4NCL Weekend 3 – Div 3 North – Bradford A

Promotion Pool Confirmed

Round 5

R5 Bfd A

Weekend 3 of the 4NCL took place in Wakefield over Valentines weekend, though Bradford showed little love for the opponents this weekend.
The Saturday match against Atticus C was a mostly one sided affair with a final score of 5-1, only myself and Richard Allis conceding draws, more on that later.

First to finish was Jim who has a shown an aptitude for mopping up the tail enders with reassuring efficiency this season. It’s always a tricky prospect when you know you should win, and entirely another to achieve that. Next up was Roger Jennings who similarly dispatched his opponent’s aggressive play with a neat tactic that won the exchange and shortly after, the game. Phil Watson had a positional advantage from early on against Colm after the latter had tried a dodgy tactic to eliminate Phil’s white squared bishop. This gave Phil just the sort of position where you can squeeze forever without much risk, just the sort of game Phil plays very well. Next up was Richard who found himself, after some rather optimistic opening play, in a decidedly worse endgame. He continued to battle on although must have been technically lost for a huge part of the game and luckily Michael McDonagh was just unable to pull the trigger.

Jim Nicholson (left) had an excellent weekend with two fine attacking efforts.

Jim Nicholson (left) had an excellent weekend with two fine attacking efforts.

That left myself and Adam. In my game it had been fairly even in the middlegame until my opponent allowed me to take his knight on e5, at which point black is much better. Unfortunately I then proceeded to do the opposite of Jim (earlier) and not efficiently dispatch the game, having to agree to a draw after I’d tried a very dodgy idea. That just left Adam battling it out with Andy Mort. Andy looked to have an edge coming out of the opening and only after several, almost imperceptible errors did Adam start to take control, and then, as quickly as he had gained an advantage, it had gone again! At the first time control it all looked evenish, maybe a touch better for black due to the passed b pawn, but no more than that. In the end though the b pawn proved to be too much for white to handle and gave us a decisive victory, though it had been much tougher than the score showed.

Jammy Dodger today has to go to Richard Allis for managing to draw what should have been a loss on more than one occasion. Game of the day though has to go to Adam, Andy Mort is no pushover and took all of Adams grit to overcome him. Good win for us and on to day 2 to face Holmes Chapel.

Round 6

R6 Bfd A

For Holmes Chapel a win versus us would have given them a chance to qualify for the promotion pool and so a tough match was in prospect.

Again first to finish was Jim doing just as on day one, gaining a nice advantage out of the opening, and efficiently finishing off. It’ll serve him right to be playing on a higher board next time!

Unfortunately though Roger Jennings on board 5 was in trouble against Charles Higgie and did not manage to hold out for long, succumbing to white’s excellent kingside attack. A decidedly nervous start then.

At this point, Phil, on one looked even, my game was even on two, Richard had again got the worst of the opening and Andy Bak….. Andy had decided that developing pawns was a much better idea than pieces in an open game, and Ben showed him exactly why it wasn’t! 2-1 to Holmes Chapel. Oh heck! This definitely wasn’t our plan for today!

My game against Patrick Bennett petered out to a draw around the time control to leave us needing to win both remaining games to take the day. Richard’s opponent, Chris Doran had played the opening well and had a tremendous advantage until the tempting 27.Bxe5 gave most of it away. Richard continued to battle and himself gained a decisive, though very tricky endgame advantage. Though Chris continued to fight well he missed a critical opportunity to even the game and even to win it close to the end. No shame in that though. It had clearly been a very exacting game, to watch, never mind to play!

With scores now even it was down to the last game where Phil had managed to get, well, very little indeed. It had looked earlier as though black had a winning advantage but Phil had managed to somehow fritter it away to end up in a pretty even rook and pawn endgame. Luckily for us, as the sun started to fall, so did John Turner’s concentration, for just one small moment (53.Rd7 instead of 53.Ra6) and that was that. A win by the narrowest of margins, and it could easily have been oh so different.

And so onto weekend 4. Bradford A are securely through to the promotion pool no matter the result of the Saturday match, as are the rest of the top 4, only question is, who will be top? The quest for promotion to Division 2 continues……

Report by Andy Drabble

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2 Responses to “4NCL Weekend 3 – Div 3 North – Bradford A”

  1. Martin Carpenter

    Feb 26. 2016

    I’ve been happily watching just how efficient Jim is for about a decade now :)

    Good luck in the promotion pool, very useful carry over I guess although MM1 aren’t going to be at all badly placed either.
    (Alba surely going to be promoted.).

    Reply to this comment
    • Andy Bak

      Feb 27. 2016

      3Cs will likely also be carrying 5 points over – it’s going to be very exciting!

      Reply to this comment

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