The tournament was held in Drogheda for the first, and so far only, time ever. The turnout was excellent for a non-Dublin venue at 18 players, including 5 former champions, and was hard-fought with the result in doubt until the end. The late Tom Clarke had a clear lead with two rounds to play, but lost the critical round 8 game against Colm Daly, who won again in the last round to record his second consecutive championship, with Clarke in clear second.
There were many interesting games, but one that particularly caught my eye was the penultimate round game between John Nicholson and Peter Cafolla. After some eventful play, the following position was reached, with White to play. How should the game continue with best play?
I confess I did not find this too easy, and I was taken by surprise by engine analysis, which seems to me to be not too obvious. I think it’s a good exercise and readers are encouraged to give it some serious thought.