Chess in Rural Ireland (part 2)

by Alina l'Ami
2/18/2014 – With the issues of the unusual weather, the picturesque village, the friendly (over-friendly?) people and Alina's new favorite beverage settled, its time to focus on chess. We bring you part two of the Bunratty Chess Festival report in which Gawain Jones was certainly unstoppable with a smashing 5.5/6. Also a couple of interesting videos of the knock out blitz...with beer!

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The Bunratty Chess Festival was held in the beautiful surroundings of the Bunratty Castle hotel. The tournament boasted of over 300 participants and attracted grandmasters from all over Europe. The top seed of the event was Korneev from Spain but he was closely followed by Greenfeld, Hebden, Jones, Lalic, Baburin and others.

Not bad for a tiny village

A simple search on the FIDE list would make you wonder if this sentence had any truth to it; after all Gawain Jones is higher rated on that list than Korneev. The tournament interestingly and unusually used local rating for their pairings, so Irish ratings were the norm!

Alan Greenfeld had some issues over the board in this event

Even though things went smoothly for the grandmasters on the first round, that was certainly not the case in the second. Hebden lost a full point while Lalic and Korneev dropped half, the latter probably could consider himself lucky to have retained the draw at all.

Tournament organizer Gerry Graham giving some last minute instructions

Baburin has been Ireland's #1 player since the construction of Bunratty Castle

The skittle's room: the hotel's library

Quite a cozy place to look over the game

However the hotel lobby also had its charms!

Small details created a pleasant atmosphere

At the end of the day it was Gawain Jones that dominated the event. An impressive 5.5/6 left no room for doubt on who was the best player at the event.

Gawain Jones took clear first a full point ahead of the field

Jiri Stocek is always in a good mood, no matter what tournament he is playing or how he is doing

Jones and his winners trophy

The blitz tournament was of course incredibly popular

Thanks to Damien Lavery we found two videos of the blitz tournament, which was a knock out event. In the second video you can see a familiar face with her new friend!

There's hardly something more inspiring for a blitz event. Or a normal one, as Sam Collins proved!

Your reporter and photographer, Alina L'Ami, in an unusual selfie

Here are the final standings, and be on the lookout for the dates of the next Bunratty Festival on its official website.

Rank Name Score Rating TPR W-We
1 GM Jones, Gawain C. 5.5 2535 2833 +1.80
2 GM Greenfeld, Alon 4.5 2549 2571 +0.23
3 GM Lalic, Bogdan 4.5 2538 2518 -0.06
4 IM Collins, Sam E. 4.5 2440 2565 +1.03
5 GM Korneev, Oleg 4.0 2643 2480 -1.00
6 GM Hebden, Mark 4.0 2543 2461 -0.38
7 GM Stocek, Jiri 4.0 2529 2500 -0.15
8 GM Baburin, Alexander 4.0 2458 2479 +0.31
9 IM Heidenfeld, Mark 4.0 2365 2489 +0.86
10 Aguera Naredo, Javier 4.0 2360 2481 +1.03
11 WGM L'Ami, Alina 3.5 2398 2347 -0.17
12 IM Bates, Richard 3.5 2375 2243 -0.88
13 De Verdier, Michael 3.5 2345 2353 +0.13
14 Wall, Gavin 3.5 2318 2303 +0.01
15 FM Fitzsimons, David 3.5 2303 2253 -0.25

Note: Irish ratings used

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Topics Bunratty, Ireland

Alina is an International Master and a very enthusiastic person in everything she does. She loves travelling to the world's most remote places in order to play chess tournaments and report about them here on ChessBase! As chance would have it Alina is also an excellent photographer.
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