New ECF July Grading List published

The new July grades were published yesterday with Ola Titiloye hitting top spot at 158 and Karl Lockett at 157.

Simon Layhe’s grade has risen by 20 points to 117 since the January grades, putting him in the top 50 “most improved” in the country !

Les Hall’s efforts of playing 100 graded games in the last 12 months put him at No. 63 in the country’s list of most active standard games played.

The full list can be seen at the link below or from our “Players” section on the right hand side of the home page.


Bees put dent in “A” team’s SCS title hopes !

A full house at the AMAL Club watched with baited breath as the B team under-dogs blew open the South Cheshire Shield (SCS) title race with a stunning 3.5-0.5 win over the “A” team. First off the mark was Rich Hind on board 4 (grade 25) with a blistering king-side attack to blow away the defences of his 105 grade opponent to put the B team in a surprising lead. On board 3, junior Harry Gardiner played his most patient game of his youthful career to make it 2-0 for the Bees. On board 2 Nigel Gardner appeared under pressure before breaking the shackles and eventually making it 3-0 for the B team. It is likely these three wins for Rich, Harry and Nigel represent their personal bests. Only Neville Layhe with a draw against Martin Gill on top board prevented a whitewash. This news will put a spring in the steps of Newcastle players who lead the table.

Meanwhile there was a superb attendance at the club with 22 members present in total with some enjoying friendly games, newcomers getting to use “chess-clocks” for the first time, and a hand full of games played in the club’s summer Rapid-play tournament.

Next week sees the club with no SCS league fixture while the British Chess Congress takes place in Llandudno, North Wales.

Another win for “A” team in SCS

Our “A” team played its second South Cheshire Shield match last night, hosting title favourites Newcastle. With skipper Dave Price absent (at the Wirral AGM) it was left to Les Hall to marshall the troops. The team line up remained the same as last week and there were wins for Neville Layhe (Bd 1), Chris Rhodes (bd 3) and another impressive result for junior Amy Lovatt (on bd 4) who beat an opponent graded 100, as the match concluded in a 3-1 success for us.

The “A” team’s next match is against our own “B” team before the vital return matches with Newcastle and Alsager.

Mixed night in South Cheshire Shield

Both of our SCS teams were in action last night, with the B team travelling to Newcastle after last week’s stunning draw, and the A team hosting Alsager.

This time the B team could not prevent Newcastle from winning as their higher graded team did the expected business, but only by the narrow margin of 2.5-1.5. A predictable draw between our Martin Gill and John Day on top board looked like being our only score until Nigel Gardner took advantage of his opponent forgetting to press the clock and winning on time.

The “A” team commenced their SCS campaign with a resounding 3.5-0.5 win. Neville Layhe secured a top board draw with the black pieces, while junior Amy Lovatt had an early convincing win on board 4 before Chris Rhodes ensured the team victory with another win on board 3. All eyes then fell on board 2, where Rick Renegade was making his debut for the club and produced a very solid middle game turning a one pawn advantage into an overwhelming two passed-pawns and duly won.

Next week sees the “A” team host top of the table Newcastle.

B team hold Newcastle to a draw

Our South Cheshire Shield campaign eventually got underway last night as our B team hosted competition favourites Newcastle. A splendid team effort earned a share of the points despite being significantly outgraded on 3 of the 4 boards. Martin Gill on top board held a draw, while skipper Les Hall played a captain’s sacrificial role on board 2. A good result for Nigel Gardiner held the experienced Nic Wright to a draw on board 3, but the highlight of the night was a win for David Taylor beating an opponent with a grade of 100 which is David’s best result for Crewe to date.

Next Wednesday sees the return match for our B team at Newcastle while our A team host Alsager for their first match of the campaign.