Report by Nigel Gardner:
Crewe’s (U110) B team were at home in the Perry trophy this Wednesday hosting Newcastle. The same four who upset the odds in the first round at Alsager, way back at the start of October, took to the boards in a semi final that they knew would mean meeting the Crewe A team in the final. However, it was another mountain to climb with Crewe’s team graded at 303 against Newcastle’s 405.
As we trudged through the foothills of the openings all games appeared evenly balanced and once the other match of the evening got underway a contemplative and studious hush descended over the games. It felt like serious chess was going on!!! …… It was.
On board 1 as black I presented my opponent with a challenging defence whose walls he tried to scale, but found himself repeatedly rebuffed. Suddenly, I had some counterplay on the queenside and my offer of a draw was welcomed and off we scuttled downstairs to the bar and a chat. All square after one.
Boards 2 & 3 involved Reinhard and Phil playing against higher graded opponents and both being well and truly in their games with opportunities. Reinhard was down a knight for two pawns and although he tried to battle it out the extra minor piece in the end game was enough to snaffle up his extra pawns and defeat followed shortly after. Within minutes Phil’s game to a similar ending where he had challenged throughout but had to gradually succumb to his more experienced opponent. At this stage the match was over at 2.5 – 0.5 but Lukasz battled on, on board 4……..and on, and on, and on.
Almost from the first move, Lukasz was pushing for a win. He had gained an advantage by the mid-game only to have had it wrested back from him. However, his opponent had taken time to work things out and this was now beginning to work against him. The clock was ticking and getting louder. Eventually, in the endgame the pressure became too much, and Lukasz drove home his advantage for a well-deserved win against an opponent graded 30 points above him. This made the overall score a respectable 1.5 – 2.5. Newcastle march on to the final against Crewe’s A team. Our team came close to the edge of another Cup shock but in the end it was too Perrylous for us and we will have to return to base camp and lick our wounds.
In football terms, we now have more time to concentrate on the league!!!