Archive for October, 2008
Round 3 of the BEA Cup, played 22nd October 2008
Bray/Greystones vs. Rathmines
Richard Doyle 1248 0 – 1 Ed Cunningham 966
Jimmy Kelly 1215 1/2 – 1/2 Shane Hall 728
Patrick Quill 1214 1 – 0 Frank Cooke UG
Paul Fox 1121 1 – 0 Rob Wilson UG
Aoife Ledwidge O’Brien UG 1 – 0 Peter Cooke 700
Result: 3.5 – 1.5 in favour of Bray/Greystones
Ed obtained a fine win against a much-higher rated opponent and now stands on 3/3 for the season. Shane got a very good draw against an opponent rated around 500 points higher.
Frank and Peter Cooke were making their debuts for Rathmines. It is always nerve-wracking to sit down for a serious league game for the first time, quite apart from having to learn the ropes regarding clocks, score sheets, and time management. We expect extremely rapid improvement from both of them as the season progresses. Equally, Rob Wilson was making only his second appearance for Rathmines. We welcome all three players to the club & BEA team!
Happily, Rathmines A sit atop the Armstrong table, after 3 rounds. With quite a weakened team, we are doing better than expected perhaps. We are doing particularly well on the bottom boards. Leon and Ken are on 3/3. With Mindaugas and Killian both on 2.5/3 we are also holding our own across the team. Obviously, it will be hard to maintain this top spot for too long, with very strong teams such as Kilkenny, Gonzaga, and Phibsboro lurking just behind.
Unfortunately, the Rathmines B team are struggling after three 1.5-6.5 losses in a row. But it is way too early to talk about relegation!
In the Heidenfeld and O’Hanlon, both teams are sitting in the lower half of the tables. Peter Bishop remains unbeaten, on 2/3, in the Heidenfeld, while John Gaffney is on 2/2 in the O’Hanlon.
This was our 3rd straight 6.5-1.5 hammering this season, albeit against last season’s top three. That’s little consolation with relegation becoming increasingly likely.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. A relegated B-team would be good news for our A-team, in the sense that they would be better placed next year with the support of subs from a decent Heidenfeld team. In the meantime, we have opportunity to test ourselves (or expose our limitations!) against much higher rated players.
Last Saturday, for example, John Maher and Peter Lynch secured excellent draws against much higher rated players. Noteworthy also was the good form of Graeme Walsh and Pat Freer. Both deserved draws against opponents ~350 points higher rated. Sadly, time pressure cost both their half points. Graeme promised me his game for the website. He’ll certainly be one to look out for in our coming matches. Our next one is at home to Gonzaga on Tuesday, 4-Nov-08.
Kilkenny vs Rathmines B
Played Saturday 18th October 2008.
1 Mark Quinn 2359 1 – 0 Abul Kalam 2059
2 Ryan-Rhys Griffiths 2141 1 – 0 Michael Kennedy 1796
3 Fergal O’Dwyer 1864 0.5 – 0.5 David Goggins 1876
4 Darko Polimac 1986 1 – 0 Graeme Walsh 1610
5 Eamon Keogh 1975 1 – 0 Philip Doyle 1719
6 Liam Delaney 1708 0.5 – 0.5 Peter Lynch 1535
7 Maurice Buckley 1688 0.5 – 0.5 John Maher 1415
8 Aravind Menon 1765 1 – 0 Pat Freer 1431
6.5 – 1.5
Oisin Benson vs. Jack Killane
Jack was playing the young and bright talent Oisin Benson. He reached what looked like an overwhelming position, before agreeing a draw after a repetition of moves. I suspected, on the night, that he could have converted the full point, and Fritz analysis seems to agree. Here’s the position, with white having just played Rac1:
Benson v. Killane, after Rac1
1…Ne4 Still keeps the advantage. But Nf3+! first would have been easily winning.
(1… Nf3+ 2. Kf1 Nxh2+ 3. Kg1 Nf3+ 4. Kf1 c2 5. Re1)
2. Ne1 Nf2 3. Rd4 Nh3+ 4. Kh1
Black now opted for the perpetual check and a simple draw. But he had…
4… Rb1 5. Rdd1 Nf2+ 6. Kg1 Nxd1 7. Rxb1 Rxb1 8. Nc2 Nxe3+ 9. Kf2 Nxc2
Mark Berni vs. Leon Fagan
Albin Counter Gambit (Click to Replay)
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 d4 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bg5? f6 6. Bf4 g5! 7. Bg3 g4 8. Nfd2 fxe5 Wins back the pawn with a large space advantage. 9. a3 a5 10. f3 h5 11. Qc2 Qf6 After the Albin Counter Gambit opening, white allows black to establish a huge space advantage and a bind on his position. In particular, the white-squared bishop and king’s rook are locked away.
12. Ne4 Qg7 13. Nbd2 Nh6 14. O-O-O Be7 15. Bf2 Nf5 16. Kb1 a4 17. Ng3 Ne3 18. Bxe3 dxe3
An interesting position. If now Nde4 to save the knight, h4 wins the other one on g3!
19. fxg4 Bxg4? But here, black has Qxg4!, with a threat of h4 to remove the knight from protecting f5. With the king and queen on the b1-a7 diagonal, the constant threat is Bf5.
20. Nf3 Qf7 21. h3 Be6 22. Ne4 Rg8 23. h4 Bf5 24. Rd5 Qh7
Now the pressure on the b1-h7 diagonal is overwhelming and black is going to win serious material. 25. Nxe5 Bxe4 26. Nd3 Bxd5 27. cxd5 Na5 28. Qxc7 Qg6 29. g4 Qd6 30. Qc2 Nb3 31. Bg2 Rxg4 32. Bf3 Nd2+ 0-1
Mindaugas Jansinitis vs. Tim McCarthy
Replay the whole game here
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3? Preferable is dxc5, the normal move.Despite black’s apparent loss of time with c6 and c5, he has reached a good position, with his white-squared bishop ready to extract itself from c8, unlike similar positions in the French defence. 4…Nc6 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. Be2 e6 7. O-O cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bxe2 9. Qxe2 Nge7 10. Nd2 Nxd4 11. cxd4 Nf5 12. Nb3 h5 13. Be3 Be7 14. Rfc1 Nxe3 15. fxe3 f6 16. exf6 gxf6 17. Nc5 Qb6 18. b4! White is expanding aggressively on the queen-side and black’s queen begins to look a little out-of-place.
18…Kf7 19. a4 a6 20. a5 Qc6 21.Na4 Qd6 22. Nb6 Rag8
Now black’s counterplay begins to take shape, with h4 and h3 looming.
23. b5 h4 24. bxa6 bxa6 25. Rf1!? h3 26. g3 Bd8 27. Rf3 e5? But this is an error.
28. Qxa6 e4 29. Rf4 Bxb6 30. Raf1 Rh6 31. axb6 Ke6 32. Qa2
Now Rxe4 is threatened.
Ke7? 33. Rxe4+! dxe4 34. Qxg8 Qa3 35. Qg7+ 1-0 White cleans up the rook and then the h-pawn.
John Healy (1830) vs. Tony Scannell (1810) Sicilian Najdorf with Bg5 (Replay)
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Be7 8. Qf3 Qc7 9. O-O-O b5?? A move too early. The correct Nbd7 is recommended. I must remember to know the basic opening moves when playing something as sharp as the Najdorf!
10. e5 Bb7 11. exd6 Bxd6 12. Qe3 Ng4 13. Qd2 Be7 14. Ncxb5 axb5 15. Nxb5
Around about here is the critical position. To illustrate black’s difficulties, if he makes a lazy move such as Qc5??, then Qd8+! is mate in two. Despite white’s attack, I felt that with the open files towards the king, black has some counterplay. His main problem is a serious lack of development. White has two pawns and a raging attack for his piece, so is extremely well-placed.
15…Qa5 This and Qb6 are the only two viable moves. 16. Nd6+ Bxd6?? Probably the losing move. Kf8 is much better, when a sample line goes 17. Nxb7 Qxd2+ 18. Rxd2 Rxa2 19. Kb1 Ra7 20. Bxe7+ Kxe7 21. Nc5 when white is a pawn up, just!, and black has good compensation once his knight and rook develop.
Potential position, after 16…Kf8 etc.
17. Qxd6 Nc6 To stop mate on e7. 18. Qd7+ Kf8 19. Qxb7 Ne3? Actually another serious mistake, but I wanted to get counterplay against the white king. 20. Qxc6? Simply 20. Ba6!! is crushing (see diagram below). If Qxa6, then Rd8+ diverts the rook to win the queen, or the knight to mate on e7. 20…Rxa6 is mate after 21. Qc8+ etc.
20…Nxd1 21. Kxd1 f6 22. Bh4 Rd8+ 23. Bd3 Qh5+ 24. Kc1 Qxh4 25. g3 Qh3 26. Re1 Re8 27. f5? In a game of errors, this one almost throws the win away.
Black just needs the presence of mind to play Qh6+, when after Kb1, Qd2 is difficult to meet, while Kd1 allows Qh5+, when Re2 allows exf5 with play. With Kf7 possible, and then Kg6, the black rook on h8 comes alive too.
27…e5?? 28. Bb5 Qh5 29. Qc5+ Re7 30. Rd1 1-0 Black has no way to stop catastrophic loss of material and/or mate.
Rathmines (Home) vs. St. Benildus (Away), Played Thursday 16th November 2008
1. Peter Cafolla 1927 0-1 Pavel Madynski 2178
2. Killian Delaney 1950 1-0 Gerry O’Connell 2056
3. Jack Killane 1809 1/2 – 1/2 Oisin Benson 1945
4. Mindaugis Jansaitis 1921 1-0 Tim McCarthy 1886
5. Tony Scannell 1810 0-1 John Healy 1830
6. Kenneth Moore 1683 1-0 Ciaran Mahon 1716
7. Leon Fagan 1773 1-0 Mark Berney 1745
8. Atanas Kouhtev 1436 ?? – ?? Kevin Burke 1550
Rathmines were leading 4.5 to 2.5, with one game still being played. However, Kevin Burke was a piece up in an easily won endgame against Atanas and looked to be coasting to a win. Hence, I expect a close 4.5-3.5 win for Rathmines.
Peter’s opponent ceased marking down his moves when he had more than five minutes left on his clock. He claimed to be unaware of the five-minute rule, but it did seem to affect Peter’s composure. What is the official rule concerning the noting of moves, and are there any sanctions against players failing to comply with it?
Article 8.1 of the Fide Handbook states: “In the course of play each player is required to record his own moves and those of his opponent in the correct manner, move after move, as clearly and legibly as possible, in the algebraic notation (Appendix E), on the ‘scoresheet’ prescribed for the competition. It is forbidden to write the moves in advance, unless the player is claiming a draw according to Article 9.2 or 9.3.” But there are no specified sanctions…
Jack agreed a draw in what seemed like a dominating position. In fact, to my eyes, he looked completely won. I will annotate the end position soon…
Mindaugas was playing white against a Caro Kann and chose the advance variation. He was under some pressure before black blew it at the end, in time pressure.
Tony and John played out a very sharp line in the Sicilian Najdorf, where an early …b5 was punished severely. However, the game was extremely interesting and contained some escape possibilities for black, which he failed to take.
Leon played an Albin Counter Gambit against Mark Berney and quickly gained a crushing bind when white misplayed his black-squared bishop.
Report from John Maher on the Rathmines Ladies Olympians
Rathmines has a long history of female chess players who have gone on to represent Ireland at international level. Here, John Maher reports on the latest addition to that honoured list and also briefly recounts the previous Olympians…
Una O’Boyle has been selected for the Irish team to play in the Ladies Chess Olympiad in Dresden from 12th to 24th of November. (Official Olympiad page). Good luck to Una and we all wish her the best success!
Una is a very popular member of Rathmines Chess Club. She is sure to lift the spirits of the Irish delegation. Una teaches chess through Irish, has written a book on chess in Irish and is awaiting a grant to have it published. Next week, in her native Drogheda, a musical based on her songs will be premiered in a school production entitled “Opening Nights” (not Knights!). She has an interesting MySpace page, featuring music and song: http://www.myspace.com/unaoboyle
Also playing for Ireland will be Elizabeth O’Shaughnessy. Elizabeth is a native of Dublin living in the US. She was a member of Rathmines CC when playing for Ireland in a previous Olympiad.
In 2004 another member of the club Hannah Lowry O’Reilly, when she was 15 years old, played in the Ladies Olympiad, held in Calvia, Mallorca. There she was awarded the title of Women’s FIDE Master for a great performance. Read about her performance here, with games here.
Mai Branagan, a former president of our club, played on the Irish Ladies Olympiad team. Mai is a former president of the Leinster Chess Union and the Branagan Cup is named after her. Mai was Secretary of RCC from 1963-1968 inclusive, and President in 1973 and 1974. She still attends the RCC annual general meetings, but she prefers to play golf and bridge now.
Tonight, Thursday 16th October 2008, the Armstrong A team take on St. Benildus at home.
On Saturday, the Armstrong B team play Kilkenny away.
Celbridge (Home) vs. Rathmines (Away)
Wednesday 15th October 2008
1 Paul Dempsey 2136 1 / 0 Peter Lynch 1535
2 Mark Kiernan 1824 ½ / ½ Peter Bishop 1400
3 Joe Noone 1864 1 / 0 Pat McEvoy 1533
4 Martin Wallace 1829 ½ / ½ Nick Pierce 1432
5 Matt Coulter 1750 1 / 0 Pat Freer 1431
6 Philip Munro 1751 1 / 0 John Maher 1415
7 Noel Quinn 1636 ½ / ½ Paul Mogerley 1325
8 David Walsh 1436 1 / 0 ——–
Score 6½ / 1½
Correction – Noel Quinn’s rating is 1636, not 1403 as previously reported. This makes Paul’s draw even more note-worthy. Thanks to Michael for pointing this out.
This game features a complex middle-game with lots of lovely tactics. Neither player saw all the best moves, but the pressure of black’s attack meant that eventually, in a difficult position, white blunders one last time. (I wanted to also put up Ken Moore’s game against David Mitchell, but found the game score to be illegible, sorry!)
Replay the entire game here in another window: Cassidy vs. Scannell, 2008
Paul Cassidy 1853 (Dun Laoighaire) vs. Tony Scannell 1810 (Rathmines), Board 5, Armstrong Round 2.
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O O-O 5. c4 c5 I see no reason to deviate from the symmetrical moves until white reveals his plan. 6. Nc3 Nc6 7. d4 cxd4 (7… d6 8. d5 (8. dxc5) 8… Na5 9. Nd2 a6 10. Qc2 Rb8 11. b3 b5 Black expands on the queenside)
More normal is an immediate 8… Nxd4 9. Qxd4 d6 10. Qd3 a6
9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. Qc2 d5 11. e4
White wants to challenge black’s centre, but arguably makes a major strategic concession of letting black get a central passed pawn.
11 …d4 12. Rd1 e5 13. Ne2 c5 14. f4 Nd7! Supports e5 and releases the bishop. 15. h3 Qb6 16. fxe5 Nxe5 17. Nf4 Be6
To try and target c4, to force b3, preventing b4. Blacks whole strategy is based on supporting the pawn on d4.
18. Bf1 a5 Against b4 again. 19. Rb1 Qa6 20. b3 Rab8 21.Kg2 f5
Black has a big advantage here. The passed pawn on d4 is a major long-term issue for white to deal with. His king’s pawns are loose and his pieces are passively placed on the back rank.
22. Nxe6 Qxe6 23. exf5 Qc6+! First, obtaining f3 for the knight. 24. Kg1 Nf3+ 25. Kf2?
He could have tried 25. Kh1!? This looks suicidal, but Fritz says it is the best move. The discovered checks are mainly harmless, but certainly don’t look like it! In fact, most human players would not even contemplate such a move. One sample variation goes: 25… Ne1+ 26. Bg2 Nxc2 27. Bxc6 and white is fine.
25…Rxf5 26. Bg2 I now made an inaccurate move, which looked convincing at the time. 26…d3? (26… Ne1+! 27. Kg1 d3! 28. Bxc6 (28. Qd2 Bd4+ 29. Kh2 Nxg2 30. Qxg2 Qxg2+ 31. Kxg2 Rf2+ 32. Kh1 Re8 33. Bd2 Ree2 is crushing) 28… dxc2 picks up a rook.)
27. Rxd3 Bd4+ 28. Be3 White has to try to take the bishop instead: 28. Rxd4 Nxd4+ 29. Qxf5 Qxg2+ 30. Kxg2 Nxf5 and white is winning!
28…Rbf8 Better is Qf6. Takes the queen off the diagonal while ganging up on the f file. Also, 28… Bxe3+ 29. Rxe3 Nd4+?? 30. Qxf5!! This tactic works because the bishop is attacking the queen on c6. 30…gxf5 (30…Qxg2+ 31. Kxg2 gxf5) 31. Bxc6 white wins)
29. Bxd4 Nxd4+ 30. Kg1 Qf6 31. Qd2
The final mistake. He had to try Qd1, to not lose a tempo after Rf2
31…Rf2 32. Qe3 Re2 33. Qf4 Rxg2+ 34. Kxg2 Qc6+ 0-1
Rathmines vs. Bray
Heidenfeld Round 2 Result
1 Pat McEvoy 1533 0 / 1 C Byford 1716
2 John O’Connell 1494 1 / 0 J Phelan 1701
3 David O’Connell 1438 0 / 1 G Mirza 1593
4 Nicholas Pierce 1432 ½ / ½ T Concon 1589
5 Patrick Freer 1431 ½ / ½ L Byrne 1588
6 John Maher 1400 ½ / ½ G Cahil 1499
7 Peter Bishop 1415 ½ / ½ R Murphy 1423
8 Atanas Kouhtev 1436 1 / 0 T Malone 1438
Score 4 / 4
Report from Peter Bishop:
A good result against a far stronger team. Pat McEvoy on board 1 got into an interesting end game which unfortunately fell apart for him. I didn’t see how John O’Connell on board 2 won against his stronger opponent. Dave O’Connell on board 3 looked as if he might win or at the best draw but got into servious time trouble. Pat Freer on board 5 was material up but had to agreed a draw due to time trouble. John Maher on board 6 played his normal steady game and was rewarded with a draw.
Rathmines A vs. Dub Laoghaire
1. Peter Cafolla 159 1927 1-0 Anthony Fox 456 2103
2. Darren McCabe 5722 1897 0 – 1 Bernard Palmer 1354 1928
3. Killian Delaney 5104 1950 1/2 – 1/2 John Lane 764 1897
4. Mindaugas Jansusaitis 12148 1921 1/2 – 1/2 Anthony Dennehy 324 1869
5. Tony Scannell 1533 1810 1 – 0 Paul Cassidy 194 1853
6. Jack Killane 740 1809 1/2 – 1/2 Liam Hearns 573 1824
7. Leon Fagin 406 1773 1 – 0 Peter Jackson 2122 1760
8. Ken Moore 16385 1683 1 – 0 David Mitchell 5169 1637
Score: 5.5 – 2.5 to Rathmines
Jack and Liam agreed a quick draw. Killian equalised, as black, against John Lane, but ran into a perpetual that he couldn’t find a way out of. So two very quick, early draws.
Mindaugas was two pawns up in an easily-won endgame, with two rooks each and opposite squared bishops. He even had a protected passed pawn on c6! Somehow (and I wasn’t looking in detail at the game) he managed to drop two pawns and eventually had to agree a draw.
Ken secured a fine win against David Mitchell (to whom he lost last year). I will publish his game next week, when I get the time.
Darren had a good position until a weak move put him on the defensive. He unfortunately lost it in the endgame.
Leon used excellent technique to secure a win in a K&P vs. K&P endgame. I didn’t see the end, but he was said to have been a bit “jammy”, an accusation he denied!
Tony secured a win against Paul Cassidy after a middle-game attack (a game I will present next week…).
Lastly, after I had left, I heard that Peter had secured his win over Tony Fox.
Overall, the team can be pleased with a 5.5 to 2.5 victory, but it could easily have been even more.
Games to follow next week – Scannell v. Cassidy and Moore v. Mitchell