On Tuesday our 4th team all but secured promotion with a 5-0 win over Central 2. Mick & Maggie won very quickly v Jonathan Moore & Michael James. Derek should have lost a piece but Simon Parham missed his chance. John was a knight down but cleverly sacrificed his rook to queen a pawn and checkmate Lukasz Kacprzak. Graham steadily converted his positional advantage v Mark Turner. This win puts them on 21 points with 2 to play. WN 3 & RB 2 can reach 21 points but have inferior board differences.
On Wednesday our 2nd team travelled to leaders Grantham 1 more in hope than expectation, being, on average, 30 grading points lower per board. They got off to a good start when super sub John Huthwaite played nicely to draw v Peter Cusick. Onos made one or errors in the opening which Paul Cumbers punished mercilessly. John S played in confident style and launched an attack that surprised Steve Prior, but after the dust settled John, an exchange down, was unable to hold his position. Drag managed to give Nigel Birtwistle doubled ‘e’ pawns and was slightly better when Nigel, typically running very low on time, let Drag win a piece and the game (Drag missed a chance to win Nigel’s queen). Nigel at 198, is the highest graded player Drag has beaten. Steve’s opponent Robert Sidlarewicz, fell foul of the touch move law when in time trouble and then lost on time. The team is now level on points & board difference with Ashfield 1 who have the advantage of an easier run in, on paper anyway (WN 1 & Uni 1 v Gambit 2’s Man 1 & New 1). Our 1st team now has an outside chance of winning the title but must beat Grantham 1 and get more points v Ashfield 1 than Grantham get v WN 1.