AGM News & Awards go to Lovatt & Renegade

This week saw the club’s Annual General Meeting attended by over half of the members – a very unusual event in itself. With the South Cheshire Shield fixtures due to start next week (20th June) this was a rare opportunity to be at the club with no league matches taking place.

The highlight of the AGM was the presentation of awards, as chairman Dave Price presented the trophies.

The first two awards went to (the absent) Rick Renegade whose first season at the club has been a huge success. His first award was for the 2017 Summer Rapid-play where he beat a field of 23 players to score 13.5/17 and pip runner-up Neville Layhe on 12.5/18. His second trophy was for his recent victory in the club’s Annual time & point handicap, where he defeated runner-up Julian Bulbeck in an Armegeddon-style play-off after scoring a perfect 5/5.

The remaining trophies were hoovered up by 16 year-old Amy Lovatt as she collected both the “junior” and “whole club” Player of the Year awards with a spectacular score of 77%, as a result of scoring 30/39 in all counting games including summer rapid-play, time and point handicap, and club matches in the 2017 South Cheshire Shield, 2017/18 NSDCA season and Wirral League. Amy was unbeaten for the “A” team with 4/5, scored 3/5 for the “C” team and had perfect 100% scores for the “B” team (2/2), NSDCA Cups (3/3), 2017 south Cheshire (3/3) and an inspired 11/11 for the “E” team helping them to the NSDCA division 5 title.

Chairman Dave Price was very proud of the club’s achievements in winning NSDCA’s Division 3 and 5 titles, together with the Intermediate Cup (U130) and the 2017 South Cheshire Shield.

Dave took great satisfaction from the fact that we have grown to be the 2nd largest club in the NSDCA running 6 teams, with 27 members representing the club through the NSDCA season and introducing 9 new players to competitive league chess in the last 12 months.

After the AGM, several games were played in the club’s 2018 Summer Rapid-play, which is now well under way and runs until December alongside the club’s long-play tournaments.

Crewe beat Meir in first Challenge Match

Last Monday saw the first of Crewe’s 2018 club challenge matches. Our opponents from Meir hosted this 10-board adventure for it’s maiden voyage. The idea was to try and match up team grades as close as possible, but we could not avoid taking a sight advantage due to unavailability of players on both teams.

Taking up the challenge in true “gung-ho” fashion was junior Harry Gardiner who posted the first result of the night with a blitz-type game in under 20 minutes. He must have thought we were still playing in our Handicap Event which took place a few days earlier, as we took an early 1-0 lead. Phil Wright took advantage of said grade difference to put us 2-0 in the lead around the hour mark. Meir chalked up their first win as Martin Chadwick  played nicely to win on board 9, before a couple of draws were agreed on boards 5 and 7 to leave the match delicately poised. Nigel Gardner extended Crewe’s lead with a neat win on board 8 to take Crewe near the winning line. Meir’s top player Steve Hill found a way to escape against Doug Barnett’s gambit to narrow the scores to 4-3. Dave Price then converted his pressure on board 3 against promising junior Ewan Haas into the full point to ensure Crewe could not lose. Adam Fields confirmed our victory when both players feared pushing for the win would lead to defeat, agreed to a draw on board 4. The final game was quite something to watch as Simon Layhe squeezed the experienced Pete Windows into defeat deep into increment time to give Crewe the flattering final score of 6.5-3.5.

Thanks to Meir for the very pleasant buffet provided and for being excellent and sporting hosts. Captain Bob Perry was very keen to ensure the match goes ahead next year with a named trophy up for grabs !