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.
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.
Now it’s not really feasible that we could simply be outplayed, so here are my top 10 excuses I encountered:
- It was very hot.
- I touched the wrong piece.
- Crewe players have rapid ratings. Have they been practising?
- Why have we not used the new grades?
- It’s really hot, too hot to even drink.
- The king and queen were the wrong way round.
- I was jetlagged.
- It was difficult parking.
- Why don’t the windows open?
- It’s Mike’s fault – why did he arrange it on such a hot day??
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…