Armstrong Result: Gonzaga 5 – 3 Rathmines B (see full results here…)
Report from Michael Kennedy, Rathmines B team captain.
A so-so result the other night as we were edged out by a higher rated Gonzaga team, but at least no walkovers were conceded this time. The miserable weather proved an accurate reflection of how poorly things were going over the board, as the Ranelagh team raced into a 3 – 0 lead. The turning point came when substitute Peter Bishop snatched our only victory from the jaws of, well, a draw. The rest of the guys were then able to go on and hold valuable draws.
Abul wasn’t given the chance to settle into his game. Cooper won a piece early on and won quickly.
Ken was next to finish. He essayed his usual setup before sacrificing a pawn in the middle game for an initiative. But then he ran out of steam, leaving his young opponent a pawn up for nothing. It must be said that Collins – yet another exciting prospect off the Gonzaga talent production line – was impressive in finishing off the game.
Another player who impressed was Garth Fitzmaurice against some patzer called Kennedy. The ex-Rathmines player threw me by flashing out the cheeky monkey opening. ..
Too much monkey business… (This is becoming a trend in Rathmines matches…see Atanas’s adoption of the Orang Utan opening. I presume this is the same 1. b4? Michael, how could you lose to this? 🙂 – Ed)
I grabbed the gambit pawn but then mistakenly opted for a solid but passive setup. Fitzmaurice created a huge hole in the black position on d6 and skilfully exploited it. With zero counterplay I was screwed. I must talk to the captain about all these blacks he’s giving me!
Peter Cafolla won Freeman’s queen and a pawn for a rook and bishop. Peter definitely seemed to be on top in another crazy dynamic position – you know, the type favoured only by grandmasters and lunatics! Unfortunately, Peter was worn out by an unusually busy day away from the chessboard and didn’t have the stamina to close the deal. A draw was the result.
Peter Bishop’s win on the lowest board proved crucial. (Highlights from this game and the instructive ending here… – Ed). Tucked away in a corner, I didn’t see much of it. I did hear Peter’s draw offer being turned down. Then somehow, shortly afterwards Peter managed to get his opponent in zugzwang in a K + P ending and won. We needed it. Well done Peter. I couldn’t restrain myself from issuing a spontaneous fist-pump. Sorry!
The remaining three games went pretty much all the way. David drew a R + P ending against the vastly experienced Ray Byrne. It seemed reasonably level all the way with little give on either side, but a good result for David given the 100+ points rating difference between the players.
After that, Jack just about managed to hold an interesting R + 2P vs. R + B + P ending against Eoghan Casey, who tried just about everything to win it. So Jack remains unbeaten after 5 games.
John Burns was last to finish again. It was a tense draw with Mark McGovern after a time scramble. A fair result; though towards the end it looked as though John might just push his opponent off the clock. To McGovern’s credit, he seemed to calmly make the right decisions when very short on time.
To put the match result in context, it probably doesn´t change much for us in the sense that we´re still in the relegation dogfight. The critical matches for us will still be against survival rivals Elm Mount B and particularly, Phibsboro B. The major positive for the team so far would be the good performances from most of the players. Take a look at these relative performance ratings:
1. Peter Cafolla +287
2. John Burns +211
3. Jack Killane +201
4. David Goggins +167
5. Michael Kennedy +125
Our next match is Kilkenny at home on Saturday, 15 December 2007