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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.

It was an unprecedented season of success for Guildford-ADC as the Surrey team dominated the 4Nations Chess League Division 1. Guildford-ADC 1 became the first team to win the 4NCL with 100% winning all eleven matches while Guildford-ADC 2 were second, scoring 10 match wins.

This record breaking season was immediately rewarded with news of continued support for the team from their sponsors A&DC a Surrey-based Human Resources consultancy founded by Guildford’s team captain International Master Nigel Povah.

Povah, who plays for the second team certainly managed his human resources well as Guildford-ADC fielded a consistently strong squad throughout the season that included thirteen Grandmasters on the last weekend. The first team included British Champion Jonathan Rowson on top board and the former World U18 Champion and England international Nick Pert while the second team was led by Britain’s youngest Grandmaster, 16-year old David Howell.

Here is one of Howell’s best wins of the season, over GM Jon Speelman.

J Speelman – D Howell
4NCL Div1 Coventry (5.1)
English Opening
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Bb4 (The Kramnik-Shirov Attack) 3.Nd5 Be7 4.d4 d6 5.Nf3 e4 (Black stakes out space on the kingside and centre) 6.Nd2 f5 7.Nb1! (The knight will be well placed on c3 as the other will take on e7. The closed nature of the position renders the loss of time unimportant) 7...Nf6 (7...Bf8!? would be very cheeky) 8.Nbc3 0–0 9.g3 (9.Nxe7+ Qxe7 10.Bg5 c6=) 9...Be6 10.Nxe7+ Qxe7 11.d5 (Otherwise Black takes the centre) 11...Bf7 12.Bh3 (Slightly eccentric but good, as was the standard 12.Bg2 Nbd7 13.0–0 Ne5 14.b3 followed by f2-f4) 12...Ng4 13.Bxg4 fxg4 14.Be3 (14.Qd4 Bg6) 14...Nd7 (Black has allowed his pawn structure to be damaged but White's king is now permanently a little jittery) 15.Qd4 Bg6 16.0–0 (16.h3!? intending 0–0–0) 16...Rae8!? 17.Qxa7 Qe5 (The plan is simple: Qh5-h3, Rf8-f5-h5 and mate on the h file) 18.Rfc1 (18.Qxb7 Qh5 19.Qxc7 Ne5 was critical when the mating plan is Qh3 and Ne5-f3+. White can try 20.Kh1 followed by Rg1–g2, 20.Bd4 to swap the knight or 20.h4 gxh3 21.Kh2. None of these seem to lose. However 20.Qxd6 Qh3 21.Rfe1 Nf3+ does) 18...Qh5 19.Kf1 Nc5! 20.Qa3 (20.Bxc5 dxc5 21.Kg1 Rxf2! 22.Kxf2 Qxh2+ 23.Ke1 Qg1+ 24.Kd2 e3#; 20.Bxc5 dxc5 21.Qxc5 e3 wins) 20...Qxh2 21.Ke1 Ra8 22.Qb4 Nd3+ 23.exd3 Qg1+ 24.Kd2




Position after 24.Kd2

24…Rxf2+! 25.Ne2 (25.Bxf2 Qxf2+ 26.Kd1 exd3 intending d2 and Qe1 mate) 25...Rxe2+ 26.Kxe2 Qg2+ 27.Kd1 exd3 28.Qe1 Rf8 29.Bf4 Re8 30.Be3 Rf8 31.Bf4 Be4 32.Rc3 Re8? (32...g5 wins, bludgeoning open the f file) 33.Kc1! Bg6 34.Qd1 Re2 35.Bd2 Rf2 36.b3? (36.Be1 Re2 37.Bd2 and the way through is not obvious) 36...Be4 37.Qxg4 Rf1+ 38.Kb2 Qxd2+ 39.Ka3 Bf5 40.Qh4 Rxa1 0–1




Final position after 40...Rxa1

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