For 2016/17, the club has a entered a record seventh team in the Leinster leagues – ten years ago, we had just three teams – and though the team is also the youngest we’ve ever fielded, with an average age of 11, they were brought down to earth on their league debut by a team mostly containing players older than our entire team put together!
Of course, ratings, not age, is what determines ability in chess – but Gorey had the advantage there too, albeit that all our ratings were provisional and not as reliable. Thomas had drawn the short straw on board 1, facing a 1350, although he was the last to finish, having just dropped a pawn or two and gone slowly downhill from there. Danny came a cropper against a player a mere 76 years his elder; in a McCutcheon French – not an opening usually found at this level – Danny nabbed a central pawn, usually a good idea in the French, but very quickly found two bishops, a knight and a queen pointing at his king, and mate was delivered before move 20.
In fact, mate was delivered before all our team had arrived, though Bhudhav did atone for that by picking up our first O’SUllivan point of the season – A or B! – when his opponent hung his h1-rook with check and a skewer onto his a1 rook. Taylor was a piece up, but allowed an attack which picked up a crucial defensive pawn, allowing his opponent to promote and ultimately mate. Ben launched an attack in his favoured Open Sicilian, but overlooked the strength of his opponent’s plan of doubling up rooks first on the f-file, and then on the second rank.
So a 4-1 defeat all told, but there’s plenty to be taken from it. Next up for the Bs is a trip to one of the many Malahides in a fortnight’s time.