This week has seen an exciting finish to the NSDCA Online Rapidplay with Crewe providing three of the ten teams in the competition. With our own David Hulme organising the fixtures, he came up with a novel idea for the final round of pairing teams with their closest rival rather than the normal swiss system of finding new opponents. This created the toughest task for Crewe 1 in 2nd place facing the 100% -ers from Holmes Chapel, while Crewe 2 had another derby but with Crewe 3 on this occasion.
As always Crewe 3 put up a great fight against the higher graded Crewe 2, and with Kobus Nienaber on top form the underdogs picked up two early points. Lukasz Michalek ensured parity as he won both games on bd 3. Martin Gill’s experience was decisive as he played the end games superbly. The games on bd 1 saw two epic battles as Neville Layhe managed to bring home the bacon for Crewe 2 who ran out winners 6-2.
On Thursday the final matches were played as Crewe 1 had the near impossible task of trying to beat Holmes Chapel. Our team put up a valiant effort, with Simon Layhe gaining an excellent 1.5 pts and the outstanding performance of the season from Karl Lockett picking up two wins un board 2. Despite best efforts we could not stop the 100%-ers, who concluded the season with their narrowest victory 4.5-3.5 for the second time against our 1st team.
The final League table showed Holmes Chapel as the runaway winners with 10pts from 5 matches, with Crewe 2 finishing 2nd on 6pts just ahead of Crewe 1 on board score and Stafford also with 6 pts. Crewe 1 faced the winners twice thanks to the original pairings of the writer. Just behind these teams Crewe 3 finished on 5 pts which was a great finish considering they were ranked 8th at the start of the campaign and due to early successess had to play the top two teams.
It is hoped a new Online League will commence in January, with a new individual tournament to be played during intermittent weeks.
We have our final challenge match of the year on Tuesday 15th when we play Stroud in a 12-board Rapid-play.