Galway Chess Congress 2023

Here are links to the final standingscross-table and the full list of prize-winners (including pictures of them receiving their prizes).

Friday 10 to Sunday 12 March 2023

Venue:  Menlo Park Hotel, Galway

Entry Procedure

Note: Advance entries will close 24 hours before the start of the tournament.

(Update: Thursday 9th March at 8 p.m.) Advance entries have now closed. Please also note that the tournament has reached the capacity of the venue, and we can only accept a late entry if someone who has entered withdraws (which, given the weather, is quite likely). Those half-dozen people who submitted entry forms weeks ago but never paid the entry fee should note that they are not in the tournament, and if they show up at the venue will have to join the queue of late entries to see whether there is a place available for them.

(Update: Friday 10th March at 9.00 a.m.) There is currently one place available; email us ([email protected]) for further information.

Entry fees                                                         

Full fee: €50

Student, retired, under 16, unemployed:  €40

A discount of €10 applies if entry fee received on or before 27 February.

A discount of €20 applies for players rated 2000-2199 (ICU) if entry fee received on or before 13 February.  Free entry for players rated 2200 or over (ICU) if entry received on or before 13 February.

Entries will not be taken by telephone, and you will not be considered as entered until we have received the entry fee.

Late entries:  You may also enter at the venue on the day of the first round (10 March) before 7.00 p.m., but there is a surcharge of €15 for those who enter that way, as it is a considerable extra inconvenience for the organisers.

Entries received at the venue after 7.00 p.m. on 10 March will be accepted, to start the tournament in round 2; we will try to put such entries into round 1 if that is possible, paired manually against another latecomer, but that cannot be guaranteed.  Any such late entry that is not included in the round 1 draw will receive no points for round 1.

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

In accordance with standard international practice, the organizers have the right to refuse any entry without giving a reason.  In such a case, the entry fee will be refunded in full; that is, we will bear any transaction costs imposed by PayPal.  Anybody who pays the entry fee and then has to withdraw should notify the organizers in good time and certainly on or before Wednesday 8 March (if that is possible); in such a case the entry fee will be returned, less any transaction costs.  Entry fees will not be returned to anybody who does not show up without notifying us in advance.

Entries are very welcome from junior players of any age, but parents/guardians will remain responsible for their children at all times.

The submission of an entry will be taken as indicating an agreement to accept and abide by the tournament rules, including our GDPR policy.


We think that ratings are still unreliable after covid.  Hence we will adopt a novel structure, in which players will be allocated to sections based on their rating, but the sections will be porous so that a player who wins their first game will float up to play someone in a higher section in the next round.  (And, of course, players who lose could play someone from a lower section.)  There will be four sections, with an equal (even) number in each of the top three sections and the remainder in the fourth section; the cut-off points between the sections will be determined by the rating profile of the entries rather than fixed in advance.  (If there are 120 entrants or more there will be five sections.)  A full account of how this system will work is available here.

ICU ratings, where available, will be used to determine pairings; FIDE ratings, other national ratings, or, failing that, online ratings (which may be adjusted by the organizers) will be used for those who do not have an ICU rating.


The total prize fund is €2700, made up of cash prizes and trophies.  Also perpetual trophies will be awarded to the overall winner, the highest-placed player with a current ICU rating below 1200, and the highest-placed player living in, or born in, Connaught.

Cash prizes are shown below.  These are subject to adjustment depending on the number of entries.

Section A€1000€500€200
Section B€200€100
Section C€160€80
Section D€120€60

In the event of a tie for any prize, the prize money will be shared between all players on the same number of points.

A player who cannot provide evidence of over-the-board playing strength may only be awarded 50% of any prize money due in sections below the top one, at the organizers’ discretion.

Perpetual trophies.  Three perpetual trophies will be awarded: the Galway Chess Congress Perpetual Shield to the overall winner, the Hugh Finan Memorial Cup to the winner of the lowest section (that is an update: it will not necessarily be the highest-placed under-1200 player, as previously announced), and the Reynolds Electronics Perpetual Trophy to the Connaught Champion.  In the event of a tie for any of these trophies it will be awarded by a tie-break using the following criteria: first, Median-Buchholz; second, Buchholz; third, greater number of games with black; fourth, progressive scores; fifth, toss of a coin.

Trophies.  In addition, there will be plentiful rating prizes which will take the form of engraved trophies.  These will be awarded to players coming first in rating bands which will be specified shortly after the start of the tournament.  In the event of a tie, trophies will be awarded to all players in the tie, up to a maximum of four; if there are more than four, the tie-break procedure described in the paragraph above will apply.

The prize-giving ceremony will be held as soon as possible after the end of the last round; usually that has been about 6.30 p.m.  Prizes will not be given out before the ceremony: money will be sent to any prize winners not present at the ceremony a few days later, but we regret that we cannot post out the perpetual trophies.  The engraved trophies will be posted to the prize-winners within a couple of weeks of the tournament.

Playing Schedule

Round No.Start TimeDayDate
Round 18 p.m.Friday10 March
Round 210 a.m.Saturday11 March
Round 32.30 p.m.Saturday11 March
Round 47 p.m.Saturday11 March
Round 510 a.m.Sunday12 March
Round 62.15 p.m.Sunday12 March

Players who have not arrived at the board an hour after the starting time 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 086 8701483 before the start of the round.

A player who forfeits a game will be deemed to have withdrawn from the tournament and will not be included in the pairings for subsequent rounds; the organizers, at their discretion, may reinstate a player thus excluded, upon the player’s request.

Time limit: 90 minutes for the game, plus an increment of 15 seconds from move 1.

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

The current FIDE rules of chess will apply (available here).

Please note in particular the following.

Mobile phones

You are strongly urged not to bring mobile phones or other electronic devices to the event.  If you do bring a mobile phone, or any device capable of containing a chess programme, it must be completely switched off for the entire duration of your game, and must also always be completely switched off in the playing venue whilst any game is still being played.  If any player’s mobile phone makes any noise during their game, that player automatically loses the game.  If you are found using or consulting such a device (or having any communication from anyone else who is using or consulting such a device) whilst your game is in progress, you will immediately lose your game and be expelled from the tournament; a report will be prepared for the ICU, which might impose further disciplinary sanctions.

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.

Spectators (including parents) must not have a mobile phone, or any device capable of containing a chess programme, in the playing venue whilst any game is still being played.  Note that the “playing venue” includes all the areas which a player has access to during their game, including the toilets, bar, lobby, and smoking area.

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.

Keeping score

You are required to keep a record of the moves in your game so long as you have 5 minutes or more left on your clock, irrespective of how much time your opponent has left.  Once your time goes below 5 minutes you may either continue to keep recording the moves or stop doing so, at your discretion.  If the time shown on your clock subsequently rises above 5 minutes, you are not required to resume recording the moves.


A player who does not wish to play in all rounds will receive one half-point bye if requested in advance of the round being paired.  Any subsequent bye after the first, and any bye requested for the last round, will receive no points.


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

                                            or to   Pete on 086 8701483


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, and have pre-reserved rooms for Congress players’ use:

€139.00 for Friday night and €159 for Saturday night for a Double / Twin Room

€125.00 for Friday night and €149 for Saturday night for a Single Room

To book at this reduced rate email Gina at [email protected] or phone reception on (+353) (0)91 761122 (ask for Room Reservations) in either case mentioning Galway Chess. 

Rooms are being held for us only until 24 February, so please book by then.  Also please note that there are a limited number of rooms reserved at these rates, and if you leave booking too late they may all have gone.

Other accommodation

The nearest other hotels to the venue are the Maldron Hotel Sandy Road and the NOX Hotel, both of which are just across the road.  Travelodge is a 1 km walk away.  The nearest B&Bs are Teach na Coiribe (091 770342), Lios Inis (091 767753), Lima, (091 757 986) and Saint Anthony’s (091 766477) [note that the on-line booking facilities for some of the B&Bs seem not to work; probably better to phone].

There are many other B&Bs and hotels within a 30 minute walk of the Menlo Park Hotel. You can try searching the Irish Tourist Board site: search for places in Galway City. Also TripAdvisor and the main booking sites all contain large lists of places to stay in Galway city, with readers’ comments.  There is also airBnB of course.


There are many hostels in the centre of Galway City, a 2 kilometre walk from the playing venue, for instance Snoozles Hostel, Kinlay Hostel, and Sleepzone.