4NCL Online – Crewe AOL crash to relegation and BOL climb the table

Tuesday night saw round 7 (the final round for us) take place. Crewe AOL faced a crucial relegation fight against Morriston Alekhine in div 3, while BOL played St Andrew’s White Cross in div 6.

Things started badly for the A team as Rick (the grenade) Renegade self detonated early on with the loss of his lady – an unintended literal Queens Gambit no doubt. Young Harry Gardiner soon fell off his horse too to leave Karl Lockett and David Hulme looking for wins to salvage the shipwreck. Karl appeared to have a great chance when having a piece for a pawn in an endgame with B,N and 2P vs N & 3P, but got overrun as connected pawns supported the N got to the queening square without loss. David was likewise a Rook ahead for 2 pass-pawns but developed a blindness in time trouble, when a simple winning defence was missed and allowed an extra Queen for his opponent to conclude the 4-0 drubbing. All in all, a poor end to a season that started promisingly with 4 pts from the first 3 matches, but drawing blanks in the last four matches to slide from 3rd to 7th in the mini-division and end up in the relegation booth. To be fair we should have been in division 4 anyway, but only stayed in div 3 due to the withdrawal of some teams.

Dave Price’s B team had no such problem and made light work of their Round 7 opponents. It was plain sailing as Kobus Nienaber and Andrew Crosby overran their junior opponents very swiftly. “Steady-eddy” Neville Layhe did the necessary to secure a draw on board 1 so the team got over the winning line. Lukasz Michalek was heading to victory on the last board but decided to be generous after turning down several draw offers, and dropped a rook for nothing in an oversight. The B team won 2.5-1.5 and climbed to 24th in the table out of 68, to finish with a very decent 8 pts from 7 matches.

It might not be long before AOL meet BOL !!

Wednesday night saw a superb club night as 14 members joined in the 5-round rapid-play of 10 mins + 3 secs increments. Your modest reporter was lucky to win with 5/5, but the highlight for the club was the arrival of another new member – George Bulbeck – who joined in with the good banter in the Lichess chat room.