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Royals become the latest casualties to the QUB’s top guns

On a cold Tuesday night, QUB’s hopefuls made their way to RVH for the tense league battle against the recently relegated side.
Royals become the latest casualties to the QUB’s top guns

Masterson - "playing like a goat"

RVH have been in abysmal form since relegation and are rapidly finding the demands of Division 2 chess hard to swallow. Whether this is down to over cockiness or the altering line ups and new additions is still yet to be revealed. Tonight’s epilogue will hopefully reveal the worth of these sides and the match up is being labelled as “The Battle of Division 2’s underachievers”

 QUB’s form has undoubtedly been unpredictable, but even more volatile has been RVH’s line up week- in week- out.  QUB Captain and warlock Chris Millar’s attempted guess at the RVH line up was almost as pitiable as his team’s performances this season, as Neil Fisher and Gerry Collins made their first appearances of the season. Meanwhile, for QUB Tommy Nolan replaced Vladimir Pucovsky, this modification saw Leitch and Millar move up a board each.

 The games started promptly, yet QUB were anxiously waiting on their board 2 John Masterson who arrived late due to other commitments. I think Masterson was carefully planning a dramatic entrance as he was playing against his former club; either that or he was plucking up the courage to show his good natured face. Incidentally an outsider spotted Masterson entering a Jujitsu club just a few days earlier. Perhaps Masterson wasn’t expecting a warm welcome from his former team-mates. Yet Masterson’s game ended early with a quick draw with Neil Fisher. Masterson’s lack of tiredness perhaps played a part in this and he exclaimed that he was “playing like a goat”

 Board 5 Tommy Nolan was making his second appearance of the season against Cathal Murphy. Cathal has been enjoying some success in the Fisherwick Winter Tournament, and his recent improved form showed, as he enjoyed a victory over the QUB player. Nolan is proving to be rusty due to his long gap in chess, as he lost on time in a favourable position. RVH lead 1.5-0.5

 Chris Millar has been enjoying an unbeaten start to the season and his form continued against Gerry Collins. Millar played a smooth game with the black pieces and looked in control throughout. It came as no surprise when Millar converted this into a comprehensive victory and to leave the scores tied. Millar, once again prevailing with another good performance.

 On board 3 saw a tussle between Brian Gilner of RVH and Ulster Under 19 Champion Calum Leitch of QUB. The game itself was very open and a carefully planned pawn sacrifice allowed Leitch to viciously dispatch his opponent’s defences and comfortably win. Gilner conceded that Leitch merited his victory and his impressive run of form continues. Millar must be pleased with this addition to the team and agreed that Leitch’s position on the team isn’t under threat.

 Claudio Mendicute picked up his first victory for QUB against Tony Parker. The game was a very tight affair with Mendicute obtaining a one pawn advantage going into a drawish ending. Parker’s lack of time, along with Mendicute’s precision manoeuvring forced a crucial error from Parker which resulted in a victory for Mendicute. Undoubtedly, this win serves as a huge relief for Mendicute.

 

With the final score at 3.5-1.5 to QUB, the result reflects QUB’s title ambitions and RVH’s further slip down the table. RVH must be wary of a second consecutive relegation, while QUB Captain Chris Millar must be delighted with his team’s vastly improved display.

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