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Report - Ulster Championships 2016, Europa Hotel Belfast

Report - Ulster Championships 2016, Europa Hotel Belfast

Left to right: Ulster Champion Stephen Rush, Intermediate Champion Jonathan Peoples and Junior Champion Dominic Gallagher

 

The Europa Hotel continued its sponsorship of the Ulster Championships, the largest event on the UCU calendar.  Entrants from UCU and ICU enjoyed the luxury of playing in the hotels Euro Business Centre.  Six rounds were staged over three days with players having 90 minutes and 30 second increments each game to fight for titles and prizes.

Following his Nemtzov Cup victory, Stephen Rush (4.5/6) continued his successful summer after he was declared Ulster Champion in a tense final day.  Tied with Stephen in first place was former winner Ray Devenney and top seed Gerard MacElligot.  The grading prize for the senior section was awarded to UCU stalwart Mark Newman (3.5/6) from Civil service chess club.

The intermediate section was the only category not to require a tie-break with Jonathon Peoples of Derry winning with a convincing 5/6.  Tied for second on 4/6 were strong contenders Mikhail Pavlov, Ian Woodfield and Karina Kruk.  The intermediate grading prize was won by impressive displays by one of the tournaments youngest competitors, Dayna Ferguson (3/6), one to watch out for in future events.

The junior section, the largest in the tournament, was fiercely competitive.  After day two Alan York had established himself as frontrunner by dispatching with everyone in his path with 4/4.  However after a slow start so to speak, Dominic Gallagher made a surge on the final two days to claim the title with 4.5/6.  Narrowly missing out on the trophy was Ram Rajan (4.5/6) who also had a fine tournament and missed out in the tie-break.  Finally congratulations go to John Monaghan (3/6) and Samuel Todd (3/6) winning the U1150 and U1000 grading prizes respectively.

We would like to thank the hotel staff, competitors, Adrian Domford-Smith (live boards), Brendan Jamison (cashier!) and Ross Harris (arbiter) who chalked up the event as part of his national arbiters title.

Full results are available in UCU "competition results".

We look forwards to another exciting Ulster Championships next year.

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