Archive for November, 2007
The final match result was a 4-4 draw (Inchicore were at home).
Inchicore vs. Rathmines, Heidenfeld, 29th November 2007.
- Liam Porter 1836 1 – 0 Philip Doyle 1709
- Sean Murphy 1775 1 – 0 John Crowley 1682
- Andrew Rodger 1539 0.5 – 0.5 Peter Lynch 1630
- Paul Malone 1522 0.5 – 0.5 Pat McEvoy 1566
- John Curtis 1446 0.5 – 0.5 John O’Connell 1468
- Pearse Connolly 1442 0.5 – 0.5 Nicky Pierce 1456
- Darragh Connolly 1428 0 – 1 John Maher 1443
- Christy Spellman 1316 0.5 – 0.5 Pat Freer 1393
Gonzaga won 5-3.
Gonzaga vs. Rathmines B, Armstrong Cup, Round 5, 29th November 2007.
1 Andrew Cooper 2148 1 – 0 Abul Kalam N/A
2 Gordon Freeman 2074 0.5 – 0.5 Peter Cafolla 1989
3 Ray Byrne 1949 0.5 – 0.5 David Goggins 1834
4 Mark McGovern 1956 0.5 – 0.5 John Burns 1763
5 Eoghan Casey 1868 0.5 – 0.5 Jack Killane 1716
6 Garth Fitzmaurice 1866 1 – 0 Michael Kennedy 1777
7 Rory Collins 1524 1 – 0 Ken Moore 1716
8 Cian Ruane N/A 0 – 1 Peter Bishop 1392
Phibsboro vs. Rathmines, Monday 26th November 2007
Report from Peter Bishop, the Rathmines non-playing captain (with edits…)
1 Michael Delaney 1717 0 -1 Atanas Kouhtev 1409
2 John O’Brien 1706 1 – 0 Dave O’Connell 1397
3 Conor Gilmer 1686 1 – 0 Paul Mogerley 1341
4 Mohammed Parouare UG 1 – 0 Una O’Boyle 1197
5 Tony DuffY 1717 1 – 0 Kannika Koomvilai 1160
6 Tom Fitzpatrick 1617 1 – 0 Ed Cunningham 991
Overall, it was not a good night for Rathmines for a number of reasons. Although the Phibsboro team were very strong (most of their players have ratings over 1650) none of the results were straightforward. However, in the end, they lost convincingly, 5-1.
Atanas beat 1717-rated Michael Delaney on board one, which is an excellent result. However, the other Rathmines players were heavily outrated, sometimes by as much as 600 points. Under those circumstances, it was always going to be a difficult proposition for any of them.
Dave and Una both lost their games though blunders. Kannika was very unfortunate: her game went to the wire. She advanced a pawn a little too far, giving her opponent space to win the pawn and then the game. Ed played probably his best game in two seasons (despite losing). He was a couple of pawns up but lost the game by putting his queen out of play, while his king was in the opponent’s half of the board. Ed’s opponent took advantage of his error to win pawns, minor pieces and then the game.
Details about the Rathmines Ladder Competition are now on a new page on the site. Peter Bishop kindly sent in a description of the rules and the advantages of competing…Click Here.
Elm Mount B are struggling at the bottom of the top Leinster league, so it was no surprise that the reigning champions, Rathmines A, scored a comprehensive 6-2 victory. We took straight wins on the top six boards, with (in board order 1-6) Mel, Philip, Derek, Darren, Killian, and Tony winning their games against much lower-rated players.
On the seventh board, Leon was outplayed by Alec Tyrrell, and his king was exposed to a overwhelming attack. The final position, with black to move, was this (or something very similar – I am recalling this from memory). As you can see, Black is totally lost, and he was forced to resign here.
On board eight, Atanas Khoutev was debuting as a substitute for the A team. Atanas is unpredictable. He was a wise choice as substitute, if only for his ability to create chaos on the board. However, his Elm Mount opponent was unfazed by his eccentric approach and calmly took the full point.
Atanas played 1. b4, which is The Orang Utang Opening (apparently – I had to look that up because I have never seen it before!). It is also called the Sokolsky or Polish, either of which makes it sound semi-respectable. Honestly, I think it stinks, which is why it is aptly named the Orang Utang… After 1… e5, Atanas played the extremely hopeful 2. c4?, and was heading downhill after 2…Bxb4. After dropping a series of pawns, without any discernable compensation, black weaved a mating net around Atanas’s uncastled king. In fairness, Atanas can play better than he displayed in this game.
On board four, Darren McCabe played Fred Armstrong, as white. His game was an interesting endgame, with a sophisticated exchange sacrifice. It began as a Scotch, with Darren forcing the queens off early and entering a superior ending.
Darren McCabe 1857 vs. Fred Armstrong 1665
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Qf6 5. Nxc6 Bc5 6. Qd2 dxc6 7. Bd3 Be6 8. 0-0 0-0-0 9. Qg5 Attempting to reduce to a better ending… 9. …Be7 10. Qa5 Kb8 11. Be3 b6 12. Qc3 Qxc3 13. Nxc3 Nf6 14. h3 h6?! 15. f4!
White’s superior pawn centre is a big plus. Development of pieces is roughly equal, but the pawn formation of 4 vs. 3 on the kingside, with good mobility, will favour white in the middlegame/ending to come.
15…Rdg8?! 16. f5 Bc8 17. Bc4!
Highlighting the weakness on f7 17…Rf8 18. a4 To stop b5 18…Bb7 19. Rad1 Bb4 20. Bd4
If black tries to win the e-pawn with Bxc3, Bxc3 and Nxe4, the g7 pawn falls and then the exchange. Hence, the e-pawn is indirectly defended. 20…Rhg8 21. Bxf6 gxf6 22. Rd7 Rg7 23. Rfd1 Bd6
Trapping the d7 rook. But Darren has seen that he gets a lot of compensation for the exchange. Or has he? He admitted this may have been an oversight…but improvising in difficult positions is the hallmark of a strong player. 24. Kf2 Kc8 25. Be6 Kb8 26. Bc4 Kc8 27. Be6 Kb8 Offering a draw, which Darren spurns with…28. g4 h5? 29. gh Bc8 30. Rxd6 cxd6 31. Bxc8 Kxc8 32. Rxd6
And Darren emerges with a pawn for the exchange, plus the likelihood of the f6 pawn very soon. He still has the extra h pawn too, which black carelessly threw away on move 28. 32…c5 33. Nd5 Rh8 34. Nxf6 Rh6 35. e5 Rg5 36. Ke3 Rxf5 37. Ke4 Rf1 38. Rd2 Kc7? 39. Rd7+ Kc6 40. Rxf7 and black resigned in another couple of moves. 1-0.
Rathmines vs. Naomh Barrog in the Ennis Shield, Tuesday 13th November
Atanas Kouhtev 0 / 1 M. King
Dave O’Connell 1 / 0 B. Plummer
Paul Mogerley ½ / ½ M. O’Dwyer
Kannika Koomvilai 0 / 1 J. O’Driscoll
Una O’Boyle 0 / 1 P. O’Doyle
Ed Cunningham ½ / ½ J. Carroll
Atanas lost his game. (See below for the exciting highlights!). He was a piece up in a convincing position, but in the end, his opponent had two active bishops which he used to trap Atanas’s king in amongst some pawns.
Dave had an interesting finish to his game whilst under some time trouble. He trapped his opponent’s rook on a8 with a bishop on b8 and a pawn on a7. The rook had to stay on a8 to prevent the pawn being queened (it was guarded by a rook on the a file) whilst the bishop was carefully maneuvered into position.
Ed gained his first points of the season when his opponent carelessly gave up a knight for a pawn allowing Ed back into the game.
Warning to all players when using non-Rathmines clock.
1. Check the initial position of hands or settings - both sides of the clocks MUST read the same.
2. In the first few moves, check both sides of the clock are running.
(I mention this because of recent incidents involving Rathmines players.)
Peter Bishop, captain of the Ennis team.
Rathmines 3.5 – 4.5 Elm Mount, played 15th November 2007. Round 4.
Team Captain: John Maher.
John Crowley 1682 0 – 1 Sean Loftus 1596
Peter Lynch 1630 0.5 - 0.5 Gerry Barry 1705
Pat McEvoy 1566 0.5 - 0.5 Eugene McMorrow 1535
John O’Connell 1468 0 - 1 Ray Dunne 1581
Nicky Pierce 1456 1 - 0 Eugene Donohue 1449
Niall Whelan 1449 0 - 1 Pat Mc Carthy 1410
John Maher 1443 1 - 0 Greg Coyle 1381
Pat Freer 1393 0.5 - 0.5 Martin Burke 1384
Walking through the assembled games last night, when the Armstrong B team were playing Dun Laoghaire, the Ennis side were also playing. Nominally lower rated, they play with the same concentration, intensity, and not a lack of skill either. Atanas’s game particularly struck me as interesting.
When I entered the club, this was the first position I saw. Atanas Kouhtev (playing black) has sacrificed a pawn for the attack, has had to move his king from the bishop check, but has a promising attack centered on white’s pinned knight on c3. Atanas – as we all know in Rathmines – plays a mean and fighting, attack-at-all costs type of chess (especially in blitz). It is very admirable in its own way, even when it rebounds on him spectacularly. When it works, it is a joy to behold. Rated only 1409, he plays with the fearlessness and sheer love of combination of a Tal or Spassky.
Sensing that the position was difficult and that he needed to reinforce the knight, white played Qd3, and Atanas responded Bf5. White then judged that the queen was in a dangerous pin, so played Qd5:
When I put this crazy position into Fritz, black to move, it suggested that it was almost dead-even, with a tiny advantage to white. Huh? I, a human player, look at this position and see nothing but pins, forks, checks, mating attacks, and lost pieces. Blood on the board.
Black has the bishop on f5 hanging, plus the pawn on b7, which means the rook on a8 is indirectly threatened too. But white’s pieces are not too comfortable either. A triple capture on c3 would leave the king exposed and the rook on a1 capturable. But black has to be wary of a mate on d8, if the queen and bishop were to capture on c3. The myriad variations are difficult to calculate over the board.
After Atanas played Nxc3, there followed the sequence Nxc3, Bxc3+; bxc3, Qxc3+; Bd2? Qxa1+; Ke2, to reach the following position:
Black to move. He has a queen en prise, a mate on d8 threatened, a loose rook on a8, and a hanging piece on f5. Four separate, major threats! But, he is a piece up, while the white king looks uncomfortable. As far as I know, he played Qf6 and after Qxb7, Qe7+ neutralises white completely.
Unfortunately, I did not witness the end of the game, except to say that when I last looked, Atanas was a piece up in an easily won endgame. However, that was no guarantee that he actually won the game! Whenever I get the report from Peter, I will relay the result.
Rathmines vs. Dun Laoghaire
1 Abul Kalam 2147 0 – 1 Fox, Anthony 2030
2 Peter Cafolla 1989 1 – 0 Lane, John 1951
3 David Goggins 1834 0 – 1 Palmer, Bernard 1917
4 John Aherne 1803 (w/o) 0 – 1 Cassidy, Paul 1903
5 Michael Kennedy 1777 0.5 – 0.5 Dennehy, Tony 1872
6 John Burns 1763 1 – 0 Hearns, Liam T. 1859
7 Jack Killane 1716 0.5 – 0.5 Jackson, Peter D. 1728
8 Ken Moore 1716 0 – 1 Mitchell, David 1588
Armstrong Round 4: Rathmines B 2 – 5 Dun Laoghaire (Report by Michael Kennedy, captain of the Armstrong B team for Rathmines).
Last night, Rathmines B slumped to a 2 – 5 defeat at home to Dun Laoghaire in the Armstrong. After a string of good results this was a bitter dose of the harsh reality of life in the top flight.
The first game to finish was Ken’s encounter with Mitchell. It appeared that Ken had a winning attack on Mitchell’s king, thanks to a typical Bxh7+ idea, when the heavy pieces were already primed to swing rapidly into action. However, Ken overlooked a subtlety: he withdrew his other en prise bishop to the wrong square. Mitchell took his chance well, bagged the material on offer and sat back as Ken’s attack petered out. Game over.
All of this happened as a greater disaster was unfolding – John Aherne’s chair remained empty as his first hour elapsed. A walkover! That makes 2.5 penalty points deducted from us so far this season. I’m sure there’s a good reason why John was unable to make it – many things are more important than this silly little game we enjoy.
I managed to draw with Tony Dennehy, who was playing King’s Indian Attack for the first time. In the opening, he played thematic moves that didn’t seem to work so well against my flexible approach. Once the central situation was resolved, Tony succeeded in restoring order to his position by massing his minor pieces on the K-side looking to land a sacrificial blow. Thankfully, I was able to put a clamp on his pawn levers which left me better placed to break through on the other side of the board, though not without some risk. I decided not to chance it against a player of Tony’s calibre and the ensuing blocked position quickly resulted in draw.
At almost the same instant, Jack’s game with Peter D Jackson was agreed drawn. Jackson is a solid player who doesn’t lose often or easily, even against masters of attack like Jack.
David Goggins was next to finish – he went down to Bernard Palmer’s English.
Then on top board, Fox offered Abul a draw in a very drawish position. Abul, in a commendable display of fighting spirit, surprised the onlookers by turning it down. Unfortunately, this proved ill-advised as he ended up losing the pure opposite coloured bishops ending. It must be said that Fox played this technical endgame superbly.
I didn’t see much of Peter’s game against John Lane. Peter seemed to get an early advantage. Next time I looked, he was an exchange and a pawn up in a slightly crazy position, but seemed to be in full control. Lane soon resigned.
John Burns battle with Hearns was a marathon. Hearns played an interesting line of Budapest Fajarowicz: 1.d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. de Ne5 4. a3 b6!? Somehow Burns always seems to be able to turn any game towards the types of positions he enjoys and excels at. This was no different. He gobbled up the pawn, kept it and patiently waited for the endgame to convert his advantage. In the end, this task was eased somewhat thanks to his opponent’s time trouble. 1 – 0.
Is the honeymoon over? I’d have to disagree. It’s true that on paper, bookies would have predicted a narrow win for the Dun Laoghaire outfit, but over the board things could have been much different. Individually, the core of the team is performing remarkably well. Ken is playing to his grading – which is the most you can ask of any player. David, John, Jack and I are performing ~200 points above our ratings. Peter is the star player. With 2.5/3 he’s performing almost 400 points above his rating. If only there were IM norms in the Armstrong! To sum up, the team is playing well and still have a good season to look forward to. This season will continue with our visit to Gonzaga on Thursday 29-Nov-07.
I’m writing this posting because I have struggled with the issue of diagrams of games for a few weeks now. Having found what I think is an elegant and time-saving solution, I’d like to pass on the information. If you never think you’ll need to generate diagrams for a website, look away now! Otherwise, stick around and you might learn a new way of doing it.
The committee met last night and decided to host the traditional Christmas Blitz tournament on the last Thursday before Christmas, so that is Thursday 20th December. Put this is your diary!
This is normally one of the really big nights of the Rathmines Chess Club year – not to be missed. Quite apart from the chess, there are the numerous bottles of wine and boxes of chocolates for prizes, and the return of old, familiar faces. We normally split the players into three groups – Senior, Intermediates, and Juniors. So there will be a chance of a prize for everybody! (Note: we won’t force anybody to play with the Christmas set above. And the rumour that Jack will dress up as Santa Claus is not true…)
Secondly, the club will then close for Christmas holidays and re-open again on Thursday 3rd January, 2008.
Match results for Saturday 3rd November 2007. A 5.5 to 2.5 loss for the Rathmines team.
- Kieran Rogers 1770 1/2 – 1/2 John Crowley 1682
- Donal O’Boyle 1750 1 – 0 Peter Lynch 1630
- Rick Goetzee 1698 1 – 0 Pat McEvoy 1566
- Rod O’Mahoney 1564 1/2 – 1/2 John O’Connell 1468
- Joe Reid 1519 1 – 0 Niall Whelan 1449
- Brendan Corrigan 1471 1/2 – 1/2 John Maher 1443
- Andrew Thompson 1516 1/2 – 1/2 Nicky Pierce 1456
- Paddy McDonnell 1279 1/2 – 1/2 Pat Freer 1393
Last night, Monday 5th November, saw the clash of the reigning Leinster champions – Rathmines - against the current leaders of the Armstrong, Phibsboro. With a few players missing, Phibsboro were under-strength, while Rathmines were lucky to be able to field their full-strength team, including Walter Stassen, playing his last game for them before emigrating to Australia. Nevertheless, Phibsboro fielded the current Irish champion, Stephen Brady, and an ex-Irish champion in Richard O’Donovan.
In the end, Rathmines prevailed 4.5 to 3.5, with wins on all four lowest boards confirming their strength in depth, and with Philip Hogarty snatching a draw against Richard O’Donovan in the last game to finish, on board three. Indeed, the result might have been even better: Derek Smith was extremely unlucky to lose on board four, while Mel, I believe, was offered a draw at one point, which he refused.
Killian, playing on board 7 against Fergal O’Beirne, conjured a nice minature, when his opponent played a dubious side-line in the Scandinavian defence:
Killian Delaney vs. Fergal O’Beirne, Armstrong Cup
1. e4 d5; 2. exd5 Qxd5; 3. Nc3 Qe5+?!; 4. Be2 Bg4; 5. d4 Bxe2; 6. Ngxe2 Qh5; This is all book, apparently. But it is a less than convincing line. 7. d5 Nd7; 8. Qd3 Nf6; 9. Nb5! Highlighting weaknesses on the queenside, practically forcing black’s next… 0-0-0; 10. Nxa7+ Kb8; 11. Nc6!+ Easy to see now, but he had to anticipate this when playing Nb5. …bxc6; 12. dxc6 e6 Of course, the knight is pinned. 13. cxd7 Rxc7; 14. Qb3+ Kc8; 15. Be3 Ng4; 16. Qa4! Threatens mate on a8. …Kd8; 17. Ng3 1-0. Black resigned in a hopeless position. His knight will fall, or he’ll be subjected to a combined attack of the queen and bishop against the exposed king.
- Brady 1-0 McMahon
- Jessel 1-0 O’Cinneide
- O’Donovan 0.5-0.5 Hogarty
- Nolan 1-0 Smith
- Salter 0-1 Stassen
- Duffy 0-1 McCabe
- O’Beirne 0-1 Delaney
- Parouama 0-1 Scannell
(I’ll post more games and analysis if anyone is willing to send them to me! That applies to every game played by any Rathmines players – feel free to send me on games, diagrams, or analysis and I’ll make sure to add them to the website. Thanks, Tony).
Report by Peter Bishop, captain of the Rathmines team
Rathmines were beat 2-4 by Longford on Saturday 3rd November
1 Paddy Divilly 1490 1/2 - 1/2 Dave O’Connell 1394
2 P J Reilly 1435 1/2 - 1/2 Peter Bishop 1392
3 Steve Maycock UG 1/2 - 1/2 Paul Mogerley 1340
4 Pat McCarrick 1355 1 – 0 Kannika Koomvilai 1160
5 John Feeny 1311 1/2 - 1/2 Una O’Boyle 1207
6 Petie Collum 6004 1 – 0 Ed Cunningham 991
The four most experienced Rathmines all clinched draws against higher rated players. The two less experienced were less fortunate (this is only their second season, their first was in Division 6, the Bodley Cup). On board 1 Dave agreed to a draw despite being a pawn ahead because the board was all blocked up in the centre. On board 2 Peter also agreed to a draw because space was opening up in his rear and his opponent had a very active queen. On board 3 Paul was first winning then losing but turned the game around with finally his opponent having a king and knight whilst he had a king and rook. Technically a win but only having six minutes left on his clock Paul agreed a draw. Kannika played her normal neat tidy game but fell to a great level of experience. Una attacked in her normal inimitable style. Her opponent was forced to defend. Unfortunately her attacked failed to generate a material advantage. She agreed to a draw once it was clear her attack had come to a halt. Ed fought to the bitter end because his opponent was in time trouble but had to resign in the end.
The team stopped at Edgeworthstown prior to the match for sandwiches and tea and were entertained by Una in her amicable fashion.
Report from Michael Kennedy, captain of the Rathmines B team in the Armstrong.
Rathmines B went down to a narrow 3.5 – 4.5 defeat at the hands of Dublin University in the Armstrong Cup on Tuesday, 30-Oct-07. It was billed as a match between one of the pre-season title favourites and a possible candidate for relegation. So this is definitely more of a victory, as once again we were lower rated on every board.
The team was forced to reverse the order of boards 1 and 2 for this. On top table, Abul was simply outgunned by Karl McPhillips and lost quickly. Peter beat Johnny Joyce with black in a Torre Attack. He’s hitting a rich vein of form at the moment – clearly the league format is made for him. I’m glad he wasn’t too put out by the last minute board order switch, which may or may not have upset weeks of preparation.
David lost a complicated Poisoned Pawn to Kolesar. His attack didn’t seem to get the momentum it needed, in spite of the required opening novelty on move 35!
I filled in for John Aherne on board 4 against the respected chess writer, Tim Harding. I must have sat there for nearly an hour contemplating what to play on move 1! Needless to say, I went on to spend much of the game hanging on to his coattails, so was relieved to escape with a draw. I had black (to move) in this position:
Tim Harding vs. Michael Kennedy, Armstrong Cup, 2007
With support from the bishop pair, his giant d-pawn looks like strolling into d9 just to prove the chessboard is round. My rook is en prise with almost nowhere to go and I have dunce sulking in the corner on b2. Thankfully, I had the defensive resource 1…Rc3. I haven’t had time to analyse it yet, but I’d be interested to hear if you find it’s still clearly losing. Email email@example.com
On board 5, Ken was never in danger and drew comfortably against Menzies after a three-fold repetition.
John Burns can be a sly snake at the chessboard. He duped Peter Hayes into believing he was content with a draw. The trap sprung as John slipped an extra queen onto the board when Hayes wasn’t looking. Nah, really he picked up a couple of pawns in the time scramble before dropping them again and finally pushing Hayes off the clock. Honestly, this is an achievement considering that Hayes looks a dead cert to join the 2000+ club, having rattled off a string of tournament victories over the last 18 months or so. The most impressive of these was the Irish Open last July, when he finished clear of Karl McPhillips, Stephen Scannell, Rory Quinn, etc. So well done John!
Jack played his typical complex game to draw against Rory Delaney’s Alekhine. Jack’s games are often an enigma to me – this was no different. I can neither take my eyes off the board nor work out what the hell is going on as he plays. If only I could play like that!
John Maher’s Modern was almost good enough to claim the full point against ex-Rathmines player Hannah. It was neck-and-neck most of the way, but Hannah held her nerve to claim the full point at the death.
Next up for Rathmines B is Dun Laoghaire at home on Tuesday, 13-Nov-07.