This league is split into two and the winners meet in a shoot out. Many aspiring young players begin their competitive chess life here before graduating onwards and upwards. This league can also serve as a resting place for the drivers, co-erced into trying their chess skills…unwittingly serving as prey for the young man-eaters. Of course, some old hands like an odd game of competitive chess and a chance to pass on their considerable experience to the youngsters. Cue John Delaney FM no less, being involved with the birth of our Club a few years ago….resulting in half of our current Armstrong team beginning their journey with him starting here. It was clearly noticeable that Henry Li paid due respect to the lower leagues in conversation after his match last week. I’d love to write about this league in as much detail as the others, but the information needs to be put out there. Gonzaga A look to be miles ahead…heck, they could easily grace the O’Hanlon division with their team now…and probably win it…….but chess is not played on paper, & Kilkenny, Rathmines and UCD will be hoping to upset the form book. The B division looks much more evenly contested, despite the Gonzaga B team being the highest rated again. They started with a narrow 3-2 win over the unrated UCD B team…where every game was won with Black. Rathmines. Skerries, Gorey and UCD promise to make this division closer than most.
Overall, with the exception of the Bodley and the O’Sullivan B, most of the leagues have one or two teams forging way ahead of the others, and one or two clubs risk being cast adrift at the other end already. This has the makings of a very long and unproductive season for most Clubs…and a dreadfully boring one in terms of those hoping for some end of season nail biting finales……….GROAN!!