Chess master shows how to play the game
THE QUIETNESS of the hall in The Loch gCarman Arms, Gorey, masked the tension as 48 chess players took on the Goliathan talents of Irish international chess player Sam Collins, all at the same time.
Gorey Chess Club hosted the simultaneous chess exhibition, and players from many towns and villages between Dublin and Wexford, jumped at the chance to engage in battle over the chessboard with the gentleman of Irish chess.
Irish champion in 2002, Sam is one of a small number of Irish chess players to have been awarded the International Master title, and he is likely to become the first Irish player in history to become a Grandmaster. Winner of a gold medal at the Chess Olympiad in 2002, Sam also achieved a famous draw during the 2010 Chess Olympiad against the Russian Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk, currently ranked No. 4 in the world.
The players ranged in age from 8 to 80, and eight different nationalities were represented. The last game concluded after five hours, with the final results being 41 wins for Sam, seven draws, and no losses.
Among those who drew were Ross Beatty and Seamus Martin, both from Dublin; Eddie Humphrey from Wicklow; Syd Cassidy from Duncannon; and David Remnick, Manuel Gardenes, and John Lacy, all members of Gorey Chess Club.
Former Irish international player John Lacy was also awarded a prize for best game overall, and Ross Beatty, a Junior Irish international player, was awarded the prize for the best game by a Junior player.
Sam played the simultaneous exhibition free of charge, and all entry fees, totalling €250, will be donated to St. Aidan's Services, Gorey.
Gorey Chess Club sent a sincere thank you to Sam for undertaking the simultaneous display, and for doing so in such a courteous and generous manner.
A big thank you was also sent to those who organised the event, including Irish international player Mel O'Cinneide, Seamus Halpenny, John Halpenny, Manuel Gardenes, Brid Cleary, and Michael Gleeson of The Loch gCarman Arms.