4NCL in Birmingham

by André Schulz
2/16/2016 – Last weekend the British Four Nations Chess League met in Birmingham to play rounds five and six of the season 2015/2016. Favorites to win the title are the teams from Cheddelton 1 and Guildford 1. Both favorites won their weekend matches clearly. Cheddelton 1 now leads Division 1A by a margin of two points, and Guildford 1 leads Division 1B by a margin of three.

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The Four Nations Chess League, the 4NCL, is Britain's team competition and is played in five divisions. According to the rules on the official 4NCL website "Divisions 1 ... will each comprise two preliminary pools of eight teams for the first seven rounds, with the two pools in each division of broadly equal strength as determined by the 4NCL Board. The top four teams in each preliminary pool will form final championship and promotion pools. The bottom four teams in each preliminary pool will form relegation pools. The teams in each final pool will carry forward only matches played between themselves during the first seven rounds.  Team placings at the end of the first seven rounds will be decided in the first instance on match point totals in the preliminary pool. ... Each team in Division 1 must include at least one male player and at least one female player."

The top team of Division 1A is Cheddelton with David Howell and Jonathan Hawkins on the top boards. Fiona Steil-Antoni plays on the women's board.

David Howell (Cheddleton 1)

Howell vs Gordon

Fiona Steil-Antoni (Cheddleton)

In Division 1B Guildford 1 is clear favorite - the team has seven grandmasters in its ranks, top board is Matthew Sadler. Sophie Milliet plays on the women's board.

Dutch GM Robin van Kampen (Guildford 1)

The 4NCL is international: Sebastien Mazé (France), Robin van Kampen (Netherlands),
and Romain Edouard (France) fight for Guildford 1.

Romain Edouard (Guildford 1)

Sophie Milliet (Guilford 1) v Sue Maroroa (White Rose 1)

Last weekend the first two divisions played rounds five and six of the current season in the Holiday Inn Airport Hotel in Birmingham. Cheddelton 1 and Guildford 1 both won their matches and continue to lead their groups with the maximum number of points: 12 out of 12.

Division 1A

Round 5

11 Cheddleton 1 6½ - 1½ 3Cs 1
12 Wood Green HK 4½ - 3½ Guildford 2
13 Barbican 4NCL 1 5½ - 2½ White Rose 2
14 Spirit of Atticus A 3 - 5 Oxford 1

Round 6

11 Guildford 2 2½ - 5½ Cheddleton 1
12 Oxford 1 3½ - 4½ Barbican 4NCL 1
13 3Cs 1 3½ - 4½ Wood Green HK
14 White Rose 2 3 - 5 Spirit of Atticus A

Games of rounds five and six

 

Standings Division 1A

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 GP Pts
1 Cheddleton 1   5½-2½ 5-3 5½-2½ 5½-2½ 6½-1½ 5½-2½   33½ 12
2 Barbican 4NCL 1 2½-5½   4½-3½ 4½-3½ 5-3   7-1 5½-2½ 29 10
3 Wood Green HK 3-5 3½-4½     4½-3½ 4½-3½ 6-2 7½-½ 29 8
4 Oxford 1 2½-5½ 3½-4½     3½-4½ 4½-3½ 5-3 6-2 25 6
5 Guildford 2 2½-5½ 3-5 3½-4½ 4½-3½   4-4   7½-½ 25 5
6 3Cs 1 1½-6½   3½-4½ 3½-4½ 4-4   4½-3½ 6½-1½ 23½ 5
7 Spirit of Atticus A 2½-5½ 1-7 2-6 3-5   3½-4½   5-3 17 2
8 White Rose 2   2½-5½ ½-7½ 2-6 ½-7½ 1½-6½ 3-5   10 0

Division 1B

In the match Guildford 1 against White Rose 1 Guildfords top board Matthew Sadler won an interesting game against James Adair. He employed a concept that Sergei Tiviakov explained in detail on his ChessBase DVD Gegen den jungen IM verfolgte er mit Weiß in der Italienischen Partie ein Konzept, das zum Beispiel Sergey Tiviakov auf seiner DVD "Attacking with the Italian Game and the Ruy Lopez": White defers castling or castles queenside to attack on the kingside.

Adair decided to counter White's plan offensively with an early ...d5, but later fell victim to a strategic error.

Matthew Sadler (Guildford 1) v James Adair (White Rose 1)

 

Round 5

15 Guildford 1 7 - 1 White Rose 1
16 Blackthorne Russia 4 - 4 Grantham Sharks 1
17 Barbican 4NCL 2 2 - 6 Cambridge University 1
18 Sussex Martlets 1 4 - 4 South Wales Dragons

Round 6

15 Cambridge University 1 0 - 8 Guildford 1
16 White Rose 1 6 - 2 Barbican 4NCL 2
17 South Wales Dragons 6 - 2 Blackthorne Russia
18 Grantham Sharks 1 3½ - 4½ Sussex Martlets 1

Games of rounds five and six

 

 

Standings Division 1b

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 GP Pts
1 Guildford 1   7-1   6-2 8-0 4½-2½ 8-0 8-0 41½ 12
2 White Rose 1 1-7   7½-½ 4-4 5-3 6-2 6-2   29½ 9
3 South Wales Dragons   ½-7½   6-2 4-4 3½-4½ 5-3 4-4 23 6
4 Blackthorne Russia 2-6 4-4 2-6   4-4 4-3½   7-1 23 6
5 Grantham Sharks 1 0-8 3-5 4-4 4-4     6-2 3½-4½ 20½ 4
6 Barbican 4NCL 2 2½-4½ 2-6 4½-3½ 3½-4     2-6 5½-2½ 20 4
7 Cambridge University 1 0-8 2-6 3-5   2-6 6-2   6-2 19 4
8 Sussex Martlets 1 0-8   4-4 1-7 4½-3½ 2½-5½ 2-6   14 3

 

John Shaw
 

Richard Palliser (White Rose 1)

Jacob Aagaard, Jon Speelman

Jon Speelman (Wood Green) v Daniel Fernandez (Guildford 2)

Peter Wells

Lawrence Trent

 

Photos: John Saunders

Schedule

Rounds 1-2 | Weekend 1

14-15 November 2015

Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport Divisions 1 & 2

Park Inn Telford Division 3 & 4 South

Cedar Court Hotel Division 3 North



Rounds 3-4 | Weekend 2

16-17 January 2016

Park Inn Telford Division 3 & 4 South

De Vere Wychwood Park Division 3 North



23-24 January 2016

Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport Divisions 1 & 2



Rounds 5-6 | Weekend 3

13-14 February 2016

Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport Divisions 1 & 2

Park Inn Telford Division 3 & 4 South

Cedar Court Hotel Division 3 North



Rounds 7-8 | Weekend 4

19-20 March 2016

Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport Divisions 1 & 2

Park Inn Telford Division 3 & 4 South

Cedar Court Hotel Division 3 North



Rounds 9-11 | Weekend 5

30 Apr-2 May 2016

Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport Divisions 1 & 2

Park Inn Telford Division 3 & 4 South

De Vere Wychwood Park Division 3 North
 

4NCL website...



André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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