Online struggles and OTB successes

A busy week has seen Crewe playing in the 4NCL online league, a postponed match with Holmes Chapel, three divisions of internal chess competition and an OTB challenge match at Kidsgrove.

Tuesday was another tough night in Season 4 of the 4NCL online league, as the A team stumbled against Watford juniors in division 3 and the B team came unstuck against Hackney Hungry.

Unfortunately the AOL team suffered our first ever default as illness caused a late withdrawal of our board 3, which was soon followed by a quick loss on board 2. Our sole success came from Simon Layhe on board 4, who seems to be carrying the A team at the moment as we fell to a 3-1 reverse. Hopefully we will fair better in the final two rounds as we come up against fellow strugglers in the relegation zone.

The BOL team were also weakened as one of our stars, Lukasz Michalek was sidelined by University commitments. The B team put up a much better fight than our A team, as Jarek Czyz making his online debut for the club gained a full point on board 2 to level the scores after a defeat on board 1. Andrew Crosby on board 4 seemed to be heading towards victory when a tired mistake cost him a piece as we fell 2-1 behind. It was left to Kobus to try and salvage the match for us, but in a frenzied end game that went too and fro he could not force his slim advantage home, as his final Rook’s pawn was prevented from Queening as stale mate was forced. The final result was a narrow loss which leaves the team 3rd in the sub-division and still in with chances of promotion with two matches remaining in the pool section.

Wednesday saw another “cracker-jack” of a club night with our internal competitions all being fought, including the initial game in our division 3 competition (for members rated at 1300 or below).

The “Match of the Day” saw Martin Burns and Karl Lockett slog it out for almost 100 moves, as the game finished just before the electric meter was about to run empty with Karl prevailing in an epic endgame and take the lead at the top of the Division 1 scoreboard.

In division 2, top dogs Nigel Gardner and Lee Tilton extended the gap at the top of the table with further wins taking Nigel to 4.5 pts and Lee on 3.5 pts, with both having played 5 games.

The division 3 encounter between Mike Keenan and Mark Randell did not quite match the epic proportions of Karl and Martin’s 100-move marathon, but it was well after 10pm before the dust settled and Mike emerged victorious with a well played end game.

Thanks to Martin Burns for his write up of the epic encounter with Karl:


Dave P asked me to send this game to him.   Dave’s post-match comments are always so generous, he makes any patzer go home feeling like a GM, so I thought I would send the game in with a few comments.

Karl v Martin

Thursday saw Les Hall take a four board team to Kidsgrove, with the opposition containing some familiar faces from our own club. Andrew Crosby took charge of the host team as they entertained opposition for the first time at their new Bluebell Inn venue in a friendly contest. Lee Tilton playing as a guest for Kidsgrove put the hosts into the lead. Andrew was in the ascendancy against Kobus on board 2, but an error allowed Kobus to recover the 3-pawn deficit and save the game for a hard earned draw.  Dave Price continued his rich vain of form with a win on board 1.  Pawel Stanny  was the last to finish on board four and a great win to  secured  another win for Crewe The final result was a narrow success for us, which gave some much needed match practice ahead of the start of the new NSDCA season next week.

We look forward to a busy night next Wednesday (27th) when we have four teams in action as the C team take on the B team, and the D’s face the A’s.