4NCL Online Season 5 Review

Thanks to all of you for playing. We had a squad of 10 players for 8 boards, but based on some availability comments I felt that we wouldn’t be able to fill both teams for all matches. But then, when an 11th player joined us and I discovered that 4NCL only allowed a squad of 8 per team I decided to enter a second team.

Crowthorne B has always been in the lowest division and has finished 58th/68, 59th/72, 43rd/56, 16th/28 (despite only playing in 5 of the 7 rounds). They scored 3 wins this time!

Click to see larger image
Click to see larger image

4NCL Online Round 6 results

The Crowthorne teams had varying results in round 6 in the 4NCL Online season, played on April 5. The A Team lost 4-0, despite marginally out-rating their opponents, but the B Team drew 2-2.

This leaves the A team in 6th place out of 8 in Division 2, and the B Team is in 13th place out of 28 in Division 5.

Full results and tables etc can be found on the 4NCL web site.

Christmas Speed Handicap Results

We finally held the thirty fourth Crowthorne Christmas speed handicap tournament last night (Saturday 2nd April) shortly before Easter, having postponed the event on its original date, shortly before Christmas, due to Covid restrictions. Nonetheless, a number of people thoughtfully entered into the spirit of the occasion by wearing their Christmas jumpers, and Scott even appeared in his legendary snowman onesie. Attendance was roughly half that of the previous over the board tournament in 2019, but that didn’t make the chess any more refined: the same extraordinary twists and turns of fate occurred on the boards as ever.

The winners of the two groups were Scott and Daniel and, appropriately perhaps, they were also the two finalists. Daniel reached the final beating Harriet in the semis after a hard-fought game in which he ingeniously sacrificed a queen to reach an advantageous bishop and pawn ending, converting it to a win through precise and careful technique. Scott had a somewhat quicker semi-final win against Mark (Cross) in a choppy tactical melee typical of the speed handicap.

In the final Scott played the opening which has given him so much success this season, the Black Lion defence albeit move in advance as white, and it delivered the goods for him again. Daniel’s king came under pressure along files and diagonals, leading to Scott delivering an on-the-board checkmate.

Congratulations to Scott for his first Speed Handicap win and fine performance all evening. Daniel’s turn will surely come.

At the other end of the field of achievements, Christine deprived Colin (Purdon) of the wooden spoon and bottle of wine. Thank you to her and to all who attended.

Christine Receives the coveted Wooden Spoon (plus consolation prize) from Club Secretary, Jonathan Welton
Congratulations to this year’s Christmas Handicap winner, Scott Leadbetter!

Many thanks to Jonathan for organising another enjoyable Christmas Handicap.

Tactics in the Benoni

In a recent match against Basingstoke, Derek played the Benoni defence, and both players conspired to create a tactical melee.
(Click on a move below to open a board window.)

Both players navigating through the complications very well.

4NCL Online Round 4 results

Crowthorne had good results in their latest 4NCL Online matches last Tuesday, with the A team winning their match 4-0, and the B team winning theirs 2-1.5 (a half point penalty is awarded in the event of a default).

Full results, pairings, tables etc can be found on the 4NCL website (Crowthorne A is in Div 2, Crowthorne B in Div 5).

Back in Wellington College!

Good news: Wellington College have removed their restriction on external events, so Crowthorne is now able to play home matches and have regular club nights again.

The Junior club returned to the college yesterday, and we will have a first full meet up at the College next Wednesday (2nd March). We will continue to meet on Thursdays at Pinewood.

4NCL Rounds 3 and 4

The two Crowthorne Chess Club teams were playing in rounds 3 & 4 of the 4NCL this weekend (12-13 Feb).

Crowthorne A had good results, winning both their matches 4-2, leaving them equal first on match points, but 4th on tiebreak.

Crowthorne B had a weekend of two halves, losing their Saturday match 6-0 but winning on Sunday 5-1! Both results can be explained by the large rating differences in the matches.

The Division 3 South table now looks like:

Christmas Handicap – CANCELLED

Owing to the increased risk of transmission posed by the omicron variant, Wellington College has made the (entirely understandable) decision to close the bar until further notice.

As a result, the Christmas Handicap will NOT take place this Saturday (18th December).

(“Cancelled” may be a bit strong, as we are considering alternative ways of holding the tournament in the New Year.)