7-year-old Alexis brings his chess set to Europe: ádh Mór fichille imreoir!



In Gaelic:

  • Fichille Imreoir is the word for “chess player”
  • ádh Mór is “good luck”

The Beaverton chess community has always been an international one, with players from all over the globe meeting over the board to sharpen their skills. It got a little wider when Alexis Joyeux and his family moved here from Dublin, Ireland. Alexis is 7 years old and goes to Beaver Acres School. He enjoys playing Gaelic football, soccer and Hurling. They moved here so his Dad, Xavier who is from Paris, France could work at Intel. The family speaks English, French and Gaelic. His brother, Dáire, is in kindergarten.

Niamh, their mother, told me that the family loves to go camping and exploring nature in the state parks. The boys especially liked meeting the park rangers and learning to make a fire. Everything is so close here: the beach and the mountains, and they don’t have cherry blossom trees or mature, big tree forests in Ireland like we do in Oregon. We have such a diverse environment here which we tend to forget about. Sometimes it takes a visitor to remind us of what we have and to get out exploring, too.

Alexis hopes to be Ireland’s National Champion one day and to play in tournaments throughout Europe. The way he works at his chess, I’m sure he has a good chance of making it. The family will be going back to Ireland over the summer, but Alexis will be taking Skype lessons while there. And, he’ll be playing in some online tournaments here in Oregon to keep in touch with his chess buddies. I’m looking forward to getting postcards from all the European cities where Alexis will play chess. All I can say is “ádh mór!”

Wolfgang Heidenfeld move to Ireland in 1957. He was Chess Champion of Ireland 1958, 1963, 1964, 1967, 1968 and 1872. He played on the Irish Olympiad team in 1966, 1968, 1970 & 1974.


Game of the month

  • White: W. Heidenfeld
  • Black: K. Zietemann

Opening: Giouco Piano: 1.e4, e5 2.Nf3, Nc6 3.Bc4, Bc5 4.0-0, Nf6 5.d4, Bxd4 6.Nxd4, Nxd4 7.f4, Nc6? 8.Bf7+!, Kf8 9.fxe5, Nxe5 10.Bb3, d6 11.Bg5, Bg4? 12.Qd2, Ke7 13.Qf4, Rf8 14.h3, Bd7 15.Nc3, c6 16.Rad1, h6 17.Rxd6!, Qb6+? 18.Kh1, Kxd6 19.Qxe5+, Kxe5 20.Bf4+, Kd4 21.Rd1+, Kc5 22.Bd6 Checkmate!


Why learn chess? Simple: It’s a great mental workout that helps children perform well in the classroom. Chess is a logical game where kids have to plan ahead and adjust to new situations. But most of all, it’s fun! Larry Ball (Coach Larry) teaches students of all ages at the Steinitz Chess Academy in Beaverton. For more information, email Larry at larryball48@yahoo.com.