Final Round Armstrong report

Armstrong Cup: Round 11, 9th March 2008 
St Benildus vs. Rathmines A 
1 Gerry O’Connell 2120 0-1 Daire McMahon 2160
2 Pavel Madynski 2178 0.5-0.5 John Hurley 2033
3 Tim McCarthy 1868 0-1 Darren McCabe 1857
4 Brendan Lyons 1876 0.5-0.5 Killian Delaney 1999
5 John Gibson 1785 0.5-0.5 Derek Smith 2007
6 Oisin Benson 1824 0-1 Leon Fagan 1731
7 Ciaran Mahon 1742 0-1 Tony Scannell 1786
8 David Willow 1737 1-0 Trevor Rufli 1737
Match Result   5.5-2.5 for Rathmines  

For full report, click here

Rathmines A finished their season relatively well. John Hurley hurried through his early game, hoping to catch a plane, and gained a draw. With two other games, of Killian and Derek, having also been pre-played draws, the scene was set for the final five games at 3pm. Being so pre-occupied with my own game, I cannot relate much details of what happened on most of the boards, unfortunately.

Leon won relatively quickly with a well-judged opening where he had multiple pins, both diagonally and along files, against white’s king. Simply speaking, he had a crushing advantage that he soon enough converted. Leon has finished the season in style, running off four straight victories. Darren played a very short game against Tim McCarthy where he built up a large advantage. His opponent resigned in what was a difficult but not impossible position. Trevor was overcome on board 8. Sorry – no details! 

That left just myself (Tony) and Daire playing on. Daire eventually won, but again I missed any details of the game.

I was playing for a board prize and needed a win. (See game below). I should mention that Leon did me a great favour by not hesitating to play on board 6 when I requested it. He did me a great favour by agreeing to this switch, which gave me white on board 7 and a lower-rated opponent. Needless to say, I was striving for a complex game with winning chances. I won a piece for three pawns, which left material theoretically equal, but better yet, the position was quite complex, with winning chances for both sides. Luckily for me, my opponent played a couple of slow-looking moves and I generated a mating attack against his king. But the game was extremely sharp and could have gone either way.

Board Prizes

Derek gained a board prize with a 9/11 score (8 wins, two draws, only one loss) and a 2154 rating performance. I got mine with an 8.5/11 score (7 wins, three draws, one loss) and a 1938 rating performance. Across the Armstrong, there were an incredible eight board prizes in total, with Mark Heidenfeld being the outstanding player, with a 10.5/11 score.

Overall Team Result

Overall, Rathmines came third, on 55.5 points. After winning the two previous Armstrongs, this was perhaps a poor result. But we’ve shedded many very good players this year – Robert Stuart, Walter Stassen, Brendan Meghan, Stephen Moran – so the result is perhaps not that bad afterall. We only lost to Kilkenny and Dublin University, both by the smallest of margins (3.5-4.5) and drew against Gonzaga. We managed to beat Phibsboro A, the eventual champions, 4.5-3.5. Our other notable win was the 8-0 whitewashing of Dun Laoghaire, which was the only such score in the entire Armstrong season.

Obviously, losing Philip Hogarty after Christmas was a major blow to the team, the club, and his close friends and family. We never really recovered our momentum once Philip was gone, but I’m glad to say that we got on and played chess to the end, which is something I hope Philip would have appreciated.

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