While the Bodley A took another step towards promotion, the Bodley B and the O’Sullivan were locked in fairly tight games up the club last night.
For the As, Desmond was finishing off our game against Inchicore, with us 4-0 up from the games last week. Desmond picked up an exchange and then pinned a knight to death, finally picking the doomed piece up a little slower than the watching Ross would have liked! Mate soon followed, and we had our third 5-0 of the season, which amazingly only leaves us joint top as our head-to-head showdown with Enniscorthy continues. We now have a 5½ point gap back to fourth.
Alongside Desmond were the Bs, up against the latest batch of promising Rathmines juniors. These matches can tend to have line-ups that can look rather different in just a couple of years’ time! The latest clash featured the two joint Leinster u-12 champions on the top two boards for Rathmines, while we had a couple of not quite so juniors on 3 and 4! Tim lost early on, but Richard won when his opponent missed a mate in two on a couple of successive moves; all Richard could do was push a pawn to promotion and hope the mate wasn’t noticed! Mark squeezed out an 1800(‘s brother) while Paddy got three pawns for a piece, and was able to pick up another pawn or two to seal victory. That said, his opponent’s strategy of looking at the one remaining game left when he had only 45 seconds left on his clock may need rethinking in future games!
That final game was Aodhán’s, and he was a pawn up entering time trouble. But all the heavy pieces were still on the board, and into his last couple of minutes, Aodhán moved his rook in for the kill, completely forgetting that it was protecting his other rook. A whole rook down, his attack fell apart and Rathmines were able to claim the final board for a 3-2 win for us.
Meanwhile, the O’Sullivan needed a big win against Naomh Barróg to have a hope of a play-off spot. We didn’t get off to the best of starts when Frank hung a queen early on, and worse was to come when Des, a rook up and cruising to victory, suddenly found himself unable to stave off perpetual check.
We recovered to take the lead when Diarmaid and Ben both won, but Liam – in time trouble – was unable to convert an exchange advantage and eventually lost. A 2½-2½ draw leaves us half a point behind Blanchardstown going into the final round, meaning we’ve to beat their score against Skerries, who’ve only picked up one point all season. A tall ask! Still, we can but try.