Branagan Cup vs. Benildus

Rathmines played Benildus on Wednesday night in the second round of the Branagan Cup and scored a good 3-2 victory over a largely higher-rated team.

Rathmines vs. St Benildus
(Played Wed 15th April 2009, in St Benildus)

1. Delaney, John 2244 1 – 0 Madynski, Pawel 2143
2. Cafolla, Peter 1927 0 – 1 O’Connell, Gerry 2056
3. Delaney, Killian 1950 1/2 – 1/2 Benson, Oisin 1922
4. Kennedy, Michael 1796 1/2 – 1/2 McCarthy, Tim 1886
5. Scannell, Tony 1790 1 – 0 Lyons, Brendan 1874

Unfortunately, my recall of the games other than my own are quite hazy. I will try and relate what I could remember!

Position from Cafolla vs. O’Connell. This started as a Chigorin defence (1. d4 d5 2. c4 Nc6 )

Black is about to lose the cornered rook. It looks like the only chance is to play for a perpetual. White went on to consolidate and win the game after 1…Rd8 2. Rd1 Rxd1+ 3. Kxd1 f5 4. Qxf5 Qg1 5. Ke1 Qg3+ 6. Kd2 etc. I cannot remember the rest…

John started his game, a Centre-counter, with 1.e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. a4?! which is something I personally have never seen before. He followed up with a quick b4, which black declined to take, preferring Qh5. They entered a queenless endgame which John managed to win.

Killian ended his game with a queen against a rook, bishop, and knight. He eventually settled for a draw in a position he thought he might be losing. I cannot remember the exact position I saw, but it very closely resembled the following:

Oisin’s dangerous c pawn means that white has to act with haste to secure a draw.

Michael entered a rook and pawn endgame which looked to be dead drawn. I cannot recall the sequence that led to this position, but only that it was a queen’s pawn opening:

Scannell, Tony vs. Lyons, Brendan
Poisoned Pawn Sicilian

Replay Game Here

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6

The Poisoned Pawn Variation of the Sicilian. A favourite of Bobby Fischer, of course, and still played today. Black grabs the b-pawn and loses time in development, but if he can survive the middle game, then he should win the ending.

8. Qd2 Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3 10. f5 Nc6 11. fxe6 fxe6 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. Bxf6 gxf6 14. e5 dxe5 15. Ne4 Be7 16. Be2 h5


We are still in theory! But around about now, we both couldn’t remember the book lines, so were playing a little more slowly. White has to choose between Rb3 (the normal book line), 0-0, or Rf1. I estimated that my king was slightly safer in the middle of the board and that I would save a tempo from a check on c5 by the queen or bishop. Rf1 has been played before in slightly different positions, but is not the main move.
Alternatively 17. 0-0 f5 18. Bf3 fxe4 19. Bxe4 Bd7 20. Bg6+ Kd8 21. Rb7 has been played before in several games and resembles the game continuation very closely.

17. Rf1 f5 18. Bf3?!

Peter asked me after the game if this was “sound”. I had no idea when I played it! I thought it has to be OK on general principles, simply because it generates so many threats for black to have to deal with. But I am sure the computer can find a way to defend and make the game safe.
In the end, this is probably not a sound sacrifice, but I figured that it would be hard for black to defend white’s coming initiative. White gets threats over c6 and g6, opens the f-file, and still controls the b and d files. But black remains a piece and pawn up, so if he could only consolidate, then would be winning.

18… fxe4 Brendan mused over this for around 40 minutes. He is probably right to take it, objectively. 19. Bxe4 Bd7 20. Rf3 Qc5 21. Bg6+ Kd8 22. Rb7

This is very similar to the “book” line, after castling, mentioned above. Indeed, this is a very natural sequence of moves. White threatens d7 with immediate mate, which black must protect against. However, he has one excellent move that completely saves the day…Bd6! After this, white should be busted. Instead, he played the hasty…

22…Qg1+?? 23. Rf1 Bh4+? Insufficient 24. g3 Bxg3+ 25. hxg3 Qxg3+ 26. Kd1 Qg4+ 27. Kc1 Qd4 28. Qa5+ Ke7 29. Rf7+ Ke8 30. Rfxd7+ 1-0

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2 Responses to Branagan Cup vs. Benildus

  1. Darren says:

    Well Done Lads!!!! Bring on Phibsboro!!!

  2. Michael says:

    Nice sac, Tony! Very imaginative whether it was sound or not. Well done on a good win

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