Naomh Barróg traveled up to Dundalk for what would prove to be a very tough day of chess in round 2 of the Killane Shield, on Saturday the 8th of July. Despite the more than 500 point difference in rating on most boards, the team put up a good fight with most games lasting around three hours.
Des faced a very strong opponent who played the Benoni. Unfortunately, Des played the wrong move order and was soon in trouble. Facing a strong attack on the Kingside due to weakened squares he lost material and resigned.
Robert scored the upset of the night and our only win of the match. Perhaps inspired by the large rating difference, his opponent played aggressively and immediately began pushing their kingside pawns. However, the exposed King was prevented from castling and remained vulnerable throughout the game. Thanks to a tactic, Robert won a Bishop but his opponent fought on and won back a Knight. Robert eventually cornered the King, but instead of immediately giving check, he paused to cut off the King’s escape. But this was enough time for his opponent launch a sacrifice and a series of checks that could have forced a draw. However, after 30 moves of a King hunt, Robert was able to force a Queen trade and get the win.
Suzanne played a d4 variation of the English. It was a long and mostly even match, but she had an isolated pawn that proved to be a weakness. Her opponent proved stronger in the endgame.
Martin played the Caro-Kahn and kept his options open as to which side he would castle. However, his opponent got a pawn to e7, preventing him from castling. There was the potential for a draw, but unfortunately he missed it.
Paul played the Queen’s Gambit and the game was initially very even. He attacked an isolated pawn which had his opponent on the backfoot and forced to defend. He moved his Knight in what he thought was a fork, but missed that it could be taken by a Bishop. He put up a good fight and tried to get his passed pawn to the end, but being down a piece proved too much.
Ger unfortunately fell sick and was unable to play his game.