The weather was the main winner this week as our two home matches were postponed and our brave soldiers from the “A” team took on the challenge of getting to Cheddleton on a freezing Friday night.
The opposition (Cheddleton B) were riding high at the top of division 2 before the match, with our “A” team sitting in 3rd place but with games in hand to catch the leaders. The late arrival of our top two players unsettled our captain as the match began. First blood went to the hosts as junior Sam Parry found a way to break through against previously unbeaten Neville Layhe on bd 5 after Sam had offered the draw. Matters got worse when our big-hitter Rick Renegade was battered into submission by the experienced Jon Blackburn on bd 3. A superb performance on bd 1 from Ola Titiloye gained a draw against the highest graded player (194) in the division despite starting down approx 15 minutes on the clock, to leave Karl Lockett on bd 2 and David Hulme on bd 4 looking for wins. David was in a dominant position and exchange ahead before blundering back the exchange in another moment of chess blindness as he attempted an illegal move when in check. Allowing himself into a time trap he was put to the sword by Sandra Blackburn who must have been delighted with her best of season result which confirmed Chedd B would win the match. Karl Lockett on bd 2 went on to win a fine game and continue his good run of recent form.
This was the “A” team’s first defeat of 2017 and should have been avoided had our captain not blundered or we had accepted the draw offers given to us on bottom two boards. At least we get chance for revenge as the return match is scheduled first week in the New year.
Next week is a quiet week for matches with only the B team playing at Meir before the Christmas break.