Race for Rapid-play Trophy

With just one week to go in the club’s summer Rapid-play the book-makers are having a headache as long term leader Neville Layhe is being reeled in.

Neville has run out of opponents while sitting in pole position with 12.5/18. In 2nd spot is Rick Renegade with 11.5/15 but has the difficulty of finding an opponent while many are on holiday or will be tied up playing the first NSDCA league match of the season. In 3rd place is outsider Martin Gill with the outstanding score of 11/12 who is scheduled to play in the D vs C team “derby” and is probably now regretting missing one or two club nights earlier in the summer.

Good luck to these three in the final week. The full table can be seen from the links on the right hand side of the website’s home page.

Doug Barnett shares 1st prize at Staffordshire Major

The club had several members playing at Leek over this last weekend in the Staffordshire Congress. Doug was accompanied by Rick Renegade in the major section, while Les Hall, Martin Gill and Phil Wright played in the Minor tourney.

Doug was our star performer finishing unbeaten with 4/5 to share 1st prize with Jon Blackburn Snr (the popular Cheddleton player) while Rick could only muster 1.5 pts from his 5 rounds although facing the two highest graded players in the section.

Martin was our best scorer in the Minor section with 3.5 pts to finish just outside the prize money in joint 4th. Les did very well to finish with 3/5 and Phil scored a creditable 2 pts as well.

Wirral team off to winning start

The club kicked off the new league season with a lucky win in the Wirral League Division 2 match vs Pensby (last Tuesday 12th Sept). It was a case of ” black magic” as all players won their games with black pieces to produce a narrow 3-2 win for us. The opposition were much weaker than normal without their regular top board and fielding two players below grade 100 on the bottom boards, giving us an advantage of 140 grading pts over the 5 boards. Unexpectedly we trailed twice with wins by Martin Gill and Ola Titiloye leveling the score on both occasions. It was left to skipper David Hulme to clinch the match with a huge slice of luck as his opponent lost on time in a tricky position when failing to make the 35 move time control with a piece down, only for one of Pensby’s spectators to point out there was a forced mate imminent which would have given them victory.

Rapid-play Update

The Summer Rapid-play tournament saw another dozen or so games played last night, with the latest table appearing on the right hand side of the website under the Teams header.

Neville Layhe continues to lead the tourney but is running out of opponents to play having amassed 10.5 pts from 16 games so far. His nearest rival is Rick Renegade who trails by 2 pts having played 4 games less (with 1 point awarded for a win). Just behind Rick in 3rd place is Martin Gill who was runner up in the 2016 event and is making a late surge in the competition. Mart has the much higher percentage with 8/9, but needs to overhaul the points scored by the players ahead.

The challenge in the final three weeks will be to arrange games to give themselves the best chance of winning the Rapid-play trophy, as the competition closes on 27th September and with the winter league matches starting next week.

So far 21 members have entered the competition and 64 games have been played which shows the commitment made by Neville to have played 16 of them !

The first Wirral League match takes place on Tuesday, with Crewe hosting Pensby 1 in a Division 2 fixture at Chester, where all our home matches in the Wirral League are played.

All of the clubs fixtures are shown in date order under the Fixtures 2017/18 tab, while each of our team’s fixtures are sorted on the right hand side under the Teams header.

A team wrap up SCS campaign with another win

It was the the SCS “A” team’s turn to visit Alsager last night for the final match of the 2017 South Cheshire Shield. Having already secured the title, captain Dave Price allowed himself the luxury of making his season’s debut but came unstuck against Gordon Parker making a rare appearance for the hosts on bd 2. The rest of the team fared better as Doug Barnett and Chris Rhodes both won with the white pieces and Simon Layhe also making a rare appearance picked up the only score for black with a draw to ensure narrow victory 2.5-1.5.

Full details of all SCS results and table etc can be accessed via the new LMS (League Management System) from the link on the NSDCA website. The final table shows the A team clear winners with 10 pts from 6 matches, followed by the B team on 6 pts pipping Newcastle on board count with Alsager propping up the table, and utilising 9 players to give experience to as many as possible.

Nev and Rick motor at Leyland Congress

Thanks to secretary Les Hall, we can report some success for two of our members who played at the Leyland Congress over the August bank holiday weekend. Neville Layhe’s new July grade of 137 saw him shunted into the higher Major section by the organisers, over-riding his entry into the U135 competition based on his previous rating. However Neville had the last laugh by collecting 3rd prize with a superb score of 4/6 in the U165 section and although results are not available from the chess results server, it is understood most of the opposition were graded 155+ and Nev’s performance worked out at 177 after losing to the outright winner in the final round.

Meanwhile in the Minor section (U135) Rick Renegade playing in his 2nd ever congress also got among the prizes with the same 4/6 score but claiming 2nd prize. As no details available I cannot shed any more light on the performance.

Congratulations to Nev and Rick.

“A” team clinch SCS Title

Tonight saw the SCS “A” team win the South Cheshire Shield after a close encounter with our own SCS B team. First game to finish was on board 2 where Rick Renegade (“A” team) was held to a draw by Martin Gill. Chris Rhodes was first over the winning line for the As and followed later by junior Amy Lovatt keeping up a 100% record in the comp to ensure victory for the A team and clinching the Shield. Last game to finish was the bd 1 game where the B team’s Martin Frisher tasted success in his first match for some considerable time.

The B team played their penultimate SCS match at Alsager on Tuesday night and emerged as narrow winners 2.5 – 1.5. The win looked unlikely after the bottom two boards scored 1-1 with Nigel Gardner picking up our full point, leaving Martin Gill and David Hulme in play and both serious material down. Martin Gill managed a fortunate escape on board 2 as his opponent missed a sacrifice leading to either a bank rank mate for us or a Rook advantage. Meanwhile David Hulme was under the cosh on bd 1 and claimed a 2 minute penalty in desperation to avoid defeat. Even then he was very lucky to get a draw thanks to an Alsager spectator mentioning he hadn’t pressed his clock with only 6 seconds remaining. At this stage David was down to a King and pawn remaining against a King and two knights.

The result meant Crewe B went into their final game against Crewe A as joint leaders and the possibility of winning the Shield if they could repeat their previous derby victory. Alas it was not to be for the Bees as Crewe A cruised to the title with a match to spare !

Congratulations to Dave Price and his team and commiserations to Les Hall and the B team.

SCS A Team go top of table

Our A team headed off to Newcastle last night to take on the league leaders. We emerged victorious and replaced the hosts at the top of the table following a narrow win by 2.5 to 1.5. The match was in the balance as John Day’s win for the hosts ensured the scores were level with just the top board left in play. Earlier junior Harry Gardiner had performed well to earn a draw on board 4 against his much higher graded opponent, and Chris Rhodes won his game on bd 3 against experienced opposition. The match was clinched as Rick Renegade created havoc on bd 1 putting the Newcastle player under much time pressure leading to an error that left a clear win.

The A team head the SCS table with 6 pts from 4 matches, while Newcastle have completed their schedule with 6 pts from 6, heading our B team on 4pts from 4 and Alsager with 2 pts from 4.

Next week sees the B team travel to Alsager who may throw a spanner in the works if they win both their remaining matches.

Full details can be accessed from the League Management Tab of the NSDCA website.

Trio stumble at Midland Championships

Three of our members headed off to West Brom this weekend to contest the Midland Minor Championship for players graded U130. Dave Price and Rick Renegade (playing his first ever congress) were ranked 6th and 7th at the outset with grades of 125 each, while Les Hall started as 38th seed out of a field of 47.

Rick faired best to finish with 3/5 with a performance of 115 having played the ultimate 3rd place player and another to finish joint 4th. Both Dave and Les will probably be a little disappointed with their final scores of 2/5 and 1/5 respectively.

SCS B team hold Alsager to a draw

The South Cheshire Shield B team again punched above their weight in their latest match at home to Alsager on Wednesday night. Despite being some 100 grading points adrift of the opposition they held on for an excellent draw to take them 2nd in the Shield Table and maintain the possibility of winning the comp. Despite a loss on top board the team managed a 2-2 draw as Les Hall continued his fine form from the British Congress with a draw on board 2, and Richard Hind continued his recent progress with a further draw on board 4. The highlight for the team was a second consecutive win for junior Harry Gardiner.

Meanwhile in the club’s summer Rapid-play tournament Neville Layhe extended his lead with two further wins as his closest challenger, Rick Renegade only managed one game with a draw.