After two hard fought games, the 2004 Irish Championship has at last been decided. Noel beat Steve 2-0 to retain his crown.
Game 1 was played on October 18th. Steve (w) lost control of his time in overtime, and his flag dropped with one stone left to play, resulting in a loss on time. The consensus at the time was that it was pretty even on the board, with all to play for.
1-0 to Noel.
Game 2 started on November 3rd. The game was adjourned after move 178 with black (Steve) to play. This was due to a combination of the game starting slightly later than normal, the generous time controls (90 minutes per player), and the Pembroke staff wanting to get home :-).
Game 2 resumed on November 8th, with Noel already in overtime, and Steve with five minutes of normal time remaining. After playing more than 100 additional moves, the final score of this game was black 25, white 22 + 6.5 komi, giving white a 3.5 point victory, and handing Noel the Irish title for another year.
Congratulations to Noel on a well played championship, and commiserations to Steve in finishing second once again. Better luck next time.