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.
Last night the E team came off second best against Cheddleton’s I team in division 5 suffering a 4-0 whitewash. However it was not all bad news as we gave league debuts to two juniors, Charlie Dodd and Amy Lovatt. It is hoped this will prove to be the first of many league matches for them. Even experienced players Dave Price and Les Hall failed to register on the scoreboard. The E Team also have the opportunity to reverse fortunes as the postponed home game against the same opposition has been arranged for May 17th.
No it’s not a school report, but results from last nights matches. Starting with the B team, wins for Ola Titiloye and Doug Barnett together with draws from Karl Lockett and Martin Gill ensured Newcastle D went home empty handed. So eventually the B team are on the move with two consecutive wins – like the proverbial buses. Conversely the D team went to Newcastle and suffered the exact reverse, a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the hosts F team. The only ray of light was an excellent result for James Marshall picking up our single point with a win. The E team hosted Fenton C and found the visitors employing a Mr Default on board 4, so should have been optimistic looking for both points. The visitors fought hard with a win on board 1, and draws on boards 2 & 3 with our Mike Williams and Dylan Sayers respectively. Watching the board 3 game was great entertainment for any spectators and a stalemate ensued with one player having a bishop and 3 pawns against a lone king, after his opponent sacked his opposite coloured bishop to leave the draw ! So honours even as Fenton pursue the Division 5 title.
The Wirral team picked up a glorious half point from tonight’s drawn match against Chester B. Luck smiled on us as our opponents were missing two of their top three players graded 198 and 185. Still heavily outgraded on 3 boards it was a surprise result and a bonus in the relegation battle. An early win on board 4 for Ola against a loose Scandinavian set us on our way before David Hulme was outgunned on top board. Neville Layhe took a kind draw offer when a pawn down in an endgame but was probably fair value. Chris on board 5 missed a chance to trap a knight which may have given him a draw but it was not to be against his 140 grade opponent. Meanwhile Karl forced a superb win on board 2 as he put his opponent under immense positional and time pressure. Next week we face a Wallasey 2 team in fine form already secure in mid table and outperforming their big brothers Wallasey 1. This draw takes Crewe off the bottom of the table temporarily but still in need of further points.
See link below for latest Wirral League Tables
The U150 Major Cup team travelled to cup holders and favourites Cheddleton last night as overwhelming underdogs. The match went to form as Cheddleton won 3.5-1.5, but from all accounts was closer than result suggests. Early losses on boards 1 and 4 did not help our cause, with the three others putting up a spirited fight. On board 2 Neville Layhe secured a draw to leave Ola Titiloye on board 3 and Dave Price on board 5 in play. Ola managed to win a long end game while Dave eventually fell on his own sword from a promising position. Cheddleton will face either Fenton or Newcastle in the final.
Neville Layhe has surged ahead in the “A section” of the winter tourney with 3 wins from 4 games. Closest contender is unbeaten Karl Lockett with 1.5 pts from 2 games. Several players have yet to take part in the tourney.
In the B section we have five players all on one point so there is all to play for. Simon Layhe, James Marshall and Dylan Sayers all have 1 from 1 and Steve Ballantyne and Les Hall have 1 from 2.
The Winter Tourney is there to provide competitive chess when members are not involved in league matches, and with a heavy fixture schedule for the club it is proving difficult to get many games played. The tourney will run to 31st May, so hopefully members can get the majority of their games played.
New members will be encouraged to join in the appropriate section for their ability.