After last week’s mixed results, this week has seen three matches with Crewe victorious in all three.
The Match Room was in full bloom, with our B team facing Cheddleton A in div 1, our G team playing Fenton D and the H team playing Alsager D in div 4.
The B team started as favourites as Cheddleton have suffered the loss of key players moving from the area and fielded a much lower rated team than expected. Carmel Barwick continued her dominating form with a win on board 2, and Simon Layhe held their one higher rated player to a draw on board 1. Board 3 was too complicated to decipher before Martin Frisher emerged with a win to secure the match points. Jarek Czyz making a rare appearance for the club secured a tough end game draw after seeming to be in the ascendancy earlier on. Final score 3-1 to the B team.
The G team’s planned squad were all available against Fenton. Skipper Steve Ballantyne set the ball rolling with a comfortable win on board 4, before Fenton levelled on board 2. Youngster Jamie Roberts provided a big win on board 3 (in the words of captain Steve) by playing a great endgame to force his opponent to resign as he could not stop a pawn from queening. Pawel immediately offered a draw on board 1 to clinch the match. Final score 2.5-1.5 to the G team.
The H team gave league debuts to Tim Weston on board 2 and Andrew Caccamo on board 4. With Alsager fielding brand new young players throughout the team line ups were agreed well in advance to ensure everyone would have a reasonable equal game. In addition opposition captain Neil Hankey acted as a reserve and so played an extra graded game with our Mike Keenan, with a further extra game given to Dan Parkin making his debut for Crewe against another new junior from Alsager. Andrew won on board 4 first, before Pete Kanalos added another win on bd 3. Kobus Nienaber used all his experience to get the win on board 1, while Tim was held to a draw. Final score 3.5- 0.5 to the H team.
Alongside these matches, there were a few games in the club championship as Harry Gardiner and Neville Layhe notched up wins in div 1. In div 2 Richard Fish added another full point to his tally while Julian Bulbeck and Oskar Jarzynski shared a draw.
All in all, a most enjoyable night with 18 competitive games taking place with another dozen members playing social chess in the coaching room.