New 4NCL online season

With Horsham having had just one team in the inaugural (I think?) 4NCL online league season recently concluded (as previously reported) the new online season has begun with three teams entered.

Horsham's first team remained where they were previously (division 3) whilst teams 2 and 3 have been placed in the new division 6 where the sheer number of teams indicates the interest that this has generated in the absence of 'normal' chess.

The format is the same with games being 45 minutes plus 15 second increments and each team consisting of 4 players. This current season runs through to Christmas with matches on alternate Tuesdays, the first such evening being last Tuesday 25 August.

As captain of the second team, I took the night off to watch as many Horsham games as I could and was rewarded with some great combative chess.

The first team won a tough match 2.5-1.5 whilst the third team were heavily out graded and went down 0.5-3.5 but not without a good fight.

One of the interesting aspects of this league is the variety of teams you play from far and wide which would never happen in normal circumstances. On this particular evening the second team was playing Malpas and Croesowallt which I had to google for its whereabouts - in Cornwall.

First to finish for us was Guy (board 4) who launched a devastating attack against his opponent's centre counter such that checkmate was delivered in just 20 minutes and 16 moves.

Marian, also as white on board 2, followed this up with a steady build up of pressure against his opponent's Slav, tying up black's pieces and winning the exchange which was then converted to a whole rook ahead and termination of the game. Again a fairly quick win in terms of time (40 minutes) though 51 moves.

Richard on board 3 as black employed the Kings Indian to good effect, winning a couple of pawns in the middle game after which his opponent overlooked some further tactics with ruinous loss of material.

Finally on board 1, John faced the Italian game which proved anything but quiet! Surprisingly a tense double edged position resolved itself into a dead drawn end game with opposite coloured bishops...only for John to somehow win!

As such a good 4-0 start for the second team.