The first of Crewe’s summer challenges took place this week. Unfortunately due to the unavailability of a number of players the match numbers were reduced from last year’s 10-a-side down to 4-a-side with grades matched pretty closely. The early skirmishes ended up one win a piece with Kobus Nienaber successful for Crewe and Meir’s Bob Perry for the visitors Meir. The remaining two boards were quite a slog as firstly Adam Fields managed to take advantage of an end-game Rook exchange to pick up a crucial pawn that ultimately took the opposition King out of the game to open the door for Adam’s King to invade the backward pawns and led to an unstoppable pass-pawn. 2-1 for us. The final game to finish was the board 1 game, where our junior Lukasz Michalek had 2 rooks against a queen and pawn plus level other minor pieces and pawns each. Lukasz managed to hide his King away from Queen checks and co-ordinate his two rooks to devastating effect having been down to below 10 seconds on his clock at one stage, before delivering the KO blow to get the team over the line for a 3-1 win. As always Meir play in great spirit and stayed behind after the match to enjoy the buffet and lay down the challenge for the 2020 Match to be played at Meir.
In club news, the Long-play events are nearing their completion of a 6-round swiss in division 1 and 9-round swiss in Division 2. Favourite for the LP div 1 prize is Bart Fajfer leading with 4/5, likely to play 2nd placed Doug Barnett on 3.5/5 in the final round. Harry Gardiner and Simon Layhe have not yet played their round 5 games and sit on 2.5 pts, but can put themselves in contention if they win their game in hand.
In division 2, longtime leader Nigel Gardner has completed his games with a score of 6/9. 2nd placed Mike Keenan with 4.5/7 has yet to play Les Hall in 3rd on 4.5/8 and looks like he is the only player than can overtake Nigel. Lukasz Michalek is joint 4th with 4/7 and may catch the leader if he can win his two remaining games.