Fingal Open Championships
and Chess for All Programme
The inaugural Fingal Open Championships will be held in Skerries Chess Club and nearby clubs in early 2024. Five rounds will be spread over 12 weeks from Jan - April 2024, interspersed with Coaching Sessions, free to entrants.
The event will be FIDE and ICU rated. Time controls will mirror those in various divisions of the Leinster leagues for players with similar ratings, as outlined below. Adjournments are allowed where both players agree before the game.
While entry is open to all ICU members, those from clubs near Skerries (see below) may play their Black games in their home venue, except for the last round which will be in Skerries.
Skerries Amalgamated Bridge Clubs, 73B Strand Street, Skerries, Co. Dublin, K34 C951 and nearby clubs.
Co-funded by Skerries Chess Club and Fingal County Council Community Development Office, with support from Cormac McDonagh, Area Officer.
Players will be divided into sections of six, based on FIDE, ICU and SCC ratings, using the controller's best judgement, in the hope that every player will play others close to them in rating and strength. The lowest section may be a five round Swiss.
The Fingal Open Champion Perpetual Cup will be presented to the winner, engraved. Engraved plaques and medals will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in each section, decided on tiebreak. The top SCC player in the top section will receive the Skerries Club Champion's Perpetual Cup. Half the Skerries players in each section will receive prizes. The top SCC U18 Boy and Girl will be awarded the Junior Perpetual Cups.
Round Dates and Coaching Sessions
Round times are as below unless a player from a club near Skerries (see list) opts to play their black games at home. In that case the game is played in their club on their normal league match day/night, in the same week as the round in Skerries. See a sample schedule for Paddy from Naomh Barróg
All rounds and coaching sessions start at 7.15 pm. Coaching topics now added after each session date.
Tue 23 Jan Round 1
Tue 30 Jan Coaching session (Mid-term break) - Mastering Bishop vs Knight (Minor piece imbalances)
Tue 06 Feb Round 2
Tue 13 Feb Coaching session - The Power of the Bishop Pair
Tue 20 Feb Round 3
Tue 05 Mar Coaching session - Handling Closed Positions
Tue 12 Mar Round 4
Tue 19 Mar Coaching session - Dynamic Queenside Attacks (minority attacks, Benkő gambit and other KID positions)
Tue 23 Apr Round 5
Tue 30 Apr Coaching session and Prize-giving - Basic Rook Endgames
If players rearrange a game, results must be in by 21 Feb for R1 and 2, by 21 Mar for R3 and 4, and by 23 Apr for R5. (Note R5 and Coaching 5 were brought back a week to avoid a clash with a league match.)
FM Zalan Nemeth will give coaching on the five dates above. It will include 20 minutes aimed at juniors or adult beginners, analysis of games from the event, tuition on topics including opening, positional and endgame play and typical tactical motifs. In recent sessions with Zalan I particularly enjoyed practicing key positions with a sparring partner, which made the session more fun and interactive. Coaching sessions are free for competitors. Free refreshments will be served during a short break.
Early entry for €40 by Tue 19 Dec, €50 before Wed 17 Jan. No entries or refunds after that, unless in exceptional circumstances, for €60. All players must be registered with the ICU. A bottom section, unrated, may be added for Skerries players who are not members of the ICU. Free entry for titled players (GM, IM, FM, WGM, WIM) by Tue 19 Dec, with conditions, who contact the controller. Free entry for SCC members before Wed 17 Jan. Free entry and coaching for at least 20 participants from various groups from Skerries. Enter on the ICU Fingal Open event page.
Pairings for all rounds will be published on or soon after Wed 17 Jan.
Time controls will mirror those in various divisions of the Leinster leagues for players with similar ratings. Below is a guide to probable time controls.
Section A: 90 mins + 30 s/move
Section B,C: 75 mins + 30 s/move
Section D,E: 60 mins + 30 s/move
Section F,G,H: 45 mins + 30 s/move
Before each game, if both players agree, they can play the following time controls which allow for adjournments. Special rules for adjourning games are explained below.
Section A: 35 moves in 1 h 45 mins
Section B,C: 42 moves in 1 h 45 mins
Section D,E: 40 moves in 1 h 15 mins
Section F,G,H: 40 moves in 1 h
Default time 60 mins.
Rules and Playing Conditions
Expect pleasant playing conditions with some professional touches. These may include name cards on all boards. Shops and restaurants are a short walk from the club.
While quiet is expected in the playing area, players will be allowed to spectate quietly after they finish playing.
Electronic devices are not permitted in the playing area, corridor, toilets or outdoor smoking area. An exception is if they are left near the controller's desk, switched off, not on silent. Electronic devices include anything that may make a noise or vibrate including watches, alarms.
As these are round robin sections, no byes will be given. If you cannot play in a certain round, please contact the controller well in advance, who may help you to rearrange it, provided your opponent agrees.
In games with a 30 second increment players are required to record their moves to the end of their game, and keep their scoresheet up to date. In games with fixed time controls, players may stop recording in the last five minutes but must catch up after the time control, or when the game is adjourned.
At the end of your game please fill in your result on the pairings sheet. Do not analyse downstairs at the board, but upstairs, where sets are provided, quietly if other games are continuing there. If your opponent fails to show 60 mins after the round started call the assistant arbiter to claim a win by default.
All players without a FIDE ID who play in this FIDE rated tournament will be registered with the IRL federation.
Clubs near Skerries include
Blanchardstown Chess Kings
Players from the clubs above may play their games as black at home, except the final round.
We do not see enough of our chess neighbours and hope this gives us a chance to meet up in Skerries and in these clubs too.
For a player from a club near Skerries. Say Paddy NB, from Naomh Barróg and Rosemary EM, from Elm Mount, are in a section with four Skerries players: Áine SCC, Bill SCC, Cerys SCC and Dmitri SCC:
Round - White - Black - Venue - Day Date
R1 - Paddy NB - Bill SCC - Skerries - Tue 23 Jan
R2 - Cerys SCC - Paddy NB - Naomh Barróg - Thu 8 Feb (same week as R2 in Skerries on Tue 6 Feb)
R3 - Paddy NB - Rosemary EM - Elm Mount - Mon 19 Feb (same week as R3 in Skerries)
R4 - Áine SCC - Paddy NB - Naomh Barróg - Thu 14 Mar (same week as R4 in Skerries)
R5 - Paddy NB - Dmitri SCC - Skerries - Tue 23 Apr
Of course a player could have 1, 2 or 3 games at home depending on how many blacks they have in R1-4. Clubs with large entries will be offered the chance to host the final round of a section.
Before a game, both players may agree to adjourn their game if their total time exceeds 3.5 hours in section A or as above for other sectiona. When this time arrives, or close to this time, the player who chooses to adjourn, privately writes down their move on an adjournment sheet, stops their clock, notes the clock times, then seals everything in an envelope, which the assistant controller keeps until the agreed date to resume the game, normally the following week. The second session is in the same venue as the first session, with the same time control. Adjournments means the finish time is fixed and a little earlier. They also allow analysis of the adjourned position with a computer or friends which is a great way to learn and improve, and good fun too.
John Loughran, , 086 374 5410