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This article is used on the 4NCL web site with permission.
Wood Green I snatched the 4NCL Division one title at almost the last gasp from the holders Guildford ADC I as the season ended in dramatic fashion in the eleventh and final round staged at the West Bromwich Moat House Hotel.
Both teams had 100% records at start of play but for Wood Green I a 4-4 draw would suffice thanks to their better board points score.
The decisive moment came near the time control at move 40. Five games had been drawn and the game between Peter Heine Nielsen and Jonathan Rowson was heading that way. Guildford ADC led 3.5-2.5 thanks to the brilliant game shown below when Viktor Bologan took advantage of a slip made by Joel Lautier in time pressure and ended the game with an elegant tactical blow.
This was one of the strongest matches in the history of the 4NCL with ten players in the world's top 100.
Wood Green I 4-4 Guildford ADC I
Michael Adams (w) draw Peter Svidler
Alexey Shirov draw Zahar Efimenko
Viktor Bologan 1-0 Joel Lautier
Ivan Sokolov 0-1 Emil Sutovsky
Peter Heine Nielsen draw Jonathan Rowson
Luke McShane draw Mark Hebden
Danny Gormally draw Pascal Charbonneau
Pia Cramling draw Irina Krush
Emil Sutovsky of Israel is a former European champion and a very gifted player. He played a decisive role in Guildford ADC's triumph last year when he defeated Alexander Morozevich. This time his brilliancy was not quite enough. In the final position its mate in six.
E Sutovsky - I Sokolov
4NCL Div 1 (11) West Brom
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Nxe4 6 d4 b5 7 Bb3 d5 8 dxe5 Be6 9 Nbd2 Nc5 10 c3 Bg4 11 Bc2 Ne6 12 Re1 Bc5 13 Nf1 Bh5 14 b4 Bb6 15 Ng3 Bg6 16 h4 d4 17 Bg5 Bxc2 18 Qxc2 Qd5 19 Nh5 Qc4 20 Nd2 d3 21 Qd1 Qd5 22 Ne4! Kf8 23 Nef6!! gxf6 24 Nxf6 Qc4 25 Re4 Ncd4 26 Bh6+ Ke7 27 cxd4 Nxd4 28 Rc1 Qxa2 29 Rxd4 Rhd8 30 Rf4 d2 31 Rc3! Qa4 32 Ng8+ Ke8 33 Nf6+ Ke7 34 Nd5+!! Rxd5 35 Rxf7+! Kd8 36 Rf8+ Ke7 37 Bg5+ 1-0
a) Black is not afraid of complications, 17...Qd7 18.cxd4 Ncxd4 was a calmer way to play.
b) If 20...Qxc3 21.Nxg7+ Nxg7 22.Qe4 0-0 23.Rac1 Qxb4 24.Rxc6
c) 21...Qxc3 22.Rc1 Qd4 23.Be3 Qd5 24.Bxb6 cxb6 25.Ne4 0-0-0 looks much too dangerous for Black.
d) After 24...Qd8 25.Nxh7+ Rxh7 26.Bxd8 Rxd8 27.Qf3 or 25.Bh6+ Ke7 26.Qf3 Na7 27.Rad1 are winning.
e) If 29...Bxd4 30.Rxc7+ Kd8 31.Rd7+ Kc8 32.Rxd4
f) 32...Rxg8 33.Rxf7+ Kxf7 34.Qf3+ Ke7 35.Qf6+ Kd7 36.Qf7+ Kc8 37.Qxg8+ Kb7 38.Qd5+ Ka7 39.Bxd2 wins
g) 35...Kxf7 allows 36.Qf3+ Ke6 37.Qf6+ Kd7 38.Qf5+ Kd8 39.Bg5+ Ke8 40.Qe6+ Kf8 41.Bh6 mate
Position after 23.Nef6!!
Final position after 37.Bg5+! and 1-0 in view of
37...Kxf8 38.Qf3+ Kg8 39.Qxd5+ Kg7 40.Bh6+ Kxh6 41.Qe6+ Kh5 42.Qf5+ Kxh4 43.g3 mate or 37...Kxf8 38.Qf3+ Ke8 39.Qh5+ Kd7 40.Qg4+ Ke8 41.Qe6+ Kf8 42.Bh6 mate.
Pride and Prejudice
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Cambridge Univ. 1
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Pandora's Box Grantham
S. Wales Dragons
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