We have 3 matches to report on this week as the F team went to Meir on Monday, the Major Cup side went to Alsager on Tuesday and the G team hosted Newcastle F on Wednesday.
The F team had a wonderful 4-0 win against Meir C in division 5 to cement their position at the top of the table. Nigel’s superb report can be seen under the “Nigel’s News tab” section.
The Major Cup team for U150 commenced their defence of the trophy without two of last year’s squad as Karl and Amy’s grades jumped above 150. As last season we were again drawn away to Alsager in the quarter-finals but this time the match was too close for comfort. Harry Gardiner went for the early “grand-master draw” option which was agreed with little chance of a result either way before Simon Layhe (on bd2) seized the opportunity to grab a gifted Queen leading to immediate resignation. Alsager then levelled the score and took the key board 1 as John Booth’s defence proved to good for David Hulme’s piece sacrifice. At this point Crewe needed 1.5 pts from the last 2 boards otherwise Alsager would win by virtue of board count if the match was drawn. Doug Barnett (on bd5) took advantage of his bigger grade by accumulating several pawns to put Crewe in the ascendancy with a sound win. All eyes then fell on bd 3 where Sam Throsby was playing just his second game for the club. Sam seemed to have all the play but his opponent Tim Twentyman was going to make Sam sweat for some considerable time. Although Tim was down to less than 5 minutes after approx 30 moves and Sam had over 20 minutes, Tim defended brilliantly holding material equality while Sam searched and searched for a big break. Eventually after approx 80 moves Sam offered the draw to which Tim had little choice but to accept and so we ran out winners 3-2. The semi-final is scheduled for St Valentine’s day away at Cheddleton who are favourites to win this cup.
Wednesday saw our G team play its second ever match against Newcastle in the newly formed division 6 for players with a maximum grade of 80. The visitors were unfortunately disadvantaged when one of their team failed to arrive but this did nor deter from the friendly atmosphere generated by both teams. Newcastle drew first blood as Andrew Lowe beat our latest debutante, young Koray Stanny. Koray had forged a massive material gain but failed to secure his King’s safety as Andy’s Queen and last remaining piece joined forces to mate the King stranded at home. Adrian Howells playing only his second ever match managed a win on bd 4 against a Newcastle junior playing their first league game. Congratulations to Adrian on his first win. The final game saw Reinhard Haack battle against another Newcastle junior on bd 1. Reinhard’s solid play allowed him to round up a piece advanatage and then hunt down the King to deliver a mating attack and ensure the team won 3-1. Thanks to opposing captain Alberto Gissi who agreed to play against Safwan to make up for the missing player.
It is great to see division 6 allowing new players to play league chess as Crewe, Cheddleton, Meir and Newcastle have introduced approx 10 new competitiors to the noble game in just 3 matches.