Ds Deliver again and go top of Table

It was nice to see two matches take place at The Mals again on Wednesday (26th) with teams back to the full five board compliment. On one side we had Crewe E hosting Alsager and on the other we had Crewe A vs Crewe D.

Alsager had intended to field two new players but due to a last minute Covid related issue, had to revert to a more experienced team as captain Andy Barker had covered all possibilities by having himself and Neil Hankey in attendance as reserves if needed. Crewe E had a marginal advantage in ratings but the teams were very closely matches overall, being one of the purposes of splitting squad strengths evenly to make all matches interesting. First game to finish involved 9 year old Oskar Jarzynski playing his 3rd league match for the club, all in this month. Opponent Neil Hankey used his time well in a game that swung too and fro, with Oskar having the advantage from the opening, but then Neil fighting back to have chances of winning the end game, before peace was achieved with a draw. The E team took the lead as Julian Bulbeck gained success with the white pieces on board 4, and Neville Layhe added a half point with a draw on board 2. The visitors fought back from a 2-1 deficit as white pieces held sway with John Booth and Andy Barker getting Alsager to the winning post 3-2 !

Meanwhile the other match saw the D team defeat the As by the same 3-2 scoreline. Signifcant here was where the ratings differed by more than 100 pts between players, the higher grade backed up the predicted result with wins, while their were draws where rating differences were less than 100. For the D team it was David Lambton and Pawel Stanny who D-livered the full points, with Adam Fields and Nigel Gardner D-liberately dragging out draws. The A team’s victor was captain Martin Burns on board 1. The D team are the only side with a 100% record in the table and have the luxury of knowing they can afford to lose a match and still retain top spot as all other teams have dropped at least 3 points already. They face closest contenders – the B team in their next match.

Tuesday (25th) saw the start of 4NCL Online Season 5. With a drop in teams entering the event, both our our teams have been moved to higher  divisions as our A(OL) team in division 2 and the B(OL) in division 3.

It was a close encounter for the A team but they lost narrowly to Cornish Choughs 1.5-2.5. Karl Lockett was the standout performer with a win on board 2 and David Lambton excelled against a much higher rated player to pick up a draw with black on board 1.

The B team as usual outperformed the As, and picked up a superb match draw against Hackney Hackers, a team with an average rate over 400 pts higher per board. Harry Gardiner and Jarek Czyz performed (the now expected) miracles to win on top two boards !! Pawel Stanny and Mike Keenan both lower rated by well over 500 pts pushed their opponents all the way before both running out of steam after valiant efforts. A great start to the season for BOL.

The 4NCL competition is so tough that one of the the AOL team will have to face Grand-Master Dr John Nunn in a few weeks time. Captain David Hulme is suggesting we “draw lots” to see which one of our members wins the lottery to play a GM.