Armstrong woes show no sign of abating

Rathmines continued their losing streak in the Armstrong with another baffling and inadequate performance on Thursday night. This was a credible enough performance of course, with 3.5-3.5 in the seven played games. However, we suffered a walkover on board 4 and were deducted a point in consequence. We just don’t need these self-inflicted deductions at this critical time. The actual result was then a 4.5-2.5 win for St. Benildus.

Abul appeared to have a very strong middle game position and I didn’t see the crucial turning point, except to say that one minute he was winning (it appears) and the next minute completely lost. Killian swindled a win from a seemingly lost position by counter-attacking strongly with his queen and rook against Oisin’s cornered king. Oisin had been several pawns up and looked to be cruising to an easy win, but neglected his king’s position until it was too late. Even then, he might have salvaged a draw with a perpetual check if he had sacrificed a rook. I’m hoping Killian will send me the game for the website, because the ending was interesting.

My game was a Sicilian Najdorf that resulted in black, a pawn down, having counterplay against white’s exposed king that appeared to be enough compensation. However, white offered a draw and I wasn’t inclined to refuse it. Jack had agreed a very early draw. Peter was overwhelmed on board 2 at the end, when black had multiple pins on the seventh rank against a stranded knight. David reached a sterile drawish position quite early and couldn’t translate a little initiative into anything substantial. I didnt see enough of John’s win on board one to comment.

                 RATHMINES                                   ST. BENILDUS
1.  John Delaney   2211  1-0      Gerard   O’Connell   2098
2.  Peter Cafolla   2035    0-1     Pawel     Madynski   2109
3.  Killian Delaney  1980   1-0     Oisin      Benson   2093
4. Mindaugas  Janusaitis  1869      0 def-1wo  Mark  Bernie   1998
5. Tony   Scannell  1856    0.5-0.5    Tim McCarthy   1938
6. Abul    Kalam  1993       0-1       John   Gibson   1798
7.  Jack   Killane   1860    0.5-0.5      John  Healy   1838
8.  David  Goggins  1817   0.5-0.5       Kiaran  Ruane  1471

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