As Shropshire chess enters the Christmas break, Shrewsbury-based Telepost A are the early league leaders despite being without their strongest player, Nigel Ferrington.
For obvious reasons the league is having to be played as an online event this season, and Ferrington is one of those players who doesn’t care for playing over the internet. However, Telepost have benefited from the arrival of a very strong substitute, Nathanael Paul, the county champion who has switched from the Newport club.
Sharing top spot in Division Two are Telepost B and Wellington A, who met each other in the latest round of matches. One feature of internet chess is that spectators can watch the games being played live on the Lichess chess platform, so long as they have the players’ usernames (which are published on the Shropshire chess website) to search under, so watchers were able to see those two teams go level on 1-1 with all to play for on the bottom board – it’s three per team in Division Two.
Things were looking good for Wellington as Mark Podlesak was a piece up against John Westhead, but Westhead was alert when an opportunity arose to turn things around and in the end a draw was the result, which also meant the match result saw honours shared.
Division One – Maddocks A 2, Telepost A 2: A Zdanowski 0.5, N Paul 0.5; D Gostelow 0.5, P Zabrocki 0.5; G Pugh 0, R Archer 1; S Maydew 1, M Nightall 0.
Oswestry A 2.5, Shrewsbury A 1.5: B Whyte 1, T Eales 0, default 0, O Ilesanmi 1; T McMahon 0.5, F Best 0.5; L Cox 1, D Lockett 0.
Division Two – Telepost B 1.5, Wellington A 1.5: P Officer 0, A Grillage 1; K Walker 1, T Faustino 0; J Westhead 0.5, M Podlesak 0.5.
Telepost C 0, Telford A 3: R Nield 0, G Kolbusz 1; N Holmes 0, R Brown 1; D Bonner 0, R Thompson 1.
Newport B 3, Shrewsbury B 0: C Lewis 1, D Lockett 0; D Hilditch-Love 1, I Salter 0; S Greenwood 1, J Birch 0.