Ross Beatty was crowned Leinster U-12 champion at the Leinster Junior Championships in Bewley’s Hotel last weekend.
He took a share of the title after finishing on 4½/5, the same as Pádraig Hughes, the only player he failed to beat. Interestingly, the two may resume acquaintances over the board as early as next weekend when our O’Hanlon team host Curragh. Ross technically picked up the runners-up plaque on tie break, but both players have been declared joint champions and will both have their names on the trophy.
In the U-16s, we had ten of the 25 players involved. Odhrán McDonnell finished best on 3/5, having lost on board 2 in the last round. He was joined on 3/5 by Dan O’Brien and Anastasija, who actually had the beatings of Odhrán before going wrong in time trouble in this position –
Odhrán has just played 1. f3, seemingly winning a piece. The game continued 1. … Bb5?? 2. PxN Re2+ 3. Kd1 RxP, and Odhrán ended up queening and delivering mate with seconds remaining on both clocks. However, black can take advantage of white’s awkward rook on a1 with 1. … Rxg2! and now if 2. PxN Rg1+ wins the rook and the game. White must reply 2. Kf1, when … Rf2+ and 3. … RxP decide. So near and yet so far for a big scalp for Anastasija, but 3/5 was still a very respectable score in a tournament where Odhrán was fifth seed, and which was won by an unrated player who picked up a 1500 rating!
Elsewhere, Dylan was the biggest gainer on the ratings front, up 115 points after a tournament in which he played just one non-Benildus player! He beat Jamie and Finn but lost to Dan and Odhrán, the latter after another big scrap. Jamie, Mihailo and Conor Ward scored 2½/5 – the latter with a bye – Jack and Dylan got 2, Finn scored 1½ and Luke-Andrew’s first rated tournament ended with just 1/5, though at least two games seemed to be just won when he dropped a piece for no reason.
There’s time for improvements next week – it’s the U-14s and U-19s. That caps a busy week of chess for the club – three league games against Gonzaga today, a Bodley game tonight, Bodley and Armstrong tomorrow night, two sets of Leinster junior championships next weekend and the O’Hanlon and Heidenfeld as well!