Game Report - 31st 4NCL Congress, Harrogate, 19 - 21 January 2024



 GM Keith Arkell


It was a pleasure to return once again to the splendid and spacious playing halls of The Old Swan, Harrogate. After a few rounds, while I was pacing the floor waiting for my opponent to move, I took in the top dozen or so boards and it was striking to observe that for every IM/GM/experienced player, there was a tiny child! These kids are becoming a formidable force at ever younger ages, and it was not even surprising that when the dust had settled, a 9 year old was one of the joint tournament winners. I say it was no surprise because I had already witnessed Supratit Banarjee, from Scotland, draw with GM strength Ameet Ghasi in round 1 of Hastings a few weeks earlier.


Sharing 1st place with Supratit were GM Peter Wells, the strong and solid Paul Townsend, who also tied for 1st place last year, and 15 year old Lorenzo Fava. Dropping one draw too many to be in this pack were the top 2 seeds, IM Gediminas Sarakauskas and myself.


Apart from my failure to arrive in time for round 1 at Bristol, last April, I've been winning these British weekenders non-stop since Hull, back in 2021, and here I had no regrets because a draw with Black v Wells is fine and both Lorenzo Fava and Piotro Denderski played at a very high level - in fact with 98% and 97% accuracy respectively.


Back to the star of the show, and here is the game which brought Supratit Banarjee, 4 years younger than Scotland's perhaps better known prodigy, Frederick Gordon, into a share of 1st:



































Download the above annotated PGN


31st 4NCL Congress: Open | U2000 | U1700 | Replay Games | Information | Prizewinners | Entries





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