E team report by Nigel Gardner

Thanks to Nigel for providing the following report:

Monday Mayhem Makes Meir Mournful whilst Cheery Crewe Continue Championship Challenge 

Monday evening at Meir for our E team was a chance to rebound from their first narrow defeat of the season at Cheddleton, just before Christmas. It was never going to be easy as Meir C have generally put out a strong competitive team and Monday proved to be an extreme example of this!

From the normal E team line up Julian was missing as he inexplicably prioritised his wife’s birthday over Chess!? Adam and myself were added to the normal Simon and Dave on the top two boards to make a team total grade of 393 against a maximum of 400; however we were significantly out graded by Meir!

After a cagey start on board 4, there was sudden flurry of activity with pieces being exchanged to leave virtual parity but little opportunity and a draw was soon agreed. Now having the opportunity to observe matters more closely it was close on all 3 boards with Adam marginally up and Simon and Dave slightly behind. However, by this stage I had realised that Meir had miscalculated when composing their team and the reason it appeared strong was it actually exceeded the grading limit with a total of 408. Unfortunately for Meir this means that they actually lost board 4 and would also be penalised a point but at this stage they were blissfully unaware of the reality, as were our team.

Simon was battling hard on top board but his exertions of the 3 previous days were beginning to take their toll and he was starting to struggle against a very strong opponent. Adam was now in command but in significant time trouble and Dave was under massive pressure but under even greater time pressure. It was not looking good………With around a minute on his clock and his King under attack Dave used attack as defence which progressed to his knight forking the king and rook some very rapid piece exchanges and his opponent resigning in the space of around 30 seconds.

This proved inspirational to Adam who was also into the last minute or so but he continued to press home his advantage and forced a resignation. This put us 2 clear points up on the night with one game to play which despite Simon nearly managing to promote a pawn eventually went the way of Meir. On the night therefore the score was 2.5 – 1.5 to us but after the adjustments were subsequently made this has been altered to 3 – 0 which is a strange result for a 4 board match!

It was all in another enjoyable evening for all but the Meir captain, Ray, who had to take some stick from all present for his inability to add up!! The upshot of this is that Crewe E have gone back to the top of the table although this is likely to be short-lived as Cheddleton H have a number of fixtures over the next 2 weeks, one against our F team. Next Wednesday sees the Es play the Fs at The Mals Club in what should prove a very interesting evening.

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