Monthly Archives: December 2014

Housekeeping

I am in the process of making a few changes to the layout of Irish Chess History.

  • The “Archive” section will now be the home for any feature-length articles and the tournaments previously listed there have been moved to “Discontinued”.
  • The Congresses section has been renamed “Current” to give (hopefully) a more obvious dovetailing with “Discontinued”.
  • The “International” section has been renamed “Landmark” – so many Irish events have an international dimension nowadays and the aim of the section is now (again hopefully) clearer.
  • The “ICU” section has been renamed “Official” to reflect a broadening in the events contained there. The ICU-organised events can still be found in the “Official” section but will be joined by events organised by predecessor bodies and also by national bodies with a wider remit than just chess.

Please bear with me (and any broken links that might appear) while I get through this task. The good news is that a number of additional events will receive coverage in these pages in the near future. Also some of the older events already listed will have extra material.

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Munster League 1947-1948

In my recently added page on the Munster League Division 1, I indicated that the Munster Leagues in their present form of a single province-wide League seem to date from season 1987-1988. For many years previously they had been played in regional sections with winners playing off for the title. However when the Munster Leagues were first played 67 years ago, the format was remarkably similar to the current set-up, albeit on a slightly more modest scale.

For the inaugural championship four teams entered with six players per team. The away team received the White pieces on the odd-numbered boards and there was to be a 3 hour playing session with unfinished games to be adjudicated. The three rounds of competition were scheduled as follows:

Round 1 (to be played by 13th December 1947)

Cork CYMS (Home) -v-  Bellevue (Cork)
Limerick (Home)  -v-  Kilfinane

Round 2 (to be played by 11th January 1948)

Kilfinane (Home) -v-  Cork CYMS 
Limerick (Home)  -v-  Bellevue 

Round 3 (to be played by 1st February 1948)

Cork CYMS (Home) -v-  Limerick
Bellevue (Home)  -v-  Kilfinane 

Play in the first two rounds was completed within the time allowed and such was the impact made by the new tournament that the Cork Examiner was already predicting it would become an annual event.

Round 1

Limerick       5.0-1.0 Kilfinane
A. Bourke        1-0   P. Hennessy
G.A. Lynch       1-0   V. Condon
J.E. Hayes       1-0   J. Hanley
P. Hayes         1-0   J. O'Regan
C. Quinn         1-0   W. Lundon
L. Despard       0-1   J. Finn

Bellevue       3.5-2.5 Cork CYMS
J. Ambrose       =-=   C. O'Leary (adj)
A. Martin        1-0   J. Gilroy
J. Casey         1-0   M. O'Shaughnessy
E. Keniry        0-1   D. Heelan
M. O'Halloran    1-0   M. McNally
A. McM. Kavanagh 0-1   D. O'Sullivan

Round 2

Kilfinane      3.5-2.5  Cork CYMS
J.J. Ryan        0-1    C. O'Leary
V. Condon        =-=    D. Heelan
J. Hanley        1-0    J. Gilroy
P. Hennessy      0-1    M. McNally
W. Lundon        1-0    M. O'Shaughnessy
J. Finn          1-0    D. O'Sullivan

Limerick       3.5-2.5  Bellevue
A. Bourke        1-0    J. Ambrose
G.A. Lynch       =-=    A. Martin
J.E. Hayes       1-0    E. Keniry
P. Hayes         =-=    J. Casey
C. Quinn         =-=    F. O'Halloran
P. McEvoy        0-1    P.B. Kennedy 

At opposite ends of the team lists in the Limerick-Bellevue match were two future Irish champions: Austin Bourke had already carved out a strong reputation, having played for Ireland in the 1935 Olympiad in Warsaw. He would go on to win the 1951 Irish Championship. On the other hand, 18-year-old Paddy Kennedy was taking his first steps at this level but he beat Bourke to the Irish title when winning in Galway with a 100% score only 18 months after his board 6 outing here.

Going into the final round, Limerick had scored four match points, with victories over Bellevue and Kilfinance, with these two equal second, having both beaten Cork CYMS.

With both Cork teams at home for the final round of matches, the opportunity was taken to make this something of a gala occasion. At 7.30pm on Saturday 31st January 1948 all four teams sat down in the Scala Restaurant in Cork to decide the destination of the title before “a big gathering of chess enthusiasts” (Cork Examiner). The chess adminstrators were busy too – the Munster Chess Union AGM was held alongside the 64-square action.

Round 3

Cork CYMS      3.0-3.0  Limerick
C. O'Leary       0-1    A. Bourke
M. McNally       =-=    J.E. Hayes
D. Heelan        0-1    G.A. Lynch
D. O'Sullivan    1-0    P. Hayes
M. Hegarty       =-=    C. Quinn
M. O'Shaughnessy 1-0    L. Despard

Bellevue       3.5-2.5  Kilfinane
A. Martin        0-1    J.J. Ryan
J. Ambrose       1-0    V. Condon
E. Keniry        =-=    J. Hanley
J. Casey         1-0    W. Lundon
F. O'Halloran    0-1    J. O'Regan
P.B. Kennedy     1-0    J. Finn

When the smoke of battle had cleared, Cork CYMS had finally put a point on the board by holding leaders Limerick to a drawn match but this was enough for the North Munster team to claim the title. Bellevue edged past Kilfinane to take the runner-up spot in the final standings.

Final standings
                 P  W  D  L     Points    Pts    
1. Limerick      3  2  1  0  11.5 -  6.5  5
2. Bellevue      3  2  0  1   9.5 -  8.5  4
3. Kilfinane     3  1  0  2   7.0 - 11.0  2
4. Cork CYMS     3  0  1  2   8.0 - 10.0  1

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