Final 4NCL Weekend - preview

IM Trendle

This weekend the 4NCL (4 Nations Chess League) comes to a conclusion with each team playing 3 matches over a bank-holiday weekend.

The current standings in Division one can be seen here:

As you can see Wood Green Hilsmark are currently leading Cheddleton and the teams meet in the 10th (and penultimate) round, played on Sunday.

Wood Green can boast two of England's top 3 players in Michael Adams and Luke McShane and they are also likely to have GMs on the remaining boards down to 7 (board 8 is reserved for a women or junior player).

Cheddleton are not quite as strong but they can be expected to field a team of mostly GMs & IMs. Guildford 1 are in theory the 2nd strongest team in the league but they already lost to Wood Green earlier in the season in and they also dropped a surprise draw to Barbican two. The match card for the Wood Green - Guildford match is copied in below: 

  Wood Green Hilsmark 1 2519   Guildford 1 2541
111 w Howell, David WL g 2603 1 - 0 Short, Nigel D g 2677
112 b Gordon, Stephen J g 2535 ½ - ½ Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime * g 2699
113 w Rowson, Jonathan W g 2581 1 - 0 Kosten, Anthony C g 2498
114 b Emms, John M g 2484 ½ - ½ Stefanova, Antoaneta g 2523
115 w Pert, Nicholas g 2546 1 - 0 Smerdon, David g 2512
116 b Lalic, Bogdan g 2469 ½ - ½ Zhou, Yang-Fan m 2490 j
117 w Speelman, Jon S g 2507 ½ - ½ Plaskett, H James g 2480
118 b Arakhamia-Grant, Ketevan E g 2434 ½ - ½ Brunner, Nicolas m 2456

Meanwhile I will be playing in Division two for the Sambuca Sharks - we have qualified for the promotion pool (the division splits after 7 rounds) and as you can see we currently lie in 6th:

The top 4 teams will get promoted to Division 1 and probably only wins in all 3 of our matches will guarantee promotion. 

I'll be writing a report of what happened sometime next week - fingers crossed I'll have good news (both on a personal and a team level) to report!