This week Crewe took on cheddleton twice. The first game was at home Under 130 Cup.It was a hard fought match on all boards. It could have gone either way at various times. A particularly impressive performance by Amy who continues her great performance. Crewe won 3 – 2 We will now face Newcastle in the Intermediate Cup Final on Wednesday 11th April.
Our Division 4 team Crewe D took a trip to Chedddleton to play the top team in division 4.This time we were not so lucky and lost to Cheddleton 2.5 – 1.5
Wednesday, Crewe hosted 3 teams all captained by Dave P the Under 150 Cup, E team and F team.
Crewe faced Newcastle in the U150 cup, Board 3 was the first to finish and no surprises as Doug and John agreed a draw. Board 1 fell to Newcastle and shortly after Dave P was happy with a draw. Newcastle secured the win after a draw on board 5. Nev played on but after a long game a blunder gave Newcastle 3.5-1.5 win
Crewe E played against Meir C and and as always fought hard. Amy had another good win. Chris was the last to finish and a very good game to watch but despite his efforts the team only managed a draw as Meir C being the first team to steal a point from Crewe E.
Crewe F faced Cheddleton G. Thanks to Josh who played his first game for our F team. Tough games all round for our team and we only managed 2-2 draw. But it was nice to see Harry use his time wisely and secured a good win on board 2.
Crewe have faced Cheddleton in four matches this week, and thanks to our division 5 teams we have managed two wins each. Wednesday night saw our D team play high-flying Cheddleton F in division 4 and our “F” team playing Chedd H. Chedd F proved too strong for our D team where skipper Les Hall was our lone victor and Neville Layhe gained a top board draw. The F team gained both points thanks to big grading advantages on bottom two boards with Steve Ballantyne and Phil Wright picking up wins and backed up by captain Dave Price’s draw on top board.
Friday night saw Crewe “A” take on Chedd’s C team and our division 5 table topping “E” team take on Chedd G. The “A” team came away disappointed after a loss by 3.5-1.5 as only skipper David Hulme could muster a win and Neville gained his second draw of the week. The “E” team had a near 100 point grade advantage and did just enough to keep up their 100% record. Draws from Doug Barnett, unbeaten pair Steve Ballantyne and captain Nigel Gardner left the match in the hands of junior Amy Lovatt on bd 2. Amy played maturely to win a battle of very promising junior players which took her tally to an impressive 6/6 for the “E”s who extended their lead at the top of the table to 5 points. Harry Gardiner played an extra graded game on bd 5 and managed to win another game between two more promising youngsters.
Monday our F team played against Meir B.
Les was the first to fall in super quick time and was checkmated in only 16 moves!
Board 3 was next to fall, then Captain Dave P secured our teams first win of the night. All eyes on board 2 Simon, the game could have easily fallen in favour of Meir but Simon fought on and his win meant a 2-2 draw.
Wednesday was another busy night at the mal’s with the B team playing against Kidsgrove and our C team against Fenton C. It was great results for both teams the B team had a convincing win 3-1. The C team went one better and won 4-0
For those of you waiting for the January grades they are now out
Well done to all the players who’s grades have improved
Rick Renegade now has an official ECF grade of 135 and Philip Wright ECF grade of 69
Especially well done to our young players
Amy has jumped from 83 – 118
Harry Gardiner moved from 31-76
See player list for all grade changes.
There were 3 matches to report on for last week, with the B team travelling to play Fenton B on Monday, the “A” team hosting Holmes Chapel Rooks and a division 4 derby between our C & D teams.
Martin Gill’s B team was missing his top two regulars at Fenton, so was pleased to come away from Fenton with a share of the match. Doug Barnett and Martin picked up draws on boards 2 & 3 as Chris Rhodes superb run continued with another win to extend his record to 14 unbeaten matches in the NSDCA this season. The B team lead division 3 by the slender margin of 1 pt and face Kidsgrove this coming week.
The “A” team had quite a big grading advantage over the Rooks and were favourites to win. Wins came for David Hulme and Karl Lockett with a draw for Olawale Titiloye. The highlight for the team was giving an A-team debut to promising youngster Amy Lovatt. Although Amy was slightly outgraded she played with great maturity to win her game when lesser players might have grabbed the material on offer she managed to deliver a mating attack. This win leaves the team 3rd in the table but some way behind the top two.
The D team managed to overturn the C team thanks to wins from Neville Layhe and Dylan Sayers with a draw for Martin Gill. The C team’s only winner was junior Harry Gardiner again beating an opponent graded over 50 pts higher. Dylan’s win keeps up his 100% record for the season so far, despite his limited opportunity to play matches. The D team face Cheddleton F in their next match, where a win would put the team in the title mix.
Wednesday night saw another two matches at the AMAL, with the “A” team taking on Cheddleton C in division 2, and top of division 5 “E” team hosting Meir B.
The “E” team were hot favourites to keep up their 100% record and duly did the business. Junior Amy Lovatt continued her perfect record for the team and set the wheels in motion with a win on bd 2 before Steve Ballantyne made it 2-0 to retain his unbeaten record. Chris Rhodes then followed in Steve’s shoes to make it 3-0 before skipper Nigel Gardner earned a draw. All four players are currently unbeaten for the “E” team this season who have a healthy 5 point lead at the top of the table. They have a crucial run of three matches in 8 days starting on 31st January against their title contenders.
The “A” team returned to winning ways as Rick Renegade, David Hulme and Karl Lockett all gained victories as Ola Titiloye did all the hard work on top board holding out for a draw against his 178 grade opponent. The team is fighting to stay in the top half of the division 2 table with a record of 8pts from 7 matches.
Friday night saw our C team travel to take on Cheddleton F in a division 4 match with the opposition holding a 100% record. Amy Lovatt completed another win to give us hope of toppling the league leaders, but the team narrowly failed by 2.5-1.5 as only Dave Price could add to our score with a draw.
Next week should see another full house at the AMAL with the “A” team hosting Holmes Chapel Rooks and the C team playing the D in a division 4 derby where hopefully there will be some extra games played for grading purposes.
The new year started with two matches at the AMAL last night. In division 2 the “A” team hosted league leaders Cheddleton “B”, while the “E” and “F” teams fought out a division 5 derby.
The top of the table “E” team were out-graded on paper due to the vagaries of estimated grades and F-grades employed under league rules and were set for a tough challenge. The first game to finish was the junior battle on board 4 where Harry Gardiner comfortably defeated his opponent to put the “E” team in the lead. Next to finish was the E’s other junior as Amy Lovatt won the bd 2 game against Les Hall. Amy kept up her 100% record for the team and has now scored 10/12 in all games since the South Cheshire Shield started. Both Harry and Amy are improving rapidly and it is expected both players grades should jump when the new grades are released around the end of January. The remaining games were close affairs before Chris Rhodes capitalised on errors in the bd 1 game to make it 3-0. The final game to finish saw Phil Wright hold Nigel Gardner to a draw. This result leaves the E team four points clear at the top of the table (with a maximum 12 pts from 6 matches), although lower down Meir C are the closest challengers (with 5 pts from just 4 matches). The “E” team are at home to Meir B next week.
The “A” team put up a good fight against runaway leaders Cheddleton B, with David Hulme (bd 4) and Rick Renegade (bd 5) winning, while there were losses incurred on boards 1 and 3 to leave the match delicately poised at 2-2 with Karl Lockett playing Bill Armstrong on bd 2. These two have met a number of times in the last couple of seasons and usually their games “go the distance” and last night was no exception. This was a hum-dinger of a game as advantage went too and fro with both players deep into increment time. One moment it looked like Karl had the upper hand with approx 5 minutes left against Bill’s 2 minutes around the 40 move mark. As the players thrashed out a further 30 moves or so Bill’s experience allowed him to gain a secure winning advantage to leave Karl forced into resignation. So for the second consecutive match, Cheddleton B beat Crewe A to effectively eliminate the “A” team from the title race. The “A” team are at home to Cheddleton C next week.
With only one match this week for Crewe, the “B” team had a chance to extend their lead at the top of the division 3 table when they went to face Meir’s “A” team. The team found themselves at a disadvantage as our leading scorer failed to turn up causing a default on bd 2. We managed to score 50% from the three players there with Neville Layhe picking up a win on top board covering for regular player Karl Lockett, while Chris Rhodes gained a draw on bd 4 extending his unbeaten run in the NSDCA this season to 11 games, which is something our writer can only dream about !
This win for Meir has really opened up the door at the top of division 3 with several teams all within 2 pts of our B team.
It was a shame for the B team to lose their 100% record this way, but who knows if it would have made any difference in any case.
The weather was the main winner this week as our two home matches were postponed and our brave soldiers from the “A” team took on the challenge of getting to Cheddleton on a freezing Friday night.
The opposition (Cheddleton B) were riding high at the top of division 2 before the match, with our “A” team sitting in 3rd place but with games in hand to catch the leaders. The late arrival of our top two players unsettled our captain as the match began. First blood went to the hosts as junior Sam Parry found a way to break through against previously unbeaten Neville Layhe on bd 5 after Sam had offered the draw. Matters got worse when our big-hitter Rick Renegade was battered into submission by the experienced Jon Blackburn on bd 3. A superb performance on bd 1 from Ola Titiloye gained a draw against the highest graded player (194) in the division despite starting down approx 15 minutes on the clock, to leave Karl Lockett on bd 2 and David Hulme on bd 4 looking for wins. David was in a dominant position and exchange ahead before blundering back the exchange in another moment of chess blindness as he attempted an illegal move when in check. Allowing himself into a time trap he was put to the sword by Sandra Blackburn who must have been delighted with her best of season result which confirmed Chedd B would win the match. Karl Lockett on bd 2 went on to win a fine game and continue his good run of recent form.
This was the “A” team’s first defeat of 2017 and should have been avoided had our captain not blundered or we had accepted the draw offers given to us on bottom two boards. At least we get chance for revenge as the return match is scheduled first week in the New year.
Next week is a quiet week for matches with only the B team playing at Meir before the Christmas break.