The annual Rathmines Christmas blitz was held last night. The night was a great success, partly thanks to the generous prizes from the committee and donations by several players, but also to the general good humour and seasonal cheer.
Kieran Cranny opened the club – as he does tirelessly throughout the year – with his usual cheeriness and warmth. He wished everyone a very happy Christmas before making an early exit. Honestly, I don’t know what the club would do without Kieran – he adds a very friendly touch to the proceedings, despite not being up to playing a full night of blitz. Thanks Kieran.
We were joined on the night by two new players, Eric Davidsson, and Mendaugas from Lithuania (who’s full name I did not get unfortunately) who certainly added keenly to the competition.
We split the players into two sections of 12 each. The first section was very ably administered by Jack Killane using what looked, to the uninitiated, like Egyptian hieroglyphics. He never faltered in the administration of the games. James Osbourne and Paul Mogerley administered the second section. Ahem. More lessons in Egyptian required there.
In the first section, up on top were Robert Stuart and Brendan Meghan, both with near-perfect scores of 9/10. These guys also drew in the Rathmines blitz tournament in 2005, held over three nights and 27 rounds. Nothing can separate them. Robert flew especially from Switzerland to be at the Christmas blitz. Well, not quite. But he did just fly in that day! Brendan has also been sadly absent from the club during the year having also moved from Dublin.
Eric Davidsson took third place with a very good score of 7.5 points. In particular, he was the only player who managed to take a point from the otherwise flawless Brendan Meghan. Tony and Jack followed up in 4th & 5th place on 6 points.
David O’Connor got an impressive 7.5/8 to win the second section – surely he is due promotion to the first section next year? A very fast-improving player. But he was very closely followed by Ciaran Byrne on 7 points and John Maher on 6 points.
Jack also presided over the prize giving, starting off with a thunderous call to be quiet. Honestly, the assembled rabble needed some discipline.
The prizes had been supplemented with a fantastic set of chess books from Michael Kennedy, which went down extremely well with the players. The first prize awarded went to Brendan Meghan, on a coin toss, who chose the aptly titled “Killer Chess Tactics”. David also chose a book, while Robert plucked back the bottle of brandy he had brought with him!
Atanas Khoutev was trying to make an impassioned speech while receiving his well-deserved prize of a bottle of port, but was rudely booed off the stage. He vowed to “stay focused” and to win the competition out-right next year!
Roland McCrann – another fast improving player – snatched a box of roses, claiming that he had wanted it all along, since he didn’t drink and didn’t eat biscuits.
Young Johnny Burns, making his first appearance in a chess contest, played extremely well and also won a game.
Indeed, everyone ended the night with a prize of some sort – and the last set of three even had to be raffled off. It is a testament to the generosity of players who brought bottles of wine or other prizes with them. Thanks to everybody who contributed.
From myself, Tony Scannell, editor of the Rathmines web site, may I thank the many players who’ve helped throughout the last few months, particularly Robert Stuart who set me up with material; Liam King who wrote the history pages; Michael Kennedy for his entertaining and informative reports for the Rathmines Armstrong B team; Peter Bishop for his equally entertaining reports for the O’Hanlon and Ennis teams; and Killian, John Maher, and John Crowley for sending me results so promptly.
First Section (10 rounds)
1st & 2nd Robert Stuart and Brendan Meghan
3rd Eric Davidsson
4th & 5th Tony Scannell and Jack Killane
6th John Burns
7th & 8th Trevor Rufli and Derek Smith
9h Atanas Khoutev
11th Michael Kennedy
12th Peter Lynch
Second Section (8 rounds)
1st David O’Connor
2nd Ciaran J. Byrne
3rd John Maher
4th & 5th Sean McGlinchey and James Osbourne
6th & 7th Paul Mogerley and Joseda Eliceovi
8th Ed Cunningham
9th Roland McGrann
10th -12th Dee Mowlds, Liam King, and Johnny Burns