4NCL 2013/14 Weekend 3 – Division 1, 2 and 3S

4NCL 2013/14 Weekend 3 – Division 1, 2 and 3S

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Leeds University Old Boys

Div 3S Rd5

The Old Boys came into Weekend 3 anticipating two difficult matches at the top of the division, and were far from dissatisfied – except perhaps by the results, netting only a single point when all three results were still possible right until the death on both days.

Having spent most of my week working on preparation with Andrew Martin’s dvd on the Dutch Defence, it was mildly intimidating to see its author turning out for the opposition on Saturday. As in previous rounds, Guildford 3 fielded a team which was stronger than most second division outfits. Things started badly when Hubert Mossong played for risky tactics from a comfortable position, and his aggression quickly rebounded. Simon Deighton held Nigel Povah (yet another Leeds old boy in the wrong colours) without obvious difficulty, and Mark Birkin levelled the match with an uncharacteristically controlled performance against British Senior Champion Roger Emerson. When Gary McGann persuaded his opponent to sleepwalk into a helpmate at the cost of his queen, an unlikely victory seemed more than a possibility. Sadly, John Hall meandered after correctly declining Andrew Martin’s draw offer (with a promising position and with Gary still in trouble); and Mark Taylor finally accepted that the plus-equals he had held for most of the game would not be sufficient to press for the full point, then blundered catastrophically in the very act of offering a draw; and the team was left to rue a disappointing near miss.

Div 3S Rd6

Sunday was if anything an even more important tussle with ‘West is Best’. After two grandmaster draws on the top boards, Mark Taylor was again the victim of an unhappy experience, and after Simon was obliged to accept another shared point it was roles reversed from the previous day; one down and two to play. Hubert Mossong produced a pyrotechnic display worthy of his youthful best to level the match, but unfortunately the best endeavours of the captain were insufficient to gain the full point. Honours even, and we couldn’t have too many complaints on the balance of the play.

So we failed to improve our position, but remain handily placed with two vital weekends yet to come. Div 3 South continues to provide a high standard of chess in a good atmosphere and – in the case of LUOB at least – an excellent team spirit.

Report by Mark Birkin

White Rose

Div 1B Rd5

White Rose meant business in 4NCL weekend 3. The first team managed to recruit Bulgarian GM Dejan Bojkov which pushed everyone down a board in the hope we could get a much needed two wins and continue to harbour hopes of fighting it out in the Championship Pool.

We were expectant of a good result in the first match against Grantham Sharks 2 but found some resistance especially on the top two boards. James Adair and Richard Palliser eased our concerns with very good wins.

Colin McNab had an hour on the clock after the late arrival of Liam Varnam and was made to work hard for his win. Jean-Luc was another late arrival but he managed to take the full point off his opponent to help produce a good score-line for the team.

Rd5 BJ vs WR2

White Rose 2 faced Brown Jack who advised earlier that day that one of their players could not make it. Our Slovak recruit had to be content with a friendly match arranged by the arbiter for which he was grateful. White Rose had a late drop out too but was lucky enough to have a couple of subs available and Kieran O’Driscoll stepped in to fill the void and comfortably held a draw.

It was nice to see Pierre Weller regain some form and Paul Townsend again won nicely. Jim Burnett had the quickest win with his Bishops causing mayhem towards the enemy King. Dave Adams completed a tremendous team result with a well controlled endgame victory.

Div 1B Rd6

On Sunday White Rose 1 faced the tricky Cambridge 1 team. Again it was our strength in depth which earned the points. James Adair scored his second impressive victory of the weekend and he was joined in that feat by Paul Townsend. Paul found a nice combination to win a pawn and keep his remaining pieces active in another seemingly smooth win.
Colin McNab was again made to work hard for victory against the much improved Sabrina Chevannes. Colin kept the pressure on approaching the time control to force a telling mistake.

This settled the match in our favour to complete an excellent weekend for the first team. The team still has a tough task in weekend 4 to make the championship pool. Nothing less than victory over highly rated Guildford 2 will do. Anything less will probably mean goodbye to any chance of appearing at the European Club Cup for a sixth successive year.

Rd6 WR2 vs ADs

White Rose 2 were in buoyant mood after their best win of the season the previous day. We faced the unbeaten ADs and hoped rather than expected to get something from the match. Dave Adams and Kieran O’Driscoll agreed early draws with black but this was as good as things got for the team as we slowly got the life crushed out of us. Jean-Luc was desperately disappointed to have wasted a great position but it was hard to see where the other wins were going to appear for the White Rose outfit as we were outplayed by an experienced and in form ADs side.

This leaves us with a tough final match against Hackney where even a victory might not secure a spot in the promotion pool.

Report by Ihor Lewyk

Bradford DCA Knights A

Div 2B Rd5

Bradford DCA Knights were facing a tough weekend with a slightly weaker side than previously showcased with Michael Fernandez and Adam Lang both missing. With the teams all so close in the standings, any points we could pick up would be very useful.

Our first assignment was against the runaway leaders, the ADs. We didn’t expect too much coming into the match, but we got off to a very solid start, courtesy of a draw by Steven Jones.

Things were looking even better as we held the advantage in three of the other games as Bill Somerset, Daniel Sullivan and Andy Drabble were all giving their higher rated opponents a really hard time. Unfortunately for Bradford, by various means these all ended up as draws. The ADs’ ability to not lose these boards was a key factor in deciding a very close match.

Tony Slinger then agreed a draw with Jana Bellin in a very blocked position and Oskar finally threw in the towel on board one against Jon Richardson to leave us one down with two to play.

Damian McCarthy had played a great game against Nicholas Walker, defending his opponent’s attack and trading into a superior endgame. However Nicholas kept defending and unfortunately for Bradford, Damian couldn’t find the winning idea and a draw meant that we would lose the match.

This was because I was trying to defend a pawn down rook endgame against David Anderton. After a crazy opening and early middlegame, the position eventually settled where I was a pawn down and was tortured for over 6 hours before my defence was eventually cracked and we lost 5-3. A great performance by our squad, but the ADs’ class showed in the end.

Rd6 BfdA vs BJ

Our fixture against Brown Jack was more critical to our chances of either getting into the promotion pool or carrying more points forward to the demotion pool.

I rather embarrassingly got our team off on the wrong foot, which we never really looked like recovering from. I dropped a rook after 10 moves, where I had no choice but to resign. Daniel Sullivan joined me in the blundering department but at least take consolation from the fact that he had outplayed his opponent in the first half of the game.

Oskar Hackner got things back on track with a quick gambit hack-attack win that’s well worth playing through. Andy Drabble added another half point but Bill Somerset’s attacking attempts proved too costly for his position and Steven Jones succumbed to Martin Lewis in a very complicated game to ensure that Brown Jack took a vital two points from this match.

Tony Slinger scored a smooth technical consolation win and after many adventures and 93 moves, Francis Parker ended up getting the icing on the cake of a convincing 5.5-2.5 win.

Bradford now need to beat BCM Dragons by at least 5.5-2.5 to stand any chance of qualifying for the promotion pool.

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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  1. Daily Chess News Links March 5, 2014 | blog.chesscafe.com - March 5, 2014

    […] 4NCL 2013/14 Weekend 3 – Division 1, 2 and 3S Yorkshire Chess The Old Boys came into Weekend 3 anticipating two difficult matches at the top of the division, and were far from dissatisfied – except perhaps by … […]

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