After an excellent first half of the season, the O’Hanlon are now on a run of one win in four matches, and hopes of fourth are fading, although captain Eddie Gahan remains on course for a board prize.
The opponents on Wednesday were Bray, who’ve had the opposite season to us – just one win before Christmas, and unbeaten since. They also had one of their stronger teams of the season, while we were short of Odhrán, who has moved up to the Heidenfeld.
Strangely, someone other than Eddie was first finished; Mihailo hasn’t had the best of luck subbing for this team, and that was the case here again when a possibly dubious Greek gift sac was handled incorrectly, with defeat following in fairly short shrift after.
At this stage, none of the other games were even heading one way or the other. They did soon start to turn though; Anastasija’s opponent had played a Scandinavian, played c6 (normal in those lines) and then castled queenside (not normal). The c6 pawn in particular was like a red rag to a bull and proved black’s undoing; Anastasija’s pawn storm latched on to the weakness, opened the king and picked up a piece and, with it, the game.
Nicky on 3 had gotten herself into an awful position, facing a monster knight on e6, and was a pawn down as well. Dylan looked slightly worse on 1 facing a 2 v 1 pawn majority on the queenside, Desmond had sacced a piece for two pawns for an attack while, to the amazement of all, still nothing was really happening in Eddie’s game. Nicky wasn’t able to hold out and lost, Dylan held a draw and STILL nothing was happening in Eddie’s game!
The last two games were finally decided around 11. Eddie manoeuvred into a pawn endgame and although it’s probably a while since he’s seen one of those, he was at least up on the clock and up in material, and was finally able to bring home the point. A win in the last round against relegation-threatened Phibsboro will see him win a grading prize and the club’s top scorer trophy outright. Desmond, meanwhile, wasn’t able to make his attack tell and though he had a pawn on e7 and a rook on d8, the pawn fell and the game went with it.
With the two final round 10 games on this weekend, this is how the table looks –