Malcolm Pein catches up with the recent 4NCL action in today’s Daily Telegraph column, as he reports on the ‘Young Guns going for it’ with a semi-final success.
Malcolm Pein on…The Young Guns Going For It
Celtic Tigers & Sharks faced Guildford Young Guns in the final of the 4NCL Online League. Three of the fancied sides reached the semi-finals this time around. The outsiders after a fine campaign, which included defeating Barbican, were Chessable White Rose II, who were swept aside 3-1 by the Tigers
The winners of the inaugural competition, Chessable White Rose I, have never lost a match in the 4NCL Online, but for a second successive season they were eliminated on board count after 2-2 draw with Guildford.
For Guildford, Matthew Wadsworth held Gawain Jones to a draw with black on board one, but Mark Hebden lost his 100 per cent record as he was defeated in a chaotic encounter by James Adair on board three. IM Christof Sielecki blundered (see below) meaning that the match was Guildford’s after Harry Grieve somehow held an endgame two pawns in arrears against fellow Kamil Plichta on bottom board.
Test Your Strength
A. Suarez Real – C. Sielecki
What win did Black miss here?
70…Nxg6+? 71.Ke3 Ke5 (71…f4+ 72.Kd4 f3 73.Kxc3 f2 74.Bd3 Nf4 75.Bf1 is also a draw, as is 71…Nd5+ 72.Kd4 Nge7 73.Nd6 and Nb5) 72.Bxf5! (A good practical choice. 72.Kd3 Nd5 73.Nc5 Ngf4+ 74.Kc4 Ne2 would still make White sweat to hold the draw) 72…Nd5+ (72…Kxf5 73.Kd3 Na4 74.Nd6+ Ke5 75.Nb5 Nf4+ 76.Kc2 followed by Nxc3 is just a draw as two knights cannot, of course, force checkmate against a lone king) 73.Kd3 Ngf4+ 74.Kc2 Kd4 (Again, if 74…Kxf5 75.Nd6+ followed by Nb5 and Nxc3) 75.Nd6 Ne3+ 76.Kb3 Nxf5 77.Nb5+! (The same motif, although 77.Nxf5+ Kd3 78.Ne3! also draws) 77…Kd3 78.Nxc3 Nd4+ 79.Kb4 Nfe6 80.Nd5 Ke4 81.Nc3+ Ke5 82.Kc4 Kd6 83.Nb5+ Nxb5 84.Kxb5 draw
H. Grieve – K. Plichta
Black has just blundered with 28…Qa5-a2?? (28…Rd5 or 28…Qb4 would have been very equal). What had he overlooked?
Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answers.
70…Nd5+! 71.Kg3 f4+! 72.Kf2 Ne3 wins, since after 73.Be4 c2 74.Bxc2 Nxc2 75.Nd6 Kxg6 White won’t manage to sacrifice his knight for the remaining pawn.
29.b3! Qa5 (29…Qa3 30.Nc4 forks too) 30.Nc4 Qc5 31.Nxe5 Qxe5 32.Rd6! a5 33. Qd4 1-0