2018-19 Rounds 5+6 report

Oxford scored these results at the February 2019 4NCL:

  • Oxford 1 lost 1-5 to White Rose 1 but then beat West Is Best 1 4½-3½;
  • Oxford 2 won both matches: 4-2 v Rhyfelwyr Essyllwg and
    3½-2½ v Surbiton 1;
  • Oxford 3 scored two 3-3 draws v Wessex B and Milton Keynes Phoenix 2;
  • Oxford 4 scored two wins: 5½-½ v Barnet Knights 3 and 3½-2½ v Shropshire 3.

Start at the top. Ox1‘s chances of overturning White Rose 1 were dealt a harsh blow before the start when British Rail not-so-kindly cancelled Calin & Chris’s train from Edinburgh. Grr. We therefore started -2 v 2 down, despite best efforts to get our chaps there. If we exclude those boards, the remaining six players scored a 3-3 match draw – and it could have been better, for our debutant Tena had the misfortune to lose on time in a great position.

On Sunday, we scored the must-win win that we needed against West Is Best 1 with Calin and Chris impressing greatly on boards 1 & 3. Sandwiched between them, Will made it a 1½/2 weekend as the top three boards scored 3-0. Hans & Misha also had 1½/2 weekends, Misha pushing very hard indeed for 2/2 before conceding a draw.

Ox2 charged into the Division 3s Promotion Pool with important wins over 1st & 3rd in Pool B. Both of those wins will carry forward and the only question now is: do we carry forward the loss v CSC1 or the win over Poisoned Pawns 1? Arya & Nigel were our key performers scoring 2/2. Round Seven is a dead rubber against The Rookies, which will make no difference at all to anyone and we wait to see who we are up against in Round 8. The other Pool looks mighty close.

Ox3 kept their season ticking over with draws against likely promotion candidates. Nick was to the fore with 2/2, on Sunday turning down draws in a worse position to end up saving the match. New man Rafal scored 1½/2 as our thirds end the weekend just off the pace in sixth spot. Next up are likely to be fifth-placed West Is Best 3.

Ox4 enjoyed a tremendous weekend, firstly despatching the juniors of Barnet emphatically on Saturday before overturning the higher-rated Shropshire 3. OxUni’s George scored 2/2, he’s on 3/3 for us now and I’m sure he can extend his winning run in April!