This week has seen Crewe AOL play Stroud Oldies in div 3, and Crewe BOL play Calstock Killers.
The A team were outmuscled by the senior Stroud team, but put up a determined fight. Captain David Hulme offered himself as the sacrificial lamb playing aginst Gloucestershire’s 2019 County champion on board 1 and was well beaten. Karl Lockett generated one of his typical positions and seemed to have good chances, before being snuffed out by resolute play from his opponent. In fact the tables turned and Karl was facing a lost endgame until a mistake gave Karl the upper hand back. However sound defence stopped Karl from winning to finish with a draw. On board 3 Rick (the grenade) Renegade seemed determined on self-destruction early on, but somehow emerged victorious from the wreckage and general chaos he created. Board 4 saw an early loss and so we ended up narrowly beaten 2.5-1.5. Our chances of staying in division 3 remain intact as we remain 3 pts above the relegation places and may have just enough points alreadt to finish above the trap-door. Time will tell and Round 6 will let us know what we have to do in the final round.
The B team found themselves without star player Lukasz Michalek after play was due to start. However Dave Price’s swift actions enabled us to call up a reserve in Lee Tilton on board 2. However opposition Calstock Killers had a much stronger team averaging 227 FIDE points more per board, equivalent to 30 ECF grade points, so it was no surprise we came off second best. The only scoreboard contribution came from “steady Eddy” Neville Layhe who was happy to play for a draw facing much higher opposition. The team have slipped to 45th place out of 68 teams in the division, but still have a very creditable 4pts from 5 games.
Next week sees the 2nd Round of the New NSDCA Rapid-play League where all three of our teams should be in action.