Korneev Wins 2017 Galway Congress
GM Oleg Korneev has won the 2017 Galway congress ahead of IM Alex Lopez after they drew in the last round. This left Korneev with 5 out of 6 points and Lopez with 4.5 from 6. Korneev also drew wth GM Baburin previously while Lopez defeated Baburin the round after he (Lopez) had lost to IM Mark Heidenfeld, who in turn, then lost to Korneev and then drew with Baburin and Philip Short.
GM Baburin and Im Craig Pritchett came joint 3rd on 4/6 with the grading prize being won by Peter Cafolla who was not happy about his grading prize being reduced to 50 Euros and so he went public with comments about this, but which also praised the tournament.
Peter Cafolla wrote:
The Galway chess congress was, as always,very well organised and very enjoyable and the Masters section in particular had a very strong (if disappointingly small) field. So small in fact that the advertised grading prize of 250 euro turned out to be only a paltry fifty euro. I can understand that the 250 was “subject to entries” but an 80% reduction?????????? !6 played in the Masters so presumably for the 250 to have been paid the entry would have had to reach 80. There has never been eighty entries in the Galway Masters (or Kilkenny or Bunratty for that matter) and the organisers were well aware of this fact when they advertised the 250 prize. At best it was false advertising. The prizes for the winners were also reduced but nowhere near by the amount of the grading prizes. Galway is not the only tournament to advertise unrealistic prizes, it is something that the ICU should look at as they provide a certain amount of sponsorship for tournaments run in Ireland.
The tournament organizer and arbiter Pete Morris responded with further information and explanations for some of the features and developments for the congress.
Pete Morris wrote:
First, two facts. The winners of all place-prizes (first, second, and third) received the full amount advertized. The ICU has provided no sponsorship to the Galway Congress since 2014.
The amount allocated to grading prizes was indeed reduced, to reflect the fact that the number of entries was lower than the number on which we had budgeted (which was a realistic number as we had exceeded it in 2014; in that year we paid out more in grading prizes than the amount we had advertized). The number of entries was particularly disappointing in the Masters section, so that took a larger cut than the other two sections. If the numbers in the Masters had been (say) 50, then there would have been three or four grading prizes, none of which would have exceeded €100, so we mainly reduced the number of grading prizes rather than their size. It should be fairly obvious that with only ten paying entries to the Masters this year, only two of whom paid over €30, a prize fund for that section of €950 (as was paid out this year) is insanely generous.
All that said, thank you for your kind assessment of the tournament, grading prizes apart. A full report, including a full list of prize winners, will be posted on our website shortly
Further comments were exchanged in which Peter Cafolla added the following:
Peter Cafolla wrote:
I fully understand why the prizes had to be reduced but the low entry was known well in advance so the advertised prizes could have been adjusted on the website beforehand to give a more accurate reflection of what was on offer. I am delighted to win a grading prize no matter what the value but to wait for the presentation and open an envelope expecting at least 100 euro and possibly 250 and find a cheque for only fifty was disappointing to say the least.
I have won prizes in three of my last four visits to the Galway Congress, two grading prizes and a shared second so it is still by far my most profitable tournament regardless of cutbacks.
The venue was great,as were the playing conditions and the quality of the field. I hope next year that more people will support what is an excellent event.
Another response to which was the following:
Pete Morriss wrote:
Thank you again for your (now slightly amplified) praise for the tournament, and we do of course hope that your comments will encourage more people to play in 2018: if they do then we will be able to pay out all our advertised grading prizes – or, indeed, even more – in which case the one complaint which you have will be solved. And we are glad that Galway has been a good hunting ground for you.
However, this passage: Originally Posted by Peter Cafolla
… the low entry [to the Masters section] was known well in advance so the advertised prizes could have been adjusted on the website beforehand …
really is nonsense. We never have any idea how many people will enter in the last few days: in some years we have had nearly half our entries in the final 48 hours. It makes no sense to calculate and announce the grading prize structure in advance, and then recalculate it every day as more entries come in; and to do that would not be particularly helpful to potential entrants. And, since we now display the list of entrants and update that daily, anybody knowledgeable about how tournaments work would know that with few entrants the grading prizes on offer are likely to be reduced. Whilst I understand that it was a bit of a shock to open the envelope after your good performance and see less than you expected, that was in large part a consequence of unrealistic expectations.
People can draw their own conclusions from these exchanges. Also, while there were other comments made within this thread on a public website forum out there on the web, they were of no real value, relevance or insight and made by people not in attendance at the Galway congress, or did’t know much about what they were commenting about anyway.
Details about the other sections of the weekend congress, aside from the small top section, are sparse at the moment, but full details will be posted on Galway Congress Event Website soon enough.