Final Standings:

1-2. GMs Greenfeld (ISR, 2545) and Baburin (IRL, 2526) – 8/9 (earning 2,000 euro each)

3. GM Hebden (ENG, 2520) – 6½ (1,000 euro)

4. Jessel (IRL, 2294) – 6 (600 euro)

5-7. FM C. Daly (IRL, 2311), GM Butnorius (LIT, 2442) and FM Ph. Short (IRL, 2300) – 5½, etc (32 players)

The tournament was sponsored by Island Oil and Gas company and took place at the Academy Plaza hotel in the city of Dublin. The rate of play was 40 moves in two hours, 20 moves in one hour and 30 minutes allegro finish (no increment). The tournament was well organised and run by Michael Crowe.

While I’ve been living in Ireland since 1993, this was the first time I took part in an Irish chess championship. In the mid 1990s a few Irish players campaigned hard against me playing in the Irish championship, so I stayed out.

Ironically, a few years later the same few players realised that with me and a few Irish IMs playing, there would be chances for IM norms in the championship, so they wanted me to play. Predictably, my reaction was “Thanks, but no, thanks!”. Besides, prize money was always rather modest.

But last year Island Oil and Gas Co started sponsoring the event, which improved prize money. I did not play in the 2007 championship only because I had made a commitment to coach at the Berkeley chess school in California. This year I kept 5-13 July free in my calendar.

Report from Chess Today CT-2806. To subscribe Chess Today, go to

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