Another busy week has seen the club playing a match on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as the fixture secretaries gave us one day off. A look at our fixture schedule shows we have 17 matches in November, which is one more than the biggest club in the NSDCA !
Monday night saw our Fabulous “F” team travel to Meir to take on their B team in division 5. A superb performance saw all of our players grabbing maximum points with a 4-0 win thanks to captain Nigel Gardner, Kobus Nienaber, Adam Fields and Reinhard Haack; after a hard fought reversal at Cheddleton on the Friday before. It is pleasing to note that both teams promote chess for all of their club members with both teams approx 100 pts below permitted grade totals.
Tuesday night, it was our division 4 “D” team headed by Les Hall, taking on local club Alsager (B team) at the cricket club. The hosts won the battle of the top two boards while Les (bd 4) and Harry Gardiner won the bottom two to ensure the match was drawn 2-2 with both teams just under the 460 grade point limit.
Wednesday night the “E” team captained by non-playing Nigel were at home against Meir C in division 5. After an early draw by Julian Bulbeck on bd 3, 16 yr old Lukasz Michalek gained our first win, before Dave Price (on bd 1) and Simon Layhe (bd 2) added further wins from unlikely looking roots to make the final score 3.5-0.5. This result took the “E” team back to the top of the league, with rivals Cheddleton H in close pursuit, with just 1 point separating the two teams after four matches completed.
The last match of the week saw the Wirral team make the long treck to face Wallasey 3 in a division 2 match. 15 yr old Harry Gardiner, making his Wirral team debut stole the spot-light with a stunning victory over Wallasey’s captain on bd 5. Shortly afterwards David Hulme (bd2) and Bart Fajfer (bd 1) maintained their 100% records to make it 4/4 for both players and more importantly for the team who sit on top of the league table for now. Simon Layhe played very well to earn a draw on bd 3 against a tough opponent, used to playing on bd 1 in previous seasons, to finish the match with a glowing score of 3.5-1.5.
The club’s Rapid-play division 2 had further games played on Wednesday night as Les Hall added 2 wins to his tally and Nigel Gardner a further 1 point. With just four club nights remaining before the competition closes it has developed into a 4-way fight for the trophy. Lukasz Michalek leads with 9/14, ahead of Nigel 9/15, with Les jumping to 3rd on 6.5/10 and Kobus sitting in 4th on 6/10. It looks like a fascinating race to the winning post.