Galway Congress 2020


If you already know all about the Galway Congress, and want to skip straight to entering without reading all the terms and conditions, click here

Further information on previous congresses can be found here.


Galway Chess Congress

Friday 20 to Sunday 22 March 2020

Venue: Menlo Park Hotel, Galway

Prize fund: €2500

Sections and Prizes




Rating Band



  Under 1200













Grading Prizes




In the event of a tie for any prize, the prize money for a place prize will be shared between all players on the same number of points. The grading prizes, and the trophies for the winner of the Masters and Minor, will be awarded by a tie-break using the following criteria, in this order: first, Median-Buchholz; second, Buchholz; third, greater number of games with black; fourth, progressive scores; fifth, average ICU rating of opponents [will not apply if any player has played two or more unrated players]; sixth, toss of a coin.

Which Section can I play in?

Current ICU ratings will apply, as shown in the last published ICU ratings list available on 1 March 2020. (If you do not have an ICU rating, but have another national rating or a FIDE rating, then the last such rating published on or before 1 March 2020 is the one we will use.)

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

(a) Players with an ICU rating within 50 points of each rating band floor will be allowed to float up to the immediately higher section if they wish.

(b) Players who have had a published ICU rating (not including live ratings) 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.

(c) The winner of any section in 2019 may play in the next higher section in 2020, should they wish.

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 €300 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 (except for first, second, or third prize in the Masters), at the organizers’ discretion.

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

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. Prizes will not be given out before the ceremony; they will be sent to any prize winners not present at the ceremony a few days later.

Playing Schedule

Round No.




Round 1

8 p.m.


20 March

Round 2

10 a.m.


21 March

Round 3

2.30 p.m.


21 March

Round 4

7 p.m.


21 March

Round 5

10 a.m.


22 March

Round 6

2.15 p.m.


22 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, unless he or she informs the organizer to the contrary before the round is paired.

Time limit: 90 minutes for the game, plus an increment of 10 seconds from move 1. In the Masters, the increment will be 15 seconds, at the ICU’s insistence. (Note: these time limits depend 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.

Entry Procedure

Enter online
Fill out the registration form below.
Don’t forget to click SUBMIT before making your payment via PayPal.

Don’t forget to click SUBMIT before making your payment via PayPal.

Enter by post using the Entry Form, and enclosing the entry fee to:

Pete Morriss, Glann, Oughterard, Co. Galway.
Please make all cheques payable to “Galway Chess Club”.

Entry fees

All Competitions: €50

Student, retired, under 16, unemployed: €40

A discount of €10 applies if entry fee received on or before 8 March.

A discount of €20 applies for players rated 2000-2199 (ICU) if entry fee received on or before 24 February. Free entry for players rated 2200 or over (ICU) if entry received on or before 24 February.

A surcharge of €15 applies to entries received on the day of the tournament.

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 (20 March) before 7.30 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 7.30 on 20 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 Thursday 19 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, unless notifying us was impossible.

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

Other Tournament Rules

The current FIDE rules of chess will apply (available here), with the following variant:

Mobile phones

The FIDE rules on mobile phones, introduced on 1 July 2014, will not apply.  However, 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 containing a chess programme, it must be completely switched off for the entire duration of your game, and must 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, switched on 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.

Note also that the following rule will apply:

Keeping score

You are required to keep a record of the moves in your game so long as you have 5 minutes left on your clock, irrespective of how much time the 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.


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:

119.00 for Friday night and €129 for Saturday night for a Double / Twin Room

109.00 for Friday night and €125 for Saturday night for a Single Room

To book at this reduced rate phone Gina on (+353) (0)91 779470 or reception on (+353) (0)91 761122 (ask for Room Reservations) or email [email protected] in each case mentioning Galway Chess.

Rooms are being held for us only until 6 March, 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), and Saint Anthony’s (097 766477) [note that the on-line booking facilities for some of the B&Bs seems 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. You can’t book on this site, but it gives information about where you can book. 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.