4NCL: 17-18 January 2004

Saturday 17 January

1 w Poulton, James 2366 1 - 0 Rendle, Thomas E 2273
2 b Simons, Martin J 2285 - Addison, Bret C 2251
3 w Webb, Richard M 2348 0 - 1 Dorrington, Christopher 2174
4 b Corkett, Anthony R 2314 0 - 1 Player, Edmund C 2166
5 w Yeo, Michael J 2244 0 - 1 Deva, Chetan 2155
6 b Upton, Ian J 2224 - Bennet, William D 2077
7 w Allicock, Rawle A 2279 - Eckersley Waites, Adam 2003
8 b Khoo, Teresa (F) 2044 0 - 1 Miller, Naomi K (F) 1680

Before the round started, I overheard one of the opposition suggesting that his team were going to be in a lot of trouble. How wrong he was!

After a bit over two hours, the fire alarm went off. We all trooped out to a freezing cold car park. One of the hotel staff made a particularly fatuous attempt at a roll-call by shouting out room numbers, despite the fact that she could tell that she was audible to less than half the crowd, not counting those who had taken refuge in their cars. After half an hour we were allowed back into the restaurant where we learnt that the cause was a burst pipe that had to be fixed before we could return to the playing hall as the fire sprinklers were no longer operational. While it would be convenient to blame our demise on this distraction, the truth is that we were already suffering. A suggestion that we should offer 8 draws on our return was vetoed by Jim who thought he would have chances if he wasn't mated in the next 5 moves.

We returned after a 100 minute break. Rawle had been characteristically quite optimistic in the break but agreed a draw soon after the restart, not wanting to try and win R+4P v R+3P on the same side. Ian drew with somewhat more difficulty later. My opponent had turned up 25 minutes late and then spent ages playing the Dragon which encouraged me to play a line that I knew to be dubious. Having been 80 minutes behind on the clock, he then started to play good moves quickly and I forgot the analysis I had done some 9 years previously. Richard lost on time in a level position. Tony ditched a couple of pawns for no compensation. Teresa survived a dodgy opening but blundered in time trouble in a won position. Martin was surprised to learn that he had lost to his opponent 2 years ago in a Benko. He therefore decided to play something different (1.d4 d6 2.e4 Nf6) but it made little difference as 3 moves later they had reached a Benko positon! Having overlooked the loss of a pawn, he ditched another for some play and eventually held an ending with B+2P v N+3P. Jim just avoided being mated, grabbed 3 pawns and baled out into 2Rs v Q with enough pawns left to give him winning chances.


Sunday 18 January

1 w Bellin, Robert 2385 - Webb, Richard M 2348
2 b Gwaze, Robert 2345 - Poulton, James 2366
3 w Radovanovic, Jovica 2217 0 - 1 Simons, Martin J 2285
4 b McFarland, Robert S 2268 - Corkett, Anthony R 2314
5 w Kafka, Graeme 2162 0 - 1 Allicock, Rawle A 2279
6 b Almond, Richard 2169 0 - 1 Upton, Ian J 2224
7 w Muter, Donny 2121 1 - 0 Yeo, Michael J 2244
8 b Hegarty, Sarah N (F) 1891 - Khoo, Teresa (F) 2044
        3 - 5    

Ian Upton has sent me this link: http://www.grandpapencil.com/science/archimed.htm

I have reason to believe that this relates to an incident involving his breakfast cereal, but as I finish my breakfast at 8 a.m. roughly an hour and a half before any of the rest of the team emerge, I regret that I am at present unable to provide any further elucidation.

Despite the one blemish, we always looked to be doing well in this match and tried very hard to win by more. Richard drew very quickly, and Teresa repeated moves some time later. Rawle looked a little better, and won in the time scramble. I was doing quite well until sacrificing a pawn for an attack that was one move too slow. I could still have baled out for a draw if I hadn't blundered another pawn in time trouble.

Martin had been comfortably ahead on time and gambled a bit. In the above position, his opponent played 40.Rg5? but his flag fell as he was pressing the clock. Martin would then have won by playing 40....f2! putting all three pieces en prise. After 41.Bxf2 Rxf2 the white pawns are much too slow. Instead, White can draw with 40.Bg1 after which Black has nothing better than repetition with 40....Re1 41.Bf2 Re2.

Tony's opponent played his usual cramped defence, but took things too far with 12....Nb8-d7. Instead of winning a pawn with 13.Bxe6! 0-0 (13....fxe6 14.Qxe6+ Kf8 15.Be7+ mates) 14.Bb3 threatening 15.Qxg6, the game continued with 13.0-0? 0-0 14.c3 Nf6 after which Black made the first of four draw offers during the game. He was made to suffer for another four hours although it never really looked like anything other than a draw.

Jim grabbed two pawns allowing his opponent the opportunity to repeat moves which he spurned. Either the game score is wrong or Jim's opponent should have won a piece in the time scramble. Jim created some chances around the second time control, but this time his opponent did manage to repeat the position. Ian won the exchange and then took things very carefully before winning on move 73.

Perceptron Youth did hit trouble this round in the shape of the Barbican 3rd team (although again it looked a bit like their 2 team!) which has left us back in first equal in one of the promotion spots.

Last modified: January 23, 2004

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