Rathmines A played Dublin University last night, in the Armstrong, in a delayed match. This was the first match since Philip Hogarty’s tragic accident. The atmosphere was, naturally, subdued, with many friends of Philip playing on the night, including Darren, Rory Delaney, Killian, Karl McPhillips, and others.
Rathmines A vs. Dublin University, Armstrong Cup, 15th January 2008. (Played in Trinity)
Mel Cinneide 2205 0.5 – 0.5 Karl McPhillips 2237
Daire McMahon 2160 0 – 1 John Joyce 2165
John Hurley 2033 0 – 1 Michal Kolesar 2085
Derek Smith 2007 0.5 – 0.5 Tim Harding 2055
Killian Delaney 1999 1 – 0 Colin Menzies 1906
Darren McCabe 1857 0.5 – 0.5 Peter Hayes 1877
Tony Scannell 1786 1 – 0 Samir Kurjak 1870
Leon Fagan 1731 0 – 1 Rory Delaney 1849
Leon’s game was over early, Rory having snatched several pawns almost straight out of the opening.
In this position, with White to play, comes Nc5!. After the sequence dxc5, Qxd7; Bxd7, Rxe7; Nf6, Bxc7; Rac8, Be5; Bc6 Bxc6; Rxc6 Bxf6; Rcxf6, Rxb7 black is two pawns down and completely lost, and he resigned soon afterwards.
Next to finish was Killian (see game below) who dazzled Colin Menzies with a tactically rich and interesting game, where he swapped three minor pieces for Colin’s queen.
Tony won an exchange early-on in a Dragon Sicilian and, soon afterwards, Samir blundered away a bishop, to leave Tony a rook up in a totally won game.
White to play after …Bd7
Black has just played 14…Bc8-d7?. He has mixed up his systems here, with an earlier a6 and Qc7, both moves which are not traditionally played in the Sicilian Dragon. He then shifted his queen to a5, acknowledging that Qc7 had been a mistake. This wasted time means white is quicker to secure an attack. Black’s move invites the simple 15 Nd5 when after 15…Qd8? (slightly better is …Qxd2; Nxe7+ Kh7; Rxd2 etc), black wins the exchange with 16. Bb6 Qe8 17. Nc7 Qc8 18. Nxa8 Qxa8. The game continued with 19. Qb4 Bb5 20. a4 Nd7 21. Bd4 Be2?
Position after …Be2
He had to retreat to c6. After 22. Bxg7 Bxd1 23. Bxf8 Bxc2+ 24. Bxc2 Kxf8 25. Qd4 Kg8 26. g4! white secured a huge advantage by opening the h-file for his extra rook.
After both Mel and Derek secured draws against Karl and Tim respectively, the match stood at 3-2 to Rathmines, with three games remaining. While Daire looked to be in real trouble, John and Darren looked comfortable in their games. Darren wrapped up his draw against Peter Hayes, but the other two games continued.
Daire, as black against John Joyce, is in a very unenviable position, with his weak pawn on e6 facing almost certain extinction.
He tried to open the game to his advantage with the tactical …g5, but after Nxg5, Bxg5; Rg3, h6; Bxg5, Kh7; Bf4, Qf6, he is down a pawn for nothing. After a valiant attempt to counter-attack, he succumbed.
John had this position, as white, against Michal. He is a pawn down, but has some active chances against black’s king.
Position with white to play
White wins a pawn with Nxf6!, revealing a mate threat on h7 and an attack on the bishop on e6. Black replied Bxf6, the only move. Unfortunately, in the time-scramble that followed, John lost his way and the game, but it has to be said that Michal finished the game extremely well.
So, the match finished 4.5 to 3.5 for Dublin University. This is the first match that Rathmines A have lost all season.
Killian Delaney vs Colin Menzies
1. e4 c5 2. c3 The closed Sicilian 2… e6 3. d4 Nf6 4. e5 Nd5 5. Nf3 cxd4 6. cxd4 d6 7. a3 Nc6 8. Bd3 Qc7 9. 0-0 dxe5 10. dxe5 Bd7 11. Re1 Bc5? Up to here was theory, but now black plays his bishop to a vulnerable square. g6 is normal.
Position after black’s Bc5
12. Nbd2 g5?! This is a wild move that rebounds on him.
13. Ne4! Be7 14. Nfxg5 Qxe5? Putting his queen in the line of the rook. 15. Nxf7! Kxf7 16. Ng5+ Qxg5 17. Bxg5 Bxg5 18. Bc4 Nf6 19. Qb3
Position after 19. Qb3
White has his queen for three minor pieces, so material is almost level. But black’s position is very exposed. The white pieces target all the weak spots, such as e6 and b7. Black’s pieces are constantly trying to protect those weaknesses and coordinate.
19…Rae8 20. f4! A great line-clearing sacrifice. 20… Bxf4 21. Rf1 Be5 22. Qxb7 Ke7 23. Rad1 Rd8? Losing two pieces for a rook. 24. Rxd7 Rxd7 25. Qxc6 Rd6 26. Qc7+ Nd7 27. Bb5 Rd2 28. Qc1 Rxb2 29. Bxd7 Kxd7 30. Rd1+ Ke7 31. Qc5+ Resigns
Final position, after black’s probable move, Kf6. 1-0.