Nearly 200 competitors from all over Ireland and the UK took part in the HP Galway Chess Open 2008 which was run by the Galway chess club last weekend in the Salthill Hotel.
The tournament, which was sponsored by Hewlett-Packard and Fáilte Ireland West, had a prize fund of €4,000. The top section in the tournament was won by Yury Rochev from NUI, Galway. Mr Rochev took away the €750 first prize by finishing ahead of the Russian chess master, Alex Baburin, in what was a very successful weekend.
Mr Rochev is a senior researcher in biomedical science in NUIG and was formerly deputy director of the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics in Moscow. He only plays chess as a hobby but still managed to win against professional opponents.
In the largest section, which excluded the professionals, the final matches was between two NUI Galway students, Mark Monahan and Agilan Nagarajah, with Mr Nagarajah taking the trophy. Other Galway prize winners in this section were Jacob Walshe from Ballinasloe and Alan Delahunty from Barna.
The Galway Chess Club meets on Thursdays from 8pm at the Galway Bridge Centre. See www.galwaychess.net for more information.