Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Cancelled: Easter Congress (9-13 Apr), Women's League (25-26 Apr), 3rd Spring BHol Congress (22-25 May) & Crewe Congress (10-12 July).


Postponed: Weekend 4 (28-29 Mar & 4-5 Apr) and Weekend 5 (8-10 May). More here.


Entry forms for the three cancelled congresses and the cancelled Women's League have been withdrawn, and these events will not be taking place as planned given the current pandemic.


Thank you

I just wanted to put on record my thanks to:

  1. The 4NCL team of volunteers who have worked so hard to put together the whole 4NCL Online and Junior 4NCL Online arrangements in just a couple of weeks;

  2. You, the captains, and your players for supporting both events with such enthusiasm.

As you know, we haven't charged an entry fee for playing in either league. One of the captains has suggested that, in return, the members of the 4NCL family could maybe consider contributing to the 'NHS Charities Together Campaign' in aid of the NHS charities COVID-19 appeal as a small thank you for the astonishing work that our NHS staff and volunteers are doing, in many cases risking their own lives every day to save others.


If you are willing to, please share the donate link with your players.


Thank you,

Mike Truran


4NCL Online Fair Play Guidelines

These are the current guideline and rules for fair play in 4NCL Online including a summary of anti-cheating arrangements. The rules are being reviewed on an ongoing basis and will be updated as appropriate based on experience from 4NCL Online and other events ... see full guidelines.


Note: The above are the proposed fair play guidelines for 4NCL Online and Junior 4NCL Online for Season 2.

Fair Play Update - 11 May 2020

This report is written at the halfway stage of both leagues Ė after Round 5 of the 4NCL Online, and after Round 4 of Junior 4NCL Online.


Total players on the barred list: 19


Players who were prevented from playing any games in these competitions due to having accounts marked as using computer assistance: 7


Players who were using computer assistance during their games: 12, of which


        -  8 were using an engine during their games

        -  4 were attempting to gain assistance using other methods during competition games


Sanctions have not yet been fully imposed in all cases, some of which are pending the result of appeals.


Since the last update, there have been two additional cases of attempting to use other methods during competition games. The rest of the cases representing the increase in the numbers happened in games taking place outside 4NCL Online competition, i.e. the accounts were flagged for using computer assistance as a result of their play in other games on the website.


These numbers represent a modest increase from my last update, but the 4NCL is advised that these figures compare favourably with other events ongoing at the moment of a similar scale around the world.


We continue to receive a significant number of emails on Wednesdays advising us of players who, in the opinion of the author of the email, are using computer assistance. This is often accompanied by a PGN file, or screenshots of Lichess with centipawn analysis, and perhaps an explanation of critical moves that canít possibly be made by humans. We do recognise that there will be concerns, but the data provided will always be far less than we already have available by the time they have sent the email; and even that is less than the information that Lichess has available. I have stopped counting the number of such emails, but the number is approximately 40, and still 0 of them have been corroborated by the data we have available, or by Lichess. However, we are pleased that so far these cases are being handled professionally by email or phone, and to the best of our knowledge that are no social media witch-hunts about the 4NCL Online competitions that do so much to damage the competition. We are pleased to continue to receive such emails even if we are limited in what we can say in reply, but it may be that people could save themselves a lot of time by trying to gather the evidence for the prosecution themselves.


It is heartening that there have been a number of other examples of good sportsmanship that have been referred to us:


  • A player disconnected while short of time in a drawn ending, and after discussions between the captains to try to get the player connected in time failed, the captains and players agreed to declare the game drawn, rather than with the victor claiming a win on time.


  • Several players have made obvious mouse-slips, and responded either by allowing the move to be taken back and replayed as permitted by the software, or agreeing the game to be drawn on the next move.


We are heartened that notwithstanding the increased number of incidents included at the top of this report, players and captains are showing excellent sportsmanship in other areas which does themselves and the league itself proud. We hope that the competition continues very much in this spirit, and that the rest of the 4NCL Online and Junior 4NCL Online competitions continue without cases of using computer assistance in competition games.


Alex Holowczak

11 May, 2020

Magnus Carlsen prepares for meeting with prodigy Alireza Firouzja - Leonard Barden


10.4.20 - Magnus Carlsen, the world champion, has helped spark an immediate and impressively rapid growth in online chess with his announcement of a $250,000 elite tournament which starts on Saturday 18 April with Carlsen himself as the No 1 seed.


Before that, there is the fascinating prospect of a dream final in chess24ís Banter Blitz Cup where players commentate on their moves verbally while the game is in progress and may also trash-talk their opponent ... more.


Britainís national league, the 4NCL, was quickly into action as an online 4NCL attracted 172 four-player teams, far above expectations.




The opening weekly round (of 10) was played on Tuesday on, the user-friendly free site where you are paired with an opponent within a few seconds and which is recommended for newcomers to internet chess.



One unusual aspect of the online 4NCL is that Guildford, who have dominated the over-the-board version for the best part of a decade, are absent. In place of their elite GM squad there is a team of rising talents, Guildford Young Guns. There is also Guildford Gatekeepers, a quartet of low-rated amateurs.


Sanan Sjugirov v Magnus Carlsen, Banter Blitz semi-final 2020. Whiteís last move d3-d4 was a fatal blunder. Can you match the world champion and find the forced win for Black (to move)?


Read more and see solution


More News ...



© 4NCL

Four Nations Chess League

top ^