It was 15-a-side in the Stroud Challenge

A fantastic effort co-ordinated by chairman Dave saw Crewe play its biggest ever match tonight in a Lichess Rapid-play Challenge against 4NCL outfit Stroud from Gloucestershire. The opposition assembled their complete compliment of online players, with 15 in total and higher graded than ourselves on every single board !! . We were handicapped by the late withdrawal of two of our top six players and still managed to find members willing to cover from the subs bench so we fielded a weaker team than planned.

It was expected Stroud would be the dominant team, especially as they have two teams in the 4NCL who finished higher than our 1st team, and another team of experienced Lichess players in division 6 like our 2nd team. It was therefore no surprise that Stroud had built up a healthy lead in the first set of games, where all Crewe players had the black pieces. We managed four wins and one draw out of the first set of 15 games.

With white pieces we had slightly more success with four wins and four draws to take our total score to 10.5 pts, with Stroud being victorious collecting 19.5 pts.

There were some notable performances with Rick Renegade, Lukasz Michalek and Dave Price all “doing the double” and gaining both points. Lukasz Holcman and Simon Layhe both won 1/2, with Adam Fields being the only Crewe player to draw both. The other scorecard contributions were half points earned by Harry Gardiner, Nigel Gardner and Pawel Stanny.

It should be noted that Stroud’s grade advantages told significantly at the top and bottom ends as we only scored 0.5/6 on top three boards and 1/8 on bottom four boards. We can therefore claim a moral victory by discounting these boards, and saying we won 9-7 on the middle boards (No 4-11) despite being outgraded on every single board.

All in all, another superb night as Crewe Chess Club continue to develop, and are delighted to have given George Bulbeck his club debut and thank you for standing in at very short notice. It fantastic that we continue to attract new members even in this strange era of Covid-19.

Thanks to all players supporting the club in another of our “Challenge Adventures”, and especially to chairman Dave Price for pulling the big team together on this occasion.

Full results see link below

Crewe v Stroud