There were no massive surprises at the top end of the Woodhouse as Sheffield A and York RI A won by wide margins against the league tail enders and Sheffield A maintain their one point advantage. Of more significance was Sheffield D’s victory over Bradford Central. This allowed Calderdale A to move level with Central on match points and a modest lead in game points means they now take third. One way or another this will change when York RI B and Bradford A play their postponed match on March 9th. Sheffield D’s victory allows them a bit of breathing space above the relegation zone. Doncaster and Hull DCA A currently face the drop but Hull DCA A have a game in hand.
The IM Brown is proving to be fascinating this season with still no daylight at the top of the table. Harrogate A remain top having played one game extra but no less than four teams are clustered behind and any two could gain relegation. I’ve not talked about Wakefield A much but they may yet make a late run for home. Hopefully when the postponed matches begin to clear we should have a clearer idea but the critical York RI C vs Huddersfield match won’t take place until 23rd March. At the other end of the table the relegation battle appears to be between Netherton, Dewsbury and York RI D. Netherton are currently keeping their head above water on game points but York RI D have played one less game.
Apologies to Calderdale B for jinxing them; in my last report I proclaimed them Silver Rook victors and they promptly suffered their first loss against Pontefract. West Leeds are nominally top of the table but have now completed all their fixtures. Calderdale still appear to have the best chance as their remaining fixtures are against the weaker teams while the match between Hull DCA B and Pontefract will be critical. Wakefield C drew with Sheffield F to pick up their first point.
The league now officially takes a break of a month for Doncaster and Blackpool (where I will actually be playing some chess for once), however the majority of the postponed matches will clear within that time so keep checking the YCA website or Chessnuts for results. JUST A REMINDER TO ALL CAPTAINS THAT NO PLAYER CAN PLAY IN TWO MATCHES ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR THE SAME DAY – I know I keep repeating this but it is such an easy rule to fall foul of.