Saturday 10 December 2016

Nineteen players competed in the Irish Championship from July 4-12 in the Academy Plaza hotel in Dublin.

Published 19/07/2015 | 02:30

Nineteen players competed in the Irish Championship from July 4-12 in the Academy Plaza hotel in Dublin.

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FIDE Masters Philip Short and Stephen Brady shared victory in this tournament, both scoring 6.5 points in nine rounds. For Brady this is his ninth national title, which reportedly equals the record set by John J O'Hanlon in 1940. FMs Jessel, Fitzsimons, O'Donnell and Daly tied for third place on 6 points. Several young players, especially 16-year old Gonzaga student Conor O'Donnell, made their presence felt in this tournament. Both Short and Brady played several good games in this event, but I am sure that Stephen will forgive me for showing the only game he lost:

Fitzsimons - Brady

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6

3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5

5.0-0 0-0 6.h3 d6

7.c3 Be6 8.Nbd2 a6

9.Re1 Ba7 10.Bb3 Bxb3

11.Qxb3 Qd7 12.Nf1 Nh5

13.Be3 Bxe3 14.Nxe3 Rfe8

15.Nd5 Rab8 16.d4 exd4

17.cxd4 Ne7 18.Ne3 Nf4

19.g3! Nxh3+?

Knowing what happened in the game, it's easy to suggest 19...Ne6 or 19...Qxh3 20.Ng5 Qh5 21.gxf4 h6.

20.Kg2 h6?

20...g5 was called for, but Black still did not see what was coming...

21.Rh1 Ng5 22.Nxg5 hxg5 (D)

I am sure that Stephen was concerned about the open h-file, but clearly he had not foreseen White's next move when he played 19...Nxh3+?. David finished the game with a pretty combination:

23.Rh8+!! Kxh8 24.Qxf7 1-0

As the black knight is pinned, there is not defence against 25.Rh1+

Sunday Independent

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