Northumbria Chess League 2010-11

Brought to you by the Northumberland Chess Association

Division 2 round-up: Round 3

Posted by Checker on November 7, 2010

The big question after three rounds: can South Shields go the distance? They certainly have the strength to compete at the right end of the table – Simon McGuinness is a near-unstoppable force in the 2nd division, Kevin Rowden has become a player to underestimate at your peril, and their latest 3-2 triumph over Morpeth C proved that their lower order can also dig deep when it matters. They will face better teams than Morpeth C, but the points are on the board and the momentum is on their side.

One team who will certainly have other ideas is Morpeth B – supertition has it that tipping them for success will guarantee the opposite, but with a combined grade of 281 on boards 4 and 5, this may be the season when they don’t need to rely on luck. With games in hand after a bye and a postponement, they are lurking with intent.

Relegated Gateshead A need to try and stay in contention while they await Dusan Zdjelar’s return, but they failed to get out of their drawing habit against a Tynemouth Warriors side lacking their usual spearhead in the shape of Richard Oxnard. The Warriors themselves have had a desperately unlucky start – with a draw and two 3-2 defeats, they have managed to score their 6½ game points in the worst possible order, but you suspect they are capable of better results.

Tynedale Reivers recovered from their encounter with the South Shields steam train by overpowering Gateshead Knights on the upper boards – the question is whether a similar team to that which finished an excellent 2nd last season can repeat their achievements against what looks like a slightly stronger field. The Knights have picked up where they left off last season – mid-table potential banana skins who are almost inevitably going to put a dent in someone’s promotion bid (they may already have done it to their own A team). Colin Gilroy on board 5 is a much bigger threat than his current grade of 103 suggests.

Forest Hall B scraped a win with only four players against a Jesmond Pawns team who have once again had their best players poached over the summer and may be looking at a long season of rebuilding. Forest Hall have now beaten two of the back-markers, but someone’s 100% record will have to end in their encounter with South Shields.

Alnwick’s bid to dodge the wooden spoon took a turn for the worse when a winnable match against Gosforth Regents went against them by a 3-2 scoreline.


2 Responses to “Division 2 round-up: Round 3”

  1. Steve Larkin said

    Chris, I would question your comment in your division two round-up that the Tynedale Tans team last year “came out of nowhere” to gain promotion. I think you will find that we were in the picture pretty much all season.

    • Chris W said

      I was comparing it with the previous season, in fact I was comparing it with my inaccurate memory of the previous season, I hadn’t remembered them finishing as high as fourth. I’ve re-worded – and will remember to refer to your excellent website in advance next time I feel like saying something Tynedale-related.

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