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5th 4NCL Weekend, 4 May 2013, Rd9 - Lawrence Cooper





A total of sixty-seven teams descended on the Hinckley Island Hotel to do battle in rounds nine, ten and eleven. By the end of the weekend eight promotion and relegation places would be decided as well as three league titles and three European Club places.


Round 9:


There is always a lot of interest about what players have been registered and will turn up as wildcards for the final weekend. Wood Green were somewhat over enthusiastic with their registrations with virtually every player in the world’s top ten with the exception of Magnus Carlsen appeared on their updated list. This turned out to be either a hoax or a publicity stunt and most of the names subsequently disappeared.


Division 1C



Yang-Fan Zhou (Guildford 2) v Danny Gormally (Blackthourne R)

Guildford 1 led the table by a point from Wood Green 1 but faced a tough weekend facing teams in second, third and fourth. They overcame stubborn resistance from Barbican 1 despite John Cox beating Mark Hebden with black on board seven and Mark Ferguson and Ingrid Lauterbach holding Robin Van Kampen & Stuart Conquest. They scored 3½ out of four at the top with wins for Gawain Jones and Nigel Short with white against Sam Collins & Lorin D’Costa and a win with black on his Guildford debut for Matthew Sadler against Ryan-Rhys Griffiths. Congratulations to both Ryan-Rhys and Sam Franklin who secured IM norm results.


Wood Green 1 unleashed Alexey Shirov on board two against White Rose. A lively Sicilian encounter ensued against Richard Palliser that was played out to a drawn ending. James Adair had an excellent win against Alexander Baburin but otherwise it was one-way traffic although Peter Wells made Mickey Adams work very hard for his point on top board.


Cheddleton’s frustrating season continued with a 4-4 draw against Jutes of Kent. They had David Eggleston to thank for saving the match as he ground down Arlette van Weersel in the final game. Ezra Kirk secured his first IM norm with a quick win against Keith Arkell whilst Alexei Harakis won a crazy game against Robert Bellin. Jonathan Hawkins was amongst the Cheddleton winners by winning with black against Bragi Thorfinnsson who needed a draw for a GM norm.


Although Cambridge University were defeated 5½-2½ by Barbican 2 they at least had the consolation of two norms. England international Sabrina Chevannes made her first WIM norm whilst Daniel Bisby secured an IM norm. Chris Dorrington was amongst the winners for Barbican, defeating IM Eddie Dearing on top board.


Match points: Guildford 10, Wood Green 9, Barbican 1 6, Cheddleton 5, Barbican 2 4, White Rose & Jutes of Kent 3, Cambridge 0.


Division 1D



Tereza Olsarova (White Rose 1)


A tense weekend of relegation tussles started with three 4½-3½ and one 5-3 results. Guildford 2’s team of three grandmasters and five international masters were narrowly defeated by Blackthorne Russia’s team of one grandmaster, 4 IMs and 3 FMs. Wins for Danny Gormally, Harriet Hunt and Chris Duncan against Yang-Fan Zhou, Alexander Cherniaev and Dagne Ciuksyte give Blackthorne real hope of avoiding relegation and may leave Guildford 2 needing a result against Wood Green 2 in round eleven to survive.


BCM Dragons scored their first win of the season against South Wales Dragons to keep their slim hopes of survival alive. Two names familiar to followers of the ECF forum; Paul Cooksey and Ian Thompson were victorious for BCM as was Hans-Peter Hansen. 2 gained a vital victory against Warwickshire Select to leapfrog them in the table and leave themselves probably one more win from safety. Mark Josse and James Mansson defeated higher rated opposition with white with Paul Lam securing Warwickshire’s only win against Alan Byron.


Sambuca Sharks came very close to a result against an impressive looking Wood Green 2 side containing 4 GMs, 3 IMs and England international Sarah Hegarty. Despite Tom Rendle beating Lawrence Trent and wildcard Klaudia Kulon of Poland defeating Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant wins for Jon Speelman, Benjamin Arvola and Sarah Hegarty saw Wood Green 2 home and ensured their survival although this was never a concern with their players at their disposal this weekend.


Team scores: Wood Green 2 8pts, Sambuca & e2e4 6, SW Dragons & Warwickshire 5, Blackthorne 4, Guildford 2 & BCM 3.


Division 2C


Kings Head confirmed their promotion by an incredible ninth match victory in a row this season. Jochem Snuverink beat Edmund Player on top board and the other seven games were drawn meaning Anglian need two wins to have any chance of a top four finish.


Oxford remain in second place after a 4-4 draw with White Rose 2. David Zakarian, Tom Eckersley-Waites, Matthew Rose and Kieran Smallbone all won for Oxford whilst Jean-Luc Weller, Peter Shaw, Kieran O’Driscoll and Jonathan Arnott replied for White Rose.


3Cs remain well placed for promotion after a 5-3 victory over Wessex with wins from Adam Ashton and Andrew Horton. They were joined on six points by Pandora’s Box who had a surprisingly close victory against Bristol despite a 190-point average advantage on each board.


Kings Head 10, Oxford 7, 3Cs & Pandora’s Box 6, White Rose 4, Anglian Avengers 3, Bristol & Wessex 2.


Division 2D


North East England and were condemned to relegation after defeat against Rhyfelwyr Essyllwg 1 and Barbican Youth.


Division 1, 2 & 3 matches in progress in the large playing hall at Hinckley Island Hotel


KJCA Kings kept their survival hopes alive with an impressive 6-2 win against Poisoned Pawns with wins for Victor Jones, Saravanan Sathyanandha, Jasper Tambini and Robert Maguire whilst The ADs are completely safe after a 5½-2½ win against Spirit of Atticus.


Match points: ADs 10, Rhyfelwyr Essyllwg 1 & Poisoned Pawns 7, Spirit of Atticus & Barbican Y 6, KJCA Kings 4, e2e4 2 0 & North East England 0.


Division Three



The top of the table clash ended in a 3½-2½ victory for Hackney against Cambridge University 2. Their wins came from Ruben Cenal Gutierrez, Adrian Ociepka and John Reid whilst Andrew McClement and Stuart Robertson won for Cambridge.


Bradford remain level with Hackney after a 4½-1½ win over The Rookies with their wins coming from Oskar Hackner, Steven Jones, Andrew Bak and Jim Nicholson.


Anglian Avengers 2 beat Cheddleton 2 3½-2½ to move level with Cambridge 2. Their wins came from Mark Gray and Ivan Myall whilst Simon Edwards won for Cheddleton.


Brown Jack and FCA Solutions both won to move to thirteen points but many other teams remain in contention and it’s unlikely that all four promotion places will be decided until the end of round eleven.


Scores: Hackney & Bradford 16, Anglian Avengers & Cambridge 2 14, Brown Jack & FCA Solutions 13.


As I am stepping down from the 4NCL reporting at the end of the season can anyone who is interested in taking over please contact Mike Truran (contact details here). 


Results, league tables and downloads from this weekend and the previous three are all available via tabs on the left and at the top.


Photos: Steve Connor 4NCL




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