Edinburgh 5 had a new look for 2018/19 – New captain (Jen), 4 new club members, and ambitions to improve on last season’s embarrassing number of board and match defaults.
As the club’s entry level team, we also agreed it was important to make sure everyone who wanted to had the opportunity to play competitive chess and that we’d have some fun while we were at it!
Despite our humble aims, we quickly established ourselves as Division 3 contenders with wins against Tiger Cubs and Pentland Hills, followed by a hard-fought 3-3 draw against Civil Service 3. We were lower rated on every board, but Paul R, Alex and Jen all pulled off excellent wins.
After convincing wins against both Corstorphine sides (2 &3), the title fight was looking incredibly close, with Edinburgh 5, Bank of Scotland 3 and Musselburgh all still unbeaten.
Tense at the top
Next up, Bank of Scotland, who had beaten Musselburgh the week before to go top. A stellar performance all round was rewarded with a season’s best 5-1 win, not letting the Bank score a full point on any board.
Now the pressure was on with a tough away trip to Musselburgh. Unfortunately, we got off to a bad start with Paul R on board 2 falling for the “Levenfish” trap in the Sicilian opening. Despite draws for Dennis and Allan and a win for Jen, we lost 4-2 to leave the title fight out of our hands.
After a comfortable win against Sandy Bells, we were waiting for other results to find out if we would come 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the league. Musselburgh finished the season with a 3.5-2.5 win to guarantee their position as champions by one point. Bank of Scotland drew with CS3, so it went down to boards difference to determine the runner-up spot and promotion play-off.
Every board counts – we made the play-offs by 30 points to 28.5 and would get to take on Edinburgh West 2 for a place in Division 2 next season!
Full of ambition but knowing we were the underdogs, we fielded our strongest team and stand-in Captain Dennis did his best Alex Ferguson pep-talk to rally the troops.
Edinburgh West defaulted board 6 to give us a 1-0 head start, but with their top 2 players rated 1660 and 1641, there was little room for complacency.
Paul R got things going with a quick win, but Gregor was defeated by their experienced captain. Danny pulled off the result of the season with a masterful win in the endgame on board 1, and wins for Dennis and Bill brought us home to a 5-1 victory.
A real team effort to secure promotion – we look forward to an even tougher challenge next season!
(And defaults..what defaults? Well ok, we conceded one board due to a late sickness, but we did pick a full team for every game and even had a substitute on several occasions!)
Mission accomplished, and then some!
Edinburgh 5 Squad 2018/19– Danny Ranson, Gregor McIntosh, Paul Robertson, Dennis Anderson, Bill Platts, Paul Patras, Allan Buchan, Harry Joll, Alex Scholes, Jen Shelley.
- Most Capped – Allan 9 appearances (including 1 default)
- Best Score – Dennis 6.5/8
- Game of the Season – Danny’s play-off win
- Biggest Upset – Jen beat a CS3 player graded 270 points higher
- Embarrassing Moment – Allan falling foul of the “touch-piece” rule to go a queen down against Corstorphine?! Somehow, he managed to scrape a win!
- Chess Lesson – The Levenfish attack (Thanks Paul R!)
Full Division 3 results available here