The Bodley B put last week’s 4-1 defeat against Malahide behind them with a 4-1 thumping of second-placed Skerries last night – their third 4-1 win in a month.
The game started in the same way the home game on the opening day of the season had, with Luke-Andrew getting a winning advantage against his opponent (the same one as last time) within ten minutes. This time, his opponent, as black, took on e4 in a Ruy Lopez before he’d castled; a few moves later, he had lost his queen to a discovered check. Luke-Andrew then picked up two pieces for a rook before giving his opponent hope by getting his queen pinned to back-rank mate. Black recovered to a piece and two pawns down, but Luke-Andrew calmly swapped pieces, picked off his opponent’s pawns and queened and was off to queen again before his opponent resigned. In true Bodley fashion, the game – all 65 moves of it – was the first finished, lasting just over an hour!
By this stage, it was evident that a major upset was brewing against a team whose declared ratings were 1692, 1550 (estimated), 1550 (estimated), 1400 (estimated) and 1200 (estimated). Paddy on 1 was level on material but positionally a bit worse, but then managed to liquidate his opponent’s large centre and swap queens. Andrew on 2 had picked up two pawns and shattered his opponent’s kingside; his opponent had then gone for a speculative piece sac. Dylan on 3 had reached an early endgame where he he had N, B + 6 v 2B + 6, while Jack on 4 thought he’d hung a piece but found a way out.
Things then took a turn for the better when Dylan picked up a piece for two pawns and got to N+4 v 6, where his opponent’s pawns were no threat and could be easily picked off. Just to prove the point, he sacced the knight to reduce the game to three pawns each, declined a draw offer and played out the easy win. At the same time, Jack also won, a passed pawn push causing carnage in his opponent’s position and giving him the option of dropping a piece and pawn (which he took) or a rook for a pawn.
3-0 became 4-0 when Andrew’s opponent, already down a piece and a pawn, attacked too much to try retrieve the position and opened his king up, with nasty results. After dropping three more pawns, and faced with promotion in two moves and 90 seconds on his clock, he resigned too.
That just left Paddy, who had finally crumbled against a 1700, losing an exchange and then a piece. Added to the solitary minute left on his clock, Paddy threw in the towel. However, a 4-1 win overall is an exceptional result, and halves the gap that Skerries had built up over us. We’ve a bye in the next round, which means no more games for a month. By then, we’ll have a much better idea of what we need to do to earn promotion!