It was a good weekend for our odd-numbered teams, but a disaster for our even-numbered troops. We recorded these results over the weekend:
- Oxford 1 lost 1-7 to Guildford 1, then defeated Barbican 2 5½- 2½;
- Oxford 2 lost to The Rookies 2-4 and CSC 1 1-5;
- Oxford 3 drew 3-3 with CSC 2 before defeating Iceni 1 3½-2½;
- Oxford 4 lost to both Fischer’s Catch and Milton Keynes Phoenix 2 by 1½-4½.
By defeating Barbican 2 comfortably on Sunday, Oxford 1 qualify for the Division One Championship Pool for only the second time ever (our first visit there was in 2014-15). Justin & Chris were the men to hold draws against Guildford’s GMs – very comfortably in Justin’s case, very sweatily in Chris’s! – and they are still unbeaten this season on 5½ & 4½ from six games respectively. Skip’s rudimentary calculator has them at TPRs of 2744(!) & 2463, so there are well-deserved title norm opportunities for both. They need titled oppo in the run-in: with a likely sequence of 7. White Rose 1, 8. Barbican 1, 9. Guildford 2, 10. Cheddleton 1, 11. WGHK, that’s pretty much guaranteed.
Oxford 2 dropped off the pace in Division 3sB and find themselves in danger of dropping into the Relegation Pool. Our destiny is still in our hands, for a win over Milton Keynes Phoenix 1 would put us into the Promotion Pool. If we lose and are overtaken by The Rookies, it’s not all bad news: we’d start the lesser Pool with the maximum 6 match points.
Oxford 3 maintained their top-of-the-tree status with their excellent Sunday victory thanks to wins by Justin H & Phil H on the top two boards and a solid draw from debutant Tomasz. Despite the 4NCL strategy of avoiding “top” pairings in rounds 1-4, Ox3 find themselves to have already played #2, 3 and 4 so will face #5 Crowthorne in round 7 with Black on odds.
Oxford 4 were given two tough assignments, the second coming as a by-product of MKP2’s disastrous second weekend meaning they’re playing catch-up. We’re still respectably-placed in mid-table and have hopes of getting more points on the board in round 7, perhaps at the expense of the auld enemy’s third team?
We had no 2/2 players, but four players did score 1½: both Justins, Chris W & Sean T. Honourable mention for Graham’s two draws on board 3 of Ox3 & board 1 of Ox4: he did better on Saturday than skip did on Sunday against the same opponent with the same colour. Skip obviously needs to study Graham’s games!