Congress: 2013


Galway Chess Congress



Galway Masters 2013

Galway Majors 2013

Galway Minors 2013

Friday 4th to Sunday 6th October 2013


Venue:  Menlo Park Hotel, Galway

(Please note: new venue. Directions here.)


Prize fund:  €3300


We are grateful for financial support from Blackthorne International,


Menlo Park Hotel, and the Irish Chess Union.




Sections and Prizes


Masters Major Minor
Rating   Band 1800+ 1200-1799 U-1200
1st €700 €450 €250
2nd €350 €250 €150
3rd €200 €100 €100
Grading €250 €250 €250


Which Section can I play in?

Current ICU ratings apply, as shown in the ICU ratings list published in September 2013.  (If you do not have an ICU rating, but have another national rating, then the last such rating published on or before 1 September 2013 is the one we will use.)

We allow some flexibility on these rating bands, as shown below.

(a)    FIDE ratings, as published in the September 2013 rating list, may be used for eligibility for the Masters section, at the player’s discretion.

(b)    Players with an ICU rating within 100 points of each rating band floor will be allowed to float up to the immediately higher section if they wish.

(c)    Players who have had a published ICU rating in the past 2 years which is on or above the floors specified in the table above (i.e., 1800 and 1200), may use that rating to float up if they wish.  The same applies to a live ICU rating obtained in the last 6 months (i.e., since 1 April 2103).

Entrants without a current rating will be allocated at the organizers’ discretion.


No Player may win more than one prize; if you are eligible for two prizes, you will receive the larger one.  [For instance, if you have a rating of 1200 and win the Major, you will receive the €450 first prize, but you won’t get a grading prize as well.  But if you end up in a five-way tie for third in the Major, which would give you a prize of €20, and are also eligible for a grading prize of €50, you will get the grading prize.]

A player who cannot provide evidence of playing strength may only be awarded 50% of any prize money, at the organizers’ discretion.

The amount awarded in grading prizes may be slightly altered (up or down) depending on the number of entries.


Playing Schedule


Round No.

Time Day Date

Round   1

8 pm Friday Oct 4

Round   2

10 am Saturday Oct 5

Round   3

2.30 pm Saturday Oct 5

Round   4

7 pm Saturday Oct 5

Round   5

10 am Sunday Oct 6

Round   6

2.15 pm Sunday Oct 6


Players who arrive at the board an hour or more late will forfeit the game.  If you are travelling and realise that you will arrive late, it would be a great help if you could contact the organizers at 087 2369387 before the start of the round.

Time limit: 90 minutes for the game, plus an increment of 10 seconds from move 1.  (Note: this depends on us being able to source enough clocks.  We will keep you informed here about any changes in the time limit.)

We hope to be able to provide both sets and clocks, but it would be a help if you could bring a set and clock, in case we are overwhelmed by late entries.


Other Tournament Rules


If you bring a mobile phone, or any device containing a chess programme, it must be switched off in the playing area at all times, and also be switched off when you are outside the playing area whilst your game is in progress.  If any player’s mobile phone makes any noise during the game, that player automatically loses the game.  (These are rules of tournament chess.)  It is much better not to bring mobile phones or similar devices with you.

If you feel that you have to be in contact with the outside world during your game – perhaps because you expect an urgent and important message – you should consult an arbiter, who will do what he can to help you by looking after your phone for you.  In no circumstances will you be allowed to use any communication device yourself during your game.

If you suspect a player is using a mobile phone or device containing a chess programme, you should immediately inform an arbiter; you should not attempt to intervene yourself.


Connaught Chess Championship


The Galway congress will incorporate the Connaught Chess Championship; the title of Champion will be awarded to the highest placed player in the Masters who was either born in Connaught, or who has lived in Connaught for the past 12 months.  (Proof of qualification may be required.)  The Connaught Champion will receive the Connaught Chess Champion trophy, and will be nominated by the Irish Chess Union for entry to the 2014 British Chess Championship, with some financial assistance also provided by the ICU.  [This title does not count as a ‘prize’, and so the Connaught Champion may also retain any prize money won.]





Enquiries are welcomed to           [email protected] (preferably),

or to   Fiona Cormican on 087 2369387







Tournament Venue:  Menlo Park Hotel, Galway              091-761122


Menlo Park Hotel is a modern 4-star hotel providing good accommodation, bars, restaurant, and has ample free parking.

The hotel is located just off the Galway ring road, so it is very easy to get to.  It is within walking distance of Galway city centre.


We have secured the following B&B rates for the congress weekend

€85.00 for Friday night and €95 for Saturday night for a Double / Twin Room

€65.00 for Friday night and €75 for Saturday night for a Single Room

We have pre-reserved rooms in the hotel.  To book at this reduced rate phone (+353) (0)91 761122 (ask for Room Reservations) or email [email protected], mentioning the Chess Congress.  Rooms are being held for us only until 20 September, so please book by then.


The Menlo Park Hotel has also offered us the following special deals:

You can upgrade to a Superior King room including robes, slippers, fruit and water for €20 per night

The charge for staying on for the Sunday night will be an extra €79 for double / twin or €59 for a single room

If you stay for three nights, the hotel will include a complementary four course dinner on one night




Other accommodation


The nearest hotel to the venue is the Pillo Hotel, which is just across the road; but it is not cheap.  The nearest B&Bs are Saint Anthony’s (no web-site; phone 091 766477) and Lios Inis.


There are many other B&Bs and hotels within a 30 minute walk of the Menlo Park Hotel.  Lists of these can be obtained on the following web-sites:

The Irish Tourist Board site: search for places in Galway City.  You can’t book on this site, but it gives information about where you can book.

Another source is  Although you can book on-line on this site, it seems difficult to use and the Search facility does not seem to work well.  It is best used for getting a list of possible accommodation; the best way I have found to do that is to scroll down to “Select another location in Galway”, and select “Galway City”.  Then scroll down again, and on the right of the map there are green boxes labelled “Hotels”, “Guest Houses”, “Bed and Breakfasts” and “Hostels”.  Click on the one you want, and you will get a list of places.  You can see where they are by clicking the “View a Map” button: the places show up as green boxes.  Note that the playing venue (the Menlo Park Hotel) is at the intersection of Headford Road and the road labelled on the map as Bothar na Mine.

TripAdvisor and the main booking sites all contain large lists of places to stay in Galway city, with readers’ comments.



Almost certainly the cheapest accommodation in Galway is in Barnacles Hostel in Quay Street.  This is in the centre of town, a 2 kilometre walk from the playing venue.  We have negotiated a rate of €15 per night in their dormitory rooms (which includes a “light breakfast” and free wifi).  This rate is not available through their web-site: contact Lidija, by email at [email protected], or by phone at 091 568644.  Make sure to mention the Chess Congress to get this cheaper rate.


Entry Form


Rating: ICU No:
Date of Birth (if not registered with the ICU):
The Section I would like to enter:



Entry Fees

(If you are paying at a reduced rate, please indicate which category you are in)

All Competitions:                         €45

Student, retired:                           €40

Under 16, unemployed:               €35


A discount of €10 applies if entry fee received on or before 23 September 2013.

A surcharge of €5 applies to entries received on the day of the tournament.

Please make all cheques payable to “Galway Chess Club”.


All entrants resident in Ireland have to be a member of the Irish Chess Union;

to join, see


Entries to:     Pete Morriss, Glann, Oughterard, Co. Galway

            or       [email protected]

Enquires to:  [email protected] (preferably)

            or       Fiona Cormican on 087 2369387





Galway Congress Entry


  1. Dear Sir,

    I seen this advertised in Galway Independent, I wanted to enter my son Ryan age 14 but he is not in any club… How do I go about this? At the moment, he just plays at home with myself…

    Yours sincerely

    Belinda Hopley

    • Pete says:

      Hi Belinda,

      He doesn’t have to be a member of a club to enter: just send in an entry form (and a cheque!). The details are in the Congress: 2013 slot on the website.

      Perhaps Ryan would like to come along to the club as well? Most of the members are adults, but we’ve had quite a few 14 year olds in the club – including several who went on to play for the Irish Junior team. You would both be very welcome this Thursday (19 September), when we’re having a little friendly tournament over the course of the evening, or the following week when there is an open evening, when people just come along and play whoever they want: we’ll make sure that Ryan gets a few games, and you as well, since you obviously play the game.

      There’s also Galway Junior Club for you to consider. Their website is at

      So, looking forward to seeing Ryan and you at the Congress in October, and perhaps at the club before that.

      All the best,

      Pete Morriss (Club Chairperson)

  2. Idont think a rating of 869 or 1074 should be in the major section as it says within 100 points of the next section and these rating are not within 100 points.regards shane melaugh

  3. Pete says:

    Hi Shane,

    Thanks for your comment. The entry of 869 is a mistake: I simply put him in the wrong section. It’s entirely my fault and this will be corrected on the website shortly. But well spotted, and thanks for pointing it out.

    The entry of 1074 is, however, deliberate. This is a young player who won the under-1200 event in Dublin last month, and his performance there indicates to me that he is now playing at above the 1200 level. So I agreed to his request to play in the stronger tournament. I do that very rarely, but this seemed to be the sort of case that justified an exception. I’d be interested to know (for next time)what the players affected by my decision think about it.

    I don’t think you’ve entered yet Shane. There’s still time, but you’re leaving it rather late!

    All the best,

    Pete Morriss (Tournament Organizer)

  4. I could not join because there was space left in hotel.

  5. peter cafolla says:

    In 2008 you only had five 1700 rated players in a Masters field of 42, now there are seven in a field of 26. Is it possible that the lowering of standards is deterring some players from entering any more?

    • admin says:

      Hi Peter,
      It does not seem that your thesis holds up when looking at some further statistics. Our deficit in the Masters was in the 1800 and 1900 rated players (24 in 2008 compared to 8 in 2013). Our numbers of 2000+ players was actually up this year (14 this year compared to 12 in 2008). The average rating was 2026 this year compared to 1985 in 2008.

  6. Big Kahuna says:

    Are the final tables available anywhere?

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