The Bodley B did themselves and the Bodley A a big favour last night ahead of Sunday’s league showdown, while the O’Sullivan signed off with a draw over the board (though a loss overall)
The Bodley required a couple of subs from the O’Sullivan – which unfortunately left the O’Sullivan short on players as they were playing at the same time. We scratched board 5 against Bray/Greystones, but Ben had won before the regular club night had even started to bring us back on level terms – his last two games for the club have lasted less than an hour between them!
Debutant Daniel Fox was a queen up and cruising on board 4, until he overlooked back rank mate and lost. But back rank is like the measles – not nice, but out of way once you experience it once. Diarmaid got us level again with a win, before Declan went down to two marauding passed pawns which caused ruinous loss of material. So a first win of the season for our opponents, but plenty of positives on our side.
In the next room, Des and Liam had been subbed up to more pressing matters – keeping the Bodley B up, and trying to get the Bodley A up. We took on a very strong Malahide side – board 4 was 1200+ – and form our position at the foot of the table, any half points we could scramble were bonuses.
Des got us off the mark with a draw against Malahide’s draw specialist, while Aodhán followed suit a while later with a draw of his own – both are by far and away the top two draws of the season on our High Fives list.
But we were in trouble elsewhere. Cal was a pawn down, Tim was losing a piece and Liam had lost a piece, though at least had two pawns for it. Still, given the ratings gaps involved, it looked like the material deficits could well lead to defeats on all three boards. But it didn’t work out that way. Tim ended up only losing an exchange for a pawn – though he did lose after a good fight against a 1400 on board 1 – but Cal swapped off to an opposite coloured bishop ending and drew, while Liam’s opponent fell for a fork, and suddenly it was Liam who was winning and able to bring the full point home.
A 2½-2½ draw means our As now need just 1½ points against Malahide on Sunday to secure promotion – and it also means our Bs catch up to the rest of the bottom half of the league, where six teams are separated by just one point! We’re the only side facing another team in the bottom half on the final day, so we know that a draw will keep us up if it’s coupled with an Enniscorthy win against Bray/Greystones.