Tuesday night saw our Wirral League team start it’s division 2 campaign against last season’s runners-up Buckley/Mold 1 at The Hoole Community Centre in Chester. First to finish was David Hulme in the battle of the captains on bd 3 putting Crewe in a 1-0 lead. An exciting game on bd 1 turned decisively as debutant Bart Fajfer just made initial time control of 35 moves in 75 mins before emerging with unstoppable threats after a complicated middle game, to extend our lead to 2-0. Buckley pulled one back as Andy Barber won on bd 2 to leave the match in suspense. However superb efforts on bd 4 and 5 by Simon Layhe and Dave Price with both outgraded by 20+ pts to gain solid draws ensured the team scraped home 3-2 to leave skipper David Hulme excited about the team prospects for the season.
Wednesday night saw another 17 members at the club house. Only a hand full of rapid-play games took place but these saw major progress at the top of both divisions. In division 1, Bart Fajfer added a further 1.5 pts from 2 games against leader David Hulme to take his tally to an impressive 9.5/10, in pursuit of David’s score of 11/21.
In division 2 a new leader emerged as 16 y/o Lukasz Michalek scored 1/2 against Nigel Gardner to put Lukasz in front on 4/5. Just behind Lukasz are several players on 3 pts but have all played more games than him (with Nigel on 3/6; Kobus Nienaber on 3/6 and Reinhard Haack on 3/8).
Next Wednesday sees the final match in the South Cheshire Shield with our “A” team travelling to league leaders Newcastle. Both teams are unbeaten so far and Newcastle have the upper hand with 13pts (Pld 7 W6 D1) while our “A” team have 12pts (Pld 7 W5 D2). Newcastle just need to draw the match to win the Shield while our “A” team need a victory to retain the trophy they won in 2017. All in all it looks too close to call.