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"The Weakest Link"

The November 2001 4NCL weekend saw one of those rare occurrences, namely an 8-0 scoreline when in Division 2 Round 3 Perceptron Youth thrashed Beeson Gregory 3. In recent seasons match scores of 7-1 have occurred almost every weekend and there have been a number of scores of 7-, but the 8-0 does not happen very often. In the eight and a-little-bit seasons of the 4NCL the Perceptron achievement was only the fifth occasion there has been an 8-0 in a properly contested match.

The first instance came in November 1996 at the Moat House Hotel, West Bromwich when Slough (Kosten, A Summerscale, Miroslav Houska, S Lalic, R Webb, A Smith, Dighton, J Houska) beat Guildford. Two rounds later in the same season (January 1997), Barbican (Crouch, Pritchett, Plueg, Dishman, J Rogers, Sands, Moore, Lang) beat Celtic Knights at Standish Moat House Hotel near Wigan. Now we are piering (ouch) into the past.

In the opening round of the 1998-99 season it was Slough again. This time North West Eagles was the team to suffer and the Slough slayers were B Lalic, Gurevich, Miles, Hebden, Winants, Turner, J Houska and Smith. Eagles defaulted on one board. The fourth instance of an 8-0 score was in March 2001 when a powerful Beeson Gregory 1 line-up (Hodgson, I Rogers, Gallagher, Hebden, McShane, Chandler, Hennigan, Sheldon) which included three, soon to be four, winners of the British Championship beat Midland Monarchs.

So to last month's achievement when the Perceptron Youth team consisted of Hanley, Bigg, Taylor, Yastrebov, Rendle, Gilbert, Lazhevskaya and Timms.

In the opening paragraph I referred to "a properly contested match." I have excluded four matches from last season where defaults played a major part in the scoreline. In Division 3 BCCA "B" forfeited their matches against Athenaeum and White Rose 2 during the third weekend. In Round 10 Warwickshire Select beat BCCA "B" 8-0 with the losers defaulting on four boards. In the same round White Rose 2 beat North Circular Chess League 8-0 with the losers defaulting on five boards.

Apologies for any errors or omissions. Any corrections to me please.

Richard Furness

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