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All to play for in Division Four climax

Steve Giddins reviews the upcoming final Division Four weekend

The 2006-7 4NCL season reaches an exciting climax this coming weekend, as the 35 teams of Division 4 gather at de Vere Venues in Sunningdale, to battle it out for the four promotion places. With just 3 match points covering the top 11 teams, the fight promises to go right down to the wire.

As the table shows, going into the final weekend, current pole position is held by the Lewis Hamilton’s of the 4NCL, The Jutes of Kent, in their first season in the league. Team manager Chris Rice, who is also captain of Kent, is looking for a double this season, having already taken Kent into the semi-finals of the Counties’ Championship. The Jutes lead with 13 match points (+6, =1, -1), just one ahead of Nottinghamshire 1, Hilsmark Coventry and Anglian Avengers. Saturday’s 9th round sees the leaders face off against Hilsmark, whilst Nottinghamshire 1 (who inflicted the Jutes’ only defeat of the season so far) meet Conquistadors 1. Other top-of-the-table clashes see Pandora’s Box take on Anglian Avengers, whilst FCA Solutions 2 square up to Monmouth.

With division 4 being run on the Swiss System, pairings for the last two rounds are not yet known, but with few of the leaders having played one another so far, many top-level clashes are inevitable. The Jutes of Kent, for example, have played only one of the 6 teams immediately below them, whilst Anglian Avengers have not yet played anybody in the top 7.

Spectators are welcome to attend the event, and full details of the venue and playing times are available elsewhere on this site. For those who cannot make it, the site will have a full report in due course. To finish with, an incisive game from earlier in the season:

Byron,Alan M (2260) - Hosken,Nigel (2008) [D47]
4NCL/Div4/LEICS vs. GLOSG West Bromwich ENG (4.1), 03.12.2006

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 e3 Nf6 4 Nf3 e6 5 Nc3 Nbd7 6 Be2 dxc4 7 Bxc4 b5 8 Bb3 Bb7?! 9 0–0 a5 10 e4 b4 11 e5 bxc3 12 exf6 Nxf6 13 bxc3 Be7 14 Qe2 Qd7? 15 Ne5 Qc8 16 Re1 Nd5 17 Bd2 0–0 18 c4 Nf6 19 c5 Nd5 20 Bc2 Qc7 21 Rab1 Bc8 22 Rb3 Bd7

Byron vs. Hosken

23 Bxh7+ Kh8 24 Rh3 Nf6 25 Bg5 Qd8 26 Bxf6 Bxf6 27 Qh5 Bg5 28 Qxf7! 1–0

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