St. Jarlaths college Tuam hosted the event, what a fantastic location and beautiful grounds .. although we spent the day inside absorbed is some really tense games of chess.
The U-12′s ,.. Knocknacarra lost out on the tiebreak rule. And the all-girls team from Roscommon are Connaught u-12 champions. They were thrilled to win.
The Galway U-16′s team edged out an excellent Sligo team in the semi-finals and found their nemesis, Castlebar, waiting for them in the finals .. but Claregalway-Lackagh had an edge on the day and deservedly won their 1st U-16 Connaught title. Next it’s the Nationals in August.
For photos click here. Oh, and .. chess camp starts next week ..
We travelled to Limerick last week for the national schools All Ireland finals .. there was some good news for Galway schools .. .. with a score of 6 / 6, the individual champion is Oisin Noone, of Claregalway N.S. .. and the Galway Champions (Bushy Park) improved on their 6th place last year to take 3rd this year.
In the girls section Briarhill N.S. took 1st place individually (won by the aptly named .. Sinead King) and their team are also Irish girls champions of 2014.
Galway finals 2014 … new winners Knocknacarra and Claregalway.
u-12 won by Knocknacarra , 2nd Castlegar & 3rd Athenry.
u-16 won by Claregalway , 2nd Ballinasloe & 3rd Castlegar.
Congratulations to Gonzaga college for a mighty impressive performance at this years All-Ireland Schools Championships ..Winning 18 gold medals .. Gonzaga college’s team captains proudly show their trophies (left to right – above) at u-19 Andy Keenan, u-14 Colum O’Brien & u-16 Peter Cooke. Our hosts .. St. Mary’s college Galway went the extra mile providing refreshments and snacks for players and coaches. This is the first year that chess has been played at St. Mary’s college. It evolved from a lunchtime games room where teachers Cian & Miariad (pictured above) focused some attention on the boys playing chess. They entered 2 teams in the Connaught championships and are now silver medalists in the u-14 All Ireland championships.
The Connaught champions, St. Geralds, played at u-16 level (also, their 1st year of chess thanks to teacher Joe Daly). The Castlebar school finished in 3rd place in a very competitive section. The highlight was a ding-dong match between Gonzaga and St. Benildus. All six games were “live” with 5 mins on the players clocks, and the result impossible to call. The Gonzaga players turned a couple of draw-ish looking games into wins (2 pts) and held all the other endings (4 draws), winning it 4-2.
Ulster were represented by St. Colums of Derry at U-14 level and Ballymena Academy at U-19 level. Ballymena (pictured above) were in a mild state of shock after their round 1 collision with Gonzaga but they recovered strongly to take second place in this division.
Munster were represented by Scoil Pol in the highly competitive u-16 grade. And Ard Scoil Ris were very competitive on boards 1 and 2 in the u-19′s section with the Keating brothers both scoring 2 out of 3 pts.
Finally, a special mention to the St. Benildus teams, and their team manager Mr. Frank Scott who was active in helping to bring all the teams together at short notice and providing teams where other provinces were unable to.The placing and points tells the story of the day .. out of a possible 54 game points Gonzaga scored a whopping 49.5. Tournament organiser Daniel Lynch advises that next year it’s Ulsters turn to host the event. Every team left with All-Ireland medals of some colour and learned some new tricks (well, we’ll hope so!).
The Galway angle .. congrats to Matthew Hennessey, who was joint 1st on points (but 2nd on tie-brake) in the All-Ireland u-8′s .. and our other players ..
“Thank you” to Ballinasloe chess club for a great event.
On Saturday 10th May .. we’ll crown the 2014 All-Ireland schools champions.
The 1st ever swap chess event had a great turnout and some really good games of chess. By round 4 there were 2 clear leaders on 4 outta 4 (in the foreground Iannis & Tom battle Andrejs & Denis) ..
the boys from Bushy Park (Tom & Iannis) came out ahead on an “adjudication” .. With Andrejs & Denis in 2nd place.
.. making up the top 3 were John & George, school mates of the winners.
In the “knights group” there was some nice chess played and the ones who left with the prizes were .. 1st – Liam & Aoife (a mash up from Clairnbridge and Clairgalway) .. 2nd the all girls unit of Aisling & Bryna (the bridge) .. and 3rd – Andrew & Eoghan.
Congrats all .. fairplay !
Now just 4 teams are in the hunt to become the first “Kings” of Connaught ..
Representing Galway are St. Mary’s college, plus Ballinasloe’s Garbally college, and from Mayo 2 teams from St. Geralds college will compete in the finals on Wednesday the 9th April ..
.. the venue is St. Geralds college, Castlebar and we’ll draw to see who plays who in the semi-finals.