Keith Gregory has kindly agreed to produce the reports for the Wessex Online teams going forward. Peter Anderson will continue to provide some annotations to the games. So here is the first of Keith’s reports…
With round 3 completed we are already near the half-way point for season 5 so we’ll check how the tables are looking.
With 13 wins, 12 draws and just 7 losses it was a good evening for Wessex players although in match terms it only translated into 3 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses! This was largely because our match wins included two 4 – 0 results and we lost two very tight matches 2.5 – 1.5.
The A team heavily out-graded their opponents and never looked in any trouble on their way to a smooth win. Mark Cleary gradually outplayed his opponent in a Breyer whilst Gavin Lock topped off the match with a typically elegant and relentless grinding win, the last Wessex game to finish! Unusually, we scored 100% with Black & 50% with White.
The A team are top of their group at present and increasingly looking like a permanent member of Div 1 (this is our 4th season there).
Although the B team were heavily out-graded on all boards a blisteringly quick tactical win by Richard Allis saw us in with a real chance and Bill McDougall went agonisingly close to beating his FM opponent before running into time pressure and letting him escape with a win. On another evening we could have drawn or even won this match.
We’re currently in 7th place in our group of 8 (two teams get relegated). However, having already played 3 of the top 4 teams I’m optimistic we can still stay up.
Our final Div 1 team, Wessex C, were also out-graded and lost an incredibly tight match 2.5 – 1.5 with just one loss and three draws, including Raj Pentakota holding an opponent who out-graded him by 325 points and a great debut from Will Lovell who many will remember from Wessex 4NCL OTB in previous seasons.
Our C team are also currently 7th in their group and, again, have some easier matches to come so will be still fighting to stay up.
Switching to Div2 , our Wessex D team were out-graded (a bit of a theme for the evening!) and went on to lose 1-3 despite some creditable draws from Bill Adaway & Jamie Chilton
Our D team are currently 7th in their group (a bit of a theme here!) so again will be fighting to stay up.
Switching to Div 4 our E team heavily out-graded their opponents and cruised to a 4-0 win, with Chris Leeson once again using his Stonewall Attack to roll his opponent over in good style (see Season 4 Round 6 for a previous example).
We are currently in 2nd place in our group with a great chance of promotion to Div 3, having played two of our main rivals (top 2 go up).
Our F team looked the stronger team on paper yet ended up sharing the points, with Jamie “Destroyer” Doyle taking his fantastic run to 3 / 3 for the season on board 1
The F team currently sit in 3rd place in their group so are a possible promotion candidate.
Our G team, although out-graded, played well to draw their match with our win coming from Rob Davenport. Rob’s game is given at the end of the report.
We’re now in 2nd place in our group with a great chance of promotion.
Turning to Div 5 our H team smoothly cruised to a 4-0 win over their lower graded opponents. Already a queen up, Florence Spirling even got to promote a pawn to a knight – we are not sure if this was a mouse slip or for fun (how often do you get the chance to do that in a serious match?) but either way the game was soon over!
We move to 7th place in the league (with 8 teams going up).
And finally, a few stats from the first 3 rounds…
Jamie “the Destroyer” Doyle is our star performer with 3/3.
He is closely followed by Mark Cleary, Doug Blythe, Chris Peacock and Ed Blanden (all with 2.5/3).
Grade-wise, Gavin is tracking at a remarkable 2375, with Mark Cleary close behind on 2344 and Jamie Wilson is at 2254. These grades reflect the dominance of our A team this season.
Also having a great season is Raj Pentakota with a 2069 performance so far.
Lots to play for as we move into the second half of the season. 😊
Keith Gregory 23rd February 2022