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Players from USA and Poland flock to Groomsport for speed chess competition

Last Thursday (21st February) saw a special gathering of players arriving for the Groomsport Rapidplay Chess Championships. With 15 minutes each on the clock, it was an exciting 5 rounds of super-fast mental gymnastics - report by Arbiter Brendan Jamison

Players from USA and Poland flock to Groomsport for speed chess competition


Tournament report by Arbiter Brendan Jamison


Last Thursday (21st February) saw a special gathering of players arriving for the Groomsport Rapidplay Chess Championships. With 15 minutes each on the clock, it was an exciting 5 rounds of super-fast mental gymnastics.


During his introduction, the arbiter extended a special welcome to two Polish guest players, 11 year old Adam Gawroński who won 2nd place in the Junior section and his 9 year old brother Grzegorz who scooped the certificate for ‘Top Visiting Player’. The brothers had registered for the tournament while still in Poland, before travelling to Northern Ireland for a week’s vacation.


The international flavour of local chess events always creates an extra buzz and the club was delighted to also host two players from Michigan, USA. Abraham Lorber won 2nd place in the Intermediate and his 8 year old son Zev brought lots of positive energy to the Junior section as he competed in his first ever tournament.


Another key goal of the club is to keep it family-orientated and this drive was reflected in 3 awards won by the Eachus family. Father Steven scooped 2nd place in the Senior Section while his 18 year old daughter Rachel was awarded ‘Top Bangor Newcomer’ and 16 year old Ellen won the certificate for ‘Top Female’.


Two other brothers won prizes, 9 year old chess prodigy Daniel Toogood finished on 3.5/5 to win 3rd place in the Junior while 12 year old Ben Toogood won 3rd in the Intermediate, putting many of the adult players under a lot of pressure. Ben is the Ulster Under 14 Champion and no doubt should take credit for helping Daniel to blossom into a great young player.


Two gentlemen from Lisburn Chess Club delivered excellent performances with rapidplay supremo Stephen Cullen winning 3rd place in the Senior section with 4/5 and Neil Gardner was crowned Intermediate Champion in a very competitive category.


Meanwhile, all the way from Newry, Pat Coleman was the star of the night, delivering a perfect score of 5/5 and an outstanding tournament performance rating (TPR) of 2353.


Bangor player Sam Bowman won the Junior Championship with an excellent score of 4/5, the culmination of great improvement over the past two months.


Two promising up-and-coming young talents at the club also shinned on the night, both playing games with brilliant chess tactics, 13 year old Callum Magennis won ‘Best Teenager’ while Zach Williamson was awarded ‘Top Child Player’. Of the 14 prizes awarded, 8 went to youth chess players aged 9-18 and this bodes well for the future of chess in the region.


Players of all ages and all abilities are welcome at Bangor Chess Club and all chess events across Northern Ireland. For further information on upcoming tournaments please visit www.chessni.co.uk


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