Apologies if anyone thinks this is a Rugby score, but it was infact the final result of the inaugural “Northwich challenge” initiated by our club and organised by David Hulme. Always on the look out to spread the good name of Crewe Chess Club we embarked on another new adventure, this time challenging Warrington League side Northwich to a Rapidplay match over as many boards as they could muster. From an initial idea of 10 or 12 a-side the hosts kept on increasing the potential numbers until it was agreed as 17 boards per side with two games per board – one as white and black.
We did our best to match up teams evenly, but this was a mission impossible and although 700 points sounds a big difference, when you consider it was over 34 boards, it gave an average difference of just 20 grading points, or as we like to say in “old money” approx 3 ECF grading points before the new rating system was introduced with 4 digit grades, as opposed to the previous 3 digit system.
We must thank Richard Betts for all his work with the Northwich team, and comment on the superb playing conditions at their venue – The Gladstone Club. Round 1 commenced around 7.40pm with special consideration given to youngsters Alfie Dillon of Northwich and Oskar Jarzynski of Crewe, who were making their club debuts, together with Chris Marais and Marek Jarzynski, as well as a couple more on the Northwich side.
Crewe’s extra experience of playing Rapid-play time controls with 10 second increments gave the visitors (Crewe) a big advantage as they took control of the match with a 12-5 lead at half-time (the end of round 1.).
Round 2 saw Northwich put up a superb fight taking 6 points off the top 8 boards, with Crewe’s lower order providing the strength in depth to engineer a 9-8 scoreline in our favour and an overall match score of 21-13 for Crewe.
The highlights of the evening from Crewe’s point of view was the three members making their club debuts. The big-hitters with two wins for Crewe were Karl Lockett, Julian Bulbeck, Nigel Gardner and Pawel Stanny, while 9 year old Oskar deserves special mention with his contribution of 1.5 pts as well.
It is intended that a return match takes place at The Mals Club later on this season, where Northwich will be gunning for revenge.
The full match score can be seen by following our fixtures link on the home page of our website.