|Posted on March 12, 2013 at 10:55 PM|
Next up for the A team is the away match against Stafford. It is an important match. From quite early on in the season it looked as though this was always going to be an important match, and so it has been proved. In the 10 match season, with 8 matches gone Stafford and Brewood are 2nd and 3rd, joint level on points, but Stafford lead on board count 26-23½. With 2 teams going up this could decide promotion.
Realistically Brewood need to win this match to have promotion in their own hands after this match. A draw would suit Stafford as they would keep level with us on points, and still be ahead on board count ahead of their final match. A defeat for Brewood of 4-1 or worst would actually guarantee Stafford promotion, and even a narrow defeat would leave Brewood relying on Stafford to lose their last match.
Stafford were top of the league for some time, and the lead of the league changed hands between Stafford and Brewood a few times this season. In the end though, St. George's came through, and ended up winning promotion. They have yet to win the league but are guaranteed at least a top 2 place.
Previous meetings between Stafford and Brewood in recent years have produced mixed results, although its the B team that have the better record against them! Last season the A team faced them once and won 4-1 away from home. Stafford were one of the teams the B team played twice last season, drawing at home 2½-2½, and winning away 3-2.
This was one of the 3 victories in a row last season that meant that the B team survived relegation, in 6th place, and meant that Stafford were relegated from the Wolverhampton Chess League Division 3 in the bottom 2, in 7th place. As all promotion and relegation is subject to agreement at the AGM they didn't actually get relegated at all, and this season they have made good use of it.
This season the A team have been drawn to play them twice, and the B team only once. The A team faced them first at home losing 1½-3½. This was a disappointing defeat for the A team as we outgraded Stafford on 4 of the 5 boards. The B team did better drawing an away match which was played at Brewood 2½-2½. Whilst Stafford had the grading advantage on the top 2 boards from which they managed to win on both of these boards, boards 3-5 were closer, and wins on boards 3 and 4, coupled with a draw on board 5 secured the draw for the B team in this match.
As I said earlier Stafford and Brewood have been top at various times this season. Stafford started the season well winning 4 of the first 6 matches, and going top after winning against our A team in the 4th match of the season. The last 2 games for them have produced 2 draws, against teams not in contention for promotion Brewood B and Halesowen. They have scored 4½ points 3 times this season, hence why they are ahead of us on board count.
Brewood will have been disappointed to only get a draw at Rushall earlier on in the season, but did then put the Stafford defeat behind them to win 3 matches in a row. All was going well but a defeat at Halesowen last time out means that the teams go into this match level on points.
Stafford Chess Club like ourselves and every other club does its bit to promote chess in the local area. They have 5 different teams competing in the Leagues. Their A team compete in division 1 of the Wolverhampton Chess League and they are one of 5 different clubs within a point of the top of the league with a chance of winning it. They also compete in the North Staffs League Divisions 1 and 3 and in the Cannock Chess League Division 2.
Team news for Brewood is confirmed. Derek Laight has a 100% record so far this season for Brewood in the Wolverhampton Chess League with 8 wins out of 8, and will be on board 1. Roger Grainger, John Fenby, Mike Jarocki, and Peter Crozet will also be playing. The previous defeat to Stafford doesn't really mean anything, as the players are capable of winning this match, but then again Staffords players will think they are also capable of winning the match. It promises to be a good match and the club wishes the players well for it.