Just nine months after threatening to quit the game following a disastrous Bodley game, Finn McDonnell has added the Frank Scott Shield to the Leinster u-14 title to complete a memorable year.
The first few games of the final round ended fairly quickly – Aisling picked up Scholar’s Mate against Hannah on the bottom board, Joe Sheehan beat Richard while Luke-Andrew had an attack going against Cal, but couldn’t convert and ended up giving a draw.
With Odhrán pulling out sick, only Jack could challenge the top two for the top prize, and even then only with a head-spinning series of results. Fortunately for me, that wasn’t needed after Jack agreed to a relatively early draw against Dylan. That left just two in contention for the top prize…
The Hehirs had contrasting fortunes; Colm had too much for Declan Dolan while Dónal fell to Alex Byrne. William Kenny and Diarmuid Carey were locked in a battle to see who could do the most damage after queening; William was able to queen again to pick up the point.
That left just boards 1 and 3. On 3, the Manojlovics were going hell for leather at each other as per usual. Anastasija got the first advantage when giving Mihailo doubled, isolated c-pawns, but she allowed Mihailo to fix them later on, and Mihailo then went up a pawn to reach R+6 v R+5. There’s a maxim in chess that all rook endings are drawn, but the Manojlovics are sworn off draws unless there’s absolutely no alternative – as there ended up being here, with the game going down to the bare kings. Still, plenty of endgame experience picked up, which will be good for the 1200-1600 section in Kilkenny!
As with I think every round, that left just Ross on board 1 fighting it out with a very determined opponent. In a French Rubinstein – not noted as being a particularly wild opening – we got some complications after Finn, with white, castled queenside to Ross’ kingside. Ross took a dangerous pawn on g2, though followed that up by immediately swapping off queen for two rooks, which blunted the opening of the g-file somewhat. As both players’ time started to run low, both went on king hunts. Finn still had ten minutes left by the time Ross’ flag was hanging, but the game wasn’t decided on time as – just as when the two met in the Leinster u-14s – Finn delivered a nice mate –
So Finn is club champion for 2013 – just as last year, the outsider steals the title from the only player on 4/4 going into the last round. The trophies – including grading prizes – will be handed out on Wednesday. Results will be posted here at the weekend once the final tie-breaks have been done.
And so to 2014!
|Seed||Name||Rating||Score||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 4||Rd 5||M Buch||Prog|