Report from Michael Kennedy, captain of the Armstrong B team
On Tuesday night, 10-Feb-09, the Rathmines B Armstrong team lost 3-5 to a far superior Bray / Greystones team.
From a Rathmines perspective, Abul was definitely the star of the show. He’s had a tough season on top board so far, but we all shared in Abul’s relief and delight as he scored a huge win against Joyce (2166).
Lukasz was impressive as he ground out a close B vs N ending to win with Black against a higher rated player.
I got my first win of the season (see below). Reynolds got himself into a bad Benko and allowed me to have it my own way with a strong d5 / b5 bind. It became more double-edged once he got in …f5, but I figured I was better placed to take advantage of an opening of the position. (See the full game, with comments, below).
Burns did well against Beckett’s English and was a clear pawn up for nothing. Beckett came back into it with good play on the long diagonal and dark squares. He gained a big advantage when Burns overlooked a mating threat on the long diagonal. Burns fought on with a small chance of a draw, but didn’t get it in the end.
Sadly, I messed it up. I won a pawn, then he sacced a second for compensation that was livelier than I expected. I gave back a pawn, and then walked straight onto a landmine. It was Q+B+2 pawns versus Q+KN+1 pawn, but he was far more active and, crucially, his king was safe.
Michael’s win was a master class on the white side of the Benko Gambit. He destroyed Reynolds on the queenside and when his opponent opened up on the kingside, he trounced him there as well. Let’s just say I won’t be playing this defence against our captain if I meet him in the club championships!!
Goggins came close against former Irish Champion Daly. He got what he described as a fairly equal position against Daly’s Sicilian, then blundered and lost. It’s tough at the top.
Walsh was adventurous as he sacrificed the exchange in a Sveshnikov in return for getting a White Pawn to f6. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to capitalise on it and eventually lost.
Sadly, Peter’s winning streak came to an end, though it was never going to be easy against a player 300 points higher rated.
To sum it up, we’ve got to be pleased with the 3 – 5 defeat, given that they were higher rated on every board. It could have been even better though, if a few things went our way.