A look back at the last few days’ action, in which the Armstrong stumbled, the O’Sullivan A recorded two 5-0s and the Bodley picked up a valuable win.
The Armstrong were first up last Wednesday, in a crunch tie against Dublin, who had come from nowhere to be best of the rest behindn Gonzaga this year to date. After a stuttering season so far, this was maybe our last chance to really make a charge for the runner-up spot, but things didn’t go at all to plan. Mel had already lost to Jonathan O’Connor in advance of the main night of matches, and I didn’t help things along by simply hanging a piece to a one-move tactic when clearly winning. Zdravko and Mihailo also lost, but we did scramble some points in the other boards. Kev McHugh took a draw off Kilkenny champion Stanley Yin in a wild game where his opponent gave up a queen for two pieces, and Kevin later had to sac back not one, but two exchanges to escape to a draw by repetition. Stephen took a draw on 1, but Gerry kept up his good form this season with a win on 2, while Pawel won a piece on 3 but in time trouble, was unable to convert and had to settle for a draw.
Overall, a 5½-2½ defeat leaves us looking at another season of underachievement, although we do have the possibility of a late charge as four of our last five matches are against the bottom four as things stand. Plus, we’ve to play Gonzaga…
At the same time, the O’Sullivan A were in action against Phibsboro, looking to bounce back from scratching away against Kilkenny, as the usual problems of getting a team together for an away Saturday afternoon match hit. But bounce back we did, helped by a curious win on 5 – Phibsboro travelled with five players, but at the last moment, one decided he didn’t want to play after all, and scratched. He did, however, play a friendly against Eóin on board 5 – which effectively was the same thing as a league game – and Eóin won anyway.
Three of the other games were over in relatively short time; David was rather ecstatic to move to 2/5 for the season – with a solid 695 rating performance – while Declan picked up a first win of the season on 1 and Bhudhav inflicted a first-ever defeat on the Coláiste Eóin chess teacher. By this stage, Daniel was still in the middlegame, and so he and his opponent continued their match alone for another hour before Daniel finally came out on top to move to 3/6 for the season. The 5-0 win, meanwhile, at least puts a bit of space between us and the bottom of the table –
This week, meanwhile, was the Bodley’s turn in what, curiously, is their only match in either Jan or Feb. We travelled to Dún Laoghaire with something close to a full team, and duly picked up just our second win of the season. Bhudhav got things started with a win on 5 – he’s now won for three different teams this season – while Felix picked up a piece in an opening trap and never looked back from there. Meanwhile, Cal lost his queen early on and also never looked back…
The last two games were typically topsy-turvy Bodley games – Ben was a rook down in a queen, minor piece and pawns ending, but somehow picked up the rook and won, while Des was a piece and pawn up but allowed his opponent get queen and rook in around the back of his king, and ultimately lost. Still, a 3-2 win should alleviate any relegation fears – and there’s now another month to go until their next match.