It’s a season of complete contrasts for our two 4NCL teams competing in Season 3, so let’s start with the positive side !
Our B team (called Crewe BOL) had a resounding success this week in their division 6 encounter with MCS Oxford B , where both sides seemed very level on grades, with the only exception being in our favour on board 2, and the opposition containing a team full of juniors who seem to excel in this online league. However our youthful team has a little more experience, as Harry Gardiner (bd 1) and Lukasz Michalek (bd 2) quickly proved to be far too strong with major material gains without any compensation for the opposition. It was not long before the match was secure as our online sensation, Kobus Nienaber was held to a draw to supplement our top two board successes. It was left for Adam Fields to use up all of the time allowed before adding a third success to the scoreboard, to finish with a convincing win by 3.5-0.5. The BOL team sit 3rd in their group A table (of 8 teams) and face joint leaders Hertford 2 in Round 5. A positive result in that match would send the team into one of the two promotion slots, having already played the other join leaders.
The A team (called Crewe AOL) are finding it much tougher. Our Round 4 opponents were St Benildus B whose bottom board was higher graded than our top player, which is often the case in Division 3. Not for the first time this season the team narrowly avoided the whitewash thanks to our own Whitemanvan – Neville Layhe. The top 3 boards were all swotted aside, as Nev picked up yet another solid draw despite facing the biggest grade deficit of 235 FIDE points. It gets harder for the A team as they face league leaders Bolton and Worsley in round 5.