Saturday 1 October 2016

Last weekend over 100 players took part in the Galway Chess Congress in the Menlo Park Hotel. Martin Fitzgerald won the Minor tournament with 5.5 points out of 6, while Paddy Divilly and Pat McMahon shared victory in the Major section with 5 points each.

Published 17/04/2016 | 02:30

Last weekend over 100 players took part in the Galway Chess Congress in the Menlo Park Hotel. Martin Fitzgerald won the Minor tournament with 5.5 points out of 6, while Paddy Divilly and Pat McMahon shared victory in the Major section with 5 points each.

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Alexander Baburin (ahem, yes, my good self) won the Masters tournament with 5.5 points, Philip Short finished second with 4.5 points, while Conor O'Donnell, Stephen Moran and Gerard McElligott tied for third with 4 points each.

The next major events on the Irish chess calendar are the National Club Championship (April 23-24), the Malahide Open (April 30-May 2) and the Ennis Chess Congress (May 13-15). For more details, visit www.icu.ie

The following miniature was played in round five of the Galway Masters. It shows the importance of constant tactical alertness.

Baburin - T O'Gorman

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6

3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0

5.b3 d6 6.Bb2 c5

7.0-0 cxd4 8.Nxd4 a6?!

It would have been better to play 8...d5 9.c4 dxc4 10.bxc4, with chances for both sides.

9.c4 Qc7 10.Nc3 Nc6

11.Rc1

I also considered playing 11.e3 or 11.Nc2, as Black was clearly going to play ...Nxd4. But in the end I decided that this plan would not have solved all of Black's problems.

11...Nxd4 12.Qxd4 Nd7?? (D)

This move is a blunder, which let me exploit the vulnerable position of the black queen. Instead Black should have played 12...Bd7 or 12...Be6.

13.Qxg7+! 1-0

Sunday Independent

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