4NCL-O Season 4 Round 7: results

All, these are our results for Round 7:

Our games are available for scrutiny here.

Ox1: Who knew utter madness could occur after only 13 moves of a French Exchange? Tomasz went pawn-grabbing, invited Black to have a go at his king and calmly parried all sacrificial attempts. Nakul looked good for a while but ultimately had to settle for a draw. How are Broadland Kestrels doing? Sadly they are sunk, for their board 3 defaulted and their board 4 has lost, so -½ v 2 as skip types and that means Ox1 are down.

Ox2: Dimitrios was quickly in the clubhouse, delivering mate at move 22. After Kenneth had also won, Tashika brought home the match after quite a scare when her opponent achieved a strong position in the middlegame, the knight on d2 being a thorn in her side for some time. Well done her. Graham drew admiring comments from the kib early in his game as he wrested the two bishops and a pawn from his oppo in the early middlegame and he completed the whitewash. All to no avail for the three teams ahead of us all won so Ox2 finish fourth.Ox3: Chris was quickly in the clubhouse as he flattened his opponent, reaching 5½ from six games for the season. WIth Asif‘s game going horribly wrong early doors (his season score of 2/6 feels to skip more like 4/6) Phil made an enterprising attempt to win his game with 40. … Nb4. That too went wrong somewhere (perhaps 42. … Rc2 instead of Kf7?) and it was left to Ian to rescue the match, which he did to “nerves of steel” comments from the kib. Results elsewhere mean Ox3 also finish fourth (in a three-way tie for second).

Ox4: Jan’s game had ebb and flow, he picked off both the oppo’s rooks on their starting squares before Black countered with a dangerous-looking kingside attack. A rook sacrifice led to mate and leaves Jan’s perfect winning record intact. Terrific season, Jan! Everyone else went down so we must wait and see if nine points is sufficient for promotion. Skip thinks not, but he would like to put on record that Ox4 have done far better than he expected them to do.

End Of Season Player Stats (all from six games unless stated)

Jan 6, Chris 5½, Dimitrios 5, Ian, Graham 4½, Nakul 4/7, Neil 3½, Tashika 3½/7, Amaan 3, Phil 3/5, Kenneth 2½/4, Tomasz, Sean 2½, Asif, David 2, Simon 1½/3, Alex 1½/5 and we will stop there.

4NCL-O Season 4 Round 6: results

Onliners, these are our results for Round 6:

Our games are available for scrutiny here.

There was pre-match panic when the 4NCL software somehow transposed James & Nakul. We have no idea what happened but skip knows something strange also happened in the Kestrels 1 match where the wrong board 3 showed in the pairings – that game didn’t start until 20:08! Apologies again to James & Nakul. Someone will investigate.

On the pitch, David enjoyed a quick win over his IM opponent. He’s in good form having co-won the Scarborough Open with 5/5 at the weekend. Tomasz may have been inspired by K’s win last round: he similarly grabbed a pawn (ok, two) and held onto them, scoring his first win of the season. Nakul then settled for a draw in a better position to secure the points. A good win for the first team, assuring Division 1 chess next season!

Ox2‘s fortunes dipped when Dimitrios, hitherto on 4/4, ran into a fork. That set the tone for the match and Tashika salvaged our lone half-point when her opponent made a generous draw offer. With Wessex C & Kestrels 2 winning, Ox2 drop to fourth in the Pool.

Ox3: more strange happenings elsewhere as top-of-the-Pool Shropshire & Friends 2 defaulted. Apparently they had a team but their captain failed to enter it online – though he successfully entered his other six(!) teams. Ian & Graham had late wins to complement draws lower down. The division order is unchanged but much tighter: S&F 2 9, Plymouth, Ox3, Phones Pals A 8. All to play for in Round 7!Ox4

Chris continued his unbeaten season, picking off White’s undefended bishop with a fork. He’s on 4½/5 for the season. Jan is doing even better, on 5/5 – 36 … Bb1+ was a neat finish. Losses on the other two boards pegged the team back to 2-2; your skip thought Asif had a terrific game and deserved more for his efforts. Ox4 remain in the top 8 and have a big Round 7 match for promotion.

4NCL-O Season 4 Round 5: results

All, these are our results for Round 5 – two match wins, one draw, one loss, all very close:

Our games are available for scrutiny here.

Ox1: an early commentator expressed disappointment at missing out on Smallbone v Kneebone. The former returned to active duty with another one of those games of his where skip thinks there’s a plan going on but knows not what it is. The plan proved very effective.

Ox2: skip had hardly settled into watching our games before Kenneth mated his opponent in 13. Dimitrios came up with some great defence after his opponent initiated a rapid attack – 23. … c3, 24. … Bxe2, 25. … Bh5 was terrific, skip thought, and he eventually beat off the attack to join Jan on 4/4 for the season (one sitout each). Results elsewhere mean Ox2 & Hertford 1 are top of the Pool with 8 points each; Round 6 Ox2 v Hertford 1 is a big match.

Ox3: Ian gave our celebrity kibitzers plenty of entertainment, eventually drawing an opposite-bishop endgame. Comment of the evening was “It was clever of Ian to get opposite coloured bishops in anticipation of him going from a pawn up to a pawn down“. Draws also on 1 & 4 (skip thought Neil was doing well after his exchange sac – another one!) left the match in Tomasz’s hands; sadly his opponent got in first.

Ox4: we had the minor disaster of a player going AWOL at work but the rest of the team made light of that, Chris playing a lot of moves quickly and winning just as quickly. Simon let his opp slip through his fingers leaving Asif to win the match. That sounds simple but it wasn’t: in the middlegame Asif’s army became rather disparate and White seemed to have lots of play. In the final position Asif had got his queen and rooks organised and he’d held onto his extra pawn. Simon & I reckon White’s resignation was premature, but I’m sure Asif was pleased with his hard-won point!

4NCL-O Season 4 Round 4: results

Onliners, these are our results for Round 4 (three match wins, one defeat):

Our games are available for scrutiny here.

There was little joy for Ox1 against a strong Alba outfit. Nakul defended heroically, skip admiring 48. Qd1 getting his king out of trouble, for a well-deserved draw.

Sean got Ox2 off to an explosive start with a rapid attack – his pawns arrived on h6 and g6 in no time at all and a spectacular queen Greek Gift mated the opposing king. Brilliancy!! Dimitrios & Tashika made it 3-1, Tashika finding a clean finish with 34. … Rb1.

In Ox3, Phil N & Asif took advantage of oppo miscalculations in the early middlegame to have us 2-0 up within an hour. Don’t people know to push kings up in the endgame? Graham reached a knight endgame at move 24 and White’s king proceeded to sit lazily on h1 for 23(!!) moves, watching his trusty steed do quite a lot of galloping. By the time His Majesty stirred to life Graham had established a winning passed b-pawn. Neil’s game attracted quite a lot of “expert kibitzer” commentary. The consensus was that his exchange sacrifice always had adequate compensation and maybe more.

Ox4: Amaan reached a BB+pawns v NN+pawns endgame. Bishops > knights, at least in this case where both steeds perished leaving BB+pawns v nowt+pawns. New British Under-10 OTB champ Jan’s game finished abruptly when his opponent missed the threat.