Archive for January, 2009
Here’s the scorecard from Wednesday night’s Armstrong match, 28th January. Rathmines B scored their first, and very impressive, match win of the season.
Report from Michael: Just a few words about what remember, the win came as a complete surprise to everyone. Luckily for us, St. Benildus were shorn of two of their higher boards in Benson and Lyons (both 1900ish). There were a number of interesting encounters on the night. Unfortunately, my uneventful 21-move draw wasn´t one of them. From our point of view, there were 3 heroes. Burns must have been well satsfied with his win. He methodically built his game around a monster pawn he shoved to d6 in the early middlegame. However, a blunder ended the game prematurely. Crowley also won well. With a blocked centre, John´s opponent launched an kingside attack. John patiently trusted his defensive abilities and eventually beat off the attack and assumed the initiative. Meanwhile, Peter continued his hot streak with a 3rd win in a row against higher rated opposition. He kept it exciting in the time scramble at the finish, where he blundered and almost got mated though easily winning on material and time, before delivering mate himself. Graeme held a secure-looking advantage until his opponent got out of gaol with a lovely combo to resolve into a drawn R&P. Lukasz earned a well deserved draw in a tense KID. BTW thumbs up on the new venue.
St. Benildus vs. Rathmines B
1 Pavel Madynski 2124 1 – 0 Abul Kalam 2059
2 Gerard O’Connell 2051 1 – 0 David Goggins 1876
3 Tim McCarthy 1904 0.5 – 0.5 Lukasz Goralski 1769
4 John Gibson 1816 0.5 – 0.5 Michael Kennedy 1796
5 Ciaran Mahon 1707 0 – 1 John Burns 1774
6 Dave Willow 1699 0.5 – 0.5 Graeme Walsh 1620
7 Michael Hanley 1683 0 – 1 Peter Lynch 1578
8 Ciaran Ruane 1399 0 – 1 John Crowley 1634
3.5 – 4.5
Captain, Rathmines B (Armstrong)
The 2009 Rathmines Blitz Tournament was held on Tuesday 27th January. It was a quiet night by the standards of this competition, with just 12 players. However, there are two more rounds to go and any player can join in for any round, so watch out for announcements! The next two rounds are to be held in March sometime, no date set yet.
Killian Delaney demolished the field with 9/9, showing again his dominance over five minutes. It is all that practice on Chessbase! Right behind him was John Crowley on 8/9, John again showing he can produce great results in blitz. The rest of the field was strung out behind them – Atanas Kouthev and Tony Scannell shared third on 6/9, with Jack on 5.5/6. The other players were John Maher, Roland McGrann, James Osborne, Paul Mogerley, Peter Lynch, Ciaran Byrne, and Pat McEvoy.
I am awaiting the full results from the organisers (thanks to John Crowley, the controller, and James Osborne for supplying the equipment).
O’Hanlon Cup, Board 6, 13 January 2009
White: Kelvin Shunjie Koh (rating 1152) Dublin University
Black: Ed Cunningham (rating 966) Rathmines
A really good game from Ed, featuring a well-executed king hunt and mating attack.
Ed’s comments in normal type, mine in italics.
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Qe2
Position after 5. Qe2
Not the best. Stronger is simply 5. d4 or, nowadays, 5. Nc3 is played quite often.
5. …Qe7 6. d3 Nf6
One of the lines in the Petroff (my favourite opening despite usually forgetting what move 4 should be!)
7. Bg5 Be6
The two usual options for Black are …Qxe2 or …Nbd7 but I wanted to keep the queens on the board, so developed one of my bishops.
8. Nbd2 d5
To prevent Ne4 which I felt was coming up next and to open a diagonal for my queen and bishop.
9. Nd4 Nbd7 10. Nb5
After 10. Nb5
This threatens Nxc7+ forking the king and rook and appears to discourage queenside castling, although the computer says that castling is blacks best move, I don’t like it, so bring my queen out to defend instead.
To start making threats, which can be easily parried, is not a good long-term strategy. White has spent two moves to get the knight to b5 with no obvious reward.
10. …Qc5 11. c4 dxc4 12. dxc4 a6 13. Nb3 Qb6 Or Qxg5, but Nxc7+ follows…with complications
14. N5d4 Bb4+
Position after 14…Bb4+
An obvious move for black, developing my final piece with tempo.
We can also add that the sorry knight is back on d4 having only aided black’s development and that Nb3 was another empty threat.
This is okay if White can get his rook out to the d file and his king to b1.
Better would be Bd2. He is very optimistic that he can get his king to safety, but this will prove to be his undoing. In fact, I think this is the losing move.
15. …0-0-0 16. Kc2
Anxious to get the king to safety, Nxe6 followed by Be3 would have been better.
I wasn’t sure of the correct move here but at least this one delays Whites plan for his kings safety. The pretty obvious threat from black is a bishop check, discovering an attack on whites queen, so white takes the bishop.
Rhe8 is an excellent move. Just contrast white’s uncoordinated and undeveloped pieces to black’s mass of them in the centre and his very safe king.
17. Nxe6 Rxe6 18. Be3 Bc5
Be3 was a good move, but should have happened sooner. Again I wasn’t sure of the best move here but rather than move my queen, I felt an exchange was in order, both to open the d file and to give my opponent room to possibly blunder, something I usually do when there’s a small tactical sequence to calculate!
19. Nxc5 Nxc5 20. g3?
White would have been better with Rd1.
Removing the pin on the c5 knight and also threatening the h1 rook.
After Bh3, black has a forced win
Connecting his rooks and also pinning blacks e6 rook, however things are not good for white after that move.
Making moves that “look good” and without checking whether they actually address the opponent’s threats or not is called “Hope Chess” by Dan Heismann. White is simply hoping that it will work! Having said that, Ed’s finish is a multi-move king hunt that is hard to visualise.
21. …Qe4+ Kc3
Kc1 was white’s best option but his queen is lost following 22. …Nd3+
23. Kb4 Nd5+ A very pretty finish!
White resigns as there is no way to avoid 24. …b6#
A nice mate with a pawn, which can often provide the finishing touch after the king has been chased up the board. I was pleased with this game, especially the last few moves, plus it was over relatively quickly without too much analysing required in the middle game, which I can’t stand! The only threats from white appeared to be the knight badgering me on b5 and the couple of attacks on my major pieces but overall I think that black had the greater initiative for most of the game. I think there are better lines in the Petroff than white’s “Queen to e2″ where it remained relatively inactive. Some of these lines lead to exciting open games for the beginner and I certainly don’t consider it a ‘drawish’ opening.
The Armstrong A team were due to play their round 8 against Malahide on Monday 26th January. It has now been moved back to Monday 2nd February.
1.Daniel J. Fajinhi U.G. 1-0 Ed Cunningham 966
2.Kieran Howley 1016 1-0 Johannah Lowry O’Reilly 700
3.Michael Eyers 980 1/2-1/2 Shane Hall 728
4.Paul Bellew 788 1-0 Dee Mowlds 700
5.Peter Kennon U.G. 1-0 Walk Over
There will be a Memorial Rapidplay Event for Philip Hogarty on Saturday, April 4th in the Teachers Club in Dublin. Entry fee will be 20 euro and all proceeds will go towards making this tournament an annual event.
Registration will start at 9.30am. Any queries call Darren McCabe 087 693 8736.
The Annual Rathmines blitz tournament kicks off again this month. This is held over three nights, each of nine games. There will be prizes for Senior, Intermediate, and Junior levels, but all players are mixed into a single competition. John Crowley will be controlling.
The first night is Tuesday, January 27th, 2009, starting between 7.30pm and 8pm.
New players are very welcome to join in!
The second and third rounds will be held in March sometime, dates yet to be decided.
Here’s the Armstrong scorecard from Rathmines B vs Malahide 13-Jan-09:
Rathmines B vs Malahide
1 Abul Kalam 2059 0 – 1 Justin Daly 1877
2 David Goggins 1876 0.5 – 0.5 Frank McMahon 1855
3 John Burns 1774 0 – 1 Paul Taaffe 1755
4 Michael Kennedy 1796 0 – 1 Gerry Smith 1663
5 John Aherne 1693 0.5 – 0.5 Gerry Buckley 1656
6 Philip Doyle 1733 1 – 0 Kevin McGrane 1695
7 Graeme Walsh 1620 0.5 – 0.5 Vincent Bissett 1637
8 Peter Lynch 1578 1 – 0 Paul Reilly 1618
3.5 – 4.5
This is perhaps the best result of the season for the B team, despite the loss. Both Philip and Peter managed fine wins and there were three draws. With a little luck, the result may have been different.
Rathmines A vs. Phibsboro
1 Delaney, John 0 – 1 Brady, Stephen 2359
2 Delaney, Killian 1922 1 – 0 Lanca, Ivan 2102
3 Killane, Jack 1829 0 – 1 O’Donovan, Richard 2061
4 Jansunitas, Mindaugaus 1857 1/2 – 1/2 Butler, Kevin C. 2030
5 Scannell, Tony 1790 0 – 1 Nolan, John 1935
6 O’Connell, David w/o 0 – 1 Busig, Xavier Xerxes 1848
7 Khoutev, Atanas 1405 0 – 1 Salter, David 1882
8 O’Connell, John 1475 0 – 1 Mazur, Ireneusz 1822
The A team’s result on Thursday was an awful thrashing. We were four players short (four!!) and with a B team in the top league, we really don’t have the subs with the requisite strength to adequately replace them. However, having said that, we were delighted to welcome ex-Irish Champion John Delaney (the better looking Delaney) to the team. His presence on board one at least meant that Stephen Brady had to work for a point. Here’s hoping he can make some more appearances! Also, as John Maher pointed out to me, it meant we had three ex-Irish Champions playing at the same time…
Board two was a curious affair. It began with the very unusual 1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 f5 3. ef d5. Very early in the game Killian won two rooks and a pawn for a queen and was building a winning position. Just after my game had ended, and with just minutes left on the clocks, Killian had two rooks and three pawns against a lone queen. Black’s position was hopeless, but he continued to play on. Without going into the details, let’s just say that the ending was more bizarre than the beginning! Next time, I am bringing a copy of the rule book with me…ahem.
My own game against John Nolan was a tragic affair in two halves. Actually, it was a poor game by both of us. John seemed uncharacteristically generous – either that or he was luring me into a false sense of security.
White has just played the hasty f4?
After the obvious 1. … Nxc4 2. bxc4 Bxc3 3. Bxc3 Qxc3 4. Rac1? Qxg3, (Bxc4 may have been even stronger) he had dropped two pawns in succession and seemed to have done enough damage that he could have resigned. He tried a speculative sacrifice of a third pawn to open up black’s kingside and, in fairness, he did have lots of open lines and compensation. We reached the following position:
Black to play and win?
Faced with too many good moves, I dithered. Be6, or e6, or Rc5, all simplify the game and leave black three clear pawns up. I blundered into Kh8, trying to take the king off the g-file. It was a stupid move, played without thinking. After Rd5, the bishop drops and white escaped. C’est la vie.
With Mindaugaus securing a quick draw in an Exchange Ruy Lopez, Jack succumbing to another ex-Irish Champion, and Atanas and John playing on against the odds, the end-result was a miserable loss. Phibsboro deserved the win and look likely to win the title. We can look back on the early season over-achievements and be proud.
It’s a new year and a new beginning. The leagues have reached the Round 7 stage and all teams are in play next week. The club re-opens tomorrow night (Tuesday, 5th January) and the first home match is scheduled for the following Tuesday.
Round 7 Matches
BEA away to Balbriggan, Saturday 10th January
O’Hanlon away to Dublin University (Trinity), Tuesday 13th January
Armstrong B home to Malahide, Tuesday 13th January
Armstrong A home to Phibsboro, Thursday 15th January
Heidenfeld away to Phibsboro B, Thursday 15th January