There were three league matches on last night in a hectic night up the club – the more so as half of them were over within an hour, and one threatened to go on literally all night!
With the club’s fifth, sixth and seventh teams all in action, we were fortunate enough to have more or less a full panel, as getting subs would have been quite awkward! As it turned out, though, we could perhaps have put a player out on both teams, as plenty were finished their matches before the one-hour forfeit time. In the O’Sullivan B, Lochlann had got his queen trapped against his king on board 5, while on 1, Thomas was back in the main room shortly after – in the “banned” opening, he had won a pawn and an exchange, but as his opponent was threatening the same thing, Thomas decided to not hang a pawn and an exchange – which as it turned out just meant he got mated instead.
In the next room, David was brought down to earth after his win last week, when hanging his b7 pawn, which meant that either his rook on a8 or his knight on c6 were going as well. It’s worth noting his scoresheet too – as the board was set up the “wrong” way around, with the first rank having black’s pieces and the 8th having white’s pieces, David’s scoresheet was written in perfect mirror notation, with white’s first move being d5, and black replying d4! These three games were all over before our last player had even arrived.
Meanwhile, in the Bodley, we were 3-0 by the hour mark, with sub Danny starting things off, before Felix added his first win for the club and Cal won on 1. And while those results were coming in, back in the O’Sullivan, Taylor for the Bs and Richard for the As also both finished, with Taylor contriving to lose from two pieces up – and in fairness, getting to two pieces up is the hard part! – and Richard picking up the club’s best win of the season Cillian Scallan, who had been under a bit of pressure anyway before simply hanging his queen to a fork.
So it was 0-3 in the O’Sullivan B, 1-1 in the O’Sullivan A and 3-0 in the Bodley – half the games done by twenty past 8! Things did calm down a little bit after that; Brian went down in an ending, while Bhudhav, one of the last to finish as he was the one who’d arrived while others were already analysing, promptly knocked Richard off the top of the High Fives with a 400+ rating gap win of his own. That left it 4-1 to Skerries, who go to the top of the Group B table. Meanwhile, Declan went wrong while Daniel was a piece up against an 1100, but slowly got clawed back to what was probably a drawn R+2 each ending, and which then became a lost Q v Q+P ending. With a scratch on board 5, this meant the As matched the Bs’ 4-1 defeat; there’s been little enough to choose between the two teams so far.
Finally, in the Bodley, Ben also added a win to make it 4-0, before a curious conclusion to Des’ game. Des had been a piece up, but then came under rather a strong attack…when both players noticed that the clock was resetting back to 90 minutes after each move. (In fact, at one stage, the clock had been counting up, but still reset when it was pressed). Not entirely knowing what to do, both players agreed to leave the clock aside and play on old school (and we’re talking 19th century stuff here!) But when Des did make it through the attack alive, he ended up in a Q+2 each ending, and at half ten – the scheduled finish time, had the clock been working correctly – it was obvious there was still plenty of play left in the position. So at this stage, the captains made a call to agree the match as a draw.
So a big 4½-½ win for the Bodley in a division which no-one is as yet standing out, and if we can get a regular team out, we may have a chance of a promotion run here.