Spock and Kirk had a match at 4D chess (a variant of ST 3D chess where you could make timed moves), where our Vulcan was effortlessly winning. Enters McCoy, who takes Kirk's place... And promptly defeats Spock with what was promptly nicknamed kamikaze chess.
Leads to Ael's third moment of awesomeness (the first being breaking free of the Senate's Uriah Gambit against her and recovering her old ship and crew, and the second being causing Kirk an Oh, Crap! when her ship was identified): when McCoy decided to try and understand what kind of person she was with a game of 4D chess, she defeated him with ease... At her first game. A few minutes after discovering the existence of any form of chess.
Speaking of Ael... She and the Bloodwing had a fair number of scuffles with Kirk and the Enterprise. That's why Kirk was scared when the Bloodwing showed up: the respective number of victories was roughly equal, but Ael's bird of prey was outgunned by far... Except they had just improved the guns with Klingon components.
The Romulan Way
Why S'task led the Rihannsu on another planet: having seen that wars were about to resume before Surak's Reformation could spread enough to pacify Vulcan and that he and his followers were going to be used as one of the causes, he proposed the emigration, with ships using technologies that still had to be developed from reverse-engineering the captured Orion technologies... And basically took hostage the entire planet's economy to do so by convincing Vulcans from all around the planet to donate so much money for their "lost" cause that the banks, to prevent a complete economic collapse, financed the building of the ships and the development of all the technologies necessary just to make the cause not "lost" anymore and convince the people to stop donating. As a side effect, this not only ended up improving Vulcan's entire technological base, but the effort to build the ships kept the economy too busy to start wars... Giving Surak time to spread his Reformation. The wars started again after S'task and the Rihannsu left, but by that time the Reformation had spread to the point the wars ended quickly, and for good.
Duane's version of the Romulan War is a massive one for the Romulans. It started when the Federation tried a peaceful First Contact, but the Romulans didn't answer. Three years later the Federation returned to try again, and discovered that the Romulans, fearing they were faking to come in peace for a better first strike, had built seven thousand small warships, with which they annihilated the contacting starship and captured the one that had answered her desperate call for rescue. And as the Federation assembled an armada to deal with this apparently unprovoked attack, the Romulans reverse-engineered the warp drive from the captured ship, and countered the Federation superior ships and weapons with huge numbers of small and inferior ships. For twenty five years the Federation continued sending bigger and bigger armadas, and the Romulans smashed them to bits with the concentrate firepower of smaller and inferior but more numerous vessels that were continuously improved with captured Federation tech, until the Federation, advised by the Vulcans (then the new members, according to Duane), decided to cut losses and make peace, giving the Romulans a space where the Federation wouldn't intrude. The Romulans accepted... And started colonizing their new space. Yes, according to Duane the Romulans fought the early Federation to a standstill with the resources of a single solar system. At which point you understand why, in the original series, the Romulans trespassing the Neutral Zone caused a massive Oh, Crap! for the whole Enterprise...
McCoy on the floor of the Romulan Senate. It can basically be summed up as "Kangaroo Court versus Southern filibuster. Filibuster wins."
Naraht tunnels up through the floor of the Romulan Senate and helps McCoy escape under the noses of about a bazillion guards. It should be noted, the Rihannsu religion reveres the classic Elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) and Naraht is a Horta, a silicon-based lifeform that basically looks like a mobile slab of rock. McCoy was basically rescued by divine intervention, from the Rihannsu point of view, and most of the Senate Security guards were too dumbstruck to even fire back.