Thanks to captain Nigel Gardiner for the following F team report:
Friday evening saw our F team of grading underdogs take on the might of Cheddleton G and yet again nearly overturn the form books. With Mike Keenan making his league debut for the club on board 4 and an average grade deficit of 23 across the team all bookies would have had Cheddleton heavily odds-on favourites. However, ever up for a challenge the F team fought, feverishly until the finish.
On board 1, Nigel managed to bore his very experienced opponent into a stupor, exchange off a number of pieces whilst he wasn’t looking, and force him into eventually accepting that he had to agree a draw or face the possible ignominy of losing to someone graded 41 points below him. This was approximately 90 minutes in and with an unexpected half point on the scoreboard the rest of the team had renewed optimism that anything is possible. Lukasz was struggling against a very, doughty opponent on board 3 and had considered resigning until he was told he would be walking home if he did. He was down on pieces and position but resumed battle but was then encountering time pressure. The game went on….and on…..and on …..and Lukasz just wouldn’t be cowed. Eventually his opponent made a mistake and after a few tense moments (ahem) a draw was agreed. (what the basis of the draw was nobody really knows (it could have been an accepted offer, it could have been 3 fold repetition, it could have been the 50 move rule, it could have been loss of will to live!!!!) but in the end it was another half point and again versus an opponent with a 33 point grade advantage. Fantastic battle and a fully justified result Lukasz!
Mike was playing his first proper match for the club on board 4 against a young, but relatively experienced, opponent. He came under great pressure early on which he had to use large amounts of time to extricate himself from, but he did so to achieve a slender pawn advantage in the end game. However he had about 2 minutes left compared to his opponents 40 and a draw was again agreed to the relief of all onlookers. A great start for Mike and this left the match level with just Reinhard playing on board 2 in a very close game. Again though, it was close on the board but a 45 point deficit on grading. Reinhard attacked down one flank, Dave rose attacked down the other for Cheddleton. Unfortunately for Crewe, Dave calculated marginally better and started his attack one move ahead of Reinhard which led to overwhelming pressure and a well deserved victory for Dave and Cheddleton. However a great battle from Reinhard and a very enjoyable evening for all the Crewe team who are in action again on Monday evening at Meir.