“A” team high flyers stall

Thanks to captain Martin Burns for the following report:

It was a busy Febraury for the “A” team, and the pressure of being at the top of the league proved tough.

 First, Cheddleton came to St Mary’s. Harry’s great form meant he was now on top board, but he soon went down to Simon Edwards. Martin was battered by the experienced Ray Evans. New kid on the block Kamil Zak got a convincing win on board 3.  Crewe Chess Club keeps growing and it was great to have a strong new player to bring in; Kamil will, I hope, be a regular. Karl played well on bottom board to level the match, 2-2.

The next match was away to Cheddleton. We had the usual fun drive down dark country tracks, and we got there just in time. One day I will work out the best route. On arrival we saw that Cheddleton had a weaker team than usual, and we settled down with hope in our hearts. Martin was first to win, with a cheap trap that won a piece. He left the playing area for 10 mins to go over his game, and returned to see that Kamil was all over his opponent’s king like a bad rash, and we were soon 2-0 up. Harry lost on board 1, so that left Karl. The team needed just a draw, but in a great position it was understandable that Karl wanted to push his advantage. Then tragedy struck; he blundered a rook in the blitz finish, so the match was drawn 2-2.

At this point we were still top of the league, and were the only unbeaten team. A big problem was looming though: our next a match was at the Alsager Cricket Club. Alsager (Chess Club) fielded a very strong team. Martin drew with John Booth on board 3. Andy couldn’t get much fun out of Jon Blackburn and soon after agreed a draw on board 4. This meant that the top 2 boards had to get us some points. On top board, Harry started well against Jonathan Blackburn (top rated player in the league), but as the game got more and more tactical, the FM found the route to a win. Kamil’s chances of winning were slim, he was hanging on, a pawn down. against another strong player in Simon Hood. As time was running out Simon agreed a draw, meaning Alsager won the match.  As we drove home Harry had to been restrained, he was suffering a severe case of what-might-have-been-itis.  These FMs are hard to beat though, and Harry can hold his head up high.

With this result Alsager jumped over us to take the lead in the title race, though we do have a game in hand.

Bart, one of our aces up the sleeve, will be back for our next game against Macclesfield.  can we turn things around?  can we get back on top ahead of the mighty Alsager? watch this space.