Des Martin wins the 2022/23 club championship

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The Naomh Barróg club championship 2022/23 has come to a close and Des Martin is the clear winner after an unbeaten run of 5 wins in 5 games. Four players came joint second with 3.5 points out of 5: Paul Fitzpatrick, Austin Blake, Suzanne Barry and Harry Howard. In total, 17 players took part in the championship.


To commemorate his victory, I asked Des a few short questions.

Could you start by introducing yourself?

My name is Desmond Martin and I was born in 1960 in Rathangan, Co Kildare.

How did you pick up chess and get involved with Naomh Barróg?

I learned to play chess in school when I was in 6th class by watching other boys play. We were all influenced by the Fischer-Spassky World Championship which was in the news at the time. I started playing in Malahide in 1983 which later joined with Portmarnock to form the Southern Cross Chess Club. I stopped playing for about ten years for family reasons and came back to play in Portmarnock. Having played for a few years, I then came to Naomh Barróg with Suzanne.

What do you like most about chess?

What I like about chess is the like minded people I get to meet, both in the club and playing leagues and tournaments. I have many friends from around the country who I meet at tournaments and we can spend hours discussing all things chess.

Was there any game or moment in a game, from this year’s club championship that was particularly memorable?

All the rounds that I played were memorable, but the one that sticks out was my round 3 game against Austin. It was a tight and hard fought game, and was drawishish all the way through till near the end, when I found a cheeky check which won a piece. Austin beat me in the final round of the Leinster Championships about ten years ago when we were both going for big prizes, so it was nice to finally beat him.

What do you put your success down to you? What skill gave you the edge to win the championship?

I have spent some time in the last few months studying endgames and that paid off as most of my championship games went to the endgame.


The final standings of the club championship are:

Des Martin5
Paul Fitzpatrick3.5
Austin Blake3.5
Suzanne Barry3.5
Harry Howard3.5
Gerard Keogh3
Gary Wright3
Paddy Byrne2.5
Sean Waldron2.5
Seamus Bannon2.5
John Carroll2.5
Martin Currie2
Robert Nielsen2
Tom Hegarty2
Frank Keogh2
Eveann Nolan1
Ray Fitzpatrick1