Article by Phil Morgan
The Notts League title race was thrown open by Mansfield’s defeat of Grantham on 26.10.17. The top 2 boards were drawn, but despite a defeat on Board 3, Mansfield’s lower boards defeated much higher-graded opponents to clinch the win. This ended a run of 23 League wins by Grantham, since a 3-2 defeat by Gambit 1 in December, 2015.
Grantham 1 have won the title for the last 8 seasons and are unlikely to cede this without a fight. Mansfield scored 22 points last season, with 2 losses to Grantham 1, but they also conceded draws to Gambit 1 and Grantham 2. They’ll need to sustain their excellence over the season to wrest a title they last won in 2004-5 on 26/32 points
There’s likely to be very little between these 2 teams at then of the season, and a possibility that the title could even be won by board difference. Mansfield have won the first key title battle but not the war.
Notts newest League club, Beeston, could not have made a better start to their season with four 4-0 victories. Let’s hope this provides the springboard for the club to consolidate, grow and prosper.
Whilst Mansfield and Beeston have made flying starts to their season, some teams have not made the starts they would have wished. 5 teams , as I write this have yet to open their points accounts. “ If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster – And Treat those 2 impostors just the same.” If Kipling alone does not inspire, we might want to recall that when Mansfield won their last League title, Grantham 1 finshed bottom of the pile on 1point from 32.
The County Correspondence team has begun its campaign in the national Correspondence competition. On Board 1 Jon Tait will play 2 games against David Anderton, O.B.E, former England Olympiads team captain. An update will be given when games are more advanced..