Defaults, Penalties and Knock-outs while Club Championships take centre stage

It’s been a very odd week on the League scene. Firstly our B team were handed an unwanted default win as Fenton “A” were unable to raise a team for our last match of the season. On Tuesday our Intermediate Cup team (U1600) made the short trip to Alsager. We got knocked out in this semi-final by the score of 2-3 as we failed to register with the black pieces, and scored 2/3 with white. Our sole success came from captain Nigel Gardner on board 3, with draws on Bds 1 & 3 from Joe Moxon and James Marshall.

On Wednesday the C team played at Newcastle. After notching up 3 wins and a draw we were later penalised for (accidentally) breaching the 100 pts rule and suffering a 2 pts deduction to leave the match shared at 1.5 pts each. There were wins by Gee Cross (bd 1), Karl Lockett (Bd 3) and Julian Hawthorne (bd 4); while Andy Raeburn was held to a draw.

Moving back to Tuesday there was another superb club night with 14 internal games taking place. In Div 1 of the club championship Harry Gardiner took a giant step towards becoming champion with another win to take his score to 8.5/9. There were further wins by Carmel Barwick, David Hulme and David Lambton who all appear to be safe from relegation. It will be a dog fight against relegation for approx half of the competitors as everything is very tight near the bottom of the table.

In Div 2 there were three games which all ended in draws. The top of the table shows Richard Fish, James Coney and Oskar Jarzynski all on 5.5 pts. Doug Barnett and Dave Price sit on their tails with 5pts each with advantage to the chairman (Dave) who has 4 games to play including a potential decider against James C who has 3 games to play, while the other contenders only have one game left each.

In division 3, leader Jamie Roberts had a topsy-turvy tussle before emerging with another win to stay in the clear lead with 8.5pts. Pete Kanalos moved up to second place with a beautiful double check (mate) to take his score to 5pts. Mike Keenan is 3rd with 4pts but has played 5 games less than Jamie, so could catch up if he can play (and win) all his remaining games.

On top of all this there were 8 players engaged in separate rated games as they were unable to play in the Club championship due to a mix of joining the club late in the season or having no available game in the Club Championship. At this rate it is likely we will need to start a new 4th division in these events next season to accommodate the ever increasing number of club members.