As to the games themselves, although playing up, all four were particularly close affairs, all going the distance. Sean Linton on board 1 was first to fall to Paul McGuigan. Cathal Murphy's game against Paul McLoughlin started e4 d5, black against lower rated opposition, obviously envisaging "centre counter carnage". This didn't happen as despite the numerous early pins Paul deployed, Cathal was able to hold his own, only sitting a pawn down for most of the middle game and actually had Paul under pressure, threatening mate on move 29. As you'll see from the endgame with opposite coloured bishops a draw was a real possibility. Perhaps Cathal shouldn't have traded rooks on move 37 and on move 48 should have concentrated his king on addressing Paul's passed c pawn and ignoring his releatively safe king side pawns to secure the draw. Cathal resigned around move 56, but any "good" players out there are invited to add any analytical comments to the blog as they play through the game.
Pearse O Brien's game against similarly stronger opposition went the same way, when a draw looked likely only to be narrowly lost in the endgame. The final excitement came on board 4 when Phil "Mlegsci" Morrison, apparently 2 moves from mate inexplicably offered a draw. His opponent Ron Henderson gladly accepted, but Philip however with only seconds left may have made the right callas his deserved half point did save the Hendersons from the whitewash. Ron was light heartedly referred to by Brian Belshaw at the end of the contest as "the original Henderson".