G team win Division 4 title

After a fantastic club night on Tuesday (27th), it emerged that our G team had secured the NSDCA div 4 title, as the nearest rivals (Fenton D) got beaten to leave the Gallant Gees with an uncatchable 7 points lead at the top of the table. The team has been superbly marshalled by captain Steve Ballantyne who has notched up 9.5 pts from 12 games to date. He has selected the most consistent team in the league with himself, Pawel Stanny and Jamie Roberts as ever-presents and the remaining games being shared by Phil Grocott and Malcolm Green (who is so keen he travels from Whitchurch to support the club). Pawel has taken the heat by playing top board all season and scored 6.5pts at 60%, but the star performer has been 12 year old Jamie scoring 10.5pts from 12 matches. Phil and Mal have secured 50% of the points from their games to make sure the team has been undefeated so far this season (one of just two teams out of 30 in the whole league).

Congratulations to Steve and the team !!

Although there were no matches at home last night the playing hall was jam packed with internal tournament games, as 34 members played in a mix of Club championship games (24 players), 2 in long play rated games and 8 in rapidplay rated games. Additionally there were 4 members playing social games and another 4 members playing for the “A” team at Alsager, to make it a club record of 42 members involved on a single night !

The club goes from strength to strength as we finish the month of February with five new members to take our membership numbers over the 70 mark – see the full list under the “Members” tab on the website home page.

4 matches this week as G team edge closer to division 4 title

Tuesday 13th Feb saw four of our teams in action. Starting with the B team in division 1 – they were beaten 3-1 at home by Alsager “A” who have moved to joint top of the table , although have played 2 more matches than the defending champions (our “A” team). The Bees were outgunned on boards 1 and 2, with Carmel and Martin F gaining draws on the other boards.

The C team also at home faired better in a 2-2 draw with Newcastle. All games were won with the white pieces, as captain Karl Lockett (bd 2) and Neville Layhe (bd 4) did the business for us. The C team have jumped from bottom of the table up to 3rd place, but trail the top two by 5 pts. This division remains the most closely contested with at least 4 teams very much in the title race (Alsager B, Crewe D, Fenton B and Stafford)

Division 4 leaders Crewe G played away vs Alsager D. Thanks to captain Steve Ballantyne for his comments on the match

“Another good win for the G team. 4 very tough games though. Malcolm on board 4 was a rook down early on, his opponent had a check mate but missed it, this was before 8.30pm. The next time I looked at board 4 Malcolm was a knight up in the end game and had a certain win. I offered Neil a draw in a very tight game, after 8 minutes thinking about it he accepted my offer. 5 minutes later Malcolm won. Jamie had a tough game, his opponent had 30 minutes to Jamie’s 5, but Jamie was up 2 pawns and won comfortably in the end. Pav was playing against a 9 year old who Neil rates very highly. The game finished at 10.25 with a close win for Pav. “

The G team need two points from their remaining three matches to secure the division 4 trophy.

The H team were at home against Cheddleton E. This was a very close match that could have gone either way. Unfortunately for us we lost narrowly 1.5-2.5. We started well as Finn Charbonneau won on bd 4, and then Matthew Dean got a draw by 3-fold repitition to put us in a strong position. We went down on board 2 to leave the scores level, and then in a winning position our latest debutant – Mario Scarpa – playing on bd 1, mistakenly picked up a wrong piece causing immediate loss. It was great to see Cheddleton’s team comprising three juniors, while we were able to give Mario his first game for the club and Finn played just his second as we continue to give experience to as many as possible, with 17 different members representing the H team so far this season !

In the Club Championship there were two games played in division 2 with wins for Doug Barnett and Dave Price, on a night where we had quite a few spectators watching the three matches in the main hall and approx 18 other members in the smaller room. Josh Cross also rejoined the club after a break of approx 4 years to take our current membership up to 65 members !

Mixed start to February

The busy schedule continued after 19 matches last month, we have 15 more lined up for February.

The E team kicked off the month on Friday 2nd, with a division 3 match away to Cheddleton D. Captain Nigel’s masterful planning ensured we fielded a full team despite many of the regular squad being unavailable. We still outrated the opposition by approx 250pts, compared to a 600+ advantage in the home game. Joe Moxon clocked up our only win on board 2, with the skipper drawing on board 3, and Pawel Stanny promoted into the team also drawing on board 4. Final score 2-2 leaves the E team midtable.

On Tuesday 6th, we had 3 teams in action (A,C&F) all at The Caritas Centre. The 1st division match saw the “A” team as league leaders take on Cheddleton “A” without our two highest rated players. Despite this we still managed to outrate the visitors slightly – manly on the lower boards. Giving up over 100 rating pts on each of the top two boards proved too much for us. However we were able to secure a comfortable draw as Karl Lockett forced home his advantage late on to conclude the match 2-2. The highlight for us came on board 3, where our new member Kamil Zak made his debut (becoming our 47th league player this season) and won in quick time to put us 1-0 up. The “A” team remain top of the league, unbeaten with 12 pts from 7 matches.

In division 3 our C team played Holmes Chapel B. With captain Karl Lockett required in the “A” team, the team needed cover. The early skirmishes ended in draws for both of our black games for Andrew Raeburn (bd 1) and Julian Hawthorne (bd 3). We managed to gain the upper hand in both white games as Neville Layhe won on bd 2, and Dave Price did likewise to finish the match with a flourish 3-1 for us.

Our F team faced a stronger than expected Cheddleton C team in division 3, and were without captain Dave Price who was called into duty for our own C team. The visitors had a very experienced team who were too strong for us and inflicted the first loss for the F team this season after an unbeaten run of 8 matches. The two youngest members of the team put up spirited fights as James Coney and Oskar Jarzynski both battled to well earned draws, as the team went down 1-3.

In the club championship division one, David Lambton added a win to his tally to stay in contention, and extended his unbeaten run to 18 games since early September, while his rating has moved from 1747 to 1843 making him the best improver in the club over this period !

In division 3 of the club events, there were wins for Mal Green and Mark Randell who keep themselves in the promotion battle.

January’s summary – part 4

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.

Brilliant way to end 2023 in the NSDCA League

A busy week has seen five of our eight league teams in action during the last week of fixtures for 2023.

Monday 11th December – Our G team ended the year as 4th division league leaders following a strong performance against the experienced Meir outfit. Wins from Steve Ballantyne, Malcolm Green, and Jamie Roberts were backed up with a draw from Pawel Stanny on top board to give a final score of 3.5-0.5. The team have amassed 13 pts from 7 matches and have a 5 point lead over 2nd placed Fenton D’s team. Youngster Jamie heads the scoring chart with a perfect 7/7, while skipper Steve has picked up 6 from 7.

Tuesday 12th December – saw two matches at the St Mary’s Centre, as our “A” team hosted Holmes Chapel A in div 1, the D team hosted Newcastle in div 2, and the F team travelled to play Fenton C in div 3.

The A team had a very tough encounter with Holmes Chapel. Harry Gardiner turned round a difficult position on board 4 to put us in the lead, and it was a long time before any other games finished. Slowly but surely the defending champions edged their way to success by the narrow margin of 2.5-1.5 as Martin Burns and Bart Fajfer secured draws, before Richard Lee earned a backs to the wall draw when under attack in the dying embers of increment time. The “A” team are making solid progress in their title defence, as they head the table at Xmas with 9 pts from 5 matches. The most serious challenge is likely to come from Fenton “A” who are 3 pts behind with a game in hand (vs Cheddleton “A” on 16th January) before we travel to Fenton for a typical 6-pointer on 23rd January !

The D team had a resounding win against a slightly higher rated Newcastle team. There were superb wins from captain David Lambton on board 1 and Martin Frisher on board 2, where both players were outrated. Martin secured the 4-0 whitewash after George Bulbeck and Chinenye Basil-Nwachuku completed more straight forward wins. This unexpected result takes the Dees top of the table with 11pts from 7 matches, in a very competitive division. 2nd placed Fenton B are on 9 pts with a game in hand, and as probable favourites are the highest rated team in the division, although Stafford could have the necessary strength to beat everyone have played only 3 matches to date and have a glut of fixtures towards the end of the season.

Crewe F have become the “draw masters” of the NSDCA with a 4th draw in 5 matches at Fenton. Neville Layhe churned out a top notch performance on board 1 to win his game, and captain Dave Price ensured the spoils were shared as he also won with the white pieces. We could not chalk up anything with the black bits so ended up with a fourth consecutive drawn match, which leaves the team in 3rd place unbeaten with 6 pts from 5 matches. Leaders Gables “A” look to be strong favourites for the div 3 title.

Our final league match of 2023, saw our “H” team travel to Kidsgrove for a 4th division match. Thanks to the support of our members we managed to take 9 players to the Red Bull Pub in Kidsgrove much to the delight of our hosts. According to their secretary Julian Cook, this was probably the biggest number of chess players involved in a match at Kidsgrove for approx 30 years. There were some great results for our players as Mark Randell and Kobus Nienaber put us 2-0 in the lead and Julian Hawthorne made his first appearance of the season to secure the match with a 3rd win. Final score 3-1.

Although Kidsgrove edged the “extra games” 3-2, the overall evening was a great success played in a very friendly atmosphere. Our wins came from Matthew Dean and Dave Price, but the real winner was Chess.

Wins for Teams A,G,H and D

A successful week for our teams has seen four wins.

Monday 4th December – The league champions (A team) travelled to Macclesfield in search of revenge from last season’s shock defeat and were in determined mood. All four players contributed to the scoreboard with two wins on the white boards from skipper Martin Burns (bd 1) and Andy Raeburn. Draws with black by Harry Gardiner (bd 2) and Karl Lockett secured the match 3-1, to take the team joint top of the league on 7pts from 4 games, joining our own B team who have played 6 games.

Tuesday 5th – saw our two 4th division teams in action at The Caritas Centre. League leaders – the G team hosted Cheddleton E and our H team hosted Meir. G team skipper Steve Ballantyne set the ball rolling with a win on bd 4, with young Jamie Roberts promoted to board 2 adding another win to keep up his 100% record with 6/6. Pawel Stanny did the necessary to hold out for a draw and ensure the team stay top and unbeaten with a narrow win 2.5-1.5. With nearest rivals Kidsgrove unexpectedly losing, they now have a 4pts lead although Kidsgrove do have a game in hand ahead of the top of the table clash on 2nd January.

The H team fielded a very different team thanks to our system of squad rotation and were underdogs against the experienced Meir team. Matthew Dean played superbly to win on bd 3, and was soon followed by Gerald Parton on bd 4 to make it 2-0. Reinhard Haack added a 3rd win for the team and Mike Keenan held on for a draw to give a decisive team win 3.5-0.5. Also there were two extra rated games played.

Thursday 7th – the D team made the short trip to Holmes Chapel for a 2nd division match against the host’s B team. With teams fairly evenly rated (approx 100pts differential) Captain David Lambton had a sound win on board 1, before George Bulbeck completed a convincing win on bd 3. A fortunate win on bd 2 by David Hulme ensured victory 3-1. This result keeps the D team level on 9 points with leaders Fenton B with a deficit of half a board point after 6 matches.

Bee-Gees are Top of the Pops

Tuesday night (28th Nov) was a quiet night at the club compared to recent weeks. There was just one match at the club – the 4th division return derby between our G&H teams. With no visiting teams at the club, we still had 34 members in attendance.

The derby saw the H team underdogs put up quite a fight against the table topping G team. Tim Weston got the H team off to a good start with a win on board 4. It was great to see Reinhard Haack back at the club for his first visit in over a year, but it was to a baptism of fire against one of our rapidly improving juniors – Jamie Roberts. Reinhard may have been a little rusty but he could do nothing to stop Jamie, who levelled the match for the Gees, and doing so extended his run to a perfect 5/5 for the leaders. There were hard fought battles on boards 1 and 2 where no quarter was given or taken, with draws being the conclusion in both games. Pawel Stanny & Phil Grocott got the vital draws for the Gees, while Kobus Nienaber and Malcolm Green ensured the H team came out honours even. Final score 2-2, leaves the unbeaten G team top of division 4 with 9 pts from 5 matches, with Kidsgrove chasing them down also unbeaten with 7 pts from 4 matches.

There were seven internal tournament games played. In div 1 Karl Lockett and Martin Burns added one more point, while Club champion Carmel Barwick started her defence of the trophy with a draw against Andy Raeburn. In div 2 Chinenye Basil Nwachuku notched up another win. Division 3 saw wins for Mike Keenan keeping up his 100% record with a 4th win, as Gerald Parton and Daniel Parkin were also successful on the night.

Thursday 30th November – the B team made the short trip to face a very strong Holmes Chapel “A” team. Captain David Hulme got the Bees off to a superb start winning with the black pieces in just 25 moves against an opponent rated nearly 200 pts higher on board 4. Holmes Chapel levelled on board 2 where two rooks and five pawns proved too much against Rook, Bishop. Knight and three pawns as the B&N could not work in tandem. Next to finsh was board 1, where Lee Farrington had to familiarise himself with how to move first, as this was the first league game he had white pieces in 13 months ! In a very composed and controlled game he forced a minor piece exchange that left his opponent with an isolated pawn that would eventually fall. After creating a queen side pass-pawn he managed the end game to force the win with two active rooks and five pawns pushing against two defensive rooks and four pawns. Simon Layhe was in the ascendancy on board 3, and took advantage of a spacial advantage to tie down his opponents pieces to defensive chores, before a central pawn push deflected away defences to create a mating attack on the centralised king. Final score 3-1 to the Bees who now sit top of the League’s Div 1 table with 7pts having played 6 matches. With all other teams have several games in hand it won’t be long before the high-flying Bees are overtaken.

More of the Same Repeated- Mixed Results

Tuesday 21st was another superb night at the club, with the “A” team hosting Alsager “A”; the B team playing Macclesfield, and the E vs F division 3 derby.

The “A” team were at full strength for the first time this season with Richard Lee and Bart Fajfer on the top two boards, ably supported by captain Martin Burns on 3, and Harry Gardiner on 4. What looked on paper to be a one-sided match with the visitors missing their top two players, proved to be anything but plain sailing. The deciding factor was Harry’s early win, followed by draws in the other three games, to give a marginal win for the “A” team – 2.5 vs 1.5, to take us to 5 pts from 3 matches just behind leaders Fenton “A”.

The B team were also at full strength with Lee Farrington on 1, Carmel Barwick on 2, Simon Layhe on 3 and Cyrus Pereira playing his first game for the Bees. Cyrus blew away his opponent in under an hour to put us in the lead. Carmel’s attack was too much to withstand on 2, and Simon slowly strangled any life out of the opposition on 3, to secure the match with a 3-0 lead. Final score 3-1.

The E vs F clash was always going to be a close call,with less than 200 rating points separting the teams. Kobus Nienaber won for Es on bd 4, while nothing separated the games on 2 & 3 to give the Es a 2-1 lead. F team skipper Dave Price salvaged the match for the F team with a win. Final score 2-2

In addition to the 3 matches, there were a further 4 games played in the Club Championship. Neville Layhe won in div 1; Julian Bulbeck and Ebube Christian drew in div 2. Jamie Roberts extended his lead in div 3 with another full point in a cracking game with Malcolm, and Andrew Caccamo held Mark Randell to a draw.

On Friday (24th) our H team made the journey to Cheddleton to play their E team in div 4. Chedd’s youngsters got the upper hand with wins on 3 & 4, before Tim Weston chalked up a win for us on board 2. This left new member Malcolm Green in play on top board, who fought valliantly to get the win but was denied at the last gasp and could only draw. Final score 1.5 – 2.5. With thanks to Dave Price for taking 3 of our players to the match, who enjoyed a (drawn) rated game with one of the members from Cheddleton.

More of the same – Mixed Results

Another brilliant night at the club on Tuesday (14th) saw 3 league matches, 6 Club Championship games, and another new member amongst approx 50 chess players including the visiting teams.

The return league division 1 derby went in favour of the league champions (our “A” team) with a 3-1 success over the battling Bees (B team). Karl Lockett set the champions on the way as he nullified David Hulme’s over extended attack before delivering the knockout blow. The B team drew level as Simon Layhe won on board 2, but the champions showed their superior class with wins from captain Martin Burns on bd 1 and Andrew Raeburn on board 3.

In league division 3, our F team played league leaders Gables “A”. The Gables team comprises an experienced captain on board 1 supported by three rapidly improving youngsters, while our F team has two similar juniors. First blood went to one of our juniors James Coney on board 4, before the visitors equalised on board 3. There was a superb result on board 1 as debutant Cyrus Pereira outplayed their captain, but the visitors had the final say with a win by Dylan Whitney on board 2. Final score 2-2, leaving the Gables at the top of the table with 7pts, while our F team have 4pts (in 4th position) with a game in hand.

In divsion 4 our G team were too strong for the visiting Alsager “D” team which mainly comprises newcomers to league chess. There were comfortable wins for captain Steve Ballantyne (bd 4), Jamie Roberts (bd3) and Pawel Stanny (bd 1) while Phil Grocott settled for a draw on bd 2. Final score 3.5-0.5 to maintain the G team’s 100% record, leading the table by 1pt from Kidsgrove who we have yet to play.

In the Internal Club Championship it was great to see 12 of our members all in action including our latest new member Malcolm Green joining the div 3 section. In div 1 David Lambton notched his 1st win, while Richard Fish and Joe Moxon shared the points in div 2. Meanwhile in div 3 there were wins for newcomer Malcolm, Gerald Parton, Timothy Weston and Mark Randell.

Friday 17th Nov – our D team headed off to Cheddleton to face their B team in a league div 2 match with the D’s being strong favourites at the top of the table against the bottom of the table side. In a match where teams were almost identically rated, we fell to our first defeat of the season by the narrow margin of 2.5-1.5. Our sole success came from Joe Moxon on bd 4, while captain David Lambton kept up his impressive results with a draw to remain unbeaten this season. Despite the loss the D team stay top of div 2 for now, as nearest challengers (Fenton B) also lost at Stafford.

More Mixed Results

It’s been a busy two weeks since my last posting, so we have six results to report on, more additions to our membership and further progress with our 3 sections in the Club Championship.

31st October: the second league div 2 derby between our C and D teams ended up with a repeat win for the D’s by 2.5-1.5. Wins for Martin Frisher and George Bulbeck supported by a draw from Dave Lambton were enough to overcome Ebube Christian’s lone success for the C team as Andrew Raeburn’s draw was not enough. The D team have made an excellent start to the season with 7 pts from 4 matches and next up travel to Cheddleton.

The E team played Cheddleton D in div 3 on the same night and won more comfortably as every player contributed with wins for Joe Moxon, Richard Fish and Adam Fields , while captain Nigel Gardner was happy to take a draw.

7th November: three matches as our B team played away to Alsager in div 1, the C team at home against Alsager B in div 2, and there was another derby between our H & G teams in div 4.

The B team were strengthened as Lee Farrington played his first match of the season but this was not enough to salvage any match points as our only win came from Martin Frisher and Carmel Barwick was held to a draw.

The C team also had reinforcements as Harry Gardiner was drafted into the team putting the team’s rating above 7200. There were wins for Harry Gardiner, Karl Lockett and Rick Renegade in a 3-1 success that notched up the first mathc points of the season at the 4th attempt.

The G team were favourites to beat the H team in the derby and did not disappoint. Captain Steve Ballantyne and Jamie Roberts got the key wins with a draw from Phil Grocott proving enough to tip the result, as Kobus Nienaber won for the H team and Mike Keenan drew.

Friday 10th November: The E team were in action again as they played at Cheddleton – this time against their C team. With teams evenly matched there was little to separate them, but we narrowly failed to collect any ponts from the match as we could only achieve three draws from Joe , Nigel and Kobus.

The club continues to attract new members with new faces appearing most weeks. Where possible everyone is encouraged to join in the internal club championship, and assigned to one of our 8 league teams.

This week (14th November) promises to be another busy night at the club with four of our teams in action in the main match room, while newcomers are welcomed to the social room under the guidance of chairman Dave Price.