The over-the-board 4NCL season is nearly upon us, with Crowthorne A playing its first two rounds this coming weekend (Nov 11-12) and the B team the weekend after that.
However, the on-line 4NCL team has already been active, having played five rounds in Season 8 of the competition.
Team Captain, George, has been rotating the players so that all the squad gets games. In the online event, teams have four players.
Results have been mixed, and Crowthorne are currently sitting mid-table in the league.
Results of the previous rounds:
Crowthorne Chess Club had two teams in the 4 Nations Chess League (4NCL) in the 2022/23 season. The A team played in Division 3 East and the B Team played in Division 4. In the 4NCL, 11 matches are played over five weekends in the year with Divisions 3 being an all-play-all and Division 4 being a Swiss.
As one of the higher rated teams in Division 3E, the A team was hoping to fight for promotion, but in the end we finished in 5th place with 4 match wins, 4 draws and 2 losses. Our points total was not helped by winning a match against a team which subsequently withdrew from the division – all their results were scrubbed. However, this did not affect our chances for promotion.
Our B team finished in the bottom half of Division 4, with results in line with the team’s rating. The Division gives the opportunity for player rotation, and 10 club members played for the B team over the course of the season. It is not currently clear if this will continue to be available, as the 4NCL hasn’t finalised its plans for next season.
As usual, full details can be found on the 4NCL website
Crowthorne A’s final round match in the 4NCL Division 3 South against Cambridge University 2 was a potentially critical game for the entire season, given that a number of teams were bunched closely together so that a win would mean second place, and a loss would mean somewhere in mid-table.
Paul’s game, despite a rather quiet beginning, gradually became more and more complex and was the last game to finish, with the match score being on 2.5-2.5
Many thanks to Paul for providing comments to the game.
Click on any move for a popup board to appear.
Notwithstanding Paul’s final comment, his teammates thought that this was a well-played game (by both players) as some inaccuracies can be expected in such complicated positions.
Talented junior Daniel Shek played a nice game for Crowthorne against a strong opponent at the recent 4NCL. Many thanks to John Upham and British Chess News for the annotations.
(Click on a move in the game to display a board.)
Many thanks to our Online Team Captain, George Green, for providing the latest season’s roundup.
Crowthorne had a squad of 14 players (initially 13, then Ben Coates joined us with 2 rounds to go) for our 2 teams of 4.
Plenty you might think, but, as the season went on, fewer people were available, meaning that in the end we had 62 availabilities for the 56 games, so there were only 6 occasions when someone had to be “rested”.
Crowthorne 1 had been promoted to Division 3. We lost our first 3 matches, but then won the next 4, putting us 4th out of 8 teams in our group. The highlight of the season was possibly our 2½ – 1½ win over local rivals Farnham, who outgraded us by over 100 points on average.
Crowthorne 2 had a harder time of it in Division 5, but the 4NCL does give some of our less experienced members the chance to play longer (45+15) competitive games of chess.
They finished 43rd out of 56 teams, with 2 wins, 1 draw and 4 losses.
The 4NCL currently has plans to run season 5, starting in late January.
I’ll contact the club members nearer the time to see what interest we have in participating in this.
Here are the results of Round 7 of the Online 4NCL, the final round of season 4. As can be seen, the results were in line with the significant rating difference seen in both matches.
Here are Crowthorne’s results in yesterday’s Round 4 matches in the Online 4NCL. A welcome first win for Crowthorne 1, and Crowthorne 2 did very well against much higher-rated opposition.
Derek played a fine attacking game on the black side of a Benoni Defence:
Here are Crowthorne’s results for the second round of the online 4NCL:
As can be seen, both teams went down to substantially higher rated opposition.
However, there was one highlight, and that was Mark’s sparkling win in his game. In the position shown, White has a forced sequence that leads to a winning attack: