Gambit 2 escaped with an important victory last night against relegation rivals Ashfield 2. Tom was in a terrible mess v Alan Robinson but as Alan descended into his habitual serious time trouble Tom wriggled away and eventually Alan blundered, handing Tom a victory. Drag, although a pawn up, had no better than a draw but Phil Morgan’s king started to wander aimlessly and Phil allowed Drag to win his advanced pawn and get rid of the opposite coloured bishops to leave R+4 v R+2 and Drag won. Onos was doing fine against Glenn Halfpenny but then it all went wrong. Graeme neutralised Robert Taylor’s attack and the game petered out to a drawn. Mike N was a pawn up against Jerry Herrington and clearly better but messed up before agreeing a draw to secure the points. This win leaves Gambit 2 in 6th place with 7 points, Ashfield 2 7th on 5 and WB 1 8th on 4, with Grantham 2 5th on 8 points. Gambit still have to play Grantham 2 away and WB 1 at home. Ashfield 2 still have to play both WB 1 and Grantham 2 at home.
There could be a twist in this relegation battle if the LMC decides Ashfield 1 fielded an ineligible player against Gambit 2 and WB 1.
In division 2 Gambit 3 have reached the point of no return. They simply must win their final 3 matches to have any chance of staying up, and as one of them is away to champions-elect Newark 1, the odds aren’t great.
In division 3 Gambit 4, having narrowly lost their last two matches, have slipped dangerously close to the relegation places, lying 5th on 9 points with WN 3 also on 9, Grantham 3 on 7 and WB 3 on 4. One victory from their final 3 matches might be enough and they still have WB 3 to play, but Grantham 3 still have to play WB 3 twice but they also have to face WN 3, so this probably won’t be decided until the final round of matches.