Four Nations Chess League :: 2009/2010

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Basic data

Four Nations Chess League 2009/2010
(see all-time tournament summary)
Dates: October 2009 - May 2010
Cities: Rounds 1-2, 9-11: Sunningdale, De Vere Venues
Rounds 3-6: Hinckley Island, Barcelo Hotel
Rounds 7-8: Staverton Park, De Vere Venues
Chairman/Team Representative: Ms. Claire Summerscale (ENG)
Finance Director: Mr. Mike Truran (ENG)
Team Representative: Mr. Mark Adams (WLS)
Chief Arbiter: IA Dave Welch (ENG)
Teams participating: Division 1: 16 (4 down)
Division 2: 16 (4 up; 4 down)
Division 3: 32 (4 up)
Total of 64 teams from 45 clubs.
Players participating: Division 1: 240 (incl. 31 GMs, 38 IMs, 1 WGM, 29 FMs, 4 WIMs, 6 CMs and 7 WFMs)
Games played: Divisions 1 and 2: 704
Division 3: 1056
Competition format: Divisions 1 and 2: two eight board round robin preliminary pools of broadly equal strength. The top four and bottom four teams in each preliminary pool will form two final championship/promotion and relegation pools respectively. Results from preliminaries are carried forward to the final pools.
Division 3: Six board eleven rounds Swiss.
Final order decided by: 1. Match points; 2. Game points in the final pool; 3. Game points overall; 4. Direct match result
Time control: 40 moves in 2 hours followed by 20 moves in 1 hour followed by 30 minutes to finish the game.
Website: 4NCL
Downloadable game file: Division 1:
Division 2:
Division 3:

Tournament review

The second 4NCL weekend was held at the Barcelo Hotel, Hinckley Island. The two strongest teams, Wood Green/Hilsmark Kingfisher and Pride & Prejudice met on the Sunday in a match that could have settled the destination of the title but after a tense struggle the result was 4-4 which leaves the two teams still tied for the lead and all to play for.

Mickey Adams was impressive in his last outing at the London Chess Classic and his return to form continued as he defeated Wood Green's Etienne Bacrot with black on board 1. Adams may well go back above 2700 in the next rating list. Despite Adams' win Pride and Prejudice looked set to lost the match before Mark Hebden managed to hold a draw two pawns down in the endgame against Alexander Baburin.

Pride & Prejudice lead league 1A on game points and there is a distinct possibility both teams will win all their remaining matches although Barbican and Guildford both have strong squads. The sixteen team first division is split into two groups of eight. WGHK 2, Barbican, Guildford and White Rose head league 1B and each team has lost once.

After seven rounds the top four from 1A and 1B will qualify for the championship pool and the bottom four go to the relegation pool. Four teams will be relegated.

Another player who prospered at the London Chess Classic was Jon Ludvig Hammer of Norway who won the Open and he defeated Stewart Haslinger with Black to score Wood Green's first win.

White's fifth move is not a serious attempt to refute Black's fourth. Bent Larsen reintroduced the Vienna at the top level in the 1960s. He favoured 5.Nge2, see here.

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Michael Adams scored a fine win at the recent 4NCL weekend over Etienne Bacrot who will be one of his main rivals at Gibraltar.

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Wood Green Hilsmark Kingfisher and Pride and Prejudice remain neck and neck after six rounds of the 4NCL Division 1. Both sides scored two more wins at the third weekend held at the Barcelo Hotel, Hickley Island. Pride and Prejudice's top board GM Jonathan Rowson succumbed to some nice tactics from Simon Williams in his favourite King's Indian but Pride and Prejudice's three other GMs proved too strong for the Jutes of Kent. Wood Green fielded three GMs against Barbican 4 NCL2 and won comfortably although Matthew Piper held Jon Speelman to a draw.

After 7 rounds, the top 4 teams in Pool A and B qualify for the championship and the remaining eight fight to avoid relegation. At the end of the season 4 teams will be relegated.

Final position after 23.Qxe3; After Qxg5 or Rxg5 the g7 pawn goes and Black's king is defenceless.

Slow lines of the Ruy Lopez still demand great accuracy from Black and he was struggling a little before he decided to open the game with 18... d5.

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While the world championship was underway the 4NCL final weekend took place at Sunningdale.

Wood Green Hilsmark Kingfisher I retained the Division One title and gave their captain Brian Smith his fifth triumph and he announced his retirement as the most successful captain in the history of the competition. However, in the tenth and penultimate round the competition was opened up when Barbican 4NCL I upset one of the favourites Pride and Prejudice despite being outrated by over 100 points per board. Pride and Prejudice (2521) 2-6 Barbican 4NCL 1 (2398).

As Pride and Prejudice slipped up WGHK marched on with a 6-2 win over White Rose.