For the fifth time in six years, Benildus have picked up silverware at the Leinster Junior Championships, with Danny Kashanin’s triumph in the Leinster U-11s meaning the club now has its name on every trophy from U-10s up to U-19s.
Danny was top seed in the first competition of the tournament, the U-10s, but in a huge field – 54 players – and with a 15-minute time control, seeding doesn’t really mean a whole lot. Danny finished in joint 4th on 5/7, along with Lorcan – two very respectable finishes to start the week off.
In the U-12s, Danny ended up as runner-up to Danny Dwyer, scoring an unbeaten 4/5. He was joined as runner-up by Ben Murray, who lost to the second seed in the first round, and then won the rest. Ben gained 156 points – but Danny actually lost 58, which just goes to show that you shouldn’t be too worried about ratings! Behind then on 3½/5 was Felix – who had a much harder set of opponents; had he won his last match against Sanjay Menon, he’d have shared the title – while Thomas and Lorcan scored 3 and 2.
At the same time, the U-16s were in action – Ross withdrew early, but Utkarsh only lost to Henry Li, while Bhudhav is off the bottom of the club’s ratings ladder after a final round win lifted him 142 points.
On Tuesday morning, it was the turn of the U-11s, again an unrated 15-minute tournament. Danny won his final round match to end up on 6/7, and then saw board 1 end in a win for white (on 5/6 going into the round) over black (on 6/6) – so giving a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard. Danny triumphed in the tie-break, taking top spot and the title. A half point behind in fourth was Thomas, while Lorcan picked up 3.
The final events were the U-14s and U-19s, and again, there was plenty of Benildus representation. In the U-14s, Thomas and Felix were joint 5th on 3½/5; Felix only lost to the eventual winner, while Thomas was involved in one of only two club derbies over the week, when he beat Bhudhav; Bhudhav ended up level with Lorcan on 2/5.
The U-19s meanwhile had 21 entrants – close on a record – and was won for the third year in a row by Conor O’Donnell, the first player to win the trophy three times since St Benildus’ John Kennedy. Mihailo was best placed of the Benildus players on 3/5 – tie-break placed him seventh, which was his seeding in an exceptionally strong tournament. Anastasija beat William on the way to 2½/5; William and Liam ended on 2/5.