St Patrick's from Mayo kings of the castle


A NEW use has been found for The Irish Times Game of the Year chess perpetual trophy, recently found in the polishing room at Weirs jewellers on Dublin’s Grafton Street. A small silver trophy, it had been left in for engraving 50 years ago but was never picked up.

It used to be awarded to the best Irish chess player, or a chess player in Ireland, with the last winner inscribed on it in 1962. That was Dr Vincent Maher (82), now in Stockport.

Following reports of the trophy’s discovery at Weirs, a group called Chess For All, which runs free nationwide chess-education programmes for schoolchildren, asked whether it might be available to them as a perpetual prize.

Its chairman Michael Crowe contacted Allan Kilpatrick of Weirs and the editor of The Irish Times Kevin O’Sullivan, and they agreed to make it available.

Funded by the Community Foundation of Ireland, the first Chess For All national finals took place in Dublin at the weekend.

Winners were children from St Patrick’s National School in Castlebar, Co Mayo. Their prize was €300, four chess clocks and four chess sets. Their names will be inscribed on the perpetual trophy. As many as 50 schools took part in the finals, involving an estimated 180 children.

Thanking Weirs and The Irish Times last night, Mr Crowe explained that Chess For All was one year old and conducted chess lectures over six-week periods in schools across the State, with an emphasis on disadvantaged areas.