Branagan R2: Rathmines A knocked out by Phibsboro

Last night, 21-Apr-08, Rathmines A was comprehensively beaten by a very strong Phibsboro team.  This was no surprise, as they featured 5 of their top 6 player that won the Armstrong.  At this stage, they look unbackable favourites to go on and win this competition too.

  Phibsboro Rating Result Rathmines A Rating
1 Stephen Brady 2335 1- 0 Killian Delaney 2001
2 Paul Dempsey 2121 1- 0 Mindaugas Janusaitis 1932
3 Richard O’Donovan 2073 0.5 – 0.5 Darren McCabe 1955
4 Kevin Butler 1967 1- 0 Jack Killane 1747
5 John Nolan 1955 0.5 – 0.5 Michael Kennedy 1777
      4 – 1    

To our credit, the games weren’t as one-sided as the scoreline and rating differences suggest.  Killian put up a fierce fight against Brady in a exciting and original Modern Defence.  The experts seemed to favour White’s position in the early middlegame, but hats off to the many times Irish Champion for not fearing the ensuing murky complications.  Killian ended up with two exchanges for 4 pawns.  Brady even missed a mate-in-one, probably for the first time ever!  Soon afterwards, he sealed the deal with a knight fork of K and Q.

Mindaugas lost a pawn for nothing early on against Dempsey’s Torre Attack.  White then calmly traded down to the ending.  Unfortunately, Mindaugas tried a little too hard to create counter chances and ended up getting his pieces trapped.

Darren had the better of the opening skirmishes against O’Donovan’s Kan Sicilian.  Black was eventually able to neutralise his opponent’s initiative, at which point, Darren offered a draw that was accepted.

Jack played an interesting Classical Dutch against Butler.  Jack seemed to get a reasonable position before White broke through with a decisive attack on the K.

I had White in a 5. b6 Benko against John Nolan.  This popular variation seeks to neutralise Black’s typical counterplay.  This game plan, though somewhat unambitious, was largely successful.  All pawns on the Q-side were exchanged, which left a symmetrical Q and R ending.  Draw.

Good luck to or B-team, who play Gonzaga on Thursday.

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