Thursday 24 June 2021





Thursday 10 June 2021, page 30





Thursday 3 June 2021, page 27




Carrick Times - Monday 5 October 2020


Thursday 1 October 2020, page 35




Thursday 20 September 2020, page 35



Chess Magazine

March 2020, Volume 84: Number 11, pages 50 & 52



Thursday 27 February 2020, page 12




Thursday 10 October 2019, page 26



County Down Spectator

Thursday 7 February 2019, page 41



Newry Reporter

Wednesday 6 February 2019, page 38





County Down Spectator

Thursday 31 January 2019, page 39



County Down Spectator

Thursday 17 January 2019, page 38



County Down Spectator

Thursday 24 January 2019, page 38




County Down Spectator

Thursday 17 January 2019, page 38




County Down Spectator

Thursday 10 January 2019, page 40




December 13, 2018

County Down Spectator, page 44



December 7, 2017

County Down Spectator, page 14




November 29, 2017

Down Recorder, page 26





February 19, 2017


Mayor of Ennis, Ann Norton, presents the winning cup to Mikhail Pavlov, Bunratty Challengers Champion 2017



Bunratty Castle Hotel, County Clare, Ireland

February 17-19, 2017

35 players from Northern Ireland competed in Bunratty, Ireland's largest international chess festival. There were a total of 333 players across all 4 sections, with the Masters band featuring a wealth of high-profile figures, including Grandmasters Nigel Short, Jonathan Speelman, Mark Hebden, Alexander Baburin and Peter Wells. NI Chess hero David Houston (2219) finished with an impressive score of 3.5/6 in the Masters section of 48 players, in a field completely dominated by GMs, IMs and FMs!

Meanwhile in the Challengers (1600-1999), 83 players fought hard for the trophy and the 600 Euro first prize but it was Northern Ireland's top Russian chess player Mikhail Pavlov (1766) who won the entire section with an outstanding score of 5.5/6 and a tournament performance rating (TPR) of 2157. His phenomenal Round 5 game against WCM Diana Mirza (1854) can be viewed on the Games Archive page. The other notable score in this band was Sergio Esteve-Sanchez (1994) who also remained unbeaten, chalking up three draws and three wins to finish on 4.5/6.

The Major section (1200-1599) saw 13 year old Daniil Zelenchuk (1370) win the Band 1 grading prize with an impressive score of 4.5/6, finishing 5th out of 85 players. He was also the highest scoring NI player in this band. In Round 1 Daniil demonstrated a spectacular win over number 1 seed Jonathan Smith (1585), with a thrilling game of tactical brilliance which was broadcast live across the internet. Unsurprisingly, Daniil's TPR was 1628 and bodes well for his journey towards a 2000 rating in the years to come! Other outstanding performances in this section were by Liam Ferris (1247), Ram Rajan (1368) and John Phillips (1223), all finishing on 4/6, with Phillips scooping the Band 3 Grading Prize.

The Minor section (Under 1200) also saw a remarkable performance by Belfast player Rian Mellotte (987) who won 3rd prize with 5/6, followed closely by Tyrone Winter (944) who claimed the grading prize with 4.5/6. Two other impressive tournament results in this section came from QUB mastermind Chris Roe (1095) and UCU Treasurer Adrian Dornford-Smith (1155), both ending on 4.5/6 and finishing in the top 15 from a field of 117 players! Two other players from Northern Ireland shined through in this section, Ben Campbell (1010) and Iza Bujak (1188), both only losing one game and drawing two, with the pair ending with a very respectable 4/6.



February 16, 2017

GM Mark Hebden makes his first move on board 1


Royal Belfast Academical Institution, Belfast

February 16, 7:15pm - 12:15am

Congratulations to English GM Mark Hebden for duelling with 31 of Northern Ireland's top players in Belfast tonight. He defeated 26, drew with 2 and lost only 3. The first win of the night was an impressive victory by Modestas Razbadauskas. This was followed by Mikhail Pavlov who cleverly trapped the GM's Bishop and finished with 3 extra pawns in the endgame. Another exceptional performance was delivered by Michael Sheerin who once again beat a GM, only 12 months after defeating GM Simon Williams in February 2016!

Current Ulster Champion Stephen Rush held Hebden to a draw, as did 13 year old Daniil Zelenchuk who played a spectacular game where he won a pawn and took it to an endgame simplification with his pawn and Rook versus the GMs Rook, with the latter defending accurately to hold the draw. The final prize of the night went to Ross Harris as the 'Last Man Standing' (L.M.S.), gallantly fighting head-to-head with the GM for the last 15 minutes of the match, completing a total of 105 moves!

The entire night was extremely enjoyable. The buzz in the air was electric. All the participants were thrilled to have the opportunity to play such a charismatic GM, our sincere thanks to Mark Hebden for all the fun and laughter.


 1  GM Mark Hebden
 Ram Rajan  
 2  GM Mark Hebden
 Stephen Rush  DRAW
 3  GM Mark Hebden
 Cathal Murphy  
 4  GM Mark Hebden
 Derek Truesdale  
 5  GM Mark Hebden
 Robert Lavery  
 6  GM Mark Hebden
 Edward Doak  
 7  GM Mark Hebden
 Chris Armstrong  
 8  GM Mark Hebden
 Ross Harris  L.M.S.
 9  GM Mark Hebden
 Michael Sheerin  WINNER
 10  GM Mark Hebden
 Pat McKillen  
 11  GM Mark Hebden
 Bobby Campbell  
 12  GM Mark Hebden
 Dmitry Zelenchuk  
 13  GM Mark Hebden
 William Storey  
 14  GM Mark Hebden
 Daniil Zelenchuk  DRAW
 15  GM Mark Hebden
 James Barbour  
 16  GM Mark Hebden
 Brendan Jamison  
 17  GM Mark Hebden
 Peter Todd  
 18  GM Mark Hebden
 Mikhail Pavlov  WINNER
 19  GM Mark Hebden
 Clark Rodriguez  
 20  GM Mark Hebden
 John Monaghan  
 21  GM Mark Hebden
 Aaron Rush  
 22  GM Mark Hebden
 Calum Leitch  
 23  GM Mark Hebden
 Modestas Razbadauskas  WINNER
 24  GM Mark Hebden
 Cathan Gormley  
 25  GM Mark Hebden
 Rhys McLean  
 26  GM Mark Hebden
 James Shaw  
 27  GM Mark Hebden
 Geoff Hindley  
 28  GM Mark Hebden
 Adrian Dornford-Smith  
 29  GM Mark Hebden
 Mark Newman  
 30  GM Mark Hebden
 Samuel Todd  
 31  GM Mark Hebden
 Dennis Thorpe  


GM Mark Hebden makes his first move on board 25 against Rhys McLean

On Board 18, GM Defeater Mikhail Pavlov delivers the fatal blow to win Hebden's Bishop

On Board 16, GM Mark Hebden focuses all firepower on Brendan Jamison's Queenside

13 year old Daniil Zelenchuk impresses the spectators as he holds GM Mark Hebden to a draw

Ross Harris wins the award for 'Last Man Standing' where he went head-to-head with GM Hebden for the last 15 minutes

All the prize-winners. Left to right: GM Defeater Modestas Razbadauskas, GM draw master Daniil Zelenchuk, GM Defeater Mikhail Pavlov, GM Mark Hebden, GM Defeater Michael Sheerin and GM draw master Stephen Rush.


February 12, 2017

9pm at the Chess-athon: Ulster Champion Stephen Rush, Brendan Jamison, Mikhail Pavlov and Ross Harris


NI Physiotherapy, Newtownards Road, Belfast

February 11-12, 2017

Congratulations to multi-award winning chess champion Ross Harris who has just completed a non-stop 24 hour Chess-athon. He has raised over £700 for a new children's chess club at Strand Arts Centre in East Belfast.

Starting at 8am on Saturday 11th February and continuing right through the night until 8am on Sunday 12th, it has been an exceptional feat of mental endurance. Completing over 100 games, Ross was on top tournament form, winning almost all of his over-the-board matches and drawing just 3. The half points were against current Ulster Champion Stephen Rush, Damien Cunningham and Brendan Jamison.

Epic battles throughout the day included 25 minute games against Dexter Harris, Ram Rajan, Dennis Thorpe, Mikhail Pavlov and several parents at Mark Newman's monthly Children's Chess Competition at Methodist College Belfast.

Generous donations flooded in, with large contributions from Calum Leitch, William Storey, Jason Harris, Patricia Managh, David McAlister, Chris Roe, Neal Lindores, Sergio Esteve Sanchez, Daniil Zelenchuk and Paul Anderson. This wonderful level of support demonstrates the passion we all share for the importance of children as the future of chess. Let us look forward to a new generation of IMs and GMs pouring out of Northern Ireland!

Special thanks should also go to Adrian Dornford-Smith, for not only supporting the event financially, but also for his tech support to ensure live streaming of the games at

In the end, Ross completed 21 over-the-board games and 80 online duels. Like all things Ross sets his mind to, it was an overwhelming success. His abundance of positive energy and enthusiasm for developing children's chess is phenomenal. A great inspirational figure in the local chess scene and a hero to all the kids he coaches every week. We salute you Ross, you are a total superstar!

6pm at the Chess-athon: Ross Harris, Blake Harris, Dexter Harris and Brendan Jamison


January 10, 2017


Kirovsky District Chess School, Saint Petersburg, Russia

January 7-10, 2017

Format: 9 round classic

Northern Ireland chess players Mikhail Pavlov and Brendan Jamison travelled to Russia in early January 2017 to play in the Kirovsky New Year Tournament. The Kirovsky District Chess Academy has over 1200 members and the duo played in the highest grading band (Section A) which contained 106 players upto grading 1900. Despite missing the first two rounds because they were flying into the city that day, Pavlov still scored an impressive 5.5/7, winning a trophy for highest placed international player. Meanwhile, Jamison ended on 5/7, the second highest scoring international player, and he was awarded a certificate. For further images please visit International Events Page




BBC Radio Ulster, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast

December 1, 2016

Programme: Good Morning Ulster with Noel Thompson. 7:55am to 9am.

NI Chess player Brendan Jamison was invited onto BBC's Good Morning Ulster Programme on 1st December 2016 to play a game live on air with presenter Noel Thompson. Sadly the BBC anchorman only lasted 6 moves before checkmate! But they also enjoyed discussing the Wolrd Chess Championship in New York which was won by Norwegian GM Magnus Calsen a few hours beforehand after he defeated Russian GM Sergey Karjakin. Jamison also discussed the mental gymnastics of the game in which the brain becomes completely animated, in a similiar fashion to the buzz that athletes enjoy when endorphins are released through exercise. The interview had a wide-reaching audience, and even the social media channels were erupting with commentary, with the highlight coming from esteemed British GM Nigel Short who tweeted about the chess opening played during the BBC interview!





County Down Spectator

Thursday August 28, 2014

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