Gambit 3 scored a highly impressive 4-1 win over WN 3 last night. Hamzah Ali followed up his draw with Michael Barnes in the Gam 3 v Gam 2 match earlier this month with a win over Jonah Willow. John Huthwaite’s unconventional style of play bamboozled Aditya Munshi. Onos Kofi-Ofuafor methodically beat Adam Bennett. Keith Roper & Gary Hopkinson drew with Anita Somton & Hambel Willow respectively. Gambit 3 move up to 8 points, well clear of any relegation danger.
This result has made a significant difference to the 2nd division promotion race. While Gambit 2 have picked up 4 match points and 3 game points in the new year by beating Gambit 3 & WN 2, WN 3 have picked up just two match points from their win over WN 2, and the 3 game points they gained in that match have been wiped out by last night’s heavy defeat to Gambit 3. This leaves Gambit 2 two match points ahead with a 2 game points better difference. Both teams have to face WB 1, New 1, WB 2 and RB 1 before what looks likely to be an exciting decider between each other in April.
The 1st team continued their progress to the end of season show-down with Grantham 1 by beating Ashfield 1 by 3.5 – 1.5. Pete Mercs, John Swain & Mike Barnes beat Steve Burke, Derek Jarvis & Phil Morgan respectively, while Michael Naylor escaped with a draw against Andrew Toothill. Brian Hayward faced an outrageous attempted rook sacrifice by Neil Graham. Brian declined it and missed a mate 3 moves later (mind you, the only way to prevent it was giving up his queen for the rook) but taking the rook probably also led to defeat.
The January grades are out:
Barnes 205, Mercs 189, Cooke 174, Swain 170, Naylor 165, Ali 163, Hunter 163, Sudar 156, Hayward 155, Jennings 155, Edwards 152, Kofi-Ofuafor 147, Huthwaite 144, Tassi 144, Roper 139, Thompson, 134, Hopkinson 132, Ensor 129, Gorecka-Marshall 126, Padvis 125, Harper 121, Gretton 106, Watson 104, Groves 95, Seagrave 94, Heath 79, Smith 54