For the first time since 2012, there’s no additions to our Roll of Honour after the Leinster Junior Championships, with Mihailo’s third-place finish in the under 16s as good as it got.
In the under 16s, Aodhán had a handy start in his first rated tournament, on board 1 against Tom O’Gorman. That ended predictably – Tom scored 10/10 over the weekend and gained 4 points for it – but he did get a decent win against Dayna Ferguson in round 2, and by round 4 was up against Ross, who he beat in the club championships last summer. Ross won this time, but Aodhán gained enough points to go back over the 1200 mark. A second club derby arose in round 5, when Mihailo beat Seán Devilly to secure third place. Of the four players, however, only Aodhán (v Dayna) beat someone higher-rated – in fact, of the ten wins recorded, only three were against players within 400 points!
Ross and Mihailo were back for the under 19s; Mihailo almost managed a repeat of third place but hung a piece in a Q, B+3 each ending against Rudolf Tirziman (now pushing 2100) when both players were inside their final minute – though he still gained enough points over the weekend to go 1 point ahead of Anastasija! There were two more derbies as Liam got paired against Ross in the first round and Mihailo in the second; he lost both, but came good with a final-round win over 1500-rated Alex Goss to gain points overall. Ross and Mihailo both gave Conor O’Donnell FM tough games – Ross was mated in the end, but with both players into their final minute. Dylan – runner-up last year – was the highest placed of the Benildus contingent in joint fourth, having fallen foul of the usual problem of junior tournaments in that anyone can be underrated; he drew with both Dayna Ferguson (officially 1220) and Gavin Melaugh (officially 1350, though he also drew with Ross in the final round) before finishing things off with a nice (and rare) exchange sac in an ending to get a bishop in at the head of a powerful pawn chain and win.
Next on the tournament circuit is Gonzaga in three weeks – but there’s plenty of league games in the interim!