4th weekend 31st March & 1st April, Hinckley Island

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4th weekend 31st March & 1st April, Hinckley Island

Post by LawrenceCooper » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:17 pm

4th weekend 31st March & 1st April, Hinckley Island

The Barcelo Hotel, Hinckley Island, hosted the fourth weekend of the 2011-12 season. Divisions One and Two split into Championship/Demotion/Promotion pools after round seven whilst the Northern and Southern Division Three teams merged into one league after the third weekend to fight for four promotion places with their scores carried forward.

Division 1A round seven:

In Division 1A Wood Green Hilsmark Kingfisher 1 maintained their one hundred per cent record with a 7-1 victory over Bristol, whose only point came courtesy of James Cobb beating Jonathan Rowson on top board. Guildford 1 were held 4-4 by Barbican 2 which means they are now three points adrift of WGHK1 in terms of points carried forward to the Championship Pool. The most notable result came on board eight where Kanwal Bhatia beat Susan Lalic with black, despite a rating different of one hundred and eighty two points! Blackthorne Russia beat Anglian Avengers which meant that Blackthorne carry forward five points to the Demotion Pool whilst Anglian Avengers have only one as they won’t carry forward their victory against e2e4.org.uk and will face a tough struggle to avoid relegation.

The key match of the section was between e2e4.org.uk on six match points and The ADs on five. Only one of them could qualify for the Championship Pool and therefore be safe from relegation. A very close match ended in a 4½-3½ victory for e2e4 with wins for Alexei Slavin over grandmaster Jonathan Mestel on top board, Callum Kilpatrick ground down John Richardson on board four and Alex Longson beat Jonathan Swindells on board seven, Jiri Jirka and Darren Wheeler both won for the ADs.

Division 1B round seven:

In Division 1B the fight for places in the Championship Pool was also uncertain. WGHK 2 appeared favourites to take fourth place ahead of Jutes of Kent who had a very tough pairing against Cheddleton who topped the group.

Jutes of Kent fielded four Icelandic players who scored 3½/4 enabling the team to record a 5½-2½ victory. Hjorvar Steinn Gretarsson beat Jonathan Hawkins on board two whilst the Thorfinnsson brothers scored 1½/2 on boards four and five and Ingvar Thor Johannesson beat Robert Bellin on board six. Alexei Harakis defeated Jose Camacho Collados on board seven to complete a crucial victory.

On its own this wasn’t sufficient to ensure their place in the Championship Pool. However, WGHK 2 lost a marathon match to Cambridge University 3½-4½ to mean they would finish the season in the Demotion Pool. Ironically this was good news for the WGHK 1 team as it meant that Cheddleton now carried forward a defeat against Jutes of Kent meaning they will be trail by two points going into the final four rounds.

Elsewhere White Rose suffered a surprise defeat to Guildford 2 but as they both end the season in separate pools it will not prove too costly. Barbican 1 had a comfortable win against Oxford although this result too will have little bearing on the end of season tables.

At the end of seven rounds the following teams and points were carried forward:

Wood Green Hilsmark Kingfisher 6/6, Guildford 3, e2e4.org.uk 2 and Barbican 1 into the Championship Pool from 1A, and Cheddleton & Barbican 1 4 points, Jutes of Kent and White Rose 2 from 1B.

The ADs carried forward 5 points, Blackthorne Russia 4, Bristol 2 and Anglian Avengers 1 from 1A, whilst Cambridge had 6, WGHK 2, Guildford 2 and Oxford all had two from 1B.

Division One Championship Pool round eight:

Wood Green Hilsmark Kingfisher 1 maintained their hundred per cent record and a two point lead with a narrow victory over White Rose. Paul Townsend had an impressive result beating Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant with black ad it needed wins with black from Jon Speelman against Nicolas Croad and Bogdan Lalic against Lateefah Messam-Sparks to see them home.

Cheddleton powered to victory against e2e4.org.uk by 6½-1½ although David Eggleston suffered a surprise defeat on board eight against John Sugden and Robert Bellin was held to a draw by Diana Arutyunova. Jonathan Hawkins had an important win against the 2012 British Blitz Champion Ameet Ghasi to leave himself well placed for his final grandmaster norm at the final weekend.

Barbican 1 were surprisingly held to a 4-4 draw by their second team with only Matthew Turner able to win. Chris Dorrington’s victory over Graham Morrison meant that Guildford were able to catch Barbican on five match points after a 6-2 victory over Jutes of Kent. Yang-Fan Zhou had a quick win on top board against grandmaster Simon Williams and wins on the bottom four secured Guildford the match.

WGHK 1 have Cheddleton, Barbican 1 and Jutes of Kent left to play so whilst they will be favourites to win the title they still have some stubborn opposition to overcome. In particular, it will be interesting to see whom Cheddleton recruit for the final weekend. The battle for the three European Club Cup places remains wide open especially as WGHK have already indicated that they won’t take up their place and Guildford are also very unlikely to.

Division One Demotion Pool round eight:

Cambridge University had a comfortable win against Anglian Avengers to move them to eight points and they are all but mathematically safe from relegation. A 4-4 draw with Oxford also leaves the Ads well placed with six whilst Blackthorne Russia finished the weekend with 5 after a 4-4 draw with Guildford 2 who are level with Oxford on three. Bristol on two and Anglian Avengers on one will need to perform very well at the final weekend to have any hope of staying up, particularly with both WGHK and Guildford likely to be strengthened as their first teams battle for the league title.

Division 2A and 2B round seven:

There was only one place still undecided from 2A and Poisoned Pawns secured this with a 5-3 victory over Bradford to join Pandora’s Box, White Rose 2 and Kings Head in the Championship Pool.

In 2B the picture was less clear with several teams in with a chance. Sambuca Sharks drew 4-4 with Brown Jack which confirmed they would join AMCA Dragons and South Wales Dragons in the promotion pool. This left Warwickshire Select on five facing Spirit of Atticus on four and Rhyfelwyr Essyllwg on three facing 3Cs on five. Warwickshire managed a 5-3 win thanks to wins from John Pitcher and Tony Hynes whilst 3Cs unexpectedly suffered a 7-1 defeat with draws on boards four and eight comprising their only game point.

From 2A AMCA Dragons carried forward six points, South Wales Dragons three, Sambuca Sharks and Poisoned Pawns one into the promotion pool to be joined by Pandora’s with five, White Rose 2 four, Warwickshire Select two and Kings Head one from 2B.

From 2A Barbican Youth had six, Bradford three, Cambridge University two and FCA Solutions one whilst from 2B Rhyfelwyr Essyllwg had five, 3Cs 4, Spirit of Atticus three and Brown Jack were very unfortunate to carry forward no points despite two wins and a draw against teams who qualified for the promotion pool!

Division Two Promotion Pool round eight:

AMCA Dragons appear to be heading for one of the four promotion places after a 5-3 win over Kings Head means they are three points clear of the chasing pack. The remaining three places remain wide open with Pandora’s Box and South Wales Dragons on five. Warwickshire Select joined White Rose 2 on four after a crucial win over Pandora’s Box whilst wins for Tom Rendle, Ben Purton and Liam Varnam gave Sambuca Sharks a 4½-3½ victory over Poisoned Pawns to leave them within two points of second place. Kings Head on two and Poisoned Pawns on one would probably both need maximum points from the final weekend to have a chance of promotion.

Division Two Demotion Pool round eight:

Both FCA Solutions and Brown Jack suffered 4½-3½ defeats to leave them with one and zero match points and probably maximum points needed at the final weekend to give them any chance of survival. As mentioned earlier Brown Jack must be very frustrated after their five match points from the first seven rounds came against teams that qualified for the promotion pool and so count for virtually nothing in the demotion pool. Above them are 3Cs and Cambridge University 2 on four points, Spirit of Atticus on five, Barbican Youth on six and Rhyfelwyr Essyllwg on seven. Round eight victories by Cambridge over 3Cs and the Spirit of Atticus over Barbican Youth boosted their chances of survival.

Division Three rounds seven and eight:

The merger of Division Three North and South meant that the league would be a swiss with forty-four teams involved. After rounds seven and eight were completed KJCA Kings and North East England topped the table with fourteen match points. North East England had carried forward eleven points from the Northern League and they added three more following a draw with Wessex and a 3½-2½ win over Hackney whilst KJCA Kings had comfortable wins over Hackney & BUCA to top the table. The league remains very close with AMCA Rhinos on thirteen, Wessex, the e2e4 and Anglian Avengers second team on twelve and the third teams of Cambridge University and Guildford on eleven. Teams on ten and maybe even nine will still have hopes of claiming one of the four promotion places although they may need maximum points at the final weekend to achieve this.

I would like to thank the Barcelo hotel for hosting the weekend and for providing good playing conditions and accommodation. They will also host the final weekend on 5th - 7th May 2012.

Various links to the results and league tables can be found as follows:
League tables: http://www.4ncl.co.uk/tbs_1112.htm
Games for download: http://www.4ncl.co.uk/downloads.htm
Fixtures, pairings and results: http://www.4ncl.co.uk/index.htm

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