Slog against Malahide for Armstrong A team

Here’s the scorecard from the Armstrong match Rathmines A vs Malahide, 18-Nov-2010:

Bd. Rathmines A ICU# Rating Result Malahide ICU# Rating
1 Sam Osborne 6252 2071 0.5 – 0.5 Justin Daly 5766 1914
2 Peter Cafolla 159 2031 1 – 0 Vincent Bissett 65 1697
3 Killian Delaney 5104 2016 1 – 0 Frank McMahon 12188 1835
4 DJ O’Donoghue 5028 1867 0 – 1 Gerry Buckley 3075 1690
5 Leon Fagan 406 1818 0.5 – 0.5 Melvyn King 10214 1676
6 Ian Moloney 2346 1768 0 – 1 Alec Tyrrell 1639 1659
7 Michael Kennedy 3955 1821 0.5 – 0.5 Paul Reilly 6048 1634
8 Tony Scannell 1533 1822 1 – 0 Brian Reid 1424 1493
        4.5 – 3.5      

While a win is a win is a win, this was actually a great opportunity blown against weaker opponents. Well done to Malahide of course, they did very well. But Rathmines have missed the chance to top the table for Christmas.

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21 Responses to Slog against Malahide for Armstrong A team

  1. Peter Cafolla says:

    A pathetic result against a team we outrated by an average of approximately 170 points. The least we needed was a 6-2 win.

  2. Michael says:

    I agree it was a deeply disappointing result, but hats off to Malahide who performed well above their ratings. Many of the games could have gone either way. This season’s Armstrong has seen a number of shock results already. This was one of them – and we’re not even half way through. So who knows what will happen between now and March? Let’s bounce back in the next one and get back in the mix.

  3. Darren says:

    I wouldnt say it was a bad result at all……..a wins a win in my opinion. Any player can beat anyone on their day. To say its a pathetic result is very harsh……..not to mention it shows a lack of respect to malahide. I know those lads quite well and they fight tooth and nail for every point. If Malahide can take points from us, they can take points from our rivals as well. All in all, well done boys!!! i hope i can get back soon to lend a hand.

  4. Peter Cafolla says:

    Maybe it’s time we started fighting tooth and nail for every point then. The other night two games were agreed drawn before I was even out o the opening. “Pathetic” was the kindest word I could think of to describe the result.

  5. Michael says:

    [Event “Bunratty Masters op”]
    [Date “2008.02.24”]
    [White “Cafolla, Peter”]
    [Black “O’Connor, Eddie”]
    [WhiteElo “2048”]

    1. Nf3 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 d6 4. d3 e5 5. O-O Be7 6. c4 O-O 7. Nc3 1/2-1/2

  6. Peter Cafolla says:

    Michael………I’ve had far shorter draws than that one including 4 move draw V O’Connell in Kilkenny and 0 move draws against a few others so I don’t see the relevance. Anyway, what TEAM was I playing for in Bunratty?
    We have a team that can win the Armstrong this year but it will never happen unless we believe that we can do it and fight (not among ourselves) when the situation demands it.
    As a team WE failed miserably against Malahide. My criticism is directed against us all regardless of who scored what. If we had won the match 7-1 the quick draws would have been viewed as good results. On another night it will be me who messes up, as I did against Bray, and when that happens no one will slag me off more than I will myself.
    Hopefully this airing of views will toughen us and motivate us to get back to winning ways against Benildus because we really do have the players to win the league this season and despite this serious set back are not goners yet.

  7. Leon fagan says:

    In relation to your comment Peter about myself agreeing a quick draw against Malahide this is untrue.I’m naturally very disappointed at giving away a draw and i accept any critism you have on my performance however i would point out that i missed a win earlier and too have played on in the ending was very risky.i have not lost a game yet so to hint im not trying is very harsh.Also too say the league is over for us is a bit early as we can still pick up points against anybody

  8. Peter Cafolla says:

    You always display admirable fighting spirit in your games and I know that you had sacrificed the exchange in your game. I am not accusing either you or Michael of not trying but as a team we have to look at what went wrong the other night , because the result was a disaster, and try to learn from it.
    I chickened out of a winning sacrifice early in my own game and then had to resort to waiting for my opponent to blunder to get the point but at least I gave him the opportunity to go wrong. If he hadn’t blundered I would have deserved any criticism that was going for not being brave enough to sac when I should have but I was lucky.
    Team chess is different to playing in a weekender as an individual and the way we approach decisions should be modified accordingly. The only reasons I have commented on the Malahide match were because of my disappointment and frustration on the night and my desire to win the Armstrong.

  9. Darren McCabe says:


    Why do you feel the need to criticise the team?? Last time i checked we were top of the league! None of us are grandmasters, we all make mistakes in games. We can’t play like “Peter the Great” all the time. We cant win every match 8-0! I know everyone on our team has the desire to win the armstrong and the last thing they need when they don’t get the full point is a “bollocking” on the club website from you or anyone else.All of our players would walk on to any armstrong team in the league.

    Sam: One of the strongest players for his age in the country, great addition to the team.2.5/5
    Peter: Solid player who criticises his team mates 3.5/5
    Killian: Our best player this season full stop. 4.5/5
    DJ: Probably the most tenacious player on the team, another great addition.2.5/5
    Darren: The poster boy of the team!! haha 😀 ………would love to have played more.1.5/2
    Leon: I’ve yet to see him not go on an all-out attack on his opponents. Dangerous player.4/5
    Jack: Solid and reliable, has been one of the teams biggest point scorers in the last few seasons.2/3 (as meatloaf would say “aint bad!”)
    Tony: Always scores points,trys his best and does a great job on the website too.3/5
    Michael: Extremely solid and rarely loses, always helps his team mates in any way possible.2/4

    So where are the weaknesses?? Why won’t we win the armstrong??Why is the result against malahide “such a serious set back”??

  10. Peter Cafolla says:

    My “Greatness” is not the issue here but it is nice of you to acknowledge it.
    Phibsboro and Kilkenny scored 6.5 against Malahide and Gonzaga will probably do the same, that’s why it is such a set back.
    As for criticisizing team mates…’ve obviously never played on a soccer or rugby team where that’s the norm at every match. In future though I will remember that chessplayers are more genteel folk who take offence easily and I will try to keep my comments to myself. Happy now? 🙂

  11. Darren McCabe says:

    With regards your greatness, dont make me laugh! The only thing great about you is the way light shines off your head!!

    So what…… if Phibsboro and kilkenny beat malahide 6.5-1.5!! We’ll just have to beat them! We beat Phibsboro in the Branagan Cup Final. Kilkenny are not as strong as they use to be and have not won the Armstrong in many years.. Sure we may have a hard time on the top boards with Quinn,Karl and Ryan but thats when you have to trust the bottom boards. Kilkenny lost to Benildus and were held against Gonzaga, so whos to say we won’t beat them.

    As regards the criticism, we don’t want it and we don’t need it. The team are sitting on top of the league at present and the lads do not have to justify their performances to you or anyone else.

    If you want to help your club, encourage us don’t criticise us. Come down to the club once and a while, play a few games with your club mates, analyse games, help weaker players, give a lecture…….you’ve said you’re a good coach…. use it to help your club. If you want to criticise the club, starting acting like a member first.

    Now im happy 🙂

  12. rathmineschessclub says:

    We’re in danger of sounding like FF backbenchers!

    Peter, you are right to be disappointed, but perhaps could have chosen a club night to discuss the reaction privately. You say soccer & rugby teams argue too: but it’s always done in private. The reason is to a) not publicise things you might want to retract later, and b) to allow other club members the chance to react to criticism.

    We finish the season with three BIG matches. Against the reigning champions Elm Mount, then Kilkenny, and Phibsboro. If we’re still in it by then (meaning, still in top three and with a realistic chance of catching the other two) then of course we can pull it off. As Darren says, we beat Phibsboro recently to win the Branagan Cup.


  13. Peter Cafolla says:

    No thanks to Darren. If I remember right he froze in both finals, once from a completely won position, costing his beloved “lads” the title. 🙂 Now I’m happy too.

  14. Killian Delaney says:

    Can everybody get a grip and relax you are supposed to be team mates!!!!

    Peter everybody knows the result against Malahide wasnt great but im sure nobodys more disapointed than the lads who dropped the points however i do agree with you about quick draws and it does annoy me too.

    This is the home page of Rathmines chess club and its not exactly the best advertisement for new members and id suggest in future if anybodys got any points that need to be raised it should be done through email/ down the club.

  15. Peter Cafolla says:

    Thank you Killian, a sensible voice at last. I’m quite willing to call a ceasefire.

  16. Michael says:

    It’s all just banter among team mates, so I’m certainly not taking anything to heart :). The comments were obviously intended as a constructive criticism. In Peter’s defence, he does make these chess blogs more interesting than they might otherwise be – whether I’m in the firing line or someone else.

  17. rathmineschessclub says:

    Unfortunately, as is the nature of these things, when we play on match nights there is very little chance to build up even a short conversation with team members, never mind create a team spirit. We need more opportunities to do so. John’s recent club lectures were the best nights in the club recently. We learned some openings and created a “collegiate” atmosphere. More of the same would be good.

    I feel that during the Branagan cup the format of the knock-outs suited our team better than the league format, for some reason. We’ve come 1st and 2nd in the last two years. Why? Perhaps because we did better when we were fighting for every point. I know I won a game this year against Herbert Scarry, in the final, that I might have agreed drawn if it was a league game.

    So perhaps we need a team policy – say, “let’s all play to the end of every game, no quick draws” etc. If that was policy, while it might rebound on us in some instances, it would make the team a bit harder to beat overall.

    BTW – where are our Branagan cup trophies? And where is the Branagan cup itself? Perhaps displaying it for every league game would boost morale? ? 🙂

    Tony S.

  18. Peter Cafolla says:

    I’ve been looking for those Branagan trophies too, I think John Delaney has them still.
    There are occassions when draws are justifiable so I don’t think a “policy” is a great idea,. perhaps just a greater awareness of our team situation when we make decisions such as what opening to play, whether to take risks, sac pieces, offer/accept draws etc.
    Benildus have done us a big favour by beating Phibsboro but I’d prefer if we could shape our own destiny and not have to rely on others too much.

  19. Leon fagan says:

    Having listened to all comments recently i think peters last comment is totally correct and i think all players should evalute the position before making a decision on whether to accept a draw or not.If you make policy to play to the end it can backfire just look at what happened in djs game who was very unlucky to lose his game against malahide having refused a draw in a level position also another example to backup my point is if you look at my game which i lost against drogheda last year refused a draw in a totally level position and lost.

  20. Michael says:

    The focus on early draws is superficial and ignores the other factors at play in the poor result. IMO games amongst club players are resolved partly by skill and partly by random elements: call it blind luck. Chess is a complex game and much of the time we fool ourselves into believing we know what the hell is going on on the board. We take an educated guess on what´s the right plan, or what the other guy is trying to do – only for Rybka to tear it apart in postmortem. So all in all, the combination of factors simply went against us on this occasion, much in the same way that it went in our favour in previous matches.

    Of the draws, Leon already commented on his and I have absolutely no criticism of his decision. If he played on it was just as easy to lose as win that sharp unbalanced position. I had black in a dull exchange slav. I had a worse position with a boxed-in QB. Barring a blunder I was never going to win. This was Peter´s point, I suppose, and generally good advice: you´ve gotta give weaker players the chance to hang themselves. However, 150-odd points isn´t that much. My opponent was on 3.5/4 including a draw with Karl McPhillips. Leon´s opponent is an improving player, as Jack testified to.

    Leon comments on DJ´s game, which highlights the downside of Peter´s philosophy. I admire DJ´s fighting spirit. On another occasion it would have won him the game, but it went against him this time. He turned down 3 draw offers only to blunder in the time scramble trying to win a dead drawn opp-B ending. Then Sam had a better endgame, but blundered and was glad to escape with a draw. Ian, our new guy, won a piece early on and seemed to have a nice K-attack going. Unfortuntely, he neglected the safety of his own K and paid the price.

    But for all these results that went against us, some of those that went in our favour were very close, and with slightly stronger resistance they could have been draws instead. Tony had a fairly level position when his opponent dropped a R. Killian emerged with a slightly better endgame and played it well, but his opponent could have made it tougher. But there´s no point focusing on what ifs. We have St. Benildus next. They´re on a hot streak having shot down KK & Phib in successive rounds. But we can do it.

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