Off The Chest

This page is for comments ideas or general gripes that are worth discussing or probably just laughing at.

All comments will be deleted as we change topics, nothing personal just the way it is.


57 Responses to Off The Chest

  1. Sorry folks we are closed for the Holidays, see you all in two weeks or thereabouts

  2. Baseball says:

    Rather a long holiday….

  3. Ted Jennings IA says:

    Have all you guys gone to sleep up there?
    Please wake up as “Bunratty” is looming!
    Check the web site to see just how many GMs are falling over each other to play!
    Of course we welcome our non GM friends from up north to our 25th. Birthday party!!
    Considered this an invitation from your white haired friend, Ted.

  4. Hammer says:

    looking forward to seeing you crack a smile Ted

  5. Stephen Scannell says:

    Hi everyone and Happy Belated New Year! I can’t believe the league is at its halfway point.
    It seems like y’day when Queens pulled out at the last minute and the many young players
    on their teams were left fending for themselves to find other teams or else just playing
    in tourneys. Speaking of which, I havnt seen anything on the Williamson Shield?
    I can only assume it will take place the last weekend of this month. But for those of us with families and bosses at work to notify weeks ahead of time I guess I’ll have to miss it again this year.
    Thanks UCU.

    • Queen's Indian says:

      Hi Steve, the Williamson is scheduled to take place on the 23rd,24th and 25th of March (weekend after St. Patrick’s day). The venue is yet to be confirmed but it’ll most likely be the Students Union (it can only be booked a few weeks before the date).

  6. Baseball says:

    What is going on in local chess? What is the agenda? What is the spin?

    We have recently had several puff pieces published which play fast and very loose with a reality acceptable to majority of free thinkers…..

    The awards? Laughable. Better get some ink for that colour printer. Certificates much more affordable that those paperweight plastic trophies.

    The super match, or was it a mega match? Certainly a historical re-write of current student troubles. Those players who got their club into this mess, now moonlighting with other clubs of good standing while the students languish, should be ashamed.

    And then, to top it off with a sprinkling of sugar, some nonsense about the constituent parts. Did anyone else realise that players were ‘on loan’ for the season? Lies, damned lies… etc.

    And then the unending, gushing praise for the current incumbent. Remarkable in its unrelenting, incessant nature, considering the two loathe each other.

  7. Baseball says:

    Could this be a long run up to a presidential run?

    With one nutter already installed elsewhere, it would not be hard to see how the democratic process could be undermined by a propaganda machine in full flow. How else to explain the misrepresentation of local ills as a just another day in paradise.

    We have had it too good for too long. Some might remember the dark ages of argument, skulduggery and sleight of hand when the organisation was close to collapse. Out of the smouldering embers an underappreciated few made it great again.

    Now, when the ship is steady and steaming onwards, up comes an entity on the outside ready to assume control and take advantage of the hard work and good deeds of others.

    It would not be the first time a lightweight, good time Charlie will have been seduced by the honour of holding high office, only to realise that when the lights die and the applause recedes hard unglamorous elbow grease is required.

    Will they be found wanting, as before?

  8. Ah Christ that’s it I’m away to hide for a while, it’s like standing beside a drunk with a lit candle searching for a gas leak!

  9. Stephen Scannell says:

    Hiya Baseball. Locally the only action is at the Strand.
    The same old slow organising and advertising of rated tourneys continues.
    With exception of Ulster Seniors. Different year same probs.

  10. Stephen Scannell says:

    Okay make the Williamson on the weekend of Feb 17 and 18th and I can play. It won’t conflict with Gonzaga and a good warmup for the Bunratty crowd. Com’n UCU wake up and catch up with Mark Newman’s excellent work. While he’s controlling today he already has his 10th Feb tourney advertised.

  11. Baseball says:

    The lights are on, but nobody’s home…

    Can anyone name who is in charge? In days of yore, with a stable executive board filled with competence and steadiness, members would be assured that the event calendar would be mapped out for the season in advance. A satisfactory way of running an organisation.

    Fast forward to the present, and what do we find? A collective lacking in so many areas of fortitude and ability. Seemingly the only thing they are skilled at is bringing their leadership to book. The public fall out due from this episode will be a sight to behold!

  12. Stephen Scannell says:

    Thanks Queen’s Indian. I will make plans to play in March. My life is complete. LoL.

  13. Stephen Scannell says:

    I see the Ulster Team Rapidplay Championships has just been advertised on UCU site. It looks like a cool event. However, with only two and a half weeks notice before its date of 3rd of Feb its too late for me to go. This is frustrating for me. My little girls Birthday party at a soft play venue with ten of her mates has been organized for the same day with a month’s notice. Wake up people! Those with Families and jobs need to know sooner.

  14. Baseball says:

    Don’t worry, while it was just advertised on the official organ, details have been available from other sources for quite a while.

    I refer to the post above and say again: ‘who is in charge?’. It seems the organisation is being run from the outside. I have no idea if the upcoming event is an officially endorsed UCU event, or more puff from the ‘gee golly gosh’ brigade masquerading as official.

    In these days of propaganda outside (and a lack of organisation inside) the hierarchy it is time to drain the swamp at the upcoming AGM.

  15. Nick says:

    I have just heard the sad news of the passing of one of our great characters of the Ulster chess scene Alex Beckett. I remember him running various tournaments including the fwick one which I played in. Rip

  16. Stephen Morgan says:

    Sad news about Alex Becket, an absolute gentleman and a giant in Ulster chess circles. Ironically he falls into that category of people who are gentlemen who play explosive chess, Alan Burns was exactly the same and Richard Proctor to name but a few.

  17. NI chess fan says:

    Any update on the Queen’s situation? Has any agreement been made to see the students return to the league next season?

  18. Stephen Scannell says:

    I’m deeply sorry to have just read about the passing of Mr Alex Beckett. A true gentleman if there ever was one. How tireless a worker he was for Ulster Chess and a friend to us all as we were to him. On one of my trips over before I took up residence in ’95 my then Brother In Law told me of a chess player living on Malone Rd. He then arranged for me to meet him at his home. That evening was my first meeting with Alex.I never met such a kind and personable gentleman. To let this strange Yank into his home without locking anything away was a good sign of trust. Ha! Ha! He spoke of Ulster chess past and present and how proud he was of his son Rodger for accomplishing so much in chess. I think Rodger was just away to Uni in Scotland at that time. When I did take up residence, one of my first tournaments was controlled by the great man. I remember how meticulous he was doing parings in those days of index cards and how he managed to listen careful and make a judgement if ever there was a dispute. He cared for all of us as we cared for him as he gave up his playing time to control oh so many competitions An average year would consist of the Fisherwick winter tourney and club nights, the Civil Service Summer tourney and of course The Ulster Seniors during the Xmas holiday. We were all truly blessed to have known such a man and God Bless You Sir Alex.

    • Hammer says:

      He was truly one of the greats of Ulster,,one of the finest gentlemen ive ever known,,i will never forget him,,and furthermore,,as an everlasting tribute to him,,i would propose that the Ulster Champion trophy should be named in his honour,,how about it Mr.President??

    • collesystemc says:

      I first met Alex in 1989 outside Methody for a my first chess tournament, a rapid play. As I approached the hall Alex in a quite soft and melodeous tone looked at me held out his hand and said. “Hello you must be Mr McCaughey” For some 30 seconds I was speechless. Who is this man ? A soft cultured voice with a warm welcome to a complete stranger ??? After around a minute I asked him in a puzzled voice, “How do you know me”? “Oh”, he said I recognise Robert’s son”. My father had not played chess or been in chess circles since around 1973. WOW
      I knew Alex for quite a long while, as a chess player, however, much more a true gentleman. A man I simply loved having conversations with.
      Alex I will always remember as a friend and true gentleman our small chess community. He will be sadly missed.

  19. Stephen Scannell says:

    I agree Hammer, The Alex Beckett Cup is an excellent idea.

    • Hammer says:

      thanks Stephen,,now lets make it happen everybody,,talk is cheap,,action speaks louder than words,,he deserves to be honoured

  20. Stephen Scannell says:

    Colle System your father Robert was also a true gentleman that I was proud to call my friend. God Bless Robert as well.

  21. Stephen Scannell says:

    Will Dina the Woman’s GM who’s giving an upcoming simul v all the prize winners be playing in Bunratty as well? Just curious.

  22. Stephen Scannell says:

    Ha!Ha! Will all the prize winners get a free entry to Bunratty? LoL.

  23. Stephen Scannell says:

    Oh okay I see. Thanks for explaining. It’s just to have thirteen free entrants in a thirty board simul seems too many to me. To take nothing away from their achievements but one or two would have more importance and be less costly to the sponsor.

  24. Hammer says:

    I refer to the suggestion of a trophy named in honour of Alex Beckett,,no response,,the sound of silence is deafening,,,such a shame

  25. Stephen Scannell says:

    Yes a memorial trophy in Alex’s name would have to be run past the UCU Board or else under a motion at this summer’s AGM. If donations for such a prize are req’d then count me in. A suitable tournament will have to be found for it.

  26. Stephen Scannell says:

    Yes the Ulster Champion’s Cup or another prestigious tourney would be suitable in memory of Alex. This would have to be run by the UCU board or else
    brought up as a motion at this summer’s AGM. If donations are req’d then count me in.

  27. Stephen Scannell says:

    Oops that went through twice. Well I meant it.
    I imagine that the large numbers of Ulster participants playing in Bunratty will continue in a couple of weeks. Good luck to all of you and kick some butt.

  28. Stephen Scannell says:

    Yes that trophy of Alex’s sounds familiar B’nafeigh but for the life of me I can’t remember m8. How embarrassing! Looking through Brendan’s Chess NI I don’t see it. Could you please enlighten me? My guess would be a Fisherwick tourney.

  29. Stephen, you are half right. There are actually 2 trophies named after Alex Beckett. One was the Fisherwick Tournament, which you won in 2004. The other is now awarded to the winner of the Ulster Masters but originally it was the trophy for the Ulster Matchplay. See these links for your two wins:

    and (scroll down to the bottom of the article)

    That’s a serious memory loss you’ve got there.

  30. Stephen Scannell says:

    Thanks very much Irish Chess History for that trip down memory lane. Yea these days I just try to remember whether I brushed the wee ones teeth before they nodded off. Ha! Ha! Nick, you and I have that busy street syndrome. I still don’t wanna be black in a KID against you.

  31. Stephen Scannell says:

    Oh no Nick that means I gotta face 1e4. Yuk!

  32. Stephen Morgan says:

    Question for Irish chess history, having played at Strand last Friday (less said about that the better), do you know where Strandtown Chess club was based?

    • If its a quiz I’ll take a punt at Bangor

    • Hi Stephen
      I presume you are referring to the old Strandtown Chess Club, founded in 1892. It met at first in Strandtown school-house (not sure of the connection, if any, between it and the current-day Strandtown Primary School) before moving after a couple of years to “Tedford’s rooms” (don’t know precisely where this was). However in the 1920s the club meetings were in Strandtown Hall at Gelston’s Corner (the building is still there and is diagonally opposite the Strand cinema, where the modern club meets.

  33. sirflashman says:

    congratulations to Martin Kelly who’s game was published in the times chess column today!

    A curiosity in this year’s
    Bunratty tournament was the
    game Martin Kelly-Desmond
    Martin, which went 1 e4 c6 2
    d4 d5 3 Nc3 dxe4 4 Nxe4 Nd7
    5 Qe2 Ngf6 (5 … Ndf6 is fine) 6
    Nd6 mate. This is the quickest
    win in 25 years at Bunratty.

  34. Hammer says:

    Many congrats to Muldoons,,Div 1 Champs,,well deserved,,by far the best team this year,despite the Pretenders being put in their place,,,lolol

  35. Stephen Scannell says:

    Yes congratulations to Muldoon’s for winning Div 1. How many is that?

  36. Stephen Scannell says:

    Yes both teams have had good runs. We at BNF 1 took stumble this season. The two Strand teams are strong but if they put their top rated players together then look out.

    • Nick says:

      Strand when everyone available have the strongest line up. If Gabor plays for them next season they are the team to beat. Their youngsters shooting up the rankings.

  37. Stephen Scannell says:

    Hi everyone. I had entered this past tourney at Fruithill on Saturday but had to give it a miss cause I had emergency surgery for an ailing hernia with my stomach. I’m home now and feeling better. I thought facing 1.d4 was tough?! Sorry I missed some of the ol RVH Club gang that were there.

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