2015/16 4NCL Div 3 North Pool B Weekend 1

2015/16 4NCL Div 3 North Pool B

Div 3 North has expanded to 16 teams this season, welcoming teams from as far as Scotland, the Isle of Man and Norfolk! Fortuitously having precisely 16 teams has meant that we can run a pool system as Divisions 1 and 2 have done for many years. Bradford DCA B and C were drawn in Pool B together so we had to get our “derby” fixture out of the way first.

Round 1

Rd 1 Bfd B vs Bfd C

From early on it was looking to be a very tight match. Bradford B got a bit lucky on board 3. Peter Braham had outplayed Chris Bak in the early middlegame, winning an exchange. However he momentarily forgot about his weakened king’s position and had to resign. Nick Mahoney played solidly to achieve a draw with Paul Johnson. On board 2, Eric Gardiner and Dave Patrick played out a very interesting encounter. Playing through the game, it looks like there was an error inputting the game as Eric didn’t allow …Re2+ on several occasions. Given the complex nature of the game and both sides having their various weaknesses, I think a draw was a fair result. Bradford C 1 – Bradford B 2.

Tony Slinger always seemed to have a pleasant position against Colin Procter and he duly infiltrated with his rook to mop up a bunch of pawns. I secured the match as I got a pleasant position out of the opening against Mike Bramson. Although neither of us played particularly accurately after this, Mike lost the thread a bit and I secured the match for Bradford B. Rob Dean scored a consolation win for Bradford C as he outplayed his opponent on the White side of a French Tarrasch.

Round 2

BDCA Knights B vs Spirit of Atticus B

Rd 2 Bfd B

Spirit of Atticus out-rated us by about 100 pts on average and the favourites got off to a good start as David Latham took advantage of Roger’s weakening 15…b5. Colm Buckley went two pawns up in quick fashion and doubled Spirit’s lead. Arron Barker fought back with a crucial win over the solid Michael Johnson. Arron only needed his opponent to give him one weakness and he rounded it up with a winning position. BDCA B 1-2 SOA B.

The remaining three games went on for some time. David Robertson allowed me a bog-standard Nd5 tactic in an Open Sicilian. I missed a quick kill but I won a pawn that I carried through to a rook and pawn ending before he resigned on move 73. BDCA B 2-2 SOA B

Eric Gardiner had another fascinating game. This time he emerged from the complications into a minor piece ending with an extra pawn but sadly he was unable to convert this into a win. Conversely on the other board, Chris Bak had to do some fighting to ensure that he kept in the game and he managed to earn a draw to draw the match 3-3. A superb result for Bradford B! Chris Bak has annotated his game below.

Alba vs BDCA Knights C

Rd 2 Bfd C

Bradford C were always going to be up against it, facing the odds-on favourites to win Div 3 North. Alba were higher rated by an average of almost 400 points per board.

Mike Bramson dived headlong into the complications of the Noteboom Semi-Slav and although his passed pawns were blockaded, he managed to create enough counterplay elsewhere to force a draw. Nick Mahoney completed a fine weekend by securing his second draw against higher-rated opposition.

Although we lost all the other boards, the players put up some decent resistance. In particular Peter Braham had a perfectly solid, albeit passive position for most of the game and it looked like he might get a draw. In the end though he lashed out with 39…g5? and this gave Elaine Bamber the key to victory.


Features editor for the Yorkshire Chess website. I collate and write atricles about all the latest chess activities in Yorkshire and beyond. I've also been known to shove some pieces myself from time to time!


11 Responses to “2015/16 4NCL Div 3 North Pool B Weekend 1”

  1. Eric Gardiner

    Nov 24. 2015

    Yes, in my game against Dave P, move 27 was Raf1 not Rff1. I did contact Alex McFarlane to point out the error on the Monday after the weekend as the notice on the 4NCL site said you could do but unfortunately he didn’t reply and the error wasn’t corrected. It has now even made it into the latest download from Megabase!

    Great to see an explanation of Chris’s Ra2 vs David Phillips as I saw the move being played next to me and couldn’t work out the purpose ! Move of the month ?

    Reply to this comment
    • Martin Carpenter

      Nov 24. 2015

      Great to see someone young enough to not have experienced early chess computer with the confidence to question our current overlords too :)

      They’re basically tactically invincible nowadays of course but their ‘static’ evaluations are fairly often still far from perfect – its basically just some ones judgement programmed into a function after all.

      Especially in terms of how a game between actual humans will turn out! Sometimes they get put off the ‘obvious’ ideas by spotting some absurdly deep/obscure tactics which have nil practical relevance.

      Reply to this comment
      • Chris Bak

        Nov 24. 2015

        Ra2 was an interesting move to make. It’s one of those moves that could have looked really silly if the game had gone a different way and the rook remained there the whole game or moved back to a1. As it happens, the a-file opened (which was perhaps inevitable) and the doubling on the a-file turned out to be useful. Don’t know if it is worthy of “move of the month”, though!

        I don’t put much weight in engine evaluation although some of Stockfish’s evaluation markers did end up in the annotation.

        It would be very interesting and challenging to write a chess engine that puts significant weight on the “human factor” of a move or combination. Maybe one already exists!

        Reply to this comment
        • Martin Carpenter

          Nov 24. 2015

          I have certainly wished that someone would make one at times recently, because it would make a *much* better sort of commentary aid for the online chess than the engines they use now.

          The current ones don’t even show any difference at all between say 0.00 which is ‘draw whatever happens’ and a 0.00 which is ‘play twenty perfect moves in a row or die horribly’……

          I guess the first step would be to calculate something like a blunder quotient by checking what percentage of the available sane candidate moves lose.

          Combine with some sort of machine learnt filter about how hard humans find locating given sorts of moves. Must be enough data out there with all that useless online blitz!

          I presume it probably isn’t quite the sort of thing the computer chess folk are interested in.

          Reply to this comment
  2. James Carpenter

    Nov 24. 2015

    It isn’t that the evaluations are wrong exactly, just that they aren’t always terribly useful :).

    In the Bak – Bramson game, is that score really correct and there’s some reason not to play 14.Bxd6?

    Reply to this comment
    • Matthew Webb

      Nov 24. 2015

      Even the move before, Bf4?? as 14. Bxe2+ win. I’m pretty sure both players will have seen this so it must just been a notation error :-)

      Reply to this comment
  3. Andy Bak

    Nov 24. 2015

    I’ve amended both Bramson-Bak and Gardiner-Patrick so hopefully they make more sense now!

    Reply to this comment
    • Eric Gardiner

      Nov 24. 2015

      Thanks Andy – visitors to the site must have been thinking that us Bradford 4NCL players were really weak !

      Reply to this comment
  4. Matthew Webb

    Nov 25. 2015

    Adam Lang seems to be back in top form. He must be single again. hahaha

    Reply to this comment


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