B.C.A.I. Irish Open Tournament
11th -14th October 2002
this, our tenth B.C.A.I. Open Tournament, we moved for the second
time outside Dublin.
our first venture outside the capital in Cork four years ago,
the venue this time was the Castletroy Park Hotel, some five kilometres
from the centre of Limerick City. Early in 2001 we enlisted the
support of local B.C.A.I. Member Michael Meaney.
suggested the Castletroy and arrangements were soon put in progress.
October 11th, turned out to be a very wet day in Dublin. I set
out for the railway station in the early afternoon and despite
the inevitable encounter with Dublin's traffic my taxi-man got
me to Heuston in good time for the 2 o'clock train to Limerick.
near the ticket office I met up with our treasurer, Ernie McElroy,
and his Rathmines club-mate, John Crowley. The train was almost
full but we managed to find seats close together and had a pleasant
journey to Limerick. On our way out of the station we met up with
tournament favourite, Chris Ross, from England. Chris and his
mother had been on the same train from Dublin, having caught it
with not a moment to spare. We soon found taxis and made our way
to the hotel, where we were in fact the last to arrive. It was
pleasing to find that all travel arrangements had gone without
discovered that one group which had flown from England to Dublin
had decided to hire a car at the airport and were able to complete
the journey in good time.
an excellent meal we assembled at 7.30 in the room where the chess
was to be played. The original plan was to have two sections,
but there were only seven players graded below 1400. We therefore
had all 24 players competing in a single open tournament. There
were ten Irish players, seven from England, four from the Netherlands
and three who had come all the way from India.
the first round players from the same country were kept apart.
Results went very much according to the cedings except that David
Hodgkins (England) drew with Ernie McElroy (Ireland).
Round 2 again produced no major surprises and now there were five
players on full points.
third round brought the leading contenders into direct opposition.
Chris Ross, who out-rated his nearest rival by some 200 points,
beat Rob Van Aurich (Netherlands). Philip Doyle won against India's
Gourab Gadodia. These were joined on three points by Michael Delaney
who defeated John Gallagher (England).
the Sunday morning the fourth round draw produced the all-Irish
pairing of Doyle-Delaney
with Ross playing Hodgkins. Delaney and Ross were the winners
and these two now battled it out in round five.
this encounter Chris came out on top leaving him a point ahead
going into the last round. Gadodia moved into a share of second
place with victory over Van Aurich. In the final round Ross drew
with Gadodia to secure first place on 5.5 points. Delaney drew
with McElroy and Doyle beat Gallagher to share second place with
Gadodia on 4.5. Stan Lovell (England) and Eamonn Casey (Ireland)
both finished strongly to tie for fifth place on 4 points. These
two also shared one of the four grading prizes. The others went
to John Gallagher and George Plechaty (England) and Tony Murray
(Ireland). George also retained the trophy for players graded
special word of thanks is due to our as ever quiet and efficient
tournament controller, Tim Conlan. Tim on this occasion was assisted
most capably by local man, Gerry Graham and by John Crowley. Gerry
is very much involved in organising the prestigious Bunratty Tournament
which takes place in February each near. He also displayed his
versatility by winning Michael Meaney's "limerick" competition.
from the chessboard there was no shortage of other activities.
Some of our number found time to avail of the Castletroy's excellent
leisure centre. On the Saturday for those not playing chess there
was a coach trip to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and to King
again our good friend from Cork, Barry O'Brien, excelled as organiser
and tour guide. Barry once again gave us much valuable help in
the preparations for the tournament and he and his wife, Mary,
were with us throughout the weekend to see that everything went
according to plan. On the Saturday evening we were visited by
the Mayor of Limerick, John Cronin. He accepted an invitation
to stay for dinner and after the meal he made a short speech in
which he welcomed us all to the city of Limerick and hoped we
would have an enjoyable stay.
followed a most interesting talk from local historian and raconteur,
Frank Prendergast. We also had a few words from Rob Van Aurich
from the Netherlands. Then it was time for the music to begin
and here Michael Meaney really came up with a winner. To entertain
had Limerick's well-known singer/songwriter, Denis Allen.
on hearing the sound of the guitar Michael prompted "Limerick,
you're a lady!". This is the song for which Denis is most
famous. After this he continued to sing and play for some 2-and-a-half
hours without a break. There was plenty of audience participation,
too, and this included a number of solo performances. It was a
rare and delightful pleasure to have a musician who did not need
has become almost traditional at these tournaments we got together
on the Sunday evening for an informal "sing- along"
in the bar. Following the final round and the presentation of
prizes on the Monday most of us were soon on our way to the railway
station. The weather was dry and
the train a lot less crowded than it had been on the Friday. Arriving
in Dublin in the middle of the rush hour there was the inevitable
scramble for buses and taxis. Later there would be time to reflect
on another very successful tournament.
in the B.C.A.I. are eternally grateful to our associate members
and supporters without whose help these tournaments could not
take place. It is also appropriate to mention those who travel
from overseas to participate. As we plan our next tournament in
2004 we very much hope that our friends from England, The Netherlands
and India will again be able to come and join us
Place Name Club Score
1 Chris Ross England 5.5
2-4 Philip Doyle Ireland 4.5
Gourab Gadodia India 4.5
Michael Delaney Ireland 4.5
5-6 Eamonn Casey Ireland 4
Stan Lovell England 4
7-11 Rob Van Aurich Holland 3.5
Ernie McElroy Ireland 3.5
John Gallagher England 3.5
David Hodgkins England 3.5
Steve Thacker England 3.5
12-15 Sean Loftus Ireland 3
George Plachety England 3
Bastiaan Gramser Holland 3
Kim Hoogenraad Holland 3
16-18 Tony Murray Ireland 2.5
Prakish Sony India 2.5
Michael Murphy England 2.5
19-21 Kailish Singh India 2
Michael Meaney Ireland 2
Gerard Den-Otter Holland 2
22 John Carroll Ireland 1
23-24 Shane Hall Ireland 0.5
Trevor Hussey Ireland 0.5