like to ask any questions or seek our support.
We would like to give a huge thanks to Colaiste Eanna, their members, students and staff as this policy outlined would be impossible without them; nor would the Irish Championship have been possible last year.
We hope we'll be able to play some chess over this summer and look forward to seeing you back at events soon.
The ICU team.