Crewe crush Chester in Rapid Match

At the Centenary Congress in April Chester and Crewe were tied for the team prize of a chess clock. Rather than magnanimously giving Crewe the prize or splitting the clock in two we decided to play a rapid match decider. This was spread over 12 boards with teams chosen to roughly match the strength on each board. Each player played 2 games against the same opponent alternating colours.

Steve Williams focuses hard as the match got underway

With home advantage Chester might perhaps have seemed slight favourites. However, we were seen disavowed of that optimism. In cricketing terms we came close to losing by an innings. Crewe won the first round 9-3 and then scored 3.5/4 in the first results of the second round. After having lost the match Chester bravely fought back to clinch the second round 6.5 to 5.5 thanks to James Lee and Steve Lloyd holding their nerve in complex positions. Anh, Steve Lloyd and Ian all managed a plus score, so thanks especially to them for keeping our chances alive.

Anh and Jack lead the fight back in the second round

Now it’s not really feasible that we could simply be outplayed, so here are my top 10 excuses I encountered:

  1. It was very hot.
  2. I touched the wrong piece.
  3. Crewe players have rapid ratings. Have they been practising?
  4. Why have we not used the new grades?
  5. It’s really hot, too hot to even drink.
  6. The king and queen were the wrong way round.
  7. I was jetlagged.
  8. It was difficult parking.
  9. Why don’t the windows open?
  10. It’s Mike’s fault – why did he arrange it on such a hot day??
Dave and Dave concentrate

Anyway, congratulations to Crewe on a convincing win and if anyone’s got an old clock (working or otherwise) we could give them please let me know…

Wirral Winners

Last night the AGM of the Wirral League was held. This included a presentation to the outstanding players of the year. First up was John Carleton who captained the all-conquering Chester 1 knockout team to the title.

Next was Nethuli Saram who was joint winner of the division 4 player of the year, awarded to the player with the best results. Well done to Nethuli and the KO1 team!

June Events – Wallasey match, League AGM and Chess in the Park

Despite the season being over June was still a busy month for the club. Firstly we took on Wallasey in their splendid venue. The match was as usual very close. Right at the end Chester pulled away as the top boards finished with Chris Doran winning the final game with both players down to their final seconds. Thanks to everyone who helped us get such a big turnout.

Freya plays in her first Wallasey match
John had flown across continents to get back in time for the match
Your reporter conceives a devilish plan to mate the black king with R, B and pawns
Chris was last to finish
As the crowd got bigger

Last week was the AGM for the Chester and District League. Chester were presented with trophies for winning the 1st division, 2nd division, knock out and U120 knock out. Ray Williams also won player of the year for division 3. I’ll spare you needing to see me collecting all of these prizes on behalf of the winners but here’s a sample one:

Incoming league president Stephen Dunning presents Chester with another trophy

Last weekend we held our first Chess in the Park event. The weather held up and everyone seemed to have fun.

Seren prepares to take on her dad whilst Vlad (who recounts he learned to play the game in parks in Romania) takes on Dan
Paul plays a solid opening against Jixin
Dan takes on a strong park visitor as the group got bigger with Rohan and Riyaan celebrating the end of exams.

Finally, if you subscribe to Chess then look out for the article covering our centenary.