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Press Release

2005/06 season
Final Weekend
Divisions 1,2 & 3

The top three divisions of the 4NCL concluded over the May Bank Holiday weekend (April 29th to May 1st) at the Paragon Hotel, Birmingham.

In Division 1, much as expected, the star-studded Wood Green 1 and Guildford-ADC 1 teams continued to dominate. Rounds 9 and 10 saw the two vie for leadership … despite Guildford’s crushing 7.5-0.5 victory over The ADs, it was Wood Green 1 who went into the final round with a narrow lead on game points. This meant that Wood Green had the advantage going into the final round match-up with Guildford of knowing that a 4-4 draw would be sufficient to retain their title.

The exchange of team lists for the final round saw Wood Green spring a surprise, drafting in the world’s top female player, Judit Polgar, as a wildcard. This strengthening gave WG1 a significant rating advantage and the average ratings of 2670 and 2617 made this the highest rated match in 4NCL history. Wood Green were fast of the blocks, with Luke McShane scoring a win on board 8. There followed wins for Guildford’s Emil Sutovsky and Wood Green’s Michael Adams, and as play entered the fifth hour it was still all to play for. Wood Green looked under pressure on a couple of boards, but once Alexey Dreev managed to hold the draw against Mikhail Gurevich, it became clear that Wood Green were home and dry. A final victory by Joel Lautier allowed Guildford to level the match, but Wood Green took the Dunworth Trophy on tie-break.

Michael Adams
Michael Adams
Photo - Helen Milligan
Laurent Fressinet
Laurent Fressinet
Photo - Helen Milligan
Judit Polgar
Judit Polgar
Photo - Helen Milligan
Pentala Harikrishna
Pentala Harikrishna
Photo - Helen Milligan
Alexey Dreev
Alexey Dreev
Photo - Helen Milligan
Mikhail Gurevich
Mikhail Gurevich
Photo - Helen Milligan
Ilya Smirin
Ilya Smirin
Photo - Helen Milligan
Michal Krasenkow
Michal Krasenkow
Photo - Helen Milligan
Victor Bologan
Victor Bologan
Photo - Helen Milligan
Joel Lautier
Joel Lautier
Photo - Helen Milligan
Peter Heine Nielsen
Peter Heine Nielsen
Photo - Helen Milligan
Jonathan Rowson
Jonathan Rowson
Photo - Helen Milligan
Emil Sutovsky
Emil Sutovsky
Photo - Helen Milligan
Dagne Ciuksyte
Dagne Ciuksyte
Photo - Helen Milligan

Meanwhile the relegation issue was being decided and it couldn’t have been closer. With Barbican 4NCL 2 already down, it was 3Cs Oldham and The ADs 1 who joined them, with North West Eagles 1 and Betsson.com scrambling to safety. The fight to avoid 10th place was particularly tight, with The ADs and Betsson finishing level on both match points and game points. The tie was resolved in Betsson’s favour due to their round 4 victory in their match with The ADs.

There were also individual issues at stake - Grandmaster norms were recorded by John Shaw (Guildford) and Richard Pert (Wood Green), and IM norms for Neil Berry (Barbican) and Nicholas Thomas (Warwickshire Select) – this last result being achieved in Division 2.

Wallace vs. Rogers
John-Paul Wallace (Guildford), on the left, needed a win against Ian Rogers (The ADs) to score a GM norm ... the game ended in a draw.
Photo - Helen Milligan

Bristol 1 were convincing winners of Division 2 and take the Furness Trophy; they will be bouncing straight back into Division 1 after their relegation last season. Promotion places were also earned by Wood Green 3 and South Wales Dragons 1, with long-time front runners Warwickshire Select 1 narrowly missing out on game points. At the wrong end of the table, Division 3 beckons for North West Eagles 2, Perceptron Youth and Richmond A.

View of the playing room
A view of the playing room as play is about to start.
Photo - Helen Milligan

In Division 3, Hilsmark Kingfisher took the title from long-time leaders Slough Sharks 2, whose surprise defeat in round 10 by Bristol 2 cost them dear. The Sharks had the consolation of promotion to Division 2 and are joined by Poisoned Pawns 1. Relegation was confirmed for Hilsmark Coventry, Poisoned Pawns 2, Mindsportsltd.com and Slough Sharks 3 - the last-named may be cursing the fact that their second team lost to Bristol 2, who thereby escaped from the relegation zone.

Divisions 1, 2 and 3 start a new season on 16th/17th September 2006 at a new venue:- Initial Style Conferences, Sunningdale.

Selected games

John Emms vs. David Ledger
Wood Green 1 vs. Betsson.com, board 6
Division 1, round 9

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 a6 6. Bb3 d6 7. Nbd2 O-O 8. h3 Ba7 9. Nf1 d5 10. Qe2 Qd6 11. Ng3 Na5 12. Bc2 dxe4 13. dxe4 Bd7 14. Nh4 Bb5 15. Qf3 Rfe8 16. Nhf5 Qf8 17. h4 Re6

Emms vs. Ledger

18. Nxg7 Kxg7 19. Bh6+ Kxh6 20. Nf5+ Kg6 21. Qg3+ Kh5 22. Qg5 mate

Michael Henningan vs. Simon Williams
The ADs 1 vs. Hilsmark Kingfisher 1, board 4
Division 1, round 9

1. g3 f5 2. Bg2 Nf6 3. d3 e5 4. Nf3 d6 5. c4 Be7 6. Nc3 O-O 7. O-O Qe8 8. e3 Bd8 9. b4 Qh5 10. Ne1 Qh6 11. f4 c6 12. Nf3 exf4 13. gxf4 Re8 14. Qb3 Kh8 15. Bd2 Nbd7 16. Rae1 Nf8 17. Ng5 Qg6 18. Rf3 Ng4 19. Nh3 Qh5 20. b5 Bd7 21. a4 Ng6 22. Bh1 Bb6 23. d4

Henningan vs. Williams

23... Nxf4 24. Nxf4 Qxh2+ 25. Kf1 Qxd2 26. Re2 Qc1+ 27. Re1 Nh2+ 28. Ke2 Nxf3 White resigns

Laurent Fressinet vs. Michael Adams
Guildford-ADC 1 vs. Wood Green 1, board 1
Division 1, round 11

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Bb4 5. O-O O-O 6. d3 d6 7. Bg5 Bxc3 8. bxc3 h6 9. Bh4 Bd7 10. d4 a6 11. Bd3 Bg4 12. h3 Bxf3 13. Qxf3 g5 14. Bg3 Re8 15. h4 Kg7 16. hxg5 hxg5 17. Qf5 Nh5 18. Rab1 Rb8 19. d5 Na5 20. Bxa6 Qf6 21. Qxf6+ Kxf6 22. Bb5 Rh8 23. Bh2 g4 24. g3 Ke7 25. Kg2 b6 26. f4 gxf3+ 27. Rxf3 Rbg8 28. Rbf1 Rh7 29. Ba6 Nf4+ 30. Kh1 Rgh8 31. R3f2 Nh3 32. Re2 Ng5 33. Rff2 f6 34. a4 Rh6 35. Re3 Ra8 36. Bb5 Nb7 37. Bc6 Rb8 38. Kg2 Nc5 39. Rfe2 Rbh8 40. Bg1 Nh3 41. Kf1 Nxg1 42. Kxg1 Rh1+ 43. Kg2 R8h2+ 44. Kf3 Rf1+ 45. Kg4 Rxe2 46. Rxe2

Fressinet vs. Adams

46... Nxe4 47. Kh3 f5 48. Kg2 Rc1 49. c4 Nc3 50. Rd2 e4 51. Kf2 Kf6 52. Ke3 Ke5 53. Rh2 Rf1 54. c5 Rf3+ 55. Kd2 Kd4 White resigns

Emil Sutovsky vs. Peter Heine Nielsen
Guildford-ADC 1 vs. Wood Green 1, board 7
Division 1, round 11

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. Bd3 d5 5. Nxe5 Nd7 6. Nxd7 Bxd7 7. O-O Bd6 8. Qh5 Nf6 9. Re1+ Be7 10. Qf3 O-O 11. h3 Re8 12. Bf4 Bd6 13. Nd2 Bxf4 14. Qxf4 Nh5 15. Rxe8+ Bxe8 16. Qe5 Nf6 17. Re1 Bd7 18. Nf3 c6 19. Qd6 Be6

Sutovsky vs. Nielsen

20. Rxe6 fxe6 21. Qxe6+ Kf8 22. Bxh7 Qe7 23. Qf5 Qe4 24. Ne5 Ke7 25. g4 Kd6 26. g5 Qxf5 27. Bxf5 Ne4 28. f4 Rf8 29. Bxe4 dxe4 30. Ng6 Rf5 31. Kf2 Rb5 32. b3 Ra5 33. a4 b5 34. Ne5 Ra6 35. axb5 cxb5 36. Ke3 Ra2 37. c4 a5 38. cxb5 Rh2 39. Kxe4 Rxh3 40. Nc4+ Kc7 41. Nxa5 Kb6 42. Nc4+ Kxb5 43. Nd6+ Kc6 44. Nf5 Black resigns

Simon Ansell vs. Harman Jonkman
Betsson.com vs. 3Cs Oldham 1, board 4
Division 1, round 11

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Qf6 5. Nxc6 Bc5 6. Qf3 Qxf3 7. gxf3 bxc6 8. Bf4 d6 9. Nd2 Bd4 10. c3 Bf6 11. O-O-O Ne7 12. Be3 Be6 13. Bc4 O-O 14. Rhg1 a5 15. a4 Bd7 16. f4 Ng6 17. f5 Ne7 18. f4 g6 19. Bf2 d5 20. Ba2 Bg7 21. Bc5 Rfe8 22. fxg6 hxg6 23. f5 Kh7 24. Nf3 Bh6+ 25. Ng5+ Kg7

Ansell vs. Jonkman

26. f6+ Black resigns

Click here to go back to index of press information.

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