Report from match against St. Benildus from Michael Kennedy, team captain for Rathmines B.
Rathmines B lost 2.5 – 5.5 away to St. Benildus in the Armstrong last night 9-Jan-08. Please see full results in the posting below this one.
It was a nightmare getting a team together for our first match after the Christmas break, as 3 first team players were unavailable. I even had to substitute a substitute on the afternoon of the match! My thanks go to the subs who agreed to step in at short notice.
The away game weather phenomenon was in force again. For the uninitiated that’s a torrential downpour any time there’s an away match. This time, instead of mirroring the positions on the boards, it reflected the mood of the club in the wake of the tragic death of rising star, Philip Hogarty.
With Abul on holiday, it was a welcome return to board 1 for Peter Cafolla. He pre-played his game against Gerry O’Connell. According to Peter it was a very double edged Grunfeld. He played a nice middle game resulting in a better Q, B and R each ending but by winning his Bishop he allowed a perpetual. As captain though, I’m happy that it was a good draw against a dangerous higher rated player who beat a GM last summer.
On the night, Jack’s game was first to finish against old pal Gibson. It seemed to be shaping up for Armageddon with Jack grabbing as much space as he could against an interesting Modern Defence. Unfortunately, both players lost the will to fight once the centre became completely blocked and a very early draw was the result. Jack’s unbeaten run in this season’s league continues.
John Crowley was next to finish against Ciaran Mahon. It was a Queen’s Gambit type position, with White implementing the slow, careful build up. This proved effective, as John admitted that he never quite managed to get into the game, and eventually went down in the ensuing R ending.
David Goggins versus Tim McCarthy was a typical French Tarrasch 3 …c5. Goggins blockaded the isolated QP well, with McCarthy looking to use it as a pivot for a K-side attack. There was little give in this one, so a draw seemed a fair result.
The unfortunate Dave O’Connell arrived late and wet after getting lost on the 5 minute walk from the Luas stop. In a way it’s my fault, but I don’t know what’s confusing about the map I gave him:
Dave had Black in a mutual stonewall, with his opponent emerging from the opening slightly better. The guy got a strong Knight on e5, which couldn’t be traded without creating a protected passed pawn. From there, it began to go downhill for Dave.
I felt that I came close to losing my own game against Brendan Lyons. The opening was quite dull, as he answered my quiet system with a quieter one of his own. Queens came off very early. My opponent went on to use his extra tempi well as he brought virtually the remainder of his army to good attacking positions. Luckily, I managed to slowly equalize as the pieces came off the board and I was delighted to escape with a draw.
If there was a man of the match award, it would have to go to last minute substitute, John Maher. He got a very comfortable draw against a player almost 300 points higher. His English / KID Fianchetto setup never seemed to be in any danger.
No prizes for guessing who was last to finish, as John Burns was edged out after a valiant fight with a player some 400 points higher rated. From the opening, Madynski appeared have the better of John’s French sideline. With the typical blocked French centre, his opponent was able to use the mobility conferred by his space advantage to create threats on both sides of the board. John played solidly and didn’t panic. Things came to an exciting climax in the time scramble, but Madynski was able to trap John in a mating net when he had only 2 minutes left.
This 2.5 – 5.5 defeat wasn’t a particularly good result for the team, but not a complete disaster considering the fact that we were missing 3 front line players. Overall, the old reliables have performed well thus far this season relative to their ratings:
Peter Cafolla +210
Jack Killane +186
John Burns +177
David Goggins +157
Michael Kennedy +91
Next up is Elm Mount B, away, Mon 21-Jan-08. The first challenge will be to field as many first choice players as we can.