Wexford People

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Chance to battle top chess players


Chess players will have a chance to test their skills at an exhibition taking place in the Talbot Hotel on Wednesday, September 24.

Two internationally-rated players will take on 20 challengers at the same time in the first 'Wexford Chess Simultaneous'.

Manuel Gardenes is a former Spanish international player, arbiter and trainer with expertise in decision-making, game theory and mixed strategies.

A member of Gorey Chess Club, he has a Max FIDE rating of 2205. In his spare time as trainer with the club, Manuel likes to test his abilities on 'anti-computer' strategies.

Miroslav Gallik, a member of Wexford Chess Club, was a junior chess instructor in the Czech Republic. He has been working in Ireland for a number of years and has competed at the top levels of Irish chess as an individual and a division one team member in the Irish senior chess league.

Anyone interested in taking part in the challenge, is advised to book early as places are limited.

The entry fee is €5. Spectators are welcome to go along and watch the action.

The chess event will start at 7 p.m. To book a place, telephone Paul on 087 3677009 during daytime hours.

There has been a resurgence of interest in chess in County Wexford in recent years, with hundreds of children now encouraged to play the game in school.

Retired Piercestown school principal Eamonn Barrett and Seamus Halpenny of Gorey have been instrumental in promoting the game around the county.

Chess clubs operating in Wexford, Gorey, New Ross and Enniscorthy cater for senior and junior members. New Ross hosts an annual competitive event for schoolgoers.

'There has been a huge increase in the number of children playing. Traditionally, it was more popular among boys but a lot of girls are now playing. It is seen as a big help in the development of maths skills,' said Wexford Chess Club member Senan O' Reilly who dressed up as a knight for the launch of the upcoming chess challenge.

Senan and Miroslav both teach chess to pupils in John's Road School, Wexford. Many other schools also host weekly chess sessions.