Blanchardstown Chess news – September

Dear Chess friends

This is a short review of our club events and activities during September 2023. The chess club meets between September and June (“the chess season”). Our main task in September was to locate a premises to meet, for both our juniors and senior divisions. We have successfully returned to Mountview (where our juniors meet on Saturdays at 2,30pm) and Hansfield Junior School (Adults and more advanced juniors meet on Mondays).

Junior division

We restarted our chess meetings on September 9th. Typically we run a 20-30 minute session at the beginning of the club meeting where coaching takes place. Andrew O’Brien leads the coaching assisted by other senior club members. This is followed by games/matches between club members. Our attendance during September was around 30 juniors each week. The attendance grows week by week. Traditionally, our juniors begin to train on how to use chess clocks and write down the moves of games – all of which are skills needed to preparing to play in inter-club competitions and individual competitions.

A monthly junior tournament was also organised in September. These events are typically run at the last Saturday of a month during our chess season. However, during October we will focus on assembling and organising players into teams as we have traditionally sent quite a few Blanchardstown teams to play in the Leinster Chess Unions’ Mick Germaine Cup. So in place of an individual event, we will run a team event. As you will see, much of our activity in this early part of the season looks ahead to the Mick Germaine team tournament expected to be held in early December.

Senior division

We have grown significantly on the Senior side of our club this year, expanding from having two teams to four teams in the Leinster chess leagues. You can always see the team results and fixtures by looking at Another source of information for those interested in the senior competitions is the Irish Chess Union website (www, If you have any questions feel free to ask John Delaney, Andrew O’Brien or Carl Peralta.

Carl Peralta has been a huge help in assembling our senior teams and we are grateful to him for his volunteering. Early team news in the Leinster chess leagues is as follows:

Division 1: Armstrong. We lost a close match against UCD in mid September; followed by a further loss against Gonzaga as the month closed. It is important to know that we have just won promotion to Division 1 and it may take a few matches to find our feet. It is a difficult and unforgiving league! Simply staying in this league is itself a significant challenge. This league is the highest possible in Ireland and is played across 8 boards. So Gabor Bolkeny and Marius Antoni, our team captains are hopeful! One of the really big positives for Blanchardstown is that we have an abundance of teenage talent coming through and playing in Division 1. The adults need help !! Will the juniors come through fast enough to allow us avoid demotion……?? Probably.

Division 5: BEA North This team is captained by Carl Peralta and is probably our best hope for a promotion this year. The core of the team played brilliantly last year and came close to promotion back then as the year closed. However, they had an unfortunate and I would say unexpected draw with Phibsboro in the first fixture (2.5 v 2.5). The good news was that their quality was evident with wins arriving on the top boards. Lets hope for a few big wins in October…..

Division 6: Bodley North (A and B teams) : our hopes for the future lie in these squads of juniors! In a first match, the Bodley A (captained by Ravi) beat our Bodley B team (managed by Philip). Ideally all our juniors will get a first Irish Chess Union rating this season and simply enjoy their chess. See the Club calendar for October to see the Bodley fixtures for the next weeks ahead.

Other news

Our Blanchardstown club is very large compared to other chess clubs, which is a credit to the volunteers who give their time to ensure that chess as a sport is available to our children and adults in Dublin 15. Many of our members come from outside Dublin 15, which is a joy.

There are fewer junior chess clubs, especially after the pandemic, as many obstacles for small volunteer led activities arose. Our club is working with the Leinster Chess Union (Chair is Kevin Burke) to try to restart junior chess activities and events. This will allow our own Blanchardstown members to compete against other juniors from around Leinster. A very practical way to do this is for our club to host a Leinster Chess Union Grand Prix events: (these are 6 round individual rapid events, with a fast 15 minute time control) normally held on Sunday afternoons. We hope to have news about these events in the weeks ahead and will let you know as soon as anything is confirmed.

John Delaney

Blanchardstown Chess committee


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.