4NCL: 22 - 23 January 2005

Saturday 22 January

    WESSEX 1   v WOOD GREEN 1  
1 w Webb, Richard M 2313 0 - 1 McShane, Luke 2614
2 b Allicock, Rawle A 2292 0 - 1 Speelman, Jonathan S 2548
3 w Simons, Martin J 2293 - Lalic, Bogdan 2520
4 b Corkett, Anthony R 2321 - Emms, John M 2505
5 w Evans-Quek, Suan-Shiau 2295 0 - 1 Ward, Christopher 2485
6 b Yeo, Michael J 2222 - Gormally, Daniel W 2472
7 w Upton, Ian J 2242 - Hunt, Harriet (F) 2415
8 b Evans-Quek, Debbie (F) 1995 0 - 1 Tiller, Bjorn 2382
        2 - 6    

Faced with 6 GMs and 2 IMs, this was a rather better result than we had feared. It might have been even better as all the 4 draws were better for us to varying degrees.

Debbie and Richard disappeared fairly quickly, both having got their queens trapped. Martin timed his draw offer well in a position where he had a slight edge. Rawle arrived late, courtesy of British Rail as usual. He was allowed to grab a pawn in a position where his opponent seemed to have inadequate compensation, but was left to rue not offering a draw himself as he blundered the pawn back and was soon lost. I had 2Bs v 2Ns but with shattered pawns. Instead of advancing his own pawns, my opponent started making pretty patterns with his knights which let my bishops out but some inaccuracies gave him enough chances to draw. Tony's Sicilian transposed into a Two Knights without c pawns. His opponent turned down a reasonable draw offer, ran very short of time and offered a draw back in a position where he was much worse but Tony didn't see why until later! Ian attempted to destroy his unbeaten record by turning up nearly an hour late "due to his own incompetence". Undeterred, he played some good moves very quickly, and was slightly better when he bailed out for perpetual on move 40. Suan's debut lasted longer than the rest of us but was always a struggle.

For once, we ended up in a decent curry house without any other teams present by dint of walking 1km away from the town centre while eveyone else went into town.

Sunday 23 January

1 w Van de Griendt, Jan W 2373 - Upton, Ian J 2242
2 b Hinks-Edwards, Thomas 2383 - Corkett, Anthony R 2321
3 w Bates, Richard A 2377 1 - 0 Webb, Richard M 2313
4 b Wall, Gavin 2368 1 - 0 Yeo, Michael J 2222
5 w Webb, Laurence E 2336 1 - 0 Evans-Quek, Suan-Shiau 2295
6 b Nixon, Thomas C M 2195 0 - 1 Allicock, Rawle A 2292
7 w Simmons, Matthew * 2065 - Simons, Martin J 2293
8 b default   0 - 1 Evans-Quek, Debbie (F) 1995

A disaster! (We managed to get a Simmons v Simons pairing, but narrowly missed Webb v Webb!)

The plan was to win the bottom 3 boards and hold the top 5. Richmond's female player was unavoidably absent, but Martin and Rawle were finding it difficxult to carry out the rest of the first half of the plan. Indeed Rawle was lost after a dozen moves:

Instead of 13....Nh5, Black can win with 13....Qh3 since if 14.Be2 h5! threatens 15....Ng4 followed by mate. Rawle eventually consolidated, and ground out a win.

Richard got his queen trapped again. I played a terrible opening where my attempts at violence lost a pawn with the queens off. Suan had a difficult position made worse by being impossibly short of time. Ian had another interesting game where he lost a piece for some compensation:

Understandably, he won the piece back with 36....Rc3 37.Rxb2 Rxe3 38.Rxb5 Rc3 agreed drawn, but 36....Rc4! would have been a lot better, since if 37.Ke1 Ra4 38.Kd2 b4 39.Kc2 Ra3! wins. White's best is 37.g4 but simply 37....g6 still leaves Black in charge.

4-3 down left Tony with an impossible task to create winning chances out of his Q+R ending.

This loss leaves us bottom of the table. 2 wins from the last 5 matches should be enough to avoid relegation, but we have probably missed our best chance for one of them!

Last modified: January 29, 2005

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