Wednesday night saw another full house at the Mals Club, as we hosted Cheddleton in a match contested over 13 (unlucky for us) boards on a glorious summer evening in Mediterranean like temperatures. Teams were arranged so that grade totals were pretty even overall.
The early skirmishes showed Crewe taking an early 2-1 lead following wins for Josh Cross with his first ever win for the host club, and Cheddleton’s junior Charles Swinson levelling matters before Crewe’s rising star Harry Gardiner upset the grades with another swift win. The next hour or so saw the visitors gradually take control commencing with another upset as Jamie Jones won against the grades on board 11 before the first draw of the match on board 10 to keep the scores level. Cheddleton took the lead as Sandra Blackburn took advantage of an unsound sacrifice on board 4 before Crewe were outgunned on boards 6 as 7 with two debutants coming unstuck against experienced opposition. Crewe’s only further success came from Adam Fields on board 9 where three queenside pawns created an extra queen. Rick Renegade tried a piece for a pawn sacrifice with his Bishop, knight and four pawns vs 2 knights and 4 pawns on board 2, but ultimately left both sides without sufficient mating material for a draw. Simon Layhe could not unlock the board 5 game without making matters worse so agreed a draw to leave Cheddleton securely in the lead 7-5. The final game to finish saw Jacob Boswell (Cheddleton’s 16 year old star graded 183) outplay David Hulme on board 1 as he converted a 2 knights and 5 pawns vs 2 bishops and 4 pawns into a comfortable win to make the final score 8-5 to Cheddleton, coincidentally an identical score to the 2017 Challenge.
Congratulations to Cheddleton and thanks to Caroline Mountford for bringing her team from their club. Crewe will be trying hard next year to register their first success in the Annual Chedd Challenge.
The score card can be seen on the League Management System at: