We started our Cup campaigns this month with two of our four teams in action.
On Wednesday 17th our “Open” team travelled to Newcastle and despite missing several top players we still massively outrated our opponents. It was therefore no surprise that we ran out winners, with 5 wins and a draw from the 6 board match. Successes came from Lee Farrington (bd 1), Harry Gardiner (3), Andrew Raeburn (4), Karl Lockett (5) and David Lambton (6) while skipper Martin Burns settled for a draw. We will face the winner of Alsager vs Fenton in the final.
On Tuesday 30th, we had just one match at the club – our quitest match night of the season so far, as our U1375 team faced Kidsgrove in the Perry Trophy. Unfortunately we were unable to defend the Cup we won last season as the visitors edged the match 3-1 with Mal being our only winner.
The club championships continue to be fiercely contested in all 3 sections. In division 1 Harry Gardiner has been in sparkling form scoring a superb 6.5 out of 7 so far including a win against defending club champion – Carmel Barwick. Cyrus Pereira is making a strong impression in his first year at the club and sits 2nd with 5.5/8. Then there is a gap to 3rd where Martin Burns has 3/7 and Neville Layhe 3/8.
In division 2, Richard Fish is making a determined effort to win promotion and is in the lead with 5.5/6. Youngster Oskar Jarzynski is 2nd with 3.5/6, and then we have Doug, Julian B and Chinenye on 3pts, with Chinenye on 100% so far and likely to make it a two-way fight with Richard for top spot.
Division 3 has the most players with 14 and youngster Jamie Roberts leads the pack with 5.5/7 ahead of Mike Keenan who has a perfect 4/4. Gerald Parton, Pete Kanalos and Tim Weston are all in pursuit on 3 pts each, but will need a slip from the two leaders to have a serious chance of winning this section.
Overall it has been a busy month for the club, with 61 paid up members and several more keen newcomers we have grown massively since moving to the St Mary’s Caritas Centre last June. Hopefully we will continue to attract new members to our friendly club, with facilities any club would be very proud of.
January’s summary – part 3
League Division 4 has two more of our teams participating – the G & H.
The Glorious Gees team appears to be galloping to the title after two wins and a draw (against nearest rivals Fenton D) this month. They were given a helping hand in the two home matches as Kidsgrove and Gables B arrived both defaulted a board. In the Kidsgrove match this was decisive as we were outrated slightly on all 3 boards but managed to hold onto draws in each game, which was enough to give us a 2.5-1.5 success. Against Gables B our team was too strong for the junior outfit especially as their top player was missing – so it was a comfortable 4-0 result. The most important match was away at Fenton D on the 23rd, where teams were rated at 5574 for Fenton and 5582 for the Gees as close as we’ve seen in any match under the new 4 digit rating system ! Pawel Stanny had the key win top board, with draws from captain Steve Ballantyne and recent new member Mal Green. After 1o matches the G team are unbeaten with 18 pts holding a 7 pts advantage over the chasing pack who have a game in hand.
The H team on the other hand had a very mixed month, recording their first 4-0 win and their heaviest defeat 3.5-0.5 and another loss at the start of the month. on 2nd January it was a Historic Night for Hs as we fielded our first ever all junior team to play against Gables B – another all junior outfit ! We took this opportunity to give two new members their first ever competitive matches – Finlay Charbonneau and Jack Haspell. James Coney had a good draw against a much higher rated opponent and Andrew Caccamo had our sole success in the narrow defeat 1.5-2.5. On 16th Jan we put out a more experienced team against Fenton (the G team’s closest rivals) and ran out 4-0 winners with wins from Ebube Christian, Kobus Nienaber, Adam Fields and Tim Weston. Our match at Alsager D (on 23rd) was one of 5 matches on the night, and we narrowly avoided a whitwash thanks to Kobus salvaging a draw on board 1.
The contrast between our two teams in this division could not be starker, as the Gs have a very settled team with Steve, Jamie Roberts and Pawel being ever present and Mal now being the other player. The H team have so far employed 16 club members in an effort to make sure all club members get the chance to play in the league !
January’s summary – part 2
In League division 2 our C and D teams played 3 matches between them. The C team came unstuck at Holmes Chapel B (Thursday 11th) in a 3-1 reverse where our only win came on board 4 from Ebube Christian, despite us having a good rating advantage. However in the next match against Stafford (on Friday 26th) the fortunes changed with a surprising win against higher rated opponents. Karl Lockett played a captain’s innings here to win on board 1. Meanwhile chairman Dave got a birthday present with another win on board 4, and Julian Hawthorne escaped a lost endgame as his opponent stalemated him in time trouble. final score 2.5-1.5 to the C team, helping our D team in the process as Stafford are potential rivals.
The D team had one match in January, with a top of the table clash against Fenton B. It was a tough match as expected ending in a 2-2 draw with “top and tail” wins for skipper David Lambton and Chinenye. This draw maintained the one point lead at the top of the table over Fenton, with Alsager B chasing the leaders in this tight division. While Stafford currently sit 7th in the table they have 4 games in hand to catch our D team on points and possibly overtake them on board points. David L and George B are jointly leading the div 2 player charts with scores of 6/8.
In League division 3 our E & F teams had 3 matches each in the month. The E team will proably feel a little disappointed with just one win and two defeats. Against Fenton C it was a one sided match with our team having a 900 pts rating advantage, with wins from Joe, Nigel and Richard while George B was held to a draw. We would have had high hopes going into the Alsager (C) match but came home with nothing to show for our efforts despite draws from Nigel and Joe. On the 23rd we hosted the league leaders Gables “A”. It was no surprise we came off second best against a team with the highest rated player (Chris Hankey) in the division and a rising junior star (Dylan Whitney) with a 100% record. Draws from Richard and Adam were good rewards against the likely champions.
The F team continued their trend of “draw masters” with two match draws (away at Alsager C and Cheddleton C) to extend a probable league record of 6 consecutive draws before breaking the habit and cruising to a 4-0 win over Cheddleton D on the 23rd. The F team remain unbeaten this season after 8 matches with 2 wins and 6 draws. It is unlikely the team can catch the leaders, but there could be a possibility if the wheels come off at the Gables.
There was a lovely line from Neville Layhe in response to the captain’s comments on yet another draw after the Cheddleton C match;
“I’m happy that we are on course for winning the prize for being the most average, unadventurous, unambitious, un-glory seeking, friendly team in the league.”
January’s summary – part 1
We’ve had our busiest month ever playing 19 matches, with the usual mixed bag of results (9 wins, 4 draws and 6 losses). There’s been plenty of progress in the Club Championship (3 sections), and the addition of more players to the club.
Starting with NSDCA League Division 1 – The “A” team continue to defend the title with a win against nearest challengers (at the time) Fenton “A”. Thanks to captain Martin Burns for the following report:
The champions still on top… and a record for the club
Wednesday 23rd saw the “A” team take a trip to the excellent Longton Snooker Club to play Fenton (at chess, no idea how we would get on at snooker).
it was a night when Crewe Chess Club had 5 teams playing at once, 2 of them against Fenton. Is this a record for our growing club?
Fenton were on great form so I was a bit nervous about this one.
we managed to get there OK, in spite of some disagreements with my sat-nav. like us, Fenton were missing one of their top players, but they still had a strong team out.
Harry is on great form for us at the moment. Not only is he running away with the Club Championship, but the last few games he has played for the “A” team he has knocked over his opponents quickly. This time he was a piece up early on, again, and he got a fast point for us. I had a bit of an advantage in my game against Petru’s anti-sicilian, but I managed to make a mess of it and things petered out to a draw.
I was confident Karl would get at least a draw against Mr Capatina. Karl had the bishop pair, but in a fairly closed postition he was struggling to break through. then his opponent blundered a piece. We had won the match. This left Bart, making a welcome return on top board (he has been spending far too much time in Poland for my liking).His position against Gerald Acey got more and more tense, and when they were both down to last couple of mintues they agreed a draw.
The result means we stay at the top of the league, though Crewe “B” are hot on our heals after a great win at Cheddleton.
thanks all from Martin B
Meanwhile the “B” team continue to punch above their weight. As we had not played since November we had slipped from 2nd in the table down to 5th by the time we travelled to Cheddleton on Friday the 26th. Without top board (Lee Farrington) and the highly rated Cyrus Pereira, we were up against it, but the Bees love a good fight as underdogs. Carmel took on the board 1 challenge with gusto and within an hour had beaten the 2000+ rated opponent. It was a long wait before any more results arrived as David Hulme battled to a draw on board 3. Thanks to David Lambton covering for our absentees he produced a thrilling win on board 4 as he struck first with a knight fork in an open king-side to win an exchange before mopping up enough pawns to secure victory. The final result of 2.5-1.5 for us sent us back up to 2nd in the table with 9pts from 7 matches, behind our defending champions on 11pts from 6 matches.