Archive for November, 2008
Una finished strongly, with wins in her final two games, to leave her on the extremely respectable score of 4/8 points and a performance rating of 1630, which far exceeds her regular Irish rating. She has done herself proud and Rathmines Chess club is delighted at her performance. Indeed, had she got the entirely reasonable draw against her Scottish opponent in round 4 (a 1796 rated player) then she’d have done even better.
Una’s game-by-game results:
|O’Boyle Una 0 IRL Rp:1630|
|2||479||Eulentin Marianna||0||SEY||1338||1,5||w 1||4|
|3||318||Dedijer Mira||1999||BIH||1861||4,0||s 0||4|
|4||402||Hughes Rhian||1796||SCO||1858||6,0||w 0||4|
|5||428||Muhtojzoda Asila||1640||TJK||1753||4,5||w 0||4|
|6||313||Sciortino Marilyn||2005||MLT||1407||1,5||s 1||4|
|7||561||Lopes Nelma||0||ANG||1544||2,0||s 0||4|
|9||452||Arosemena Nicole||0||PAN||1246||2,0||s 1||4|
|11||552||Wakabayashi Hisako||0||JPN||1335||2,5||w 1||4|
Inchicore vs. Rathmines, Thursday, November 20th 2008
1 Liam Porter 1831 1 / 0 Pat McEvoy 1533
2 Sean Murphy 1494 1 / 0 John Crowley 1634
3 Pearse Connolly 1438 0 / 1 David O’Connell 1438
4 Darrgh Connolly 1432 1 / 0 Nicholas Pierce 1432
5 Andrew Rodger 1431 0 / 1 Atanas Kouhtev 1436
6 Paul Malone 1400 ½ / ½ Patrick Freer 1431
7 John Curtis 1415 ½ / ½ John Maher 1415
8 Karl Dowling 1436 0 / 1 Peter Bishop 1400
Report from Peter Bishop:
The Heidenfeld team managed a creditable draw against a stronger Inchicore team on Thursday 20th November. Nick Pierce surprisingly lost. Dave O’Connell is back to his winning ways (his opponent
resigned despite there being some play left). John Crowley was unlucky in the end game where his opponent had an extra passed pawn.
Atanas Kouhtev played a strange game. He lost a rook for a minor piece early on. John Maher, who saw the middle game, says despite this he was piling on the pressure. I saw the end game where it was obvious he had turned the game around because, a) he had regained his loss and b) had his opponent’s king in serious trouble. As I watched, that hold tightened. There was a great deal of space around Atanas’ king which his opponent tried to exploit but this only resulted in Atanas picking up more material.
In my game, my opponent gave me too much spare on his king side which I was used to win a pawn and also create a passed pawn. I turned down a draw because there was still play left and went on to win.
A picture of the women’s team, with Una on the right…http://www.icu.ie/images/display.php?id=390
Nigel Short, always eager to please, has his picture taken with the Irish team: http://www.icu.ie/images/display.php?id=393
Full set here: http://www.icu.ie/images/list.php?text=Dresden+Olympiad
Rathmines A vs. Dublin University
Played Thursday, November 20th 2008.
1 Cafolla, Peter 1927 0 – 1 McPhillips, Karl 2283
2 Delaney, Killian 1950 1/2-1/2 Harding, Tim 2042
3 McCabe, Darren 1897 1/2 – 1/2 Burcea, Valentin 1900*
4 Janusaitis, Mindaugas 1921 1/2 – 1/2 Menzies, Colin 1904
5 Scannell, Tony 1810 1/2 – 1/2 Hayes, Peter J. 1890
6 Killane, Jack 1809 1 – 0 Moran, Stephen 1841
7 Fagan, Leon 1773 0 – 1 Delaney, Rory 1821
8 Moore, Ken 1683 1 – 0 Barry, Kevin 1606
Match Result: 4 – 4
They say of the European Championships (soccer) of 1988 that Ireland won a game they should have lost, drew a game they should have won, and lost a game they should have drawn. Last night felt a little bit like that: Peter lost a game he should have won, Killian drew a game he might have won, Mindaugaus drew a game he should have lost, as did Tony, while Ken was looking in a tight spot before making a great comeback. All in all, for the dust to settle and the result to be an undramatic 4 -4 draw hardly tells the story.
McPhilips vs. Cafolla, white to move
Board one was a miniture of the volatile nature of the entire match. Peter, black in the above position, only has to shepherd his a-pawn home and he is winning. He managed to turn a win into a draw in one move and then the draw into a loss in the very next.
After white plays 1. axb3, the correct move is 1…Rxb3. This should win. Instead, he played 1…cxb3, and after 2. Rf4+ he has to accept a perpetual check, with Kg5. Instead, he played 2…Ke6??. The game ended 3. Rxf6+ Kxf6 4. Rh6+ Kf5 5. Rxb6 Ke4 6. Rb4 Kd3 7. Rxa4 Kxc3 8. Ra3 Kc4 9. Rxb3 Kxb3 10. Kf2 Kc4 11. Ke3 and black resigns.
In a similarly generous mood, I reached this position, as black, against Peter Hayes, who had recently beaten me at the Galway Congress:
Hayes – Scannell, after Qd2-c2
Black is a pawn down, but has good counterplay on the kingside. The game started as a queen’s pawn game, turning into a Sicilian Marocsy Bind-type position, and then developed into a type of King’s Indian battle! I spotted what I thought was a neat tactic to win the pawn back and keep the attack going. After 1…Nxe4? 2. Qxe4 Bf5 (the “trick” – the queen is trapped, unless he sacrifices the knight) 3. g3! I was stumped. I missed this completely, only hoping for Ne7+ to clear an escape route for the queen.
After the forced 3…Bxe4, there followed 4. gxh4 Bxd5 5. cxd5 f3 6. Bd3? (probably Rxc8 is best) 6…Rb8 7. Rc6? This mistake allows black to escape… 7…e4! Bxe4 8. Rxb6! Rxb6 9. Bd4+ Kh1 10. Bxb6 and the game was drawn shortly afterwards.
Despite facing a 2005-rated player, Una won in fine style today, not getting fussed by her opponent’s extra pawn on f6, guarded by a bishop on g7. If anything, white’s bishop became a liability because it was shut out from the play. Una dominated play in the centre, eventually winning back her pawn with interest and finishing off the game quite convincingly. It was the confident display of a player in form and should make up for the disappointment in round 4.
In the final position, white cannot stop the a-pawn advancing while also preventing the d-pawn promoting.
Elm Mount vs. Rathmines B
Round 5, Played Monday 17th November 2008.
1 David Fitzsimons 2145 1 – 0 David Goggins 1876
2 Zygis Jakubauskas 2028 1 – 0 Michael Kennedy 1796
3 Gerry MacElligott 1970 0 – 1 John Aherne 1693
4 Adam Spirek 1960 1 – 0 Peter Lynch 1535
5 Ciaran Quinn 1934 1 – 0 Graeme Walsh 1610
6 Oliver Dunne 1813 1 – 0 John Crowley 1634
7 John Loughran 1813 1 – 0 7 Nicky Pierce 1432
8 Ray O’Rourke 1925 W – 0
Score 7 – 1
Report from Michael:
It’s going from bad to worse for the B-team. Abul called in sick an hour before the match, so we had to concede a walkover. John Aherne’s great win against Gerry MacElligott was the only bright spot on a dreary night for the team.
That said, a few of us came close. Goggins has been very unlucky so far this season. Looking at his position, I was sure he could get the draw. Then again, I’m not the 2150 player that his opponent was! Peter was in a similar situation against his much higher rated opponent, but misjuded the pure same colour bishops ending. In my game, my opponent got little from his King’s Gambit. I was reasonably comfortable in the middlegame – looking like I was just a pawn up. Sadly, I got a little overconfident towards the ending in trying to mobilise my majority and he took advantage. I’m disappointed as I didn’t think I could lose it!
Three games are featured here, from the recent Armstrong A team’s 6-2 win over Bray/Greystones.
Board 2: John Joyce vs. Killian Delaney, 5th November 2008 Replay
Slav Defence A game where Killian again demonstrates that being alert tactically is an essential aspect of chess.
1. d4 c5 2. c3 cxd4 3. cxd4 d5 4. Bf4 Nc6 5. e3 Nf6 6. Nc3 e6 7. Bd3 Bd6 8. Nge2 O-O 9. Rc1 e5 10. dxe5 Nxe5 11. Bb1 Be6 12. O-O Rc8 13. Nd4 Qd7 14. Ndb5 Bb8
Position after 14…Bb8
15. Nxa7! So if Bxa7, then Bxe5. Hard to see black winning in another 2 moves or so!
Incredibly, Fritz recommends 16. Nxc8 here, with 16…Bxd1 17. Bf5 (if Qxf5, Ne7+!) Qc7 18. Rfxd1 and white is better apparently. See the position below.
Possible position after Rfxd1
16. Qb3? Nf3+!
and resigns, because taking the knight is mate shortly, while going Kh1 drops the knight on a7. Ouch!
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Nxc6? Makes it easy for black to dominate central pawn structure. 6… bxc6 7. Bd3 Nf6 8.O-O a5 9. Qe2 Bc5 10. Bg5 Qe5 11. Bxf6 gxf6 12. Kh1 h5 13. f4 Qc7 14. e5 Be7 15. exf6 Bxf6 16. f5 Bxc3
Position after 16…Bxc3
White is trying to use his lead in development to clear the centre and attack the black king, still stranded.
17. fxe6!? Either bonkers or brilliant… 17… dxe6 (Rescuing the bishop is suicide, so he has to take on e6) 18. bxc3 Bb7 19. Rad1 O-O-O Black flees from the centre, but the queenside isnt any safer.
Position after black castles queenside.
20. Rb1! Never be afraid to change plans when the position changes. 20… Rd7 21. Ba6 and the game is effectively over.
21…Qb8 22. Rxb7! Qxb7 (Rxb7 23. Rxf7 is equally ineffective) 23. Bxb7+ Rxb7 24. Qa6 Kb8 25. Qxa5 Rb5 26. Qa6 Rc8 27. Rxf7 Rb1+ 28. Rf1 1-0
A curiously one-sided game, where black plays some anti-positional moves right at the opening and never recovers any momentum.
1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 dxe5 5. Nxe5 g6?! I question this move. It looks too slow for my liking, but is apparently a mainline. 6. Qf3 Asks black how he intends to defend f7. This isn’t, as it turns out, the most common line, but it seems most critical to me. 6…f6? But this appears a positional mistake. He permanently weakens e6. Better is Be6, or retreating the knight 7. Bc4!
Position after Bc4
Never hesitate to pile on the pressure when attacking. The knight is immune.
7…c6 8. Nd3 Bg7 9. Nc3 e6 10. O-O O-O 11. Re1 Kh8 12. Nf4 Nxf4 13. Qxf4 e5 14.dxe5 fxe5 15. Qg3 Bf5 16. Bg5 Qc7 17. Rad1 Bxc2
Nevermind the pawn on c2, it is more important to develop the last piece. Black is teetering on the brink of a lost position. But he still needs to probably take the pawn and hope my attack backfires. Surveying the position shows black very behind in development and white dominating the central squares, his bishops slice open the centre, and the black pawn on e5 is very weak.
Position after Bxc2
18. Rd2 Bf5 19. Red1 Nd7 20. Qh4 Nb6 21. Bb3 Rae8 22. Bd8! Winning the exchange
Position after Bd8
22…Qc8 23. Be7 Rxe7 24. Qxe7 Bf6 25. Qc5 Re8 26. a4! To undermine the knight 26…Bg5 27. Re2 Qb8 28. Ne4 Bxe4? Dubious, since he now becomes terribly weak on the white squares. 29. Rxe4 Nc8 30. Rde1 Bf6 31. f4 Nd6 32.R4e2 e4 33. Bc2 Nf5
Sets up a nasty surprise on d4, if white isn’t careful. E.g. if Bxe4??, then Bd4+ wins comfortably.
34. Rxe4 Rd8 35. Kh1 Bxb2 36. R4e2 Bd4 37. Qc4 Qxf4 The last mistake. He now faces a mating attack.
38. Bxf5 gxf5 39. Re8+ Rxe8 40. Rxe8+ Kg7 White musn’t forget that black has a potential mate in one! He has to keep checking. 41. Qg8+ Kh6 42. Re6+ Kh5 43.Qxh7+ Kg4 44. Rg6+ Qg5 45. Qh3+ Kf4 46. Qf3+ 1-0
Una is on 1/4 at the Olympiad, basically mirroring the Irish ladies team’s performance, which has been a struggle. But Una is performing extremely well in each game and hasn’t made many obvious mistakes. Una did notch up a fine win in round 2 and came agonisingly close to getting a deserved draw against the Scottish player, Rhian Hughes, 1796, in round 4.
In the diagram below, right at the end of a very tense fight, it is Una to play (as white). The draw is almost guaranteed after the simple 1. g4! Then follows 1…b4 2. g5 b3 3. g6 b2 4. g7 b1Q 5. g8Q 6. Qxe4 and it is a dead draw. White will win the last black pawn on e5 because her King is much closer.
Tragically, and obviously under pressure after a long game, Una went for 1. Kxe5? which is one tempo down and should lose. After the possible 1…b4 2. g4 b3 3. g5 b2 4. g6 b1Q 5. Kf6 (to try and shepherd the pawn home) 5…Qxe4 6. g7 Qe8 (or Qd5, Qh7, even Qf4+), black will get in front of the pawn and gain tempi for the king’s advance.
In the game, after black played 1…b4, Una tried releasing the e-pawn to advance, but after 2. Kd4 b3, resigned. Ireland play Malta tomorrow, 19th November. Meanwhile, the Irish men’s team are doing well enough to be facing Serbia, a much stronger team, tomorrow.
Rathmines’ very own Una O’Boyle is competing with the Irish Ladies team at the Chess Olympiad being held this month in Dresden. The first round is Thursday, November 13th, 2008, starting around 3pm local time (2pm Irish time I presume…).
VIEW LIVE GAMES (2pm Irish time, most days): http://schachlive.dresden2008.de/nations.f.eng.html and click on the Irish flag. (Of course, you can click on any other flag you want too!)
To follow the results, this is a very good service: http://chess-results.info/Default.aspx?lan=1
To get the Irish team results directly, click on: http://chess-results.info/tnr16314.aspx?art=34&fed=IRL&lan=1&flag=30&m=-1
Chessbase will be producing daily updates and stories: www.chessbase.com
As always, The Week In Chess (or TWIC) produces some of the best coverage of chess action in major tournaments: http://www.chesscenter.com/twic/twic.html
The Irish team (Men) is: Baburin, Kelly, Collins, Quinn, and Heidenfeld.
The Irish team (women) is: Ui Laighleis, Shaughnessy, Cormican, Coughlan, and O’Boyle.
The BEA Rathmines team played Inchicore on Tuesday, 4th November, and came out with a credible 2-3 loss. Ed Cunningham won yet again! He has won every game this year (4/4) and is beating opponents up to 300 points higher rated. Rob Wilson scored his first win for Rathmines. Marion, although defeated, forced her opponent right to the end, with a game of 62 moves.
Rathmines vs. Inchicore A, Played 4th Nov 2008
Ed Cunnigham 966 1 – 0 Christy Spellman 1268
Shane Hall 728 0 – 1 Chris Sheridan 1249
Dee Mowlds 700 0 – 1 John Thompson 1212
Rob Wilson UG 1 – 0 Eamonn Connolly 1160
Marion O’Raw 700 0 – 1 Christy Hassett 1142
Result: 3-2 for Inchicore ‘A’
Report from Peter Bishop
Match played Saturday 8th November
The Heidenfeld team won their first match of the season beating a stronger Killkenny team 5.5 to 2.5. Once again the team picked up points against a potentially stronger team. On board 1 Pat McEvoy gained a bishop advantage and proceeded to win a rook-pawn end game. John and David O’Connells agreed draws after difficult defensive games. On board 6 Pat Freer finished with 20 minutes rather than 20 seconds on the clock. At this point both sides held strongly defendable position. To launch an attack risked weakening one’s position with limited time to win. On board 7 John Maher had a good win. The position was very drawish with time running out when he sacrificed his rook for a bishop checking the king. If the king took the rook then John could fork his opponent’s king and rook with time to win the game. Peter Bishop’s board 8 game is best forgotten about.
First, the good news: the Armstrong A team had their best result of the season last night, winning 6-2 against a very strong Bray/Greystones team. Despite being out-rated on 5 boards and having to meet Colm Daly (Board 1, 2276) and John Joyce (board 2, 2166), Rathmines pulled off five wins, two draws, and only one defeat.
Bray/Greystones vs. Rathmines. Played Wednesday November 5th, Obama Day!
Board Name ICU Rating Result Name ICU Rating
1 Daly, Colm 295 2276 ½- ½ Cafolla, Peter 159 1927
2 Joyce, John 658 2166 0-1 Delaney, Killian 5104 1950
3 Reynolds, Pat 1430 1923 0-1 McCabe, Darren 5722 1897
4 Beckett, Brian 43 1884 0-1 Janusaitis, Mindaugas 12148 1921
5 Bennett, Eric 2741 1883 0-1 Scannell, Tony 1533 1810
6 Byford, Colin 7266 1716 0-1 Killane, Jack 740 1809
7 Phelan, John 1368 1701 1-0 Moore, Ken 16385 1683
8 Gaines, Brian 466 1653 ½ – ½ Fagan, Leon 406 1773
Killian forced his opponent’s early resignation (16 moves!) with a surprise knight check on a guarded f3. Darren won comfortably when his opponent hastily castled queenside onto an open b-file. Mindaugas wrapped up his win too in comfortable enough fashion. Myself (Tony) played a sharp and interesting game against Eric’s Alekhine defence. He finally blundered, in a difficult position, into a mating net, which he could only forestall with a sacrifice of his queen. Jack seemed to have too much activity and sucked up pawns like they were going out of fashion. Peter ended the night’s matches with a very interesting theoretical position: a king and rook vs. king and two connected pawns (knight and rook pawns). I didn’t know my endings well-enough to determine if this was a draw, a win for black, or a win for white, but trust that Daly and Cafolla knew better! They agreed a draw, with Daly in considerable time trouble.
These results leave Killian, Leon, and Mindaugaus on 3.5/4 each, Ken and Tony on 3/4, Peter on 1.5/3, Jack on 2/4, and Darren on 1.5/3.
I will annotate Killian’s, Darren’s, and my own game sometime over the next week or so.
Meanwhile, our next game is home versus Dublin University on Thursday, November 20th.
Now for the bad news. Rathmines B team had another – yes, another! – 6.5-1.5 defeat, this time to Gonzaga…I got no report from Michael, so I can only presume he’s too depressed to send me one! Michael himself did obtain a draw against 2000-rated David Murray, while Graeme continues his season with another excellent draw, this time against Eoin Spring, 1769.
Board Rathmines B ICU no. Rating Result Gonzaga ICU no. Rating
1 Abul Kalam 16049 2059 0 – 1 Andrew Cooper 7719 2125
2 David Goggins 497 1876 0 – 1 Gordon Freeman 4153 2120
3 Michael Kennedy 3955 1796 0.5 – 0.5 David Murray 4941 2000
4 John Aherne 9 1693 0.5 – 0.5 Eoghan Casey 4174 1892
5 Philip Doyle 367 1719 0 – 1 Ray Byrne 152 1876
6 Graeme Walsh 4984 1610 0.5 – 0.5 Eoin Spring 3970 1769
7 Pat McEvoy 10307 1535 0 – 1 Carl Jackson 4618 1672
8 Peter Lynch 813 1535 0 – 1 Michael O’Toole 10281 1435
1.5 – 6.5