The Bodley B completed a double over Inchicore to move to within 2½ points of Skerries and automatic promotion.
Inchicore have a strong, if underperforming, team, but they sprung a surprise on us with a 1353 on board 1; technically breaking the 150-point rule, but he was returning from playing after a 15-year gap, so his actual rating has presumably slipped since then. However, he beat Skerries’ 1690-board 1 and also beat an 1150 in the O’Hanlon, so Jack – promoted to board 1 following his Bunratty success – did well to take a draw off him. We were maybe a little worse at the end, a minor piece endgame where the Inchicore player was going to be able to get a nice knight stuck in Jack’s position; whether it achieved anything is another matter, but certainly it was better than Jack could manage.
The draw followed hot on the heels of Andrew Kyne-Delaney’s second win of the season against Richard Walshe, a nicely played win where he picked up a pawn, repelled his opponent’s attack and then trapped his queen.
Shortly after, boards 3 and 5 became trivial. Luke-Andrew picked up a queen for rook and finished with his usual clinicalness, swapping off to Q+3 v R+5 and then picking up the rook with a fork. Dylan, meanwhile, reneged on a pre-match promise to play the Bird’s and went for the English instead, throwing in an f4 push early on for good measure. The nett result was that he opened the f-file and got a strong attack on his opponent’s uncastled king. Somewhere along the line, he picked up a rook, and then material fell very quickly – a piece, two rooks for a queen and a pawn, the exchange, a few pawns…and eventually, he queened and even deigned to mate his opponent.
So 3½-½ up, and just Paddy was left. In what can best be described as a topsy-turvy game, Paddy dropped a pawn, then won an exchange, dropped a rook and won back a piece. Both kings were open – Paddy’s particularly so – but as the game somehow reached material parity at Q, B + 5 each, Paddy, with his flag barely hanging up, went for a perpetual…by hanging his queen. Amazingly, his opponent, whose flag wasn’t anywhere near hanging (he had ten minutes left), completely missed this, and Paddy was in for perpetual…only for his flag to fall. The perpetual wasn’t straightforward – his opponent had a number of different squares to run to – but it probably was there. Still, given he’d hung his queen to get to the possible perpetual, we couldn’t really complain about the end result!
So it’s now a four-horse race for promotion; 6 points separate fourth and fifth. We face bottom side Naomh Barróg B – who beat us in Kilbarrack next, before a crunch game against table-toppers Blanchardstown and a tie against second-bottom Elm Mount.