Friday, December 2, 2011

Some Armstrong Results and Tournament News

Hey everyone, apologies for the long gap since the last post.

The Armstrong team has had a few matches since, here are the scorecards:

3 losses, but compared to last year our losses much closer affairs. Against Rathmines in particular, you can see when we get out strongest team out we can give anyone a match.

Next Tuesday we'll have a swap chess tournament at the club, so be there by 7.15 if you want to play. The week after will be our Christmas Blitz tournament (13th December). Prizes and fun guaranteed! Also, the LCU Christmas blitz will be on the 14th. Details at www.icu.ie There should be a good gang of us heading out, come along for the craic! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Two in a Row!

The Armstrong team won the second game of the season on Tuesday against St. Benildus. Here's the scorecard:

This puts us up to 4th in table, great start to the season.

Oisin and myself got the wins, and there were a lot of hard fought draws too.

I've annotated my game, you can see it below:
[Event "Amstrong Cup 2011/12"]
[Date "2011.10.18"]
[White "Lyons, Brendan"]
[Black "Moran, Stephen"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "1848"]
[BlackElo "1991"]

1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. Ngf3 c5 5. g3 Nc6 6. Bg2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. Re1
b5 9. e5 Nd7 10. h4 a5 11. Nf1 Ba6 12. Bf4 b4 13. N1h2 (13. Ne3) 13... a4 14.
Ng5 (14. a3 {is an interesting try to hold black on the queenside.}) 14... Qe8
{All theory up to here.}

 15. Qh5 {probably not best, as it walks into the
point of black's 14th move.} (15. c4 bxc3 16. bxc3 h6 17. Ngf3 Qc8 18. Ng4 Rb8
{is another interesting line, but you have to be brave to allow so many pieces
aim at at your kingside, particularly h6.}) 15... Bxg5 (15... h6 16. Ng4 {gets
a bit crazy. Black has to defend accurately.} Bxg5 (16... hxg5 17. hxg5 Qd8 18.
Be4 dxe4 19. Kg2) 17. hxg5 f5 18. Qxe8 Raxe8 19. Ne3 hxg5 20. Bxg5 Ncxe5 {with
a slight advantage.}) 16. hxg5 f5 {this is point behind Qe8. White doesn't
have time to play exf6 because his queen is attacked. If he swaps off the
queens, black has much the better prospects on the queenside.} 17. Qh4 {
leaving the queen out of play.} (17. Qd1) 17... Nd4 {this is always annoying
for white without the queen around to defend the weak pawns.} 18. Rac1 b3 19.
axb3 axb3 20. c4 (20. c3 Nc2 21. Red1 Nb6 {none of white's pieces are doing
anything. Black can attack the queenside pawns or try invade down the a-file.})
20... dxc4 {I figured I could sacrifice the exchange here, since my bishop and
queen would line up along the h1-a8 diagonal and it would be a monster. I'd
also have Nd7-b6-c4 or a4 ideas too.} 
21. dxc4 {probably best to decline the
offer.} (21. Bxa8 Qxa8 22. dxc4 Qc6 23. Rc3 {to play f3 after black plays Bb7.}
Bb7 24. f3 Ra8 25. Bc1 Ra1 {with roughly equal chances. I still like black's
activity though.}) 21... Rd8 22. Nf3 Nb6 23. g6 {white missed my 25th move
when playing this.} (23. Be3 {keeps it level, or maybe even a small advantage
with the two bishops.} f4 (23... Nxc4 24. Nxd4 cxd4 25. Bxd4) 24. Bxd4 cxd4 25.
Nd2 fxg3 26. Qxg3 Qf7) 23... Qxg6 24. Bg5? (24. Nxd4 Rxd4 25. Qe7 Nd7 26.
Red1 Qf7 27. Qxf7+ Kxf7 {is only slightly better for black.}) 24... Nxf3+ 25.
Bxf3 Rd4 {and black is a clear pawn up with a better position.}

 26. Qh5 Qxh5
27. Bxh5 Nxc4 {finally the weak pawn goes.} 28. Be7 (28. Be2 Nxe5 29. Bf4 Nc4
30. Bf1 Kf7 31. Rc3 h6 32. Ra1 Bb5 33. Rxb3 {and despite being a pawn up, it's
not easy for black.}) 28... Rc8 29. Ra1 (29. Rc3 {to pick up the b3 pawn is
better.}) 29... Bb7 {the bishop is a monster here, white has to watch out for
back rank mates now.} 30. Ra7 Rd7 (30... Bd5 {consolidates everything quicker
and protects the b3 pawn. White has no threats.}) 31. Bd6 Nxb2 {creating
connected passed pawns.} 

32. Rb1 c4! {a nice way to finish the game, by
marching a pawn up the board.} 33. Rxb2 c3 34. Rxb3 c2 35. Ba3 c1=Q+ 36. Bxc1
Rxc1+ ({White resigned bacause of the following} 36... Rxc1+ 37. Bd1 Rcxd1+ 38.
Kh2 Rh1# {A triumph for the light squared bishop!}) 0-1

We've also started the tournament to see who could get on one of our teams. So far after 3 rounds the table looks like this:

DU Chess Soc - 20/10/2011, 20/10/2011

 Cross Table at round 3

 ID NAME                 Rtg   T  Fed  Pts |   1     2     3  
  1 Enrique Saez         1700  NC ---  3.0 | +B10  +W15  +B3   
  2 Colin Power          1300  NC ---  2.0 | -W4   +B11  +W13  
  3 Diego Lionello       1300  NC ---  2.0 | +W13  +B9   -W1   
  4 Charles Dillon        1200  NC ---  2.0 | +B2   -W6   +B16  
  5 John Shanley         1100  NC ---  2.5 | =W17  +B8   +B6   
  6 Robert Murtagh    1000  NC ---  2.0 | +W11  +B4   -W5   
  7 Andy Hare                  0  NC ---  0.0 |  --    --    --   
  8 Brian McDonald         0  NC ---  1.5 | =B15  -W5   +B10  
  9 Diarmuid Neville         0  NC ---  2.0 | +B16  -W3   +B17  
 10 Eric Hattaway            0  NC ---  0.0 | -W1   -B13  -W8   
 11 Ewan Dalby               0  NC ---  1.0 | -B6   -W2   +BYE  
 12 John Prasifka             0  NC ---  0.0 |  --    --    --   
 13 Michael Birt              0   NC ---  1.0 | -B3   +W10  -B2   
 14 PJ Moloney               0  NC ---  0.0 |  --    --    --   
 15 Philip Corkery           0  NC ---  0.5 | =W8   -B1   -BYE  
 16 Sean Delorey             0  NC ---  1.0 | -W9   +B17  -W4   
 17 Sean Higgins             0  NC ---  0.5 | =B5   -W16  -W9   

Can anyone catch Enrique?? He's looked very strong so far. It's not too late to put yourself in the hat, we'll be continuing next week and maybe one more week after that. Let me know if you'd like to play.

Oh, and a quick reminder that our library is open to your viewing on the right hand side of the page.

That's it for this week,

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Aaaaaaaand we're off!

Hi all
The Armstrong Team had it's first match of the season on Thursday against Celbridge. We managed to win 4.5-3.5 which is a great start. Here's the scorecard:

Well done everyone, let's keep it up!

Also, Viktor has kindly annotated his game for everyone to see. Here it is below (I've added in a few diagrams, but the rest is Viktor's analysis).

Korennoi,Viktor (2251) - Dempsey,Paul (2198) [D15]
Leinster League Dublin, Ireland (1.1), 07.10.2011

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 c6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.Bg5 dxc4 [5...Ne4  is the most popular move here] 6.a4 Nd5 7.e4 Nxc3 8.bxc3 b5 9.Qd2
now the bishop on g5 hinders black to play e6 and develop it's bishop. If queen goes to c7, I play Bf4, and black queen has no cosy squares to hide 9...Bb7 10.Be2 I want to play Be2-d1-c2 and attack black king in case of short castle [Computer recommends 10.Qb2 Qc7 11.g3 preventing c6-c5] 10...Nd7 11.0-0 h6 12.Bh4 g6 [If black plays 12...Nf6 I can go either calm Qe3 or sharp 13.Ne5 Nxe4 14.Qf4 (14.Qc2 Nf6 15.Bf3ē) 14...Nd6 (14...Nf6 15.Bh5 g6 16.Rae1+- (16.Nxg6?? Nxh5-+) 16...Bg7 17.Bxf6 Bxf6 18.Nxg6 fxg6 19.Qxf6+-; 15.Bh5 g6 16.axb5 cxb5 (16...gxh5 17.bxc6 Bc8 18.Qf3Đ) 17.Bf3ē] 13.e5 The idea is to play e5-e6 and the black pawn on g6 is too weak. I'm not afraid of the knight on d5, because it can't protect the black king from there. 13...g5 14.Bg3?! [I should have immediately played 14.e6!

 fxe6 15.Qc2 Bg7 16.Bxg5ą E.g.  16...hxg5 17.Qg6+ Kf8 18.Nxg5 Qe8 19.Nxe6+ Kg8 20.Qxg7#]
14...e6 15.Qc2 Now the idea is to play Nf3-d2-e4, Bh5 and f2-f4 and use the weakened white squares of black's position. Maybe, it was better to play Qb2, preventing c6-c5. If I tried to restrict black's knight by moving a4-a5, black could play c6-c5, Qc7 and long castle, making it's king safe. Then he plays Nd7-b8-c6, attacking all my pawns (on a5, d4 and e5). And I obviously have no attacking opportunities on Queen's side ever. 15...Nb6 [15...c5!] 16.Nd2 h5?  Black has no attacking opportunities on the king's side. Eventually, this move only weakens black pawns [16...Nxa4?! 17.Rxa4 bxa4 18.Qxa4ē; 
16...c5!=] 17.h3 [17.f4  is rash 17...h4 18.Be1 gxf4 (18...Nd5 19.fxg5 Ne3 20.Qb2 Nxf1 21.Bxf1 Qxg5 22.Nxc4ģ) 19.Ne4 Nd5ģ; 
Computer doesn't find white's advanrage after  17.Ne4 h4 (17...Be7 18.Nd6+ Bxd6 19.exd6ą) 18.Nf6+ Ke7 19.Qc1 b4 20.Qxg5 hxg3 21.fxg3 Bh6 22.Nd5+ Ke8 23.Qxd8+ Rxd8 24.Nxb6 Be3+ 25.Kh1 bxc3 26.Nxc4 Bxd4 27.Nd6+ Rxd6 28.exd6 f5=] 17...c5 18.axb5 axb5 19.Qb2 Bc6 [After  19...Rxa1 20.Rxa1 (20.Qxb5+ Qd7 21.Qxd7+ Kxd7 22.Rxa1 cxd4 23.cxd4 c3ģ) 20...Bc6 21.Bf3 Qd7 22.Ra6  white still makes some pressure] 20.Bf3 Nd5 [20...Bxf3 21.Qxb5+ Qd7 22.Qxb6ą] 21.Ne4  My opponent admitted, he didn't see the idea behind this move. Even if he did, black is already in trouble now.  

 21...cxd4 [21...Qb6 22.Rxa8+ Bxa8 23.Qa3 Bb7 24.dxc5  And I can play Nd6+ at any moment, creating a strong pawn tandem; 
21...Rxa1 22.Nf6+ Qxf6 (22...Ke7 23.Rxa1ą; 22...Nxf6 23.Bxc6+ Nd7 24.Rxa1+-) 23.exf6 Ra8 24.Bxd5 exd5 25.Qe2+ Kd7 26.Qe5+-] 22.Nf6+! Ke7 [22...Nxf6? 23.Bxc6+ Nd7 24.Rxa8+-] 23.Bxd5 exd5 24.cxd4  With such a weakened king and no coordination among the pieces black can hardly protect this position. I have two basic ideas: 25. Qd2 Bh6 26. Qb4+ and 25. f2-f4 with the idea 26. Qb4+ Ke6 27. f4-f5 #   24...h4 [24...Qb6 25.Rxa8 Bxa8 26.Qa3+  Winning bishop on a8] 25.f4  Now I can move Bg3-e1-b4, changing black-squared bishop - the last King's defender 
25...Qb6 [25...hxg3 26.Qb4+ Ke6 27.f5#] 26.Rxa8 b4 [26...Bxa8 27.Qa3+ b4 (27...Ke6 28.f5#) 28.Qxa8 hxg3 (28...Bh6 29.Nxd5+ Ke6 30.f5+ Kd7 31.Nxb6++-; 28...Qxd4+ 29.Bf2 Qxf4 30.Nxd5++-) 29.Nxd5++-] And the final move is nice  27.Re8+!  Black resigned because of 27...Bxe8 28.Nxd5++- 1-0

27.Re8+! BAM!

Hope you enjoyed that, I know I did :D

See you down at the club,

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


If you're new here, welcome to the club! Otherwise, good to have you back after the summer.

You can see the kind of things we get up to by looking at previous posts. These are mostly reports of league matches and tournaments we've held in the club. Of course there are other things like a simultaneous display with a grandmaster, and links you might be interested in.

Directions to find us are on the right sidebar. We meet most Tuesdays from 7. If the club will not be meeting for some reason, I'll let you know both here and on facebook (join the group to keep up with everything!).

First meeting is tonight. There will be signs up in the Hamilton building to help you find us for the first couple of weeks.

We'll have every standard of player, so matter how much or little experience you have you will not be out of your depth. If you want some coaching or lessons feel free to ask, it's what we're here for.

Finally, we are not this:

Nor are we this:

We are somewhere in the middle, where it is fun!

Hope to see you tonight,

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Simultaneous Display and Lecture-Report

Hi all,

I think everyone enjoyed the lecture and simultaneous display by Grandmaster Alexander Baburin. The list of players was as follows:
Jack McHugh
Colin Power
Diego Lionello
Zbigniew Zdziarski
Matthew Berkeley
Nicholas Bland
Hugh O'Connor
Charles Dillon
James Vaughan
Deep in thought...

A big well done to Ennis captain Colin, who was the only one to take a draw off him. In fact, it was Alexander who offered as he was down on material. Also, 0.5/9 against a GM rated 2540 gives us performance rating of 2096. Just thought you'd like to know.

Colin looking happy with himself.
Last mention should probably go to Diego who help out longest against Alex, and was unlucky in a tricky ending.

Before the simul, GM Baburin answered a few questions. The main points to take from his answers were:

  • Always go on what the position demands, there are no rules that apply to every position.
  • Play what you think is right, not what you think should be right.
  • If time trouble is a problem, try be more confident in your moves. Spending too much time too often does a lot more damage than making a small mistake every now and then by playing more quickly.
  • The best way to improve involves 3 things: Analyzing your own games (your losses most of all), practicing your tactics, and working on your endgame technique.
He also said that he was banned from playing swap chess in Russia when he was growing up. No swap chess you say? What kind of a deprived childhood...

Anyway, feedback was generally positive, so we might look at organising another early next year, possibly around fresher's week.

If anyone feels like looking over their game with Alex, remember you can always bring it down to the club. I'd be very interested in seeing some of them.

See you then,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ever Wanted to Play a Grandmaster?

Hi guys,

Exciting news this week. As part of the Russian Cultural Festival 2011, we will be hosting a lecture and simultaneous display by International Grandmaster Alexander Baburin (above), internationally rated 2539. For those who don't know, a simultaneous display is where a strong player plays several games at once against different opponents, making one move on each board before moving to the next game.

  • Where? Room 3051 in the Arts building.
  • When? Wednesday March 2nd, 12-2pm (during reading week, no excuses!)
  • How much? Free!
Alexander is the only Grandmaster living in Ireland, so chances to play him, or any grandmaster, do not come along often. I'd highly recommend you play, once you get a taste of playing someone that good it really encourages you to improve. I speak from experience on that. Demand for this will be high, so get back to me soon as you can to make sure you've a good chance of getting a place.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Last Few League Results

We've had a couple of tough matches recently against teams up near the top of the table. First was Rathmines A:
Rathmines have a very consistent team rating wise, two and a half is not a bad result against them. A couple of games that they won could have gone either way, so the ratings did not count for as much as the scoreline suggests.
Next was Bray, who also have a very strong all round team: 
Everyone did exceptionally well against higher rated players, and like last time, with a bit of extra luck we could have tied the match. Everyone was ahead in their game at least once, so it's a little disappointing to only come out with 4 draws, but again not bad against a strong team.
Two games left for the Armstong team against Gonzaga and Dun Laoghaire and we've a 3 point cushion over the relegation places. 

The Ennis team are also doing their best with a few points cushion over the relegation places. Both teams will be run close though, so there's an exciting run in to look forward to.

More news soon,

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's Been a Long Time...

Haven't posted in a while. Since the last one, the Armstrong team has played two of the best teams in the division, Kilkenny and Phibsboro. Kilkenny was a bit of an ugly result:
Tim and James doing well being the high points on a bad day.

However we rebounded excellently with a great win against Phibsboro:
On boards 7 and 8, Jack and John were making debuts on the Armstrong team and both overcame rating gaps in great wins. On board 1 John played his usual everything-under-control game and finished with a nice combination to win the queen. Hugely satisfying result.

The Ennis team are going to have a tough second half to the season. Laurence and Anastasia finished their Erasmus so we're a couple of players down there already. On top of that they're in a relegation place at the moment too. But we're always optimistic here, they won their last game 5-1 (!) against Wicklow who are probably in more danger of going down. This should take them out of the bottom two and there's a great chance of a few more good results like that.

Finally, probable blitz tournament in a couple of weeks at the club, keep an eye on the blog for news.

See you at the club,