The customary late jiggling to the draw meant that there was an average rating gap of 731 points on each board, with the first round more an exercise in giving some of the 9 debutantes games against higher-rated players. Board 2 was the most extreme example, with Danny (852) bumped up to play Ross (1756) – or, as I explained pre-match, he was playing someone who wasn’t in his section in the recent City of Dublin, and wasn’t even in the next section up, but was in the next section up again! After ten moves, the game reached this position –
Danny, the youngest player in the tournament, has just played 10. c3??, presumably intending to get his pawn back by something like 10. … Nc6 11. QxQ+ NxQ 12. NxN+ PxN 13. BxP, with a nice edge. Instead, the move just immediately leads to a nice win for black – see if you can find it! Answer just before the results below. In the event, after a bit of analysis, Ross then went and won a re-match – blindfold.
That of course wasn’t a hammering as such – just an unfortunate and entirely understandable oversight. In fact, there wasn’t really any drubbings over the course of the evening. Many of the seeds won comfortably of course – Aodhán and Liam triumphed in rook and pawn endings a few pawns up against Lochlann and Thomas respectively, Felix won a piece against Ben and converted while Odhrán was happy to grind out a win against Richard – but no ties ended up as the mis-match the ratings suggested.
The only match to go against the grain was the bottom board, where Joe – who was seeded on the basis of his 1117 rating picked up when scoring 4½/6 in the bottom section of Kilkenny last year – got his king stuck in the middle against Brian (“Greg” for the evening!), and soon found himself the victom of a queen and knight mating net. The tournament may well reveal plenty about both players’ real ratings!
The last two games to finish saw Seán sac a pawn against Daniel for pressure – the bishop pair against a creaking kingside – and eventually wind up a rook up, while Luke-Andrew, once again on board 1 to start off, for the fifth time in a row, with a first round defeat after going a piece down in a series of exchanges. Still, as he knows from last year, this could just be the start of a good Swiss submarine!
Elsewhere in the club, the Heidenfeld and the O’Hanlon A both got off to winning starts when going 1-0 up in games brought forward from the main match night; John won against Celbridge, while Eddie overcame Desmond in an A v B derby. The rest of the Heidenfeld travel to Clane (!!) on Friday evening, while the rest of the O’Hanlon derby is next week, after which the league season will really start to get hectic!
Back to our puzzle at the start so – Ross played 10. … NxN! Danny took the queen, which allowed the nice finish 11. BxQ Nf3+! 12. PxN BxP#, and Ross won despite being queen for two pawns down in the final position. The computer says white’s “best” in the position is 11. Be3, after which black can regroup with 11. … Nc6, a piece and pawn up, or showboat with the nice 11. … Nb3, hoping for 12. QxN?? BxB and white will lose more material to stave off the mate threats on both d2 and f2.
So the round 1 results in full were –
|1||Mihailo Manojlovic||1807||1-0||13||Luke-Andrew Feeney||1061|
|15||Daniil Kashanin||852||0-1||2||Ross Beatty||1756|
|3||Dylan Boland||1647||1-0||16||Diarmaid Carey||809|
|17||Richard O’Rahilly||791||0-1||4||Odhrán McDonnell||1573|
|5||Seán Devilly||1492||1-0||18||Daniel Fox||788|
|19||Tim Casey||773||0-1||6||Utkarsh Gupta||1377|
|7||William Kenny||1371||1-0||20||Declan Dolan||773|
|21||Thomas Cooney||563||0-1||8||Liam Kelly||1254|
|9||Felix Jordan||1219||1-0||22||Benjamin Murray||559|
|23||Bhudhav Singh||432||0-1||10||Cal Nolan||1219|
|11||Aodhán Keane||1218||1-0||24||Lochlann Kelly||Unr|
|25||Brian MacCarvill||Unr||1-0||12||Joe Sheehan||1113|
Round 2 is on the 12th of October; the draw will be available shortly.