Archive for September, 2009
I want to show two more games of Kieran’s – thanks to John Burns and Jack Killane for annotating two of theirs against Kieran. Again, we see all of his characteristic play – solid, positional, closed games but with always an eye on tactical chances. His game against John features an uncharacteristic blunder – which, if we overlook, he should have won the game. But I know Kieran would always be the first one to congratulate an opponent, no matter what the circumstances of his loss.
But first, to Jack, who writes:
“My first memory of Kieran Cranny is when I joined Rathmines Chess Club in late 1967. I had been playing chess for 4-5 years as a member of Dublin CC and indeed remained as a member of Dublin for some years thereafter. I had played in Dubin CC teams in the Leinster leagues and so might have met Kieran, but do not remember him.
The following game is the only one I have a record of against Kieran. It was played in the 1968 Rathmines Club Championships. In those days the championship was played on one all-play-all section of 20 players or so (as far as I remember…), so one could play up to 19 games. In practice, many players not in the running for prizes lost interest, so the championship dragged on and many games were not played. In my opinion, the current practice of several sections played over 6 rounds, over 6 weeks, is much better.
My recollection is that the championship was between Michael Keeshan, Colm Egan, and myself. Colm beat Michael, Michael beat me and I beat Colm (rather fortunately). My loss against Kieran knocked me out and Michael was the winner. Michael went on to play on the Irish team in the Skopje Olympiad in 1972. He married, moved to Greystones was a prominent member of the Greystones club. His brother Jim also played in Rathmines and won the senior championships in 1970.
[For the record, Kieran won the Senior championships in 1973, and the Intermediate championships in 2003 (shared) and 2004. - Ed]
Rathmines Senior Championships 1968
White: Cranny, Kieran, Black: Killane, Jack
Replay the game here (opens in a new window)
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Bg5
In those days, I invariably played the Nimzo Indian. I remember great tussles in this against Ray Byrne and Noel Kerrins.
4…h6 5. Bh4 c5 6. e3 O-O 7. Bd3 d5 8. Nf3 b6 9. O-O Bxc3 10. bxc3 Nbd7 11. Re1 Qe8
My notes give black’s move a question mark. I was probably trying to play e5. If so, white’s next move prevents it.
12. cxd5 exd5 13. c4 Bb7 14. Bxf6 Nxf6 15. dxc5 Rd8 16. cxd5 Rxd5 17. cxb6 Qd8
Black thought he was winning a piece but overlooks white’s (obvious) next move.
18. Nd4 Rg5 19. f3 axb6 20. Qe2 Re8 21.Rad1 Nd5 22. Qf2 Qc8 23. g4 Rge5 24. Nf5 Qb8 25. Bc4 Kh8 26. Bxd5 Rxd5 27. Rxd5 Bxd5 28. e4 Bc4?
The final blunder 29. Qd4 Qe5 30. Qxc4 1-0
The second game features a ladder game from 1992. Annotated by John Burns
Rathmines Ladder, 1992
White: Burns, John Black: Cranny, Kieran
Replay Game here
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. a3 Bb7 5. g3 Be7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. Nc3 c5 8. d5 exd5 9. cxd5 d6
10. O-O Re8 11. e4 Nbd7 12. Re1 Ne5 13. Nd2 Nd3 14. Re3 Nxc1 15. Rxc1 a6 16. a4 Bf8 17. Nc4
17…Qc7 18. f4 Nd7 19. Qe2 g6 20. e5 dxe5 21. fxe5 Bg7 22. d6 Qb8 23. Nd5 Bxd5 24. Bxd5 Ra7 25. e6 fxe6 26. Bxe6+ Kh8 27. Bxd7
“An uncharacteristic error by Kieran, particularly at this stage in his career. About five years ago he told me that he could no longer keep “blunders” out of his play, and found them so frustrating that he wouldn’t take on a serious game any more. He wasn’t sad about that, more philosophical. Which was only right – how many of us will still be playing to his standard at the age of 75?
Anyway, he should have played 27… Rxe3 here and then he’s winning. I must reply 28. Nxe3 (28. Qxe3?? Bd4) and then 28… Rxd7 29. Nc4 Bd4+ 30. Kg2 b5 31. axb5 axb5 32. Ne5 Qb7+ 33. Nf3 Rxd6 and Black should be able to convert.
28. Rxe8+ 1-0
Never mind, Kieran. I’m sure some day you will have your revenge in the great chess club in the sky. In the meantime, may you rest in peace.”
The chosen team is expected to be:
1. John Delaney 2211
2. Peter Cafolla 2042
3. Derek Smith 2033
4. Killian Delaney 1980
5. Mindaugas Janusaitis 1869
6. Darren McCabe 1857
7. Tony Scannell 1856
8. Jack Killane 1860
The Rathmines Armstrong team kicks off with a home game against Bray/Greystone on Thursday, 24th Sept.
Rathmines ‘A’ play Rathmines ‘B’ in the Heidenfeld on Monday 28th Sept (remember, we’ve switched to Monday nights now, starting from 21st Sept.!)
Rathmines start their O’Hanlon Cup odyssey on Monday October 5th, at home to Portmarnock.
The BEA and Bodley fixtures are not available yet.
Note that the start dates are staggered, with the Armstrong starting before the Heidenfeld, and so on down the leagues. This is due to a motion passed at the recent LCU AGM, to make it easier for large clubs to build teams.
The UCU have just published the latest ratings. These are the most important ratings of the year, seeing as they set the ratings for the coming league season.
ICU No. Name Rating
318 Delaney, John (FM) 2211
159 Cafolla, Peter 2042
16042 Kalam, Abdul 1993
5104 Delaney, Killian 1980
12148 Janusaitis, Mindaugas 1869
740 Killane, Jack 1860
5722 McCabe, Darren 1857
1533 Scannell, Tony 1856
3955 Kennedy, Michael J. 1838
497 Goggins, David 1817
406 Fagan, Leon 1790
10298 Goralski, Lukasz 1787
9 Aherne, John P. 1760
137 Burns, John 1744
1819 Burke, James 1718
367 Doyle, Philip P. 1697
16385 Moore, Kenneth 1657
4984 Walsh, Graeme 1618
277 Crowley, John 1613
10307 McEvoy, Pat 1586
813 Lynch, Peter J. 1540
3647 O’Connell, David 1452
1232 O’Connell, John 1452
3335 Bishop, Peter 1436
1371 Pierce, Nicholas 1411
10737 Gaffney, John P. 1409
460 Freer, Patrick 1384
5571 Kouhtev, Atanas 1367
6055 Osborne, James 1357
834 Maher, John 1353
2314 Byrne, Ciaran J. 1328
900 Mogerley, Paul 1320
6250 Walsh, Kevin 1262
12273 Gruel, Thomas 1250*
10357 McCrann, Roland 1156
5196 O’Boyle, Una 1145
6937 McGrath, Andrew 1122
10474 Cunningham, Edward 1035
10735 Wilson, Robert 983
12057 O’Brien, Pat 960
10771 Cooke, Frank 846
3312 Hall, Shane 717
12169 Cooke, Peter 700
5535 Lowry-O’Reilly, Johanna 700
6904 Mowlds, Dee 700
12113 O’Raw, Marion 700
The chess club have arranged to move downstairs, to more comfortable rooms, in the Rathgar Parish centre (i.e. same address). One chess club night has been switched from Tuesdays to Mondays, starting from the 21st September. This helps avoid noisy music lessons and other distractions.
Therefore, from Monday, September 21st, 2009, please come in on Mondays and Thursdays and stay downstairs. No club night will be held on Tuesdays from now on.
The Rathmines AGM was held on Thursday, August 27th, 2009. There was a turnout of 24 members or so. Jack Killane (President) sat alongside Peter Bishop (Secretary) and John Maher (Treasurer) at top table and they very ably processed through last year’s minutes, the financial state of affairs, and other regular business. Thanks were given to Liam King for once again auditing the accounts.
There was one important financial decision: club fees would remain as they were in 2008.
The first highlight of the evening came when the members of the club applauded the announcement that Jack Killane and Paul Mogerley would be made Honorary members of the club – a very popular decision. Their contributions over many years is too considerable to fully list here – but includes Jack’s role as an officer of the club, captain, player, and general wit-about-town, while Paul has also contributed as a player and captain, comitttee member and did much work for the hosting of our annual Rathmines tournament.
Jack made a long and very witty speech. He started by quoting Kasparov before his world championship encounter with Nigel Short, when he said “Short it is and it will be short”. Jack – comparing himself at one point to Ronaldo – spoke of his love of chess and of competition. In a long career, Jack himself admits that he has reduced many an opponent to tears. “If his flag falls, tough titty” was his pithy phrase.
Paul gave a very touching speech of thanks, acclaiming the club’s friendliness and the members’ long-standing generosity towards him. He said he had “never met a kinder bunch of people” and their “gentlemanly approach was great”. His heart-felt thanks were warmly appreciated by the members.
A motion to honour the memory of our most recently deceased member and great friend, Kieran Cranny, was passed. (I should mention Jim Shaw, another member who is recently deceased.) The annual blitz tournament, run over three rounds in the early part of every year, will receive a Perpetual trophy, to be named the Kieran Cranny Cup. Winner’s names will be inscribed, backdating to the first tournament, held in 2005. Unfortunately, it was not possible to name one of our other trophies after Kieran, such as the Intermediate competition, which some members felt would have been a better choice. But the blitz tournament is extremely popular and most people felt that it would be a fitting tribute to Kieran. He always got a great kick out of watching the blitz event, even if he was not up to competing in it himself.
A decision was made to investigate the possibility of travelling to Belguim, to play some chess against the club of our ex-member, Stephan Meskens. We’ll be looking into the possibility of arranging this for some time in the near future.
Presentations were made for the various club competitions: Seniors, won by Tony Scannell, Intermediates won by John Gaffney, and the Juniors by Una O’Boyle. The ladder was won by John Maher, with Nicky Pierce second.
The committee was selected for next year: Paul Mogerley, James Osborne, Tony Scannell, Ciaran Byrne, Peter Lynch, Andrew McGrath, and Pat McEvoy.
The officers for next year will be President: Michael Kennedy, Vice President: Jack Killane, Treasurer: John Maher, Secretary: Peter Bishop, and Honorary Auditor: Liam King. Congratulations to those selected for these posts and good luck for the next year!
(PS: Sorry for the late post, but I’ve been very busy in my new job of late – which is a good complaint to have!)