Chessable White Rose: Round Six of the 4NCL


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Chessable White Rose were out in force again last night, with all three teams in action in the Four Nations Chess League (‘4NCL‘).

Time now to catch up with the respective achievements of the three teams.

Team One

Team One continued their dominant form. They outgunned Oxford 1 on ratings and won the match in professional style. Gawain Jones and Tim Wall won their games on boards one and four respectively, while draws from Christof Sielecki and James Adair ensured a solid 3-1 victory for Chessable White Rose.

Gawain’s game was a lively King’s Gambit.

Chessable White Rose: Round Six of the 4NCL

David Zakarian – Gawain Jones

White to play

White is clearly hoping for a knockout blow on the kingside and he unleashes an interesting brace of sacrifices.

15 Bd6 Nxd6

15 …Qxd6 would be met in exactly the same way.

16 Rxf5

The point is obviously 16 …Nxf5 17 Qxh7 checkmate.

Chessable White Rose

The clock is ticking and you are Black…how would you defend this position?

Gawain played 16 …Qe3+ 

White must now decide on the best way to proceed. 17 Rf2 h6 18 Nf3 Nd7 sees Black catch up with development and retain a material advantage.

17 Kf1

White tries to keep all of the attacking pieces in place, but now there is a problem.

17 …h6

Now both the knight and rook are under attack and White lost more material. The game was still tough but Gawain won after 54 moves.

Team Two

The average ratings of the teams (2179 against 2175, in our favour) heralded a close battle for Team Two against Broadland Kestrels – and that is exactly what happened.

Maaike Keetman, Paul Townsend and Peter Gayson drew their games but Oskar Hackner won, to secure a fine 2.5-1.5 victory.

: Round Six of the 4NCL

Daniel Frean – Oskar Hackner

This is a tricky position. Oskar is the exchange ahead (for a pawn) but his rook is under attack. If he plays the natural-looking 24 …Rdc8 then there is trouble ahead after 25 Nfd5, threatening both 26 Nxb6 and 27 Ne7+ with a knight fork in both cases.

Oskar did exactly the right thing when he kept it simple.

24 …Rxc3+!

White resigned (0-1), as after recapturing on c3 Black will play 25 …exf4, leaving him a piece ahead in the endgame.

Team Three

Unfortunately we could not produce a clean sweep this week, as Team Three lost a close match to the Division 6 leaders, Dundee City B.

Jonathan Arnott and Tom Wills both lost; Max Parkhouse and Solomon Hayes both drew. The final score of 1-3 brought a rare defeat for Chessable White Rose.

This an interesting moment from the match.

Chessable White Rose

Alastair Dawson – Solomon Hayes

White played the tempting 32 Rxc3 but after 32 …Rcxa4 the Back pieces came very close to outplaying their (officially superior) counterparts, even though the game was eventually drawn after 38 moves.

Just for a moment, there is an opportunity for White to muddy the waters with 32 f5. Clearly, 32 …exf5 is out the question due to 33 Qxd5. Black then has to assess whether it is safe enough to leave the f-pawn to continue its journey with 33 f6+ or to capture it with 32 …gxf5. The former option will give White hopes of a checkmating attack on the dark squares and the latter will allow the queen into the kingside, via e3 and g5. The position would be very unclear.

All of the 4NCL Round Six games can be accessed here.

Current Standings

Team 1 are still the sole leaders of Division 1, Group B. They have maintained their 100% score and have a three-point safety margin over Celtic Tigers and Sharks.

Team 2 are back on form and are holding third position of Division 1, Group A.

Team 3 lost for the first time this season and have been nudged down to a share of fifth place in Division 6. They are point off a share of second place, but Dundee City B, with their 100% score, have cemented themselves at the top and look determined to stay there.

We will report on the fortunes of Round Seven in two weeks’ time.

You can also keep up to date with developments by following the Chessable White Rose Twitter account.

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