New season begins

It’s an exciting time for Limewood.  We now have 3 teams in the main Leeds league.  One of those is starting its first season in Division 2 after gaining promotion while our brand new C Team is keeping Team B company in Division 3.

There are new faces too. In the A Team we welcome experienced players Tom Leah, Paul Johnson and Robert Moneagle, giving valuable strength to the team.    Team B included Phil Higgins, formerly of Leeds club, playing for Limewood for the first time.  In Team C we saw the debut of Nigel Lawson (no, not THAT Nigel Lawson) playing his first game in graded club chess.

And the results were pretty encouraging.

Team A made a great start to the season by beating Copperworks B by 5 to nil.  They outgraded the Copperworks team at all boards, but it was still a splendid way to begin the chess year.  After one match, Team A are top of the 2nd Division table!

Team B, away to West Leeds, were in contrast heavily outgraded by their opponents – by an average of 29 points per board.  A tough assignment.   Against the odds 3 Limewood members managed to achieve draws, making the final score 3½:1½  to West Leeds.  Phil Higgins nearly brought off the sensation of the night when, in the endgame, he was bishop up against Stephen Forbes.  Alas, Stephen found a pathway for his queen to harass Phil’s king and Phil had to settle for a draw.  But still a game that Phil must be heartened by.

Team C had an even bigger hill to climb.  On their top 4 boards they were outgraded by an average of almost 40 points.  Yet they managed to clinch 2 solid wins and came close to winning a third.  Howard Brears overcame a grade difference of 19 points to win his game and Nigel Lawson was able to celebrate his first appearance by a win at board 5.

At board 1 Chris Tatham was facing his strongest-ever opponent and was pleased that he was able to last over 60 moves.  Only in post-match analysis did he discover that he had missed a simple win in the endgame – read more about that in the Captain’s Blog in due course.

Overall, not a bad way to start the season!