Chess mates converge on city for Kilkenny congress

Sean Keane


Sean Keane


Check mate

You got the move! Kilkenny youngsters Dan McEneaney and Matthew Duggan in action at the Club House Hotel PICTURE: PAT MOORE

Ireland’s longest running chess tournament just keeps getting better.
Kilkenny Chess Club held its 41st annual congress on Saturday and Sunday and attracted 221 players including a few nine-year-olds from the city.
It would seem that despite the digital age, chess is retaining its popularity with more youngsters taking up the game in Kilkenny.
And in the highly competitive International Masters class, there was local success.
Kilkenny chess club member Grandmaster, Alexander Baburin, was one of the joint winners in a highly competitive event.
He beat six grandmasters, three International Masters and three FIDE Masters.
Venues used were The Club House Hotel and The Ormonde Hotel. Two hundred and ten players competed in four sections.
The ‘Challengers’ tournament attracted 18 local players in the seventy six player field.
Many young club members were participating in a chess tournament for the first time.
Every competitor played six opponents with each game lasting a maximum of three hours.
Many new friends were made during the course of the weekend.
Though unlikely to realise it, these new friends may become regular opponents for them over the next 60 years or so!
Nine year-olds Dan MacEneaney Senan Walsh and Joel Mathew acquitted themselves better than expected.
Others who played well were Matthew Duggan, Jack Hoyne, Brian Gladney and Mark MacEneaney.
Nina Rebi, having been paired against her brother Nobin in round three, was then paired against her cousin Kevin Benny in the next round!
Aoife Fitzgerald however was the pick of the local bunch scoring highly against supposedly much better players.
Indeed she may soon be facing off against her twin brothers Niall and Martin who played in a higher section.
Aaron O’Dea and Adam Collins will surely feature on club league teams shortly following impressive performances.
Maurice Buckley and the hard hardworking committee of the chess club are already preparing their moves for next year's congress.