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European Club Cup

Three clubs were in the lead after round 5 of the European Club Cup in Rethymnon.

The two favourites Kazan and Paris NAO clashed and drew. Svidler gave NAO the early lead, but Gary Kasparov squared the match by beating Grischuk, maintaining his 100 per cent record so far. The surprise third team which has also won four matches and drawn one is Beer Sheva. This puts their convincing win over Barbican 4NCL in some perspective: it had seemed curious that they should have done so much better against a team which was itself much better than the one which had secured an amazing draw last year, but now we know that the Israelis are simply on blazing form this year!

Barbican 4NCL continues its yo-yo tournament: win, loss, win, loss, win - every win and loss having been quite conclusive! In round four Barbican 4NCL lost 5-1 to Werder Bremen though this team again is performing well above expectations - it followed up by making a result almost as good in round 5 against a team of average Elo not far short of 2600. Much of the Werder team (led by Luke McShane) is young and perhaps it is underrated on the whole. In round 5, Barbican 4NCL played the Greek Club Kydon SC, which had two grandmasters, but a 2380 player on board three and then a further gap on the bottom three. Barbican has often cleaned up against such inconsistent opposition in the 4NCL, and excelled themselves in this match by winning 5-1.

A pleasing feature of Barbican`s performance so far has been its ability to win the match on any set of boards, depending upon the opposition. Thus, we beat the Danish Aarhus by winning the top two and taking draws on the bottom four: against Kydos, we drew with the two GMs and cleaned up on the bottom four boards.

Nonetheless, the acid test will be whether we are able to beat higher rated opposition. We should have our chance today (round 6) and perhaps again tomorrow. The team is currently in 16th place, just inside the top third of the field.

The other British (two Welsh and two Irish) teams are struggling: most unsatisfactorily, each of these four has been given a bye, since there is an odd number of teams in the competition (as there almost always seems to be, it must be added with a note of condemnation). This means that their place in the table shoots up overnight, and they then play considerably stronger teams again in the next round. Hopefully these struggling teams will play each other in the last two rounds, so that at least some of them will be able to leave Crete having won a match over the boards.

Jonathan Rogers
President of Barbican 4NCL Chess Club

Barbican 4NCL's participation in this competition is supported by the Friends of Chess.

Division 1

Pride and Prejudice
Barbican 4NCL 1
White Rose 1
Guildford-A&DC 1
Cambridge Univ. 1
The ADs
Barbican 4NCL 2
Oxford 1
Pandora's Box Grantham
S. Wales Dragons
Guildford-A&DC 2
Poisoned Pawns 1
Jutes of Kent

Division 2

Sambuca Sharks
Warwickshire Select 1
e2e4.org.uk 1
Barbican 4NCL Youth
AMCA Dragons
Kings Head
Poisoned Pawns 2
Anglian Avengers
Wessex 1
Celtic Tigers 1
Bristol 1
White Rose 2
Brown Jack
Guildford-A&DC 3
FCA Solutions 1

Division 3

Rhyfelwyr Essyllwg
Sambuca Black Sheep
Cambridge Univ. 2
Wessex 2
Warwickshire Select 2
KJCA Kings
FCA Solutions 2
The Full Ponty
Sussex Smart Ctls.
e2e4.org.uk 2
Nottinghamshire 1
Nottinghamshire 2
Oxford 2
AMCA Rhinos
Braille Chess Assoc.
AMCA Hippos
Glos. Gambits
Bristol 2
KJCA Knights
Guernsey Mates
Bristol 3
e2e4.org.uk 3
Beauty and the Beasts
Celtic Tigers 2
Oxford 3
Guildford-A&DC 4
AMCA Cheetahs