Our William Brennan defence got off to a shaky start even though we beat St. Benildus B 5-1 on Saturday. It was not as comfortable as the score line suggests as we were lucky not to lose the game! Joe Reid got out of jail big time as it looked like he would lose in a tricky end game. Michael Pentony was pushed all the way in another tricky match but was probably the only one that actually won a game on merit. Brendan Evers threw the kitchen sink at his opponent but was lucky to come away with a draw. Brendan Corrigan messed up in the opening losing a stupid pawn for no compensation when he moved the wrong piece inexplicable. He was very fortunate to get a draw in the end game. Philip Mitchell won on time in a minor piece end game that was not very clear at all. John Doyle got a walkover on board 6 due to exam pressure for Benildus. A good result but hopefully our guys will improve a lot before our next match or the William Brennan Cup will be going elsewhere.
Congratulations to Nick Rottiers on claiming the Club C title last night after his draw with Pat Scanlan. Nick ,who remained unbeaten for the campaign, only needed a draw against his closest rival to clinch it. Pat needed to win to claim the title himself. It was a tight match as both looked for the advantage. It is a tremendous achievement for Nick in his first year in the club and we are all delighted for him. Well done
Elsewhere Kieran Rogers was shocked by Pat Coleman in the A section losing his first club game of the season. Kieran dominated the game and was 2 pawns up but Pat hung in there. Complacency may have played a part, as Kieran really should have went on to win. He saw a not so subtle Qb8 mate threat which was easy to stop however he left a rook hanging inexplicably in the process! Pat was very happy to pick up a most unlikely win. This blows open the championship now as Pat or Brendan Evers could now overtake Kieran for the title. This we were not expecting, however Kieran does still have destiny in his own hands. If he beats Brendan Evers in his last match he will be crowned champion.
Eoin Murphy beat Ben Reilly in the semi-final of the cup where he will play either Donal O’ Boyle or Kieran.
In the plate Piotr Baczkowski beat Maurice O’ Connor in a best of 3 play off match to advance to the next round.
Stefan Baczkowski had a good win over Paddy McDonnell in the B section and looks most likely now to clinch the runner-up spot in the competition which is a tremendous result for another new member. Michael Pentony had a good win over John Doyle and Michael Eagleton got a great draw against Andrew Thomson.
Pat Coleman 1-0 Kieran Rogers
Stefan Baczkowski 1-0 Paddy McDonnell
John Doyle 0-1 Michael Pentony
Michael Eagleton 1/2-1/2 Andrew Thomson
Nick Rottiers 1/2-1/2 Pat Scanlan
Eoin Murphy 1-0 Ben Reilly
Piotz Backwoski 1-0 Maurice O’ Connor
Brendan Corrigan claimed the Club B Title last night after defeating his closest rival, John Doyle, in a dramatic end game scramble. The game had been tight the whole way through, just the way John likes it. He set his pieces up on the queenside to launch his diagonal attack on the king. Brendan opened the c file and tried to break there. Rightly or wrongly he then swapped off a bishop and knight to focus on this. He found an annoying bishop move which threatened mate, tying John’s queen up momentarily. However a brilliant counter by John with rook d1 then d7 looked to have turned the tables and it was all to play for. Both players had less than 3 minutes at this stage and it was a complicated position. Brendan picked up a pawn (which was useless in fairness) but John had the greater attack once the queens came off the board. Brendan almost walked himself into a mate but saw it in time to get the king to safety and free up his position. This was the critical moment as Brendan’s pieces now became more active and he went on to pick up a very hard-fought victory.
Elsewhere Donal O’ Boyle got back on track with a composed and timely win over Joe Reid in the Cup 1/4 final. After a few weeks of frustrating chess, he was more like his old self. He set about the quiet task of building up his forces while Joe tried to break through the centre. Dob then countered in the middle and was ahead on time. It was a very closed position with many possibilities. Dob narrowed these down quicker than usual which proved crucial as Joe missed a combination that lost a rook. A rejuvenated Dob now meets Kieran Rogers in the semi-final and we are sure looking forward to that battle o the titans!
In the other 1/4 final Eoin Murphy came from a pawn down against Philip Mitchell to reach the semis. It was easily the game of the night. Playing the Pirc, Philip seemed to have the advantage in the middle game. Opening up the centre and with Eoin on the back foot picked up a pawn. However Eoin maneuvered his pieces around this weakness using it to counter and win the exchange, rook for bishop. It became a real battle in the end game. Eoin moved his pawns to push Philip back and his overworked bishop could not cope with attacks on both sides of the board. Eoin now meets Ben Reilly in the semi.
In the Plate Stefan Baczkwoski had a great victory over Justin Ahern moving into the 1/4 finals and must now be one of the favourites for it. He had a devastating kingside attack going from the middle game with pawns and pieces raining down on Justin. He tried to defend gallantly but Stefan was just to strong and picked up a deserved win.
Frank Pentony is still trying to work out how he got out of jail against Paul McDonnell in the other last 16 match. While the game was tight, Paul always had the edge and going into the end game was a pawn up. Frank though was on the front foot and with his king further up the board managed to stop Paul breaking out. An exchange of knights worked in his favour and under time pressure Paul slipped up and Frank, as he said himself, was lucky to win.
In the club championships, Andrew Thomson beat Maurice O’ Connor. They quickly moved to an end game situation where Andrew’s extra pawn and better placed pieces proved decisive. Glen Campbell lost out to Piotr Baczkowsi after putting up brave resistance well into the end game . They were level with rook and 5 pawns each but Piotr brilliantly maneuvered his pieces to his advantage picking up a couple of pawns and the win. Ben Reilly had a tough encounter with Michael Johnston before picking up a deserved win. Justin went for a high risk knight sacrifice move but this only gave Ben some great counter attacking. He pushed forward and his own knight became a monster eventually forking king and rook and the game was up. Pat Scanlan came out on top against Peter Meegan in a must win game, but only just. Peter played brilliantly and will consider himself unlucky not to get a draw at least. He put it right up to Pat and with so many blocked pawns on the board it was hard to see how Pat would break through. Concentrating on the kingside he eventually got a break and after swapping off the annoying bishop he won the match. This now sets up a winner takes all match against Nick Roitters for the C Title. We cannot wait for that one, it will be a cracker!
Nick for his part had an interesting friendly with newest member Cillian Howlet who is one to watch out for. He beat Nick, which is no easy task and has a good overall game. Delighted to see it
John Doyle 0-1 Brendan Corrigan
Andrew Thomson 1-0 Maurice O’ Connor
Peter Meegan 0-1 Pat Scanlan
Glen Campbell 0-1 Piotr Baczkwoski
Ben Reilly 1-0 Michael Johnston
Joe Reid 0-1 Donal O’ Boyle
Eoin Murphy 1-0 Philip Mitchell
Stefan Baczkowski 1-0 Justin Ahern
Frank Pentony 1-0 Paul McDonnell
Congratulations to Kieran Rogers on becoming Leinster Intermediate Champion over the weekend. He remained unbeaten with a score of 4.5/6 in a very competitive tournament. So tight was the competition that Kieran was joint 1st with 4 other players, Sean Nolan, Gerard Buckley, Colm Fitzpatrick and Gerard Wallace. He and Sean Nolan drew in the last match which had a very exciting finish. A win for either player would have seen them outright winner overall. In a tense king and 2 pawns v king and pawn, Sean in fairness did really well to force a draw. Well done Kieran and congratulations on your first Leinster title.
It was another busy night of action with Championship, Cup and Plate matches on Tuesday. In the Plate 1/4 final Maurice O’ Connor and Piotr Baczkowski will have to do it all again as their match ended in a draw. Piotr was counting his lucky stars as Maurice missed 2 golden opportunities to win. It will be an interesting rematch now! Sonia Sima gave Nick Rottiers something to think about in the other Plate match played. He went a piece up in the middle game, but fair play to Sonia she came back at him. In the end his two passed pawns were too strong and he moves into next round. In the Cup 1/4 final Brendan Evers pushed Kieran Rogers all the way and was unlucky to lose out. Somehow Kieran managed to hold out in serious time trouble and pick a lucky win. Brendan came close to ending Kieran’s 100% club record for the season so far. After this their championship match is one everyone is looking forward to.
In the A Championship it was a real time scramble between Eoin Murphy and Joe Reid. It could have gone either way at the stage. This however did not take away from some complicated and attacking play from both. Joe had a little advantage on the queenside but somehow Eoin defended while trying to open up the kingside. It was manic at the end as pieces were moving at the speed of light to avoid the flag. Joe picked up a piece in the madness and just about hung on for the win.
In the B Championship Brendan Corrigan overcome Stefan Baczkwoski in a top of the table clash. An oversight in the opening saw Brendan go the exchange up with Ba6. However it still developed into an interesting clash as Stefan had play on the kingside while Brendan tried to push through his advantage on the queenside. He had two monster pawns going down that side and they proved the difference in the end. Cormac Newton had a great victory over Paddy McDonnell. He got a great attack going on the kingside going a piece up with loads of pressure. Paddy tried hard to counter getting a little play but Cormac had the bit between his teeth and saw it home. Frank Pentony and Michael Eagleton had a mighty duel. A tiny error by Michael in the opening saw Frank win the exchange, rook for knight. It was still an interesting match as all the play was queenside and it looked as if Michael would hold out for a draw. Frank had other ideas and a neat combination saw him break through to pick up a useful win.
In the C section Justin Ahern and Pat Scanlan played out a belter. Pat needed to win to keep the pressure on Nick Roitters at the top. However Justin is a tough competitor and Pat found himself in a battle for his life! Justin played really well and going into the end game was 2 pawns up. With one rook each they both tried to find the way through. Pat defended really well making it impossible to activate the two extra pawns. Try as he might Justin could not break through and Pat got a “lucky” draw to keep his title hopes alive. At least now he knows he must beat Nick to have any chance of winning the title. Simple! The other match between Peter Meegan and Dave Newton was a topsy-turvy kind of game. It was hard to tell who was winning as it swung both ways. In the end Peter was a piece up but could not find the win and Dave was grateful to accept the draw.
On Saturday night Brendan Evers and Donal O’ Boyle played out the 6 second draw. Dob was a rook up so rather than win on time Brendan offered the draw. There was no way Dob was going to find the mate with 6 seconds left so it was a generous gesture on Brendan’s behalf. Dob for his part would have accepted losing on time so felt a little guilty about accepting it. Still it is nice to see sportsmanship still exits
Joe Reid 1-0 Eoin Murphy (A)
Donal O’ Boyle 1/2-1/2 Brendan Evers (A)
Brendan Corrigan 1-0 Stefan Baczkwoski (B)
Frank Pentony 1-0 Michael Eagleton (B)
Cormac Newton 1-0 Paddy McDonnell (B)
Pat Scanlan 1-0 Justin Ahern (C)
Peter Meegan 1/2-1/2 Dave Newton (C)
Kieran Rogers 1-0 BrendaN Evers (Cup)
Piotr Baczkwoski 1/2-1/2 Maurice O’ Connor (Plate)
Sonia Sima 0-1 Nick Rottiers (Plate)
It was a busy night on Tuesday with possibly the Nick Roitters v Ben Reilly match the best of the night. As Nick hones in on a first title he came up against stiff competition from Ben who went a piece up. Nick however did not panic and went for a devastating king side attack. Ben defended well until a subtle e4 move from Nick opened up the king to numerous attacking pieces. Nick was relieved to get out with the point while Ben has the consolation of taking the champion elect right to the wire. Elsewhere in section C Michael Johnston overcame Peter Meegan who lost a pawn early which proved decisive. Sonia Sima, who went a pawn up, gave Piotr Baczkowski a fright before he came back to go a piece up and see out the game. Dave Newton and Glen Campbell had the most fun in a match that swung one way then the other before Glen came out on top. These two guys are one of the many reasons that Drogheda Chess Club is a great place to be!
In the A section Kieran Rogers just seems to be getting better each week. His improvement this year hopefully will be an inspiration to our other higher rated players to push on also and not to plateau out. (meow!) He faced the tricky Philip Mitchell who gave him a battle. Kieran knew the only way to open a stern defence was down the middle. He did it really well getting a 3 pawn chain down the centre activating his other pieces on Philip’s king. Philip seemed to find a defence but Kieran pounced with a rook on the 7th rank and the game was over. Pat Coleman had a good win against Donal O’ Boyle considering he was defending his queenside quite a bit in an intriguing contest. Dob just took too much time to work out the best way forward and it was no surprise when he lost on time (again!). Joe Reid had a comprehensive win over an out of sorts Alan Dee. He went wrong in the opening and Joe steamrolled him. With a monster knight on d6 and pieces attacking everything on the kingside, Alan was just boxed in. Alan is good at finding escapes but Joe is equally as good as making his advantage count and rarely lets his grip go in these situations. Eoin Murphy played solidly against Paul McDonnell to pick up the win. Eoin is good at building up a kingside attack and once he gets it going there are few who can stop it. Paul was a little disappointed with his own game but hopefully will realise the improvement he has made this year is remarkable and he is going from strength to strength.
In the B section Michael Pentony got revenge of sorts over Maurice O’ Connor who knocked him out the Plate with that beautiful centre board mate. It was quite a closed game for much of the match before Michael found an opening to press home a winning attack. Stefan Baczkowski had a good win over Michael Eagleton. It was an interesting clash of styles as Michael tried to close the game down and Stefan went about opening it up. Good contest and a nice win sets up a top of the table clash with Brendan Corrigan next week. Brendan for his part was pushed all the way by Cormac Newton. It was a tough game where the middle to end game became a battle between knight and bishop. Cormac activated his knight very well at one stage just when Brendan thought he had it locked up. However Brendan’s doubled rooks down the d file became a major factor restricting its movement. Cormac tried breaking out by swapping one of the rooks but this gave Brendan the extra tempo to push home. In this very close game it was just this extra tempo that decided it in the end. Andrew Thomson and John Doyle played out a draw. It was a very closed position with just no way through for either player. John is always tough to break down and at the moment Andrew is the draw king and never easy to beat so a draw was probably inevitable.
We would like to welcome our newest member, Cillian Howlett, who showed he can play as Brendan Evers and Paddy McDonnell found out!
Joe Reid 1-0 Alan Dee
Eoin Murphy 1-0 Paul McDonnell
Donal O’ Boyle 0-1 Pat Coleman
Kieran Rogers1-0 Philip Mitchell
Brendan Corrigan 1-0 Cormac Newton
Michael Pentony 1-0 Maurice O’ Connor
Stefan Baczkowski 1-0 Michael Eagleton
Andrew Thomson 1-0 John Doyle
Ben Reilly 0-1 Nick Rottiers
Michael Johnston 1-0 Peter Meegan
Dave Newton 0-1 Glen Campbell
Piotr Baczkowski 1-0 Sonia Sima
It is hard to describe the action from Tuesday night as many of the games were very strange indeed. Pieces were being dropped everywhere! Cannot remember the last time so many errors were made in the one night. There were queens, rooks, knights, bishops just falling off boards like confetti.
Kieran Rogers was up against his bogey man Joe Reid, in a game that was very tight indeed. Going into the end game it was queen rook bishop and 5 pawns apiece, although one of Kieran’s was isolated. It looked like a draw. Kieran then gave up a pawn for initiative which was a high risk manoeuvre, especially against one as skilled as Joe. It seemed to be working as Joe was pressed back and his pieces were not as active as Kieran’s. Then in a moment of madness, Kieran forked Joe’s queen to his king and it was all over.
John Doyle was a whole knight up against Paddy McDonnell and driving home his advantage when out of nowhere he lost it and went a rook down! Still not sure how that happened. With both pushing pawns forward, John did queen first and tried for perpetual check. It seemed he would get it surprisingly. Paddy took time to work out his king needed to get to the other side of the board near his own queen and rook. Eventually he did and picked up a most unlikely win in the circumstances.
Paul McDonnell was doing just fine against Philip Mitchell in a quite closed position, when again out of nowhere he lost a piece. There was something in the air! He fought gallantly but Philip stayed focused. Towards the end Philip forced a queen swap but Paul also lost another knight when he miscalculated the exchanges.
Sonia Sima is still wondering how she lost to Peter Meegan. She was 2 pieces up at one stage. However the battling Peter never knows when he is beaten and completely turned the tables to go 2 passed pawns up in the end game. These proved decisive for a famous comeback victory!
Then there was the Piotr Baczkwoski v Michael Johnston match that should have been a draw. It was rook and 5 blocked pawns each with nowhere for either player to go. Michael tried to force the position dropping a couple of pawns and handed the victory to Piotr. Lesson learned no doubt as sometimes you just have to accept the draw.
Cormac Newton is an enigma. Last week he was competing as one of the country’s top students in the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad Finals to find the top young decoders around. This week he was castling into a queen and rook skewer!! Go figure. Andrew Thomson didn’t let him off the hook and picked up a useful win.
In all this madness Alan Dee had a tough battle with Eoin Murphy. It was quite closed but Alan picked up a pawn in the middle game. Both showed signs of quality and it was a good contest. Prehaps Eoin played a little defensively which may have been the difference allowing Alan to forge a winning attack.
The Club C favourite, Nick Roitters had to be at his absolute best to beat a rejuvenated Glen Campbell. Glen played one of his best games ever giving Nick a real fright. It was level going into the end game and a draw seemed likely. However Nick fought tooth and nail to find a break through on the kingside. Possibly the only mistake Glen made was to allow his queen to go too far away on the queenside going after some pawns. Defending the kingside would probably have gotten him a brilliant draw.
Elsewhere Michael Pentony picked up the win against Michael Eagleton and Stefan Baczkwoski beat Maurice O’ Connor.
Finally in the Cup, Brendan Evers had a great victory over never say die, Pat Coleman. Once again a piece was dropped. Right in the middle game both players saw a combination which was complicated but still calculable. Initially Brendan dismissed it because it opened up a back rank mate. However after taking some time he realised he would stop this with a piece retreat which would give him a discovered check in the process. Pat played it too quickly not realising this and when he did notice, it was too late. Once the rottweiler gets in front there is no going back and he advances to the next round.