In which the Bodley and the Armstrong A were both in action again, with both keeping solid if unspectacular starts to the season going.
The Bodley were playing their second newly-relegated team in two rounds, and they followed up a 3½-1½ win in Bray with a draw against Dún Laoghaire. With the same team but colours reversed from the first round, Luke-Andrew was the only player to move to 2/2, while Cal and Liam are both on 1½/2 on the top two boards after four classic win with white/draw with black games. Cal’s game was the last to finish to earn the overall draw, a seemingly drawn rook and pawn ending going badly wrong for his opponent. There was still almost a final twist though as the game moved from level to R+5 v R+4 to R+5 v R+2 (which were doubled)…to R+2 v R+1! However, at that stage, resignation followed, leaving the formative league table like this –
The Armstrong A, meanwhile, didn’t quite start their second round match as convincingly as they had done their first round. As with round 1, three games were played early – and instead of being 3-0 up, the As found themselves 2-1 down against a side not much stronger than the Bs; Mel and Kevin both lost, while Brendan won. On the Saturday, John levelled things up with a win, but noted that the rest of the games weren’t going great, and he’d be surprised if we could pick up 5. As it turned out, we won all bar one of the Saturday games, and Gerry drew, giving us 5½.
The early Armstrong table shows Gonzaga’s early season intentions – an 8-0 win (over newly-promoted Curragh) is not an everyday occurrence! The last time it happened was last year, when Curragh beat Drogheda 8-0, although that was a complete walkover from Drogheda. The last time an Armstrong game ended 8-0 also involved Curragh, when they lost to Trinity two seasons ago; Trinity went on to win the league. Curragh only had seven players for that game – the last 8-0 against a full team in the Armstrong was in 2008/09, when Phibsboro beat Dublin, with Phibsboro going on to win the league.