24 HOUR CHESS-ATHON - News report from Brendan Jamison
Congratulations to multi-award winning chess champion Ross Harris who has just completed a non-stop 24 hour Chess-athon. He has raised over £500 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, Paul Anderson and Daniil Zelenchuk. 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 Adrain 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!