1953 Report

Covering the 1952-53 season

With five teams in each Division we had a full programme of matches during the season. The result of Div. I was Q.U.B. 5½, Belfast and C.I.Y.M.S. 4 pts each, and St. Pauls & C.P.A. 3½ pts each. Div. II Falls 6½, C.I.Y.M.S. 6, Bangor 4, Belfast 2 & Fisherwick 1½.

The Williamson Shield competition started 28th Oct. with 8 players and was a close contest resulting in a win for that veteran chess-player P.J. McMahon who now has beaten all records by securing this trophy five times. Only half-a-point behind were G.J. Boyd, J.B. Steen & J. W. B. Dodson.

The Junior Championship started Dec. 30th with 18 entries and was won by E. Hall with runner-up S. H. Johnston.

The Intermediate Championship started Jan. 17th with 10 entries and was won by G. Duffy, with runner-up H. Graham.

It was decided to run the Ulster Championship under the rules of the Swiss System and 16 entries were accepted including the finalists in the Intermediate Championship.

Owing to the large number of boards, four games were played on Mondays and four on Tuesdays except when the Belfast Club could not be used (which occurred twice). Seven rounds were played and resulted in a draw between G. J. Boyd and W.D. Kerr with 6 pts each. In the subsequent agreed play-off each player won once and the third game was agreed a draw at the 32nd move. It was agreed to share the Championship.

The Schoolboys’ Championship was run in two sections during the Easter holidays with 20 entries in the Senior and 17 in the Junior.

The winners were – Senior: A. J. Evens (Methodist Coll) and S. H. Johnston (RBAI) runner-up. Junior: H. Harte (BHS) and runner-up D. O. Norris (BHS) after a draw and five nights’ play.

A. J. Evens and S. H. Johnston were subsequently sent to Dublin in July to take part in the Irish Secondary Schools’ Championship. We were all pleased when S. H. Johnston won the title for Ulster, thus following in the footsteps of Ferris (1951) and Courtney (1950).

The Inter-City Match was held in Dublin where 25 of our players opposed 25 from Dublin. The result was Belfast 3½ Dublin 6½ and Ulster 9½ Leinster 15½.[As appears elsewhere in the Long Collection, where the full results of the Match are listed, this should read: Ulster 3½ Leinster 6½; Belfast 6 Dublin 9 and Total Ulster/Belfast 9½ Leinster/Dublin 15½ - DMcA]

In the Irish Championship this year there was established for the first time a Ladies section. The result was a draw between Miss Cassidy (Leinster) and Miss Chater (Ulster). In the subsequent play-off in Belfast Miss Chater won the title in three straight games.

In the men’s section our representatives were G. J. Boyd and J. B. Steen but their performances were not up to their usual standard. The Championship wads won by E. Mulcahy (Munster).

The season in Ulster finished with the usual Lightning Tournament, which was again held in the Ard Sgoil by kind permission of the Committee. There were 34 entries and the winner was A. W. Turner with A. Torney 2nd. The prizes for the season were presented by Dr. Harte and Mr. George Kelly, Chairman of the Feis Committee.

During August a series of lectures were given in the C.I.Y.M.S. on Wed. nights by Mr. Peebles and Mr. Gallery using a large demonstration board. These were very enjoyable and attracted an audience of about 20 each night. Unfortunately, they were mostly old hands, and the people we really wanted to reach, that is, the schoolboys, did not appear in sufficient numbers.

At a meeting of the Ulster Chess Union on the 4th Septr. Dr. Harte referred to the sudden death of W.D. Kerr which had shocked us all. It was such a great pity that such a fine player had been lost to us and our heartfelt sympathy went out to Mrs. Kerr.

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