Telepost A gained revenge over old foes Shrewsbury by winning the Shropshire Chess League county town derby 4-1. Matthew Clark’s side avenged a 3-2 defeat to their local rivals in December with a convincing display to put some distance between themselves and the bottom of the table – and leave Shrewsbury rooted to the foot of division one.
It comes amid a glut of fixtures between the two clubs which saw Shrewsbury B and Telepost B face off online last week and two more fixtures slated for this week. Newport A also secured a crucial victory in the battle at the bottom of the table, winning 3-2 away to Oswestry A.
Despite being the more historically feted club, Shrewsbury have had to play second fiddle to Telepost over the past 15 years in terms of honours and derby results. But they had won all three of the fixtures between the club’s first teams this season having also won both online league matches. David Hodge gave Telepost the lead by beating Richard Vernon on bottom board, and although Dan Lockett equalised by defeating John Bashall with the black pieces on board four Telepost showed their class at the top of the order. Phil Zabrocki outplayed Francis Best on board two, and home captain Matthew Clark took advantage of a tactical slip by Mark Smith to seal the match with a win on board three. Nigel Ferrington ground down Peter Kitchen in the final game to finish on board one.
Oswestry fielded possibly their strongest team of the season, with Tim McMahon’s return on board two enabling Richard Bryant to line up on board four. But it wasn’t enough to stop their poor run. McMahon beat Lewis on board two, but Bryant lost to Daniel Hilditch-Love on board four and Gary Slegg was defeated by Thalia Holmes on bottom board. The top board encounter between Rudy van Kemenade and Nick Rutter finished all square, while Charles Lowick Higgie and Stuart Ross also drew on board three.
Oswestry are only off the foot of the table as they have scored more game points than Shrewsbury, who do have a game in hand. Telepost A and Newport A are now two points clear, but both five points adrift of leaders Maddocks A.
In division three, Newport C won 3.5-0.5 away to bottom of the table Telepost E.
Meanwhile, Shrewsbury B extended their lead at the top of Shropshire Online Chess League division two to four points thanks to a 2.5-0.5 win over struggling Telepost B. Nearest rivals Oswestry C slipped up by losing 2-1 to Telepost C, while Newport Juniors have gone second – with a game in hand on the three teams around them – after a 1.5-1.5 draw with Telepost D. Don’t discount Telford A – they lie a point further back in fifth place, overcoming a bottom board default to defeat Shrewsbury C 2-1. But they have two games in hand on the league leaders. A series of derby matches were due to be held in the division this week, including Newport Juniors v Newport A, Shrewsbury B v Telepost C and Shrewsbury C v Telepost B.
Telepost A 4-1 Shrewsbury: N Ferrington 1-0 P Kitchen, P Zabrocki 1-0 F Best, M Clark 1-0 M Smith, J Bashall 0-1 D Lockett, D Hodge 1-0 R Vernon
Oswestry 2-3 Newport A: R van Kemenade 0.5-0.5 N Rutter, T McMahon 1-0 C Lewis, C Lowick Higgie 0.5-0.5 S Ross, R Bryant 0-1 D Hilditch-Love, G Slegg 0-1 T Holmes
Telepost E 0.5-3.5 Newport C: J Casewell 0-1 M Price, A Brims 0.5-0.5 D Lovegrove, M Ayres 0-1 J Greenwood, B Rose 0-1 C Parker
Online division two:
Newport Juniors 1.5-1.5 Telepost D: D Hilditch-Love 0-1 P Westhead, T Holmes 1-0 D Bonner, J Greenwood 0.5-0.5 A Brims
Oswestry C 1-2 Telepost C: J Smith 0-1 F Bench, S Tulett 1-0 P Crean, A Evans 0-1 J Casewell
Shrewsbury B 2.5-0.5 Telepost B: M Smith 0.5-0.5 K Tabner, S Priestley 1-0 N Holmes, I Salter 1-0 J Holyhead
Shrewsbury C 1-2 Telford A: N O’Connor 0-1 R Brown, A Purser 0-1 R Thompson, R Vernon 1-0 default
Please send any news about the Shropshire Chess scene, including match reports and congress results, to Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org