chess monthly

Latest Information

How to Enter
2010/11 dates
Team Captains
Current Teams
Teams wanted

Division 1
Division 2
Division 3
Junior 4NCL

Live games
English Chess Forum

Previous Winners
Photo Gallery
Press Info
News Archive
New to the 4NCL
Chess Monthly
Useful Links

Management Board
Appeals Committee

Site Index
Email us

The Four Nations Chess League does not accept responsibility for the content of other websites, to which this site links.

This website includes information on participants in the Four Nations Chess League in respect of name, grade, title, nationality and sex (team registration lists), as well as telephone number(s), email address(es) and postal address(es) in certain circumstances (team captains/managers, management board members, arbiters etc). Participants wishing this information not to be included on the website should contact the webmaster to have it removed, but should be aware that in this event they will not be permitted to play in the league.

Climax of the 2004/05 season

Three teams set out to win Bundesliga

Most exciting final in the 25 year-history of the German top chess league to be transmitted live

"I am the kind of person who always wants to win", says Wilfried Hilgert, wealthy businessman and sponsor of 10-times German team champion SG Porz. Chess professionals from all over the world are happy about his ambition. For more than forty years Hilgert has been supporting his chess team with money, turning it into Germany's most successful club. The 71-year old even put a clause into his will that guarantees Porz ongoing financial support after his death.

SG Porz, situated in a suburb of Cologne, is but one of three contenders in the most exciting title race in the 25 year-history of the German top chess league, commonly known as Bundesliga. The season is drawing to a close this weekend, 9th and 10th April, with Porz, Baden-Baden and Werder Bremen leading head-to-head at 24:2 team-points. In contrast to the Olympiad, in which board-points count, team-points decide in the Bundesliga where teams are composed of eight players according to a fixed order. If at the end of the season two or more teams still share the lead, a tie-break match or tie-break tournament for the title of German team champion will be played.

As Baden-Baden and Porz face each other in the very last round on Sunday there is a fair chance that the winner of this match will not yet be champion but gain the right to play a tie-break against Werder Bremen - provided, they manage to stay beat their last two opponents Wattenscheid and Solingen.

Only a year ago the Bundesliga was in turmoil when four teams voluntarily withdrew after the season, mainly for lack of financial resources. As a consequence Stuttgarter SF, who came last without scoring a single team-point, was allowed to remain in the league, though according to the rules the four teams which finish last should be relegated. Currently the world´s strongest chess league looks as financially healthy as ever. But its history has been overshadowed by several scandals: When Heinrich Jellissen, sponsor of Bayern München, the team dominating the league in the eighties, died in 1994, he owed his players huge sums of money. In 2003 within two weeks of the season´s first round, defending champion Luebecker SV withdrew their team. The team´s sponsor Wilfried Klimek has recently been put into jail by the public prosecutor for failing to file bankruptcy in proper time. Luebeck had been notorious for winning the German team championship three times without one single German in their team. The rules of the league encourage teams to invite foreigners: even though each club can only nominate three non-European players, there is no limit on the number of European players. Clubs which are either not willing or not able to spend a lot of money on foreign professionals have no chance to compete for the title. They either have to fight for a place somewhere in the middle or try to avoid to be one of the four teams relegated every year.

At the outset of the season 2004/2005 things did not seem to be much different. Only two teams appeared to have a chance for the title: Porz and the OSC Baden-Baden, sponsored by the company Grenkeleasing AG. Porz with Michael Adams at board one can boast of no less than fourteen grandmasters, eight of them with a rating of 2600+. Baden-Baden nominated "only" thirteen grandmasters but with Visvanathan Anand, Peter Svidler, Alexei Shirov and Francisco Vallejo-Pons at boards one to four, followed by five grandmasters with a rating of 2600+, they are everything but a pushover. In their top line up both Baden-Baden and Porz can sport an average of more than 2650.

But on 12th March the SV Werder Bremen (yes, the chess section of the current German football champion), a team which had lost all of its ten previous Bundesliga-matches against Porz, surprised the chess fans. Even though having on average 100 rating-points less on every board they beat the grandmasters 6:2 turning the fight for the title into an exciting three-team race the final of which is starting this Sunday at 9 o´clock. The early beginning of Sunday rounds has often been called Bundesliga´s black spot by professional players. It is more likely to be of advantage of Porz, speculates Christopher Lutz who has been playing board one for Hilgert´s team for more than ten years, as he and his teammates have become more used to the the early morning hour than Baden-Baden´s top shots Anand, Svidler and Vallejo.

The league´s website www.schachbundesliga.de will transmit the games of Baden-Baden, Porz and Bremen live. On Saturday the matches (classical seven hour-games) and the transmission will begin at 14:00 o'clock German time (GMT+1), while on Sunday they will begin at 9:00 o'clock.

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