The second half of the “split” weekend has just been and gone. Oxford’s three teams recorded these results:
- Oxford 2 lost both matches 2-4 to MK Phoenix 2 and Barnet Knights 1;
- Oxford 3 lost 2-4 to Crowthorne but then defeated All Anands On Deck 4-2;
- Oxford 4, handicapped in part by two late dropouts on Saturday, lost both matches and we’ll draw a veil over the scorelines!
Oxford 2’s defeat on Saturday left us reliant on results elsewhere to make the Promotion Pool. Fortunately for us, both The Rookies and Sussex Martlets 2 lost, so we made it there by one match-point. If you think that was close, look what happened over in Pool A where Anglian Avengers 2 were edged out on the same score of 7 match points purely by Cambridge’s board 2 holding a worse opposite bishop endgame. Anyway, Oxford 2 started the Pool with one point – one more than Oxford 1! – and still have said one point after Sunday’s loss. Oxford 2 are safe from relegation but promotion? Er, no chance.
Oxford 3 continue their amazing season. When we established a fourth team, skip was not planning to mount a promotion charge at all! But here we are, second going into the final weekend a point behind Iceni 2 who you may recall we defeated in the Triangle in Weekend One. Safe to say neither team was foreseen pre-season as likely to win the division by the arbiters! Ox3 have already played all of the top five teams and #7, so will reach down to #6 or #8 for round 9. On top table, Iceni 2 will face their own first team. That should be entertaining.
Stars of the weekend:
- Alan, our only winner in Ox4 who helped us to a plus score in one of the matches;
- Sean, drawing with an FM on Saturday and scoring an important win on Sunday;
- Phil N, scoring 1½/2 despite not feeling 100%;
- Szymon, overturning a “minus-mate-in-seven” position to mate his opponent on Saturday.
I was pleased to welcome juniors Tom, Dimitrios and Hugo to 4NCL this weekend and doubly-pleased that Tom contributed a point to Oxford 3’s Sunday match win. I hope to see more of them!