Sunday 21 October 2018

Junior chess is booming in Ireland - with numerous chess clubs in schools, and tournaments and coaching for young players. This positive trend was confirmed yet again two weeks ago when Gonzaga College won the Millfield International tournament ahead of Royal Grammar School Guilford and Manchester Grammar School.

Junior chess is booming in Ireland - with numerous chess clubs in schools, and tournaments and coaching for young players. This positive trend was confirmed yet again two weeks ago when Gonzaga College won the Millfield International tournament ahead of Royal Grammar School Guilford and Manchester Grammar School.

This event is the de facto British Isles Schools Chess Championship, where 12-player squads compete. Two Gonzaga teams were joined by St. Benildus College, St. Andrew's College and Colaiste Eanna, Rathfarnham. After the qualifying stage the six top teams went to the Championship group, while the others continued in the Major section.

Gonzaga A-team emerged as winners by the smallest of margins in a dramatic finale. The results were: Gonzaga-A (41 points), RGS Guilford (40.5 points) and MGS (34.5 points). Gonzaga-B won the Major section. Gonzaga has previously won this tournament in 1992 and 1999. The following game was played in the crucial match between Gonzaga-A and RGS Guilford.

Keenan - Golding

1.d4 d5 2.e3 e6

3.Bd3 c5 4.c3 Nc6

5.Nd2 Nf6 6.f4 Bd6

7.Ngf3 0-0 8.0-0 Rb8

9.Ne5 Qc7 10.Rf3 c4?!

With this move Black gives his opponent carte blanche on the kingside. It was better to play 10...b5.

11.Bc2 Nd7?? (D)

Black clearly wanted to play ...f7-f5, building a wall against the c2-bishop. But before that wall was erected, the bishop struck:

12.Bxh7+! Kxh7 13.Rh3+ Kg8

14.Qh5 1-0

Sunday Independent

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