Tuesday night saw our team travel up to Chester to take on the host’s C team for a 1st division relegation encounter. Chester C were one of three teams just 1/2 point ahead of us at the foot of the table. Early signs were positive as Olawale Titiloye smashed through an opponents weak castled King-side to give us an early lead and at this stage all Crewe players were in the ascendancy. The tide slowly turned as Chester’s higher grades started to shine through and one by one put our team to the sword to runaway with a 4-1 win. We have one match remaining against Hoylake 1 who confirmed their league winning status on Wednesday night after a draw with previous champions Penyffordd. We need a win to have any possibility of avoiding the drop and even that may not be enough as Wallasey 1 and Chester D still have games to play.
The C team suffered their worst defeat of the season last night playing against Fenton B. Going into the match the NSDCA Division 4 title was within their control, but following the big loss of 0.5 -3.5 now need a miracle to share top spot as leaders Cheddleton E have completed their season with 18 match pts and 33 game points, meaning the C team need to win both of their remaining matches by score of 4-0 as we trail Chedd E by 4 match pts and 8 game pts. To make it that much harder The C team face 3rd place Chedd F in their final match who will overtake our team if they get any pts from their game in hand. The only saving grace from last night was the whitewash was avoided when Dave Price salvaged a draw on board 2. Their next match is against Alsager B on 5th April.
The club had 4 players at this weekend’s Newcastle Mini Congress with Karl Lockett scoring 4 pts to win the U 160 section. Congratulations to Karl.
In the U130 section we had Dave Price and Doug Barnett, where Dave finished 3rd with 2.5 pts and details of Doug’s exploits are not yet known.
In the U100 section Les Hall finished 2nd with 3 pts.
Full details of the Congress will be published on Newcastle’s website in due course as well as the League’s NSDCA website.
Last night the C team hosted Cheddleton F in a NSDCA Division 4 match with both teams in pursuit of the title. Before the match the C team were 2 points behind leaders Cheddleton E with 3 games in hand and Cheddleton F trailed our C team by 2 points. Captain Dave Price on board 2 escaped with a draw when under pressure from Sandra Blackburn and top board Doug Barnett could not escape from an excellent mate set up by Roger Edwards after a piece sacrifice. Mike Williams lost on time when a pawn down against Caroline Mountford on board 3 and James Marshall fought on to win in a late finish on board 4.
Final Result Crewe C 1.5-2.5 Cheddleton F.
This result leaves both teams on 14 pts from 11 matches, behind Cheddleton E on 16pts from 13 matches. The champions should emerge from these 3 teams as we have to play Cheddleton F again in our last match of the season.
The B team made it 4 wins in a row last night by beating Cheddleton D 2.5-1.5. Wins on top board by Karl Lockett and bottom board Simon Layhe, keeping up his 100% record for the NSDCA season added to skipper Martin Gill’s draw to keep up the B team’s impressive run in 2017. If only ….. is the story of their season. This win takes them to 12 pts from 11 matches and still only occupy 6th place in the Division 3 table which is quite unusual for any team scoring more match points than games played.
The C team hosted Division 4 league leaders, Cheddleton E last night and were up against a team within 1 grading point of the maximum allowed. We got off to a cracking start when Simon Layhe won on board 4 to keep up his 100% record in the NSDCA this season. Soon after draws were agreed on boards 1 and 2 by Doug Barnett and Dave Price. Special mention should be made as Doug was playing a 165 grade opponent and was good value after a typical early piece sacrifice was later rewarded with extra material. James Marshall kept up his 50% record for the C team with a sound draw to ensure the team were victorious. This result leaves the C team on level match points with Ched E and with two matches in hand. We face Ched’s F team next for the first of two crucial matches against them, while they have a game in hand and trail our C team by 4 points.
The A team traveled to Newcastle last night to take on the hosts C team in a Division 2 match. First over the line was Neville Layhe on board 4 keeping up his top scoring efforts for the team. Olawale Titiloye continued his impressive run of results with another win as Karl Lockett and Chris Rhodes stumbled to defeats to leave David Hulme playing on top board against his 187 grade opponent. Having offered a draw on 3 occasions he was forced to play on and was fortunate to win an endgame despite having trailed by 3 pawns at one stage. The “A” team won 3-2 to go second in the table and only trail leaders Cheddleton B on game points who they play next week at the AMAL club.
This weekend saw 6 of our members go to Blackpool to take part in the annual congress. This is one of the biggest congresses in England with 350 competitors taking part in 5 sections.
In the Intermediate section (Under 155 grade) Neville Layhe scored a creditable 50% with 2.5 pts. Although results from this section do not appear on the Chess Results Server, it is understood that most of Neville’s opponents were from the upper end of the section, so this performance would be well above his current grade of 132.
In the Minor Section (U135) Martin Gill scored even better with 3/5 and a performance rating of nearly 140. Dave Price scored 2/5 in the same section having played the outright winner in the 1st Round.
In the standard section (U115) we had 3 players. Chris Rhodes was our outstanding player with 4/5 and should end up with some prize money. Simon Layhe performed very well too scoring approx 50% against higher graded players and secretary Les Hall was as game as ever but could only muster 1 point from 5 rounds.
Last night saw the Perry Trophy semi-final for players graded under 110 take place at Keele University. Crewe seemed to have a strong team on paper with Chris Rhodes and Mike Williams both graded 105 playing above James Marshall and skipper Les Hall. The early report back from our skipper showed we had been knocked-out by virtue of board count after a 2-2 draw, with our wins coming on boards 3 and 4 from James and Les. However it later emerged that the University team included a player whose grade exceeded the 110 limit, and therefore that game was scored to us when their player had won the over the board game. Therefore the scoreline became 3-0 to us, as a further point is deducted from an overgraded team. We will go on to face Cheddleton in the final as we attempt to defend the Cup we won last year.
Last night saw the B team host Alsager A in a NSDCA Division 3 match. The visitors were hoping to gain top spot in the division with our team languishing 2nd bottom of the division. Doug Barnett completed a typical swash-buckling win on board 2, before Martin Gill won the skippers battle on board 3 to put us 2-0 in the lead. Nigel Gardner produced the result of the night taking a draw against his 105 grade opponent to ensure the B team were home and hosed before the Board 1 game was settled. A superb game developed as Karl Lockett put the pressure on for the hosts. A missed opportunity from Karl allowed John Booth to emerge a pawn up in a Knight and pawns ending, which was too strong to be stopped. The final score was 2.5-1.5 for our Bees, who have belatedly hit some form but much too late to retain their division 3 champion status of last season.
Full details are available on the link below to the NSDCA website.
Tuesday night saw our team lose a close contest against mid-table Wallasey 2. Our captain was optimistic of a positive result when the opposition arrived missing their regular board 1, with all their players moving up a board. For our part there was a bit of board switching to equalize black and white games through the season. An early draw for Olawale Titiloye on board 3 arrived when his opponent defended accurately in a messy position, where playing on would have left us a pawn down. Next up we fell on board 5 where Chris Rhodes was outgraded as normal in the 1st division. A draw on board 4 for Neville Layhe was a good result against his 150 grade opponent, leaving us 2-1 down and top two boards in play with both Karl Lockett (on bd 1) and David Hulme seeming to have winning opportunities. Unfortunately Karl’s advantage evaporated just before David was about to convert his. This defeat leaves us as near certainties for relegation as competitors Wallasey 1 beat champions Penyffordd the previous night to send us back into bottom position.
Full league tables are available on the Wirral League Website, from the link below.