Division 3n, Weekend 5, Holiday Inn, Doncaster, 5-7 May 2018 by Andy Mort




Holiday Inn, Doncaster

Apologies, dear reader, but injecting wit and entertainment into this final report of the season will be a significant challenge. The stark facts are that, having lost our two matches narrowly to strong teams on Weekend 4 in very creditable fashion, we extended our downward spiral to 5 matches by losing all three matches in Weekend 5. Worse, we managed to win only one game during the whole weekend - but we were, admittedly, under strength. By early Friday evening, we were still a player short for each day.


Our sincere thanks are due to Steve, Dave and Graham for stepping into the breach at the last minute, as well as to John Carleton for his superhuman recruitment efforts.


We were paired against Holmes Chapel on the Saturday, and disaster struck early when Steve Lloyd encountered train delays and we had to default Board 6, a disappointing and frustrating outcome following his efforts to support the team in its hour of need. Shortly after, I was felled in summary fashion after missing an obvious combination and then the resource that questioned its soundness.


After that, the opposition were in a position to close the match down, and three fairly uneventful draws were agreed on the top boards. That left John to score our one win of the weekend by skilfully exploiting his advantage in a knight v French ‘bad’ bishop ending.


Our only consolation was that I successfully tested the 4NCL rules by claiming a refund for the wild card fee paid for our unavoidably delayed player, and extracting £5 from Alex. Lara commented that this was some achievement, given his reputation for Scottish parsimony, though I am not prepared to comment on this slur, as Alex once threatened to give me a ‘Glasgow Kiss’ for a similar racist jibe.


Rounds 9-11, Weekend 5, 2018



Unusually, all our games finished within the four hours, an outcome possibly prompted by the beautiful weather. As we had a latish meal booking, we practised restrained pre-prandial drinking in the bar, and then enjoyed a pleasant half hour in the sun outside a canal-side pub/restaurant. This was followed by an enjoyable meal, though, as was to be the case on the Sunday, the real ale was of disappointing quality.


When on Sunday we faced Bradford B, the pattern of Saturday was repeated when we lost two early games, Graham being unable to combat a supported monster of a passed d pawn, and I by attacking prematurely and with superficial insight. Boards 1, 2, and 5 were, thereafter, fairly uneventful draws. In the remaining game, Mike, defending an Exchange French position, turned down two draws, but went wrong in a minor piece ending and eventually succumbed. As Mike never gets in time trouble, I am not going to criticise him for going back to his room twice to check whether Derby County had made the play-offs.




Mike did receive his just deserts, however, upon discovering that the legendary Giant Cod Almighty was not on the menu at The Strafford Arms, and he had to be satisfied with a gargantuan filled Yorkshire Pudding. He then had his just desserts. Sorry – couldn’t resist. Our dining experience was somewhat surreal in that the restaurant’s lighting had failed, and by 8.30 we were the only party inhabiting the murky dwelling.


On Sunday, we fielded an arguably even weaker team against our old pals, Jorvik, but actually achieved our best result of the weekend, drawing five games and losing only one. Draws on the top three boards were fairly desultory, though Tony played a couple of passive moves in the early opening to put himself under early pressure before freeing his position. Graham suffered an early space disadvantage which eventually led to his loss, and my more exciting game led to the agreement of a draw between a player desperately short of time and one desperately short of confidence, determined not to equal a club record of three losses in the final weekend.


If we are do ourselves justice next season, we need to solve the perennial problem of being unable to field teams representative of the squad’s strength in the final weekend. As ever, we are indebted to Lara and Alex for their efficient and good-humoured management of the competition and the operation of an arcane pairing system redolent of mysteries worthy of a masonic lodge.


Team B

| Rd9 results | Rd10 results | Rd11 results | Division 3n Score Table | All Division 3n Games in PGN |


© 4NCL | Steve Connor



Engine Analysis

In the above games you can activate the engine analysis board by clicking the E8 (assuming White on bottom, D1 otherwise) shortcut square on the main chessboard.


User commands for the engine analysis board:

  • explore variations by clicking the from and to squares for the intended move

  • click the arrow buttons to move back/forth through the variation being analyzed

  • click the plus button at the right of the arrow buttons to force the engine analysis board to auto update following the position of the main chessboard; this is useful for instance when following a live broadcast; limitations: some pages might not offer this functionality and some browsers do not support this functionality

  • click on the side to move indicator to switch the side to move; this is useful to check for threats in the given position

  • click on the principal variation to execute its first move on the engine analysis board

  • click on the evaluation mark to activate/deactivate the engine



© 4NCL

Four Nations Chess League

top ^