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.
European Club Cup

Lawrence Cooper reports on Hilsmark Kingfisher at the European Club Cup in Fuegen, Austria

After the usual teething problems that seem to accompany entering any major chess event it was something of a relief to finally board the flight from Stansted early on the 7th October to head off to Fuegen via Munich. Although we had lost Matthew Broomfield from our original squad we were able to call on the services of team manager Mark Hogarth as an unlikely board 8. My plan at the start was to play a team of Ulf Andersson, Keith Arkell, Simon Williams, Andrew Greet, Jovanka Houska and Daniel Lindner in every match using myself as a reserve when players wanted to rest or were unavailable. At the start I knew Daniel would miss round 3 and Ulf round 7 so I was hopeful of at least 5 days off with the option of Mark playing in round 7 if a medal was out of reach. We were seeded 21st so I was hopeful of winning at least four matches whilst aware that we would probably yo-yo between beating a lower rated team and then losing to a top team.

Round 1

Bo.50IRLKilkennyRtg23ENGHilsmark KingfisherRtg2 : 4
23.1GMBaburin Alexander2541GMAndersson Ulf2542½ - ½
23.2IMHeidenfeld Mark2365GMArkell Keith C24790 - 1
23.3 Mcphillips Karl2208IMWilliams Simon24730 - 1
23.4 Keogh Eamon2093IMGreet Andrew24390 - 1
23.5 White John0IMHouska Jovanka23641 - 0
23.6 Bradley Sean0 Lindner Daniel2271½ - ½
In the first round we were paired against Kilkenny. The general consensus seemed to be that Ulf would draw on top board and we would try to win the other five! It actually turned out to be very close. Ulf was solid and held the draw and Andrew won easily but boards 3 and 5 were causing concern. Simon was an exchange down but the position was completely blocked so a draw seemed likely whilst Jovanka was in trouble. In the end, Simon's opponent refused a draw and then proceeded to blunder away his whole position in a very painful (for him) manner. Jovanka rallied but narrowly failed to hold her ending a pawn down. Meanwhile Daniel drew uneventfully and Keith was enjoying a long grind which included a king hunt and an eventual winning rook ending. The good news was that the bottom two pairings were against unrated players so at least Jovanka and Daniel's rating emerged unscathed. A hard fought victory to start with but at least the team had held their nerve in their European debuts.

Round 2

Bo. 23ENGHilsmark KingfisherRtg7FRAClichyRtg1½:4½
7.1GMAndersson Ulf2542GMNisipeanu Liviu-Dieter2690½ - ½
7.2GMArkell Keith C2479GMNaiditsch Arkadij26760 - 1
7.3IMWilliams Simon2473GMPelletier Yannick2588½ - ½
7.4IMGreet Andrew2439GMTregubov Pavel V25960 - 1
7.5IMHouska Jovanka2364GMDavid Alberto2534½ - ½
7.6 Lindner Daniel2271GMApicella Manuel25380 - 1
The second round pairing was a perfect example of why we were so pleased to qualify for the event. We were playing Clichy, the seventh seeds who had 6 GMs including 2 big 2600s. They played very professionally and successfully adopted a win with white draw with black strategy. In particular, both Simon and Jovanka's opponents played to draw from the outset and achieved their aims although Simon's game flickered briefly into life. Ulf emerged from the opening with a difficult position and had to work hard to survive, his legendary technique was certainly tested. After missing a chance to equalise in the opening Keith faced a difficult task. However, he seemed to outplay his opponent to fight back to almost equality only to blunder and allow his opponent to escape with an endgame win. Andrew was defeated by a fine attacking display by Tregubov whilst Daniel was ground down after a theoretical but slightly dubious pawn sac in the Schliemann.

Round 3

Bo. 36NEDLSGRtg23ENGHilsmark KingfisherRtg2 : 4
16.1IMWiersma Eelke2414GMAndersson Ulf2542½ - ½
16.2IMVan Haastert Edwin2393GMArkell Keith C2479½ - ½
16.3FMVan Ketel Raoul2324IMWilliams Simon24730 - 1
16.4FMVan Wessel Rudy2321IMGreet Andrew24390 - 1
16.5 Bakker Sven2237IMHouska Jovanka23640 - 1
16.6 Wantola Ivo2226IMCooper Lawrence23091 - 0
Our first change of the event was an enforced one as Daniel Lindner had a prior engagement in Munich which meant a reluctant debut for our captain. Ulf, tired by his efforts the previous day, drew fairly quickly but this was more than compensated for by Simon obtaining a winning position in the opening. Keith was again on the way to grinding out a win whilst the only board causing concern was a below par display by myself on board 6. Andrew won well whilst Jovanka won two rooks for a queen and finished her opponent off with a mating attack. Unusually for Keith, he failed to reap the rewards of outplaying his opponent in the ending whilst I slipped to a poor defeat. Fortunately for me, it didn't cost us the match.

Round 4

Bo. 23ENGHilsmark KingfisherRtg13CZEBauset PardubiceRtg1½:4½
8.1GMAndersson Ulf2542GMMovsesian Sergei2637½ - ½
8.2GMArkell Keith C2479GMLaznicka Viktor2596½ - ½
8.3IMWilliams Simon2473GMHeberla Bartlomiej25690 - 1
8.4IMGreet Andrew2439GMVotava Jan2531½ - ½
8.5IMHouska Jovanka2364IMBernasek Jan24700 - 1
8.6 Lindner Daniel2271 Stehno Pavel22730 - 1
The yo-yo effect continued as we again met a strong side. Ulf had a quick draw on top board but things became bleak after that. Although Keith's opponent failed to capitalise on a big advantage from the opening and Andrew held on to draw a difficult position a pawn down, Simon lost after failing to find the right plan in the middlegame whilst Jovanka and Daniel were both in trouble in the middlegame and were unable to survive.

Round 5

Bo. 23ENGHilsmark KingfisherRtg28AUTSK HohenemsRtg4 : 2
14.1GMArkell Keith C2479GMBezold Michael2535½ - ½
14.2IMWilliams Simon2473IMAtlas Valery24820 – 1
14.3IMGreet Andrew2439IMNovkovic Milan2417½ - ½
14.4IMHouska Jovanka2364IMGaertner Guntram23311 – 0
14.5IMCooper Lawrence2309 Grabher Heinz23111 – 0
14.6 Lindner Daniel2271FMThoma Robert23631 – 0
From a personal point of view, round 5 was the highlight of the tournament for me. After losing in round 3 I was desperate not to repeat the experience and so to score the winning point was very special. I was called into the team when Ulf became ill and was therefore unable to play. This made the match much closer but we produced one of our best team performances. Keith took over Ulf's mantle and held top board. Simon played a fine queen sacrifice and a good game but failed to convert the position and went astray, eventually losing although he had a late chance to save the game. Andrew drew a hard fought, fluctuating struggle, eventually drawing with a lone bishop against rook. Jovanka won well with black and I won a ridiculous game where I kept obtaining a won position only to throw it away and have to win it all over again. Daniel equalised early on and his opponent eventually lost on time as Daniel gradually seemed to be getting the better of the ending.

Round 6

Bo. 16SUISchachgesellschaft ZürichRtg23ENGHilsmark KingfisherRtg4 : 2
11.1GMGabriel Christian2540GMArkell Keith C2479½ - ½
11.2GMJenni Florian2521IMWilliams Simon24730 – 1
11.3GMVogt Lothar2479IMGreet Andrew24391 - 0
11.4IMHug Werner2440IMHouska Jovanka2364½ - ½
11.5FMGruenenwald Joerg2354IMCooper Lawrence23091 - 0
11.6IMHess Ralf2340 Lindner Daniel22711 - 0
After the euphoria of the previous day we came back to earth with a bump. Leading the way, I played a particularly poor game with black and this put the team under early pressure. Simon ended a run of two defeats by defeating a GM, the final position as vivid an example as you could wish for in terms of knight dominating bishop and one side being completely unable to free his position. Andrew sacrificed the exchange for sufficient compensation whilst Keith held another hard fought game on top board and Jovanka pressed without being able to break through. Probably the most tragic game from the Hilsmark point of view in the whole event was Daniel's game where having refuted his opponent's sacrifice with good preparation and a well played game he blundered into a queen sac forcing mate in 2. There's often a fine line between victory and defeat.

One interesting event prior to the match was the opposition's omission of Victor Korchnoi from their team as he doesn't enjoy facing the ultra solid Ulf. If only he had known about Ulf's illness Keith would have the chance to face one of the world's most legendary players.

Round 7

Bo. 23ENGHilsmark KingfisherRtg26LTUVilnius Chess Club NSEL30Rtg2 : 4
13.1GMArkell Keith C2479GMKveinys Aloyzas2540½ - ½
13.2IMWilliams Simon2473IMZagorskis Darius2468½ - ½
13.3IMGreet Andrew2439IMGrabliauskas Virginijus2419½ - ½
13.4IMHouska Jovanka2364IMSarakauskas Gediminas2438½ - ½
13.5 Lindner Daniel2271 Novikov Vitalij23280 - 1
13.6 Hogarth Mark1921IMDambrauskas Virginijus23310 - 1
A disappointing end to an enjoyable week and a good learning curve for my young team. The top two boards were quickly drawn as the tiring schedule and long games in earlier rounds took their toll. Faced with a 400 point deficit on bottom board our intrepid team manager fought hard but unsuccessfully whilst Andrew pressed hard but ultimately without reward. Defending pawn deficits in the final two games Jovanka was successful in a rook ending but Daniel wasn't able to hold in a queen ending.

Summing up, this was a great experience. To see teams such as Ural field 4 2700s and fail to win the event showed how strong it was. The team fought hard and possibly with the addition of another titled player we could have finished higher up the rankings. Ulf (=4) and Keith (+1 =5 -1) led from the front and played extremely well against very tough GMs on top board. Simon (+3 =2 -2) was his usual creative self and clearly unsettled the GMs he faced. Andrew (+2 =3 -2) battled hard but was unlucky to get black against most of his toughest opponents whilst Jovanka (+2 =3 -2) also played well. I did feel if I could have swapped their colours in some of the big games they could have both fared even better. I was disappointed with my own performance (+1 -2) against opposition of my own rating, maybe the only bright spot for me is that in my last 4 rated games I've had no draws and over the 200+ moves there hasn't been a single draw offer by either side! Daniel was somewhat unlucky to finish on +1 =1 -4 and will rue his round 6 game which should have left him on 50% with a round to go. Mark was delighted to get a chance to play in such a big event and it seemed only fair to give him the opportunity in view of what the team has achieved since he formed them only four seasons ago. Finally, thanks again to Friends in Chess for their magnificent financial support. The tournament website can be found at here.

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