The European School Chess Championships will make history in June 2024 as the first European chess championships to be held in Ireland. The tournament, which is expected to attract 300 to 400 young chess players from across Europe, will take place at the University of Limerick (UL) from 30th May to 8th June 2024.
The Irish Chess Union (ICU) won the bid to host this major chess tournament against four other countries, with the support of UL, Limerick City & County Council, Failte Ireland and the Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau. Securing this event is a major milestone in the development of chess in Ireland particularly schools and youth chess and demonstrates the ICU’s unwavering commitment to promoting the game nationwide and Ireland as a chess destination for future events.
Over 300 talented children, aged between 5 and 16 years, from all corners of Europe are anticipated to participate in the European School Chess Championships and will be joined by family, coaches and supporters. The games will be broadcast live to spectators around the world on Twitch TV and online.
The decision to bring the European School Chess Championships to Ireland reflects the unprecedented growth the game has experienced since the pandemic. Chess has proven to be a source of fun and intellectual stimulation for individuals of all ages and can help improve concentration. As a result, the promotion of chess in schools has increased significantly most notably in the classroom following continuous professional development (CPD) courses for primary school teachers now realising the benefits of chess in education, notably in social skills and critical thinking.
Limerick as host city is fitting as it’s home to Diana Mirza who claimed the World Schools Under-17 Chess Championship in 2017.
Welcoming the announcement on behalf of Limerick City and County, Cllr Joe Pond, said “The University of Limerick, renowned for its state-of-the-art facilities and commitment to excellence in education, will provide the perfect setting to ignite the minds of these young chess players. I would like to congratulate the Irish Chess Union on winning the bid and their appreciation for the assets and facilities that Limerick has to offer to international tournaments.”
Desmond Beatty, Chairperson, Irish Chess Union, said “We are delighted to announce that the European School Chess Championships will take place in Ireland for the first time. Building on the success of both Glorney Cup and Chessmates internationals, this is a remarkable opportunity for us to showcase Ireland’s thriving chess community, promote the growth of the game, and provide an unforgettable experience for participants and spectators alike.”
“This is a first for Ireland, but hopefully not the last. I encourage local people and businesses to get behind this event and actively support these bright young minds. There will be opportunities to support the overall tournament and individual students,” he continued.
Speaking on behalf of UL Conference & Sports Campus, David Ward said “Attracting the European School Chess Championships to UL highlights the success of our one stop model with accommodation, catering and venues on site. We look forward to setting the stage for a thrilling tournament in June 2024 and hope that many memorable moments will unfold.”
Karen Brosnahan, General Manager, Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau, said “We are delighted to see the European School Chess Championships coming to Limerick. This is testament to the collaborative efforts of UL, Failte Ireland, Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau and Limerick City and County Council working together to promote Limerick as a host city and developing strong relationships with the sporting bodies and event organisers. Tournaments like this are highly lucrative, contributing significantly to the local economy.”
About Irish Chess Union
The Irish Chess Union, patron Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, is the governing body of chess in Ireland and is affiliated to the World Chess Federation (FIDE) and the European Chess Union. In this capacity it has the sole responsibility to nominate individual players and teams to represent Ireland in international chess tournaments or events organised under the auspices of these bodies. The Irish Chess Union is over 100 years old. See www.icu.ie for more.