THERE were celebrations for Malpas and Oswestry Chess team this week, after winning the Five Counties Online Chess League.

For team captain Charles Higgie the victory has extra importance, as it is the first time he has ever captained a Division 1 side to a league victory.

Played over six boards, just seven players were used all season in the form of Brian Whyte, Mehmet Altinsoy, Tim McMahon, Peter Lovatt, Peter Fisher, Leon Cox and Charles himself.

The season started on June 23 with a 3.5-2.5 win over St Alban's A, and finished on August 4 with a 4-2 win over Watford A.

In total Malpas and Oswestry had four wins, two draws and one loss, exactly the same as runners up Surbiton A, but Malpas and Oswestry are champions due to a slightly better games total – 25 points for and 17 against, compared to 23.5 to 18.5.

It is likely that the league will restart playing every other week, to fit in with the 4NCL Online league which will also be played every other week.