The county Down nomad has been the subject of claimed sightings from Barcelona to Bergen and Venice to Vladivostok with several pictures arriving at our gossip desk as proof of his existence.
Dennis Wilkinson sent this shot of Norman from his safe-house in Croatia. Concerned parties have been searching high and low for the Ballynafeigh lothario ranging from jilted lovers and jilted creditors to Interpol but the bold Norman has evaded them all. He was last seen chatting to a group of women trying to persuade them to indulge in a bit of skinny-dipping with him, being thoroughly unsuccessful in his attempt the Ballynafeigh bushwhacker decided to cut his losses and move on unsure if his pick-up failure was due to his choice of after shave or choice of mosque.
Norman offers free chess lessons in Corfu specialising in pawn chains. Interpol sent us this picture, we assured them there was no way we could identify Norman in that crowd. The phone rang it was the league controller and he was laughing, it took him five minutes to give me a match scoreline he was laughing that hard. What have they gone and done now? Paul Charles… are you waiting for this..
However just in case you were thinking …. No Apollo 11 never left low earth orbit okay! They switched their heavy hitting Gareth Annesley fresh from his hat-trick of Williamson shield victories at the weekend way down the batting order to board 4 which was a complete surprise to their unsuspecting hosts who had analysed possible scenarios pre-match but had never envisaged such a radical board 4 switch and were tactically caught out. It was only when it became apparent how dire things were looking for Ballynafeigh that the beast of last year finally started to stretch itself.
Scannell clawed a small positional advantage which he increased with every move until Pilkiewicz was limited in options and resigned. Jamison with bundles of time refused the draw offer from the low on time Mooreland who then subsequently succumbed to an error under time pressure which relived the overall pressure on the current champions. Despite a ratings deficit Robert Lavery for Ballynafeigh impersonated the rock of Gibraltar on board 4 against Annesley and refused to yield a square on his kingside after pawn locking the queenside. After picking a few pawns up Houston swapped the rook for the two knights and provided the encore for the Ballynafeigh triumph.
After the first five weeks of the league the reigning champions Ballynafeigh had only secured 10 points with the league leaders on But has a more sinister end planned for Queens and CS Lewis. Could the last person leaving the ratings room please switch off the lights! This January ratings list seems to have been an ask too far for our present ratings committee with the list being published more times than a Raymond Keene article.
Perhaps that was our mistake, we ventured on to the highways and byways of committees when perhaps we should have taken a different road instead, maybe we should have just picked a victim or asked for a foolhardy volunteer for the task instead. At least we would have been presented with a singular list either with or without errors but at least we would have known two things, we would have known what are ratings were but more importantly we would have known who to blame.
Some of the ratings if put on a graph would look like the front elevation plan of a Blackpool roller-coaster.
Wishwell v. Patzer (Short works) eBook: Rafael Chodos: afeditamyb.tk: Kindle Store
One player was heading for IM status before summer which was pretty awesome considering we only coached him last week on how to castle. Istabraq was never the same after the ratings committee improved him. I went down in flames in the second round without offering any real threat to my I. M opponent but staged a revival with two comfortable enough wins against two lower rated players. In round five I got one of my trade mark dodgy openings but with the move 15…! I tried out an opening I usually only ever use in blitz games and dropped a pawn for no compensation whatsoever.
I immediately offered a draw but this only served to make my opponent examine the position closely and continue with what looked like a very nasty attack. I was slightly better after the opening in a very interesting and novel position but then needlessly sacrificed a d pawn to improve the position of my king. I followed up with an ill thought out Nd3 idea and then compounded my errors by allowing the exchange of rooks. My endgame technique, or more accurately lack thereof, cost me dearly so that is what I will be working on this week before jetting off to play in the Prague Open on Friday.
This year I arrived determined to put disastrous showings at the Isle of Man and Kilkenny behind me but the omens were not good. I am not overly superstitious , except when it comes to which pen I use, but parking my car in a lot at the Dublin airport car park called U13 was not a good start nor was the fact that the four digits of my hotel room number also add up to When I arrived I spent two fruitless hours trying to connect to the hotel wifi so came to the board in not the best frame of mind for a chess game.
As usual there were some announcements and a couple of speeches all in German so I sat there smiling but not having a clue what was going on. I also got a reduced entry fee and some free beers such is the hospitality and friendliness of the people here. I wish I could speak some German so I could converse with people better. Simply identify the local or international chess stars from the photos or information provided and email your answers to Belfastchess hotmail. The winner will be the person with the highest number of correct answers.
- chess patzer to master how an everyday joe does it Manual.
- The Art of Tragedy and the Battle Against It.
- Livre connexe : Wishwell V Patzer Short Works English Edition.
- The Oblivion Chronicles II.
In the event of a tie the earliest recieved email will be judged the winner,. With a weakened board order the Lions were just hoping to avoid a sinking and grab on to anything drifting their way for buoyancy. The Lions then followed that up the next week with another solid win over this seasons surprise package Queens University. Leitch and Harris handed out a few free lessons of their own to their student opponents Ormerod and Ngieng leaving Kilpatrick Moore and Bradley who was bumped up to board 2 for the match to bring home the extra bonus points meaning they graduated with a 3.
This week the Lions came with the full pride and claws well sharpened to feast on the lumbering buffalo of Ballynafeigh 1 who were languishing down the table after a complete shocker of a start to their title defence losing four of their first five matches. However the Ballynafeigh 1 herd have been slowly finding their feet and now look set to start throwing their weight around. The Lions felt the first lash of their horns this week when Steve Scannell continued his new found form by clipping Calum Leitch on board 2 and David Houston holding Gabor Horvath on 1. The Lions ended in a stand-off with the Ballynafeigh buffalo.
The Ballynafeigh minors who play in the club before the older less skilled players arrive had an unexpected bonus on their coaching evening when none other than the UCU tournament director Ross Harris turned up to play. Ross seized the chance to have some fun by proceeding to thrash them all as viciously as possible! Indeed his heartlessness gained even greater notoriety after he displayed all the compassion of a hanging judge when he disqualified a man during a tournament who has no arms because his phone rang in his bag.
Yeah Christmas must be a real joy in the Harris household me thinks. But they had to hide the Bunnies from Ross. Ross was having a wonderful time as Balynafeigh ran short of Kleenex. The new ICU board have removed some of the factually inaccurate items from the official ICU site so we have decided to reciprocate and remove some of the factual stuff from ours. The new all singing all dancing ICU chairman John McMorrow sent the Gossip desk a very nice letter asking in the nicest of ways that in the spirit of harmony and reconciliation could we endeavour this once to aid indeed advance the reconciliation process by self censoring the Gossip page on matters that are still currently sensitive regarding the recent election.
I thought that in the spirit of generosity and goodwill that I would yield to his wish. Well that and also the fact that nobody in their right mind wants Big Alex Baburin sitting on them! Regular poster Peter Cafolla has been checking himself out over in the Isle of Man this week and sent us this report from the tournament. Having said that, I do have to admit that in present form I am way out of my depth. The Ulster Chess Unions blossoming romance with new technology was in full view at the Europa hotel in central Belfast this past weekend during the Ulster Championships.
Not only were we running six live boards but we also had a live webcam going out for the duration of the tournament. I really meant Adrian. The Unions techno-geek in residence Adrian Dornford-Smith is our go-to guy for electronic solutions, computer software, computer hardware, phones, distributer cap firing sequence for a six cylinder Ford Zephyr and next week lottery numbers.
The Ulster Chess Union was a fortuitous union indeed the day the man with the double barrelled name and pump action mind walked through its front doors. Anyway now that I have declared my claim to fame I shall return to the matter of the minor glitches. One of the electronic boards played up through the first few round until the cause was isolated and identified as a dodgy micro-chip in the arse of a pawn. The Europa venue was perfect for playing chess, deep carpet, triple glazed window and noiseless air conditioning kept the room super quiet, fully adjustable slatted blinds and large spread down lighting ensured perfect lighting on all boards.
The restaurant and bar area was on a different floor which really helps with distractions but the lifts were located outside the playing area door which offered ease of access. The superb wooden boards and E-boards added to the visual appeal of the event and the exceptional organisation by the tournament volunteers just capped a truly wonderful chess event. Some of the players had trucked in from quite some distance not least Luke Scott from Dublin, that renowned son of Ennis Rory Quinn who came all the way from the west of Ireland and John McGann who came over from England.
This trio who were making their Ulster Championships debut were joined by a Ballynafeigh trio of Bill Lavery, Aaron Rush and John Price who were all not only making their Ulster Championship debut but were in fact playing in their first chess tournament ever. Bill Lavery uncle to Damien and Robert plays in his first ever tournament. He deliberately waited until the last minute of the last hour of the deadline for the entry cut-off just to irritate the hell out of Brendan who had been pushing him for a committal from four days previous.
Round one on the Friday night saw two of the Ballynafeigh hopefuls in the intermediate section drawn against each other, the Lavery brothers Damien and Robert were paired together on the live board. Damien got carried away knowing that potentially the entire local chess world was his audience for the evening and played a rather flirtatious g4 gambit on the second move. As he stared across the table he was met with the sight of a gargantuan grin the size of a plasma TV coming back at him, but not from his dispassionate sibling Robert who remained imperturbable but from Brendan Jamison who was beside Robert and beside himself with unadulterated glee.
Brendan Jamison was all smiles watching the Lavery v Lavery clash. When a miscalculated combination dropped a piece it was all over bar the laughing and the pre tournament favourite was left ruing his sexy gambit which abandoned him in the wastelands of the Swiss gambit. In the Junior section a similar upset was happening to the second seed and favourite for the title Cathal Murphy who was drawn against a long time former club mate John Monaghan.
Cathal won his opponents queen early in the game and looked nailed on for a relatively easy triumph over John and start his tournament in emphatic fashion. After a disaster in Bunratty when David Barr absolutely tanked due to excessive rendezvous with anything remotely resembling alcohol or its by-products, a much more determined and focused individual appeared in the guise of the Lindores man and David ruthlessly dispatched all opposition to deservedly secure the junior crown with a perfect score of six from six.
WFM Karina Kruk playing her last tournament before immigrating to Belgium where she will spend a year working as a chess adviser on the set of the new Tintin series announced her intentions with a victory against Chris Armstrong in round one. Donaldson left front against Carey in the battle for the Intermediate title.
Thomas held the pawns and advance nicely making full use of the d-file and 7th rank before setting up the finish with a quietly placed knight eyeing h7. This game was going out live but unfortunately the live transmission was interrupted after only six moves because the batteries of the live board ran low, perhaps Damien Lavery had used the AA batteries to give his Noddy car a jump start.
Rory showed that he still had plenty of charge in his game and played a very nice game against Gareth Annesley in round 4 to pull a half point ahead of Gabor after Ross Harris held Horvath to a draw. Ross holds his clubmate Gabor to give the lead to Rory beside him who was defeating Gareth. Rory managed a crafted breakthrough on the g-file to take the win and the Open tournament half a point ahead of Horvath who retained the Championship trophy with Harris lifting the under grading prize for his consistent performance. It was a nice result for the affable representative of Munster adding the icing to the cake for his weekend.
Gabor gets his unpolished trophy back and an envelope with instructions on how to use silvo. Thomas Donaldson the very deserved victor of the Intermediate title. Andrew Todd grabbed himself a prize in the Junior. Rodrigo Blanco from Spain claimed a grading prize. The event was so popular even Heisenberg wanted to play or perhaps he was responsible for spiking Cathal with crystal meth in round 1 because things definitely breaking bad afterwards.
For those of you who think we started off in the gutter and worked downwards I want to assure you that we will not rest on our laurels, we will continue to descend until we reach your level. Standing proudly on the kerbside as the delivery truck lowered its tailgate the Lindores co-pilot was positively bubbling with excitement and grinning from ear to ear as he tried to guess which box was destined for his living room.
The beaming grin was soon hijacked from his face when the driver of the mechanical mule unexpectedly informed him that they all were! Back in the house boards were hidden behind wardrobes and in the cloakroom, digital clocks stuffed under beds, below the sink, and under loose floor boards. Harris even hid them inside the electric meter box taking care not to dislodge the high powered magnet that he uses to stop the meter wheel from turning.
Apart from the intelligent logistics the ancillary benefit being it lowers the divorce exposure around me. On the other hand Adrian was just Adrian standing about grinning occasionally pulling open a drawer or cabinet in the hope that it would contain assembly diagrams or better still an instruction manual for an electronic device and the more complex the explanation the better. There was digital photography imaging for experts, a printed lecture on the retrieval of flight data from a corrupted recorder, a thesis on Gamma ray etching process and an illustrated discussion paper on radio frequency integrated circuits which had its pages stuck together.
The front room in the house Ross use to live in. The list of events refusing to accept the Irish Chess Union ultimatum to controllers regarding authority over the entry lists to tournaments has been swollen by the prestigious Gonzaga Chess Classic. What direction or what action the board of the ICU choose to take from this point is debateable but unquestionably the boards hand is not as strong as they believed and the controllers hand was not as weak as they had hoped.
Worse than merely operating from a position of false strength the ICU board seemed to have been betting hard with their hand believing they held all the Aces, only to now realise that all the time the tournament controllers were sitting with a Straight-flush. In this case the controllers knew from day one how strong their hand was.
Karina Kruk played in her first Trident-Blitz and managed to get herself on to a winning team with Edward Doak and Mark Hewitt to collect the Dennis Wilkinson sponsored first prize. Hewitt and Doak were also on the winning team in the first Trident-Blitz this summer and Hewitt was a first place in the Ballynafeigh puzzle evening recently, rumours that he also won the lottery are as yet unsubstantiated.
Well Brendan did David just said his playing partners were numpties. The format had three person teams taking it in turns to completely cock it up for the man following them; the entry field was ranked according to rating and then split equally into three sections and one player drawn randomly from each section to form a team.
Before every round the teams draw for colours and each team has minutes on the clock decided at start of the tournament by controller with the players from the lowest band to move first followed by their counterparts and so on. Moves are not complete until the clock is hit and the player can take back any move while the clock remains un-pressed. While conferring is not allowed on moves between teammate you can tell or for that matter shout at a teammate to hurry up to remind them about the clock, and trying to put off opponents is not only legal but somewhat expected.
If someone tells a fellow teammate what to play the teammate is barred from making that move and the team receives a yellow card instead, if they pick up a second yellow card during the evening their best player is suspended for his next two moves which must be taken instead by the lowest rated player in the team who will also still has his own turns to take. Houston Hewitt and Doak slipped up in round 4 when in an almost tied up position pieces kept being shuffled back and forth as the junior players kept missing the grander more adventurous plans of their strongest player every time a piece was lined up in the preferred position the next player to play frustratingly returned it to its starting square and the controller called draw.
The top seeds of Lavery Gould and Seaby then picked up a yellow card in round four for speech play, which they would have to carry for the duration of the entire tournament as it does not expire. Houston Doak and Hewitt took the first prize after better time management saw them overcome Gould Seaby and Lavery who had to settle for the runners up spot when the shadow of the yellow card brought out a yellow streak in their play. There was even a financial prize for the wooden spoonists of Paul Charles Robert Lavery and John Price in the hope that they buy some chess books to aid their chess development in time for the next one in June when Robert Lavery was asked what he thought of the random draw format by the Gossip Desk he rubber stamped his approval we think!
However the hope was short lived as the fatigue of the journey took its toll on the champion and he got beat by a little girl in round one. The last round clash saw Ciaran pitted against Mark Newman of Civil Service chess club in a winner takes all stakes game, Ciaran trying to retain his title he won last year and Mark trying to win his first since It was the mighty Quinn who prevailed to take the title, trophy and the cheque home with him for a second year running but like a generous guest left the whitewash bonus behind. Winner takes all clash Newman on the left with white falls to the champion Quinn.
Runner up Damien Lavery left smashed into the queenside of Calum Leitch to secure the win. Quinn centre with the trophy is flanked by Lavery on the left runner up and Armstrong on the right grading prize. Skullduggerer General Ross Harris on the receiving end of a crushing lesson from me.
Though it has to be said that not everyone found it quite so riviting. Alas it was that hoary old chestnut the phone in the toilet again, or should that be chess-nut in the toilet? Either way it doubly embarrassing because it was not some intermediate in the running for a grading prize nor some junior eager to impress his peers and relatives, it was a Grandmaster and a national champion playing in the Dubai open. Nigel Short GM sent out a fun tweet about the world famous Bunratty tournament in which he queried why Grandmaster Wesley So was in attendance.
Tongue in cheek he tweeted the following. The likes of Short, Nunn, Jones, Hebdon, Arkle, Wells, Pert, and Williams to name a few have always been approachable and went out of their way to be so both past and present. This year Grandmaster So was added to that list of chess masters who could be simply approached and chatted to as he proved with several of the Belfast players just last week. So do we revel in our special rapport with our chess stars and hail its uniqueness?
The sole aim of this site seems to be to promote the self serving views of a fool with an uncontrollable narcissistic personality and to cause the maximum discomfort in Irish chess. He deliberately selects the most provocative of pieces to create animosity or deliberately spins absolute nonsense and trivial words into something altogether more sinister, and if that means taking thing out of context to garnish his view then so be it. One of the posters claimed to have taught 2, kids to play chess! The question any sensible reader would ask having feasted their eyes on that claim is where are they?
There are certainly not 2, kids at the tournaments; they seemed to have disappeared before Nigel even made his joke tweet last week, who scared them? The weather was perfect, the skies were clear the roads were dry and it was motorway all the way, at a comfortable speed with intelligent decisions we could make the mile trip in 3 hours and twenty minutes.
In fact we would have been even longer if we had taken dessert when we stopped at lunchtime for an hour! I was confident that the lost time could be made up in the perfect conditions especially in the souped-up BMW with go faster stripes. He is one of the few people on this planet that can make Damien Lavery look like a circuit of Ireland rally driver. Arriving at the venue with a newbie is always a fun time, hearing about Bunratty is all well and grand but following them into the tournament arenas for the first time when they see it for themselves is like Bambi-hour.
To their never ending credit the playing venue was presented to its usual high standard by the Bunratty organisers with every aspect of possible difficulties for individual players taken into consideration for the layout of the tables in the arenas. They also had live boards going out on-line automatically to the rest of the world from the sleepy county Clare village, which added an extra incentive for the virgins if ever one was needed in the first place.
The northern contingent did quite well in round one with a high success rate amongst them and in their twos and threes toddled off to the bar area for boastful replays and an opportunity to feel smug for a while. Bible studies then commenced until bedtime around 7pm as part of their sponsorship agreement with former Irish Champion Ray Devenney.
Stephen Rush had left the house thinking he was the last out and promptly locked the front door and headed to the playing venue. Unbeknown to the security conscious Stephen two late sleepers Martin Kelly and Cathal Murphy were still under the duvets and awoke to find themselves in captivity.
After the initial panic attacks and name calling it slowly dawned on them that they had mobile phones to summon help, so did they phone Stephen Eoin Soren or Jim who were staying in the same house? Did they phone Calum or Damien C who could have got to anyone with a key and were only a few hundred yards away? They decided to phone the owner 50 miles away! To plead their plight and in return listen to her giggle back down the phone. Over lunch and after the statements to the Garda the unfortunate pair relived their nightmare in a quest for sympathy or a discount; boy did they go to the wrong guys in Leitch and Cunningham for either!
During the Saturday evening the talk was of the Icelandic IM Bjorn Thorffinsson who demolished a very strong field in the parallel Bunratty Classic which ran side by side for the week and in doing so achieved a GM norm the first ever earned at any Irish event. We learned that Bjorn Thorffinsson is an extremely honest person, he has not got one single musical note in his head and we also learned that GM Simon Williams is a lying wind-up bastard! Inside an unfortunate GM was detained by other elements of the northern contingent and was being grilled if not interrogated about insane chess scenarios and mind numbing stupid questions, the poor guy looked like he was facing his worst stalker nightmare.
Deciding not to rescue him was a no brainer, better him than me I thought besides Bunratty can be survival of the fittest at times and a GM title is the chess equivalent to a black-belt in karate, he should be able to look after himself. So carried away with his new found fame the slow chauffeur forgot himself and started to give lessons to players from the challenger section, which would have been okay if it had been Stephen Rush and Chris Black but he was giving lessons to people who could actually play.
However this is not the fault of the organisers and controllers of Bunratty who are responsible for a sterling exercise in impartiality and fairness and are a credit to controllers everywhere. No one would tolerate a Pete Cafolla, Rory Quinn or a Hugh Doyle playing in the Major yet year after year the Minor is subject to these same anomalies albeit on a reduced scale. To achieve a rating surely someone somewhere with knowledge of chess had to have seen these players play and at what point could these same people not see that the person was either vastly stronger or deliberately hiding form.
It really is not very fair on players who play every year in the minor because they are not strong enough to escape it but love chess and support the tournament through loyalty. The newbies were in the bar in numbers some clearly star struck with the celebrities of the chequered board or else quite taken by Margit Brokko the eye candy of the challenger section, with her smart business suit, flowing blonde curls and high heels she almost turned as many heads as Gerry Graham did in his pastel pink pinstriped shirt and his clipboards hanging out for the lads.
As the Saturday night continued into the Sunday morning most of the customers of the bar area had wisely left for bed, the Belfast mob stayed the few that left did so only left to visit a hidden still or stash and returned soon after with over filled glasses. The early hours came and even they were forced to retreat to their accommodation, the Lindores crew were the last out and such was their state it too them twenty five minutes for a two minute walk back to the cottage.
Standing four feet from his front door David finished his smoke, or perhaps that should read his smoke finished him! Halfway up the street David found an open door and decided it was his house went in and stripped off! David panicked he jumped up and pulled on trousers and jacket and fled being called a multitude of names as he did so.
He walked the street and managed to bump into the Lindores Casanova Andy Hughes returning late from somewhere who brought him home. That was the early hours of Sunday and it was going to be a long long day for David Barr. The Lindores lads determined to keep the good Belfast name in the trash god bless em tried to jump the breakfast queue on Sunday by chancing their arm quoting a room number.
Outside the hipflasks came out and it was the hair of the dog for them all, before the hungry hounds made their way back in to see the draw. Calum Leitch was two minutes away from the default time against a very strong opponent on the Sunday morning as he reached his seat, then after playing for a while he went out for a smoke, chatting to a couple that he knows from the event he kindly accepted the offer of a pint and continued the conversation which covered many topics.
Sean whispers his moves which his opponent then positions on the full board before replying and in turn whispering his moves so Sean can record them on a small recording device. Pardon the pun but you can see where this is going, Sean was blind David was blind drunk and could hardly speak. Sean eventually won thank goodness and the strange thing is he was completely crushing David on both boards and your head would explode trying to work out how that was possible. This was brilliant for them, only Thomas had been here before, as for the rest it was their first ever Bunratty and they were all very nervy going into the last round.
Chris and Eoin secured their places and Barney and Thomas just failed at the end. The prizes were handed out and preparations were made for the Bunratty Blitz event, struggling into the hall the Belfast squad picked out their intended victims. A few of the lads selected Bjorn Thorffinsson to show him that he may have earned a GM norm but that was vastly different from earning a Bunratty norm.
V Patzer Short Works
David began to stutter as his slowing brain searched in vain for the phrases he wanted and the explanation needed. Charlie Logan of Ballynafeigh 4 arrived back this week from his winter holiday in sunny Tenerife to a crisp night air and a half inch covering of snow. What is not in doubt this week is Mark Newman put himself in hospital while listening to music on Classic FM, no doubt the rock music fans out there reading this will be thinking that such an outcome is inevitable every time Classic FM is played within reach of a packet of razor blades.
So they are where they find themselves on merit and really consistent scoring from some of their players not least the most experienced player in Ulster chess David Houston whom has had one drawn game this year and won all the rest, big man, big reputation, and big scoring! Just the sort of performances any captain would be hoping for from his board one and nervous captains praying for.
During the latest clash with Lindores things were looking poor from a Ballynafeigh view, their visibly nervous captain was first to lose, then later as he scoured the remaining four boards he was visibly twitching. Grabbing a handful of tea-lite candles from the cupboard Jamison headed out of the playing room only to return shortly after to witness the most remarkable turnaround in fortune. The entire room was gasping at one turnaround after another in the space of five minutes, everyone was disbelieving of what they had just seen, all except one had raised eyebrows or shaking heads, that one was Brendan Jamison, he was cool calm and collected.
After we had all packed up to go home we noticed that there was light coming from the next room where Brendan had lit his candles and forgot to blow them out. When we opened the door there were he lit candles on the floor in an inverted pentagram, perhaps Lavery was right the devil was in the detail after all. To join Ballynafeigh 4 they make you clean the windows first. Anyone who knows Paddy Magee knows the Ballynafeigh-reject is consumed with a hatred of all things Ballynafeigh!
He has asked the league controller to disband four of the Ballynafeigh teams and force them to play at another club! Paddy Magee wants Ballynafeigh to only have one team! Gabor Horvath lifted the Williamson Shield at the weekend to add to his tally of Ulster trophies gathered so far this season, his victory was assured when he burst clear of the field on the final day eventually finishing with 5.
The top section was bolstered by quartet of players from the Rathmines and Gonzaga clubs Marc Lincoln, Ben Cullen, Fiachra Scallan and Andy Keenan who journeyed up to Belfast for the event, though whether they were there for a tilt at the Williamson shield or just the notoriously easy rating points off Ross Harris and Stephen Rush is debateable. John Phillips from Enniskillen a stalwart of UCU tournaments over the years blundered in round one but used the set back as an opportunity to make full use of the Swiss gambit scenario and stormed through to win the Challengers section ahead of the wise owl of Ulster chess John McKenna in second and tournament warhorse Martin Kelly back in third.
Registration starts at 11 am with the idea of an Ballynafeigh 2 travelled to the Lindores coffee house on Thursday evening for the last division one match before the Christmas break. It was a fixture that Ballynafeigh were looking forward to as the Lindores super team had already fallen victim to the Ormeau road side earlier in the season. So if Mike could avoid the four remaining Ballynafeigh 2 players he definitely had a shot at a result. Division two games this week saw Ballynafeigh 4 whitewash their kith and kin Ballynafeigh 5 who have lived up to their pre-league expectation as the whipping boy select.
Robert Lavery and Matthew Chapman did their captains role when they held each other to a draw, Suraj Tirupati put Ballynafeigh in the lead when his rook v bishop endgame went the way of the heavier piece. Eoin Carey was determined to get back to winning ways after last weeks shock defeat and better king positioning in the pawn endgame was sufficient for the task. The Ballynafeigh banker game Tyrone Winter v Paddy Magee was as expected under no threat of not going the way of Ballynafeigh, Winter comprehensively outplayed his opponent and lulled him into error after error before dispatching him with a H file mate.
Chris Cao pulled one back for Matthew Chapman his team captain who watched his close victory over James Barbour. Was that it Colm? Was that the best you could do after nearly a year and a half of information collection and storage, editing and researching, was that the sum total you could come up with? So for the record I write the vast majority of the material on the Ballynafeigh site though not it all , others supply the information and the photos or the links and I collate it into posts, hence WE as in the plural.
We at Ballynafeigh have built an extremely successful club thank you for pointing that out, in four years we have went from a single team to five teams we have also provided the personnel for two other teams, which we are equally proud of because we were running out of room. At Ballynafeigh every single member plays the exact same number of games irrespective of rating or good looks, if they pay they play. We ensure it is a friendly environment for all and provide free coaching for all players during the summer break irrespective whether they are member of our club or not, there are no costs for anyone.
We are also open 50 weeks of the year only missing a week at Christmas and one other when the need arises. Each and every member except me of Ballynafeigh once accepted into the club holds a black-ball option on any new member which they may take up, this is to ensure nobody can ever be forced into irritating or embarrassing situation with people they have no wish to be in association with. We search out people who played years ago and get them reignited, we scan the chess sites for active players that have never played live before and get them involved.
The pyramid base of chess is decidedly unhealthy; clubs like Ballynafeigh addressing this issue by maximising their encatchment can only be of long term benefit to chess. The mystery man from my own club that you claimed to be in contact with is not from my club either! If I had known you were so sparse on material I would have photocopied the autopsies myself and emailed them to you.
So when half way through the evening Ballynafeigh 1 were drawing on one board behind on two others and completely and utterly demolished on the final two it looked like the league leaders were about to be casualties in a friendly-fire incident. Ballynafeigh 2 who had already accounted for the Lindores 1 super-team or super-egos were home and hosed against their own club royalty. The league controller came as a witness to the clash to ensure there was no inter-club skulduggery; his presence was assured after continual harassment from other interested parties representing other chess clubs via emails and text messages.
Something of an interested party himself to say the least Leitch the Lindores 1 organ grinder was admiring the unfolding events with great glee, he was beside himself with happiness as he sat in the corner giving a running text commentary to his team mates, his club members and one or two of the league naysayers. The unforeseeable Ballynafeigh 2 implosion soon after wiped the two foot grin off his face caused the text messages to be addressed to the Samaritans and had Leitch looking for that bridge with the water under it to throw himself in!
Ian Woodfield bagged a point for Ballynafeigh 2 by defeating Stephen Rush when his Queen and knight against two rooks and a knight worked better, then Thomas Donaldson doubled the Ballynafeigh 2 lead when he accounted for Damien Lavery. It seems that Ballynafeigh 1 played their get out of jail free card or more cynical mind may conclude that Cunningham and Jamison the Ballynafeigh gruesome twosome just played a flanker and made a set up look good. Only those that were there last night will know the truth, the league controller Leitch was there but he was too busy texting his cohorts to notice all the winking, nodding and smirking that was going on.
Ballynafeigh 1 jumped to the top of the league again with an emphatic win over league strugglers Fruithill taking every board, while Ballynafeigh 4 suffered the reverse in their match losing every board to Belfast South 2. Calum Leitch was there to cheer on Lindores two in their attempt at league glory in division two, cynics would argue that he was there on a talent raid again having poached Mike Redman during the summer.
They were handed a shock defeat by Belfast South 1 before strengthening their team but then they were handed their ass by Ballynafeigh 2 the following week. Obviously gossip and chatter was whether or not Lindores 1 could pick themselves off the floor let alone catch Ballynafeigh 1. The gloating from Jamison the Ballynafeigh 1 captain was extraordinarily cruel and the professional sculptor just chiselled away at Leitch and his achievements. Saturday saw the first chess tournament in Tyrone for quite some time, the time in question must be decades. So for those that made it to the rapid-play event congrats to all of you all but would you believe it was yet another Ballynafeigh take down.
First aid crew were shocked to find Calum trounced into the ground by Brendan Jamison, but he told them he was okay as he was getting used to it by now. Ballynafeigh 1 started this week with an important match with Belfast South 1 and finished it with a vital one against Lindores.
Ray and his Belfast South team had already defeated the mighty Lindores team earlier in the season so Ballynafeigh gave them plenty of respect and brought a very strong squad for the game. It paid dividends for the title chasers and they secured a heavy win though Martin Kelly was unlucky not to get something from his clash with Damien Lavery after both players wasted over an hour each on the first 9 moves with decidedly unorthodox play that would have made a newbie blush.
Leitch offered the Ballynafeigh 1 captain Brendan Jamison the opportunity to play their postponed clash 48 hours later in a neutral venue. The invite came with the added sweetener that Gabor Horvath current Ulster champion Mike Redman former Ulster champion and Ross Harris former Intermediate champion were all extremely unlikely to play due to an assortment of reasons ranging from holidaying in Syria to the Ebola virus to work. Did he seriously think that Ballynafeigh were stupid enough to swallow that bare faced lie, absolutely everyone knows there is no way under the sun that Ross Harris would ever consider the concept of actual work.
The Ballynafeigh team arrived at the venue and there was Ross Harris Gabor Horvath and Mike Redman large as life totally free of the Ebola virus and without a Syrian duty free goodie bag. Realising that his cheap attempt at a horse-swoggle was not going to be accepted Ross Harris and his co-accused Calum Leitch agreed to ditch Redman for the clash in the hope that pulling a half a flanker was better than pulling no flanker at all.
The stakes were higher for Lindores as another big defeat for them after their humiliating spanking at the hands of Ballynafeigh 2 would have made their title challenge almost impossible it would have left them 15pts behind the new league favourites Ballynafeigh 1. Leitch quickly grabbed a superior position against Soren Jensen obtaining an awkward pawn on d6 and held it to promote and end the Danes resistance. Ross Harris and Stephen Rush played to a rook and pawn dead draw which left the Lindores pair back-slapping each other on a great start.
Another banker draw on board five awaited with Kilpatrick of Lindores and Lavery of Ballynafeigh having 7 pawns and a knight each with pawn placement making it impossible for knight penetration. However Kilpatrick managed to win a pawn after trading knights and pushed to victory. Leitch and Harris were ebullient and started high fiving and bear hugging each other as they led with their number 1 and current Ulster Champion Gabor Horvath still to finish. Fortunately Ballynafeigh had their own Grizzly David Houston back in rock solid form again and he handled everything Gabor tried with him with confidence building a huge time advantage and structured his pieces so they were attacking and defending simultaneously and it became a task too far for Gabor and David Houston clawed the victory and equalled the match overall.
Ballynafeigh lined out Houston, Scannell, Jensen, Lavery the bigger one and Jamison the wealthy one in an effort to thwart the runaway league leaders who remained unbeaten until now. Most attention this week was focused on the second division fixtures with Muldoons 2 expecting to regain the league leaders spot by whitewashing the novices of Ballynafeigh 5.
Lindores 2 also in the mix for title glory travelled to the Ballynafeigh rooms in search of a big win over Ballynafeigh 4 to solidify their claims as major contenders. This afforded them the opportunity of ring side seats for the Ballynafeigh 3 versus Civil Service match which was taking place in the same venue, both teams also being serious contenders for the title. Lindores rattled off two fairly quick wins on the lower boards and slowly gathered momentum on the remaining boards holding commanding advantages over their rivals eventually securing a score-line to jump to the top of the table.
Civil Service arrived with their best team but faced a restructured Ballynafeigh 3 who had been depleted of personnel for the first few months, now with a few of their stronger players available they scored an impressive win over Civil Service, it was impressive considering that this was still not Ballynafeigh 3 strongest selection, that is still to come and the nervous Calum Leitch overseeing the Lindores outfit knew it! Gerard Bannon increased the home-sides lead with a rock solid positional display that David Jackson of Civil Service had no answer to. Peter May struck one back for Civil Service when he defeated Robert Lavery whose namesake and team mate Bill Lavery generously offered very generously it should be said ratings officer and Civil service board 4 Drew Ferguson a draw, obviously Bill is after a ratings bump from Drew and this draw offer was a part payment.
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The girls were all very polite and provided as much information as they could, especially to one of the trio that they all knew on a first name basis. Forty minutes after the clocks had started just beating the league match forfeit time by five minutes the Ballynafeigh rear-guard arrived at the boards, it was only then on looking around that one of them remembered that the place looked familiar and that he had once worked there as a barman… for four years! Ballynafeigh 1 made only their second appearance of the season when they travelled to Groomsport for their clash with Bangor. This could be another very close championship again this year and every point or indeed half point could turn out to be of extreme importance in the race for the Silver King trophy.
Though to be fair Ballynafeigh 2 did have a couple of pretty boys on boards four and five, but this is one thorn bush with clearly not enough roses. Lindores had something else… they had… they had … they had a spanking heading their way, but not the sort of spanking that makes you smile like the ones Dave Houston tells me about but the type that leaves you with a face like Roy Keane on a bad day… well like Roy Keane on any day really! Cunningham offered Redman the draw at this point but the offer was politely refused by the dashing board 2 of Lindores, over on board 5 Stephen Rush of Ballynafeigh took the scalp of Fred MacDonald which left the doctor feeling slightly ill and Leitch his Lindores captain severely sick.
Ballynafeigh 2 showed no signs of acrophobia when the Ormeau road second string scaled the dizzy heights of the division one league table, once there they surveyed the panoramic scenery from their lofty pinnacle, they survey it and enjoyed it soaking it all in, for … well … for nearly an hour. Ah well at least we summited! Having been well and truly battered back at their Ormeau road base camp last week by the Man Mountains of Ballynafeigh 1 where Cunningham salvaged his teams only draw when he positionally outplayed his fellow club-mate Danish import Soren Jensen.
I thought we were in the first division this year! Ballynafeigh Chess Club would like to offer it condolences to the family and friends of Alan Burns who passed away this week in hospital. He will be sorely missed by anyone who ever had the pleasure of being graced by his presence for even the briefest of moments, sad news indeed for Ulster Chess. How lucky we all are to have such a wonderful ambassador working on our behalf. Sadly, I will not be around to see how he gets on as I have just slit both my wrists and am now placing my head in a gas oven to be sure to be sure. Fisherwick contacted Calum Leitch and claimed to the League controller that they were not capable of fielding a team in the forth coming season.
This was accepted at face value earlier today but rapid developments have now well and truly poured cold water on that initial claim and shown it to be inaccurate. This offer alone proves two things, one that he has absolutely no confidence that any other club will join this bizarre nonsense and two that he is so desperate to get a group gathered around him that he will try any insane format if it gets him another brainwashed if not brain-dead disciple in his not so merry band. Calum Leitch the new axe grinder for the Ulster Chess Union has decided to shelve the extremely successful floating system that has been the main avenue for encouraging and progressing junior players in the UCU.
So a big hat tip to all who donated their faded out of focus shaky-handed ill-framed badly lit mess to our inbox, and a special hat-tip to Pat who gave us something to display. Eoin Carey deep in prayer has Adrian Dornford-Smith deep in thought as religion wins over science for the Junior championship. The Ulster Championships took place over the August bank holiday weekend in the Europa hotel Belfast for the 8 th year in succession thanks to the continued sponsorship of the Europa Hotel in providing the venue.
The big increase in new players that the UCU is experiencing is surprisingly not coming from the teenage ranks as one might expect but from adults either coming back to chess after a long break or ones that have only recently discovered an appetite for the masochistic game. This has been a repeated scenario for the third year running which only advertises the untapped potential out there for all clubs and federations to draw from. Ballynafeigh have been to the forefront of harvesting this untapped potential supplying six new faces to the Ulster Championships who had never played in a tournament before.
This year was controversy free for a change in comparison to recent Ulster Championships, indeed former Ulster Champion Michael Holmes a spectator on the final day duly noted the lack of corridor whispering or indeed shouting for that matter. Sibren stared at him bizarrely which I have to admit was only half as bizarre as the stare that came back from Paul Charles, but a spare pen was duly located and loaned to the newbie.
Paul was stumped, he was still digesting the controllers last answer when Sibren took full advantage of the lull to escape the cycle or to locate Tournament Director Ross Harris to see if Paul Charles was a professional wind up. Paul wandered off back to the junior section slightly perplexed by his exchanges with the controller.
He approached his Ballynafeigh team-mate Norman Rainey. Chris Turnbull got to his seat moved then pressed his clock and sat and waited on Paul Charles to arrive. Obviously Paul Charles does also and promptly intercepted the newbie Jordan Mitchell and assured him that he was in fact John McGann, he led young Mitchell to another table sat down and played him. This left two players with ticking clocks at tables with no opponents and one Dutch controller with a ticking fuse when the error was uncovered. Harr is theesh possible?
Harr kan yuu get opponents wrong twice, theesh is insane? Day two saw David McAlister take the reins as Sibren Westra exited stage left and almost immediately David was called into action to make a ruling under rather difficult circumstances. Tournament rookies Eoin Carey and Stephen Cullen led the Ballynafeigh eight man assault on the Junior title hoping to lift it for the second time in three years.
Carey played steady safety first tournament chess which is what is required to win the Junior championship, Cullen on the other hand was as wild as a militia territory map of northern Iraq. Carey thwarted all challengers to lift the silverware for the Ballynafeigh club and Cullen secured the grading prize with ease. Indeed a runner up spot was well within the reach of Cullen if he had managed to avoid the reach of the barman between rounds, obviously Stephen was getting in some early practice for Bunratty in February.
Eoin Carey wins the Junior championship for Ballynafeigh, the 2nd time in 3 years it has gone to the Ormeau road club. Neither was to find any success as both instead of just chilling got overheated and ran cold instead, the title went to the cool head of Norman McFarland of Fisherwick, which was just reward for the work he has done in securing the Europa as a venue for the Ulster Chess Union.
Scannell grabbed second place behind the unstoppable Gabor Horvath of Lindores, whilst Jamison the multi-millionaire artist who flew in from L. Martin Kelly held court at the bar with his gleaming new trophy which he had won ten months ago but only just received from the UCU trophy cabinet, when asked Kelly was at a loss to explain why it took so long to unite him with the trophy, though Sibren Westra was convinced it was because it was on a sideboard in Paul Charles house!
Hello is that Paul Charles? The winning margin was vast, nearly three times greater than the chess shrewdies and insiders had expected. By the start of the Olympiad most would be pollsters had Kirsan in front with something between 12 and 16 votes, the final eyebrow raising margin of nearly 50 will come as a complete surprise to many.
The result will be analysed in greater scrutiny in the days and weeks ahead however the kneejerk finger pointing and name calling has started already. Kasparov has been bawling his eyes out to any journalist with a pen that the election process was completely rigged from the start, with bizarre utterances about the KGB and Russian embassies in every country in the world working to have President Putins man elected. Kasparov is in danger of sullying his great achievement over the board and the respect that those same achievements brought with delusional nonsense more associated with a card carrying tin-foil helmeted conspiracy theorist.
Perhaps a greater scrutiny of his own actions and political naivety in the years leading up to this colossal failure would stand team Kasparov in better stead. Kasparov has been communist when it suited him and free marketeer when it suited him better, he has adopted the roles of persecuted Jew, agnostic and self appointed if not self anointed Christian to suit his audiences, which makes it easy for his detractors to lay claims of inconsistency and hypocrisy at his doorstep.
Intel pulled their money out as one might expect well anyone except Kasparov that is and the PCA was finished. I suppose arrogance is one of those vices that are hard to see in a mirror but judging by the landslide obviously not that difficult for others watching on… especially FIDE delegates.
And there was me thinking that he was Russian in love with all things Russian except Mr Putin when it is obvious he is in love with anything that is pro-Russian or anti-Russian just so long as it casts him in the role of demigod and rewards him accordingly. Deluded he had a support base Kasparov actually stood for the Russian Presidency in and his brilliant strategy for winning popular support in Russia was to fly to the USA and do all the ultra right TV shows and chat forums.
It went down badly in Russia for the tiny few that seen them but by all accounts it went down a treat in the Putin household! Ordinary Russian did not know what to make of him bracketing him as crazy eccentric at best; it was obvious Kasparov had saddled himself with the loser badge from day one through lack of preparation and planning or perhaps pure arrogance. Get to Know Us. Not Enabled Word Wise: Not Enabled Screen Reader: Enabled Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
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