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Divisions 1 and 2
Divisions 1 and 2 passed the halfway stage at the Telford Moat House on March 20th and 21st. After some hard-fought matches, both Divisions have new leaders but there is still all to play for.
Guildford-ADC 1 notched up two 5-3 victories over Barbican 4NCL 1 and Numerica 3Cs and now head the top Division on game points from Wood Green 1, who also scored two match victories. Guildford’s match against 3Cs was particularly bloodthirsty and featured no drawn games. Untitled junior Stephen Gordon can be particularly proud of the scalp of GM Conquest.
Betsson’s great run was brought to an end in round 6 by Wood Green 2, considerably strengthened by three imported GMs. The final round match up between Guildford and Wood Green may well decide the title, but Betsson have a slightly easier run-in - at least on paper - and only trail by one match point.
At the other end of the table, things are beginning to look a bit bleak for newly promoted Warwickshire Select. A narrow defeat to Numerica 3Cs means that Select are still looking for their first match point. Slough 1 and Micro Markets NWE may also be feeling the pressure, but Richmond moved out of trouble with a victory over Slough.
In Division 2, previous leaders Perceptron Youth have now slipped down to fifth after losing to Micro Markets NWE 2 and drawing with Bristol. Kings Head have taken over at the top by scoring a narrow win over Poisoned Pawns and then being held to a draw by Mindsports - a match that went to a few seconds under the full seven hours. But with many of the top teams still to play each other, the title will surely go down to the final round.
Rounds 7, 8 and 9 will take place at West Bromwich over the May Bank Holiday weekend (May 1/2/3).
James Plaskett vs. Jonathan Rogers
Guildford-ADC 1 vs. Barbican-4NCL 1, board 6
Division 1, round 5
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 e4 4.Qe2 Qe7 5.Nd4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Nbd7 7.Nf5 Qe5 8.Ng3 Bd6 9.Ngxe4 O-O 10.d4 Qxd4 11.Nxd6 cxd6 12.Be3 Qb4 13.O-O-O Ne5 14.Qb5 Qh4 15.Rd4 Qh5 16.h3 Bf5 17.Qe2
17...Neg4 18.hxg4 Qxh1 19.gxf5 Rfe8 20.Rd1 a6 21.Qf3 Qh4 22.Bf4 Rad8 23.Bd2 b5 24.g4 b4 25.Nb1 (now 25...h5 would have mixed things according to Jonathan) 25...Ne4 26.Be3 a5 27.Nd2 Nxd2 28.Bxd2 Rc8 29.Bd3 Rb8 30.Rh1 Qf6 31.g5 Qd4 32.Qh5 Black resigns.
Gary Quillan vs. Luke McShane
Micro Markets NWE 1 vs. Wood Green 1, board 1
Division 1, round 5
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bb5 Nd4 6.O-O a6 7.Bd3 d6 8.Nxd4 cxd4 9.Ne2 Nf6 10.b3 O-O 11.Bb2 e5 12.Qe1 b5 13.a4 bxa4 14.Rxa4 Bb7 15.Ng3 Nd7 16.Ra1 exf4 17.Rxf4 Be5 18.Rf3 f5 19.Bc4+ Kh8 20.d3 Nf6 21.h3 Qe7 22.Kh1 fxe4 23.dxe4 Nd7 24.Rxf8+ Rxf8 25.Rd1 Qg7 26.Bd5 Bxd5 27.exd5 Rc8 28.Rd2 Nc5 29.Ne4 Nxe4 30.Qxe4 Rf8 31.Bxd4
31...Rf1+ 32.Bg1 Qa7 and White resigns.
Richard Savory vs. Tom Eckersley Waites
Micro Markets NWE 2 vs. Perceptron Youth, board 5
Division 2, round 5
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 a6 6.f4 e5 7.Nf3 Nbd7 8.a4 Qc7 9.Bd3 Be7 10.O-O O-O 11.Kh1 exf4 12.Bxf4 Nc5 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.exd5 Bf6 15.Ng5 Nxd3 16.Qxd3 g6 17.Bxd6 Qxd6 18.Ne4 Qe5 19.Nxf6+ Kg7 20.Rae1 Qxb2 21.Qg3 b5 22.c3 b4 23.Qh4
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Pride and Prejudice
Barbican 4NCL 1
White Rose 1
Cambridge Univ. 1
Barbican 4NCL 2
Pandora's Box Grantham
S. Wales Dragons
Poisoned Pawns 1
Jutes of Kent
Warwickshire Select 1
Barbican 4NCL Youth
Poisoned Pawns 2
Celtic Tigers 1
White Rose 2
FCA Solutions 1
Sambuca Black Sheep
Cambridge Univ. 2
Warwickshire Select 2
FCA Solutions 2
The Full Ponty
Sussex Smart Ctls.
Braille Chess Assoc.
Beauty and the Beasts
Celtic Tigers 2