THE East Glamorgan Chess League has come to an end with unexpected results.
Penarth’s second team, the Piers, were stuck in the middle of the table for most of the season but, towards the end, started to move slowly up the ranks. Managing to win their final three matches, two of which were against the top two teams in the division, they secured third place which gives them promotion next season.
Even more remarkably, the top team, Penarth Pirates, who appeared to be struggling to find form, also started to rise in their last matches. Following a 4-1 victory over Bridgend, they demolished a weak team from Cardiff Crowns 4.5-0.5.
This reduced their deficit to Aberdare, the second-placed team in the Division, to 3.5 points. A fine draw against that side left the final fixture of the season a cliff-hanger between the Pirates and Pentyrch, then narrowly ahead of Penarth in third place. A draw would consign Penarth to remain in the second Division.
On Board 4 Edd Chwieseni, who has been out of form, seemed to falter in the opening and had a cramped position against Steve Lindsay but an incautious move resulted in a combination which netted Edd a full piece and, with a pawn on the seventh rank against him, Steve resigned. The two captains played on the bottom board where Sam Warburton managed to stymie his opponent’s pawn-storm and held Mike Maguire to a draw.
Ben Thomas came unstuck on middle board when he took what appeared to be an innocuous pawn and found himself shortly afterwards on the receiving end of a mating attack.
James Thomas then steadied the ship by totally tying-up Dave Lewis’ pieces and going on to deliver a mate of his own. This left only the top-board clash between David Sully and John McGregor.
A minor positional weakness was fully exploited by David who systematically piled on the pressure until, faced with a supported passed pawn and unable to prevent David removing all obstacles in the way of preventing two more pawns queening, John resigned.
The 3.5-1.5 victory vaulted Penarth into second place in the division and ensured promotion to the top echelon next season.
From now until September, the atmosphere at the club will be far more relaxed. It meets at Penarth Conservative Club every Monday (bank holidays excepted) at 7.30pm. All are welcome. The junior club, meanwhile, continues Wednesdays at the Kymin form 6.30pm to 8.30pm.