Bombardier come up short

Last Wednesday night saw QUB travel to face Bombardier in an eagerly anticipated game. Malone and Groomsport were eyeing the game with interest as they saw this fixture as a potential banana skin for QUB. Another point of interest saw Calum Leitch return to face his old club of 2 years where he was deemed a success. McKittrick and co. were hoping to teach these young upstarts - in particular Leitch a valuable lesson and were hoping their vast experience would count favourably.
Bombardier come up short

Chris Millar - a happy captain

Although the game was scheduled for 7.30, Leitch arrived at 7.50 to add to the pre-match tension and to expect to find his clock already running. But to Leitch’s surprise his team hadn’t arrived and he was beginning to feel vulnerable and a simultaneous was looming! Thankfully for Leitch, his team arrived shortly after which consisted of Mendicute, Pucovsky, MacDonald and Millar. The only “galactico” missing was Masterson, whose busy schedule prevented him from playing.

Bombardier’s line-up contained Mark Newman, who recently signed from Bangor and is a highly respected person and player from UCU, further inclusions included Drew Ferguson – the likeable UCU Secretary.

The first game to finish this week was the board 2 encounter between Pucovsky and Paul McNaughten. McNaughten seemed to have the edge in a tense middlegame but decided to offer his Slovakian opponent a draw – which he dutifully accepted. McNaughten was perhaps wary of his Slovakian’s opponent’s name and perhaps Ferguson has been telling more people of Pucovsky’s supposed 2300 strength.

 Ferguson himself looked in good touch for a while against Division2 draw specialist Chris Millar on board 5, but Millar’s form continued to impress and was able to win sufficient material to force a resignation. Millar’s unbeaten start to the season continues and he is fulfilling the captain role submissively. Post match comments reveal the Millar described the win as “ordinary against an ordinary player”

On board 3 MacDonald’s lack of match practice once again showed as he allowed a very promising position slip through his hands against UCU stalwart Stewart McConaghy. McConaghy is known throughout UCU for his dominance is junior tournaments and the God of luck shone favourably upon his shoulders as he swindled his time-troubled opponent. This was McConaghy’s first league win of the season and a rather notable one.

The tussle on board 1 between Claudio Mendicute and Mark Newman proved to be a close one. In a position where tactical threats were hard to spot, Mendicute’s precision play gave his opponent a lot to think about. Perhaps he gave his opponent too much to think about, as Newman lost on time in a subdued position. This win for Mendicute is his second in a row and this puts QUB 2.5-1.5 up and guarantees them at least a draw.

Appropriately, the last game to finish was the clash on board 4 between Bombardier captain Bill McKittrick and ex Bombardier player Calum Leitch. McKittrick seemed enthralled rather than subdued about the prospect of facing Leitch as he rolled up his sleeves to do combat. McKittrick’s solid playing style was left behind for tonight’s quarrel as he took it to his younger and higher rated opponent. Leitch defended accordingly and counter attacked with a splendid kingside pawn march. McKittrick’s accurate defending prevented Leitch from gaining a commanding edge, but Leitch’s dubious piece sac proved to be too much for McKittrick’s defences as he carefully manoeuvred his pieces into a forced checkmate. A valiant effort from McKittrick, but a relieved Leitch picks up the victory for himself and for QUB.

Chris Millar goes home a happy captain with a comfortable 3.5-1.5 win for QUB. QUB are back in the title chase and a tricky away fixture to Bangor Winston awaits these”galacticos”

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Upcoming Events
Sligo Spring Tournament 2023 A popular event for which the UCU was glad to receive an invite. The tournament will be held 3-5 February Feb 03, 2023 - Feb 05, 2023 — Diamond Coast Hotel, Enniscrone, Co Sligo, F26 E9F9
FIDE-rated Lisburn Rapid Championship 2023 Friday 10th Feb. Friday 10th February 2023 This is event 9 of 10 in the NI FIDE Rapid Grand Prix 2022/2023 Feb 10, 2023 07:00 PM - 10:15 PM — Lisburn Chess Club, 60-62 Longstone Street
February 11th Childrens Chess 12:30 – 5:00 The monthly schools chess tournaments continues at Methodist College. Feb 11, 2023 12:30 PM - 05:00 PM — Methodist College,1 Malone Rd, Belfast BT9 6BY
City of Bangor Winter Blitz 2023 A 6 round competition with a time control of 10+0 on Thursday 16th February Feb 16, 2023 07:30 PM - 10:00 PM — Church of Ireland Groomsport Parish Hall, 30 Main Street, Groomsport, County Down, BT19 6JR
Ladies Day The second in the 2022/2023 season Ladies Day event will be held by Greenisland FC Chess Club Feb 26, 2023 01:00 PM - 04:00 PM — Greenisland FC Chess Club, 100 Glenkeen Avenue, Greenisland, BT38 8ST
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