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.
Top 10 highest rated losers on 4NCL debut

During the nine seasons of the 4NCL’s existence many players have enjoyed a successful debut, but every victory has to be balanced by a loss. The list of debutant losers has, in recent seasons, become very impressive.

An upset in the first season – March 1994 – was when North West Eagles’ Gary Quillan beat Alexei Ivanov who was playing for Invicta. Eight years later it is difficult to establish which of the four Alexei/Alexey Ivanov’s now in the FIDE list this was. The highest graded at the moment had a grade then of 2450. Perhaps someone can throw light on the identity of Invicta’s Ivanov.

It was not until two years later that a player higher-rated than 2450 lost on his first appearance. The loser this time was Jonathan Parker who was playing for Midland Monarchs. Rated 2480, Jonathan was beaten by David Cummings of South Wales Dragons. This occurred in January 1996, but only four months later there was a massive jump from 2480 to 2610 when Julian Hodgson, no less, lost to Alan Hanreck (Hertford). This was a 355-point grading upset and Julian remained the highest-rated player to lose on his first appearance in the 4NCL for a full four years.

By the year 2000 the league began to get an annual “crunch” match which would often determine the title and some very high profile performers were being smuggled in as superstar wildcards.

In round 10 of the 1999-2000 season Nigel Short made his 4NCL debut but lost against James Plaskett. Nigel’s rating of 2683 made him the new highest-rated player to suffer a debut loss. The following day, the final round of the season brought together Slough and Wood Green. Facing each other on top board were Zoltan Almasi (2676) and Alexander Morozevich (2748). Victory for Alexander made the Hungarian Grandmaster the second highest debutant loser a mere seven points behind Nigel.

One year on and the doubtful distinction of being the highest-rated debutant loser passed to another world superstar when Russia’s Peter Svidler (2696) also fell victim to Morozevich.

There have been no changes to the top three so far this season but Viktor Korchnoi’s win against Viktor Bologan (2651) put the Moldovan in fourth place on the list.

Surprisingly seven of the top ten losers on debut had the advantage of the white pieces.

The list of the Top Ten is given below. If there are any errors or omissions, please let me know. Remember the criterion is not just high-rated players losing, it is restricted to the loss being in the player’s first game in the 4NCL.

Richard Furness
4NCL Chief Arbiter

Peter Svidler w 2696 BGr Alexander Morozevich 2749 WGn06/05/01
Nigel Short b 2683 WGn James Plaskett 2515 Gui30/04/00
Zoltan Almasi w 2676 Slo Alexander Morozevich 2748 WGn01/05/00
Viktor Bologan b 2651 WGn Viktor Korchnoi 2633 BGr20/01/02
Julian Hodgson w 2610 Slo Alan Hanreck 2255 Hrtfd25/05/96
Alexander Baburin w 2590 WGn Luke McShane 2470 Big22/11/98
Jonathan Parker w 2480 MMon David Cummings 2350 SWD20/01/96
Alexei Ivanov w 2450? Inv Gary Quillan 2325 NWE19/03/94
Jacob Aagaard b 2440 NaF Richard Bates 2315 Ric22/03/97
Jonathan Levitt w 2430 WGn Andrew Webster 2410 MMon10/02/95

Download some of the games in PGN format here. If anyone can supply any of the missing games, please let us know.

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