Sunday 4 December 2016

Irish U-18s claim chess glory on home soil after receiving support of President Higgins

Published 23/07/2015 | 15:10

Glorney Cup U-18 Irish Team.
Alex Byrne, Conor Maher, Conor O’Donnell, Scott Mulligan and Tom O’Gorman
Glorney Cup U-18 Irish Team. Alex Byrne, Conor Maher, Conor O’Donnell, Scott Mulligan and Tom O’Gorman

The Irish U-18 chess team won the Youths U-18 Home Nations Glorney Cup event this week for the first time since 1963, and only the second time since the event began back in 1949.

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The event rotates between the Home Nations on an annual basis, and this year was hosted by Ireland in Johnston House Hotel, Enfield, Co Meath.

The competition which takes place over three days where each team plays each of the other teams twice, was held on Monday July 20th 20 through  Wednesday July 22nd.  The Irish team finished level with England on 19.5 points each, and also on the same number of points in their head to head matches, and therefore the result was decided by tie-breaker where the lowest boards were eliminated.

This is a significant achievement for Irish Chess. Conor O’Donnell who played Board One for the Irish team recently achieved international recognition by being awarded Fide Master status and is on course to potentially become the first Irish Grand Master.

The youngest player on the team, Tom O’Gorman is only twelve years old. The official Patron of Irish Chess is our President Michael D Higgins and he officially opened the tournament on Sunday night, July 19th.

There are four competitions, the Gilbert Cup (girls U-18), the Robinson Cup (youths U-14) and  the Stokes Cup (youth U-12s). Ireland narrowly lost the girls U-18s by the narrowest of margins (countback after finishing level with England on 12.5 points each), Ireland also won the U-14s event easily by a comfortable margin of five5 points.

Despite President Higgins being the patron, chess is not recognised by the Sports council as a sport and therefore receives no funding from the government.

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