Our first team scored an impressive 4.5 0.5 win at Ashfield 1 to boost the 2nd team’s chances of staying up. Tom won a pawn and the subsequent rook and pawns ending v John Molyneux. John S won a piece v David Levens. Mike B played conservatively v Glenn Halfpenny and gradually gained the upper hand. Pete was in a fairly equal position v Steve Burke who felt the need to create activity as his team was losing but only ended up creating a weakness on his K side which Pete exploited. Mike N was lucky to get a draw from Jerry Herrington who was a pawn up but, seeing the match was lost, probably decided it was more important to get to the bar as soon as possible. Ashfield 1 still remain slight favourites to stay up at Gambit 2’s expense but they are now under increased pressure to get at least a draw v Newark 1, and possibly 2 if our 2nd team gets something from their match v Mansfield.
Our 3rd team boosted their chances of survival in div 2 with a draw against promotion chasing Nomads 1. The top 3 boards, between John H, Brian & Keith and John Harrison, Dave Flynn & Shane Bhayat, were drawn. Gary went down to Maurice Hill but Peter GM beat Will Eyre to earn the important point. The 3rd team now have 11 points with 2 matches left, against relegation rivals LE and Ashfield 3. LE have 8 points with 3 matches left and Ashfield 3 have 7 points, also with 3 matches left. Newark 2 are also in danger as they 9 points with two matches left.
The 5th team had another blip in their promotion hunt after losing 1.5 2.5 to Uni 2. Mick lost to Ewan Fewell who has an estimated match grade of 120 but is clearly much better having won all 7 of his league matches, including over Peter GM earlier this month. Ronnie lost to Bernado Pincheira. Ken beat Vanorld Vanderpuye but Maggie could only get a draw against Kaushik Kuralla. Gambit 5 have 17 points with 2 to play. Uni 2 have 16 with 2 to play. Uni 3 have 14 but with 3 to play. WN 4 have 12 but with 4 to play (including the missing result v EMCA on 15 Feb). With EMCA 1 and WB 4 still to play, the 5th team should be able to get the 3 points they still need to ensure promotion.