This week has seen the club involved Rapidplay chess, with this match against Nairobi the focus of our first report.
On Sunday we embarked on our 2nd International Challenge, thanks to Andrew Crosby’s links with Nairobi Chess Club, which is Kenya’s biggest and longest surviving club. Andrew managed to round up a team of 20 players from Crewe including a couple of guests with links to our opponent’s country.
This Online (Lichess) match commenced at 3pm GMT, which was 6pm in Kenya. It was very much a case of going into the uknown with many opposition players not having recognised ratings, while our intention was to give as many as possible the opportunity to play. This allowed Nairobi a distinct advantage in the lower quartile as their experienced players came up against several very new to online chess in our team.
The match scorecard shows a very even battle over the top 10 boards with Crewe edging the lead 11-9, the next five boards also showed Crewe as slightly superior 5.5 to 4.5, but alas the match was determined on the bottom five boards as Nairobi whitewashed our new players with a dominant 10-0 sector. The final result being 16.5-23.5 in favour of Nairobi.
The match consisted of two games per board, one with white and black against the same opponent, with time limits of 20 minutes plus 10 seconds increments, which is a favourite option for these type of Rapidplay matches.
The event was hailed a great success in both clubs, with coverage extended to the English Chess Federation. An initial match had been played early in 2021 with Nairobi also successful, with both clubs now committed to making this an annual event. So, we at Crewe look forward to 2023 in the hope we can gain our first success in International combat.
It was great to see the Nairobi’s club report referring to the prestigious Crewe Chess Club in England, and we look forward to a long and enjoyable relationship with our Kenyan counterparts, which has been materially fostered by Andrew Crosby’s enthusiasm for online chess and discovering the Nairobi Chess Club website. Many thanks are due to Roberto Villuela from the Nairobi club who collaborated with Andrew to ensure that both teams could field 20 boards with evenly matched teams.