Connacht Championship

At a meeting held in the Royal Hotel, Galway on Saturday 6th October 1945 it was decided that a Connacht Branch of the Irish Chess Union be established, to institute Connacht championships and to select from these representatives to compete in the Irish Championships. A trophy for the Connacht championships was subsequently presented by J.J. O’Hanlon.

1946 Michael O’Donnell


The inaugural Connacht Championship commenced on 27th March with 14 players

1. Dr M. O’Donnell

1947 Michael O’Donnell

Galway CC
Commencing March

1. Dr M. O’Donnell
(10 competitors – P Diskin, F. Killeen, C. Copeland, Dr. O’Donnell, P. Keyes, L. O’Briain, J. Stewart, Dr. Walsh, P. Donagh, T. Flanagan)

1948 Michael O’Donnell

1. Dr M. O’Donnell
(14 competitors)

[While a number of sources name M. O’Donnell as the 1948 champion, no details of the final standings have been found. However the Connacht Tribune reported on 10 July that “Dr. M. McDonnell appears likely to win the Connacht Chess Championship … having a total of eleven points with one game to play. Next in order come F. Killeen, P. Diskin, J. Stewart, L. O Briain and D. O’Donnell …”]

1949 Robert Dundas

15-18 April (Easter weekend)
UCG Boardroom, Galway

1=3. R. Dundas, F. Killeen, P. Diskin 3.5/6
M. McDonnell 2.5
J. Stewart 2.0
(6 player all-play-all)

[A play-off was to be arranged by the Connacht Chess Council. Dundas subsequently referred to as the winner in the Connacht Tribune, so presumably he won the play-off]

1950 Pat Diskin

7-9 April (Easter weekend)

1. P.Diskin 4.0/5
J. Finnegan
R. Dundas (3rd on tie-break), F. Killen
5. M. McDonnell
C. Molloy
(6 player all-play-all)

1951 Pat Diskin

UCG, Galway

1. P.Diskin
C.P. Finnegan (a half-point behind)
Dermot O’Donnell
J. Finnegan
J. Stewart, M.A. Obluk 1.5
(6 player all-play-all)

1952 Pat Diskin

1=3. P. Diskin, J. Finnegan, J. Stewart
[Information supplied by the Honorary Secretary of the Connacht Chess Union to the Connacht Tribune in 1954 seems to imply that Diskin won the title on tie-break]

1953 Michael O’Donnell

1=2. Dr. M. O’Donnell, P. Diskin 4.0
(McDonnell winner on tie- break)

1954 Pat Diskin

Played in Sligo for the first time since its inception

1. P. Diskin
Dr M. O’Donnell

1955 Pat Diskin

UCG, Galway

1. P. Diskin 4.5
(Other competitors – M. May, M. Gaffney, J. Stewart, P. Keys, P.A. Donagh)

1956 Frank Killeen


1. F. Killeen


No information available

1960 Diarmuid McDaid

December 1959-January 1960

1. Diarmuid McDaid 4.0/5
Pat Diskin 3.5
Warwick Nash 3.0
Frank Killeen 2.0
Dick Barry 2.0
Player not known
(6 competitors)

1961 R.P. de Barra

Odeon Café, Galway

1. R.P de Barra 5.5/6
J. Scott, J. Stewart 2.5
D. McDaid , P. Diskin 2.0
D. Gavin 1.5
(6 competitors)


No information available


A meeting of the Connacht Chess Union on Sunday 28th April 1963 decided “in view of travel difficulties” the Connacht Championship would change from 1964 to a new format with both North and South Connacht holding championship contests with the winners in each section playing a match for the O’Hanlon Cup.

No information is available for those championships

1975 John Alfred

4-6 July

Open tournament into which a Connacht Championship was incorporated.

1. John Alfred 4.0/5
2. Christy Archer
3. M. O’Toole

1976 Herman Muellers

The O’Hanlon Cup must have been lost and/or replaced at some point because play was for the Reynolds Electronics Perpetual Trophy

1. Herman Muellers 7.0/7
2. Pat Diskin 5.5
Eunan Gallagher 4.5
4=5. Paddy Divilly, John Harhen 4.0
Frank Monaghan, Dr. M. McDonnell, Christy Archer, Gerry Howard 3.5


No information available

1978 Gerard McDonnell

UCG, Galway

1. Gerard McDonnell 7.0/7
Des Fanning, Harry Mannion 5.0
Herman Muellers 4.5
Aiden McDonnell, G. Joyce, F. Monaghan, Frank Noonan 4.0
(17 competitors)


Considering the dates of the 1978 (December) and 1980 (February) Championships, probably no Championship held in the calendar year

1980 Joseph McDonnell

24-26 February

1-2. Joseph McDonnell, Ger McDonnell 5.0/6
(Joseph McDonnell winner on tie-break) 
Bob Long 4.5
4. John Barrett (one source gives Farrell instead) 4.0
5=6. E. Gallagher, N. Carty 3.5

1981 Joseph McDonnell

Allergan Pharmaceuticals, Westport
14-15 February

1-3. Joseph McDonnell, Des Fanning, Ger McDonnell 5.0/6
(Joseph McDonnell won on tie-break)
4. P. Millett 4.5
5. D. Baird 4.0

1982 Gerard McDonnell

Allergan Pharmaceuticals, Westport
27-28 February

1-2. G. McDonnell, A. Lillis
(McDonnell won title on tie-break)
D. Fanning

1983 Gerard McDonnell

Travellers’ Friend Hotel, Castlebar

1=4. David Baird, Ger O’Donnell, Joe O’Donnell, Pearse O’Donnell 4.0/5
(According to one report, Ger O’Donnell won on tie-break) (16 competitors)

1984 Joseph McDonnell

Heritage Hotel, Tuam

1. Joe McDonnell 5.0/5
David Baird, John Barrett

1985 Alan Millett

Heritage Hotel, Tuam

1. Alan Millett 5.0/5
Joe McDonnell, Gerry McDonnell, Niall McDonnell, Trevor Hunter 4.0

1986 Joseph McDonnell

UCG, Galway
19-20 April

1. J. McDonnell 5.0/5
2=4. T. McNally, K. O’Connor, G. McDonnell 4.0

1987 Tom McNally

UCG, Galway
21-22 February

1. Tom McNally

1988 Alan Millett, Des Fanning

Railway Hotel, Westport

1=2. A. Millett, D. Fanning 5.0
(No information available about tie-break)
T. Hunter 4.5
M. Gilvarry, K. Menrad, D. Baird 4.0

1989 Trevor Hunter

3-5 March

1. T. Hunter 6.0/6
A. Lillis 4.5
M. Gilvarry, J. McDonnell, J. Hensey, N. McDonnell 4.0


Great Southern Hotel, Sligo
4-6 May

No results available

1991 Des Fanning

Galway Bridge Centre
6-7 April

1. Des Fanning 5.0
Joe McDonnell 4.0
Myles Gilvarry 4.0
Trevor Hunter 4.0


No information available

1995 Jerome Sheehan, Alan Lillis


1=2. Jerome Sheehan, Alan Lillis 5.0/6
(No information available about tie-break)
3=4. Trevor Hunter, Lorcan O’Toole, Tom McNally 4.5


Travellers’ Friend Hotel, Castlebar
14-16 June

No results available

1997 Marcel Castricum

7-9 March

1. M. Castricum 6.0/6
2=3. T. McNally, J. Sheahan 4.0

1998 Thorsten Zehrfeld

November 21-22

1. Thorsten Zehrfeld 4.5/5
Paul Reynolds 4.0
A Lillis, L. O’Toole  3.5

1999 Lorcan O’Toole

November 20-21

1. Lorcan O’Toole 5/6
Rory Quinn, Alan Lillis, Trevor Hunter 4.5

2000 David Path

Daly’s Hotel, Castlebar
October 20-22

1. Dave Path 5.5/6
Ronan Duke, 5.0
John Loughran, 4.5
Rory Quinn, Lorcan O’Toole, Shannon Clements, Pearse McDonnell 4.0
Pat Fahy, Joe McDonnell, Niall McDonnell, John Kelly, Alan Lillis, Kieran McNally, Colin MacSweeny 3.5
John Hensey, Trevor Hunter, William O’Keefe, Brian Duffy 3.0
19=22. Brendan O’Dowd, John Bourke, Kieran Hanley, Sean McHugh 2.5
23=26. Fintan Murphy, Richard Martin, Killian Gavin, Conor McCormack 2.0
27=29. Niall McHale, Robert Frost, Andrew Flood 1.5
David Baird 1.0
Jarlath Sweeney 0.0


No information available

2012 Yuri Rochev

The report by the organisers on the Galway Congress stated: ”The revived Connaught Champion trophy, for the highest placed Connaught player, went to Yury Rochev, half a point ahead of Phillip Short.”

2013 Philip Short

Philip Short awarded Connacht title as highest-placed eligible player in the Galway Open.

2014 Philip Short

Philip Short awarded Connacht title as highest-placed eligible player in the Galway Open.

2015 No Championship

2016 Philip Short

Philip Short awarded Connacht title as highest-placed eligible player in the Galway Open.

2017 Philip Short

Philip Short awarded Connacht title as highest-placed eligible player in the Galway Open.

2018 Denis Ruchko

Connaught Chess Festival
Shearwater Hotel, Ballinasloe
23-25 March

Entry to this Congress was not restricted to players from the province. The highest placed eligible player in each section was awarded the title of Connaught Champion.

1=3. Sean McLoughlin, Zalan Nemeth, Denis Ruchko 3.5
(Ruchko – Connaught Senior Champion, after beating Nemeth 2.0-1.0 in blitz tie-break; McLoughlin not eligible for the title)
4. Thomas Dunne Jnr. 3.0
5=6. George O’Brien, Niall O’Shea 2.5
7=9. David Remenyik, Vjekoslav Novak, Kenneth Higgins 2.0
10. Paul O’Donovan 1.0


One response to “Connacht Championship

  1. Christy Archer

    I have a record of a game played against Diarmuid McDaid on May 23rd 1965. He won. I have written Connacht Championship 1965 and have put Holder after McDaid,s name.So he was Connacht Champion in 1964.I will search to see if get the result of the 1965 championship.It is a long time ago !.

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