Mel is the new Leinster senior champion after triumphing in the recent Malahide tournament, where the held off the challenge of not one, but two FMs.
Mel was one of five Benildus players in the top section – making up a quarter of the total – and all were seeded in the first round. After settling in with wins over Fiachra Scallan and Bart Cichonski, Mel beat Reinhold Muller FM in round 3, and followed that up with a draw against Colm Daly FM in round 4 for a very productive Sunday’s work. With the only other player over 1950 – Constantin – struggling down the bottom of the draw after starting with three defeats, it meant relatively straightforward games on the Monday against mere 1800s. Mel won both, although so did Colm as both players ended on 5½, 2 points clear of the rest. Mel had the edge on tie-break, however, and took the title of Leinster champion for the first time.
Elsewhere, Mihailo and Tim were joint third – along with five others! Mihailo’s only defeat was against Muller, while Tim ended the tournament with a draw against the same FM. Zdravko had a better tournament than results indicate, although he was denied a chance to show off his B+N mating skills when his final round opponent resigned, having hung his queen on the previous move. Constantin did recover from his bad start to get an unbeaten 2/3 in the second half of the tournament, but it still saw him drop 106 points.
Also down a ton was Seán, who ended up with the bye in round 6 after his first nightmare tournament. William fared much better, moving up to 1499 after a decent 2½, which included a win over Dermot Nolan and a second draw in a week in the ALSAA against Alex Goss.
We had four players in the bottom section, all of whom ended in the middle of the pack. Zhengjin and Danny scored 3/6, while Ben and Bhudhav scored 2½/6. Bhudhav has moved above 700 for the first time, having gained 300 points this year, while Zhengjin was the club’s biggest gainer over the weekend, up 88 points.