4NCL: 18-19 October 2003

Saturday 18 October

1 w Webb, Richard M 2348 ½ - ½ van der Linden, Lukas 2275
2 b Simons, Martin J 2285 ½ - ½ Carleton, John J 2286
3 w Corkett, Anthony R 2314 ½ - ½ Hague, Ben 2227
4 b Yeo, Michael J 2244 0 - 1 Charleshouse, Glenn L 2238
5 w Allicock, Rawle A 2279 1 - 0 Hulmes, David I 2170
6 b Neil, David R 2181 0 - 1 Hughes, Howard R 2144
7 w Brameld, Arthur F 2079 1 - 0 Savory, Richard J 2096
8 b Khoo, Teresa (F) 2054 0 - 1 Hanley, James ** 2008
      4½-3½ **ineligible player; match game lost

We were expecting a close match and were not disappointed! We were missing James who had fixed his wedding day long before the 4NCL chose their first weekend. Regrettably we all had to decline our invitations! We welcomed Arthur back after 4 years, limbering up for a tournament in Curaçao. Although we lost 4½-3½, our opponents were unable to provide a female player, so Teresa's loss counted as a win.

We were unable to check in to our rooms until after the round started, so opening preparation had to be done in the back of my car. Dave ignored advice to defend a King's Gambit and played something he was unfamiliar with as Black instead.


1.e4 d6 2.d4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Bc4 c6 5.Nf3 b5


[ Watching the game I wondered whether Dave had even considered that White might be able to play 6.Nxb5!? (He hadn't) After 6....d5 7.Bb3 ( 7.Bf4!?) 7...dxe4 8.Ng5 ( 8.Ne5!?) 8...cxb5 9.Nxf7 Qxd4 10.Be3 looks very good for White]

6...Nd7? Experieced practitioners of this line prefer 6....a5 or 6....b4.

7.0-0 After 45 minutes thought!

[ White was tempted by 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Ng5+ Ke8 9.Ne6 Qb6 10.Nxg7+ Kf7 Dave had seen that this trapped the knight, and after 11.Nh5 gxh5 12.Qxh5+ Kf8 Black survives;

It may be possible to improve on this by 7.Ng5!? e6 8.Bxe6 fxe6 9.Nxe6 Qe7 ( 9...Qb6 10.Nxg7+ Kf7 11.Nh5 gxh5 12.Qxh5+ is now better for White) 10.Nc7+ Kd8 11.Bg5! Ngf6 12.Nxa8 Bb7 13.0-0 with a slight edge]

The move played keeps a development advantage with no risk and White won in 21 moves.

Richard looked to have a comfortable game, but refrained from lashing out with e5 on a number of occasions and was left with an uninspiring position. Tony also drifted into a slightly worse position. I reached a drawn B+P ending but lost patience and the game. Rawle won a pawn early on but gave his opponent lots of compensation. He was surprised to learn afterwards from his opponent that it was all theory. He looked to be in some trouble before his opponent self-destructed in time-trouble.

3-3 at the time control found Martin pressing for a win a pawn up, but Arthur struggling to plug the holes in his pawn barrier. Although we were initially hoping for 1½ points, Martin's efforts petered out into a draw and it began to look as though we might lose the match. Arthur's opponent however had other ideas and inexplicably started to retreat when on the verge of victory.

49...Qg8? [ 49...c4 is probably the best way to advance. Now white can at last form some kind of barricade.]

50.Qe4 Bd7 51.Bf1 Qg7 52.Bd3 Ke7 53.Rh1 Rb4? Black offered a draw having just blundered..

54.Rxa8 Rxe4 55.Bxe4 Kf6 56.Kc3 [ This move is unnecessary. 56.Rha1 immediately was quicker]

56...Bb5 57.Rha1 Kg5 58.R1a7 Qf6 59.Rb8 [ The cleanest path to victory was 59.Rg8+ Kh4 60.g5 hxg5 61.h6 Qxh6 62.Rh7]

59...Be2 60.Kd2? [ A clever idea, but it could have turned a win into a loss! Again, best was 60.Rg8+ Kh4 61.g5 hxg5 62.h6 Bxf3 ( 62...Qxh6 63.Ra2 is winning) 63.h7 Bxe4 64.h8Q+ Qxh8 65.Rxh8+ winning e.g.65....Kg3 66.Rh6 f3 67.Rxd6 f2 68.Ra1]

60...Bf1? [ Missing 60...Bxf3! 61.Rg8+ ( 61.Bxf3 e4 is even worse) 61...Kh4 62.Rg6 Qd8 63.Bxf3 Qb6 and the black queen and pawns are very strong]

61.Ke1 Bh3 62.Kf2 Kh4 63.Rg8 Zugzwang!


Sunday 19 October

1 w Cooper, John G 2310 ½ - ½ Webb, Richard M 2348
2 b Dineley, Richard D P 2269 ½ - ½ Yeo, Michael J 2244
3 w James, David J 2258 ½ - ½ Simons, Martin J 2285
4 b Morris, Charles F 2225 0 - 1 Corkett, Anthony R 2314
5 w Blackburn, Jonathan L B 2193 1 - 0 Allicock, Rawle A 2279
6 b Saunders, John C 2195 ½ - ½ Neil, David R 2181
7 w May, Frank 2153 ½ - ½ Brameld, Arthur F 2079
8 b Cast, Abigail (F) 2104 0 - 1 Khoo, Teresa (F) 2054

Another very close match that we were very lucky to win. It certainly makes a pleasant change from all the matches we used to lose 3½-4½.

The opposition squad was much depleted by those away representing Wales,which meant that they brought back 2 semi-retired players on boards 4 and 6. Despite the dire warnings regarding mobile phones, proceedings were shockingly interrupted early on when one of their players received a text message. Fortunately, he was able to extinguish the noise before the arbiter could issue him a yellow card. John Cooper likened it to "a man from the FA taking drugs"!

[Editor's note: This reports my impressions at the time. 3 weeks later, it has been drawn to my attention that my impressions were inaccurate. As reported in the December 2003 edition of British Chess Magazine :

"Whilst on the subject: players are going to have to work out their strategy for dealing with the 'Nokia Gambit'. For example, what if some prankster collects the phone numbers of lots of people who play in the 4NCL and then sends them all a text message about an hour into the round saying "Bad luck - you've just been Phono-marioved!"? It could happen. But theory in this variation has already moved on and suggests that the 'delayed Nokia Gambit' could be playable. During play at the October 4NCL, a mobile phone sounded in the immediate vicinity of the BCM editor's game. Being a compulsive 'checker', I took my phone out and looked at it. Double question- mark blunder. It wasn't my phone that had bleeped, but several pairs of eyes pointed in my direction and marked me out as chief suspect. The bleeping stopped and play continued. A few minutes later another player in the area left the board, took something out of his pocket, and then put it back very quickly. Ah, so that's how to do it."

Dave Neil has owned up to having received the text message. My apologies for any embarrassment caused by my inaccurate reporting.]

Dave this time looked as though he knew what he was doing in the opening, even though it wasn't what he was expecting. He was happy to open his account rather earlier than last season. Rawle had a comfortable advantage, but unexpectedly lost a piece. Possibly influenced by this, their boards 1 and 3 both agreed draws which they might not otherwise have done. My position improved steadily after a dodgy opening until I too was offered a draw. Although I correctly assessed the results of the other 3 games, I hadn't worked out that my opponent's last move was a mistake. I should have saved some anxious moments later and played on. Tony's opponent ran very short of time and blundered in a position where he could have made life much more difficult.

3-3 at the time control left Arthur hanging on again and Teresa trying to win. Arthur's opponent eventually got bored. Teresa didn't always take the most clearcut route and got into time trouble for a second time, but thankfully she avoided her opponent's final trap to seal victory.

Last modified: November 10, 2003

Wessex Chess Club home page