Irish Junior & Intermediate Championships 2007
IRISH JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Rated as second seed, Chris Millar led the competition throughout to finish half a point clear in 1st place ahead of the other 39 competitors. After winning his opening 4 matches, Millar then took a Championship-securing draw in the fifth and final round to seal the tournament win and €200 prize-money. Having won the Henderson Cup in Belfast just a fortnight earlier, this Dublin victory signified an excellent conclusion to a successful couple of weeks in chess for the Queen's student.
Second place was shared between four players on four points. Millar's final two opponents, first seeded Italian Spadaro Carmelo and southerner Damien McCormick, took 2nd and 3rd spots respectively on tiebreak.
IRISH INTERMEDIATE CHAMPIONSHIP
As with Millar in the Junior, Calum Leitch entered the Intermediate as the sole Northern Irish hopeful. Seeing 1899 and 1898 players present in an under 1900 section, not to mention another competitor once rated well over 2000, Leitch knew from the off that it was to be a tough fight.
The QUB man played strongly, yet will look back at a tournament featuring a mix of excellent results but also missed opportunities resulting in 2.5 points from 5. This wasn't enough for a tournament prize, but Cal's performance was sufficiently impressive to immediately gain an invite to represent the Irish Junior side competing in the Glorney Cup this year.
The Intermediate was eventually won by Xavier Busig, whose 100% record over the five games cast a highly dubious light over the ICU's rationale in attaching to the player a sub-1600 rating.
For a fuller report, including some games, visit http://quis.qub.ac.uk/chess/tourneys.htm#irishchampionships2007.