2019-20 Season

9.9.19  A2 kicked off their season with a 4-1 loss at West Bridgford 1. We'd drawn with them in March with a very similar line-up, and went on to win promotion. West Bridgford were suitable buoyed by this, and 1 of their team was already alarmed at the prospect of promotion to Division 1.

17.9.19 A3 had a bumpy landing on their return to Division 3 with a 4-1 loss at Radcliffe & Bingham. Two boards went South early, and there was no way back into the contest. A3 has not been able to replace the likes of Stan, Steve and Neil, and is short of at least 2 regular players. 

18.9.19 A1 opened with a 1.5 - 3.5 defeat to League Champions, Grantham. David scored the club's first board win of the season, and a very creditable draw by Steve v Paul Cumbers. We gave them a fight.

25.9.19  Home games for A2 and A4. A2 were edged out 3-2 by Newark 2, 4 boards were drawn , including a very good draw on his club debut for Dan Hardman against Richard Myers. An exciting finish to the match with the last game in progress between David and Alex Combie. Alex was pushing for the win despite playing on the 10 second increment , and writing his moves down. Bravo!

A4 scored the Club's first win of the season in a match with Grantham 4 which saw a welcome return to League chess for Geoff Gibson. We won 3-1 , helped by wins from Malc Jackson and Pete Clarke.

1.10.19 Captain, Trevor had to work right up to the wire to assemble a team before travelling to the Adriatic. His labours bore fruit as A3  defeated Central 1 in the first League match played at the Embankment pub, the County's newest and possibly most salubrious chess venue. This is a fascinating, historic Grade 2 listed building, opened as Boots Store Number 2 in 1907. In 1919 the Boots Social Club was formed on the same site. It has had a modern refurbishment and seems a world away from the King Billy where I last played against Central. The two pubs both serve real ales, but the resemblance ends there.
 . We played very solidly. There were good draws for Bob, Nigel, Paul and Richard, and I nicked a win to give us a 3-2 victory..

2.10.19 Our first team played Newark 1. We were all square on Boards 3-5. David scored a dominant win over Alex Combie. Graham Ladds hit back against Neil. Alex Webster drew on 3. On the top boards Murray Smith and Zoltan Tardi  punished errors by Glenn and Steve to seal a decisive away win. 1.5 - 3.5 

7.10.19 Nomads 1 v Ashfield 2. This was a Tortoise and Hare encounter. We raced off. I had a quick win v Shane, and Bob won not long after, two pieces to the good against Maurice.  Neil was also launching a sacrificial attack against Dave Flynn. Headlines for a crushing victory were running through my head.
Slowly Nomads inched their way back into the contest. Neil sacrificed two pieces, but Dave was playing very calmly. Graham Neill was also quietly gaining control of the board against Nigel. David Levens was facing strong pressure on the top board. Nomads levelled the match. All hinged on the top board, all 3 results possible, little time left on the clock, and no increments. David sensibly in the situation offered a draw and the match was tied.
That Aesop guy, he knew a good story.

16.10.19 Ashfield 3 v Nomads 2. The visitors set the pace with Mike Swanwick and Dave Griffiths punishing errors by Trevor and Nigel. We calmly played our way back into the game. Bob's opponent blundered his Queen under some time pressure. John Shaw's heavy pieces broke through decisively, and Peter Brace converted his endgame advantage. 3-2 Home Win

17.10.19 Mansfield 1 v Ashfield 1 Two teams of old men, captains and Peter excepted, met at the Cowshed. Many of us played against each other well over 30 years ago in the pre-computer Dark Ages. Mansfield have been better at recruiting stronger players in recent years, and the match took its expected course. I succumbed first to Jim Burnett. The rest of the team showed a bit more resistance, with  their backs up to the  wall. David's pieces were in the proximity of Jon's King, but not penetrating. Jon's Bishops and Rooks sliced through David's defences. Neil's 2 Rooks on his back rank, split by his King, were dominated by Kev Simpson's 2 Rooks on the seventh. He also had a vulnerable Bishop, which was dropping which prompted Neil to resign. Janos' play is not as sharp as it was in his pomp, but in the end he found a path to convert his winning position against Bob. Steve resisted longest but had to give best to Peter Ackley. Without our usual top boards, John and Glenn, there was a chasm between the 2 sides. 5-0