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Matt O'Leary

The Irish Chess Union has announced the sad passing in Stockholm of Derryman Matt O'Leary, the 1965 and 1968 Ulster Champion.

In 1965 O'Leary tied for the Ulster title with John Moles while in 1968 he romped home in the North Ulster qualifier by winning all eight of his games before coming first in the Final section ahead of Gerry McCurdy, whom he beat in the final round.

O'Leary also finished second behind Moles in the 1966 Irish Championship held in Belfast. In the 1972 Irish Championship he tied with Wolfgang Heidenfeld, having beaten him in their individual game, before losing the play-off.

He won the only two editions of the very strong Myles Farrington Memorial tournaments held in Dublin. In 1966 he tied first with three distinguished Irish champions, Heidenfeld, Noel Mulcahy and Michael Littleton while in 1967 he tied with the 1965 World Junior Champion and future Grandmaster, Bojan Kurajica of Yugoslavia.

Matt O'Leary - Kevin James
Irish Championship Belfast, July 1966

Play through the game in our viewer

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Bg5 Ne4 6.cxd5 Nxc3 7.bxc3 Qxd5 8.g3 Qa5 9.Bd2 c5 10.Bg2 0–0 11.0–0 Na6 12.Qc1 Re8 13.Bh6 Bh8 14.Rd1 e6 15.Ne5 cxd4 16.cxd4 Bxe5 17.dxe5 Qxe5 18.Qa3 Qxe2 19.Qe7 1–0