B. E. A. Cup

The recent posts about the Branagan Cup reminded me that there are many other competitions that we haven’t gotten around to covering here yet. At the final day of the Leinster Leagues this year, I was taken aback when I was asked if the intention was to cover the top competitions only: nothing could be further from the truth!

A new page has been added for the B. E. A. Cup, division 5 of the Leinster Leagues. This dates back to 1972:

“The British European Airways perpetual chess challenge cup was presented to the Leinster Chess Union at a reception in the Collegians’ clubrooms, Donnybrook, last night, by Mr. James Dunne, chief sales representative of B.E.A.

… The BEA Cup has an entry of 26 teams and play in this contest will continue until March.”

Irish Times (Thursday) November 23, 1972, p. 5.

That’s quite an initial entry list! Of course this was immediately after the Fischer-Spassky match and at the all-time height of chess interest in Ireland. (The Branagan Cup dates to the same era: its first round was held on February 14, 1973, with a similarly huge entry, though that first competition didn’t finish until 1974.)

Though I never played in the B. E. A. Cup myself, I do have a connection, as my father played in it. From the Irish Times (Wednesday) November 13, 1974, p. 4, a third-round match in the B. E. A. Cup (Central), played at St. George’s Quay:

Caissa “B” E. S. B.
D. Doyle adj. G. Meeghan
J. Power 0 – 1 A. Higgins
B. Doyle ½ – ½ E. Clancy
J. Burke 1 – 0 C. Kavanagh
J. Bowes 1 – 0 J. McCarthy
P. Guiney 0 – 1 K. Coffey
2½ – 2½
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