4NCL 2013/14 Weekend 1 – Divisions 1 & 2

4NCL 2013/14 Weekend 1 – Divisions 1 and 2

4NCL

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Round 1

Clicking on the match header will reveal the individual board results.

Div 1 Pool B: e2e4.org.uk 1 2½ - 5½ White Rose 1

e2e4.org.uk 1 2½ – 5½ White Rose 1
IM Daniel Fernandez (2378) ½ – ½ IM Richard Palliser (2456)
FM Peter Sowray (2323) 0 – 1 GM Colin McNab (2453)
James Jackson (2322) 0 – 1 FM James Adair (2399)
IM Colin Crouch (2366) 1 – 0 FM Nic Croad (2283)
CM Chris Ross (2237) 0 – 1 Paul Townsend (2230)
Sven Reimaa (2141) 0 – 1 WIM Sue Maroroa (2250)
Alan Byron (2148) 1 – 0 David Adams (2222)
WFM Rasa Norinkeviciute (2011) 0 – 1 FM Matthias Gantner (2247)

4NCL

Sue Maroroa at the Bradford Chesstival

White Rose 1 faced a tricky opening match against e2e4. Our opponents were unseeded but qualified for the European Club Cup 2 years ago and had added several new players. It looked like a tight match was in prospect and so it proved.

Two players were making their debut for White Rose and both opened their account with impressive wins. Matthias Gantner always looked to be in control in an open Sicilian and converted smoothly. Sue Maroroa’s opponent came up with an imaginative exchange sacrifice for which he seemed to have obtained some positional compensation as well as a pawn. However his king had remained in the centre and this was exploited by a piece sacrifice which allowed white to break through in fine style. Richard Palliser had been unable to make progress in a balanced position arising from a theoretically critical line in the Sokolsky (if such a thing exists) and Dave Adams had fallen victim to another inspired piece sacrifice, this time in an endgame.

Four games were still going at the time control and it was clear that Nic Croad would struggle to hold a very difficult position in a queen ending. His opponent Colin Crouch duly converted, leaving the match all square. However, somewhat against expectation the remaining three games all ended in the White Rose players grinding out wins, leaving a final score that gave the rather misleading impression of a comfortable win.

Report by Paul Townsend

Div 2 Pool B: Barbican 4NCL Youth 4 - 4 White Rose 2

Barbican 4NCL Youth 4 – 4 White Rose 2
FM Neil Berry (2254) ½ – ½ Peter Shaw (2161)
FM Miguel Navarro Cia (2314) ½ – ½ Jim Burnett (2124)
David Sands (2243) ½ – ½ Ihor Lewyk (2070)
CM David Coleman (2264) ½ – ½ Kieran O’Driscoll (2114)
Guy Moss (2162) ½ – ½ Richard Archer (2130)
Andrew Brett (2142) 0 – 1 Pierre Weller (2129)
Ashley Stewart (2130) 1 – 0 FM Rupert Jones (1910)
Aditya Verma (1842) ½ – ½ CM Peter Kirby (1982)

White Rose suffered a couple of late withdrawals but managed to draft the services of Rhodes cheerleader Richard Archer, and team manager Rupert Jones. The team were outgraded 98 points per board on average but put up a great performance.

Hero of the day was Pierre Weller who outplayed his opponent to put White Rose in the driving seat. Early draws with black by Ihor Lewyk and Richard Archer kept the edge and the team kept up their solid performance and continued to punch above their weight.

Sadly Rupert could not hold his position against the tenacious Ashley Stewart and this levelled the match.

The team were still very pleased with this result.

Report by Ihor Lewyk

Div 2 Pool B: Bradford DCA Knights A 3 - 4½ South Wales Dragons

Hackney 3 – 4½ Bradford DCA Knights A
Oskar Hackner (2094) 0 – 1 IM John Cooper (2331)
Andrew Drabble (2089) 0 – 1 Richard Dineley (2248)
William Somerset (2114) 1 – 0 FM Sven Zeidler (2244)
Adam Lang (2151) ½ – ½ John Redmond (2237)
Steven Jones (2054) 0 – 1 Charles Morris (2156)
Denis Molofej (2050) ½ – ½ FM David James (2168)
Andrew Bak (2064) 0 – 1 Jeff Smith (2131)
Eric Gardiner (2122) 1 – (-½) Default

4NCL

Bill Somerset

The Bradford squad were raring to go for our second stint in Division 2 after our promotion from Division 3 last season. We were facing a strong South Wales Dragons side who had been relegated from Division 1 last season. They even gave us a handicap start as they could not fulfil the requirement of fielding a junior or female, giving us a 1-0 start plus a half point penalty giving us a funny 1 – (-½) lead.

Both sides got off the mark as John Redmond easily neutralised Adam Lang’s King’s Indian and a draw was agreed before the inevitable mass exchange of pieces took place. Then the Welsh team started to show their strength. Andrew Bak had tried a dubious sacrifice which Jeff Smith expertly took advantage of and Charles Morris launched a vicious queenside attack to put South Wales into a 2 – 1½ lead. Bill Somerset scored a great scalp against FM Sven Zeidler to put Bradford back in the lead in an incredibly complicated game where Bill had to defend an attack on his king by counter-attacking against Black’s uncastled king in the centre.

Sadly for Bradford, the other three games were all looking much better for South Wales. Denis Molofej did well to extract a draw from a position that contained many weaknesses but this was the last point scoring for Bradford. John Cooper came through Oskar Hackner’s stout resistance to win a piece-up ending while Richard Dineley ground down Andy Drabble very much in the style of a certain young Norwegian player.

Bradford can take solace in that this result will not likely carry forward to the promotion/demotion pool stages. Still I think we were satisfied at giving such strong opposition a tough game!

Report by Andy Bak

Round 2

Clicking on the match header will reveal the individual board results.

Div 1 Pool B: White Rose 1 3½ - 4½ Barbican 4NCL 1

White Rose 1 3½ – 4½ Barbican 4NCL 1
FM James Adair (2399) 1 – 0 IM Sam Collins (2474)
GM Colin McNab (2453) ½ – ½ GM Matthew Turner (2514)
IM Richard Palliser (2456) ½ – ½ FM Sam Franklin (2410)
FM Nic Croad (2283) 0 – 1 IM John Cox (2376)
Paul Townsend (2230) ½ – ½ IM Mark Ferguson (2417)
FM Matthias Gantner (2247) 0 – 1 IM Lorin D’Costa (2406)
Jean-Luc Weller (2205) 0 – 1 IM Florian Grafl (2384)
WIM Sue Maroroa (2250) 1 – 0 WIM Natasha Regan (2081)

Sunday brought a reunion with familiar opponents in Barbican 1. Hopes that they might be slightly weaker than normal with this being the first weekend were not fulfilled, as our opponents drew on their seemingly inexhaustible supply of 2400+ rated IMs. We were up against it, and indeed some dodgy looking positions soon began to appear on a number of boards. However, Sue Maroroa eventually prevailed in a hard fought game on board 8 and both Richard Palliser and Colin McNab drew their games. Your correspondent, having been completely outplayed by Mark Ferguson, somehow survived into a bishop ending a pawn down, in which it turned out that black had no way to break through despite his material advantage.

A fluctuating game on board 1 eventually turned in James Adair’s favour and around move 40 he managed to win a piece, eventually converting despite his opponent’s ingenious attempts to create complications. That left the score 3.5 each, but we were relying on Nic Croad to hold an ending a pawn down. There was a point at which the White Rose sympathisers in the crowd thought that Nic’s crafty attempts to create a stalemate trap might confuse his opponent, who was short of time, but the implacable Jon Cox handled the endgame too skilfully. The outcome: a frustratingly narrow defeat, but a fair result, it must be admitted.

Report by Paul Townsend

Div 2 Pool B: White Rose 2 3 - 5 BCM Dragons 1

White Rose 2 3 – 5 BCM Dragons 1
Peter Shaw (2161) ½ – ½ James Holland (2346)
David Adams (2222) ½ – ½ FM Paul Cooksey (2306)
Jim Burnett (2124) 1 – 0 Hans-Peter Hansen (2238)
Kieran O’Driscoll (2114) 0 – 1 FM Ian Thompson (2234)
Pierre Weller (2129) 0 – 1 Clive Frostick (2178)
Ihor Lewyk (2070) 0 – 1 Shawn Tavares (2143)
Richard Archer (2130) ½ – ½ Colin Purdon (2136)
CM Peter Kirby (1982) ½ – ½ William Claridge-Hansen (2106)

4NCL

Peter Shaw scored two great draws on top board

The following day White Rose 2 faced the even higher graded former top flight team the BCM Dragons. We were boosted by the return of Dave Adams which meant we were facing a grading deficit of only 94 points per man on average.

Four solid draws on the top and bottom boards left a middle order battlefield.

Ihor was the exchange up against his opponent but lashed out too early and missed a resource from Tavares. This put him on the back foot and frantically searching to keep the initiative.

Pierre Weller was also an exchange up but with little time left and two Bishops raking down towards his King he made an uncharacteristic blunder.

Kieran was struggling in an ending of Queen and opposite Bishops and could not hold it.

Jim Burnett always looked in charge with a big passed pawn and duly won but sadly none of the other three could back him up and we narrowly lost.

Report by Ihor Lewyk

Div 2 Pool B: Hackney 3 - 5 Bradford DCA Knights A

Hackney 3 – 5 Bradford DCA Knights A
FM Ruben Cenal Gutierrez (2236) 0 – 1 Oskar Hackner (2094)
FM Robert Eames (2314) 0 – 1 Adam Lang (2151)
Tarun Malhotra (2218) ½ – ½ Steven Jones (2054)
Nicholas Walker (2178) ½ – ½ Denis Molofej (2050)
Adrian Ociepka (2170) 1 – 0 Eric Gardiner (2122)
Kevin Bowmer (2146) ½ – ½ Andrew Drabble (2089)
Michael Tasker (2146) ½ – ½ William Somerset (2114)
Francis Chin (2074) 0 – 1 Andrew Bak (2064)

We knew that Sunday’s game against Hackney was going to be much more critical to our season than Saturday’s match as last year’s Division 3 Champions would be more likely to be in the Demotion Pool after Round 7. However we knew this would be a tough match as they defeated us in Round 8 last year.

I was very fortunate in having two Whites in the weekend and my opponent copied the first 13 moves from my game on Saturday, but this time I didn’t play the dubious sacrifice and built up my position more slowly. However I did do another piece sacrifice in this game, fortunately it was just a combination that led to a forced checkmate. This put Bradford 1-0 up inside an hour. Three relatively uneventful draws followed on boards 3, 6 and 7 to give Bradford a 2½-1½ half-time lead.

The outcome of the match was still very unclear as the results of most of the remaining games was highly unclear. Hackney equalised the scores as Adrian Ociepka slowly ground down Eric Gardiner in a favourable double rooks and minor piece endgame where the slight lead in activity created too many problems for Eric to solve.

4NCL

Adam Lang got a great scalp from a seemingly doomed position.

As time control approached, the ever-calm and stoic Oskar Hackner kept his cool much better than his opponent as he won firstly a couple of pawns and then a piece as his titled opponent’s position collapsed remarkably quickly which gave Bradford a vital lead. Adam Lang’s win on Board 2 was even more remarkable. Adam had sacrificed a piece on the White side of a Sicilian Najdorf which seemed to be completely unsound. However he kept playing on and his opponent continued to play for checkmate which allowed for complications. Although perhaps these complications were good for his opponent, Adam found his way through them better and won his piece back which was shortly followed by checkmate against his opponent’s now exposed king. This ensured that Bradford had won the match!

Denis Molofej and Nicholas Walker played out a very strange draw. In the early stages Denis had won a pawn but had an incredibly passive position. Nicholas decided to sacrifice the exchange to try and break through but this allowed Denis to unravel. Nicholas then sacrificed a second exchange to try and get his passed pawns rolling. The position seemed to be very good for Denis but he got on of his rooks trapped on the side of the board unable to move. The players agreed to a draw as it seemed that all the pawns were going to be taken by Denis sacrificing both his rooks.

A great start to the 4NCL campaign for Bradford. Our next match is the local derby against White Rose 2!

Report by Andy Bak


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!

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