Saturday, 31 March 2012

Mid-table finish for A team

The A team's final league match this season ended in defeat away to Shifnal & Telford. We don't like making excuses but the juke box thundering into life from the upstairs bar half an hour into the match was not conducive to serious chess, at least for boards one and two who were sited right underneath.

A win for Trevor and draws for Karl and Tiago (undefeated till the end!) were countered by losses for Steve and Graham.

Shifnal Telford A 3-2 Church Stretton A
J Footner 0, T Brotherton 1
D Gostelow 1, S Rooney 0
I Wilson 0.5, K Wakefield 0.5
R Gillespie 0.5, T Faustino 0.5
R Thompson 1, G Shepherd 0.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Strong finish for B team

The B team have continued their strong finish to the season with a convincing victory over Newport C to end up in third place in division three. Wins for Tiago, Francis and James and a draw for James led them to a 3.5-0.5 win.

The side have only lost once since Christmas, and Tiago's arrival has given them a real boost - he has chalked up four wins and two draws to remain undefeated.

Newport C 0.5-3.5 Church Stretton B
W Gormley 0, T Faustino 1
D Lovegrove 0, F Rooney 1
S Davies 0.5, C Pimm-Jones 0.5
M Price 0, J Carless 1.

Meanwhile the A team took on Telepost A who were confirmed champions after Shrewsbury lost on their recent outing to Church Stretton. At one stage it looked like Stretton were going to chalk up a double against the Shrewsbury sides, with both Gerald and Graham having clear advantages on boards four and five, but both games ended in draws. On board one Trevor's pet Nc6 in the French Tarrasch did its work again as Nigel Ferrington couldn't get any advantage out of the opening and a draw was agreed.

Board three was a different story however as Karl went a piece down to Paul Zabrocki and eventually lost. But captain Steve Rooney had a bit of luck on board two in the final game to finish. An earlier pawn sacrifice gave Steve some space and development advantage but a second pawn sac looked a tad too optimistic until opponent Richard Bryant missed a wining continuation and allowed a swindle in the final rook and pawn ending for Steve to force a draw. Th A team's final game is next week at Shifnal & Telford.

Church Stretton A 2-3 Telepost A

T Brotherton 0.5, N Ferrington 0.5
 S Rooney 0.5, R Bryant 0.5
K Wakefield 0, P Zabrocki 1
G Link 0.5, P Crean 0.5
G Shepherd 0.5, K Tabner 0.5

Friday, 9 March 2012

Church Stretton 2 Shrewsbury 0

The A and B teams have chalked up successive wins against local rivals Shrewsbury in the past two weeks.

Last Thursday the B team won 3.5-0.5 against Shrewsbury C, and last night the A team had their best win of the season with a 3.5-1.5 result against Shrewsbury A. The A team's win also put paid to any remaining hopes Shrewsbury A had for the title with Telepost A now confirmed as division 1 champions.

The A team victory was sealed with draws on the top three boards and wins on four and five for Tiago and Graham respectively. Board one saw another short draw between Trevor and Jamie Hopkins - one of these days they'll surprise us with a real competitive game! And on board three Karl's game against Francis best ended in a draw in a position that resembled draughts rather than chess with everything blocked and opposite-coloured bishops to boot. Steve's encounter against David Everington was a draw after only 13 moves but it was far from dull! David played an aggressive line as black in the open Ruy Lopez and sacrificed a bishop on h2 but there was nothing better than a perpetual so a draw was agreed.  Graham overcame Matt Best on board five after the latter slipped up in a promising position, and Tiago played some simple, but very effective chess to outwit Peter Kitchen on four.

Telepost A next, hope they're ready for us!

Church Stretton A 3.5 Shrewsbury A 1.5
T Brotherton 0.5, J Hopkins 0.5
S Rooney 0.5, D Everington 0.5
 K Wakefield 0.5, F Best 0.5
T Faustino 1, P Kitchen 0
G Shepherd 1, M Best 0

The B team's impressive win against Shrewsbury C included wins for Tiago, Francis and James on boards one to three, followed by a draw for captain Tom on board 4. Francis played the game as if it was blitz, but managed to find all the right moves and used control of the central files to emerge a pawn up with a clear win in the king and pawn ending. Tiago's opponent Ian Davies played a bit fast and loose on his king side and was effectively pieces down with a bad bishop on its starting square and a rook that never got into the game. After that the result was never in doubt. James seized on a blunder by his opponent in a position that had previously looked pretty bleak and promptly won, while Tom's game resulted in a queen and pawn ending where neither player fancied taking their chances in a time scramble and agreed the draw.

The B team now take on Newport B and then Newport C. Two wins could get them a third place finish.

Church Stretton B 3.5 Shrewsbury C 0.5
T Faustino 1, I Davies 0
 F Rooney 1, E Inglis 0
J Carless 1, M Best 0
T Williamson 0.5, A Purser 0.5