Newsletter GM Baburin

Our Junior Tournament on the 14th of October

Our first individual junior tournament of the 2017/2018 season will take place on Saturday the 14th of October in the Talbot Hotel Stillorgan. It will be an individual 6-round tournament for players aged from 6 to 13. Beginners are welcome. There will be two sections – Minor and Challenger. The latter is for experienced players. Both sections will have many prizes – trophies, medals and chess books. Early entrants will have a chance to play (before the tournament starts) in 8-board simultaneous play exhibition against Irish International player FM Conor O’Donnell.

Date & time: Saturday, 14th of October, 12:00 – 16:30
Venue: Talbot Stillorgan Hotel (ample free parking!)
Entry fee: €15 / €25 for two siblings / €35 for three siblings

Please note that we do not register players in advance. To make sure you get a place in the tournament and a chance to participate in our simultaneous play exhibition, simply come and register between 12:00 and 12:25.

12:00 – 13:00 Registration and friendly games
12:30 – 13:00 Simultaneous exhibition with FM Conor O’Donnell
13:00 – 14:00 First two rounds of 6-round tournament
14:00 – 14:30 Break for lunch
14:30 – 16:20 Rounds 3-6 of our tournament
16:20 – 16:30 Prize-giving

We may need to limit entries in the Minor tournament to 100 players, so please register early. Players registered before 12:25 will be entered into a draw for playing in an 8-player clock simultaneous-play exhibition. Parents are welcome to stay or leave and return at 16:20. If you wish to leave and come back please make sure we have your contact number! If your child wants to withdraw from the tournament, please inform the arbiter as otherwise we will be looking for a missing player! There will be a chess stall, where you can buy chess sets, books & software. With any queries, e-mail me at or call Ivan Baburin on 087-755-3834.

Please note that later that day there will be a charity blitz tournament at the same venue, so some of our more experienced players might like to play in that too. You can see more details at

Other Junior Tournaments

The first two tournaments of the Leinster Chess Union Grand Prix will take place on the 22nd of October in Inchicore and on the 26th of November in Dundrum. For more details, visit or contact Maura Osbourne at

Leinster School League

The Leinster Schools Chess Association runs various school leagues and individual tournaments. Registration for its Primary Schools League will conclude shortly (in mid-October). To enter your school in that League, please contact Lukasz Goralski at as soon as possible. Each team consists of four players, but substitutes are allowed. Any school can have more than one team in the League. There are two divisions in the League and any school can enter the second division. For more details, visit

I would like to encourage parents and students to enter teams in this League – it will be great practice for the players. While our chess instructors will be glad to help by giving a list of suitable players to join the team(s), they cannot be involved in the running of the team(s) – this task is for parents or teachers. It involves arranging matches, bringing the players to them and providing venue and equipment. There is a bit of work involved, but it is well worth it!

Mid-Term Chess Camp on 31 Oct – 3 Nov

During the mid-term break we will be running a chess camp from Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 14:30 in St Andrew’s College (Booterstown Avenue). The camp is for children aged 6-13, although occasionally we accept younger children, particularly if their older siblings are also attending the camp. We usually divide children into two groups – one is for intermediate/advanced players and the other one for younger / less experienced players. Complete novices are welcome as we teach them the rules of chess in a small group (usually on the first day of the camp).

We start the day with friendly games, followed by two 40-minute classes, with a 20-minute break between them. During the classes, our students learn about chess history, the world’s leading chess players, advanced strategies and tactics. We also analyse instructive model games and look at games played by our students themselves. In every camp we examine important tactical themes, including deflection, luring and blocking, with some new examples prepared for each camp.

After the second class, we have a longer break, during which pupils usually play football outside (weather permitting) and then we run tournaments in two separate groups, playing two rounds every day. We will have a prize-giving on Friday afternoon. Please note that there will be no early drop-off – however, as we usually come to the school around 9:30, you can leave your child 15-20 minutes early, if necessary.

The fee is €75 per student per week (€125 for two siblings or €175 for three siblings). The daily rate is €25 (€40 for two siblings). To book a place in the camp please e-mail me at or call/text me on 087-968-2378. Those attending the camp should come through the main reception in the College and then walk to the junior school.

Our Junior Chess Club

We will soon start our own junior club. We’ll be meeting on Thursdays in the Mount Merrion Community Centre (
We will meet between 17:00 and 19:00, with coaching organised between 17:15 and 18:45. There will be 8 sessions before Christmas, starting on the 26th of October. We will provide coaching, tournaments and problem-solving competitions. There will be two separate groups – one for beginners and another for intermediate/advanced players. The fee is €80 for the first 8 sessions, payable in advance. To book a place in our club, please contact me on or text me on 087-968-2378.

You can pay for membership using one of the following options:
Send a cheque payable to Chess Promotions to Alex Baburin, 3 Eagle Hill, Blackrock, Co Dublin, A94 V2Y8.
Pay via PayPal to, providing your child’s full name and your contact details (phone and/or email address)
Transfer money to my account, providing the name of your child as reference: IBAN: IE70ULSB98533015276069; SWIFT (BIC): ULSBIE2D

If wiring money, please give your child’s name and your phone number in the payment reference as that will help me to identify payments.

Advice to New Students

Every year many new pupils join our chess classes in schools. Most of them are new to chess and I would like to give them a few useful tips – follow this advice and you will become a good player in no time:

Make sure that you have a tournament-size chess set at home. These are not expensive and can be acquired from online or at our tournaments. Stay away from sets sold in toy shops, as usually they are too small. Themed chess sets can be fun, but should not be used as your main set.
Practice as much as you can – in school and home;
Always observe the “touch move” rule – not being able to retract your move may look tough, but you have to follow it if you want to be a real chess player
Take your time before making a move – think first, move later
Remember that your opponents have plans too – ask yourself if he or she has a threat or something serious planned. If you can see a threat, then perhaps you can stop it!
Chess is all about tactics such as forks, pins and skewers. Learn how these work and try to recognise them in your games
Learn how to record chess games and read chess notation;
Study simple schemes such as “scholar’s mate” – check for this theme and tactics like pins and forks
Get a book on chess tactics and solve puzzles regularly
Take part in our monthly tournaments, chess camps and workshops

With best regards,

Alex Baburin