Phibsboro 4.5 – 3.5 Rathmines A

Last night saw Phibsboro deservedly claim a match win over our top-of-the-table team, Rathmines A. We went into this match out-rating them on boards 3-8 and with some of the guys in very impressive form, but failed to perform on the night. Some of the Phibsboro lads pulled out great performances, particularly David Salter with his draw against Sam Osborne, Herbert Scarry beating Killian with a wonderful finish, and Juri Firstov dispatching Mel in their mutual time-trouble.

The night began well, with Darren comprehensively out-playing Colm Fitzpatrick. That secured Darren his board-prize, with 8.5/9 (matched only by Juri, also 8.5/9). Congratulations to Darren for a magnificent season!
Leon agreed a draw early. But then Herbert Scarry pulled off a wonderful combination, including a queen sacrifice, to seal a neat win over Killian:

Delaney vs. Scarry. White has just castled queen side.
21. … Bxd2+
22. Rxd2? Qg1+
23. Rd1 Qxd1+!
24. Kxd1 Nc3+
25. Ke1 Rd1#

So, by 9.30pm or so, the match stood at 1.5-1.5, but this was in the lower boards where Rathmines A were strong favourites. Phibsboro still had their impressive Brady/Firstov duo on the top boards.
Thomas was still in the very early stages of his game against Michael Delaney.
Manuel played a very imaginative queen sac against Brady on board 1. He was facing a slow, grinding death in an unfavourable endgame, but managed to turn it into a complicated, albeit still losing position. The difference was that he gave himself real chances of winning and/or drawing. This tactic almost paid off, with Manuel’s two rooks and bishops threatening a perpetual.

Gardenes vs. Brady
With black to play, White is threatening Rd8+, followed by a perpetual against the black king. Brady played the precise 1… Re7, and after 2. Rd8+ Kh7 3. Rh5+ Kg6 4. Rg5+ Qxg5! 5. hxg5 Rxe5 0-1. Ironic that a queen sacrifice was refuted by another one.

Meanwhile, Thomas was still in the very early stages of his game against Michael Delaney…

Daire’s game was the type of game I can never understand, I can only say that it ended in a draw. Sam managed a pawn up in a R+N vs. R+B ending, where white’s bishop was very bad too. But in time-trouble, Salter played very well to get sufficient counter-initiative for the draw. With enough time, I am confident Sam would have won, but time is an important factor in these games.

Thomas finished his game against Michael very impressively. It was a big time-scramble, of two Bs and several pawns against one B and one or two pawns less, the type of position that can be easily mishandled. But Thomas was patient, precise, and cool.

The last game to finish was Mel’s against Juri. The match stood at 3.5-3.5 at that stage, so could have gone either way. In fact, this looked in Mel’s favour in the closing stages, as he pressed forward with his king and had a big time advantage. But fair play to Juri, he made quick, incisive moves. In a desparate time-scramble at the end he managed to turn the game completely in his favour. There was a claim, afterwards, that his King had been in check at some point, illegally, but it wasn’t noticed by the players at the time. In any case, Juri’s win capped a very impressive team performance from Phibsboro.

That leaves the title race wide open. I can only presume that Gonzaga will win against Dublin University, which would leave it virtually tied at the top. While Rathmines A, possibly, still retain a slight lead going into the last round, it now looks almost imperceptible.

Bd Phibsboro ICU no. Rating


Rathmines A ICU no. Rating


Stephen Brady



1 – 0

Manuel Gardenes




Juri Firstov



1 – 0

Mel Ó Cinnéide




Richard O’Donovan



0.5 – 0.5

Daire McMahon




Dave Salter



0.5 – 0.5

Sam Osborne




Herbert Scarry



1 – 0

Killian Delaney




Colm Fitzpatrick



0 – 1

Darren McCabe




Stawomir Jurkiewicz



0.5 – 0.5

Leon Fagan




Michael Delaney



0 – 1

Tomasz Skrzypnik



4.5 – 3.5

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10 Responses to Phibsboro 4.5 – 3.5 Rathmines A

  1. John Burns GM says:

    And what did the captain make of the “early” draw on Board 7 by White against a player 120 rating points behind?!

  2. shahram nikrow says:

    Delaney vs scarry , either diagram or score is wrong ! after 22. …Qg1 + how does rook plays Rd1 if pinned by black bishop to it’s own king 23. Rd1 is IMPOSSIBLE !

  3. shahram nikrow says:

    my mistake

  4. leon fagan says:

    john in relation to my game the position was very level also i would ask you how many games has my opponent lost all season 1 is the answer so he is much better than his rating.secondly if i pushed my position as you suggest i could easily have lost the position grant it im disappointed my preformance

  5. Michael says:

    Nothing to be ashamed of here, guys. It’s a 3-horse race now and you’ve still got a big chance. Great stuff from Darren to secure the board prize. It’s encouraging to have Daire back also. So roll on April 1st

  6. Darren McCabe says:

    There’s no point dwelling on the game, we have to just focus on Benildus! It must be said that the B-team can help out the A-team a lot if they can take a few points off Phibsboro in the last round. I’ll be down the club on Thursday Night if anyone from the A-team or the B-team wants to look at some stuff!
    Also it might not hurt to do a few training sessions before the last round…..would anyone be interested?!

  7. rathmineschessclub says:

    Phibs have an uphill task. By my calculations, they are 1.5 points behind us. We just need the combined scores of the A and B teams to be >= 7 to be sure of beating Phibs (e.g. if A team score just 4, but B team take 3 off Phibs, then we pip them by 0.5. Or if we score a great 6 points, then the B team just need to take 1 off Phibs…)

    So, with all due respect to Phibs, I think the slightly bigger challengers are Gonzaga. If they get a good result against Dublin University, then they might move to level with us, or even slightly ahead. Then it comes down to who gets the better result v St Benildus or Elm Mount A. Ironically, both of them are bang in the middle of the table and on roughly the same points, so we can consider them just about the same.

    While we can hope that Trinity beat/hold Gonzaga, it really comes down to pulling off a good result against St Benildus.

  8. GM John Burns says:

    In the Heidenfeld, is it possible that BOTH Rathmines teams could be relegated?!

  9. Michael says:

    It is possible, John. One team is already gone while the other is in a similar position to the Armstrong B team: slightly ahead of some rivals at the moment but with 2 tougher fixtures left. Meanwhile, one of our BEA teams has a great chance of winning/promotion, so all around we’re guaranteed an exciting final round!

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