Munster League

This page will detail our progress as we attempt to retain the Munster League Division 1, after winning it in 2014-15, a feat not achieved since at least 2006, according to the Irish Chess History website when Ennis won it for the third year in a row. Previous to that, Cork won it 4 years in a row from 2000 to 2003. Full results can also be found at the
Munster Chess Union site. This year we also have a B team in divsion 2 who will be looking for promotion to division 1 next season.

Update: Cork are Double Champions for 2015/16, Winning Both Division 1 and Division 2

While our A team lead from start to finish, and scored over 77%, losing just 7 games out of 70, taking walkovers into account, our B team pipped Charleville to the finish, beating them twice on the final day to get promoted. Full round by round summaries, the final standings, and statistics for the A team are below.

The winning teams (absent: Piotr Leichert, Hugh Doyle, Desmond Doran, Mark Watkins, Alan White):

IMAG0153IMAG0156

 

Rounds 13 and 14

The roundup took place on Sunday, 8 May in Springfort Hall, where we knew that 1 match point out of 2 would be enough to secure the title, and likely even half a match point, so long as we didn’t lose the other match 5-0! In addition, our B team were also in action, fighting for promotion from division 2. They would battle it out with Charleville in 2 matches, but their backs seemed to be up against the walls, as they needed to win both matched to earn promotion. Charleville needed just 1 draw. We were without regulars Piotr and Hugh for the final 2 rounds, who incredibly, along with both Steve and Alex who were both playing in the roundup, had played in every match!

Our first match of the day was against a strong Sarsfield side, which looked completely 50/50 by rating. The first game to finish was Paul Walsh v Steve Short on board 1 which ended very quickly. Steve decided that a draw with black while outrated by over 100 points was a good result! Paul inadvertently went into a “grandmaster draw line” where black repeats the position, and if white doesn’t also repeat, will find himself worse. A draw, after no more than 10 minutes. John Donoghue also drew to Martin O’Grady with black. A good result in the end, considering he looked to be under a bit of pressure, with Martin having some attacking chances against John’s king. Alex seemed to have a winning position against Frank Noonan after winning a piece. He did however have to expose his king a bit which gave Frank some chances to hold. In the end, Frank managed to get a perpetual and hold the draw. Henk was playing Liam O’Brien on board 4, and initially seemed to have a pleasant position. It seemed to go wrong for him somewhere, though, and ended up down an exchange for a pawn in and endgame. Probably lost, or at the very least, close to lost, Henk offered a draw which was declined. In the end, however, Liam blundered the exchange back, which left Henk with a winning position which he duly converted. That left my game against Paul Kiely. I initially got a good position with black, and then Paul sacced an exchange on f6 to create some attacking chances against my king. While he had some compensation, it surely wasn’t enough as he only had 2 pieces with which to attack, and it would be another few moves before his rook and second knight could make their way over to the kingside. After consolidating and creating a pit of pressure of my own, I was surely winning. I deliberately got my rook trapped, though, thinking I could pick up Paul’s knight and a couple pawns for it with a winning queen ending. I missed a way he could save his knight, however, which left me down a knight for 2 pawns. With queens on the board and a slightly exposed king, it was still tricky, but almost certainly winning for Paul. I eventually ran out of checks and he may not have found the best continuation, and perhaps gave up a pawn he didn’t need to, despite winning one of mine. The queens came off and Paul took my h7 pawn with his knight. In hindsight this may have actually been a mistake, and he probably would have been better off trying to force my king into the corner and then smother mating me. As it happened I managed to create 2 passed pawns on the queenside which his knight was forced to stop while his king babysat his own h pawn. So in the end, the only mate that would happen would be stalemate, if he pushed his h pawn too far and then I sacced my 2 queenside pawns. A draw was agreed, securing the match, and the league title for a second year in a row.

Our B team had a comprehensive win over Charleville in their first match, winning 4.5-0.5, giving themselves a great chance at promotion going into the afternoon match.

Our final match of this year’s league was against Ennis B, where we were strong favourites, but still wanted to go out on a high. It proved fairly smooth for the most part. Steve beat Nick Larter, finding some nice endgame tactics including a pawn sac for strong pressure. Alex seemed to have a relatively smooth win against Kieran O’Brien, and Henk and John both won as well. I got a very comfortable ending almost straight out of the opening against Robbie Kildea, and while it would be an exaggeration to say I was ever completely winning, I kind of felt it would end up a reasonably smooth victory. As a result, I was probably too casual, and forgot that Robbie could actually create some play himself and all of a sudden things weren’t so clear after probably some inaccurate play from me. In the end, he got a perpetual check using his rook and bishop, as my rook was cut off from the defense of my king. While I could have avoided it, it looked extremely risky, and indeed after having a brief look after the game, it seemed I might be lost. In any case, a 4.5-0.5 win was a very good result and I was delighted to finish the league unbeaten. Ennis A beat Adare in the final round to finish second.

The drama of the round was in the division 2 match which went right down to the wire. After Tom McGrath lost, and Len Hackett won, from what he told me was at one point a completely lost position, Dave Smith drew. That left the match delicately poised. And then we Cork got somewhat of a break when Gerard Condon won on time. Indeed, he may very well have been winning anyway as he was up a clear pawn and looked to have a good position in the endgame but winning on time certainly made things easier. Incidentally, Paul Walsh also lost in time in the final round, when Kieran Moynihan, in a lost position, offered him a draw. Rather than playing a move, or accepting the draw, Paul left his flag fall! Back to the division 2 match, Willie Rea v Simon Lawrence was the last game remaining. Willie was up an exchange for a pawn with 2 rooks vs rook and bishop. Simon did well to trade some pawns and reach a position that looked quite drawish as there wasn’t much for Willie to attack without giving back the exchange. Needing to win, Willie declined a draw offer from Simon. In the end, Simon created a passed b pawn, supported by his king. While he never looked likely to actually queen it, it certainly tied Willie’s rooks down and didn’t leave much to do, apart from shuffling around for a while, before eventually agreeing the draw that meant Cork won the match 3-2, and as a result, are promoted to division 1 next season where we will have 2 teams! A very successful day all round for Cork Chess Club.

Round 13: Cork A 3-2 Sarsfield                    Round 14: Cork A 4.5-0.5 Ennis B

Steve Short 0.5-0.5 Paul Walsh                    Steve Short 1-0 Nick Larter
Alex Byrne 0.5-0.5 Frank Noonan                Alex Byrne 1-0 Kieran O’Brien
Keegan O’Mahoney 0.5-0.5 Paul Kiely         Keegan O’Mahoney 0.5-0.5 Robbie Kildea
Henk De Jonge 1-0 Liam O’Brien                  Henk De Jonge 1-0 James O’Sullivan
John Donoghue 0.5-0.5 Martin O’Grady      John Donoghue 1-0 Alec Fleming

Results to Date:

1. Cork 4-1 CCYMS                            6. Cork 2.5-2.5 Ennis A             11. Cork 5-0 Tralee (W/O)

2. Cork 4-1 Ennis B                           7. Cork 4.5-0.5 CCYMS              12. Cork 2-3 Adare

3. Cork 5-0 Tralee                             8. Cork 3-2 Sarsfield                  13. Cork 3-2 Sarsfield

4. Cork 3-2 Adare                             9. Cork 4-1 Ennis A                     14. Cork 4.5-0.5 Ennis B

5. Cork 4.5-0.5 Limerick A              10. Cork 5-0 Limerick

Final Standings and Statistics:

Team Match Points Game points
1 Cork A 12.5 54
2 Ennis A 11 45.5
3 Adare 10 48
4 Sarsfield 8 39.5
5 CCYMS 7 33.5
6 Ennis B 3.5 24
7 Limerick A 3.5 22.5
8 Tralee 0.5 11.5

Final Statistics (not including walkovers):

Board(#games on board) Wins Draws Losses Score Percengtage
Alex Byrne 3(7)/2(6) 8 4 1 10.0/13 76.92
Steve Short 2(7)/3(4)/1(2) 7 4 2 9.0/13 69.23
Keegan O’Mahoney 4(8)/3(2) 7 3 0 8.5/10 85.00
Piotr Leichert 5(10)/4(1) 7 3 1 8.5/11 77.27
Hugh Doyle 1(11) 7 2 2 8.0/11 72.73
Henk De Jonge 4(4) 3 1 0 3.5/4 87.50
John Donoghue 5(2) 1 1 0 1.5/2 75.00
Len Hackett 5(1) 0 0 1 0.0/1 0.00
Overall 40 18 7 49.0/65 75.38
Win/Draw/Loss Rate 61.54% 27.69% 10.77%

 

Rounds 11 and 12

These 2 rounds took place on 17 April. Once again I was unable to make it due to the small matter of exams, so once again I can’t say too much about the games. In round 11, we were supposed to be playing Tralee, but sadly, due to a death in the club, they were unable to make it, and so we got a 5-0 walkover. Round 12 was a big match against Adare, where we knew that a win would put us on the vergw of the title. Alas, it was not to be as Adare beat us 3-2, inflicting the first defeat of the season on us, with the board results below. Sarsfield did, however, do us a favour, by beating Ennis A 3.5-1.5 which meant we maintained our 1.5 point lead, and Adare leapfrogged Ennis into second place on game points.

Full results and statistics are below.

Round 11: Cork A 5-0 Tralee (W/O)       Round 12: Cork A 2-3 Adare

Hugh Doyle 0-1 Sylwester Sudolskie
Alex Byrne 0.5-0.5 Jan Heinrich
Steve Short 1-0 Bernd Thee
Piotr Leichert 0.5-0.5 Diana Mirza
Len Hackett 0-1 Gabriel Mirza

Results to Date:

1. Cork 4-1 CCYMS                            6. Cork 2.5-2.5 Ennis A             11. Cork 5-0 Tralee (W/O)

2. Cork 4-1 Ennis B                           7. Cork 4.5-0.5 CCYMS              12. Cork 2-3 Adare

3. Cork 5-0 Tralee                             8. Cork 3-2 Sarsfield

4. Cork 3-2 Adare                             9. Cork 4-1 Ennis A

5. Cork 4.5-0.5 Limerick A              10. Cork 5-0 Limerick

 

Board(#games on board) Wins Draws Losses Score Percengtage
Alex Byrne 3(7)/2(4) 7 3 1 8.5/11 77.27
Hugh Doyle 1(11) 7 2 2 8.0/11 72.73
Piotr Leichert 5(10)/4(1) 7 3 1 8.5/11 77.27
Keegan O’Mahoney 4(8) 7 1 0 7.5/8 93.75
Steve Short 2(7)/3(4) 6 3 2 7.5/11 68.18
Henk De Jonge 4(2) 1 1 0 1.5/2 75.00
Len Hackett 5(1) 0 0 1 0.0/1 0.00
Overall 35 13 7 41.5/55 75.45
Win/Draw/Loss Rate 63.64% 23.64% 12.73%

 

Rounds 9 and 10

Rounds 9 and 10 of the Munster League, took place on 6 March, with all teams playing in Charleville for the second time. For the first time all season, quite remarkably, our team deviated from previously as I was unable to make it. While disappointed not to be able to play in such important matches, in particular against Ennis A, having played in all previous matches, Henk certainly served as a valiant replacement. As I wasn’t there, can’t say too much about the games, other than the fact that we got 2 outstanding results, beating Ennis 4-1 and Limerick 5-0 in our second whitewash of the season, going unbeaten over the 10 games. Notably, Hugh has now scored 2/2 and 1.5/2 against Kieran Moynihan and Rory Quinn respectively, two of the top players in the league, and moves to a very impressive 8/10 on board 1. Steve also got revenge against Jacob Miller in the Ennis Match, reversing his result from January in beating him. Also, despite having 7.5/8, missing just these 2 matches meant that I dropped from first to fourth in our own team’s “unofficial individual ranking” as seen below, with Piotr and Alex, also now on 8/10. Strong performances all round!

We are now in a very strong position, 1.5 points clear of Ennis A and 2.5 clear of Adare, with Adare and Sarsfield likely to be our 2 toughest matches out of our remaining 4. Full results, the league table, and statistics are below.

Round 9: Cork A 4-1 Ennis A                       Round 10: Cork A 5-0 Limerick

Hugh Doyle 0.5-0.5 Rory Quinn                  Hugh Doyle 1-0 Ray O’Brien
Steve Short 1-0 Jacob Miller                        Alex Byrne 1-0 Kevin O’Flaherty
Alex Byrne 1-0 John Cassidy                       Steve Short 1-0 Ted Jennings
Henk De Jonge 0.5-0.5 Thomas Dunne Jr Henk De Jonge 1-0 Tim Dineen
Piotr Leichert 1-0 Shane Sheedy                Piotr Leichert 1-0 Ludmila Podzimkova

Results to Date:

1. Cork 4-1 CCYMS                            6. Cork 2.5-2.5 Ennis A

2. Cork 4-1 Ennis B                           7. Cork 4.5-0.5 CCYMS

3. Cork 5-0 Tralee                             8. Cork 3-2 Sarsfield

4. Cork 3-2 Adare                             9. Cork 4-1 Ennis A

5. Cork 4.5-0.5 Limerick A              10. Cork 5-0 Limerick

Team Match Points Game points
1 Cork 9.5 39.5
2 Ennis A 8 32.5
3 Adare 7 34
4 Sarsfield 6 29
5 Ennis B 4 22
6 CCYMS 4 21.5
7 Limerick A 1.5 14
8 Tralee 0 7.5

 

Board(#games on board) Wins Draws Losses Score Percengtage
Hugh Doyle 1(10) 7 2 1 8.0/10 80.00
Alex Byrne 3(7)/2(3) 7 2 1 8.0/10 80.00
Piotr Leichert 5(10) 7 2 1 8.0/10 80.00
Keegan O’Mahoney 4(8) 7 1 0 7.5/8 93.75
Steve Short 2(7)/3(3) 5 3 2 6.5/10 65.00
Henk De Jonge 4(2) 1 1 0 1.5/2 75.00
Overall 34 11 5 39.5/50 79.00
Win/Draw/Loss Rate 68.00% 22.00% 10.00%

 

Rounds 7 and 8

For rounds 7 and 8, which took place on 7 February, we found ourselves back in the familiar surroundings of Springfort Hall, near Mallow. Round 7 was a local derby as we faced CCYMS for the second, and final time this season. Hugh had a very complicated game against Kieran Moynihan in an uncommon line of the Nimzo Indian. Hugh was definitely worse at some point, maybe even lost, having 3 pawns for a piece. Eventually he ended up getting his queen to g2 and winning Kieran’s rook in the corner for a bishop and a pawn. In the end he won the game in the time scramble that ensued, with Kieran resigning, facing checkmate. Hugh has annotated the game:

Alex was promoted to board 2 and drew to Gerry McCarthy, while Steve seemed to win a pawn early on against Pat Twomey and won also. I didn’t see much of these games, but I did see Piotr’s game against John O’Dowd, who was making his Munster League debut, on board 5. Piotr played the Sicilian Dragon and John didn’t play any sort of a mainline against it, but nevertheless went for a kingside attack. Piotr ended up playing Be6 to allow John to take and double his pawns after fxe6, however they didn’t look so bad as the e6 pawn controlled the f5 square rather nicely. John then chose the wrong moment to castle queenside, and after a piece sac from Piotr which combined the strength of his queen on a5, rook on the half open b file, and strong dark squared bishop on the long diagonal, was immediately lost. I was perhaps slightly fortunate on board 4 to beat Paul Dowdall for the second time this season. After having a pleasant position for the whole game I managed to convert it to something which was surely winning with a lot of pressure and a monstrous knight on e4. Somehow I managed to let Paul escape to an ending where he was only a pawn down. It was more than likely still winning for me, but we then traded to a rook and opposite coloured bishop ending which I probably misplayed, allowing his rook to become active and neglecting my own rook. In the end, he probably could have taken his pawn pack on his last move, but was presumably worried about a discovered attack on his rook which didn’t actually appear to do anything. Indeed the move he did play may have actually given me good winning chances once again, but unfortunately for Paul, he ran out of time. So a 4.5-0.5 win, and excellent result.

The second match of the day was against a strong Sarsfield side, who were in third place going into the day and would be right in the mix if they managed to beat us. Hugh had a nice game against Paul Walsh. In another material imbalance he had the piece for 3 pawns this time, but great activity and won. Alex seemed to play well against Paul Kiely to reach a position where he had an exchange for 2 pawns but looked better. Paul, however, managed to draw it. Steve also looked to have a good position against Frank Noonan, probably even winning. He missed a strong exchange sac from Frank though, and Frank’s knight became very strong and in the end was enough to decide the game in Sarsfield’s favour. Piotr, again playing beside me, also appeared to have a very interesting game. He sacced a piece against Martin O’Grady for an attack, and eventually even got 4 pawns for it, as well as Martin’s king having no pawn cover. Martin’s strong bishop provided some compensation however, and Piotr’s pieces just couldn’t quite coordinate fully to deliver the fatal blow to Martin’s king. The game ended in a draw. That left the match tied at 2-2, and I was the last one playing against Liam O’Brien. I think I had gone wrong in the opening and had a difficult position, eventually losing a pawn, but Liam tried to attack my king which perhaps wasn’t the best plan, and after I drove his pieces back managed to find some resources to get some play. This eventually led to me winning my pawn back, but as often happens when you take a pawn, my play dried up. I did have a lot of pressure on his weak b2 pawn, with my major pieces tripled on the half open b file, however it was well defended and impossible to increase the pressure. In what could almost be described as a middlegame stalemate, or even Zugzwang, I simply couldn’t do anything to improve my position. Liam also didn’t have any obvious plan as his pieces were tied to the defense of his b pawn (which could not move). He could, however at least think about trying something, while I had absolutely nothing to do. He offered me a queen trade and perhaps I should have kept queens on, but traded. My prospects remained unchanged. However, with less danger of getting mated now, Liam marched his king to the queenside to defend his b pawn and release at least one piece of its duties. While I sat there playing Rb7-Rb8-Rb7-Rb8 for about 10 or 12 moves, Liam shuffled his pieces trying to create something. I did then have to  readjust my defensive setup to avoid losing a pawn. They say you make your own luck, and while I don’t know if that’s true, I got lucky again for the second time in the day. With Liam’s new piece formation I spotted the chance of a cheapo based on taking Liam’s a3 pawn with a rook, and he wouldn’t be able to recapture due to a mate on b1 with my other rook, with my bishop helping from e4. Initially he gave his king some breathing room by moving one of his rooks away, but presumably hadn’t seen my idea as on the next move he moved the rook back and after Rxa3 his position was very difficult, probably lost. He chose to sac an exchange, and eventually I managed to win the ending with my 2 rooks proving too strong. So after a long game that proved crucial, we won the match 3-2, ensuring we remained top of the table.

So a very good day’s work, but Ennis A certainly kept the pressure on us, winning their 2 matches with a combined score of 9/10. It certainly seems like our next match, against Ennis A, could prove pivotal in deciding this year’s title. A win, and we will surely go favourites, but a loss would leave Ennis leading, in a very strong position. At the moment we lead them by just half a match point, on 7.5/8, with Adare and Sarsfield in third and fourth.

Our B team also had a good day, beating Dungarvan 4.5-0.5, and the 5-0.

Round 7: Cork A 4.5-0.5 CCYMS                       Round 8: Cork A 3-2 Sarsfield

Hugh Doyle 1-0 Kieran Moynihan                   Hugh Doyle 1-0 Paul Walsh
Alex Byrne 0.5-0.5 Gerry McCarthy                 Alex Byrne 0.5-0.5 Paul Kiely
Steve Short 1-0 Pat Twomey                            Steve Short 0-1 Frank Noonan
Keegan O’Mahoney 1-0 Paul Dowdall            Keegan O’Mahoney 1-0 Liam O’Brien
Piotr Leichert 1-0 John O’Dowd                       Piotr Leichert 0.5-0.5 Martin O’Grady

Below are are the A team’s results to date, the league table and statistics about our team’s performance.

1. Cork 4-1 CCYMS                            6. Cork 2.5-2.5 Ennis A

2. Cork 4-1 Ennis B                           7. Cork 4.5-0.5 CCYMS

3. Cork 5-0 Tralee                             8. Cork 3-2 Sarsfield

4. Cork 3-2 Adare

5. Cork 4.5-0.5 Limerick A

Team Match Points Game points
1 Cork 7.5 30.5
2 Ennis A 7 28
3 Adare 5 26
4 Sarsfield 5 23.5
5 CCYMS 3 17
6 Ennis B 3 17
7 Limerick A 1.5 12
8 Tralee 0 6

 

Board(#games on board) Wins Draws Losses Score Percengtage
Keegan O’Mahoney 4(8) 7 1 0 7.5/8 93.75
Hugh Doyle 1(8) 6 1 1 6.5/8 81.25
Alex Byrne 3(6)/2(2) 5 2 1 6.0/8 75.00
Piotr Leichert 5(8) 5 2 1 6.0/8 75.00
Steve Short 2(6)/3(2) 3 3 2 4.5/8 56.25
Overall 26 9 5 30.5/40 76.25
Win/Draw/Loss Rate 65.00% 22.50% 12.50%

 

Rounds 5 and 6

All 4 matches in rounds 5 and 6 took place in the Charleville Park Hotel, as well as 1 of the division 2 matches (the other one was also supposed to take place there, but one of the teams never showed up) so with over 20 games taking place in the one room the setting seemed more like that of a small tournament compared to the normal 10 games per venue. In any case, our first match was against Limerick who were considerable underdogs on paper, but who did manage to draw to second place Ennis A. However, the match proved to be a relatively smooth affair, with Hugh beating James Danaher very quickly on the top board followed by wins from me Alex and Piotr. Steve was pressing for a win most of the game, having sacced material for what looked like a strong attack, Kevin O’Flaherty managed to give the material back to survive but still found himself defending a worse queen and bishop ending, but eventually seemed to have enough checks with his queen to prevent Steve queening his advanced pawn. The game ended in a draw.

Round 6 was no doubt the big game against a very strong Ennis team, especially having learnt that they beat CCYMS to keep the pressure on us. Having a 2100+, a 2000+ and a 1900+ on the top 3 boards, it seemed our best chances might lie on the lower boards. I had my fifth black out of 6 games (as did Steve, with everyone else having had 5 whites) and seemed to be getting creamed out of the opening. In the early stage of the match, I can’t say I was too optimistic, with Steve also looking like he was being crushed, and Piotr and Hugh taking a lot of time with Hugh going down to around 45 minutes while Rory still appeared to be in book, having actually gained around 5 minutes on the clock! As far as I could tell Alex had a decent position, although he was the only one who was heavily outrated, by about 250 points to Gordon Freeman! Things started to look up, however, when Alex got a strong attack going against Gordon and a very nice finish involving a temporary queen sacrifice left us leading 1-0. Steve eventually did lose, not quite getting mated, but having ended up in an ending down a couple of pawns, after Jacob had played a gambit which he more than likely knew much better than Steve. I then managed to find a nice defensive idea playing Qe7-b4, with my opponent’s queen on e4, more or less forcing him to trade queens, and with it end the attack against my weakened king. Indeed had he tried to keep the queens on with Qe2, I play Qg4 and his king could actually be the one in trouble! Perhaps a3 to prevent Qb4 was a good idea, although it was not an obvious move at all. We traded down to an ending where I had 2 knights versus his knight and bishop and indeed I was slightly better, but when he offered me a draw, I accepted, being low on time and feeling I had ridden my luck enough. That left Hugh who was up a pawn against Rory, who had earlier tried a piece sacrifice that didn’t really work, and Piotr who was down a pawn against John Cassidy. Piotr went for a mate in a queen and same colour bishop ending which looked tough to stop, and maybe John would have to take a perpetual. But in fact a nice series of checks from John meant that he was actually mating Piotr, unless Piotr gave up his queen for John’s bishop. So all hopes of a result laid with Hugh’s game against Rory. In the end, despite the limited material of rook, knight, bishop and 2 pawns, versus rook, knight, bishop and 1 pawn, where the bishops were then traded, Rory was actually pretty paralysed, with his king and knight stuck on the back rank, and Hugh’s Rook very strong on the seventh. There wasn’t much Rory could do to prevent the marching of Hugh’s passed d pawn down the board which helped deliver a Re7+ followed by a knight check that would result in either mate or the win of Rory’s rook. So in the end Hugh got his first win against Rory Quin after several attempts, and it was actually the top boards who scored the best with 2/3 in a very important match, and overall a great result against the current second place which keeps us half a point clear at the top. I was slightly disappointed to lose my perfect record and 5 game winning streak (I had eyes on topping last year’s 8 game winning streak!) but still can’t be too disappointed with 5.5/6, certainly having had my fair share of luck along the way. The team also stays unbeaten, and also has 5.5/6, so we retain our slender half a point lead over Ennis A. Also noteworthy is our 4 point lead on game points over Ennis A. So, so far, so good, but there’s a long way to go yet.

Round 5: Cork 4.5-0.5 Limerick A                    Round 6: Cork 2.5-2.5 Ennis A

Hugh Doyle 1-0 James Danaher                      Hugh Doyle 1-0 Rory Quinn
Steve Short 0.5-0.5 Kevin O’Flaherty              Steve Short 0-1 Jacob Miller
Alex Byrne 1-0 Ray O’Brien                              Alex Byrne 1-0 Gordon Freeman
Keegan O’Mahoney 1-0 Desmond Fanning   Keegan O’Mahoney 0.5-0.5 Mike O’Donnell
Piotr Leichert 1-0 Tim Dineen                          Piotr Leichert 0-1 John Cassidy

Our B team got off to a tough start when Barry Foran couldn’t make it due to icy roads. Down a man, the team comprised of Dave Smith, Simon Lawrence, Desmond Doran and Mark Watkins, they did however manage to draw to Limerick B in the first match, but lost the second one 3-2.

Below are are the A team’s results to date, the league table and statistics about our team’s performance.

1. Cork 4-1 CCYMS                            6. Cork 2.5-2.5 Ennis A

2. Cork 4-1 Ennis B

3. Cork 5-0 Tralee

4. Cork 3-2 Adare

5. Cork 4.5-0.5 Limerick A

Team Match Points Game points
1 Cork 5.5 23
2 Ennis A 5 19
3 Sarsfield 4 17
4 Adare 3 16.5
5 CCYMS 3 14.5
6 Ennis B 2 13.5
7 Limerick A 1.5 10.5
8 Tralee 0 6

 

 

Board(#games on board) Wins Draws Losses Score Percengtage
Keegan O’Mahoney 4(6) 5 1 0 5.5/6 91.67
Alex Byrne 3(6) 5 0 1 5.0/6 83.33
Hugh Doyle 1(6) 4 1 1 4.5/6 75.00
Piotr Leichert 5(6) 4 1 1 4.5/6 75.00
Steve Short 2(6) 2 3 1 3.5/6 58.33
Overall 20 6 4 23/30 76.67
Win/Draw/Loss Rate 66.67% 20.00% 13.33%

 

Rounds 3 and 4

These rounds took place on Sunday, 6 December, and we were playing in the Charleville Park Hotel, a little farther from home than we were used to. The first match of the day, against newly-promoted Tralee, went pretty smoothly, winning all 5 games, although Alex got lucky. Down a piece and completely lost, he tricked his opponent into trading queens to a position where Alex had a strong passed pawn and he needed to give a rook to stop it, after which Alex was winning. Unfortunately, Tralee look like strong relegation contenders and c ould be back in division 2 next year.

In the second match we faced a much stronger opposition in the form of Adare with 3 blalcks. And while Romanian grandmasters are no longer allowed to play on board 1, Oissine Murphy provided strong opposition for Hugh, and Seamus Duffy on board 3 as a guest player was to be no pushover either. Indeed Oissine beat Hugh, after Hugh misplayed what seemed like and okay position, and Seamus beat Alex in a game where he looked to have a very strong position from quite early on. However, Steve beat Jan Heinrich on 2, and I had a nice game against Drahoslav Stejskal on board 4, to reverse my result from last year against him. Piotr was worse for most of the game against Diana Mirza, but always seemed to have enough counterchances if Diana ever took his weak isolated queen’s pawn.  Eventually, perhaps running out of ideas she did take it but in the end Piotr actually won a pawn. But after the queens got traded it ended up being rook and 3 pawns versus rook and 2 on the same side of the board and the game looked headed for a draw, after Diana had previously turned down a couple draw offers. However, Piotr managed to trade of a favourable pair of pawns which left him with passed pawn and then forced a situation where Diana had to either trade rooks, or give up her last pawn. So in the end, a great turn around from Piotr and a great result overall in a very hard fought match against one of the stronger teams in the league.

These results still left us half a point clear of Ennis A who also won their 2 matches, edging past Sarsfield 3-2, and beating their B team 3.5-1.5.

Results from rounds 3 and 4:

Round 3: Cork 5-0 Tralee                                 Round 4: Cork 3-2 Adare

Hugh Doyle 1-0 Paul Shanahan                      Hugh Doyle 0.5-0.5 Thomas Dunne Jr
Steve Short 1-0 Gerald Hussey                       Steve Short 0.5-0.5 Maurice Buckley
Alex Byrne 1-0 Sebastian Kalista                    Alex Byrne 1-0 Robbie Kildea
Keegan O’Mahoney 1-0 John A. Keane          Keegan O’Mahoney 1-0 Gerry Casey
Piotr Leichert 1-0 Micheal O Meara               Piotr Leichert 1-0 Aaron Daly

 

Rounds 1 and 2

These round took place in Springfort Hall on Sunday, November 15th, after a motion was passed at the MCU AGM to move league matches to Sundays this year. The first match against CCYMS went well for us, with Steve drawing a position that at one point was surely winning with a couple extra pawns and Piotr also drawing, and Hugh, Alex and I winning. It must be said that Hugh was somewhat fortunate to beat Kieran Moynihan on board 1, after being busted out of the opening, but in the time scramble, Kieran misplayed an imbalanced position where one side had queen and one didn’t and lost. In the second match, against Ennis B, we also won 4-1, with Hugh agreeing a draw a lost position (to Thomas Dunne who was likely afraid to play on against a higher rated opponent), and Steve drawing a position where he was up a pawn against Maurice Buckley for most of the game but couldn’t quite convert it to a full point.  Alex and Piotr both won, as did I in what can only be described of the swinde of all swindles where Gerry Casey had many chances to win material, and even after he chased my king from one side of the board to the other and I thought I might be able to breathe, I was still busted and he even missed a mate in 5 and many other wins. No doubt, he had so much choice of good moves that he just managed to find the one that didn’t win! Somehow, we ended up trading into an ending which was slightly better for me, but in the time scramble, he blundered a rook.

We were the only team to win our first 2 matches, going undefeated over the 10 games, and lead Ennis A and Limerick by half a match point.

Our results from the first 2 rounds:

Round 1: Cork 4-1 CCYMS                                Round 2: Cork 4-1 Ennis B

Hugh Doyle 1-0 Kieran Moynihan                  Hugh Doyle 0.5-0.5 Thomas Dunne Jr
Steve Short 0.5-0.5 Gerry McCarthy               Steve Short 0.5-0.5 Maurice Buckley
Alex Byrne 1-0 Pat Twomey                             Alex Byrne 1-0 Robbie Kildea
Keegan O’Mahoney 1-0 Paul Dowdall            Keegan O’Mahoney 1-0 Gerry Casey
Piotr Leichert 0.5-0.5 Tom Myers                    Piotr Leichert 1-0 Aaron Daly