Crowthorne Runners-Up in the Haslemere Trophy

On Wednesday (23rd May) Crowthorne played Farnham in the final of the Haslemere Trophy, the Surrey Border League’s team handicap competition. In this tournament, 5-board teams play two rapidplay games with colours reversed and the handicapping system bases the winning score on the difference between the average grade between the two teams.

The final was closely contested on all boards, with Crowthorne scoring 5.5 to Farnham’s 4.5 – however this was insufficient as the required winning score was 6 points.

So, congratulations to Farnham who have won the Haslemere Trophy!

4CL 2017/2018 Season Summary

Ken Coates has provided a summary of the season’s 4NCL performance:

Firstly I want to thank everyone who played in the matches for Crowthorne in this seasons 4NCL. It was a privilege and honour to captain the team.

I have just seen the final positions and can confirm we will not be promoted having come up just short in the final match of the final weekend. (Webmaster’s note: promotion is actually still a theoretical possibility, depending on the decisions of other teams regarding promotion and relegation, but it is unlikely.)

Over the season we conceded a draw in a vital match and narrowly lost 3 matches two of which we could just of easily won.

Even when we out graded our opponents they seemed to raise their game against us, so great credit to them.

We ended up 5th but beat Surbiton who finished 1st and drew with CSC 2 who finished 2nd. Losing narrowly to both Iceni teams cost us in the end.

A few special mentions are necessary.

James and Andrew found it tough going and were heavily out graded in some matches but they are improving players. It’s these tough, long play matches they vitally need to play in if they are to gain experience, learn and improve.

I award Peter Tart the title “Player of the Season” – he had a stunning 4NCL performance. He lost one game he should have won, drew two others and won the rest, resulting in a score of 9 out of 11.

Moving on, I’m now looking to the 4NCL season 2018/19 and see that the venues are less convenient for us being 4 weekends in Daventry and one in Bedford. I can see car sharing and team planning being important.

Thanks once again to everyone who played and commiseration on just missing out on promotion.

Mixed results in 4CNL Rounds 7 & 8

Crowthorne’s 4NCL team had mixed results in this weekend’s (24-25 March) matches in Division 4 South.

We started well on Saturday, beating Oxford 3 with a score of 4-2, but came a cropper on Sunday, managing to lose 3.3-2.5 to Iceni 2 – despite outgrading them by an average of 224 points (Elo, about 30 ECF). Well played by the Iceni team, who all seemed to find the right moves at the critical points.

I hope to post one or more games from the weekend in due course.

Despite this setback, Crowthorne are still well in the promotion battle, lying in 3rd= position and only two match points behind the leaders (Iceni 2!). The final weekend over the Bank Holiday weekend 5-7 May will be interesting!

Mayhem in the Colle

The recent match between Crowthorne’s all-junior C team and Godalming D saw a fascinating struggle between James Love (Crowthorne) and David Archer. Playing the White pieces, David played a speculative Greek Gift piece sacrifice which gave him lasting compensation in the form of Black’s exposed king, and which also produced a tremendously complicated position for both sides.

James defended the position actively, and his extra material prevailed after several adventures:

Crowthorne 4NCL Team Update

This season, Crowthorne entered a team in the 4NCL (4 Nations Chess League), our first entry into this competition.

With weekend three has just finished, we are just over halfway through the season. Crowthorne is vying for promotion and we are currently well-placed with 10 match points, just one point behind the leaders Oxford 3 and CSC 2. The 4NCL gives an excellent opportunity for juniors to play “serious” chess, and James Love and/or Andrew Kirby have played every weekend when available. Our star performer to date is Peter Tart, with a remarkable 5.5/6!

Here is the Division 4 South table after Weekend Three – just click the match in the crosstable to see the individual results.