CSC/Kingston 1 maintain promotion challenge

Superb 4NCL weekend for CSC/Kingston 1, who recorded another two victories to move to join top of Division 3 West. All to play for going into the final weekend next month

It was another impressive 4NCL weekend for CSC/Kingston 1, with two vital wins against good opposition – the Warwickshire Select 2 team on Sunday are one of the higher-rated sides in the division. Giampiero Amato was successful on both days; Peter Finn lost on top board on Saturday but roared back with a win against his highly rated opponent on Sunday; Tom Ferrand, Clive Frostick and Chris Rice also recorded important victories on Saturday; but there was an admirable solidity and consistency right across a very experienced team.

With the powerful Warwickshire Select 1 surprisingly losing to West is Best 2 on Sunday, the promotion race is now wide open and the final weekend on 29 April to 1 May (three matches over the extended Bank Holiday weekend) is going to be tremendous. CSC/Kingston 1 will play the three other strongest teams in the division – Warwickshire Select 1, West is Best 2 and Chessable White Rose 3. It will be high-stakes stuff, with promotion to the chess big time as the prize, but at least our fate is in our hands.

To get this close to promotion is a remarkable achievement given that CSC/Kingston 1 started the season in division 4 and only entered division 3 when another team dropped out. We missed the first weekend, when we would have been pretty well guaranteed two wins against relatively weak opposition, and had to settle for two nominal “draws” (the organisers made the two matches 3-3, giving us two points rather than four). Those lost points could yet be crucial in the promotion fight, but we must put that out of our minds and concentrate on winning the final three matches against our closest promotion rivals next month. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a thriller.

Stephen Moss