Round Four took place last night and it is time to catch up with the respective performances of the three Chessable White Rose teams.
Our team started as firm favourites against West is Best A, thanks to a major rating difference on all four boards.
Gawain Jones, James Adair and Christof Sielecki all won their games and a draw by Alexander Raetsky secured an impressive 3.5-0.5 victory.
Gawain’s game was a real rough and tumble affair between two extremely creative players.
Jack Rudd – Gawain Jones
Black to play
This is definitely not an average position. The game has been wild up to this point and the lack of king safety is going to prove fatal for one of the players.
Deflecting the white queen from the defense of the king.
18 Qxg7 Nd3+
19 Kd1 Ba4 checkmate.
An unusual checkmate pattern!
Team 2 produced an excellent performance to overcome ChessPlus Alpha, by a 2.5-1.5 scoreline
Tim Wall drew on the top board and, on board two, Oskar Hackner lost a close game to International Master Stefan Loeffler. Good wins by Paul Townsend and Miles Edwards-Wright ensured the team continued their successful form.
Paul’s game had plenty of tactical fancy footwork, during which he gained a material advantage. He finished off by returning the exchange with a sacrifice.
Paul Townsend – Erik Chibukhchyan
White to play
34 Rxe7 Nxe7 35 Qd4 1-0 Black’s dark squares are collapsing and checkmate can only be avoided by giving up the queen for the bishop on b2. That is certainly not going to save the game, so Black resigned.
Chessable White Rose 3 had a slice of good fortune in their tough match against Cavan Crusaders.
It was a bloodthirsty encounter, with four decisive games. Tom Wills and Solomon Hayes booth went down fighting but wins from Max Parkhouse and Rayelynn Posadas forced a 2-2 draw.
At first glance, it looks as if Rayelynn is a couple of pawns ahead and pushing for a win.
Rayelynn Posadas – Ruairi Flynn-Connolly
Black to play
However, a closer examination of the position reveals a discrepancy in the number of rooks each player has on the board. Rayelynn had left a rook en prise – with check – on move 30.
Instead of resigning, as most of us would have done, Rayelynn battled on and 16 moves later the game was still alive.
Black is winning, of course, but both players were down to their last minute on the clock.
There was a final flurry of moves: 46 …h5+ 47 Kg5 Bf8 48 Be5+
…and Black now lost on time.
All of the 4NCL Round Four games can be accessed here.
Team 1 currently shares the top of Division 1, Group B with Oxford 1. Everything is equal in numerical terms, but Chessable White Rose top the table for alphabetical reasons.
We find Team 2 in the third position of Division 1, Group A.
Team 3 is still unbeaten and occupies fourth place in Division 6, just one point behind the three joint leaders.
We will report on the fortunes of Round Five in two weeks’ time.
You can also keep up to date with developments by following the Chessable White Rose Twitter account.