Tom O’Gorman secured his third IM norm at the Arona International Chess Festival which finished in
Tenerife on 30 June last. He thus becomes only the eleventh IM in the history of Irish chess.
It was a very strong tournament with 29 GMs and 20 IMs competing. Tom beat 2 GMs and drew with 2 others in finishing on 6.5 points from 10 games with a performance rating of 2,413 as against his pre-tournament rating of 2337.

In a very tense final round Tom had to beat as Black the Ukrainian GM Armtem Omelja (2435) to reach the IM norm. It was a very hard fought game which came down to an ending where Tom had a Knight and 3 pawns against a Bishop and 3 pawns, all on the same side of the board. Despite the paucity of material it was a very complex and difficult position where the slightest error could change the balance and where Tom had much less time than his opponent. In this very tense situation it was the Ukrainian GM who missed a study like drawing move (extremely difficult to find over the board but which Tom saw when contemplating his opponent’s response) and Tom found his way through the complications to win by just one tempo.

This is the latest milestone in Tom’s chess career. At 21 years of age he has achieved the following results:

  • Irish Champion 2020
  • member of Ireland’s Olympiad team 2022 and 2024
  • 4 wins in a row on Board 1 in the Oxford-Cambridge chess match, the only player to do this since these matches started in 1873
  • IM 2024

    These are phenomenal achievements and the club is very proud of Tom (and of his sister Alice who was Irish ladies champion in 2021 and is a member of our Olympiad team). We are sure that both of them will represent Ireland proudly at the forthcoming Chess Olympiad in Budapest in September. We look forward to following the career of Tom who was one of the youngest members of our club. We are glad we helped in some small way to nurture the great talent and potential he showed even at such a young age. We are very confident that he will achieve many more chess successes which he will bear with his usual modesty, courtesy and level headedness.