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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 4NCL Division 1 proved to be the best possible arena for England’s younger generation of leading players to hone their skills against strong opposition and there were three Grandmaster results. Gawain Jones of Slough Sharks secured the GM title while Stephen Gordon and Stewart Haslinger of 3Cs Oldham both registered their second GM result.

For Haslinger and Gordon their success was not enough to prevent their team being relegated to Division 2. Even with GM Nigel Davies on the team 3Cs did not have the strength in depth to stay up.

Jones had performed so well throughout the season that in the tenth round all he had to do was turn up to secure the GM title. However there had been reports of a party the night before and for a short time after the clocks had started it looked like it might be touch and go. However Gawain duly appeared and one could not fail to be impressed by the fact that despite looking a tad dishevelled he proceeded to outplay the Russian GM Alexander Baburin in the latter’s favourite Alekhine’s Defence before the game ended in a draw.

Here is one of Jones’s best wins of the season.

R Berzinsh – G Jones
4NCL Division 1
Bristol v Slough Sharks
Coventry (6)
Sicilian Dragon
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.g3 Nc6 7.Nde2 Bd7 8.Bg2 Bg7 9.h3 (There seems no pressing need for this, 9.0–0 looks sounder) 9...Qc8 (Preventing castling by attacking h3) 10.Bg5 0–0 11.Qc1 (11.Qd2!? intending 0–0–0 would be unusual in this line but not ridiculous, it would render Qc8 a poor move) 11...Re8 12.Bh6 Bh8 (Of course Black keeps his powerful Dragon bishop) 13.Nf4 (Defending h3 and trying to put a knight on the strong d5 square. However this is all looks rather slow) 13...Nd4 14.Qd2 e5! (You only block in the Dragon bishop for a good tactical reason) 15.Nfe2 b5! (Here it is)




Position after 15...b5!

16.Rc1 (16.a3 Bxh3 17.Rxh3 Qxh3 18.Bxh3 Nf3+ 19.Kf1 Nxd2+ 20.Bxd2 is bad but 16…a5! is good) 16...b4 17.Nd5 Nxd5 18.exd5 Bb5 (Now White must surely have been regretting his failure to castle) 19.c4 (19.Nxd4 exd4+ 20.Kd1 Be2+ is ruinous) 19...Bxc4 20.Qxb4 Bxe2! 21.Rxc8 Raxc8 22.Qxd6 Rc2 23.Qd7 (23.Be4 Rxb2 24.Qa3 Reb8 25.Qa5 was still messy) 23...Bb5 24.Qxa7 Rxb2 25.d6? (25.Bc1 Rb4 26.Be3 e4 27.d6 Rb1+ 28.Kd2 Rb2+ 29.Ke1 Ne2! 30.d7 Bc3+ 31.Bd2 Rb1 mate) 25...Rc8 (Threatening Rc1+ Kd2 Rc2+ mating) 26.Be4 Re2+ 27.Kd1 Rxe4 28.d7 Be2+ 0-1




Final position after 28...Be2+; Nf3+ and mate comes next.

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