4NCL: 4 - 5 March 2006

Saturday 4 March

    WESSEX 1   v N.W. EAGLES 2  
1 w Corkett, Anthony R 2354 - Hulmes, David I 2206
2 b Webb, Richard M 2302 - Lyell, Mark 2235
3 w Upton, Ian J 2259 - Hughes, Howard R 2214
4 b Allicock, Rawle A 2302 - Spence, David 2221
5 w Simons, Martin J 2293 0 - 1 Coates, Kenneth G 2197
6 b Yeo, Michael J 2217 - Hanley, James 2108
7 w Jenks, Bruce 2120 - McCarthy, Jim 2082
8 b Khoo, Selina (F) 1997 - Morrison, Lynne (F) 2003

Our opponents had lost every match this season before this one, but never really looked like losing this after an outrageous swindle on the top board.

Corkett,A (WES1) - Hulmes,D (NWE2)

Black has just played 38.... Qf8-e7 with a resigned look. For several moves now, Fritz has been suggesting that Tony's advantage was into double figures and he might have wondered why his opponent hadn't resigned before finding 39.Bxf7?? which allowed 39....Qe1+ 40.Kg2 Qh1+ 41.Kxh1 stalemate!

Martin points out that we lost this match despite no-one resigning, but this is only because he lost on time in a position where he might have considered resigning with a bit more time, since his opponent had a forced mate! I had a good position out of the opening but one careless move allowed my opponent to sacrifice the exchange for ample compensation and shortly afterwards he forced a repetition. For a little while, Bruce's unbeaten record looked under threat but he recovered in the time scramble. Just before the time control, Ian looked to be winning, Selina was better, Richard was worse and Rawle looked completely lost. Appearances were deceptive however as boards 2-4 were all drawn quite soon afterwards leaving Selina to try and convert her extra pawn to save the match. She made a great effort but her opponent just managed to get sufficient threats to force a perpetual and claim the draw that she had missed claiming on move 41 due to 3-fold repetition.

Worryingly, our opponents had an even better result on the Sunday and are no longer the relegation certainties they previously appeared.

Sunday 5 March

1 w Richardson, Keith B 2236 - Simons, Martin J 2293
2 b Jackson, Adrian 2226 0 - 1 Allicock, Rawle A 2302
3 w Thompson, Ian D 2295 - Corkett, Anthony R 2354
4 b Abayasekera, Roger 2210 0 - 1 Webb, Richard M 2302
5 w Anderton, Matthew N 2205 - Upton, Ian J 2259
6 b Granat, Russell G 2262 1 - 0 Yeo, Michael J 2217
7 w Morris, Claire H (F) 1920 0 - 1 Jenks, Bruce 2120
8 b Hale, Peter (J) * 1570 0 - 1 Khoo, Selina (F) 1997

Just for once, a match went to plan. Selina won a piece and for the first time in eight games (and over 40 hours of play) was to be seen taking a walk away from the board while her game was still in progress! Bruce found yet another customer for his Accelerated Dragon's teeth and was soon two pawns up. Despite this, their other players of the white pieces seemed prepared to agree draws remarkably quickly, which gave us the match as Richard was gifted a piece. Rawle won a pawn and retained sufficient threats despite opposite coloured bishops. The one disappointment was my game :

Yeo,M (WES1) - Granat,R (GUI3)

My opponent had just played 13....Rg8.

To defend the g-pawn, the move I wanted to play was 14.0-0 but I allowed myself to be spooked by finding 14...Bh3 15.Ne3 Qd7 [ I had spotted that 15...Bh6 failed to 16.Qh5 Bxe3 17.Qxh3] 16.Ncd5 Bxg2 17.Nxf6+ Kd8 when 18.Nxd7 allows Nf3+ followed by mate! I also didn't like the look of 18.Nxg2 [ 18.Nxg8 Bf3 19.Qd2 also works] 18...Qh3 19.Nxg8 Nf3+ but it seems that after 20.Qxf3 Qxf3 21.Rfe1 the knight on g8 is safe and with R+2Ns for a queen, white is winning.

I could (should) also have played 14.Ne3 Bh6 15.0-0 Bxe3 16.fxe3 when the doubled e-pawns aren't the weakness they may appear and control a lot of squares.

Instead I chickened out with 14.Kf1?! Bh6 15.h3 Kf8 16.f4? ( 16.g4 makes it very difficult for either side to win) and after 16...Bxf4 ( 16...exf4 17.Qh5 gives enough compensation for the pawn) 17.Nxf4 exf4 18.Nd5 ( 18.Bxa6 Qb6 19.Bd3 Qxb2 wins) 18...Nf5! 19.exf5 Bxd5 Black was a safe pawn ahead.


The win lifted us to the giddy heights of eighth in the table.  There is even a sequence of rather unlikely results that would get us promoted! Unfortunately, there are far more plausible results that would still see us relegated unless we win some more matches in the final weekend.

Saturday 4 March

1 w Tunks, Dominic 2155 0 - 1 Fowler, Simon 2202
2 b Hopkins, Jamie R 2137 0 - 1 Tavoularis, Nicholas 2182
3 w Rutter, Nicholas 2133 0 - 1 Forman, Karl L 2026
4 b Clark, Ian C 2133 - Goodwin, Ed 2005
5 w Ferrington, Nigel M 2115 1 - 0 Hogarth, Mark J 1919
6 b Pym, Thomas W 2073 1 - 0 Bullock, Andrew 1866
7 w Taylor, Phil 2063 1 - 0 Parmar, Jyoti (F) 1625
8 b Lewis, Christopher (J) * 1735 1 - 0 default  

Ian Clark reports:

The weekend began well (not!) when 5 minutes before the match against Hilsmark Coventry started I was informed that we could not use Chris Lewis as a junior for both matches over the weekend. The rules state that we are only allowed to use a junior on 3 occasions and both Michael and I thought that occasion meant weekend, but apparently it means match. (We have also been told that the rules are unambiguous!) As it happened Hilsmark were defaulting on board 8 so we could either have a default win or a double default. I decided to take the default win and was very glad to have done so.

In the match we soon got on top on the bottom boards and after three hours we were 4-0 up. My game looked extremely dodgy not being able to move 2 of my pieces. The top 2 boards were difficult with Jamie going down and Dominic put up a brave struggle but conceded after 6 hours. I somehow managed to hold on and swap my bad pieces off and achieve the necessary draw to win the match. Nick was on top for most of his game but overplayed an end game trying to win and lost out.

Sunday 5 March

1 w Posazhennikov, Alex 2235 1 - 0 Tunks, Dominic 2155
2 b Harley, Andrew 2239 - Clark, Ian C 2133
3 w Byway, Paul 2203 1 - 0 Ferrington, Nigel M 2115
4 b Dunn, Andrew 2188 - Pym, Thomas W 2073
5 w Toothill, John 2174 - Taylor, Phil 2063
6 b Rosen, Daniel B 2144 0 - 1 Hopkins, Jamie R 2137
7 w Goodger, Martyn 2135 1 - 0 Rutter, Nicholas 2133
8 b Sirisena, Chantal N (F) 1946 1 - 0 default 1735

(This table is what is currently shown in the official results, although I believe it is wrong. Wessex 2 did field Chris Lewis on Board 8, but he was ineligible. The game on Board 8 was actually played on the Saturday as the Poisoned Pawns player also didn't have an opponent on the Saturday and it resulted in a win for the Wessex player although the game counts as a loss for the match. -MY)

Ian Clark reports:

The match v Poisoned Pawns 1 was always going to be tough, especially having to concede a default on bottom board, but we put up a great fight.

Jamie, probably playing his last game for a long time due to another child being due in May, had an excellent game against Daniel Rosen and blew him off the board. Tom and Phil also had good games and secured draws so we were 2-2.

I had a great position and a considerable time advantage against Andrew Harley but he kept finding good moves in severe time pressure and I had to concede a draw. Nick had another exciting game and may have had chances in a time scramble but came out in a lost position. Nigel and Dominic were always under pressure and went down in the end.

I thought after winning 4 - 3 against Hillsmark Coventry we would definitely be safe from relegation but other results conspired against us over the weekend. The weekend leaves us in 4th position ( who said PP1 had lost on Saturday ?! ) and we still need to get a result against Slough 3 in the first match of the final weekend to secure Div 3. We can also dream of promotion - if we win all 3 matches!!

Last modified: March 9, 2006

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