The draw is as follows –
|4||John Healy (3)||1852||v||2||Pawel Madynski (3½)||1931|
|1||Gerry O’Connell (3)||2015||v||7||Kevin Burke (3)||1694|
|3||Zdravko Manojlovic (3)||1874||v||23||Desmond Beatty (3)||1199|
|15||Eddie Gahan (2½)||1396||v||13||Odhrán McDonnell (2½)||1573|
|16||Stephen Cunningham (2½)||1365||v||10||Ciarán Mahon (2)||1667|
|12||Anastasija Manojlovic (2)||1585||v||8||Ciarán Ruane (2)||1674|
|11||Dave Willow (2)||1657||v||17||William Kenny (2)||1329|
|6||Mariusz Lokasto (1½)||1758||v||9||Mihailo Manojlovic (1½)||1672|
|27||Des Carroll (1½)||968||v||19||Liam Kelly (1)||1254|
|22||Aodhán Keane (1)||1219||v||20||Denis Dempsey (1)||1251|
|14||Seán Devilly (1)||1492||v||28||Paddy Power (1)||778|
|21||Cal Nolan (½)||1219||v||18||Finn McDonnell (½)||1315|
|29||Frank Kelly (½)||636||1-0||Bye|
|5||Ross Beatty (3)||1847||0-0||Bye|
|24||Felix Jordan (1)||1157||0-0||Bye|
|25||Luke Hayden (2½)||1124||0-0||Bye|
If Pawel wins, he will be outright winner. Otherwise, the title will come down to tie-break unless boards 2 and 3 are also drawn. Eddie, Odhrán and Stephen can each sneak third place if they win and other results go their way, while at the moment, I lead the 1500-1700 greading band by half a point from Odhrán, Stephen and Eddie share the lead in the 1200-1600 grading prize and Desmond has won the Under 1200 grading prize. If any grading prize winner also finishes in the top three or takes the David and Goliath prize – still held by Liam as things stand – then the grading prize gets passed down to the next in line.
Myself v Gerry becomes the first match to be played three times since the club championships were resurrected – Gerry won with white in 2014, while I threw away victory, and the title, when drawing last year. Further down, there’s two repeats from last year’s first round, when Stephen beat Ciarán Mahon and Dave Willow beat William.
A lot will change on the 24th of course – both in terms of results and the tie-breaks – but it is certain that we’re all set for a a big showdown!