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City of Dublin Championships 2007

The 2007 City of Dublin Chess Championships were held over the weekend of Friday 31st August to Sunday 2nd September in An Oige, Dublin, home of the Phibsborough Chess Club. Seven Belfast players made the trip south - Gareth Annesley, Nicholas Pilkiewicz and Danny Mallaghan of Clifton House; Calum Leitch and Chris Millar of QUB and Joseph Mordeno plus Cathal Murphy from the RVH club.
City of Dublin Championships 2007

Local TD Tony Gregory presents Millar with the trophy and cheque

Each of the three Belfast clubs represented saw one of their players amongst the prizes to claim almost €500 between them. Millar finished 2nd in the 1200-1600 Challenger section, Pilkiewicz claimed 3rd spot in the 1600-2000 Majors competition and Murphy landed a grading prize in the under 1200 Junior tournament.

The Belfast players' central focus was upon the Challengers and Majors where it was clear from the outset that the Northern Irish contingent would be well in the running, with Mordeno and Annesley top-seeded in their respective sections.

MAJORS

In the 1600-2000 Majors, Ulster Intermediate and Under 19 Champion Cal Leitch represented QUB, while the strong Clifton House contingent of Pilkiewicz, Mallaghan and first seed Annesley also competed.

All the Ulster players produced good displays in an impressive field. Leitch scored 3/6 to narrowly miss out on a grading prize while Mallaghan finished with 3.5/6 and Annesley notched up 4/6. However, it was Nicholas Pilkiewicz who scored highest, his tally of 4.5/6 rewarded with the third place prize. The Clifton House player was only denied 2nd place virtue of Ray O'Rourke's superior tiebreak score.

Some excellent match results were recorded by the Belfast players along the way, not least by Pilkiewicz. The Clifton player bested Irish Intermediate Champion Xavier Busig with impressive comfort in the final round. Unfortunate for the 1900+ rated Busig, who again had attempted to chance his arm by claiming eligibility for the under 1600 section.

Phibsborough player Lukasz Kwiatek performed well above his provisional 1733 rating to land first place by a half-point with 5/6.

CHALLENGERS

Jo Mordeno's participation as the highest rated competitor - fresh from the previous weekend's win over joint Ulster Champion 2006, Michael Waters - combined with QUB captain Millar's recent run of success in the Irish Uni's, Henderson Cup and Irish Junior Championship, promised much for Ulster chances in this section.

In the end, however, Millar's disappointing 4.5/6 left only the consolation of second place and the requisite prizemoney, while Mordeno's 4/6 left him out of the prizes altogether. Englishman Melvin King played strongly to make the most of his good fortune to finish on an impressive 5.5/6.

Disaster struck on Saturday morning for Millar, as his second round match against Phibsborough-based Russian Ogintas ended in defeat. Blame for this result lands squarely at the door of Mallaghan for his Friday evening/Saturday morning Dublin entertainment schedule, and also with Annesley, for his disturbingly loud snoring. Excuses aside, Millar was outplayed and his tame performance deserved nothing better than defeat.

By the end of round 4 King led with 4 points, while Mordeno and Millar shared joint second with Ogintas on 3/4. The penultimate round draw paired the two Belfast players together, with Mordeno as white, and the two fought to maintain in contention. A tactical trick in the opening gave Millar the exchange which eventually proved enough for a win.

On the other top board King's run continued. Ogintas twice refused draw offers in a dead drawn knight endgame before ploughing his way into a lost position. This left Millar needing a win against the tournament leader to become overall winner on tiebreak.

Despite finding a nice combination to lift a couple of pawns, the QUB player then played a poor positional exchange which was damaging enough to leave him happy to settle for a draw and second place overall.

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