Naomh Barróg finish 4th & 8th in the BEA

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After 11 rounds, the 2022/23 season of the BEA Cup North comes to an end with Naomh Barróg A team finishing in 4th place and the B team finishing in 8th place. Both teams ended the season with a double game at home against Phibsboro B and Drumlish on Thursday the 4th of May.

On board 1, Paddy was confident entering an endgame with two Knights against a Knight and a bad Bishop. However, he had only 5 minutes left on the clock, compared to 25 minutes for his opponent, when they realised the clock had been set incorrectly and they were not receiving 30 second of increment. Due to the lack of time, he agreed to a draw.

On board 2, Des opened with D4 and following a number of exchanges got control of the open C file. Pressure there led to winning the exchange and finally winning a piece in the endgame. His opponent then resigned.

On board 3, Paul faced the Queen’s Gambit and lost several pawns early on, but was able to win them back with a strong attack on the King. He had a strong attack and sacrificed a Bishop to increase pressure on the King, but an exchange of Queens blunted his attack. Failing to castle meant he was exposed when his opponent counter-attacked and he lost the game.

On board 4, Suzanne opened with the English and played very solidly. She took a pawn early on, swapped off some pieces, gained a 2nd pawn and won a rook in the later game.

On board 5, Seamus played the Czech Defence and succeeded in trapping the opposing Bishop on move 30 and secured victory in 45 moves.

The B team had a tough game against 3rd place Drumlish, bringing to an end an overall strong performance this season.

On board 1, Gary began by opening with the London and his opponent responded with the Modern Defence. It was a very tight game but in the endgame his opponent eventually forced him to sacrifice a knight for a passed pawn and from there pushed on for the win.

On board 2, Harry had an enjoyable game and was in very good shape out of the opening. He caused some problems for his opponent but they responded well and won the game.

On board 3, Robert had a rollercoaster ride of a game where an early positional advantage turned into a tricky endgame. The game seemed to be heading towards victory and he played a move that seemed to make checkmate unavoidable on the next turn, only for his opponent to play an imaginative rook sacrifice that lead to checkmate.

On board 4, Martin played a Sicilian that transposed into a Spanish. His opponent was able to break through his defence and he lost the game.

On board 5, John played the London opening with an early C5. His opponent had an early attack but John managed to level the game and a draw was agreed.

Naomh Barróg B team: Gary Wright, Harry Howard, Robert Nielsen, Martin Joseph Currie and John Carroll.

There were several strong performances throughout the season and 4 of the top 15 players in the division (out of 99 in total) were from Naomh Barróg. Suzanne won a board prize after an excellent performance with 8 wins, 1 draw and only 2 losses, making her the joint 3rd best player in the division. Robert narrowly missed out on a board prize with a score of 8 out of 11. Des and Gary both performed very well with a score of 7/11 each.