Isolated Pawns

A presentation by Ray Devenny, August 2005 in the UCU Master Class series

The session started with Ray being asked questions from the audience.

How did you start in chess?

I started late I was 16 years old and had no interest in chess. However some of my friends at Coleraine Inst wanted to setup a chess club. The headmaster Dr Humphries explained that they needed ten signatories to start a club. I signed up - the next thing was that they expected me to turn up! I turned up and caught the bug. We were all roughly the same level - no one good to teach us. Joined the local club at Coleraine - Mr McKane. Became the school champion and won the school v staff competition.

(learnt later from Ron Henderson that he had help start the Coleraine club - small world)

We missed out from having a strong player to coach us or to play against. Went onto Trinity College Dublin where shock, surprise I wasn't the strongest player.

What have been the most enjoyable moments in your chess career?

Winning the school championships. This was my first triumph. Psychologically it was good It was a prestigious thing to win and my first achievement. Next has to be winning the Irish Championships in 1977.

What do you put this great achievement down to?

Luck! The best players are consistent all the time. They train and 'indoctrinate'. Most players are good from time to time. I had my fair share of luck. My highest rating was 2,200 - possibly a little low for the Irish Champion. In 76, 78 I was expecting a result. Hadn't planned to play in the 77 Irish had played in a Belfast tournament and done abysmally. Arthur Pinkerton called and asked if I was going to Cork, If I was would I look after a couple of youngsters who wanted to play and needed a lift and looking after - two of these were David Houston and Keith Allen. So changed mind to help out. Set off in my car and came back loaded with trophies! Did I study - yes, independently on my own.

What is your favourite chess book?

My first book. Chess Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles by Fred Reinfeld. Not always the easiest to read but an enjoyable book. You learn more in one hour of play with a strong player than you do studying.

What are your views on the Ulster Chess Union and junior chess?

Good question. Worried with the general circumstances with the split from the Irish Chess Union. Chess not strong in Ulster. Teachers face difficulties from the pressures of work. You need the impetus to play chess and this in the past has come from enthusiastic chess teachers like Brian Thorpe. Teachers go for high profile sports - Rugby, football. You need a higher profile for chess. Publicity, sponsorship. TV and radio. Also intensive training sessions. The sad thing is that girls' chess in Ulster is non-existent.

Example Games & Positions: used to illustrate the presentation

Related content
File Isolated Pawns
Gallery
News
London Junior Chess Championships, Belfast Qualifier 1st Oct 2022 Methodist College series of Monthly tournaments kicked off with the qualifier for the prestigious London Junior Chess Ch... Nov 27, 2022
Eddie Hanzharov wins Gold Coast Blitz with 6/6 On 17th November, Bangor Chess Club held its last FIDE-rated event of 2022, the Gold Coast Blitz. Nov 26, 2022
December programming at Bangor Chess Club Nov 22, 2022
Belfast South Chess Club 2022-23 Nov 14, 2022
Greenisland Football Chess Club are hosting the Winter Blitz Bash 2022 As winter approaches and the cost of living crisis crashes in on people GFC Chess would like to host a tournament to hel... Nov 11, 2022
More news…
« November 2022 »
November
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930
Upcoming Events
FIDE-rated Omagh Rapidplay Championship 2022 This is event 6 of 10 in the NI FIDE Rapid Grand Prix 2022/2023 held on 3rd December 2022. Dec 03, 2022 10:45 AM - 05:00 PM — Christian Brothers Grammar School, Kevlin Rd, Omagh BT78 1LD
2nd Board Meeting Tues 6th December 2nd Executive Board Meeting 2022-23. Lisburn Chess Club. Tues 6th December 2022 7:30pm. Dec 06, 2022 07:30 PM - 09:30 PM — Lisburn Chess Club, 60-62 Longstone Street
Ulster Schools Individual Championships 2022 Come and challenge to become the Ulster Schools Chess Champion 2022. 10th December at Methodist College. Dec 10, 2022 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM — Methodist College,1 Malone Rd, Belfast BT9 6BY
FIDE-rated Ulster Blitz Championship 2022 Dec 29th The annual Ulster Blitz Championship will be FIDE rated and held at Greenisland FC Chess Club on Thursday 29th December. Dec 29, 2022 10:15 AM - 04:00 PM — Greenisland FC Clubhouse, 100 Glenkeen Av, Greenisland, BT38 8ST
FIDE-rated Dundonald Rapid Championship 2023 Saturday 7th January 2023. Civil Service Pavilion. This is event 8 of 10 in the NI FIDE Rapid Grand Prix 2022/2023 Jan 07, 2023 11:45 AM - 07:00 PM — NICS,Maynard Sinclair Pavilion, Stormont, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 3TA
Upcoming events…