Telepost Dark Knights enjoyed a dream start to life in the national online chess league as their two teams recorded thumping 4-0 opening day wins. The Abbey Foregate side’s first team defeated Bishop Knights in their 4NCL Online League division five clash, while the second team whitewashed Bude Beach Surfers.
Matthew Clark, Rob Nield, Nick Holmes and Dennis Bonner all won for the first team, while the triumphant second team featured Foley Stocks, Matthew Ryan, Alex Brims and John Casewell. It was the first time the Shrewsbury club had fielded teams in the national league, and the two sides were among five in the 34-team division to record 4-0 wins.
But it was a more mixed bag for the four Shropshire and Friends teams that competed in higher divisions. As the more established outlet for county players looking to play online chess at a national level, Shropshire and Friends 1 now compete in the top tier division one. They got their campaign off to a fine start with a 3-1 win over Spirit of Atticus A thanks to wins for international master Paul Littlewood and Oswestry duo Charles Higgie and Rudy van Kemenade. In division two, Shropshire and Friends 2 also started well with a 3.5-0.5 win over Oxford 3. Ian Jamieson, Dan Avery and Peter Hornsby were the winners. But the third team, playing in the same division, were outgunned 4-0 by a strong Barnet Knights A side, and player unavailability hit the fourths hard as they could only field one player in a 4-0 loss to Charlton Cobras B in division four.
The next round of fixtures will take place on September 27.
Meanwhile, Shropshire Juniors were this week taking part in round two of the 4NCL Junior Online League, looking to build on an encouraging opening 6-2 division four win over Robin Hoods 3. The draw for this week’s matches had not been made at time of going to press.
On a local level, fixtures for the coming Shropshire Chess League have been delayed after the late withdrawal of one of the teams – but it is hoped they will be revealed soon. This season the league will revert to a two division format, having previously been played across three tiers for many years. The fixtures will be available soon at www.shropshirechess.org.