Last week saw the commencement of the 3 Leinster Chess Union end of season cup competitions. Rathmines have entered a team in each of the three competitions, and all three teams played their first match this week. Nick Scallan reports on the outcomes.
Branagan Cup. (Armstrong and Heidenfeld)
Rathmines’ first Branagan Cup match proved to be a rematch of the last round of the Armstrong with our opponents being St Benildus, away from home. The result this week worked out much better for Rathmines, with us winning a tight match by 3.5 pts to 2.5pts. the last game to finish was the match between Tomasz and Zdravko Monojlovic, which went down to the last 20 seconds on both players clocks, and which unfortunately result in a win for Benildus.
Killane Shield (Ennis and lower).
Rathmines played a very difficult match at home last night to the Ennis Runner Up squad from Bray/Greystones. Despite being outrated by a combined 2,228 points we put up a strong team performance and fought out a tight 2.5 to 3.5 loss.
The strength of the Bray team was evident in the first three boards to finish, which left the score at 3-0 to Bray. John O’Connell had the most difficult role of taking on their 1,763 rated B1 (Brian Gaines), whilst Ciaran Byrne lost to an opponent 300 points stronger on B4, and Matthew Gallagher was beaten by their 1,502 rated B4, were again we were conceding over 400 rated points.
Things started to turn around for us, with two excellent wins for two of our younger players. Fiachra Scallan on board 3, managed to outplay his 1,640 rated opponent in a 2 minor piece and 5 pawn each endgame to overcome a 449 points differential to get us on the board, and this was quickly followed by Liam Coman on B6, coming back from a 2 pawn and 50 minute time deficit to get a great win over Bray captain Mervyn Honner.
The last to finish was then Nick Scallan’s B2 game with 1,604 rated Garrett Curran, where Nick managed to fend off a very strong king-side attack before both players agreed on a draw very late on.
All in all a very satisfactory result for the team given the strength of our opposition.
Brennan Cup (U1500)
Our Brennan cup team were also in action on Wednesday night away to a Dun Laoghaire squad who had finished third place in this years BEA. The top two boards resulted in draws, with Joe Flood drawing with Tony Kitterick on B1, and John Maher drawing with Ivan Baburin, who has started back playing league matches this season. On B3 Andrew McGrath had to give way to the very strong Cian McGovern Leahy who shared this years Leinster U16 title with our own Scott Mulligan. Pat O Brien got a good win on B5 for us, but it wasn’t to be our night, with Dun Laoghaire running out 4-2 winners