Oswestry A took a huge step towards securing their safety in the top flight of Shropshire Chess League with a thumping 5-0 win over midtable Telepost A. Charles Lowick Higgie’s side have now moved four points clear of the division one relegation zone with just three matches left to play. The result has also officially condemned bottom-of-the-table Telepost B to the drop.
The result was something of a surprise given that the Shrewsbury-based visitors – regular challengers for top honours – were until recent weeks harbouring hopes of a late title push and are still very much in the fight to finish second. But they arrived in the north west of the county without top board Nigel Ferrington and a player short – going on to suffer their first whitewash defeat for many years.
Rudy van Kemenade, Higgie, former Telepost captain Richard Bryant and Adrian Bailey all won their games on a fabulous night for Oswestry – and a chastening one for the Telepost club in more ways than one. As this was a rearranged fixture following an initial postponement in January, the next league match will be the reverse fixture between the two sides at Abbey Foregate on Monday (April 24) – where Telepost will be looking to exact swift revenge.
With their superior points difference, Oswestry mathematically need two more points to relegate second bottom Maddocks B – and may already have enough points on the board. Next week will also see Maddocks A look to mathematically clinch the title when they host third-placed Shrewsbury A, while Newport A will look to strengthen their hold on second place when they face Maddocks B.
In division two, the top two Telford A and Telepost C will meet in Abbey Foregate, where a point will be enough for already-promoted Telford to clinch the title and for Telepost C to secure a top two berth.
Meanwhile, Maddocks A have gone top of Shropshire Rapidplay Chess League division one after securing three wins from three at the latest round of fixtures at Newport. Tony Preece’s side answered the challenge laid down the previous week by fellow challengers Telepost A by defeating Maddocks B, Newport A and Shrewsbury A. They now lead the table on points difference with both sides having six fixtures to play. Newport A are three points adrift, but will hope to maintain the pressure on the top two.
Phil Bull and Glyn Pugh both scored 3/3 for Maddocks A on boards three and four, while top board Andrew Grillage scored 2.5/3 on top board, as did Newport’s top two boards Nick Rutter and Ian Jamieson.
The night was a special one for bottom-of-the-table Maddocks B who picked up their first point of the season at the eighth time of asking, drawing 2-2 with Shrewsbury A. It might have been even better for them – they led 2-1 when Peter Kitchen checkmated Gary White on top board with just six seconds of thinking time left.
Elsewhere, the county’s teams all have plenty left to play for in the final regular week of the Four Nations Online Chess League season. Shropshire & Friends 1 picked up a useful 2-2 draw against fellow strugglers Hertford 1 and lie a point clear of the relegation zone in division one group B. In division two, Shropshire & Friends 2 saw their faint hopes of promotion from group B extinguished as they were beaten 3.5-0.5 by midtable Ashfield Anonymous A, while Shropshire & Friends 3 have been officially relegated from group A after a 3-1 loss to title-chasing Morpeth.
In division four, Shropshire & Friends 4 have been dragged deep into a relegation battle after a damaging 2.5-1.5 loss to fellow group A strugglers East Kilbride Wanderers. The two sides are now level on points with the Shropshire side only out of the drop zone on points difference.
In division five, Telepost Dark Knights’ second team has surprisingly climbed above the club’s first team in the table. The seconds are 17th out of 35 teams after a penalty for a defaulted board helped them to a 2-1.5 win over Wessex Some Stars H, while the firsts are 19th after a 2.5-1.5 loss to Worcester Wolfpack 2.
Shropshire League division one:
Oswestry A 5-0 Telepost A – R van Kemenade 1-0 P Zabrocki, C Lowick Higgie 1-0 M Clark, R Bryant 1-0 D Hodge, A Bailey 1-0 J Bashall, G Slegg 1-0 default
Rapidplay league division one:
Maddocks A 3-1 Maddocks B – A Grillage 1-0 G White, T Preece 0-1 S Tarr, P Bull 1-0 S Maydew, G Pugh 1-0 G Viszokai
Shrewsbury A 1-3 Newport A – P Kitchen 0-1 N Rutter, F Best 0-1 I Jamieson, D Lockett 0-1 C Lewis, M Smith 1-0 D Griffiths
Maddocks B 2-2 Shrewsbury A – G White 0-1 P Kitchen, S Tarr 0.5-0.5 F Best, S Maydew 0.5-0.5 D Lockett, G Viszokai 1-0 M Smith
Newport A 1-3 Maddocks A – N Rutter 0.5-0.5 A Grillage, I Jamieson 0.5-0.5 T Preece, C Lewis 0-1 P Bull, D Griffiths 0-1 G Pugh
Newport A 3.5-0.5 Maddocks B – N Rutter 0-1 G White, I Jamieson 1-0 S Tarr, C Lewis 1-0 S Maydew, D Griffiths 0.5-0.5 G Viszokai
Shrewsbury A 0.5-3.5 Maddocks A – P Kitchen 0-1 A Grillage, F Best 0.5-0.5 T Preece, D Lockett 0-1 P Bull, M Smith 0-1 G Pugh).
4NCL Online division one:
Hertford 1 2-2 Shropshire & Friends 1 – P Byway 0.5-0.5 D Avery, S Morris 0-1 C Lowick Higgie, I Capes 0.5-0.5 M Altinsoy, A Du Boulay 1-0 B Whyte
4NCL Online division two:
Morpeth 3-1 Shropshire & Friends B – R Coathup 1-0 P Hornsby, M Smyth 0-1 A Bailey, P Eastlake 1-0 S Priestley, J Turner 1-0 K Siu
Ashfield Anonymous A 3.5-0.5 Shropshire & Friends 2 – D Coates 1-0 M Walsh, H Mossong 1-0 I Jamieson, J Garnett 1-0 F Best, T Lane 0.5-0.5 M Smith
4NCL Online division four:
East Kilbridge Wanderers 2.5-1.5 Shropshire & Friends 4 – K Roul 0.5-0.5 R Thompson, D Shrestha 1-0 A Grocott-James, T Roul 0.5-0.5 G Slegg, U Shresthra 0.5-0.5 G Varjian
4NCL Online division five:
Worcester Wolfpack 2.5-1.5 Telepost Dark Knights 1 – P Austin 0.5-0.5 M Clark, R Hayles, 1-0 A Brims, S Flynn 1-0 P Crean, R Wakowiak 0-1 J Westhead
Telepost Dark Knights 2 2-1.5 Wessex Some Stars H – R Pugh 1-0 T McCullagh, J Gough 1-0 default, J Casewell 0-1 L Cuthbert, M Ayres 0-1 G Wright