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Ulster Masters 2015

The 2015 Ulster Masters was held on the weekend of the 17th and 18th of October.
Ulster Masters 2015

Ulster Masters 2015

Despite being held on the same weekend as Ireland's quarter final match in the rugby world cup, the Ulster Masters once again proved to be a popular event with 29 players. As is fitting for one of the 4 majors in Ulster Chess there was drama, excitement, upsets and attacking, no compromise chess that produced only one draw in the first four rounds. Even the draw was a swashbuckling affair that was played to the bitter end, with only 2 kings and a pawn left on the board in an obviously drawn position. Indeed, there were only 7 draws out of all the 78 games played in the tournament.

Calum Leitch stormed to his third successive Ulster Masters Senior title, barely breaking sweat, as he swept aside all-comers to finish on an impressive 6 / 6 points. Mark Newman had an excellent tournament, finishing 2nd, and was in contention for the title right up until the fifth round when he lost to Calum.

 

1st Place - Calum Leitch 2nd Place - Mark Newman

 

This year the Masters was played as an open tournament and this led to quite a few upsets including wins for John McKenna(1439) against Ross Harris (1758), Robert Lavery (1555) against Danny Mallaghan (1783) and Geoff Hindley (1042) against Cathal Murphy (1271). However, the biggest upset of the weekend occured in the first round when 18 year old Andrew Todd (1189) beat seasoned campaigner John Masterson (1822). This set the tone for an excellent tournament for Andrew who finished joint first in the Intermediate section alongside Richard Morrow. The grading prizes went to Barney McGahan and Peter Todd. Peter, the youngest of the three Todd brothers, scored an excellent 3 / 6 in his first tournament and is showing a lot of promise for the future.

 

Joint 1st Place Intermediate - Richard Morrow

Grading Prize - Peter Todd

 

Thanks to the hard work of our ever present tech wizard, Adrian Dornford-Smith, we had 6 live boards and a webcam running for the whole tournament. Also,the Eddie Whiteside / Des Forsan Library continues to go from strength to strength with new members joining at each tournament.

 

Live Boards

 

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