May 16, 2024

Luton A team League win. Review of the season by team captain Dixon Jones.

Last year, Luton returned to the Bedfordshire Chess leagues. At the start of the year, I was a little concerned when – as a club – we decided to send two teams instead of one. I need not have worried. The club has grown throughout the year and looking at the club membership listings, there are 10 members with higher rankings than me at the end of the year. So I was honoured to be asked to be captain, even though I was not the strongest player by a long chalk. I expect having a car helped me get away games.

Our fixtures in the A team started a little slower than or many clubs. This was partly because I was out of the country and asked the league organizer to avoid specific dates. But we started at home against Luton B. That was always likely to be a good start for Luton A! We won 4-1, with only Aleks from the B team beating one of us. So my strategy was to conscript Aleks into the A-team! Sometimes, winning is less about your rating and more about coping with pressure. 

After comfortably winning against the Open University and Milton Keynes C, we were perhaps getting a little too comfortable just before Christmas when we went to Bedford, only to get trounced 3.5 to 1.5 by their D team! Losing was a wake-up call! We had the talent, but we needed to marshall our efforts to get to the winning line. Being a captain calls for mature judgements from the captain, including dropping myself from the running order for several matches in favour of members on better form. Many thanks to Samir and the other team members for acting as captain on the matches I dropped myself from or could not otherwise attend.

After Christmas, we got our act solidly together, beating MKA in some style at home, and when it came to the revenge match with Bedford D, no mercy was asked or given. Luton A 4. Bedford D  

This set us up nicely, meaning that we were able to finish top of the league with a full fixture to spare by taking the scalp of the OU a second time… again 4:1. 

We celebrated after our win with a late-night coffee in Luton town centre (pictured).

The final match away to MKA was a formality, but we still took the match MKA 2 – Luton A 3.

Here are the final scores:

Bedfordshire Chess League 2023-24 Luton A Results

The team:

Bedfordshire Chess League 2023-24 Luton A player statistics

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