Check mates at chess event in Palmerstown Chess

by Aaron Dunne
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St Lorcan’s BNS, Palmerstown played host to Féile Fichille 2024.  In total 104 pupils attended from six different schools in the Dublin West area. 

Teams comprised of 8 pupils, from 5th and 6th class with the maximum number of teams a school could enter capped at 4. All schools were wearing their school jerseys, which added great colour to the event. After the introductions and housekeeping rules were taken care of by co-host Peter Graydon and arbiter John Loughrane proceedings got going at 10:00am. Six rounds of 20 minute games was the format of the féile. From early on it was evident that pupils had been practicing for quite some time. After just a few moves most players had castled and were in a good position to take control of the four centre squares.

A number of pupils tried to go for an early checkmate by trying to execute a scholar’s mate or fool’s mate, some were successful and others found themselves in a very vulnerable position after their surprise attack was snuffed out!!  As the tournament progressed pupils were paired against one another based on their ability, which made for a more competitive and fun day for all. Gaelscoil Inse Chór entered two teams (Na Capaill Culailte and Na Capaill Cantalacha) and were proven to be formidable adversaries. Esker Educate Together National School brought four teams total of 32 players and were not afraid to attack from anywhere on the board.

Players got a chance to pause for lunch after the fourth round and take a much needed break. Rounds 5 and 6 were tightly contested by all competitors. A checkmate or to win on points difference would be a huge boost for their team, going into the final straight. Gaelscoil Chluain and Mary Queen of Angles Ballyfermot put in a solid performance throughout the competition and were thoroughly rewarded for their hard work. Home teams St. Lorcans Knight, St. Lorcans Bishops and St. Lorcans Kings battled hard right to the end. Fine individual performances by Cayden Kileen, Daniel Kavanagh, Hugh Hughes Maloney, Dylan Ridgeway Kennedy and Phelim McDonnell helped to cap off an outstanding home school performance. The day was thoroughly enjoyed by all and we are looking forward to Féile Fichille 2025!

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