Chessable White Rose at the 4NCL Finale


The 4NCL Finale took place last night and one of our Chessable White Rose teams was in the thick of the action.

Two weeks ago, we reported on the semi-finals of the Four Nations Chess League (‘4NCL‘), with news of narrow defeats for Teams One and Two but a fine victory for Team Three. This resulted in one more match for Team Three, against Charlton Cobras A, in the big final of Division 5.

It proved to be a very tough match and, despite valiant efforts all round, our outgunned team slipped to a 1-3 defeat.

The Result

4NCL Finale Results4NCL Finale Results
Image from the 4NCL website

Interesting Moments

Here are some interesting moments from each of the games.

Board One

This game brought the exceptionally rare sight of an un-castled Mooney king. The monarch travelled to c1 via f2, e2 and d2, a journey which left White under pressure. However, for one brief moment, David could have seized the advantage.

The 4NCL Finale: Board One

The 4NCL Finale: Board One

David Mooney – Conor Murphy

Black to play

25…g4?

Now, instead of 26. Qf4, which led to a draw, White could have caused some trouble with 26.Be6!

The 4NCL Finale Board One Analysis Diagram

The 4NCL Finale Board One Analysis Diagram

Analysis diagram

Black’s basic problem is that 26…gxh3 27.Rxh3 Qg5 loses a piece to 28.Rxf3. He will have to rely on either 26…Qg5 or first 26…g3 27.Bg4 and then 27…Qg5. Off come the queens and White is left with an extra pawn in an ending, in which the bishop may well be superior to the knight.

Board Two

The 4NCL Finale: Board Two

The 4NCL Finale: Board Two

Gary Clark – Jonathan Arnott

White to play

Jonathan is three pawns down but is trying to make the best of what he has left. He is close to forcing a perpetual check but the hopes are shattered by the accurate:

41.Qe6+

This forces a trade of queens (41…Kf3 42.Qe3+) and leaves White with an easily winning ending, so Black resigned here (0-1).

Board Three

Black to Play and Win

Black to Play and Win

Connor Clarke – Anthony Stebbings

Black to play

White’s king is very uneasily placed and this was exploited by 21…Rxd6! whereupon White resigned (0-1), as 22.Qxd6 Qxe3 checkmate ends resistance and anything else simply leaves White a piece down.

Board Four

The 4NCL Finale: Board Four

The 4NCL Finale: Board Four

David Morris – Max Parkhouse

White to play

This was a fascinating battle, with lots of interesting twists and turns in the middlegame. The final twist occurs deep into the endgame.

White played:

52.Bg7

Unfortunately for him, the position is now drawn as Black isn’t too far behind in the subsequent pawn race. After 52…Bxg7 53.Kxg7 f4 both sides obtained queens and there was no way White could escape from the checks long enough to make progress. The game was drawn after 68 moves.

From the diagram, a better way to continue is:

52.Bg5!

This keeps the f-pawn from advancing to f4 and Black will now be well behind in the pawn race. White will push the pawn to h7 with the simple plan of Bf6 to block the opposing bishop.

Congratulations to Charlton Cobras A on an excellent victory!

Thank you to all of the players and organizers involved in this season of 4NCL action. All of the results and games can be found on the official 4NCL website.

Play Through the Games

Board One

Board Two

Board Three

Board Four

For further information on our teams, follow Chessable White Rose on Twitter.

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