Naomh Barróg recorded a second Bodley victory over St Benildus in two days last night in a match which saw the club’s consecutive run of 3-2 results in the Bodley reach 7.
It was a game where we really didn’t do ourselves any favours, with two boards being all but decided inside the first seven or eight moves. Finn’s game on board 4 was especially strange, taking all of about five minutes –
Finn McDonnell (759) v John Forde (888)
1. e4 b6 2. g3 Bb7 3. Bg2 f5!? 4. ef??
This looks tempting, but doesn’t work.
4. … BxB 5. Qh5+ g6 6. fg
The point of the fourth move. After an immediate 4. Qh5+, black can just play … g6 and is grand.
6. … Nf6?! 7. gh+?? NxQ 0-1
Some explanations are needed! First off, 6. … Nf6, while still good, isn’t as good as 6. … Bg7!, meaning white can’t push his pawn with check, which is the whole threat. 7. gh+ Kf8 8. PxN=Q+ KxQ and black, after taking white’s rook, will emerge rook for two pawns up. Finn had meant to play 7. g7+, but got carried away and figured he’s already queened, so his planned eighth move was Q (on h7)xR. Let’s call it a Tal-esque oversight! In any event, after 7. g7+ NxQ 8. PxR=Q Nf6, black is still going to be grand. White’s best try is 9. g4 (to try kick the knight), but Fritz still calls it +2 to black. But it at least promises a more interesting game than actually happened!
On 1, Mihailo also went catastrophically wrong early on in a Giuco Piano. After 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Qe7 5. d4 ed?? leads to a horrible game. 5. … Bb6 is better instead; the point of 4. … Qe7 is to reinforce e5, so swapping pawns defeats the purpose and merely opens the e-file, which now contains both king and queen, which eventually led to Mihailo’s demise.
Elsewhere, Luke Hayden was introduced to the Four Pawns Attack, an opening which can – and did – really go badly wrong if you’re unfamiliar with it. On 2, Jamie won again to move to 4/4, while Anastasija’s opponent went on a king-side pawn storm, which always leaves you in danger of a nasty counter-attack if it doesn’t come off – and that’s exactly what happened here as, for the second game in a row, Anastasija kept her cool while material up in time trouble to secure victory.
We’re now half a point behind second-placed Gorey with the same number of games played, albeit that they’ve played Round Tower and we haven’t. They’re a worry for another day though; Blanchardstown A are the next opponents in two weeks’ time.