Congratulations to Malahide, winners of the 2016 Mike Germaine Cup 
and to St. Benildus who came second
The Mick Germaine Cup was held in the Ierne Sports and Social Club, Elm Mount’s premises on Sunday 11th December. It was the largest ever running with 27 teams coming from as far as Manorhamilton with Blanchardstown, Malahide and Rathmines making up the bulk of the teams between them. St Benildus also took part for the first time.
Grand Prix 2016, next event begins this february

Under 10

Last years Grand Prix event was a great success, enjoyed by over 70 participants and their families. Many thanks to John Delaney and John Comey for running the event.

The Irish team returned from the World Youth Championships in Greece today. All 18 players performed very well as you can see in the chart below.  It is great to see such strong performances across all the age groups and it is very promising for the future. By all accounts it was also a very positive and enjoyable event both on and off the boards.  Congratulations to you all for your tremendous efforts and achievement.

Results from the last round of the world youth championships

SNo Name Rtg FED Pts. Rk. Group
106 Tirziman Rudolf 1854 IRL 5,0 76 Open U18
122 Maher Conor 1901 IRL 4,0 136 Open U16
149 Plaza Reino Agustin 1544 IRL 3,5 141 Open U16
140 Byrne Alex 1729 IRL 6,0 85 Open U14
145 Scallan Fiachra 1698 IRL 4,5 144 Open U14
153 Beatty Ross 1660 IRL 5,0 134 Open U14
162 Higgins Michael 1596 IRL 4,5 151 Open U14
166 Murphy Adam 1455 IRL 3,5 187 Open U12
190 Higgins Stephen 0 IRL 3,0 192 Open U12
201 Walsh Ciaran 0 IRL 3,5 184 Open U12
73 Dwyer Daniel 1652 IRL 5,0 107 Open U10
61 Kecskemeti Arnold 1063 IRL 5,0 92 Open U08
79 Ni Mhuireagain Eibhia 1338 IRL 3,5 77 Girls U18
51 WCM Mirza Diana 1898 IRL 5,0 61 Girls U16
99 Plaza Reino Mercedes 1463 IRL 4,0 109 Girls U14
114 Ferguson Dayna 0 IRL 4,0 107 Girls U12
64 Kecskemeti Admira Aida 1272 IRL 4,5 91 Girls U10
108 Walsh Anjali 0 IRL 3,5 104 Girls U10

Chess For All ( is a charity which promotes chess in schools throughout Ireland. Schools from every county in Ireland participate in the Chess for All programme. On Saturday 4th April 28 teams took part in their 6-round team tournament in the Hilton Hotel on the Malahide Road.  It was a very tightly contested event with all to play for in the last round between St. Conlets, Naomh Barrog and St. Marys Rathmines. The St Conleths team came out on top, with St Marys 2nd and Naomh Barrog 3rd.

Final standings:

  1. St. Conleths – 5 points (20 game points)
  2. St. Mary’s College, Rathmines – 5 points (18.5)
  3. Naomh Barrog – 5 points (18)
  4. NDSNP 1 – 4.5 points (15.5),
  5. Wanderers – 4 points (15.5)
  6. St. Brigid’s Killester – 4 points (15)
  7. John Bosco – 4 points (14.5),
  8. Brierhill – 4 points (14.5)
  9. St. Mary’s BNS, Rathfarnham – 3.5 points (14)
  10. Carysfort NS – 3.5 points (13.5)

Junior training squad selection report by JSC February 2015

Daniel Lynch

Report of the Junior Selection Committee 12th February 2015

The ICU junior selection committee (JSC) has been requested by the ICU executive to select a group of juniors for training with a view to enhancing the prospects for Irish juniors in the forthcoming junior international competitions during 2015 and beyond.

The selection is based on the January 2015 ratings list or equivalent*.

The ICU has formed a panel of trainers and top players including GM Alex Baburin, FM David Fitzsimons, FM Colm Daly, FM Stephen Brady and Darko Polimac to assist the selected juniors.

The first two sessions are confirmed at the Hilton Hotel Kilmainham, Dublin on

  • March 1st
  • March 22nd

Dates for the other sessions are scheduled in Dublin for

  • April 26th
  • May 10th
  • May 24th
  • June 14th

All selected juniors must be paid up members of the ICU and should contact ICU Junior Officer, Desmond Beatty, at to confirm their participation or otherwise by Friday February 20th.

The ICU has requested a contribution of €90 from each participant for this training payable via the (ICU Shop). Alternative payment methods can be arranged by contacting the ICU Treasurer Chris Sheridan at

Juniors are reminded that training squad selection does not guarantee any selection for Irish junior teams or events. Selection of participants in the Glorney Gilbert International will, as in previous years, be based on the May published ratings and per the junior selection criteria as amended at the 2014 AGM. Please note that these criteria include the need to play in one of four specific events. The next such event is the Irish Junior Championships in Blanchardstown, Dublin, April 10th -12th.

All players seeking to play for Ireland must have Ireland as their FIDE federation. Please note that a player who is Under 14 or Under 12 and has a rating that is high enough to qualify for the Under 18 Open team will be offered a place on the Under 18 Open team. More information on selection for the Glorney Gilbert and other junior international events will be published in due course.

Any questions on the work of the junior selection committee should be directed to the chairman, Daniel Lynch, at

The ICU wish to thank the Management of the Hilton Hotel Kilmainham for providing an excellent venue free of charge, for the third year in a row.

U18 Open selection for training

Name Rating
O’Donnell, Conor 2148
McGovern Leahy, Cian 2006
Byrne, Alex 1791
Mulligan, Scott 1765
Minnock, Eoin 1760
Keating, Geoffrey 1716
Li, Henry 1716
Maher, Conor 1701
Hughes, Padraig 1700
O’Gorman, Tom 1698

U18 Girls selection for training

Name Rating
Mirza, Diana 1637
O’Gorman, Alice 1409
Manojlovic, Anastasija 1314
Hearne, Catherine 1281
Walsh, Anjali ) (NWSRS) 1270*
Ni Mhuireagain, Eibhia 1143
Bolger, Katherine 863

U14 Open Selection for training

Name Rating
Higgins, Michael 1684
Scallan, Fiachra 1473
Beatty, Ross 1470
Redmond, Joshua 1437
Haque, Mustakim-Ul 1353
Halpenny, David 1351
Gallagher, Matthew 1345
Kildea, Robbie 1344
Melaugh, Shane 1312
Burke, Killian 1282
Devilly, Sean 1224
Onslow, Alfie (ECF) 152*

U12 Open selection for training

Name Rating
Dwyer, Daniel 1618
Haque, Muhtarim-Ul 1276
Murphy, Adam 1227
Hunter, Sean 1034
Melaugh, Gavin 973
Ferguson, Dayna 878
Mulligan, Alex 870
Naughton, James 851
Fitzgerald, Niall 847
Ruchko, Denis 843
Thomas, Johan 826
Higgins, Stephen 805
Onslow, Teddy (ECF) 114*
Walsh, Ciaran (NWSRS) 1380*

*Note: Equivalent ratings used for those seeking full ICU ratings before May 2015. Applies to junior coaching squad selection only. Equivalent ratings are NOT used for international selection – see junior selection criteria.

Gonzaga Chess Classic 2015

Conor O’Donnell and the transition year students ran a great Gonzaga tournament this year. Large numbers attended especially in the Masters Section.

Junior Players excelled in all sections

Masters was won by Conor O’Donnell. Alex Byrne and Michael Higgins the top scoring juniors in the Masters.

Championship was won by Kevin Burke from St. Benildus.

Challangers was won by Sean Hunter from Rathmines Junior Chess Club

Top female players were Ciara Scallan, Rathmines and Alice O’Gorman , Shankhill

More news to follow when I get the official crosstables


Heading into the final 2 days of competition the team are currently in 35th position from a starting position of 45th. They have come up against some of the top teams in the event, Crotia, Slovakia, South Korea, Finland, Scotland, Canada, Hungary and Poland. In the first 8 rounds they have achieved 3 team wins and 1 team draw, a very impressive score. They are enjoying the competition and working very well as a team. Round by round reports below are by Paul Higgins, Captain. There is also an interesting account from Irish player Geoffrey Keating. scroll down to read all the reports.

Ireland u16's play Poland, Judith Polgar observes games

Ireland u16’s play Poland, Judith Polgar observes games

The World Youth U16 Chess Olympiad is underway in Gyor, Hungary. The Irish team comprises of Cian McGovern Leahy, Diana Mirza, Michael Higgins, Geoffrey Keating and Danny Dwyer with Paul Higgins as captain. The tournament finishes on 22nd December.  You can see the results here [  ], or follow the tournament on its website [ ].

My Time So Far At The WYCO in Hungary by Geoffrey Keating

We arrived safe and sound Friday afternoon in Bratislava. We got a bus to Gyor from the airport

(about an hour and a half journey I think). After booking in to Hotel Rába, we had our dinner and

were off to the opening ceremony at 20:00. I really liked it, particularly the dancers representing all

the chess pieces. I haven’t any complaints about the food either so far and there are plenty of

market stalls lining the streets selling all sorts of products: from sweets, jams and dried meat to

ornaments, soaps and jewellery. The weather has also kept up nicely, with only patches of fog on

one or two days.

Our first game was against Croatia. I missed one or two chances to take the advantage in my game

against Muha Miljenko on board 4 and unfortunately lost in the end, but was still happy with the

way I played. At the start of each of our games we got something small, for example, in the first

round every player got a type of Hungarian bar that comprises of a cheese stick with a chocolate

coating! Unfortunately (and probably for the best!) I forgot to take it with me at the end of the

I rested for the second round and got to see one or two places of interest in Gyor namely the

Basilica, Benedictine buildings, Carmelite Church and Radó Island.

We played South Korea II in Round 3 and I must say we were all delighted with our 4-0 outcome. I

won a piece at the start of the middlegame in my game against Jeewon Ohn and just simplified into

a winning endgame. I was so happy to get a win in the competition it meant so much to me! It kept

me happy for the following days.

Next up was Finland who had an average rating of 1982 and we were all outrated against our

opponents. We managed to pull off a great 3-1 win which was absolutely amazing! I really enjoyed

my game against WCM Anastasia Nazarova on board 3 and I had a tough time trying to break

through her kingside. When I did, I ended up with a rook against her knight with each of us having

about 6 pawns. I still had to test my own knowledge in King and Queen versus King endgames when

eventually my opponent resigned a move away from mate. I was absolutely thrilled – over the moon.

Round 5 had our neighbours Scotland sitting on the opposite side of the table to us and we got a

respectable 2-2 draw against them. My game against Euan Gray on board 3 ended up being a very

messy type of middlegame/ endgame position coming from a Dutch Defence with Euan having a nice

kingside attack and me having nice queenside play. Eventually, I broke through on the queenside

and even managed to queen a pawn before the endgame really started! Euan respectfully resigned

and once more I went away delighted with everything.

On the day off myself, my Dad and Daniel went to one of the zoos in the city and saw lots of

different animals like spiders, snakes, monkeys, bats, owls and an armadillo. Afterwards, we saw

Bishop’s Castle and went to the top of its tower which overlooked all of Gyor. We proceeded to have

lunch at the hotel and at 15:30 we met Paul, Michael and Daniel in reception ready to play some 3-

aside soccer against the other countries. We won our first game against Slovenia 1-0 but

unfortunately lost our other two to Israel and one other country. The goals were absolutely tiny! It

was great fun – you can’t beat a good bit of indoor soccer. I got to play in goals and outfield

throughout the three games.

Tomorrow morning is Canada II and I am really looking forward to it. Overall so far, my time in

Hungary has been brilliant and I don’t want it to end, and I’m sure I’m speaking on behalf of the

entire delegation when I’m saying this.

Reports from Captain Paul Higgins

Day 1 Ireland 1:3 Croatia

A great day for Cian McGovern Leahy, beating a 2300 FM. Cian played his last 15 moves with approx. 1-2 minures on his clock and did really well. Diana Mirza had a very strong match, looking like a draw until confusion of the clock meant she lost on time. Michael Higgins played the start of the middle game a little ambitiously when caution was required. While his opponent didn’t execute perfectly, he won well. Geoffrey Keating had a great start and had a chance to take a clear advantage. He missed it and the next move his opponent launched a long sacrificial attack ultimately going two minor pieces down. Computers had it a draw but it required Geoffrey to find the right move every time. Sadly time pressure intervened and he missed the 7th required move.

Day 2 featured a double round.  In the morning Ireland were outrated on all boards against Slovakia West.  Cian was unable to follow up on the heroics of yesterday and under time pressure was squeezed out. The next game to finish was Michael’s, a typical King Indian with attacks on opposite wings. Unfortunately when the dust settled, white had a little extra material and converted. Danny gave everything in his first match, but despite the opposite coloured bishops ending and his opponent being short of time, he was unable to hold out against a couple of extra pawns.  Diana for the second day in a row had a great game and went an exchange up. Unfortunately, both players ran very short of time and the game slipped from her grasp. Sadly a 4-0 loss.

The afternoon saw us playing the South Korea 2 team.  On paper, we were expected to win but we were nervous of the ratings of players who have travelled half way around the world. As it was, it went to form. Cian was first to finish, winning efficiently on board one. Danny’s game featured a successful queen sacrifice for three pieces which produced a decisive advantage.  Michael’s game also featured a rook sacrifice which his opponent correctly left alone.  However victory for Ireland followed quickly. Last to finish was Geoffrey who was a piece up for a long time and converted to close out a 4-0 victory.

Day 3 Very good day with victory over Finland 3-1.  First to finish was Danny who blitzed his opponent in 21 moves.  His opponent had the good grace to resign having dropped a rook after a sequence of exchanges.  Next to finish was Cian.  He knew the opening well and was above his starting time after 20 moves thanks to the 30 second increment. He got a good draw against his 2108 rated opponent.  That left us on 1.5 needing Geoffrey or Diana to garner a further point for victory.  Both matches looked very equal for a long time.  Out of very little Geoffrey managed to create a kingside attack that eventually saw him break through. He emerged an exchange up.  Diana’s game started to get interesting when her opponent fashioned a pass pawn in the middle of the board.  However Diana defended well and managed to create good counter play at a key stage.  Her game ended up in a rook a pawn ending that was finally agreed a draw after nearly 4 hours. Meanwhile Geoffrey was patiently pushing his advantage home albeit it took a while as his opponent made he prove he knew how to mate with king and queen vs king.

Day 4 More challenging day after two recent victories. We were outrated on the top three boards by Scotland but had hopes of an upset. As it was, we collected an early win on the bottom board where Danny outranked his opponent by a couple of hundred points and he made it tell. On board 2, Michael got into an awkward position suffering from a pin on the kingside. He never really got his pieces into the game and pawns started to drop and with it the game. Geoffrey’s game seemed on a knife edge since he had a better position but a lot less time. However he managed to promote a pawn in the middle game (not sure whether his opponent miscalculated) and his second queen lead to a swift resignation. Last to finish was Diana on board 1. She looked to have a slight edge throughout most of the game but it slipped away as the endgame was played with little time on both their clocks. So in the end, two wins on board 3 and 4 secured a draw. Probably a fair result.

Rest day tomorrow. Thursday is the second double day with Canada II (rating average 2075) first up at 9am Irish time.

Rounds 6 and 7   We had two tough rounds today with both opponents outrating us. Canada 2 were the first team up, outrating us by an average of 200 points on the top three boards;  only on board 4 did we have an advantage on paper.  As it was Danny was first to finish.  After castling on opposite sides, his innocent looking attack on his opponent’s king rapidly became winning due to his perseverance and a few inaccuracies from his opponent. Next to finish was Cian on board one.  His game simplified down into a rook and pawn ending and a draw was agreed.  That left us on 1.5 needing a least a draw to get something from the game.  Geoffrey and Diana, boards 3 and 2,  were relatively equal and hopes were high.  Sadly both games went against us as tight endgames went to the Canadians. A credible loss, but we so nearly got an excellent result.

In the afternoon we faced one of the Hungarian teams, again facing a big ratings difference to overturn.  As in the morning, we scored early on Board 4.  This time Geoffrey won a nice game to continue his good form.  Next to finish was Michael who seemed level for a long time until his opponent’s queen managed to get behind his defences and collect a couple of pawns. Resignation followed just before the four hour mark.  Cian and Diana were both in endgames and all players were down to relatively little time. First to finish was Cian who won a tidy endgame to secure at least a draw in the match.  His rating performance is now 2237, an excellent set of results. Diana finished shortly thereafter getting a well-deserved draw that earned us the match win.

Day 8  As expected, today turned out to be a tough day with our opponents all rated over 2000. First to finish was Danny. His opponents launched the sort of attack that Danny has been so successful with in recent games. Sadly he was on the receiving end for once, and resigned after 32 moves. Next to finish was Diana who followed up her draw yesterday with another solid game to give us half a point. Sadly at this stage both Cian and Michael were under pressure on the board and on the clock, and there was no real hope of a match result. They both battled for nearly 4 hours but ultimately were defeated in 65 and 58 moves respectively.

Next up, Kyrgyzstan. We will be outrated on the top three boards by an average of 200 points but we have a chance.

Day 10 South Africa I 2.5 : 1.5 Ireland

For the second day in a row, we had hopes heading into our match, this time against the No. 1 South African team. Unfortunately, we came up a little short. First to finish was Danny who was on the receiving end of a sharp tactical attack. However at this stage we were still ok in the three remaining games. Michael’s game was starting to getting very sharp, and Geoffrey was pressing hard for an advantage. Next to finish was Diana. Her opponent won a pawn in the middle game and demonstrated good technique to secure the point. By now Geoffrey had gone a pawn up in the endgame and seemed on course for victory. Unfortunately, his opponent found a resource to sacrifice his remaining rook to secure a passed pawn that Geoffrey couldn’t stop. A draw by perpetual check was all we could get. Last to finish (and third last in the hall) was Michael’s game. His endgame seems to go back and forth, until finally he was left with two rooks for his opponents 6 pawns. Victory was secured.

Overall, Iran fell at the last hurdle and were pipped by winners India, and runners up Russia.

Day 9

Ireland 0.5 : 3.5 Kyrgyzstan

Today we faced Kyrgyzstan. While on paper they were stronger, we did harbour thoughts of an upset. Sadly it wasn’t to be. Michael and Geoffrey on boards 2 and 3 were first to lose. Michaels opponent was rated 1945 and while Geoffrey’s opponent was unrated, his performance rating for this tournament has been over 1900. Even at this stage we were still well placed to get something out of the match. Danny on board 4 was two pawns up heading into the endgame and Cian was started to attack his opponent. Slowly things slipped against. Danny’s opponent played better than her rating to find drawing resources. Cian’s game got very tactical as his opponent was forced to sacrifice a rook to save his king but also launching an attack of his own. I suspect that at some stage Cian was winning but with time slipping away for both of them, the game became very complicated as Cian was forced to give back material. Sadly we lost.

Tomorrow we play the Number 1 South African team in the final round.