Erom stutters to the gutters

It has been a shaky start to Autumn League 1 for Malta's three top-ranked players, but all the more so for the man in the middle of the trio, Charles Micallef. The 2016 National Champion dropped three out of six games to finish runner-up in his qualifying group to an ever buoyant Mario Camilleri (see photo), who triumped 2-0 in the direct encounter with Micallef.


But more striking than these unexpected results in themselves are their effects on the outcome of the league where Micallef joins Theresa Brousson and David Delicata, 11-time and 6-time National Champions respectively, in Group I of the league's second phase.


The trio thus face off over twelve games in what is effectively the Group of Death that will see one of the three excluded from the final knock-out phase, thus with no chance to achieve a minimum third overall placing. The irony is that the one who succumbs to an early fall may well not be Micallef, especially if the latter finds his form after a most stuttering start.


(penned & published by Nicky Vella Laurenti)