Northern Ireland Chess

 

CHESS LEGENDS

 

CHESS CLUBS

 

STRAND ARTS

CHESS CLUB

Location:

Strand Arts Centre, 152-154 Holywood Road, Belfast, BT4 1NY

Club day:

Sundays

Time:

15:30 - 17:30

Cost:

£2 per week for children

Club Director:

Ross Harris

Webpage

 

 

STRANDTOWN CHESS ACADEMY

Location:

Strandtown Primary School, North Road, Belfast, BT4 3EA

Club day:

Tuesdays

Time:

__ - __

Cost:

£0 per week

Limited:

The academy is currently limited to pupils of Strandtown Primary School.

Club Director:

Ross Harris

 

 

QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY BELFAST (QUB) CHESS CLUB

Location:

Queen's University Students' Union, 77-79 University Road, Belfast, BT7 1NF

Months:

October - April

Club night:

Tuesdays

Time:

18:00 - 20:00

Cost:

£18 per year

Club Director:

Chris Roe

 

 

BELFAST SOUTH CHESS CLUB

Location:

Bankers Club, 29 Malone Road, Belfast, BT9 6RU

Months:

October - April

Club night:

Wednesdays

Time:

19:30 - 10:30

Cost:

£__ per year

Club Director:

Martin Kelly

 

 

MULDOONS CHESS CLUB

Location:

Muldoons Bar, Corporation Square, Belfast, BT1 3AJ

Months:

October - April

Club night:

Mondays

Time:

20:00 - 23:00

Cost:

£__ per year

Club Director:

Pat McKillen

 

 

FRUITHILL CHESS CLUB

Location:

Falls Bowling Club, 61-63 Andersonstown Road, Belfast, BT11 9AH

Months:

October - April

Club night:

Mondays

Time:

19:30 - 10:30

Cost:

£__ per year

Club Director:

John Monaghan

 

 

BALLYNAFEIGH CHESS CLUB

Location:

1st Floor, Ballynafeigh Community Development Centre, 283 Ormeau Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT7 3GG

Months:

Every month of the year

Club night:

Tuesdays

Time:

19:00 - 23:00

Cost:

£40 per year

Club Director:

Damien Cunningham

 

 

NORTHERN IRELAND CIVIL SERVICE (NICS) CHESS CLUB

Location:

The Pavilion, Stormont Estate, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 3TA

Months:

October - April

Club night:

Wednesdays

Time:

19:45 - 10:45

Cost:

£__ per year

Club Director:

Mark Newman

 

 

BANGOR CHESS CLUB

Location:

Groomsport Parish Hall, Main Street, Groomsport, County Down, BT19 6GH

Months:

October - May

Club night:

Thursdays

Time:

19:30 - 11:00

Cost:

£50 per year

Club Director:

Gary Johnston

 

 

CITY OF DERRY CHESS CLUB

Location:

The Verbal Arts Centre, Stable Lane and Mall Wall, Bishop Street Within, Derry-Londonderry, BT48 6PU

Months:

September - May

Club night:

Thursdays

Time:

19:30 - 10:00

Cost:

£__ per year

Club Director:

Allan

00442871312860

 

 

OMAGH CHESS CLUB

Location:

The Library, 1 Irishtown Road, Spillars Place, Omagh, County Tyrone, BT78 1HL

Months:

September - May

Club day:

Saturdays

Time:

11:00 - 15:30

Cost:

£__ per year

Club Director:

Anthony White

00447596516939

 

 

ENNISKILLEN CHESS CLUB

Location:

The Bridge Centre, 16 East Bridge Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, BT74 7BT

Months:

September - May

Club night:

First Monday of each month

Time:

19:30 - 22:30

Cost:

£__ per year

Club Director:

John Phillips

00447707666290

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEWS AND RECENT RESULTS

Saint Petersburg, Russia

SAINT PETERSBURG V BELFAST

The Youth Sport Schools of Kalininsky, Saint Petersburg, Russia

August 18-25, 2017

Following a series of discussions with a chess academy in Russia, Mikhail Pavlov and Brendan Jamison have arranged a chess match between Saint Petersburg and Belfast. The trip to Russia will take place from Friday 18 to Friday 25 August 2017. Flights, visas and food budget are costing approximately £750 each but the chess academy is kindly providing basic accommodation in their school building and a mini-bus to transport our group around the city. We have 13 players and 2 parents signed up for the trip: Mikhail Pavlov, Brendan Jamison, Ross Harris, Jason Harris, Dexter Harris, Adam Fitzsimons, Edward Doak, Dmitry Zelenchuk, Daniil Zelenchuk, Mark Newman, Adrian Dornford-Smith, Barney McGahan and John Bradley. Further information can be found on the International Events Page

During Spring 2017, a series of successful fund-raising tournaments allowed a contribution towards the flight costs for the 4 children travelling to Russia. A total of £600 was split into 4 travel awards of £150 each to Adam Fitzsimons (8), Dexter Harris (8), Daniil Zelenchuk (14) and Edward Doak (17).  We then received some additional private donations and a generous £150 business sponsorship from Language Training Solutions which enabled us to contribute towards the child visas which are extremely expensive at £130 each so we greatly appreciate the added help with these costs.

Left to right: Danny Roberts and Joanne Ritchie from Language Training Solutions presenting an award of £150 to organiser Brendan Jamison with two of the children representing Belfast in a chess match against Saint Petersburg in Augsut 2017, 8 year old Dexter Harris and 13 year old Daniil Zelenchuk.

Director of CHESS NI Brendan Jamison states that "we offer our sincere thanks to Daniel Roberts and Joanne Ritchie from Language Training Solutions who share our passion for the educational merits of a cross-cultural chess match in Saint Petersburg, interweaving the role of play and creativity with learning new language skills and improving communication techniques. When chess players from around the world move to Northern Ireland and have little grasp of the English language, many begin their integration process by joining our local chess community. We get extremely excited by players from overseas who join us at Belfast tournaments as they greatly enrich the cultural life of the city. In recent years, we have welcomed players from China, India, Egypt, Russia, Kazakhstan, Poland, Lithuania, Hungary and The Phillipines. Hopefully this trend will continue and expand over the next decade as Belfast enjoys a rebirth as a vibrant cosmopolitan city."

Please visit our business sponsor's website:

 

All the prize-winners

CITY OF BELFAST CHAMPIONSHIPS

Students' Union, Queen's University, Belfast

May 6-7, 2017


Congratulations to all the prize-winners at the City of Belfast Championships. It was an unpredictable weekend with some surprise results but an outstanding standard of chess. A full report is available here

 

 

 

 

All the prize-winners

BELFAST RAPIDPLAY CHAMPIONSHIPS

Good Shepherd Centre, Belfast

April 28, 2017


Congratulations to all the prize-winners at the Belfast Rapidplay Championships. It was a night of of immense fun as 36 players battled it out across 3 sections. A full report and full suite of photographs is available here

 

 

 

 

BELFAST BLITZ AND BULLET CHAMPIONSHIPS

Good Shepherd Centre, Belfast

March 4, 2017


Congratulations to all the prize-winners at the Belfast Blitz and Bullet Championships. It was a day of immense fun, lots of laughter and plenty of free drinks and snacks to keep everyone happy. 30 of Northern Ireland's top players competed in the Blitz competitions and 17 battled it out in the Bullet. Danny Roberts (1975) was crowned Belfast Blitz Champion, with 2nd and 3rd place going to Sergio Esteve-Sanchez (1994) and Modestas Razbadauskas (1678). All three tied on 13/16 but Roberts enjoyed a superior Median Buchholz compared to that of Sanchez and Razbadauskas. Meanwhile in the Junior band, Gary Johnston (1002) won the championship with 8/16, followed closely behind by Dmitry Zelenchuk (1178) and Chris Armstrong (1326), winning 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

In the Children's Blitz, 15 year old Ciaran Rowan (1038) sailed to victory as he secured the champion's trophy, followed by 8 year old Adam Fitzsimons (702) who won the silver medal for 2nd place. The position of 3rd place was extremely close, with 12 year old Joel McLean (1002) and 8 year old Dexter Harris (874) both level on 5/9 points as they entered round 10 in a final showdown. Both players attacked each other with elegant combinations but in the end Joel lost on time, however, he was commended for an excellent tournament performance. Dexter was awarded a bronze medal for winning 3rd place after a titanic last round battle which impressed all the spectators who encircled the table. Special mention should also go to young primary schoolboy James Fitzsimons (400) for all the joy and fun he brought to the playing room as he competed in his first ever chess tournament. His passion and enthusiasm for the game is definitely infectious!

The Bullet Championships were held as one open tournament with 1 minute on the clock and no increments. Daniil Zelenchuk (1426) was crowned Belfast Bullet Champion 2017 with an impressive score of 7/8. Second place was awarded to fellow Russian chess genius Mikhail Pavlov (1513) for 6/8 and in a similar fashion to his 3rd place in the Blitz, the super strong speed player Modestas Razbadauskas (1678) won the bronze medal with 6/8. Father to the Bullet Champion, Dmitry Zelenchuk (1178) won the Junior Championship with 4/8! In close 2nd was the up and coming teenage chess prodigy Edward Doak (1313) who secured the silver medal. 3rd place was awarded to Bangor Chess Club's mastermind Gary Johnston (1002), his second award of the day. The Children's band was won by Ciaran Rowan (1038) who took the gold medal, followed by Adam Fitzsimons (702) in second place.

This event, coupled with last week's Monster Double Simul Match, raised a total of £450 towards the flight costs for an upcoming Saint Petersberg verses Belfast Match in August 2017. Therefore ChessNI was able to present 3 travel awards of £150 each to 3 of Northern Ireland's most promising young stars, 8 year old Dexter Harris (874), 13 year old Daniil Zelenchuk (1426) and 16 year old Edward Doak (1313). Our sincere thanks to all the participants at these two events, without whom these grants could not have been awarded. Also, a gigantic thank you to the broader chess community who generously donated to this youth fund, in particular Norman McFarland, John O'Doherty and Martin Kelly, all of whom contributed £20 each.

For full list or results please CLICK HERE

 

Belfast and District Chess Leagues

 

Chris Roe

 Ben Campbell

 Rian Mellotte

 Captain Jasper Ramsey

 Cathan Gormley

 Vincent Crean

 

DIVISION 3 IS WON BY QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY BELFAST

2017 Champions

March 2, 2017


Congratulations to QUB 3, the 2017 champions in Division 3 of the Belfast and District Chess Leagues. After their 12th consecutive win in a row, this week saw Captain Jasper Ramsey secure victory with 4 rounds still to play before the end of the season. Well done to the entire team of Chris Roe, Vincent Crean, Ben Campbell, Rian Mellotte, Jasper Ramsey, Cathan Gormley and the reserve players Kieran Hunter and Martin Beregszaszi. We look forward to seeing QUB 3 in Division 2 next season. For league page please CLICK HERE

 

 

Participants, medal winners and joint champions at the Monster Double Simul Match

MONSTER DOUBLE SIMUL MATCH

Good Shepherd Centre, Ormeau Road, Belfast

February 24, 2017

The Double Monster Simul Match saw Mikhail Pavlov (1766) and Brendan Jamison (1743) go into battle against 11 different players. Brendan’s red team faced the Russian opera star; meanwhile Mikhail’s blue team duelled with the sugar cube sculptor.

Zooming about on their wheelie chairs, it was an exciting night where every point would count to decide the winner of the match. Lots of delicious refreshments were also on hand to distract the players from their games! A total of £120 was raised for the worthwhile cause of funding three children to fly to Russia in August for a 4 day chess match between Saint Petersburg and Belfast.

After 3 hours of continuous play, Pavlov won an impressive 8 games, drawing only one against Richard Gould who collected a silver medal award and losing two games to Ross Harris and Daniil Zelenchuk, both of whom won gold medals. The certificate for ‘last man standing’ [L.M.S.] went to Dmitry Zelenchuk. Pavlov’s total score was an incredible 8.5 points out of 11.

Meanwhile on the other side of the room, Jamison picked up 7 wins but drew three games against Mark Newman, Michael Sheerin and Robert Lavery, with all three scooping silver medals. He lost one game to Ram Rajan who won a gold medal for his victory. The certificate for ‘last man standing’ went to Adrian Dornford-Smith for lasting 77 moves. Jamison’s total was also 8.5 points out of 11. And so, after all the intensity of concentration, the high energy leg work to wheel their chairs at high speed around the room, their total focus and dedication in each game, in the end, the two monsters finished equal! Instead of playing a blitz-off, they agreed to share the trophy and were happy to remain ‘Joint-Champions of the Monster Double Simul Match’! A sincere thanks to everyone who participated, the evening was lots of fun and everyone really enjoyed the buzz!

For a complete suite of photos from the evening and the results table, please CLICK HERE

 

 

Mayor of Ennis, Ann Norton, presents the winning cup to Mikhail Pavlov, Bunratty Challengers Champion 2017

5 NI PLAYERS SCOOP AWARDS AT BUNRATTY INERNATIONAL

Bunratty Castle Hotel, County Clare, Ireland

February 17-19, 2017

35 players from Northern Ireland competed in Bunratty, Ireland's largest international chess festival. There were a total of 333 players across all 4 sections, with the Masters band featuring a wealth of high-profile figures, including Grandmasters Nigel Short, Jonathan Speelman, Mark Hebden, Alexander Baburin and Peter Wells. NI Chess hero David Houston (2219) finished with an impressive score of 3.5/6 in the Masters section of 48 players, in a field completely dominated by GMs, IMs and FMs!

Meanwhile in the Challengers (1600-1999), 83 players fought hard for the trophy and the 600 Euro first prize but it was Northern Ireland's top Russian chess player Mikhail Pavlov (1766) who won the entire section with an outstanding score of 5.5/6 and a tournament performance rating (TPR) of 2157. His phenomenal Round 5 game against WCM Diana Mirza (1854) can be viewed on the Games Archive page. The other notable score in this band was Sergio Esteve-Sanchez (1994) who also remained unbeaten, chalking up three draws and three wins to finish on 4.5/6.

The Major section (1200-1599) saw 13 year old Daniil Zelenchuk (1370) win the Band 1 grading prize with an impressive score of 4.5/6, finishing 5th out of 85 players. He was also the highest scoring NI player in this band. In Round 1 Daniil demonstrated a spectacular win over number 1 seed Jonathan Smith (1585), with a thrilling game of tactical brilliance which was broadcast live across the internet. Unsurprisingly, Daniil's TPR was 1628 and bodes well for his journey towards a 2000 rating in the years to come! Other outstanding performances in this section were by Liam Ferris (1247), Ram Rajan (1368) and John Phillips (1223), all finishing on 4/6, with Phillips scooping the Band 3 Grading Prize.

The Minor section (Under 1200) also saw a remarkable performance by Belfast player Rian Mellotte (987) who won 3rd prize with 5/6, followed closely by Tyrone Winter (944) who claimed the grading prize with 4.5/6. Two other impressive tournament results in this section came from QUB mastermind Chris Roe (1095) and UCU Treasurer Adrian Dornford-Smith (1155), both ending on 4.5/6 and finishing in the top 15 from a field of 117 players! Two other players from Northern Ireland shined through in this section, Ben Campbell (1010) and Iza Bujak (1188), both only losing one game and drawing two, with the pair ending with a very respectable 4/6.

To view a table of how our 35 players performed across each section, please CLICK HERE.

 

GM Mark Hebden makes his first move on board 1

GM MARK HEBDEN v BELFAST

Royal Belfast Academical Institution, Belfast

February 16, 7:15pm - 12:15am

Congratulations to English GM Mark Hebden for duelling with 31 of Northern Ireland's top players in Belfast tonight. He defeated 26, drew with 2 and lost only 3. The first win of the night was an impressive victory by Modestas Razbadauskas. This was followed by Mikhail Pavlov who cleverly trapped the GM's Bishop and finished with 3 extra pawns in the endgame. Another exceptional performance was delivered by Michael Sheerin who once again beat a GM, only 12 months after defeating GM Simon Williams in February 2016!

Current Ulster Champion Stephen Rush held Hebden to a draw, as did 13 year old Daniil Zelenchuk who played a spectacular game where he won a pawn and took it to an endgame simplification with his pawn and Rook versus the GMs Rook, with the latter defending accurately to hold the draw. The final prize of the night went to Ross Harris as the 'Last Man Standing', gallantly fighting head-to-head with the GM for the last 15 minutes of the match, completing a total of 105 moves!

The entire night was extremely enjoyable. The buzz in the air was electric. All the participants were thrilled to have the opportunity to play such a charismatic GM, our sincere thanks to Mark Hebden for all the fun and laughter. For full results and photos please CLICK HERE

 

9pm at the Chess-athon: Ulster Champion Stephen Rush, Brendan Jamison, Mikhail Pavlov and Ross Harris

24 HOUR CHESS-ATHON

NI Physiotherapy, Newtownards Road, Belfast

February 11-12, 2017

Congratulations to multi-award winning chess champion Ross Harris who has just completed a non-stop 24 hour Chess-athon. He has raised over £700 for a new children's chess club at Strand Arts Centre in East Belfast.

Starting at 8am on Saturday 11th February and continuing right through the night until 8am on Sunday 12th, it has been an exceptional feat of mental endurance. Completing over 100 games, Ross was on top tournament form, winning almost all of his over-the-board matches and drawing just 3. The half points were against current Ulster Champion Stephen Rush, Damien Cunningham and Brendan Jamison.

Epic battles throughout the day included 25 minute games against Dexter Harris, Ram Rajan, Dennis Thorpe, Mikhail Pavlov and several parents at Mark Newman's monthly Children's Chess Competition at Methodist College Belfast.

Generous donations flooded in, with large contributions from Calum Leitch, William Storey, Jason Harris, Patricia Managh, David McAlister, Chris Roe, Neal Lindores, Sergio Esteve Sanchez, Daniil Zelenchuk and Paul Anderson. This wonderful level of support demonstrates the passion we all share for the importance of children as the future of chess. Let us look forward to a new generation of IMs and GMs pouring out of Northern Ireland!

Special thanks should also go to Adrian Dornford-Smith, for not only supporting the event financially, but also for his tech support to ensure live streaming of the games at ulsterchess.net

In the end, Ross completed 21 over-the-board games and 80 online duels. Like all things Ross sets his mind to, it was an overwhelming success. His abundance of positive energy and enthusiasm for developing children's chess is phenomenal. A great inspirational figure in the local chess scene and a hero to all the kids he coaches every week. We salute you Ross, you are a total superstar!

6pm at the Chess-athon: Ross Harris, Blake Harris, Dexter Harris and Brendan Jamison

 

 

CHILDREACH INTERNATIONAL CHARITY CHESS TOURNAMENT

Students' Union, Queen's University, Belfast

February 3-5, 2017

Format: 6 round classic

 

 

 Champion

 

 Brendan Jamison

 

2nd Place

 

 

 Mark Newman

 

3rd Place

 

 

 Robert Lavery

 

 Intermediate Champion

 

 

 Edward Doak

 

 Intermediate 2nd Place

 

 

 Ram Rajan

 

 Intermediate 3rd Place

 

 

 Daniil Zelenchuk

 

 Junior Champion

 

 

 Clark Rodriguez

 

 Junior 2nd Place

 

 

 Rian Mellotte

 

 Junior 3rd Place

 

 

 Tyrone Winter

 

 Giant Slayer Award

 

 

 Rian Mellotte

 

 

WILLIAMSON SHIELD

The Pavilion, Stormont Estate, Belfast

January 28-29, 2017

Format: 6 round classic

 

 

 Champion

 

 Gareth Annesley

 

 2nd Place

 

 

 Nicholas Pilkiewicz

 

 Intermediate Champion

 

 

 John McKenna

 

 Intermediate 2nd Place

 

 

 Modestas Razbadauskas

 

 Under 1300 Grading Prize

 

 

 Gary Johnston

 

 

KIROVSKY NEW YEAR TOURNAMENT

Kirovsky District Chess School, Saint Petersburg, Russia

January 7-10, 2017

Format: 9 round classic

Northern Ireland chess players Mikhail Pavlov and Brendan Jamison travelled to Russia in early January 2017 to play in the Kirovsky New Year Tournament. The Kirovsky District Chess Academy has over 1200 members and the duo played in the highest grading band (Section A) which contained 106 players upto grading 1900. Despite missing the first two rounds because they were flying into the city that day, Pavlov still scored an impressive 5.5/7, winning a trophy for highest placed international player. Meanwhile, Jamison ended on 5/7, the second highest scoring international player, and he was awarded a certificate. For further images please visit International Events Page

 

 

LIVE BBC CHESS GAME

BBC Radio Ulster, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast

December 1, 2016

Programme: Good Morning Ulster with Noel Thompson. 7:55am to 9am.

NI Chess player Brendan Jamison was invited onto BBC's Good Morning Ulster Programme on 1st December 2016 to play a game live on air with presenter Noel Thompson. Sadly the BBC anchorman only lasted 6 moves before checkmate! But they also enjoyed discussing the Wolrd Chess Championship in New York which was won by Norwegian GM Magnus Calsen a few hours beforehand after he defeated Russian GM Sergey Karjakin. Jamison also discussed the mental gymnastics of the game in which the brain becomes completely animated, in a similiar fashion to the buzz that athletes enjoy when endorphins are released through exercise. The interview had a wide-reaching audience, and even the social media channels were erupting with commentary, with the highlight coming from esteemed British GM Nigel Short who tweeted about the chess opening played during the BBC interview!

 

 

 

CHESS EVENTS

 

ULSTER CHESS CHAMPIONSHIPS

Location: Europa Hotel, Great Victoria Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Dates:

Saturday September 2 to Sunday September 3, 2017

Timetable:

Saturday September 1

Check-in time for participants to pay entry fees: 9:00pm-9:15am

9:25am: all players to be seated for opening announcements

Rounds 1-3:

09:30am to 1:00pm

2:00pm to 5:30pm

6:30pm to 10:00pm

Sunday September 3

Round 4-6

09:30am to 1:00pm

2:00pm to 5:30pm

6:30pm to 10:00pm

Prize-giving:

10:00pm

Clock:

Each player will have 1 hour 10 minutes + 30 second increments per move. All games must be recorded for entire duration of game.

Format:

3 sections. Senior (over 1700), Intermediate (1400-1699), Junior (under 1400)

ENTRY FEES:

If registered before Thursday August 17, 2017:

£15 for UCU or ICU members.

£40 for everyone else (this includes annual UCU membership of £25 which entitles entry into all other tournaments).

Registration on or after Thursday August 17, 2017:

£20 for UCU or ICU members.

£45 for everyone else (this includes annual UCU membership which entitles entry into all other tournaments).

Registration deadline:

7pm on Sunday August 27, 2017

Contact:

Brendan Jamison or Ross Harris

 

 

SAINT PETERSBURG V BELFAST

Location:

The Youth Sport Schools of Kalininsky, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Dates:

Friday August 18 - Friday August 25, 2017

Cost:

£750 each per player for flights, visas and food. Accommodation is free.

Full details:

CLICK HERE

Contact:

Brendan Jamison

 

 

BELFAST SUMMER TOURNAMENT 2017

Location: Bankers Club, 29 Malone Road, Belfast, BT9 6RU

Dates:

Wednesday May 3 to Wednesday September 27, 2017

Times:

7:30pm to 10:45pm

Clock:

90 minutes per player for all moves

Format:

Open flexible tournament. It is not necessary to compete every week.

Cost: £25

Full details:

CLICK HERE

Contact:

Mark Newman

 

 

 

 

 

 

playchessni@gmail.com

Chess Northern Ireland

Director: Brendan Jamison © 2016-2017

 

CHESS LEGENDS