On Tuesday our title chasing “A” team had the short journey to Alsager for their penultimate match of the campaign. Captain Dave Price gave the following report : ” A great result from our A team – First to finish was Harry (board 4) when his opening looked a bit messy and his opponent sacked a piece not only stopping Harry from castling but won the piece back. Harry kept his cool and took his time to grind his opponent down and skewered queen and Rook. Simon (on bd 3) was second to finish beating an ex Crewe player. On bd 2 Chris had less time than his opponent, and he was offered a draw as they had opposite coloured bishops. Chris had a great attack and he declined thinking a win was possible, but had to accept the draw with less than 2 minutes on the clock. With Crewe now leading 2.5 – 0.5, Amy was offered a draw with just over 1 min on the clock against nearly 6 mins. Amy declined the draw played a fantastic end game using the King to support a queening pawn which led to her opponent’s resignation. A fantastic end game with time pressure and all eyes on the game a real joy to watch.” This result leaves the “A” team facing a title-decider when they play Newcastle on 19th September at The Bridge Club.
On Wednesday night, the B team concluded their South Cheshire campaign with a win over Stafford to leap above them into 3rd place in the table. A really close match according to Stafford skipper Peter Evans could easily have gone either way. We were on the fortunate side of the scores to emerge with a 3-1 result thanks to wins from Rick Renegade on bd 1 as white made a critical mistake with just seconds left and Julian Bulbeck’s win on bd 2 was a 50/50 call, while Kobus Nienaber was the other victorious player. Thanks to skipper Les Hall our B team have used 9 players in this campaign, while our “A” team have retained the same 4 players for each match to date. The B team have turned round their season completely, having picked up NO points from their first 4 matches, to gain 7 pts in the other 4 matches – a remarkable improvement.
Meanwhile the club had another busy night of internal competition and friendly games with Bart Fajfer closing the gap at the top of Rapid-play division 1 with a further two wins, to take his score to a perfect 8/8 and remain in 2nd place, trailing the leader by just 2.5 pts. With 10 games in hand there is little doubt Bart will shortly emerge as the leader as he heads towards the trophy.