NICS vs Fruithill

Back at home and NICS entertained Fruithill for their final meeting in the season; usually two well matched squads as board imbalances even out for the match. First match of the year went 4-1 for Fruithill, a draw in the second match. Could NICS actually nick more than a point on the night?

The 2013/14 season has been a tempestuous affair between the two teams and this was their last face-off for the year. A resounding 4-1 victory in their first match let Fruithill steal a lead over NICS in the first half of the league. In the Divisional play-offs, NICS have been scoring more consistently though the teams' next match-up only scored a draw. Could NICS get more for their efforts tonight?

Board 3 closed out very quickly with Drew Ferguson defending against John Robinson. Drew immediately took John out-of-book with an aggressive foray down the Q-side. It looked as if White's slow K-side development might net a significant material advantage for Black but John managed to recover well. Nonetheless as Drew traded down, he ended up with a pawn advantage in a Knight-Bishop endgame. Black's pawns were better placed with the front-runner on c4 unopposed; unfortunately Black's Bishop was poorly placed to offer any support. When John offered a draw, Drew reluctantly had to accept.

Board1On top Board Mark Newman defended against Sean Linton. An open centre and aggressively placed Queen let Mark win a rook early on in the game. Sean played excellently and won back the exchange but eventually, after Queens were off and a Knight lost, gave up the fight.

Alan Burns opened on board 2 against Gerry Collins. In a sharp game with action on both flanks Alan overlooked an attack losing a Bishop for no benefit. Gerry exerted severe pressure with a Bishop & Queen getting very close to a mate but as ever Alan wriggled out of it. As material came off, Black had advancing pawns on 3 files but his King was exposed to the threats of a wicked White Queen that was dodging a Queen-trade while nipping at the Black King. Finally, an incautious Queen move from Alan revealed a discovered check; his only option remaining was to trade Queens and let one or more of the Black pawns promote. Alan resigned to let Gerry even the match.

Pete Storey defended to Paul Logan on Board 5. In a robust game, Pete manage to take control of the centre with the authority of his Queen. Paul's pieces were not well co-ordinated and a Bishop en prise; still he had the potential of a strong attack building on the King-side. In an attempt to get some play, he sidelined his Queen giving a Pete a tough choice: should he take the Bishop for free, pin the Rook with his own black Bishop or charge in with his white Bishop taking g2 in front of the white King. The frontal attack won out and after a couple of moves, Pete was able to bring more material into the attack, Paul was in severe difficulty. Forks, pins, discovered checks, X-ray attacks galore as Pete demolished Paul's remaining defences to claim the game.

Boards 4 & 5: Geoff Hindley vs John Monaghan, Pete Storey vs Paul LoganAs in the previous meeting, it was down to the final board to determine the outcome of the fixture and as then Geoff Hindley opened to John Monaghan, this time on board 4. This evening NICS had the advantage and it was John who had to win to save the match. Both players had plenty of time on the clock and there were opportunities for White or Black though it was a tight game. John asked for a report on the match situation and played on. However, Geoff, having gained some momentum, offered a trade-down which John accepted perhaps expecting more from his pawn structure. But it soon became clear that the game would quickly stall so both agreed a draw.

NICS win the match 3 - 2 just about balancing the season's play with Fruithill but keeping their advantage in the league. This more or less marks the half-way point in the Division with NICS inching ahead of Fruithill but Bangor almost untouchable in top spot, 16 points clear of NICS.

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News
Chess Notes by Rookie Between 1983 and 1990, a weekly column was published in the Irish News with the byline of Rookie Oct 25, 2021
News of upcoming events The chess Calendar for the next few weeks is full of Chess activity. Including the Ulster Masters at Queen's University ... Oct 24, 2021
The Summer Tournament Awards and Fun QuickplayTournament With the last wednesday 29th of September 2021 we have the Summer Tournament Awards and Quickplay time handicap tourna... Oct 23, 2021
Bangor Classic 2021 Run at Groomsport over 6 weekends:Saturday 11 September 2021 to Sunday 17 October 2021. Comes to an exciting finish. Oct 18, 2021
Childrens Chess is back. With our first event of the Season the Belfast LJCC Qualifier. On October 2nd 2021 young enthusiastic chess players gathered at Methodist College for a day of exciting chess. The Belf... Oct 17, 2021
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Upcoming Events
Mini blitz at Holywood Old School - Tue 26 Oct from 10am to 11:30am Holywood Mini Blitz Championship 2021: Tue 26 October 2021 : 10am to 11:30am Location: The Holywood Old school, 92 Chu... Oct 26, 2021 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM — The Holywood Old school, 92 Church Road, BT18 9BX.
3rd Executive Board Meeting 3rd Executive Board Meeting 2021-22. Civil Service Pavilion. Weds 27th Oct 2021 7:00pm. Oct 27, 2021 07:00 PM - 10:00 PM — NICS,Maynard Sinclair Pavilion, Stormont, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 3TA
Bangor Blitz Championship: FIDE rated **NOW FULL** Thursday 28 October 2021, 7pm to 10pm, 7 rounds of 10+0 Pickie Bowling Club, 82 Broadway, Bangor, BT20 4TS Oct 28, 2021 06:50 PM - 10:00 PM — Pickie Bowling Club, 82 Broadway, Bangor, BT20 4TS
Greenisland FC Chess: Not Halloween/Not Christmas Mini Rapid Monday 1st November 2021 from 7pm to 10pm 5 rounds 15 time control Nov 01, 2021 06:45 PM - 10:00 PM — Greenisland FC Clubhouse, 100 Glenkeen Av, Greenisland, BT38 8ST
Childrens Chess November 6th Fun afternoon Chess tournament and puzzle competition. Nov 06, 2021 12:30 PM - 04:30 PM — Methodist College,1 Malone Rd, Belfast BT9 6BY
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