4NCL: 3-5 May 2003

Saturday 3 May

    NUMERICA 3CS 1   v WESSEX 1  
1 w Davies, Nigel R. 2483 1 - 0 Webb, Richard M. 2372
2 b Arkell, Keith C. 2533 1 - 0 Poulton, James 2375
3 w Clarke, Stuart W. 2287 - Simons, Martin J. 2262
4 b James, Dale R. 2214 0 - 1 Corkett, Anthony R. 2322
5 w Ashton, Adam G. 2197 - Upton, Ian J. 2224
6 b Longson, Alexander 2202 1 - 0 Yeo, Michael J. 2251
7 w Gordon, Stephen J. 2189 1 - 0 Allicock, Rawle A. 2302
8 b Kosteniuk, Oxana (F) 2184 - Khoo, Teresa (F) 2076

Our worst loss of the season. The opposition had their strong top two boards. We were supposed to have our strength lower down. Rawle was making his debut for us after a lengthy man-hunt by our captain to find him. I believe he is the highest rated board 7 ever in the second division. Ian was surprised to learn that he was 19th on Richard Furness' big-hitter list despite having won only one game this season!

For a long time not a lot seemed to be happening other than on board 2 where James was in obvious difficulties from an early stage. Tony was donated a piece, but no-one else was making any progress. Martin somehow persuaded his opponent to offer a draw when he was getting slowly squashed. Ian suffered a traditional French torture until his opponent got bored. I swapped off queens on move 4 and played anaemicly thereafter. Rawle was rusty and lost a pawn. Teresa had some initiative which evaporated, but she hung on. Richard's game was the most exciting as he took the two pawns he was offered, but then had to give them both back and was ground down in the ending.

Sunday 4 May

    WESSEX 1     THE ADS 2  
1 w Allicock, Rawle A. 2302 0 - 1 Moskovic, David M. 2251
2 b Poulton, James 2375 - Snape, Ian 2244
3 w Webb, Richard M. 2372 - Cafferty, Bernard 2226
4 b Simons, Martin J. 2262 1 - 0 Churm, Rohan M. 2164
5 w Corkett, Anthony R. 2322 0 - 1 Mangwengwende, John 2163
6 b Upton, Ian J. 2224 - Pritchard, David 1768
7 w Yeo, Michael J. 2251 1 - 0 Westwood, Richard D. 1720
8 b Khoo, Teresa (F) 2076 1 - 0 McIntosh, Doreen (F) 1344

A narrow win which sealed relegation for our opponents. Rawle was rewarded for his loss on board 7 the previous day by promotion to board 1 (well, he did volunteer!) I won quickly:


My opponent resigned, thus depriving me of the opportunity to play

19......Nxf6 20.gxf6 Nxf6 21.Qh8+ Ng8 22.0-0!

(Fritz prefers 22.Rh6 which gets no points for artistic merit!)




Teresa's opponent put her queen en prise and Martin won the exchange. I went for a run (more like a slow jog!)

On my return, it was apparent that it was a good job that we were already 3-0 up as it wasn't immediately obvious where any more points were coming from. Richard had started by playing the Kings Indian Attack, but was eventually forced into shuffling all his pieces along the back rank. This impressed his opponent far more than his watching team-mates and he gratefully took the proferred draw. Tony played what he described as the classic way not to play against the Kings Indian Defence and was mown down on the king-side. (As Martin observed in the pub, Richard played the Kings Indian Attack as a defence and Tony played against the Kings Indian Defence by being attacked!)

Ian started by making absurd patterns with his pawn structure but eventually straightened things out for a draw. James lost a pawn but swapped into a drawn R+P ending. Rawle looked to be doing well out of the opening but got his pieces tangled up and lost soon after the time control.

Monday 5May

    BARBICAN 4NCL 3     WESSEX 1  
1 w Hodgson, John H. 2202 - Webb, Richard M. 2372
2 b Taylor, Peter 2249 1 - 0 Poulton, James 2375
3 w Twyble, Michael S. 2238 1 - 0 Corkett, Anthony R. 2322
4 b Gregory, Philip J. * 2122 0 - 1 Upton, Ian J. 2224
5 w Flower, David 2128 0 - 1 Simons, Martin J. 2262
6 b Williamson, Paul L. 2149 0 - 1 Allicock, Rawle A. 2302
7 w Bhatia, Kanwal K. (F) 2047 - Yeo, Michael J. 2251
8 b Moore, John C. 2093 - Khoo, Teresa (F) 2076

Another narrow win. Our opponents were in some danger of being relegated before this match started. Despite the fact that their 2nd team were in similar relegation danger from the first division, they shuffled their squad to such an extent that half our opposition had been playing for their second team on Saturday. As things turned out, they needed 2 points from this match to be safe.

Rawle won quickly as his opponent seemed disheartened by the loss of a pawn. Richard produced a very dubious novelty in the Dragon (actually, it has been played before but in some very obscure games). For some reason, his opponent, a Dragon specialist, did not play the most critical line and they agreed a draw one move (and 90 minutes!) later. James seemed to be doing all right, but overlooked something in time-trouble. Ian played what he described as his best 4NCL win of the season. Since his only other win was a flashy queen sacrifice that has now appeared in all the chess magazines this is clearly incorrect - it is his better 4NCL win of the season! Teresa lost a pawn but got enough compensation.

We reached the time control 3-2 up. Tony was completely lost having been met by some massive pre-game preparation. Martin was completely winning having won a queen for an assortment of pieces and pawns. My game was a very unclear but probably drawn knight ending. And so it came to pass that we scraped home for the second day running.


Overall, it was a disappointing season. 3 very good teams (that we lost to) got promoted, but we were some way behind in fifth place. I'm not sure that next season will be any easier. In addition to the three relegated teams from Division 1, we are likely to struggle against Guildford 2 and Poisoned Pawns again, not to mention the possibility of our own second team. I will produce the usual performance table in due course, but it will only make happy reading for Martin who with 8/11 was second equal on the second division big-hitter list.

Last modified: May 9, 2003

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