Rathmines played Kilkenny over various dates between Tuesday 26th February and Saturday 1st March. The match began with a win by Baburin over Daire McMahon and a draw between Killian and Eamonn Keogh on the Tuesday. John Hurley, on Thursday 28th, obtained a fine draw against IM Quinn, but Mel succumbed to another IM, Heidenfeld. With their titled players providing a 3-1 lead, it was for the remaining boards to slug it out yesterday, Saturday 1st March.
Leon wrapped up a fine game against Sean Bradley on board 8 with a nicely judged mating attack. Darren miscalculated at a vital point in his encounter with Darco Polimac and lost a rook and the game. This was unfortunate because he had had a fine game until then. Tony Scannell drew a tense encounter with Fergal O’Dwyer. The game began as a Sicilian Moscow Variation (where white plays a very quick Bb5+) but then quickly turned into a French defense-type game, with black pawns on f7-e6-d5 and a white pawn on e5. The game exploded into life and then just as suddenly petered out to a draw again. In the last game to end, Derek Smith won an impressively complex game – a King’s Indian – over the young Ryan-Rhys Griffiths.
So, despite winning the mini-match on Saturday 2.5-1.5, Rathmines lost the match by 4.5 to 3.5. Any thoughts of claiming an improbable second-place in the league this year (for Phibsboro look certain to win it now) have been dashed.
The final matches are being held on March 9th, next Sunday, at 3pm (10am for the Heidenfeld, O’Hanlon, and BEA Cup) in St. Michael’s Community Centre, Emmet Road, Inchicore, Dublin 8.