The Robinson was more or less won with a match to spare after a 5-1 hammering of England in round 3. That gave us a 6½ point lead at the turn, and when England lost round 5 to Scotland, we were 6 points clear going into the final round, again against England. That in the end gave us our first defeat of the campaign, but the 3½-2½ margin was nowhere near enough to even give us a scare along the way, as the first game to finish was a draw to seal the title. Ross ended with an unbeaten 3½/6.
In the Gilbert and the Glorney, we went into the final round level with England, having already drawn with them – so if we drew again, titles would go down to second tie-break, whatever that was. Anastasija took a draw when a pawn up, though her pawns were so shattered that she was probably worse in the final position. We lost board 1 to a king-queen fork, and won board 2 – so it did go to second tie-break…and it was England who came out on top. Still, a runner-up spot is still a great result in what’s typically been our weakest section. Anastasija was the team’s top scorer with an unbeaten 4½/6.
And amazingly, the Glorney went the same way – after hanging on to a 2½-2½ draw, second tie-break was invoked, and this time Ireland came out on top to take the main trophy for the first time in over 50 years – and possibly our first double ever! Alex Byrne was also unbeaten on 3/6 – six draws!
Well done to all concerned, and also to the organising team headed by our own Desmond Beatty.
Photos of a historic day to follow.