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Fisherwick Spring Tournament 2008

The latest edition of Fisherwick Chess Club's long-established Monday night tournament was run as a seven round swiss over January and February. The competition saw a blend of Fisherwick stalwarts alongside Bombardier, Queen's and Lagan players contest the destination of the trophy.
Fisherwick Spring Tournament 2008

The joint winners, Woodfield and Millar, contest an October league game

The tournament may have lasted over a month, but the leading places were only to be decided in the final minutes of the concluding round.

It appeared that a two horse race was emerging as early as round 3, with Chris Millar of QUB and Fisherwick's Ian Woodfield moving clear at the top with 100% records. After then drawing their own encounter, both drawing with Neil Green and beating Norman McFarland, the two Division 1 players entered the final round on 5/6 - a full point clear of the chasing pack.

At this stage though, fortune favoured Woodfield. His scheduled round 7 opponent - the extremely solid and experienced Gerry Pollock - didn't show. This left a 1.5 tournament point and 750 grading points upfloat for Kevin O'Neill. Ian dispatched his opponent cleanly and convincingly, leaving Chris to slog it out for a win against Bernard Jaffa for a share of the 1st place prize money and trophy.

After a highly untheoretical opening from Jaffa, Millar blundered and suddenly found himself looking on the worse side of the complications in an open position. It looked highly likely that a tactical bolt from the blue would provide a middlegame knockout for either side, yet play finally reached what seemed a very drawn rook and pawn endgame. Bernard, perhaps encouraged to fiddle by his opponent's dwindling time, put a foot wrong by conceeding a tempo and the exchange of rooks. When Jaffa then lost another tempo by gobbling an apparently free pawn, he was then ruthlessly ground out in what had become a won endgame for the QUB student.

This final action left Chris Millar and Ian Woodfield as joint winners - sharing the prize money and trophy - with each earning an unbeaten 6/7 score.

Kevin O'Neill claimed the grading prize, finishing with 3.5 points via wins over David Seaby and Cathal Murphy, plus a travelling and full point bye.

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