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Ulster Senior, Intermediate and Junior Championships 2007

Played at the Belfast Europa Hotel from the 25th to the 27th August

2007 Ulster Chess Champion

Stephen Scannell - Ulster Chess Champion 2007

An innovation in this year's Championship was that the Ulster Intermediate and Junior titles were being contested alongside the Senior in a single event. Distant are the memories of previous tournaments held in inferior facilities. With their draughty windows, too cold or sometimes too hot interior, disturbing piercing sunlight, and distracting external noise in abundance, they were the unfortunate chess player's delight, with their list of ready-made excuses for poor play. Here, in the Dublin Room, ticking clocks and carpeted footfalls were all that separated eager chess minds from their brilliancies.

Dublin Room

The final round

Round six is where the men are sorted from the boys. The heavy hitters from the powder puff brigade. The galacticos from … Well you get the idea. When the permutations allow for all possible outcomes, there is everything to play for. First, second and third, Intermediate and Junior titles, wooden spoon.

Boards one and two would decide the Ulster Championship. Scannell - Leitch was board one, both on 4/5. Should the game be a draw, Annesley, also on four points would hope to upset Waters on Board 2 and claim outright first.

Final round - Boards 1 and 2

Annesley - Waters was the first to finish. Attacking play by white in a Sicilian Najdorf was thwarted by middle game steadiness from black. White lost the exchange after 24...Ne5 and then was in dire time pressure of twenty seconds for six moves, black eventually breaking through on the fortieth move.

With Annesley out of the way, the winner would now come from board one. A French defence from Leitch saw once again a pawn blundered away to Scannell straight from the opening. Black's poor 11...Nde5 allowed 13. Bxh7+ picking up an important centre pawn. Try as he might, there was no way to complicate the position, and black soon succumbed to white's technique. After playing so solidly, to lose the game in such a weak way must have been a bitter pill to swallow. Consolation came when the tie-break calculations gave him the Intermediate title for players rated under 1800.

Intermediate Champion Calum Leitch (left) and James McDonnell in Round 5

The Dr McSparran Cup once more secured, Scannell can now rightly be called Mr. Six-Time. The dominant force in Ulster Chess tournament play for the best part of a decade must surely hold a grand slam of silverware at this moment.

John Monaghan defeated Pearse O'Brien, in a game worthy of a much higher-rated player, admittedly after the bizarre 2.Bc4 d5 3.Bd3 against the French, to take the under 1400 Junior Title with 3.5/6, an outstanding result.

2007 Ulster Junior Champion

John Monaghan - Ulster Junior Champion

Finally a mention to the wooden spoon, picked up by Kevin O'Neill. Your author would like to congratulate Mr. O'Neill for coming last in such fine style, such was the fate I had a few years ago. At least 0.5/6 was some reward for effort. My 0/6 being distinctly more rounded and memorable. Useless thought for the day, 'There is only one way to go, and that is up!'

Rating Report

Player              Rtng Score Exp  Rav  Rprfm 

Senior
Stephen Scannell    2133 5.0/6 5.04 1844 2117
Michael Waters      2069 4.5/6 5.04 1784 1977
James McDonnell     2022 3.0/6 5.04 1736 1736
Nicholas Pilkiewicz 1929 4.0/6 4.44 1747 1872
Gareth Annesley     1916 3.5/5 3.30 1800 1949
Danny Mallaghan     1872 4.5/6 3.84 1773 1966

Intermediate
David Grzymek       1774 4.0/6 2.94 1784 1909
Calum Leitch        1753 4.0/6 2.70 1789 1914
Ciaran Marron       1667 2.5/6 3.06 1659 1602
Ian Woodfield       1631 4.0/6 3.48 1572 1697
Damien Cunningham   1612 3.0/5 3.15 1517 1589
Brian McComb        1593 3.0/6 2.82 1618 1618
Joseph Mordeno      1564 4.0/6 2.34 1643 1768

Junior
Roy Stafford        1391 2.5/5 3.70 1209 1209
Alexander Beckett   1365 2.0/6 2.22 1461 1336
Brendan J. Doherty  1315 2.5/6 3.60 1240 1183
William Storey      1298 2.5/6 1.92 1433 1376
Kevin Agnew         1246 3.0/6 2.34 1327 1327
Kevin Fisher        1237 1.5/6 2.28 1321 1128
John Monaghan       1104 3.5/6 2.46 1168 1225
Pearse O'Brien      1045 2.5/6 1.92 1182 1125
David Seaby         1038 1.5/5 1.15 1249 1100
Geoff Hindley       1023 1.5/5 0.90 1281 1132
Owen Wilson         967  1.0/5 1.20 1169  929
Kevin O'Neill       919  0.5/5 1.60 1052  686
Cathal Murphy       881  0.5/4 0.80 1121  799

Exp   = Expected score  
Rav   = Average rating of opponents
Rprfm = Rating performance

Crosstable

No Name              Total    1    2    3    4    5    6   Title/Prize

1  Stephen Scannell    5     2:D  9:W 19:W  6:D  4:W  5:W  Senior Champion
2  Danny Mallaghan     4.5   1:D  5:D 13:D 11:W 10:W 12:W  Second Place
3  Michael Waters      4.5  27:+  7:D  8:L 17:W 16:W  6:W  Third Place
4  Nicholas Pilkiewicz 4     5:D 10:W  7:W  8:W  1:L  9:D
5  Calum Leitch        4     4:D  2:D 14:W 23:W 12:W  1:L  Intermediate Champion
6  Gareth Annesley     4    16:W  0:D 17:W  1:D  8:W  3:L
7  David Grzymek       4    12:W  3:D  4:L 16:D 17:W 13:W
8  Joseph Mordeno      4    25:W 24:W  3:W  4:L  6:L 16:W
9  Ian Woodfield       4    13:D  1:L 20:W 22:W 23:W  4:D
10 Damien Cunningham   3.5   0:D  4:L 21:W 18:W  2:L 20:W
11 John Monaghan       3.5  15:D 19:L 26:W  2:L 22:W 21:W  Junior Champion
12 James McDonnell     3     7:L 14:W 25:W 13:W  5:L  2:L
13 Brian McComb        3     9:D 26:W  2:D 12:L 14:W  7:L
14 Kevin Agnew         3    22:W 12:L  5:L 19:W 13:L 24:W
15 Roy Stafford        3    11:D 17:D 23:L 25:D  0:D 18:W
16 Ciaran Marron       2.5   6:L 23:W 24:W  7:D  3:L  8:L
17 William Storey      2.5  18:W 15:D  6:L  3:L  7:L 25:W
18 Geoff Hindley       2.5  17:L 21:D  0:W 10:L 19:W 15:L
19 Brendan J. Doherty  2.5  20:D 11:W  1:L 14:L 18:L 23:W
20 David Seaby         2.5  19:D 25:L  9:L 26:W  0:W 10:L
21 Pearse O'Brien      2.5  23:L 18:D 10:L 24:W 25:W 11:L
22 Cathal Murphy       2    14:L  0:W  0:D  9:L 11:L 26:D
23 Alexander Beckett   2    21:W 16:L 15:W  5:L  9:L 19:L
24 Owen Wilson         2     0:W  8:L 16:L 21:L 26:W 14:L
25 Kevin Fisher        1.5   8:L 20:W 12:L 15:D 21:L 17:L
26 Kevin O'Neill       1     0:D 13:L 11:L 20:L 24:L 22:D
27 Eamonn Walls        0     3:-  0:   0:   0:   0:   0: 
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