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The 4 Nations Chess League is the most prestigious team chess event held in the UK. The world’s best Grandmasters travel from all over the globe to compete in the 4NCL. 


The J4NCL weekends will be hosted and sponsored by Puma Hotels Daventry Court.


The 4NCL provides FREE chess tuition between rounds for all competitors. This coaching will give you the chance to have your games analysed by our leading masters and professional coaches who will be on hand to answer any questions.


2013/14 Entry form: Word | PDF | J4NCL dates 2013/14 |


The Junior 4NCL will be running alongside Division 3 South on weekends 2 & 3.


Weekend 1: 5th-6th October 2013

Weekend 2: 16th-17th November 2013

Weekend 3: 11th-12th January 2014


Final Weekend - 6th & 7th Apr 2013






All of the players in Beethoven’s Fifth made crucial contributions to the team’s results for the weekend.


On paper, the Midland Monarchs were the second strongest team, and it was a great start when we beat them in the first round. In the second round we faced Witney, a team stronger in reality than their grades would suggest. Fortunately for us, they had 6 team members that they were cycling and one of their stronger players was not playing in that round; even so, we did not quite manage to beat them, Alyssa outplaying her opponent throughout the game but then missing some tactics which gave a clear win, so having to settle for a draw.


The third round opponents were Yateley Manor, a team that we outgraded significantly on every board except board 4. It all looked as if it was well in the bag on the other boards, but unfortunately Vickie was having a bad day (it happens to all of us) and blundered to lose her game. So the team was especially grateful for Aishwarya’s win on board 4, which meant the match was another win for the team. End of Saturday, 5/6 match points, 2nd place behind Gloucester Giants on 6/6 and everything to play for on the Sunday.


On previous weekends, the Beethoven’s Fifth team have done far better on the Saturday than the Sunday. This has been in a large part due to the “pool” system where with 8 teams, the top 2 from each pool play the other top 2 on the second day.



For this last weekend of the season, there were only 6 teams entered, so the format was all-play-all. But as round 4 progressed, it started to look like the Sunday jinx was continuing. While the players in the Welsh Dragons team had quite low published ECF grades (and/or WCU ratings), as is often the case with stronger juniors, this clearly did not give a fair representation of their current playing ability.


Aishwarya was playing her best friend Emily, and was winning comfortably, until suddenly she lost. Alyssa was outplayed by her fellow countryman on board 1 in the end game after an equal opening and middle game. It was not a complete rout, since Zoe played very strong chess to win on board 3 and Vickie held the draw on board 2 despite being two pawns down.


Still, that left everything hanging on the final game against the toughest team in the competition, the overall winners, the Gloucester Giants (“McLarens +1”). Only a win would guarantee a trophy to add to the prize money for the season. That would be second place. A draw would give third or fourth place depending on the exact results from the other teams. A loss was almost certain to mean fourth place on game points. Aishwarya hung on heroically for a long time, but finally succumbed to an on-form opponent 40 grading points ahead of her and playing well above his grade. Alyssa played a solid game to score a draw against Charlie. Zoe managed to make it a fantastic tournament performance of 5/5 with a win against Harry. It was all down to Vickie.


The last game, still playing. Dangers of being distracted by people crowding round. She was a piece for a pawn up but much lower on time. Well, she pulled the rabbit out of the hat just when it was needed! Turning down a draw, she managed to swap off queens and rooks to get a winning end game while thinking in her opponent’s time. At one point Tom had 20 minutes to Vickie’s 6 minutes, but by the end when Tom, in Zugzwang, resigned, both clocks showed about 2 to 3 minutes left (Fischer timings helped!)


- Andrew Varney




© 4NCL


Four Nations Chess League

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