Adams retains Bunratty Master title, Hebden wins Classic (UPDATE)
Michael Adams won the 20th Bunratty Chess Festival which took place over the weekend at the Bunratty Castle Hotel in Ireland. The English grandmaster won his first five games and then drew in the last round to finish ahead of Nigel Short and Richard Bates. Mark Hebden won the first edition of the Bunratty Masters, a 10-player GM group.
Michael Adams receives the trophy, with Veselin Topalov in the background
The first Bunratty Chess Festival was held in 1994 and only attracted 62 players, but the second more than doubled that and featured its first grandmaster, Danny King. By its fifth outing, it was out-growing its initial host hotel as the numbers grew close to 300. Many of the world’s elite players have come to Bunratty to play because of its unique “friendly” atmosphere: the games are not FIDE rated, so they can relax and enjoy the ambience (and a drink or two).
The event is normally a weekend tournament only, but what a weekender it is! The impressive list of former Bunratty Masters Champions includes Peter Svidler, Joel Benjamin, Michael Adams, John Nunn, Jon Speelman, Danny King, Marl Hebden, Luke McShane and Sergy Tiviakov.
The tournament was held at the Castle Hotel in Bunratty (Irish: Bun na Raite, meaning "End of the Raite river"),
a village in County Clare in the parish of Newmarket on Fergus, Ireland.
Last year Michael Adams edged out Nigel Short on tie-break; this year he finished clear first. Adams beat Bernd Thee (2096), IM Mark Orr (2240), IM Malcolm Pein (2376), IM Thomas Rendle (2382) and FM Javier Aguera Naredo (2417) and then drew in eight moves with IM Richard Bates (2375) to win. This way Bates shared second and third prizes with Nigel Short, who beat Alex Baburin in the final round.
You'll probably know the name Malcolm Pein as the organizer of the London Chess Classic, the owner of the London Chess Centre and Chief Executive of the Chess in Schools and Communities project in the UK. Pein rarely plays chess these days. In Bunratty he scored 3.5/6 (a 2317 performance).
Bunratty Masters 2013 | Top games for replay
Bunratty Masters 2013 | Final standings
|1||GM Adams, Michael||5.5||2725||2784||+0.20||14.0||20.0||20.5||1||1||1||1||1||½|
|2||GM Short, Nigel||5.0||2690||2651||-0.13||15.0||23.0||17.5||1||1||½||½||1||1|
|3||IM Bates, Richard||5.0||2375||2657||+2.04||14.5||21.5||18.5||1||1||½||1||1||½|
|5||GM Wells, Peter||4.5||2491||2409||-0.39||12.0||19.0||14.0||½||1||0||1||1||1|
|6||IM Wall, Gavin||4.0||2340||2296||-0.15||13.5||20.0||13.5||=||1||0||1||1||½|
|7||IM Rendle, Thomas||3.5||2382||2321||-0.39||15.5||23.0||15.5||1||1||1||0||0||½|
|8||FM Aguera Naredo, Javier||3.5||2417||2376||-0.14||15.0||22.5||15.5||1||½||1||1||0||0|
|9||IM Pein, Malcolm||3.5||2376||2317||-0.37||15.0||22.5||13.5||1||1||0||0||1||½|
|10||GM Baburin, Alexander||3.5||2534||2352||-1.11||14.0||21.5||13.0||1||0||½||1||1||0|
|11||FM Short, Philip||3.5||2211||2349||+1.07||13.5||20.5||14.5||1||1||0||1||0||½|
|12||IM Trent, Lawrence||3.5||2429||2264||-1.06||13.0||19.5||13.5||½||1||1||0||½||½|
|16||Van Der Zwet, Bart||3.5||2084||2290||+1.50||12.5||18.0||12.0||0||1||1||½||½||½|
|17||IM Orr, Mark||3.5||2240||2235||+0.01||11.5||19.0||12.0||1||0||½||½||1||½|
|18||IM Cooper, Lawrence||3.5||2317||2236||-0.40||11.5||18.0||13.0||1||½||½||½||0||1|
|19||Gonzalez Gonzalez, Alfonso||3.5||2142||2128||-0.07||11.0||16.5||12.0||1||0||1||0||½||1|
|22||Murray, David B.||2.5||2079||2064||-0.27||13.0||19.5||9.0||½||0||1||0||1||0|
For the first time the Bunratty Chess Festival included the Bunratty Chess Classic, a category 8 FIDE rated event designed to help Irish players get IM and GM norms on home soil. It was a 10-player single round robin tournament running from Wednesday 27th February 2013 to Sunday 3rd March with GM Nick Pert, GM Mark Hebden, IM Denis Rombaldoni, IM Sam Collins, GM Keith Arkell, IM Vladimir Hamitevici, IM Alex Lopez, IM Mark Quinn, IM Stephen Burns-Mannion and FM Colm Daly. Mark Hebden won the tournament with an undefeated 7/9. He finished ahead of Nick Pert who scored 6.5 points.
We especially liked the finish of the following game.
Bunratty Classic 2013 | Final standings
Update by organizer Gery Graham:
Veselin Topalov attended the tournament as well. For instance, he watched the games during a blitz tourney and "commentated" aloud on them, as he was asked to do. We were very impressed with Vesilin: he was extremely friendly, and socialised with all.
The blitz was won by Nigel Short. He beat Peter Wells in the final a “little” after midnight! While Adams played in the blitz group stage (and won all his games), he did call it a night then and didn’t participate in the knock-out matches.
- Mickey Adams, emulated Peter Svidler’s achievement of retaining the Bunratty Masters title – all in all, he had a good day on Sunday, as his beloved Tottenham beat Arsenal as well!!!
- Nigel Short reckons that young Joseph McPhillips in a very under-rated player and is one to watch in the future.
- The default time at Bunratty is half an hour and last year, Istratescu was one of several players to default on time for the Sunday morning game, this year nobody defaulted, but there were a few sore heads.
- Thomas Rendle IM reckons that the only thing better than a nice pint when playing chess is winning at chess while have the nice pint.
- A total of just over 300 players participated in the Bunratty Chess Festival 2013 and one of the main sponsors of the event, Gary O’Grady, Blackthorne Transport, played in the Major section and did quite well, ending up on 4.5/6. In fact, Gary has played in 19 of the 20 Bunratty competitions so far, only missing the first, Paul Kiely of Waterford, who played in the Challengers section, is the only player to have played all 20 Bunratty Chess Festivals.
- Irish Chess Union’s Chairman, Jonathan O’Connor, along with Raymond Keene, spoke at closing ceremony while Vesilin Topalov presented the prizes and, much to the surprise of many, Mickey did take the mic and gave a short but witty speech to the assembled crowd of about 200 players. (Jonathan O’Connor is the one presenting Mickey with the trophy.)
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