The Division One Rapid-Play Tournament is building upto a fantastic finale with all games scheduled to finish on Wednesday (30th Sept). David Hulme has joined Lukasz Michalek in the lead with 11.5/18, as bottom seed Andrew Crosby (the above mentioned Popeye) took a crucial point off the secretary. In all honesty Andrew could have taken both points as he outplayed David in the openings, only to allow him off the hook in the second game. The main beneficiary from Popeye’s success was junior Harry Gardiner who played just one game this week adding another full point to his tally to take his score to 10/15. Harry will be assured of the Trophy if he scores a further 4pts from his remaining 5 games, but could then be caught by top seed Karl Lockett who has scored 10/16 following his addition of 2 pts this week . With the joint leaders (Lukasz & David) playing each other in the final round, this favours Harry and Karl, but interestingly the two chasers have to play Kobus Nienaber in their remaining games. It promises to be an exciting finish as these four slog it out.
In other news this week, Andrew and Lee Tilton played the first game in the Club OTB Ladder Tournament, playing at home with Mals Club chess activities temporarily postponed.
In the 4NCL Online League, our two teams were in action again on Tuesday (22nd). The AOL team played Preston South End in division 3, and gained a respectable draw as Karl Lockett and David Hulme picked up half-points before Neville Layhe got the vital win to finish the match 2-2. The AOL team have been presented with a gift as their first opponents (Harrow 3) have withdrawn from the league, and a 4-0 loss has been reversed to give the team the flattering score of 4pts from 3 matches.
In Division 6 the BOL team faced Celtic Tigers Cubs. Excellent performances from Nigel Gardner, Kobus and Lukasz all landing knockout blows before Adam Fields secured a draw to give the team a resounding victory (3.5-0.5) which puts the team also on 4pts from 3 matches, sharing 3rd place in the table with 18 other teams ! Next 4NCL matches to be played 6th October.