Four Nations Chess League :: 2007/2008

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Basic data

Four Nations Chess League 2007/2008
(see all-time tournament summary)
Dates: September 2007 - May 2008
Cities: Rounds 1-2, 9-11: Sunningdale, De Vere Venues
Rounds 3-4: Birmingham, Paragon Hotel
Rounds 5-8: Wokefield Park, De Vere Venues
Chairman/Team Representative: IM Paul Littlewood (ENG)
Finance Director: Mr. Mike Truran (ENG)
Team Representative: Mr. Mark Adams (WLS)
Chief Arbiter: IA Dave Welch (ENG)
Teams participating: Division 1: 12
Division 2: 12 (4 up)
Division 3: 12 (6 up)
Division 4: 31 (2 up to Div/2, the rest were set to play in Div/3 since fourth level was abandoned)
Total of 67 teams from 45 clubs.
Players participating: Division 1: 188 (incl. 23 GMs, 40 IMs, 2 WGMs, 28 FMs, 5 WIMs, 4 CMs and 2 WFMs)
Games played: Divisions 1 thru 3: 528
Division 4: 990
Competition format: Divisions 1 thru 3: Eight board round robin.
Division 4: Six board eleven rounds Swiss.
Final order decided by: 1. Match points; 2. Game points
Time control: 40 moves in 2 hours followed by 20 moves in 1 hour followed by 30 minutes to finish the game.
Website: 4NCL
Other websites: Then official Website (cached)
Downloadable game file: Division 1:
Division 2:
Division 3:
Division 4:

Tournament review

Weekend one of the Four Nations Chess League was held at Sunningdale. Barbican 1, Guildford A&DC1, Betsson and Hilsmark Kingfisher emerged with two victories. Guildford A&DC 1 overcame their second team 6-2 but the following game did not follow the expected path. Danny King has scored very well with 3.e5 against the French but found Graeme Buckley very well prepared.

On the adjoining board David Howell was in form.

* * *

The 4 Nations Chess League returned to Birmingham for rounds three and four last weekend. Cambridge University, newcomers to Division 1 provided the biggest upset for some time by holding the defending champions Guildford A&DC 1 to a 4-4 draw. Woman GM Iweta Rajlich defeated Guildord’s Mark Hebden on top board.

White adopts a King’s Indian setup with an extra move but when Black plays d6-d5 he is then two tempi down on a normal position and Black gets lots of tactical chances.

* * *

The 4NCL Division one table has an unfamiliar look as Guildford A&DC are not at the head of it. The defending champions and hot favourites were held to a draw in the third round by Cambridge University and this allowed to take the lead.

Stung into action, Guildford A&DC took it out on Northwest Eagles the following day with a 7.5-0.5 win but Betsson stayed ahead by defeating the ADs.

The next round of matches will be held at Wokefield Park over the weekend of the 12th and 13th of January but a change in the standings is unlikely. The real battle will probably take place over the May Bank Holiday when Betsson take on Guildford’s second and first teams in successive rounds.

The star performer for Betsson was Polish WGM Iweta Rajlich who defeated GM Mark Hebden and then on the Sunday, GM Matthew Turner. Final position after 37.Rd7 checkmate is forced as 37... Rf7 is met by 38.Rxf7 Rxf7 39.Qc3+

* * *

Guildford A&DC romped to victory in the 4 Nations Chess League final weekend held at Sunningdale. Guildford A&DC’s first and second teams racked up big scores in all three matches and finished in the top two places.

Guildford A&DC 1 defeated Barbican 4NCL 7.5-0.5, 6.5-1.5 and Hilsmark Kingfisher 7-1 in the final round. The winners conceded just one 4-4 draw in their eleven matches.

Division 1 Champions: Guildford A&DC 1, Runners up: Guildford A&DC 2

Division 2 Champions: White Rose, also promoted: Bristol 1, Pride and Prejudice, South Wales Dragons 1

Division 3 Champions: Jutes Of Kent, also promoted: Warwickshire Select, Pandora's Box, Anglian Avengers 1, FCA Solutions 1 , South Wales Dragons 2

Division 4 Champions: Brown Jack, also promoted: Celtic Tigers 1

In some editions yesterday the result of the Guildford A&DC v Barbican 4NCL match from last weekend suggested the champions overcame Barbican’s first team, they defeated their second team.

Barbican’s first team played Guildford A&DC’s second team and managed to win a couple of games including the one below. Jonathan Parker is England’s strongest amateur player after Luke McShane. He is equal fifth on the English rating list with David Howell, England’s top junior player.

Nick Pert had a successful 2007-2008 season for Guildford.

/ Weekly columns by IM Malcolm Pein from The Telegraph /