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Ulster Masters 2013

Ballynafeigh hosted the 3rd Ulster Masters last weekend. This year, rather than two distinct sections, both seniors & challengers were combined. A broad range of talent competing in the 2-day tournament starting on Saturday 16th November
Ulster Masters 2013

2 pairs of tournament winners

Saturday 16th November - Ballynafeigh Community Centre: There were 19 players at the Masters. A broad spread of talent with 5 players above 1750 and 6 below 1100. Gabor Horvath started as the favourite with a clean sheet so far in the B&D League, including a win against Mike Redman, the current Ulster Champion. Amongst others, Gabor would be facing Alan Delaney, the defending Masters Champion, giant-slayer Calum Leitch and Seibren Westra, a recent recruit to Belfast South's league ambitions.

Round 1

First round pairings matched up juniors against seniors and not surprisingly games fell according to rating. Except for Martin Kelly who forced a draw from Mark Newman, 465 points his senior, and Martin had the better game.

Round 2

Round 2: top boardsIn round 2, the pairings were not as badly skewed as the first round but still rating difference dictated results. William Storey got a shock though when novice Stephen Scarborough pulled off an excellent win despite giving up white advantage & 450 rating points to William.

Round 3

The pairs were getting more interesting now. Gabor defeated Alan on top board. While Calum beat Mark with a very unusual Sicilian; White's Queen in the middle of the board at move 3! Martin Kelly, evidently on form, remained unbeaten with 2.5 points.

Round 4

First round of a new day and the juniors were forced to mix it with the seniors again. Round 4 saw Martin playing Alan on the heady heights of board 2. William Storey suffered a second whammy, this time from Paddy Magee. While top board saw Gabor take down Calum.Round 4: board 1 Gabor Horvath vs Calum Leitch

Round 5

Games were getting serious now. Newcomer Nederlander Siebren Westra made an impression claiming a draw from Gabor. Calum took out Alan Delaney with a good win; he was now only a half-point off the lead.  Martin continued his good performance with a fine draw against Damien Cunningham. Last year's top challenger and one of the UCU's rising stars, Thomas Donaldson - now ranked at over 1500, took a bad hit; he was winning against Mark Newman but got blind-sided with a sneaky checkmate.

Round 6

Gabor was leading the tournament with Calum only half a point behind; the final game ought to decide the winner. Mark was matched against Gabor while Calum faced Damien Cunningham. Both Gabor & Calum really needed a win.  Calum got his while Gabor had to be content with a draw against Mark - possibly Mark's best game in quite a while.

Tournament winner, Gabor Horvath receiving prize from Damien CunninghamAt the end of the day, Gabor and Calum shared top slot with 5 points each but Gabor, undefeated over the weekend, was determined the winner on the Buchholz scale.

Martin Kelly won the challengers section, finishing off a good tournament showing with a draw against UCU Intermediate Champion, Robert Lavery. This final result (view the game) pushed Robert into second place (on tie-break) in the challenger section with Patrick Magee putting in an excellent performance to pick up third spot.

The pairings in these open competitions make life very difficult for junior players who soon face accomplished senior players should they have the temerity to play well; as a result the final standings seldom reflect the tough battles fought out over all the boards.

 

Awards & Prizes

Masters
Tied with 5 points each
  1. Gabor Horvath
  2. Calum Leitch
Challengers
Martin & Robert tied on 3.5 points
  1. Martin Kelly
  2. Robert Lavery
  3. Paddy Magee

Full details of rounds and games Tournament standings

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