The Irish Veterans Championships 2016

Gerry Smith and Paul Cassidy

Round 1 -Gerry Smith takes us through rounds 1-4

The veterans has started but there is not much to report as yet as I finished my game early and the rest of the games are looking like long slogs.

The draw was done by the players picking cards which had numbers on them and it helped produce an interesting pairing.

Board 1 Peter Lynch against Eamonn Keogh this was a French Advanced.

Board 2 Gerry Smith against John Nicholson. French Exchange and was a draw.

Board 3 Brian Reid against Pascal O'Shea. Sicilian Najdorf

Board 4 Paul Cassidy against Shay Scott Kings Indian

Two players are missing at the moment. It is belived that Pat Twomey is stuck on a train as there was a bridge strike between Portmarnock and Malahide and Kevin Fitzpatrick will be arriving on Saturday morning.

To pick up where I left off:

Board 1 Peter Lynch against Eamonn Keogh this was a French Advanced. This game ended in a mad time scramble with Peter managing to win the game from a lost position.

Board 2 Gerry Smith against John Nicholson. French Exchange and was a draw.

Board 3 Brian Reid against Pascal O'Shea. Sicilian Najdorf. This was a win for Brian.

Board 4 Paul Cassidy against Shay Scott Kings Indian. This was a win for Paul.

Pat and Kevin arrived on a wet and windy Saturday morning to join the rest of the combatants. Pat was luckily not stuck on a train on Friday evening but an urgent matter delayed his arrival.

Round 2

Round 2 saw the following line up:

Paul Cassidy against Peter Lynch was an exchange slav which end in a draw after black and then white got a little frisky before both players had enough.

John Nicholson against Brian Reid was a c3 Sicilian which ended in a draw with Brian slightly worse on time.

Eamonn Keogh against Pascal O'Shea was a Birds that saw Eamonn get his first win.

Pat Twomey against Kevin Fitzpatrick was an English and resulted in a win for Kevin when Pat who was better got into severe time trouble.

Shay Scott against Gerry Smith was a Kings Indian attack or a Scott special as Shay plays this a lot ended in a loss for Shay on time in a position that was better for white.

Round 3

Round 3 was the following:

Gerry Smith against Paul Cassidy saw 20 moves of theory of a Caro Kann Classical main line where the players agreed a draw.

Peter Lynch against Brian Reid was a Sveshnikov Sicilian where Brian was in terrible time trouble but opposite bishops save the day and he was able to get a draw.

Kevin Fitzpatrick against Eamonn Keogh started out as a French and went on a magical journey into a Sicilian where Eamonn was able to win.

Pascal O'Shea against Shay Scott was a Center Counter or in the new school a Scandinavian with Shay getting his first win on the board.

John Nicholson against Pat Twomey was another Scandinavian that was declined by white resulted in Pat again getting into time trouble and giving the win to John.

So at the end of the second day after three rounds there are six players on two points and they are all playing each other in round 4.

Who will be the first to blink!

Round 4

Reid – Cassidy was a Sicilian where black got a very cramped position but somehow stayed in the game and was able to win. When the time scramble came his position was won.

O’Shea – Twomey was a Scandanavian where black won.

Scott – Fitzpatrick was the usual Kings Indian attack, which was drawn.

Nicholson – Lynch was a Sicilain with a c3 thrown in and resulted in a draw.

Keogh – Smith started with Eamonn's trademark 1. d3. Black was a little cramped but eventually Black had the better position and somehow managed to lose it after a tense finish that went to about 80 move.

So after the mornings session there was only two players on Three points.

Round 5 - Paul Cassidy picks up the action from round 5 onward

The big game of the round was the one between Eamonn Keogh and Paul Cassidy who was White. It was a tense affair throughout where White held a slight advantage for most of the game and, in fact, missed in severe time trouble a very strong continuation on move 44 which would have won at least a pawn. After this miss, White made another error shortly afterwards which lost a pawn. Eamonn made full use of these lapses and won a nice rook ending, finishing up by actually mating his opponent.

Veterans 2016 - Andrew Thompson and Eamon Keogh

Eamonn is a worthy champion having lost his first round game from a won position. He fought back with great determination to secure first place.

In the other games John Nicholson won well against Pascal O'Shea to take second place. Gerry Smith had a nice win against Brian Reid to share third place with Paul Cassidy. Peter Lynch and Kevin Fitzpatrick had a titanic struggle where Peter went wrong after building up a very strong attack and Kevin took home the full point. In the last game to finish Pat Twomey beat Shay Scott after another exciting and marathon struggle.

The tournament was extremely well run and controlled as usual by Andrew Thompson and his team and the new venue was a very pleasant one. The event throughout was played in a very sporting and friendly atmosphere.

Gerry Smith added:

Cassidy –Keogh. After much manoeuvring in a Benoni sideline which saw white with a slightly better position a roughly equal endgame arose where both side missed the best line and eventually Eamonn was able to win due to the better time management.

Smith- Reid again saw a Sicilian Sveshnikov where white got a passed d pawn that started as an e pawn and was pushed to d6 and blacks vulnerable back rank caused his resignation.

O’Shea – Nicholson was a French defence with an old move by Romanishan Be7 against 3 Nc3 and was quickly won by Black.

Twomey –Scott. This game was eventually won by White but in the ending which was equal for a long time both side were doing there best to prolong the struggle.

Veterans 2016 - Andrew Thompson and John Nicholson

Lynch – Fitzpatrick. This game started, as a Philadore was a little late in starting but also went down to the wire. I do not claim to know what was happening at the end and I am sure I was not alone in this assessment.

Thus Eamonn Keogh is this years champion! It was a most enjoyable tournament with the usual banter and good humour between all the contestants. The venue was spacious and well lit, with excellent facilities. They only down side was parking on the Saturday but most did not find this too onerous.

If you'd like to read more about senior/veteran events over the last year, here are some articles which may interest you:

The ZPR Senior Invitational: A Round by Round Review featured 8 of Ireland's best senior players.

2016 saw the first Irish Senior team travel to the World Championships.

Tim Harding, Irish Veterans Champion 2015 - report from last year's event.

Veterans 2016 - Crosstable

Created 2016-09-02 ◦ Last updated 2016-09-07 ◦ Editor JMM

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