Saturday, March 9, 2013

A long-overdue update: Armstrong & O'Hanlon teams, and some success at Bunratty

Hi guys! A long time has passed since the last update, so I thought I'd do a major update now. Some very good results from the Bunratty Chess Festival first, then I'll get on to how our teams are doing in the leagues.

Firstly, the Masters Event, which was won, as it was last year, by English Super-GM Michael Adams, rated 2725. Trinity representation in this came in the form of Armstrong Team Captain and Secretary Anthony Bourached, former captain and Eternal President Stephen Moran, and Colin Menzies, who used to go to Trinity and about whom I don't really know enough to give any preamble. He was probably on committee too, back in the day. We did quite well in this event, with all 3 exceeding their official ratings in their performance ratings, but special mention must go to Anthony, who managed an impressive 3.5/6 (which included a bye), despite being outrated in every single game he played. For the record, Anthony placed 16th, Colin 23rd, and Stephen 25th, out of 39 competitors.

In the Challenger event, we were represented by Didier Kalemba Mukekwa, who finished a very respectable 30th of 68, with a score of 3.0/6. The Major event saw participation by Shane Sheedy, who should be very pleased with a score of 3.0/6, with a performance rating almost 250 points above his official rating, placing 41st of 76.

Finally, we were represented in the Minor by the ridiculously underrated committee member Jacob Miller, who has been annoying O'Hanlon opponents all year with his antics on Board 1, where 1400s and 1500s, expecting easy wins upon seeing his rating of 1082, have seen their own ratings potentially plummeting before their eyes as it turns out he's actually much better than that. Jacob had a very successful weekend, going undefeated, and finishing 2nd of 108 competitors with 5.5/6. The only blemish on his record was a draw in the 5th round.

Now, to the leagues, and things aren't quite so rosy as they have been. The Armstrong team have lost 4 of the 5 matches they've played since the last update, though the dominant fashion of that lone win means that those 5 matches have given a total team score of 19.5/40, which is a reasonable return. Unfortunately, however, a problem over payment of fees led to an 8 point deduction, so has led to a slide down the table, to 10th, though if this is rectified we will be in an excellent 5th position. The games were, chronologically: 5-3 defeats to Elm Mount and Kilkenny, a 4.5-3.5 defeat to Phibsboro, a 6.5-1.5 thumping of Rathmines B, and another narrow 4.5-3.5 loss to Bray./Greystones. The loss to Phibsboro, who lead the league with 8 wins from 9, was particularly unfortunate, as we were a player down (missing Anthony), and so forfeited a board before play had even began. The surprise result in that game was Charles Dillon (rated ~1300) pulling out a very surprising win over an 1800+ rated opponent on board 6. Of the Armstrong players, Rory Delaney has been having an very good season, scoring 5.5/8 with only a single loss, as has Anthony Bourached, with the same record. The ever presents on the team Oisín Benson, Stephen Moran and Karl McPhilips, have been doing well too, with scores of 5.5/9, 4.5/9, and 5.5/9 respectively. The table is as follows:

1Phibsboro104319180052 ½
2Gonzaga104317200051 ½
3Elm Mount103127220044 ½
4Bray / Greystones103021290040 ½
5Rathmines A102327300036 ½
6St Benildus92621250036 ½
7Dun Laoghaire92127240034 ½
9Kilkenny91831230033 ½
10Dublin University102528270831
11Dublin91723322026 ½
12Rathmines B91421370024 ½

Now, to the O'Hanlon. The O'Hanlon team has been beset by struggles to get bodies on the boards, and concessions of walkovers against Celbridge (2 boards), Drogheda and Bray/Greystones A (each 1 board, with a penalty of -1 aganst Bray) have cost us. This has contributed to our current placing of 11th, which places us in danger of relegation if we cannot bridge the 1.5 point gap above us in the last two games (the game vs Dublin has not been played).  Credit must go to Jacob Miller, the only ever present in the team, who has managed to score 4/9 despite mostly playing vastly higher rated opponents on Board 1, and to Ross Byrne, Rob Murtagh and Conor Hickey, who have scored 4/8, 4/8, and 3.5/7 respectively, and have been our other consistently present team members. The table is as follows:
Team MP GW GD GL Adj Pts
1 Drogheda 9 31 9 14 0 35 ½
2 Elm Mount 9 24 16 14 0 32
3 Inchicore 10 23 17 20 0 31 ½
4 Dublin 10 24 12 18 6 30
5 Celbridge 10 24 12 24 0 30
6 Curragh 9 23 12 19 0 29
7 Ballinasloe 9 24 8 22 0 28
8 Bray / Greystones A 9 16 19 19 0 25 ½
9 Finglas 9 16 17 21 0 24 ½
10 St Benildus 9 20 8 26 0 24
11 Dublin University 10 16 13 25 6 22 ½
12 Bray / Greystones B 9 11 13 30 0 17 ½

That's all for now: hopefully the teams do well in their remaining games and the O'Hanlon team can stave off relegation. Details of everything to do with league performances can be found at http://leinsterchess.com/lcu1213/tables.htm and via links on that page.
Till next time,


  1. Colin was captain for two years before me, we came second in the Armstrong one of those years. And I've no idea about that Didier guy, I think he's been putting down Trinity as his club for years for some reason but never actually attended.

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