Home | News - Page 1 | 2 | 3

2nd 4NCL Online Spring Congress

Tuesday 1 February - Tuesday 26 April 2022


Thank you for taking part in this event


Open | U2000 | U1700 | U1400 | Games | Information | Winners


2nd 4NCL OTB Easter Congress

Friday 15 - Monday 18 April 2022, Mercure Daventry Court Hotel


Thank you to the players, arbiters & organisers for a great event.


15th 4NCL Online Congress

Friday 22 - Sunday 24 April 2022 (This event was run as a single section).


Thank you for taking part in this event


Open | Games | Entries | Information | Winners

Game Report - 2nd 4NCL Easter Congress, 15-18 April 2022

GM Keith Arkell, competitor at the recently held 2nd 4NCL Easter Congress at Mercure Daventry Court Hotel, has annotated two games played in round 5 of the FIDE Open. Thank you Keith.

Game Report - 2nd 4NCL Easter Congress, 15-18 April 2022

GM Danny Gormally, competitor at the recently held 2nd 4NCL Easter Congress at Mercure Daventry, has published this detailed and instructive annotated report of three games he played in rounds 1, 2 and 3 of the FIDE Open. Thank you Danny.

Season 21-22 Update

  1. We’re amending rule 12.2 so that round 2 on the Sunday of the bank holiday weekend (1 May) starts at 1pm, not 12 noon. We were hoping to run a blitz event on the Sunday evening, but on reflection have decided that it’s on the ‘too difficult’ list. Maybe next season…

  2. Regarding Div 3 South May bank holiday weekend venue arrangements. We had been told that Div 3 South would be at Kents Hill Milton Keynes; we’ve now learned that the booking was actually made at Holiday Inn Maidenhead/Windsor - and Holiday Inn Maidenhead/Windsor are apparently closing until January 2023, as I understand it because they’ve agreed a government contract to accommodate asylum-seekers. Anyway, Guaranteed Events are now urgently looking for a new venue, which may or may not be on the same weekend. More to follow as soon as I have it.

- Mike Truran, 2nd April 2022

J4NCL Online Thank You

This e-mail is long overdue…


I want to say a big thank you on behalf of my players and parents for another fantastic Junior 4NCL Online season. I never realised until a couple of years ago when I set up a chess club just how much work is involved in organising and running chess events. Every time I have e-mailed for help it’s always been given without issue; as a team you have always been available to assist.


Three-quarters of my players only took the game up during the past few years; we actually only formed to play in this event! Many of them are teenagers who without this opportunity wouldn’t play chess competitively. Your event has given the players a focal point to play matches and is one of the success stories from the lockdown period.


Thank you again for all you have done to make the event such a success and such fun for everyone over the past few years.


- From a J4NCL Team Captain

Thank You

Hello  Mike, I just wanted to send a quick thank you to you and the organising team after the recent 2nd 4NCL Easter OTB congress. This was my first chess over the board competition in England, and my first anywhere for 19 years, and I was absolutely knocked out by how professional the whole thing was in every regard.


A great venue, the live presentation (including published games - which must take so much manual processing) all with friendly and helpful people, etc.


I'm really impressed and thankful. Please pass my sentiments to all involved.


- From a competitor

Division 3 South

We’ve managed to secure Kents Hill Park, Milton Keynes again for the rescheduled Division 3 South weekend - not entirely ideal in some respects, but at this late stage it seems that we don’t have a big range of venues to select from. The good news is that it’s on 25-26 June, the same weekend as the rearranged Div 1&2 weekend.


Could I please ask the Division 3 South captains to let me know whether:

  1. You would prefer two rounds over the two days at the usual 4NCL time limits, or whether you would prefer three rounds at 4NCL congress time controls (all moves in 90 minutes plus 30 second increment per move from move 1)?

If the latter:

  1. whether you would like two games on the Saturday and one on the Sunday, or the other way round?

  2. whether you would like all three rounds played at 4NCL congress time limits, or whether you would like the two-round day played at 4NCL congress time controls and the one-round day played at the usual league time control?

Kind regards

Mike Truran

David Robertson RIP by John Carleton


I first met Dave in 1964 when the chess teams for two schools located in the Birmingham area, Bishop Vesey GS [my school] and King Edward’s GS Camp Hill [Dave’s school] played each other. A couple of the Camp Hill players came across as very confident [well, “cocky” was the way I thought of it].


These two were strong players, and Dave was one of them. In 1965 I had brought about some improvement in my game and edged my way into the Warwickshire U18 team which won the national championships.


Continue reading...


14th 4NCL Online Congress

Friday 18 - Sunday 20 February 2022.

Thank you for taking part in this event

U2000 | U1700 | U1400 | Games | Information | Winners

13th 4NCL Online Congress

Friday 14 - Sunday 16 January 2022.

Thank you for taking part in this event

Open | U2000 | U1700 | U1400 | Games | Information | Winners

4NCL Final Weekend

Divisions 1 & 2 rounds 10 and 11 are confirmed for 25-26 June at Daventry Court. We’re hoping to hear soon about whether we can find venues for Divisions 3 South and Central. As Division 3 North only has eight teams we won’t be arranging a June weekend for that. More to follow when we have it!


- Mike Truran

Seconds stumble - but thirds thrive

22.2.22 - Many thanks again to Peter Kitchen (Celtic Tigers) for another great pictorial report about their exploits during weekend 2 at the Holiday Inn Maidenhead/Windsor.

Harrogate Congress, Jan 2022

Here's a great article by WFM Sarah Longson about her weekend at the recent 4NCL Harrogate Congress.

27th 4NCL OTB Congress

Friday 21 - Sunday 23 Jan 2022, The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate.

Thank you for taking part in this event

Open | U2000 | U1700 | Games | Information | Entries | Winners

Guildford’s 25 Years in the 4NCL: Part III

Roger Emerson and Nigel Povah conclude their coverage of Guildford’s 4NCL adventures, which saw their team go an astonishing 85 matches without defeat



Following Wood Green’s retreat from the forefront of the 4NCL, Guildford’s strongest challenger looked likely to be Cheddleton, headed by David Howell and Jonathan Hawkins. Indeed, our meeting in February 2015 proved to be a tense affair, which ended as a narrow victory, 4½-3½. However, it could have been a catastrophic defeat as we had substantially worse positions on several boards.



Guildford’s 25 Years in the 4NCL: Part II

Roger Emerson and Nigel Povah explain how Guildford continued to raise the bar



Taking over management from Nigel in November 2011, Roger brought in a number of new players, including grandmaster Romain Edouard (about whom more later), and several overseas titled players now living in or with close ties to England, including GM David Smerdon, IM Gediminas Sarakauskas, his wife Zivile and her sister IM Dagne Ciuksyte, who is now a mainstay of the England Women’s team.



Guildford’s 25 Years in the 4NCL: Part I

Nigel Povah and Roger Emerson chronicle the rise of their 4NCL powerhouse team



In this series of articles we will cover the history of Guildford teams in Division One of the 4NCL over the past 25 years, from small beginnings to the powerful squad of the late teens of the 21st century. In many ways this growth has mirrored the expansion of the 4NCL itself into a large, successful and well managed organisation.



Celtic Tigers 2 make a perfect start

26.11.21 - Many thanks to Peter Kitchen (Celtic Tigers) for his comprehensive report about their exploits during weekend 1 at Kents Hill Park, Milton Keynes.

4NCL Weekend 2

We have, with great reluctance and after much debate, decided not to proceed with weekend 2 of the 4NCL on 15-16 January.



Adventures in a new jungle (1st team)

20.12.21 - Many thanks to Chris Skulte (Celtic Tigers) for this detailed and upbeat report about the 1st team's exploits during weekend 1 at Kents Hill Park, Milton Keynes.

2nd 4NCL Online Autumn Congress

Tuesday 31 August - Tuesday 23 November, 2021


Thank you for taking part in this event


Open | U2000 | U1700 | U1400 | Entries | Games | Information | Winners

12th 4NCL Online Congress

Friday 10 - Sunday 12 December.


Thank you for taking part in this event


Open | U2000 | U1700 | U1400 | Entries | Games | Information | Winners

4NCL Women's League 2021-22

We regret to announce that the 4NCL Women's League weekend due to be held on 11-12 December has been cancelled for two (maybe related) reasons:
  1. the increasingly uncertain position regarding Covid;
  2. the relatively small number of entries so far.

We'll try to organise another weekend in the first quarter of 2022.



4NCL Weekend 2


We have, with great reluctance and after much debate, decided not to proceed with weekend 2 of the 4NCL on 15-16 January. Reasons for the decision include the following:

  1. The difficulty that many teams may have in raising full teams given many players’ likely, and entirely understandable, reluctance to play given prevailing conditions and restrictions;

  2. Uncertainty as to future Omicron trends;

  3. Uncertainty as to HM Government’s future intentions as to whether further, more stringent, regulations/guidelines will be put in place;

  4. The opportunity to postpone/cancel the weekend at all venues without financial penalty (if we delay further, that opportunity will almost certainly reduce/disappear);

  5. The risk of severe financial penalties if a significant number of teams and/or players decide not to play (and/or do not stay overnight), resulting in the bedroom allocations at the various venues not being taken up in full.

We’re currently investigating whether we can postpone the January weekend to a weekend/weekends in June. If we can do that, bedroom bookings already made will be transferred to that weekend (but can of course be cancelled in line with the usual T&Cs). If we can’t do that, bedroom bookings already made will be automatically cancelled.


We also have an option to postpone/cancel weekend 3 on 12-13 February. We won’t be making a decision on that until the New Year, by which time things may (or may not) have clarified somewhat.


If there is a (small) silver lining to a (rather dark) cloud, three of the four divisions being played as Swisses means that we should hopefully still be able to complete the season so long as we can get at least three weekends completed (although norm opportunities may be unavoidably affected).


With very best wishes for Xmas and the New Year from all at the 4NCL, and here’s hoping for better times ahead.


Kind regards,

Mike Truran


Carlsen plans fast start in Dubai while Firouzja captures his records - Leonard Barden


27.11.21 - The world champion aims to exploit Ian Nepomniachtchi’s lack of experience in world title matches, while the French 18-year-old has just broken two of Carlsen’s own landmarks.




Magnus Carlsen says he plans a fast start in the opening three rounds of his 14-game, $2m world title match against Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Play starts at 12.30pm GMT throughout the match, which can be followed live and free online, with expert and computer commentaries on every move.


Nepomniachtchi will have the favourable white pieces in the first game, whose colours were determined by popping balloons.


Carlsen will push for an early lead. “As a reigning champion you have a good chance to strike at the start,” he said. “That’s definitely something I am going to try.”



Previous cases of first-time challengers who froze include Tigran Petrosian’s disastrous game one in 1963 against Mikhail Botvinnik and Bobby Fischer’s poisoned pawn capture against Boris Spassky in 1972.


In the 2018 match Fabiano Caruana was shaky in the marathon first game and should have lost at move 38. Carlsen himself, in his second game against Vishy Anand in 2013, planned the Caro-Kann 1 e4 c6 but nervously knocked over his c7 pawn. However, there are also examples such as in 1927 and 2000 where the challenger scored early and went on to win the match.


Diagram: Alexey Shirov v Leinier Domínguez, Wijk 2010. White to move and win. In the game as played, Shirov agreed a draw due to time pressure, so the puzzle challenge is to do better.


Read more and see solution...

Online chess booms while over the board play recovers from the pandemic - Leonard Barden



2.11.21 - Last weekend’s Scarborough congress attracted a bumper entry of 300, as tournament regulars greeted the resumption of a popular fixture.




Competitive chess in the north-east is recovering well from the pandemic. The British championship and a GM tournament were staged in Hull. and an invitational in North Tyneside.


The 4NCL national league, played online last season, returns over the board shortly with 80 teams against 94 before Covid-19. There will be new champions, for Guildford’s record breakers have retired after 83 matches and eight years without defeat.



County teams plus local clubs and leagues, which have an older demographic, have been generally less resilient, although a few have successfully tapped in to the online chess boom inspired by Netflix’s Queen’s Gambit.


Battersea, Camberley, Kingston, Richmond and Surbiton, all in a suburban belt, have booming memberships.


Puzzle 2443: Roland Scott v Joseph Blake, Edinburgh 1920. White (to play) is queen for bishop up, but can you find his only winning move? A century ago, Scott solved the puzzle and won the British championship.








4NCL 2021-22 Season & COVID

We expect to publish Covid guidelines for the new season a couple of weeks before the first weekend of the new season given the present uncertainty about whether HMG guidance/rules in place at the moment will remain as they are or become more stringent.


There will be no problem with teams getting entry fee refunds after the 31 October entry deadline if the approach the 4NCL adopts is not to their liking, and bedroom bookings can as usual be cancelled without charge up to five working days before the first weekend.


Hull 4NCL International Congress

Friday 22 October - Sunday 24 October, Canham Turner Conference Centre





Open | U2000 | U1700 | Replay Games | Entries | Information | Winners


Thank you to the players, arbiters & organisers for a great event.


Here's an excellent set of photos from the event - with thanks to Oli Scarff.

Hull 4NCL GM Norm Event

A nine round event Wed 20 - Sunday 24 October at the Canham Turner Conference Centre, Hull.





Full details, players, pairings and results | Replay Games | PGN


Thank you to the players, arbiters & organisers for a great event.


Entry Guidelines

These are now posted (in PDF format) together with fees due and important dates for the new season.

Main Rules

Now available here (in PDF format). As usual there are amends from the 2019-20 season and Captains and Managers are asked to make themselves and their team colleagues aware of them as soon as possible.


Online Season 4 Logins

All new captains in both main and junior online events should now have received an e-mail containing season 4 login credentials. If you have not received it please check your spam filters or folders, and if still not located contact  straightaway.


Accounts for all existing captains who have re-entered their teams are also now enabled. Please also see the Fair Play Regulations notice above.

Junior 4NCL Weekend 1 of 3

The first 21-22 weekend took place Sat 25 & Sun 26 Sept at Woodland Grange, Leamington Spa


Results and more here.

11th 4NCL Online Congress

Thank you for taking part in this event


Friday 8 - Sunday 10 October.


Open | U2000 | U1700 | U1400 | Games | Entries | Information | Winners

Junior 4NCL Weekend 1

See this wonderful event report from CHlivelylemon at the J4ncl Weekend 1.

10th 4NCL Online Congress

Friday 13 - Sunday 15 August 2021


Thank you for taking part in this event


Open | U2000 | U1700 | U1400 | U1100 | Games | Entries | Information | Winners

26th 4NCL OTB Congress

Friday 10 - Sunday 12 Sept, Woodland Grange, Leamington Spa.


Thank you to all the players, arbiters and helpers for a great event.


Open | U2000 | U1700 | Games | Information & Arrangements | Entries | Winners


See an excellent gallery of photos from the weekend - with many thanks to Brendan O'Gorman.

25th 4NCL FIDE Rated Congress

Friday 9 - Sunday 11 July 2021, Woodland Grange, Leamington Spa.


Thank you to all the players, arbiters and commentary team for a great event.


Open | FIDE Major | FIDE Minor | Games | Entries | Information | Winners


Jack Rudd and Nigel Davies have annotated some games from this event. Thank you both!

Main 4NCL Arbiter Interest

The main 4NCL is seeking to recruit arbiters for the 2021-22 Season. To be considered as an arbiter you must be registered with FIDE as a licensed NA, FA or IA. If you are registered with FIDE as ENG, SCO or WLS but do not have a licence then the appropriate federation can arrange for you to get one.


Further details and form link here (Please note applications now closed).

Fantasy Football


For the 2021-22 Fantasy Premier League why not join "Premier Chess" - the number one League for chess players? Joining the league couldn't be easier. Simply go here and you'll be added automatically after you've entered the game.

League Code: vdm1rl

9th 4NCL Online Congress

Friday 18 - Sunday 20 June


Thank you for taking part in this event


Open | U2000 | U1700 | U1400 | U1100 | Games | Entries | Information | Winners

8th 4NCL Online Congress

Friday 21 - Sunday 23 May


Thank you for taking part in this event


Open | U2000 | U1700 | U1400 | U1100 | Games | Entries | Information | Winners

4NCL Online Spring Congress

Tuesday 2 February - Tuesday 27 April


Thank you for taking part in this event


Open | U2000 | U1700 | U1400 | Games | Entries | Information | Winners

Carlsen loses three in a row twice as champion heads for World Cup - Leonard Barden


09.07.21 - Garry Kasparov to take on world title challenger, Ian Nepomniachtchi, this weekend.



Magnus Carlsen suffered a rare double setback last weekend when the world champion twice lost three games in a row at the $100,000 Goldmoney Asian Rapid. The defeats occurred in his losing semi-final against the world No 5, Levon Aronian, then in his third place play-off against Ding Liren, though he still managed to defeat China’s world No 3.


The 30-year-old Norwegian had an off day, missing several tactical chances.




The No 1 has already qualified for the Meltwater Champions Tour final after winning the two previous events, so diminished motivation explains it. Next week he bids to try and put to rest a longstanding hoodoo when he makes his fourth attempt at the 206-player, $1.9m World Cup knockout in Sochi ... more.



In contrast, English over-the-board competitive chess is only now starting to revive from the pandemic, although pent-up demand is certainly there. This weekend’s 4NCL (Four Nations Chess League) congress in Leamington Spa and next Saturday’s £2500 DecodeChess Rapidplay in Manchester Square, London, have entry limits of 130-150 and are already oversubscribed.


The London tournament is followed next day, Sunday 18 July, by the ChessFest in Trafalgar Square, which may attract thousands of players.


The pandemic wiped out the last 4NCL over-the-board season, although it continued to thrive online. Now the plan is to play the first of five 2021-22 weekends in late November, with venues at Milton Keynes, Leamington and Doncaster.


The return of the 4NCL is significant not only for competing clubs but for individuals, because it offers a realistic chance of qualifying for GM and IM norms, plus the women’s equivalents, which are a prime target for ambitious players.


Diagram: Heikki Westerinen v Gudmundur Sigurjónsson, New York 1977. White to move. Black threatens Qxc2+ and Qxe2 mate. Can you find White’s winning move and winning sequence?


Read more and see solution...

Return to OTB chess

We continue to plan the 4NCL's return to OTB chess. As well as our 25th 4NCL Congress at Woodland Grange (Leamington Spa) on 9-11 July 2021, we have also booked the same venue for our 26th 4NCL Congress on 10-12 September 2021. More information to follow when we have it. Needless to say, arrangements may be subject to change depending on what happens later this year with Covid-19.


Mike Truran

4NCL Dates 2021-2022

We're very pleased to be able to announce the dates and venues for the 4NCL's 2021-2022 season, which can be found here. Our thanks go to our friends at Guaranteed Events for their help in finding suitable venues for us. Please note the following:

  1. The dates may be affected (or indeed may need to be cancelled) should the Covid-19 situation not evolve as HM Government hopes. We will keep a careful eye on future developments and keep captains/managers informed.

  2. Given the prevailing uncertainty we will not be publishing entry guidelines, rules etc until much closer to the first round - probably mid/end October.

  3. Despite 2 above, Guaranteed Events are happy to field early accommodation enquiries. As usual, no money is taken until after arrival at the venue, so there is no financial risk to captains, managers and players booking accommodation early should, for example, a Covid-19 resurgence require weekends to be postponed or cancelled. Please do NOT try to book accommodation direct with the hotel as you will not get the preferential 4NCL arrangements.

  4. The proposed divisional format/structure for 2021-2022 (and for 2022-2023) is explained in more detail here.

Kind regards,

Mike Truran

Many congratulations to all the 4NCL Online Season 3 Champions

4NCL Online  

Division 1: Celtic Tigers & Sharks

Division 2: Hull & Beverley Romans 1

Division 3: MK Phoenix 2

Division 4: Barnet Knights A 

Division 5: Charlton Cobras A

Division 6: MK Phoenix 3

Division 7: Newport A


Junior 4NCL Online

Division 1: Muswell Hill Bishops

Division 2: Young Dragons A

Division 3: Barnet Knights A

Division 4: Leeds Juniors 1

Division 5: Lenzie Basilisks

7th 4NCL Online Congress

Friday 23 - Sunday 25 April


Thank you for taking part in this event


Open | U2000 | U1700 | U1400 | U1100 | Entries | Games | Information | Winners

4NCL on the up by Malcolm Pein



AS CHESS clubs begin to take their first small steps to resuming over-the-board activities, the 4NCL Online League continues to prosper.

6th 4NCL Online Congress

Friday 26 - Sunday 28 March


Thank you for taking part in this event


Pairings & Results: Open | U2000 | U1700 | U1400 | U1100 | Games | Entries | Info | Winners

Online Fair Play Report - End of Season 2

Full report here

4NCL Online / Junior 4NCL Online

If you have a problem please try to direct your enquiry to the person best placed to assist. See more...

25th Congress

I'm very pleased to say that we've booked 4-star conference centre hotel Woodland Grange in Leamington Spa for our 25th 4NCL Congress on 9-11 July 2021. More here...

2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons

The 4NCL team have been giving a lot of thought to the future of the 4NCL during the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic. More details here including an intended 'roadmap'.

4NCL Online Fair Play Guidelines

The 4NCL Online and Junior 4NCL Online fair play guidelines have been updated for season 3.

4NCL Online Dates H2 2021 and H1 2022



4NCL Online

4NCL Junior Online

4NCL Online Autumn Congress


24 August

19 August

31 August


7 September

2 September

14 September


21 September

16 September

28 September


5 October

30 September

12 October


19 October

14 October

26 October


2 November

28 October

9 November


16 November

11 November

23 November


30 November

25 November


14 December

9 December


4NCL Online

4NCL Junior Online

4NCL Online Spring Congress


25 January

20 January

1 February


8 February

3 February

15 February


22 February

17 February

1 March


8 March

3 March

15 March


22 March

17 March

29 March


5 April

31 March

12 April


19 April

14 April

26 April


3 May

28 April


17 May

12 May


4NCL Online Fair Play Guidelines

The 4NCL Online and Junior 4NCL Online fair play guidelines have been updated for season 3. Please read and bring to the attention of your players the following updated sections in particular:


Section 4: 4NCL Online Fair Play Panel;

Section 5: 4NCL Online Appeals Committee;

Section 8: Other (public allegations of cheating against other players);

Section 8: Other (streaming).


See updated guidelines here.


Players' Agreement to Fair Play Guidelines Form

Team captains will be able to submit their squad lists from 7th January.


Returning teams will be able to amend/update their squad lists from the end of season 2. New teams will have until 16th January to submit their squad lists, and the squad lists at that point will be used for the purpose of seeding the pairings in the lowest division. Pairings and teams will be published on 17th January, and captains will be able to submit their team lists for round 1 from 18th January.




All players will need to sign the Fair Play Form again for Season 3, on the basis that the fair play guidelines have changed significantly from the end of season 2. The fair play form, the link for which can also be found in the dropdown menu(s) at the top of this page, summarises the significant changes from season 2 which players need to be aware of. Players will not be available for selection until the fair play form has been signed.

4NCL Online & Junior 4NCL Online

If you have a problem please try to direct your enquiry to the person best placed to assist:


  • Software (e.g. can't log in, tie-breaks are wrong, accounts for assistant managers/vice captain):

  • Fair play forms:

  • Player incorrectly flagged as not an ECF member please e-mail:   

  • Team list/board order, and estimated ratings for unrated players (rule 2.1): please e-mail both  &

  • Pairings for Swiss sections:

  • PGNs don't appear on the website: please e-mail Andy Howie (as above) or contact the or use the contact us form.

25th 4NCL Congress

I'm very pleased to say that we've booked 4-star conference centre hotel Woodland Grange in Leamington Spa for our 25th 4NCL Congress on 9-11 July 2021. This will be our first OTB 4NCL congress since the start of 2020 if restrictions are indeed lifted on 21 June as we all hope.


Although we are not publishing entry forms just yet, our friends at Guaranteed Events are happy to field early accommodation enquiries. As usual with 4NCL congresses, no money is taken until after arrival at the venue, so there is no financial risk to players booking accommodation early should a Covid-19 resurgence require the congress to be postponed or cancelled. Please do NOT try to book accommodation direct with the hotel as you will not get the preferential 4NCL arrangements.


As the proverb has it, 'There's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip', but on the (possibly heroic) assumption that restrictions will ease as HM Government hopes over the next few months we'll be publishing information, entry forms etc on the 4NCL website once we have our organisational ducks in a row.


Kind regards,

Mike Truran

5th 4NCL Online Congress

Friday 19 - Sunday 21 February


Thank you for taking part in this event.


Pairings & Results: Open | U2000 | U1700 | U1400 | U1100 | Entries | Games | Info | Winners

4th 4NCL Online Congress

Friday 15 - Sunday 17 January 2021


Thank you for taking part in this event.


Pairings & Results: Open | U2000 | U1700 | U1400 | Entries | Games | Info | Winners

Online Fair Play Report - End of Season 2

The statistics for Season 2 are below:


  • 11 players were banned due to fair play violations;

  • 11 other players were banned by Lichess, for whom the weight of statistical evidence did not support the 4NCL overturning results (e.g. the bans were imposed as a result of the cheating taking place in non-4NCL games on Lichess);

  • Of the 22 cases above, only 3 cases were attributable to players in Junior 4NCL Online; the other 18 were attributable to 4NCL Online.


In Season 1, there were 50 cases, with the reduction in part caused by changing the definition of what constituted a ban. Previously all 22 cases above would have resulted in the player being banned. In addition:


  • A number of players who were banned in Season 1 have not returned in Season 2;

  • With two exceptions, players who were banned in Season 1 and readmitted in Season 2 have a clean bill of health.


On the face of it, this is a dramatic reduction and looks positive; and for Junior 4NCL Online, it does look considerably more like we would expect to see from an over-the-board event as a whole.


However, 4NCL Online still has a number of people who we expect, if they continue to behave in the way that they have for much longer, will be banned by Lichess and meet our tolerance threshold.


There are approximately 25 players in 4NCL Online who we believe were probably cheating in Season 2. We say this based on comparing data from Season 2 with 4NCL over the board dating back to 2017; there are a number of performances which far exceed anything we have ever seen naturally from over the board chess in England, but which nevertheless fall short of the thresholds under which either 4NCL or Lichess will ban someone. There is a reasonable probability that maybe one or two of these people are playing honestly, but the chances that they are all playing honestly are vanishingly small. 4NCL Online will be combining Season 2 with Season 3 data, and so the slate will not be wiped clean, and may be used to provide justification for bans in Season 3. Most disappointingly, amongst these 25 are three squad captains and an ECF arbiter.


While it’s disappointing that a number of people are clearly ‘sailing close to the wind’, and also that bans/suspicious activity are weighted disproportionately towards 4NCL Online rather than Junior 4NCL Online, nonetheless the overall trend does appear to be in the right direction.


The fair play guidelines have been reviewed and amended to take account of experience gained in Seasons 1 and 2, and we believe that they strike a good balance between identifying cheats effectively and reducing the risk of wrongly accusing the innocent. We encourage captains to read the new guidelines and to share them with their players – and we also thank the vast majority of captains and players who are committed to a clean playing environment.

Carlsen starts well but slows while little-known Swede impresses - Leonard Barden


22.1.21 - World champion admits to errors after four grinding draws as Nils Grandelius surprises world No 5, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, at Wijk.



Magnus Carlsen launched his campaign at Tata Steel Wijk aan Zee, the “chess Wimbledon” in style as the world champion elegantly defeated the rising star Alireza Firouzja, 17, by an imaginative attack.




Then the script went awry, as Carlsen’s next four results were all grinding draws against lower ranked opponents, while his limelight was stolen from an unexpected quarter ... more.


Britain’s national chess league, the 4NCL, has tapped a rich vein of popularity as it begins its third lockdown season with more than 250 teams of four competing in the 4NCL Online in seven divisions. Matches are once a fortnight on Tuesday evenings, played to a comfortable time limit allowing up to three hours per game. A separate junior league has hundreds of players.


The pre-pandemic 4NCL had teams of eight who played on weekends at a central hotel venue, which proved too difficult for some distant teams.



The over-the board version has been dominated by Wood Green and Guildford for most of its 28 years. In contrast, the online version has surging numbers, is attracting teams from Cornwall to Dundee, has two seasons a year rather than one, and is a more open competition at the top.


4NCL Online looks set to stay even if or when the pandemic is over, and its fourth season, expected to start this summer, should continue its rapid expansion. Its participant numbers are already comparable with the weekend congress Fischer boom of the 1970s.


Diagram: Alexey Shirov v Samuel Sevian, Stockholm 2016. How did the then US 15-year-old (Black, to move) defeat the former world title challenger?


Read more and see solution


More about Leonard Barden


Many congratulations to all the 4NCL Online Season 2 champions

4NCL Online

Division 1: ChessPlus Kingston

Division 2: CSC 1

Division 3: Catford Cosmonauts 2

Division 4: Hertford 1

Division 5: Hackney Thirsty

Division 6: Dundee City B


Junior 4NCL Online

Division 1: KJCA Young Kestrels A

Division 2: May the Fork Be With You 1

Division 3: KJCA Young Kestrels F

Division 4: Barnet Knights A

Malcolm Pein on…the Kingston 4NCL Champions



31.12.20 - Malcolm Pein turns his attention back to the Four Nations Chess League in today’s Daily Telegraph chess column – and the match which made Kingston 4NCL champions.


The big final brought plenty of action and a surprising result.


ChessPlus Kingston stunned Wood Green to win the First Division of the 4NCL Online League. Having pulled off one giant-killing act to defeat Guildford Young Guns 2½-1½ in the semifinal, they produced another, despite FM Marcus Harvey taking his score for the season to a whopping 8½/9 by defeating Goran Pavlik. More here ...

Former finance minister scores winning point in British final - Leonard Barden



21.12.20 - The surprise winners of Britain’s online 4NCL league last week were ChessPlus Kingston, who overcame the favourites Wood Green in the final. ChessPlus organises instructional courses for chess teachers, with support from the European Chess Union.




Fittingly in the time of The Queen's Gambit, CPK’s women made decisive top board contributions. In 1984 Pia Cramling defeated Viktor Korchnoi at the height of the legend’s powers, her Beth Harmon moment, and last week she saved a lost rook ending.


Dana Reizniece-Ozola scored CPK’s winning point. There have been keen but weak chess players, like Andrew Bonar Law and Fidel Castro, in positions of political power, and strong players, notably Garry Kasparov, who never achieved power. 



Latvia’s former finance minister has beaten the world No 1 woman, and is still active in both areas, scrutinising the national budget on a spreadsheet while playing her 4NCL semi-final. She speaks five languages and is a mother of four children so the FT is a good place to mark her achievements.


Reizniece-Ozola’s imaginative sacrificial attack decided the final, but IM Ravi Haria missed a draw at the end. A different 27th queen move would have forced White to draw by perpetual check or allow Black a winning counter.


Puzzle 2399: White mates in three moves (by Ellis Ridley, 1890). Just a single line of play with all moves on both sides forced and no checks before the final mate, yet some solving experts have found it hard. How do you compare? Solution.

'Game of the Year' decides title as Covid-19 hits Russian championship - Leonard Barden



18.12.20 - World No 4, Ian Nepomniachtchi, wins and Daniil Dubov creates as Sergey Karjakin fails again.


A game cast in the romantic mould of the nineteenth century and of the legendary Latvian Mikhail Tal decided first prize at this week’s Russian championship.




Its creator Daniil Dubov, 24, an aide to Magnus Carlsen for the 2018 world championship, played what has been widely hailed as the “Game of the Year”, as he took down Sergey Karjakin with a prepared gambit where Dubov blitzed out his first 13 moves and followed up with sacrifices of bishop and queen.


Dubov’s 15 Bf6! and 19 Qxg6!! sacrifices were too hard to defend in practical play. The square g6/g3 was the setting for two of the classic queen sacrifices of chess history, Frank Marshall’s “golden coins” Qg3!! game against Stefan Levitsky at Breslau 1912 and Alexander Alekhine’s Qxg6! against Emanuel Lasker at Zurich 1934 ... more.



England’s 4NCL online league attracted 228 teams in six divisions in its second season which ended this week with a surprise winner. ChessPlus Kingston were the promoted second team of ChessPlus, which organises courses for actual and potential chess teachers in 14 European countries.


Its founder John Foley’s contacts produced a strong team for the finals, led by two women whose careers have included Beth Harmon moments. Pia Cramling was within one move of defeating Viktor Korchnoi at his peak, while Dana Reizniece-Ozola beat the world No 1, Hou Yifan, at the 2016 Olympiad.


Diagram: White mates in four moves (by Fritz Giegold, 1968). Just like last week’s puzzle, there is only a single line of play with all moves on both sides forced, and no checks until the final mate.


Read more and see solution


4NCL Online Autumn Congress

Thank you for taking part in this event.


Tuesday 1 September - Tuesday 24 November, 2020


Pairings & Results: Open | U2000 | U1700 | Games | Entries | Information | Winners

Hull 4NCL Online Congress

Thank you for taking part in this event.


Friday 30 October - Sunday 1 November, 2020


Pairings & Results: Open | U2000 | U1700 | U1400 | Entries | Information | Games | Winners

3rd 4NCL Online Congress

Thank you for taking part in this event.


Friday 2 - Sunday 4 October, 2020


Pairings & Results: Open | U2000 | U1700 | Entries | Information | Games | Winners

Michael Adams wins seven as England's top players battle lockdown - Leonard Barden



25.9.20 - English GMs compete in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and online in the absence of UK over-the-board chess.


England’s top grandmasters, most of them ranked among the world’s best 100 players, are battling against the rule of six and other restrictions which have virtually eliminated over-the-board chess in the UK.




Michael Adams, the England No 1, took eye-catching advantage of the better opportunities in central Europe with a Caruana-esque run of seven straight wins in classic tournaments. It was a performance which harked back to the seven-time British champion’s peak years in 2000-02, when he was ranked No 4 in the world ... more.


Back in the UK, the national 4NCL league is flourishing online, England’s juniors performed above expectations in the online European youth championships, while Simon Williams is one of the most popular web commentators.


For over-the-board British chess, in contrast, the immediate outlook remains challenging to bleak, with the new restrictions coming at the start of the club, county and congress seasons. The Northumbria Congress announced for this weekend was a bold attempt at a revival, but it had to be cancelled due to the North-east lockdown.



There is still hope for the future, though. The English Chess Federation is in a sound financial position, and its membership renewals have been above expectations despite the lack of activity. There will be scope in future for Innovatory events with a mix of online qualifiers and over-the-board finals to harness English chess’s current strange pattern of simultaneous boom and slump.


Diagram: Loek van Wely v Richard Rapport, Solingen v Baden-Baden, Bundesliga 2020. Black to play. Can you find Black’s winning move and why it prompted White’s immediate resignation?


Read more and see solution


Fantasy Football



08.9.20 - The Premier League commences Saturday 12th September. So there's still time to enter your team at https://fantasy.premierleague.com/. Could you do better than Magnus Carlsen who was 10th overall last year? "Premier Chess" welcomes prospective managers - join code this year is 9as9zf.

4NCL Online Fair Play Guidelines

These are the current guideline and rules for fair play in 4NCL Online including a summary of anti-cheating arrangements. The rules are being reviewed on an ongoing basis and will be updated as appropriate based on experience from 4NCL Online and other events ... see full guidelines.


Note: The above are the proposed fair play guidelines for 4NCL Online & Junior 4NCL Online for Season 2.

  Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Cancelled: Easter Congress (9-13 Apr), Women's League (25-26 Apr), 3rd Spring BHol Congress (22-25 May) & Crewe Congress (10-12 July).


Cancelled: Weekend 4 (28-29 Mar & 4-5 Apr) and Weekend 5 (8-10 May). More here.


Entry forms for the three cancelled congresses and the cancelled Women's League have been withdrawn, and these events will not be taking place as planned given the current pandemic.



Call to Arms

The 4NCL requires extra assistance to help us to administer an expanded portfolio of online events during the 2020-21. If you are an arbiter, click here to fill in the application form.

2nd 4NCL Online Congress  



Thank you for participating in this event!


Friday 21 - Sunday 23 August, 2020


Pairings & Results: Open | U2000 | U1700 | Entries | Information | Games | Winners

1st 4NCL Online Congress



Thank you for participating in this event!


Friday 10 - Sunday 12 July, 2020


Pairings & Results: Open | U2000 | U1700 | Entries | Information | Games | Winners

COVID-19 and the 4NCL

We have with great regret decided not to proceed with weekends 4 and 5 of this season's 4NCL, which we had hoped could be held in August and September. Given the continuing uncertainty caused by the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, in our view the financial and operational risks both to the 4NCL and to Guaranteed Events are just too big to run the risk of proceeding at this stage.


We will be actively looking at two options for the future:

  1. If over the board chess resumes in an orderly manner and in a way which makes running 4NCL weekends viable by late 2020 we will consider starting the 2020-21 season in November/December 2020 and continuing as normal in 2021. In this event the 2019-20 season would effectively be abandoned (so there would be no promotions or relegations).

  2. If over the board chess does not resume in an orderly manner and in a way which makes running 4NCL weekends viable until 2021 we will consider holding the final two weekends of the 2019-20 season in March-May 2021, effectively 'losing' a season - assuming, that is, that a return to orderly over the board chess is possible even then. Please note that FIDE has given the option for leagues to extend beyond a year, and so any title norm opportunities would still be available in the event of option 2.

If there is a suitable gap in the calendar under option 2, we may look at holding a separate one-off weekend team event at some point.


We apologise for the continuing lack of clarity over future plans (other than the clarity that the 4NCL will not now resume until November/December 2020 at the earliest), but the 4NCL Board hopes that 4NCL captains and players will understand the difficulties that we face at present in making anything like informed decisions that do not entail significant risk at a time of such uncertainty.


Kind regards,

Mike Truran

Fair Play Article

08.7.2020 - Alex Holowczak has written about Fair Play issues in online chess, with particular emphasis on the experience of the 4NCL over the course of its first 4NCL Online season.


The 4NCL is thankful to CHESS magazine, where this article will also be published in its August 2020 edition. You can subscribe to it here.

Online End of Season 1 Winners

Very many thanks to all the teams who participated in the first season of 4NCL Online and Junior 4NCL Online, and congratulations in particular to the following;


4NCL Online

Division 1:

Winners - Chessable White Rose 1, runners-up Guildford Young Guns.

Division 2:

Winners - ChessPlus Beta, runners-up Wood Green Youth, also promoted Chessable White Rose 2, St Benildus A, Wessex Some Stars A, Liverpool, Bristol University A, Exeter Honey Badgers.

Division 3:

Winners - Brentwood, runners-up Warwick University B, also promoted West is Best 2, 3 Smarties 1 Tube, Hull Romans, Harrow 2, The Rook1Es, CSC 3.

Division 4:

Winners - Celtic Tigers Cubs, runners-up Chessmates, also promoted Bon Accord B, Kent KJCA Kestrels C, St Benildus B, Hatch End A, Warwickshire Bears A, Clevedon.

Division 5:

Promoted - Hertford, CSC 5, Wirral League Wanderers, St Albans 2, Uxbridge Knights 1, Gonzaga D, Maryport Assassins B, Bolton & Worsley.


Junior 4NCL Online

Division 1:

Winners - To Be Decided, runners-up KJCA Young Kestrels A.

Division 2:

Winners - Warwickshire Bears A, runners-up Gonzaga College SJ B, also promoted A6 & Chill, Cambridge Chess & Go A.

Division 3:

Winners - KJCA Young Kestrels C, runners-up 4 Gems, also promoted Stroud Cubs, St John’s College A.

Division 4:

Winners - KJCA Young Kestrels D, runners-up St Benildus 2, also promoted Woking Warriors, Harrow Juniors C.

Division 5:

Promoted - East Kilbride Knights, Liverpool 2, St Benildus 1, Gonzaga College SJ C.


Ranking lists for all divisions in PDF format

1. 4NCL Online

2. Junior 4NCL Online

End of Online Season 1 Report


05.7.2020 - Many thanks to John Foley for his detailed account, with annotated games, about the various ChessPlus teams.

Questionnaire Responses

08.7.2020 - The 4NCL is pleased to publish the questionnaire responses received for the 4NCL Online and Junior 4NCL Online. Click these links for the relevant document: 4NCL Online | Junior 4NCL Online

Magnus Carlsen prepares for meeting with prodigy Alireza Firouzja - Leonard Barden



10.4.20 - Magnus Carlsen, the world champion, has helped spark an immediate and impressively rapid growth in online chess with his announcement of a $250,000 elite tournament which starts on Saturday 18 April with Carlsen himself as the No 1 seed.


Before that, there is the fascinating prospect of a dream final in chess24’s Banter Blitz Cup where players commentate on their moves verbally while the game is in progress and may also trash-talk their opponent ... more.


Britain’s national league, the 4NCL, was quickly into action as an online 4NCL attracted 172 four-player teams, far above expectations.




The opening weekly round (of 10) was played on Tuesday on Lichess.org, the user-friendly free site where you are paired with an opponent within a few seconds and which is recommended for newcomers to internet chess.



One unusual aspect of the online 4NCL is that Guildford, who have dominated the over-the-board version for the best part of a decade, are absent. In place of their elite GM squad there is a team of rising talents, Guildford Young Guns. There is also Guildford Gatekeepers, a quartet of low-rated amateurs.


Sanan Sjugirov v Magnus Carlsen, Banter Blitz semi-final 2020. White’s last move d3-d4 was a fatal blunder. Can you match the world champion and find the forced win for Black (to move)?


Read more and see solution


Fide drops handshakes after coronavirus cancels five Opens - Leonard Barden



07.3.20 - Coronavirus is starting to affect major chess events. Five international Opens have already been cancelled or postponed while Fide, the global chess body, has issued detailed medical advice for the over-50 and over-65 World Senior Teams which have just begun in Prague.




Britain’s 4NCL (Four Nations Chess League) played its latest matches last weekend at Daventry, where Guildford stretched their unbeaten sequence to 85 matches and eight years. Guildford’s world team silver medallist Gawain Jones brought off a quick finish as he exploited White’s army crammed in a corner.



Guildford’s rivals Manx Liberty have also won all six matches, but the most impressive performance so far has been by Grantham, whose team has no grandmasters and just a few IMs. They have lost only to Manx and are sure to qualify among the eight teams in the championship pool, while it was a Grantham player who brought off the most visual finish of the weekend in the puzzle diagram.


Katarzyna Toma v Rajat Makkar, Wood Green v Grantham, 4NCL 2020. How did Black (to play) win quickly and cleverly?


Read more and see solution

Junior 4NCL Weekend 3/3

The final 19-20 weekend took place Sat 15 & Sun 16 February at Mercure Daventry Court Hotel and Spa.


Click for links to the pairings, results and tables. This was the 3rd & final weekend of the J4NCL season.


Entry guidelines 19-20 | Competition Rules 19-20 | Teams 19-20

Main 4NCL 2019-20

a) 2019-20 Rules | view or download the new rules & tracked version


Main Changes (from 2018-19)


Rule 1.3:   Date of birth for eligibility as a junior updated.
Rule 3.1:  

There are now financial penalties for late submission of team registration lists (submission deadline 11 October).

Rule 9.4:  

Changes to team lists can still be made without penalty until midnight of the day before the fixture, but they should be made online or by email (in other words, do not rely on arbiters staying up late).

Rules 11.9 & 11.10:  

Amended to discourage the practice of teams in Swiss divisions attending for only part of a weekend.

Rule 12.1:  

Starting time on the middle day of a three-day weekend will be 12 noon and not 13.00.

Rule 13.3:  

Corrects last season’s rules’ rather odd failure to mention explicitly that four teams will be relegated from Division 3 South.


b) Runners & Riders: The final list is here. Thank you to all concerned for the information.

c) Entry Guidelines: These are published with fees due and important dates.

d) Venues and dates: These are now arranged and agreed for the forthcoming season.

Guildford extend unbeaten run to 83 matches over nearly 8 years - Leonard Barden



14.2.20 - The Surrey club’s two wins in the 4NCL mean they are unbeaten since 5 May 2012 while a victory for Michael Adams, 48, makes him the world’s second oldest 2700-rated player



Guildford’s stranglehold on Britain’s Four Nations Chess League (4NCL) is set to continue for an eighth consecutive season as the Surrey club steamrollered two more opponents at Daventry last weekend, while their sponsored rivals from Yorkshire and the Isle of of Man lost ground on the leaders.


Guildford last lost a match, 3½-4½ to White Rose, on 5 May 2012, since when the team’s unbeaten run stretches to 81 wins and two draws.


Read more ...

Weekend 1 Guidelines

25.9.19 - The guidelines are intended to advise team captains on the interpretation of Rule 8 which will be applied to the first weekend of the 2019-20 season. Please read more here - Dave Thomas, Chief Arbiter.

Sad News - Jane Kremer

20.2.20 - I am sad to tell you that my partner Jane Kremer, whom many of you will remember assisting with the admin at the 4NCL for many years, died in the early morning of Wednesday 5th February.


Her funeral will take place at Rowley Regis Crematorium, B65 0AD at 3.15pm on Monday 2nd March. No flowers, bright clothes please  - Dave Thomas, 4NCL Chief Arbiter.

Weekend 3 - Divs 1 & 2 [Daventry], Divs 3s & 4s [Maidenhead/Windsor], Div 3n [Bolton]


Results, Sat 8 February, 14.00


Division 1 Pool A

Division 2 Pool A

Division 3N

Division 3A

Division 4S

Division 1 Pool B

Division 2 Pool B


Division 3B


Results Sun 9 February, 11.00


Division 1 Pool A

Division 2 Pool A

Division 3N

Division 3A

Division 4S

Division 1 Pool B

Division 2 Pool B


Division 3B





All Tables

PGNs & Replays


Note: The rate of play for all divisions was 40 moves in 1 hour 40 minutes plus 30 seconds per move, followed by the rest of the game in 50 minutes plus 30 seconds per move | See Rules Governing Play


The 4NCL Anti-Cheating Policy applied to this event.

Dominant Guildford face new British chess league challengers - Leonard Barden


13.1.20 - Britain’s 4NCL (Four Nations Chess League) has been monopolised by a single team for almost a decade now.


Guildford last lost a match in 2012, since when the Surrey players have won 79 encounters and drawn just two. They often score at least 7-1 over eight boards, and even single game defeats are rare.


They had just one game loss in the entire 2018-19 season, and in last weekend’s matches, which launched the 2019-20 fixtures, Guildford crushed Cambridge University by 8-0, then Barbican, the City of London team, by 7-1.


Read more ...

World chess champion’s firm gets on board to help Yorkshire team target title

10.1.20 - The north's strongest chess team start their campaign for glory in the game’s equivalent of the Premier League this weekend after catching the eye of world champion Magnus Carlsen.



Yorkshire-based White Rose has received backing from one of the Norwegian star’s companies and is now expecting a sudden influx of world-class grandmasters for the new season.


Read more ...

Weekend 2 - Divs 1 & 2 [Daventry], Divs 3s & 4s [Maidenhead/Windsor], Div 3n [Bolton]


Results Round 3 Sat 11 January


Division 1 Pool A

Division 2 Pool A

Division 3N

Division 3A

Division 4S

Division 1 Pool B

Division 2 Pool B


Division 3B


Results Round 4 Sun 12 January


Division 1 Pool A

Division 2 Pool A

Division 3N

Division 3A

Division 4S

Division 1 Pool B

Division 2 Pool B


Division 3B





All Tables

PGNs & Replays


Note: The rate of play for all divisions was 40 moves in 1 hour 40 minutes plus 30 seconds per move, followed by the rest of the game in 50 minutes plus 30 seconds per move | See Rules Governing Play


The 4NCL Anti-Cheating Policy applied to this event.

Hull International Congress Report

12.11.19 - GM Danny Gormally has published a detailed annotated report of two of his games, played in rounds 1 and 2 of the FIDE Open.

Pairings 2019-20 

Pairings for the first stage all-play-all pools and for the first weekend of division three North, and the first round of division four are published. The pairings for round two of division four will be published once round 1 is complete - with thanks to Dave Thomas, Chief Arbiter.


Tables: all the tables are now available on a single page here.

South Normanton, 23rd Congress Game Report

08.10.19 - GM Keith Arkell provides a detailed annotated report of his game from rd2 of the FIDE Open.

23rd 4NCL Congress

Friday 4 - Sunday 6 October 2019, Holiday Inn South Normanton, Derbyshire.


3 sections; Open, U2000, U135. Results: Open | U2000 | U135 | Games | Prizewinners | Entries | Info

Junior 4NCL, Weekend 1

04.10.19 - The first 2019-20 weekend took place Sat 5 & Sun 6 October at Basingstoke Country Hotel. Click for links to the pairings, results and tables.


Also available: Information & entry | Competition rules | List of teams | Dates 19-20

Hull 4NCL International Congress - & incorporated a 10-player GM Norm Event


Friday 1 - Sunday 3 Nov 2019 at the Royal Hotel Hull.


Three sections; FIDE Open, Major (U2000) and Minor (U135) | More Here


Congress: Open | Major | Minor | Prizewinners | Entrants | Replay


GM Norm Event: Pairings & Results | Chess Results.com | Replay | PGN


GM Event Final Crosstable




Rtg 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pts.   
1 GM

Plat, Vojtech 

2573   0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 6½  
2 GM

Turner, Matthew J 

2519 1   ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 1 5½  
3 IM

Greet, Andrew N 

2414 0 ½   ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 5  
4 GM

Gonda, Laszlo 

2541 ½ ½ ½   ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4½  

Harvey, Marcus R *

2405 ½ ½ 1 ½   0 ½ ½ 0 1 4½  
6 IM

Eggleston, David J 

2394 0 0 0 ½ 1   ½ 1 1 ½ 4½  

Haria, Ravi 

2463 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½   ½ ½ 1 4½  
8 IM

Roberson, Peter T 

2437 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½   1 ½ 4  
9 IM

Merry, Alan B 

2426 ½ 1 0 ½ 1 0 ½ 0   0 3½  
10 IM

Palliser, Richard J D 

2413 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 1   2½  

* FM Marcus Harvey obtained IM norm.


We're indebted to the John Robinson Youth Chess Trust for their financial support on the junior side, and to Hull & District Chess Association, Hull Culture & Leisure, Friends of Chess and the ECF for their financial support for the GM norm tournament.


Women's League - 1st Weekend


This took place Sat 12 - Sun 13 Oct 2019, Holiday Inn Kenilworth-Warwick, Kenilworth.

Results Round 1

Results Round 2

Results Round 4

Results Round 4

Table | Replay Games/PGNs | Photos

David Welch (1945-2019)



David's funeral took place at Landican Crematorium, on Friday 6th December.


Afterwards there was a wake and substantial buffet at the Grove House Hotel, Grove Road, Wallasey, CH44 4BT.


Many thanks to all attendees and to the kind messages. The chapel was packed with standing room only. A fitting tribute to a man who gave so much to UK chess and to the World of chess.


Obituaries: CAA website | FIDE Website | Alex McFarlane, Peter Purland & John Saunders

Weekend 1 - Divisions 3s & 4s [Maidenhead/Windsor], Division 3n [Doncaster]


Rnd 1 Saturday 9 November: 14.00

Division 3N

Division 3A

Division 4S


Division 3B


Rnd 2 Sunday 10 November: 11.00

Division 3N

Division 3A

Division 4S


Division 3B


All Tables 2019-20

 PGN & Replays








Photos from Division 3n by Jeannette Halsall

David Welch RIP


09.11.19 - It is with great sadness to report that FIDE Arbiter and Trainer David Welch passed away peacefully this morning. David's contribution to British and World chess is immeasurable. He will be sorely missed.


Funeral arrangements will be published as soon as they are determined.


Obituary on the Chess Arbiters Association Site.

Fantasy Football

02.8.19 - "These managers all know their onions and cut their cloth accordingly" - Mark Lawrenson. Yes, you too have the opportunity to mix your metaphors with the best of them by joining this year's Premier Chess Fantasy Football League - the biggest and best fantasy League for chess players!




The joining code for new players in 2019-20 is jgvncj. Regulars will be admitted automatically. Sole rule is no pseudonyms for managers please - real names only! - Neil Graham.

Telford, 22nd Congress Game Report

25.7.19 - GM Keith Arkell has provided a detailed annotated report of his game from rd4 of the FIDE Open.

End of Season Reports

11.5.19 - Many thanks to Jonathan Rogers for his extensive and excellent end of season 1c report and an additional report about 1d, 2018-19.

Winners & Losers 2018-19

Update: 27.5.19 - All the teams relegated from division two have now confirmed their intentions for next season, so we are in a position to publish the final list of promoted and relegated teams - Dave Thomas.


Division One:

1st: Guildford 1

2nd: Chess.com Manx Liberty 1

3rd: Cheddleton 1

Relegated from Division 1: Oxford 1, West is Best 1, North East England, Alba.


Division Two:

1st: Barbican 4NCL 2

2nd: Cambridge University 1

3rd: Spirit of Atticus A

Promoted from Division 2: Barbican 4NCL 2, Cambridge University 1, Spirit of Atticus A, Gonzaga.

Relegated from Division 2 to Division Three North: Manchester Manticores 1, Bradford DCA Knights A.

Relegated from Division Two to Division Three South: Wessex A, West is Best 2.


Division Three North:

1st: White Rose 2

2nd: Manchester Manticores 2

3rd: 3C's 2

Promoted from Division Three North: White Rose 2, Manchester Manticores 2.


Division Three South:

1st: Kings Head

2nd: Check Innmates 1

3rd: Fermented Sharks

Promoted from Division Three South: Kings Head, Check Innmates 1.

Relegated from Division Three South: CSC 2, Iceni 2, Leeds University Old Boys, Sussex Martlets 2.


Division Four:

1st: Crowthorne 1

2nd: Ashfield 1

3rd: Oxford 3

Promoted from Division Four: Crowthorne 1, Ashfield 1, Oxford 3 , Wessex B


Individual Honours:

GM norm: Matthew Wadsworth (Guildford)

IM norms: Adam C Taylor (Wood Green) and Ritvars Reimanis (Celtic Tigers).

Guildford 1 wins 4NCL by André Schulz

16.5.19 - Last week saw the finale of the 2018/19 season of the 4NCL in Great Britain. Guildford 1 was dominant and won all bouts during the season. Second was the new team from the Isle of Man: chess.com Manx Liberty, a team that two years ago left the German Bundesliga ("Buexit"?). | Photos: 4NCL


The 4NCL has been around for 20 years and the term "Four Nations" refers to the four countries of the United Kingdom, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland plus Ireland. Recently, however, there's a new team that plays under the flag of the Isle of Man. Unlike most other teams that are very British, "chess.com Manx Liberty" is largely international. Read more ...

Guildford extend unbeaten run to record 79 matches - Leonard Barden

10 May 2019


The Surrey club kept their monopoly on the 4NCL title by defeating an ambitious challenge from the Isle of Man.


There were no surprises at the 4NCL, then. Guildford maintained their stranglehold on the Four Nations Chess League by winning all 11 matches in the current season and taking their record unbeaten run to 77 wins and two draws spread over more than six years.


The Surrey club win many matches by 7-1 or more and even single defeats are rare. This season its players lost one game out of 88, when the former British champion Jonathan Hawkins scored for Cheddleton against Laurent Fressinet.


Guildford’s backbone is a mix of English and French Olympiad grandmasters whose long experience gives them an edge in team strategy, as was demonstrated in last weekend’s final round.


Read more ...

Spring Bank Holiday 4NCL Congress


Friday 24 - Monday 27 May 2019, Basingstoke Country Hotel, Basingstoke.


There were 4 sections; FIDE Open, U2050, U1825 and U120.


Results: Open | U2050 | U1825 | U120 | Games | Prizewinners | Entries | More here


Winners - Open: 1st GM Mark Hebden 6/7, 2nd IM Alan Merry 5½. U2050 FIDE: Chris Fegan & Bela Botlik 6/7; U1825 FIDE: Russell Robert Goodfellow 6½/7, 2nd= Kevin Winter, Peter J Horlock 5½; U120 ECF: Tomy Joseph, Steven M Ashworth & Aneesh Sagar 5½. All scores here. A full list of prizewinners is here.

4NCL Anti-Cheating Regulations

FIDE's Anti-Cheating Commission have set out regulations that will shortly come into force.


In anticipation of this, the 4NCL have been required to slightly amend its procedures and hope that these changes can be introduced with a minimum of inconvenience to all involved with the League. Consequently, the following regulations shall be in force during the 4NCL.

Stevenage Congress Report

25.4.19 - GM Danny Gormally has published a detailed annotated report with video, of two fascinating games, played in rounds 4 and 5 of the FIDE Open.

Celtic Tigers Newletters

08.3.19 - All their newsletters can be viewed here - with particular thanks to Chris Skulte.

4NCL Privacy Notice

17.11.18 - For players, team managers and officials. We are committed to respecting your privacy. We explain the use of personal information collected before, during and after [your membership] with us. The privacy notice also explains how we comply with the law | Full privacy notice

Main Rules

22.7.18 - Available here together with a copy of the tracked changes. There are several amends from last season and Captains and Managers are asked to make themselves and their team colleagues familiar with them as soon as possible - particular thanks to Dave Thomas, the Arbiter team and Mike Truran.

Page 1 | 2 | 3  


© 4NCL

Four Nations Chess League

top ^