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Ravenous Queen's Romp to 5-0 Revenge

On November 1st 2006, Groomsport subjected the QUB chess renaissance to the indignity of its sole defeat under your author’s stewardship of the club. It was in this context that the university team, “Los Galacticos”, travelled to their opponents’ seaside residence with a desire to not just vanquish the memory of the 3.5-1.5 loss, but also to stamp their supremacy upon the charges of one Richard “The Gangster” Proctor, a man among Ulster Chess’s most nefarious instigators.
Ravenous Queen's Romp to 5-0 Revenge

Groomsport veterans Henderson and Proctor muscle in on QUB's post-match celebrations

For this encounter, which enjoys the extra spice lent to it by the QUB captain’s transference of a fierce rivalry from previous meetings with the Groomsport outfit, it was the aforementioned Proctor whose game was decided first. Richard desperately fancied a crack at lead-Galactico Mendicute, and positioned himself accordingly on first board. Proctor, reflecting his typically adventurous approach, took an experimental bash at employing the Caro-Kann to meet the Matador’s king’s pawn opening. It was Claudio who dominated though, and the Spaniard dispatched the black king with a beautifully-delivered checkmate which was well-appreciated by his opponent – truly a finish after his own heart.

The next game to conclude was the match-up between Chris Millar and a resurgent Sam McCartney. McCartney is known for his attacking flair when given half an opportunity to take the game to his opponent, but hadn’t been able to take anything at all from three previous meetings with tonight’s adversary. These games had all been extremely hard-fought though, so the QUB captain was certainly not taking an extension to his 32-game unbeaten-streak for granted. The game turned when McCartney’s attempts to embed a knight deep in enemy territory were rebuffed by tactics removing the necessary support-point. The game was then promptly closed out to provide Queen’s with a 2-0 lead in the match. Credit must go to McCartney though, who grappled for the initiative before succumbing to defeat graciously on this occasion. A continuingly upwardly mobile rating is to be expected here.

With victory for the visitors now within touching-distance, the remaining QUB players sought to take the team over the winning post, while Groomsport dreamed of a quite extraordinary turnaround in proceedings.

These dreams were dashed, however, when Ulster Under 19 champion Calum Leitch forced the resignation of Bangor stalwart Albert McCarter. Leitch was grateful for the opportunity to utilise the white pieces for a change, and sought to drive home this advantage with his favourite gung-ho assault on the enemy king – otherwise known as the Grand Prix attack. Un-typically though, Leitch’s victory was gained by a composed and measured display, which he found can work just as effectively as a hell-for-leather attack on occasion. Cal clinically swept aside his opponent’s defence, gaining a material advantage which soon proved decisive.

On board 4, Fred MacDonald was looking to continue his re-found form against Stefan Andreasson, a man single-handedly boasting more passports than even the internationally-flavoured Galacticos squad combined. Similar to other league players outside the QUB line-up, Andreasson constitutes a university employee (lecturing in International Politics) ruthlessly aiming to put a dent in the fortunes of the institution’s chess stars. Despite enjoying some play for most of the game though, the Swede was finally subdued by another exhibition of MacDonald’s patented combination play.

This left the good-humoured John Masterson with the task of clinching a second whitewash victory this season for a rampant Queen’s team. “Maestro” Masterson faced the much-experienced Bangor player Ron Henderson. Ron is one of the respected elder-statesmen of Ulster Chess and has given much to the local game, including the well-known Henderson Cup which he has actually claimed on 3 occasions himself. As ever, John hadn’t really warmed up until his clock reached the five-minutes remaining mark, but then he forcefully unloaded his resources on Henderson’s position in front of the surrounding spectators. Mate was soon supplied and the perfect score secured with mere seconds remaining of Masterson’s time allocation. 5-0 to QUB.

Credit to the Groomsport side though, who received their humiliation with the requisite humility. The host’s captain warmly congratulated Millar’s mob, assuring them that the 5-0 probably secured league glory. Proctor’s attempts to deliver the kiss of death were received cautiously though, not least as QUB were wary of the espionage of a suspiciously well-located Hillsborough side in Groomsport Parish Hall this evening (under the thinly-disguised veil of fulfilling a fixture with Bangor Winston). No doubt Queen’s will face a well-informed and well-prepared Hillsborough team in the Peter Froggatt Centre next Thursday evening.

A mention must go to the talented Groomsport regular William McGrattan, whose absence from tonight’s fixture was the result of a serious knee injury. Unfortunately, McGrattan’s condition is unlikely to have improved sufficiently for a return to action for the Seasiders’ forthcoming fixture against a Fisherwick side still narrowly trailing league-leaders QUB. The sooner the better though, and a speedy recovery is certainly wished to the likable McGrattan.


BANGOR GROOMSPORT 0-5 QUB

1/ Richard Proctor (1543) 0-1 Claudio Mendicute Fierro (1985)
2/ Ron Henderson (1502) 0-1 John Masterson (1857)
3/ Albert McCarter (1561) 0-1 Calum Leitch (1748)
4/ Stefan Andreasson (1400) 0-1 Fred MacDonald (1707)
5/ Sam McCartney (1268) 0-1 Chris Millar (1526)

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