Monday, March 22, 2010

Daly Retains QUB Rapidplay Open Title: Rookie Reports

In this column, Colm appears not “Daly” but annually as he has won the QUB Rapidplay in the last two years. The £1000 prize fund attracted 44 players, including at least 8 from Dublin, who found it hard to train, as a bomb scare meant they had to go part of the way by bus!

Round one: No real shocks, although Martin Kelly had Gonzaga’s 1991 rated player David Murray in a hurry to scramble a win from a lost position.

Round two: There were surprise draws for Aaron ”sweater” McCully (1331) over Carl Jackson (1671) and Robert Lavery (1040) over William Storey (1368) - but that’s another story. Spring is in the air as I spotted two robbins on one of the boards - Kiran Robbin beat Kevin Robbin!

Round three: On board two, in a battle of the Dubliners, Gordon Freeman played Oisin Benson and threw Oisin out with the “washing”. Home’s where Michael Holmes felt like going after losing to Kevin Fitzpatrick, 720 points below him. Martin Kelly beat the splendidly named Gianluca Sarri - who’s sorry now?

Round four: Shane Lee (1633) from Finglas was certainly not “fingerless” as he manoeuvred the pieces expertly to beat Oisin Benson (2085) while Robert Lavery ”bobbed”up again to beat Sean Linton (1354).

Round five: Shock winners in the last round (which allowed them to share second place on 4/5 with three others) were Lukasz Kwiatek (1830)-his “key attack” demolished Sam Osborne (2099) - and Shane Lee who beat Gareth Annesley (1965) “and slay” him, he did! In all the hurlyburly, I nearly missed the win by Thomas Hurley (850) over William Storey, as I was too busy beating fellow blogger, C.J. Murphy, to claim the intermediate grading prize. [Crosstable and list of prizewinners posted here - DMcA]

Congratulations to the brilliant team of Chris Millar,David McAlister and Eamonn Walls for running the event so well and to ever polite winner Colm Daly, who promised to bring even more from the south next year.

If you are thinking of taking the reverse journey to the Cork Congress this weekend, visit www.corkchess.com. By coincidence, years ago, when reporting on the Mulcahy Memorial Congress in Cork at Christmas, I said it was a good place to see “chessnuts boasting over an open fire”!

Finally, here is the vital sixth game of the Tal-Botvinnik clash where Tal’s knight sacrifice is still controversial!

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