Awful As, Battered Bees, Commanding Cees, Perry Progress and Es draw

It’s been a very busy week for Crewe Chess Club with 5 teams in action playing on four different nights.

Mon 20th Feb: Our A team travelled to Macclesfield in high spirts, sitting at the top of the League Table to face a home team who had not won a match in 7 attempts and occupied bottom spot in the table. Well the tables were well and truly turned as Macclesfield upset the form books with a stunning win, as the league leaders left almost empty handed, only spared a whitewash by Harry Gardiner’s draw on board 2. The smiles could be felt coming from all the challengers as Fenton and Cheddleton had title aspirations put back in their own hands.

Wed 22nd Feb: Two matches at The Mals as Crewe C hosted Cheddleton B in division 2 and our U1375 played in the semi-final of the Perry Cup against Fenton. Looking first at the Div 2 match, the visitors got off to a flying start as their captain Caroline Mountford had early success on board 3. Fortunately the rest of the C team were all on form as David Lambton (board 1), Neville Layhe (board 4) and Carmel Barwick completed the fight back with a 3-1 win, with Carmel currently in a hot streak of form with 10 wins and a draw since her last loss over 4 months ago (at the Crewe Congress). The C team remain on the tails of league leaders Newcastle.

The Perry Cup had a strange feeling to it, as Fenton only arrived with 3 players with a default on board 2 which would cost them dearly. The visitors won on boards 3 and 4 to take a 2-1 lead, but George Jelliss on board 1 ensured Crewe got to the final as he held his nerve to avoid any tricks and traps and gain the crucial win that levelled the score at 2-2. Thanks to the tie break rule of “board count” Crewe progress to the final, but had Fenton chosen to default on board 4, the same results would have seen Fenton go through to the final on “bottom board elimination” as the board count tie-break would have been equal.

Besides these two matches, there was a full program of Club Championship games in Division 2 as 10 of our members slogged it out, and another 4 members played in Div 1.

In division 2, George Bulbeck went to the top of the chart after winning the clash between the top two players, while Doug Barnett, Andrew Crosby and Oskar Jarzynski added a full point to their tally, and Mike Keenan drew with Jakub Grabowski. It is noted that George B is now unbeaten in 14 games since the Crewe Congress.

In div 1, Karl Lockett put a dent in defending champion Harry Gardiner’s record with a win that leaves Harry on an identical score to Martin Burns with 5/7, as both players have 3 games remaining. In the only other game Richard Fish overcame chairman Dave Price to move onto 1.5 pts and leave Dave routed in the relegation slot with just half a point so far – although both still have 6 games to play.

Thurs 23rd Feb: The B team went to Holmes Chapel in similar spirit to the “A” team, sitting in 2nd place in the league table. However it was evident on arrival that the Bees would be in for a tough time as Holmes Chapel fielded their strongest team of the season with all 3 of their top players involved for the first time. It was no surprise when all top 3 boards went their way, with only Carmel on the scorecard for the battered Bees with another comfortable win to extend her current run.

Fri 24th Feb: The E team travelled to Chedd on Friday evening for a division 3 match against their C team. Wins from Andrew Crosby (board 2) and Phil Grocott (board 4) were enough to get a share of the spoils. This draw leaves the E team in 2nd spot in the table, 2 pts behind Alsager B.

Looking ahead to next week, on Monday our Open Cup KO team travel to highly rated Fenton, and on Wednesday we have Rounds 5 and 6 of our Swiss Rapidplay Event.