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Daily Telegraph

Daily Telegraph

Malcolm Pein's daily chess column is available at the Telegraph's web site. You need to register, which is free. The daily chess column can be found by clicking the "Chess Club" link in the Arts section.

This article is used on the 4NCL web site with permission.

The final three rounds in Divisions one and two of the 4NCL took place over the Bank Holiday weekend of May 3rd to 5th at the West Bromwich Moat House. As expected the Division one title went to Wood Green 1 whose team sponsor and captain Brian Smith augmented his squad with England's finest; Michael Adams and Nigel Short.

Wood Green secured theirfirst title in the league's eight-year history with a round to spare after an emphatic 8-0 defeat of Perceptron Youth, a result that had some bearing on Perceptron's slide to relegation the following day.

Wood Green were denied a 100% score in the league when second placed Guildford-ADC 1 put up a magnificent fight in the eleventh and final round to draw 4-4 in a match with sixteen GMs. Indeed Guildford might easily have won but Tony Kosten was unable to convert an endgame advantage against Chris Ward.

On top board Mark Hebden headed for safe equality and a twenty four move draw against Adams while on board two Guildford ADC invited Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria one of the world's best female players to try and unsettle Nigel Short who has a poor record against women. However, Nigel recently broke his run of defeats against Judit Polgar and he played very convincingly from a quiet opening.

Alexander Baburin scored Wood Green's second win after Stuart Conquest blundered and in contrast Guildford ADCs' wins were very hard fought. Alexander Cherniaev finally got the better of Matthew Turner after ninety seven moves, winning an endgame of queen against knight and two pawns. Jim Plaskett played in his typical sacrificial style but still had to overcome some grim resistance from Bogdan Lalic.

Guildford-ADC I4-4Wood Green I
Hebden 2526drawAdams 2723
Stefanova 25500 - 1Short 2686
Kosten. 2545drawWard 2516
Conquest 25560 - 1Baburin 2558
Plaskett 24711 - 0Lalic 2549
Gallagher 2515drawEmms. 2515
Cherniaev 25011 - 0Turner. 2519
Flear 2509drawHunt 2393

Plaskett starts by sacrificing a pawn based on the weakness of the black king and his superior development and ends by sacrificing his queen.

Plaskett,J - Lalic,B [E61]
4NCL Guildford ADC v WG I (11), 05.2003

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 0-0 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 d6 7.e3 Nbd7 8.Qc2 g5 9.Bg3 Nh5 10.Bd3 e6 11.0-0 f5 12.b4 a5 13.a3 f4 14.exf4 Nxf4 15.b5 g4 16.Nh4 Bxd4 17.Rae1 Nc5 18.Bh7+ Kh8 19.Ne2! the g6 square proves Black's undoing. 19...Nxe2+ 20.Rxe2 Rf6 21.Rd1 e5 22.Rxd4 exd4 23.Ng6+ Kg7 [ 23...Kxh7 24.Nf8+ Kg8 25.Qh7+ Kxf8 26.Qh8+ Kf7 27.Qxd8] 24.Re7+ Qxe7 [ 24...Rf7 25.Rxf7+ Kxf7 26.Ne5+ Kf8 27.Qg6 dxe5 28.Qg8+ Ke7 29.Bh4+ Kd7 30.Qxd8+ Ke6 31.Qe7#] 25.Nxe7 Re6 26.f4 d3 27.Bxd3 Rxe7 28.Bh7 Re6 29.Bh4 Bd7 30.f5 Re4 31.Bg6 Rf8 32.Qc3+ Kg8 33.f6 Re5 34.Qc1 g3 35.hxg3 Ne4 36.Qxh6 Nxf6 37.g4 Re7 38.Bxf6 Rxf6 39.Qg5 Rfe6 40.Bf5+ Rg7 41.Bxe6+ Bxe6 42.Qd8+ Kh7 43.Qe8 Bxg4 44.Qe4+ Kh6 45.Qxb7 Bh3 46.g3 Be6 47.Qf3 Kg6 48.Qe3 Kf6 49.Qa7 Kg6 50.Qxa5 Bxc4 51.Qb4 d5 52.a4 Rf7 53.a5 Rf3 54.b6 cxb6 55.axb6 Rxg3+ 56.Kf2 Rb3


57.Qxb3 A final sacrifice winning the game. 57...Bxb3 58.b7 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