PENARTH Piers had managed to propel themselves into the promotion zone of the East Glamorgan Chess League’s third division with three matches left to play.

Unfortunately, those three matches are against the three other top teams in the division, so staying there presents a problem. When Bridgend Rockets, the division number two, visited they met an outgraded Penarth team without their usual top board and no doubt felt confident.

Penarth were not deterred and soon a string of unlikely results emerged. On board four, Mike Servini managed to get a two-pawn advantage against David Merryweather and had the visitor under pressure.

Swapping off into a rook and pawn ending sadly meant that Mike's advantage slipped away and he had to settle for a draw. Sam Warburton, on middle board, was drawn against Damon Davies in a lively game which had a clear edge for the home player. Sam missed an easy continuation but nevertheless retained sufficient initiative to claim a second draw.

On bottom board, Tony Gutteridge clashed with Howard Deere, who should have been able to take the point but overlooked a mating attack and was duly punished. Karanvir Lutchman-Singh started with an unorthodox opening which had the effect of wrong-footing the vastly more experienced Jonathon Kell - some 300 grading points his better.

When barely out of the opening, Karanvir found a combination which won a knight and from that time on his grip never relaxed until the second Penarth victory was won. The top board tussle between Edd Chwieseni and David Robertson would never have been easy for Edd who withstood a great deal of pressure but eventually had to allow his opponent a bishop for two pawns. Although he struggled in the end-game, he was unable to clear away the enemy pawns and at last forced to concede.

But a 3-2 victory against such tough opponents was an excellent outcome and bodes well for the Piers’ prospects of promotion.

Penarth Chess Club meets every Monday at 7.30pm at Penarth Conservative Club. All are welcome. The junior club meets Wednesdays during term time from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at the Kymin.