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.