Former Greystones Mayor, Stephen Stokes has won the World Amateur Chess Championships – U1600 section. This achievement is the first time an Irish person has won an ACO medal. The event took place from May 7th – May 14th in Kos, Greece. En route to victory Stephen had 6 wins, 3 draws and played against opponents from India, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, England, France and Poland.
In total there were seven sections at the ACO World Chess Championships with 340 competitors taking part from around the world. Also in attendance was Stephen’s mother Bernadette Stokes who scored 5 wins in the U1200 section. This meant Bernadette was close to the medals herself and even beat the top seed in Round 5.
Stephen added: “The tournament was very well organised and a great success from a Team Ireland standpoint. It was great to have my Mother Bernadette in attendance who was a great support and she was unlucky not be in the medals.” Stephen also paid tribute to Bray-Greystones Chess Club for their continued positive work in the community. Stephen added: “The development that the club puts into their players is phenomenal. In particular Mervyn Honner has been at the heart of this. I would encourage more people to take up chess as it is a fun game. Chess keeps your mind sharp and I even know players who compete into their nineties.” The Bray club meets on Wednesday evenings in the Esplanade Hotel at 7.30pm with beginners welcome.
Stephen Stokes is not expected to defend his World title in 2018 having indicated his desire to move up to the U1800 division. The annual Bray Rapidplay Tournament will take place on Sunday, June 25th in the Esplanade Hotel.