4NCL 2022-23 Rounds 7-8: results I

The rumour is that this weekend was the 4NCL’s last-ever visit to Daventry. OK, penultimate, with the second half of the “split” weekend to come in five days’ time. Skip hears that next year’s Daventry rates will go up extraordinarily / extortionately / other words beginning with “ex” (exponentially?), so it appears likely 4NCL will be elsewhere in 2023-24. It has something to do with government contracts and hotels trying to improve on those, as skip understands it.

Oxford’s top two teams recorded these results this weekend:

  • Oxford 1 beat North East England 5½-2½ and Sharks 2 5-3.
  • Oxford 2 lost to Warwickshire Select 2½-3½ (third loss by that scoreline this season!) and 2-4 to Brown Jack.

David & Anand both scored 2/2, while Tashika, Jan & Roman picked up 1½. Roman may have had a huge slice of luck on Saturday – did his opponent lose on time in mid-winning attack? Shambavi drew both games on her Ox2 debut, a relatively short one on Saturday followed by a marathon 103-mover on Sunday.

Oxford 1 continue to chase the top 3 in Division 2 (3 teams go up). Conversely Oxford 2 are perilously close to the lower trap-door leading to Division 4. A good final weekend is needed all round!

It was amusing to see the Sharks Twitter account assert “Sharks 2 are heavily outrated on FIDE ratings against Oxford 1”. Skip did the maths … and found Sharks 2 averaged 2161 v Oxford 1’s 2155. Maths clearly not Sharks Twitterer’s strong point.

Top game goes to Kenneth for his efficient demolition of the NEE board 7 on Saturday. Was the 8. … Bxe4 pawn grab too hot? Black was certainly in hot water five moves later after 13. Qa4+.