We had the 1st and 2nd rounds of the 4NCL last weekend.
The first match on the Saturday was against Iceni 3 (1573). After a quick trade of wins on boards 5 and 6, Tommaso Penna had a pretty convincing win on board 2 after some blunders by his lower rated opponent. Andres on board 4 also had a clinical victory in the London System with white. On board two I had a pretty solid game – in some form of Reti – where I tried to press for an advantage (coupled with a dodgy sacrifice) with black but petered out to a draw. The longest and most exciting game was Simon Wilks’s on board 1. Starting out with a French, Simon Wilks had a large advantage in the middlegame, but without being able to castle the position was never easily won, especially with the (ridiculous) time trouble that plagued both sides. In the end it boiled down to a complex BB vs. R endgame which may still have been better for black, but the match was already won by then. The eventual score was 2-4.
On the Sunday we played against a much stronger team – Poisoned Pawns 2 (1950) – who out rated us on all boards. Thankfully they had only five players so they defaulted board 6 (sorry Apurva Deshpande). After dropping a couple of points on boards, 4 and 5, the top order managed to bring it back for us. Simon Wilks had a nice win with the white pieces on top board. Tommaso Penna played a great game in the Slav Defence and played an exchange sacrifice top bring out the opponents uncastled king which eventually led to a mating attack. On board 3 I managed to convert a positional advantage in the Budapest Gambit. Although I missed a very nice (and unusual) tactic to win a piece at one point, I managed to convert the knight endgame without any major mistakes. Final score was 4-1
For now we’re in equal 1st with 4 match points and 8 game points http://www.4nclresults.co.uk/