4NCL-O Season 2 Round 3: results

Onliners, Oxford’s three teams recorded these results tonight:  

Our games have been gathered in here for perusal.

Ox1: Skip understood absolutely nothing of David’s game, other than that he won. Better minds than his can explain it for him. Nakul made a well-timed draw offer; I daresay he had one eye on Ben’s game where an (accidental?) exchange sacrifice worked out well and Ben had 2B+P for R. He duly converted and that’s nine match wins on the bounce, six of them (including the last three ) being 2.5-1.5. Surely this form can’t last?! We must enjoy it while we can: currently second on goal difference in Pool B. Next up are bottom-of-the-table Wood Green Youth but that doesn’t guarantee anything.

Ox2: No joy again for the seconds, debutant Otto averting the whitewash on this occasion with a perpetual. The next four rounds look winnable, and we must remember that Ox1 lost four straight at the start of last season before recovering to third place. All hope is not yet lost!

Ox3 scored quick wins of differing lengths on the top two boards. Tashika’s 19. Re1 looked like a defensive move and her opponent forgot about his queen being a bit stuck. Ironically his passer on c2 shut off the only escape square for Her Majesty (albeit 20. … Qc2 21. Rac1 is still a problem). Graham benefitted from a strange piece donation by his opponent. His final position was King’s Indian heaven. We remain third in Pool B, chasing Dorking and Bolton.

4NCL-O Season 2 Round 2: results, other news

Onliners, Oxford’s three teams recorded these results tonight:

Our games have been gathered in here for perusal.

Ox1: Beating Atticus A is an important result in the relegation battle. There are no easy matches from here, but hey, we’re on a winning streak of … now, let skip count … eight in a row after starting Season One with four losses on the bounce. Nakultook us all back to the mid-1970s and Karpov-Korchnoi Dragons. There was no Fischeresque “sac, sac” but there was a mate. James had a smooth win, his early b4 to indirectly defend the c5 pawn was probably a surprise to his opponent. K took a stodgy draw to secure the points.

Ox2: Not much joy for the seconds tonight – Andrejs looked like “saving the whitewash” at one point with his draw but Edgarsomehow navigated into a favourable R+P endgame and was held to a technical draw.

Ox3: Debutant Chris E galloped to a win in a Najdorf Sicilian. Skip was surprised to see Graham pick off his opponent’s a- & b- pawns, only for a White pawn to appear on a6 four moves later. Where did that come from?! Tashika won a super-hairy game to pinch the match. Skip wrote her game off at move 33 (Rxb6) but she found a lot of play from somewhere. Well done, her!

There were apparently some football matches on tonight but at least one of our spectating number found the chess much more fun: “I must say that following the lads and lass is a lot more interesting than the football!“.

4NCL-O Season 2 Round 1: results

Onliners, the League season resumed tonight and Oxford’s three teams recorded these results:

Our games have been gathered in here

David kicked off the new season with a King’s Gambit, his entire kingside disappearing in the first ten moves. That’s what I call a King’s Gambit! The other three games saw high drama: Ben was booked for a draw in a totally stodgy endgame, K “couldn’t lose” while James’s opp blundered a piece very early doors so I’d earmarked a win there. None of the games went that way: Ben somehow won his utterly-dead endgame, K likely made the same miscalculation skip did [40. … Re2], and he did lose, and James had to dig in manfully to create a fortress just to save his game. It’s a win, but chaps, can you please make it less hair-raising next time?!

Ox2‘s match with Ashfield was an immediate re-match of Season 1 Round 10. We “had” them last season but they wriggled out with a 2-2 draw. They had us this time; unfortunately we couldn’t wriggle out, Dimitrios scoring our only draw – his first-ever draw in the 4NCL-O League.

Like Ox2, Ox3 had drawn 2-2 with tonight’s oppo in Season One. Phil’s connection stood up well and he was our only winner; Tashika looked likely to follow suit but her opponent whipped up too much counterplay.