Club Championship – Chairman Dave and Jamie Roberts win Division 2 & 3

Tuesday 25th June saw England advance in the Euros, so a quiet night at St Mary’s was anticipated. Following our record attendance of 49 last week we were reduced to 29 players to see the climax of the Club Championship.

Division 3 had already been secured by 12 year old Jamie Roberts in his first full season at the club. With a score of 9.5/11, the key to success was a crucial win over 2nd placed Mike Keenan who finished with a very impressive 9/11. Pete Kanalos exceeding expectations (scoring 8/11) was 3rd.

Division 2 saw the long awaited final night with three players in contention with the last two games taking place. Joint leaders Dave Price and James Coney with 6pts each went head to head knowing the winner would be champion. The other game saw Richard Fish playing Julian Bulbeck in the knowledge that a win for Richard would be enough to win on tie-break if the top two drew. Chairman Dave played solidly and blew open James’ defences with a central pawn push that led to a pawn advantage that ultimately proved too much and secured Dave the vital win to become champion – his first trophy at the club after 10 years at the helm. Richard was held to a draw to finish joint second on 6pts.

Congratulations to Dave and Jamie who will collect their trophies at the forthcoming AGM.

Tuesday also saw our two teams face each other in their first matches of the South Cheshire Summer Shield (for teams of 4 with maximum total rating 6000). The “A” team had a slight advantage in rating terms based on the January grades used in the Summer Shield. Steve Ballantyne (SCS “A” team captain) predicted a close match and this was certainly the way it turned out. First to finish was a draw between our two 12 year old stars – Jamie and Oskar on board 2. On board 1 Neville’s experience and better knowledge of the opening gained the initiative which George Bowkett could not prevent, to give Nev the full point for the “As”. Nathan Fourie (B team) held the higher rated Phil Grocott to a draw to leave the match in the balance. Another youngster playing for the B team Finn Charbonneau, pushed Doug Barnett into another long fought draw to conclude the match 2.5-1.5 in favour the As.