4NCL Online League – Season 6 – Round 2 report

4ncl competition

Wessex re-entered the fray for Round 2 on the 27th September and, as always, fielded 32 players across 8 teams, including all 5 divisions. Martin Simons, Allan Pleasants and Richard Allis kindly stepped in as deputy captains and did a great job to check all 32 boards were underway (with only one chaser phone call required!) and the results all recorded– a big thank you to them all –Allan and Richard also somehow found time to play!


For the 32 games played, we scored 9 x wins, 7 x draws and 16 losses.

This translated in match terms into 2 wins, 2 draws and 4 losses, so a tough evening at the office.

We were out-graded on 20 boards, where we scored 5/20 We were higher graded on 12 boards where we scored 7.5/12

With two rounds played we have two players with 100% –Tom Philidor & Phil Pinto. Now to the actual matches…

Division 1

Wessex A were strengthened by the return of our top player, Gavin, on board 1, who, playing black, comfortably held a 2358 IM to a draw. Facing some hefty grade deficits on the other boards we succumbed 3.5 – 0.5 to a strong Dundee City A team who look a good bet to win all their matches this season, though Oscar in particular can count himself unlucky as he outplayed his opponent in the middlegame and early endgame to build a winning position, only to go wrong later when short of time.


Unusually, Wessex B found itself facing a team with exactly the same average grade, and with similar grades across all the boards we were set for a tight match.  So it proved, with wins from David & Allan we managed to edge the match 2.5 – 1.5.  Allan modestly said he “now believes in miracles” after a rollercoaster game in which he was under great pressure before his opponent lost the plot somewhat and allowed a classic Houdini-like escape!  You can see the end of Allan’s game at the end of this report.

Division 2

Wessex C looked favourites on paper; however, it was not to be and a win from Raj was not enough to get us more than a 2-2 draw.

Division 3

Wessex out-graded their opponents both overall and individually so looked likely to win, and so it proved, although a little tighter at 2.5 – 1.5 than I expected, with wins from Reenen & Robert seeing us over the line.

Division 4

Our Wessex E team were heavily out-graded on the top two boards, although Joe notched up a great result, drawing with a 1938, 225 grading points higher than himself. A win from Phil on board 4 then meant we only narrowly lost 2.5 – 1.5


Our F team always faced an uphill struggle against a very strong Jurassic Coast team who and went down 4-0.

Division 5

A great result for the Wessex G team, who battled to a 2-2 draw in a hard-fought match (no draws!).

Our wins came from Tom & Chris – Tom now has 2 / 2  in his debut season and had the best “grade-result” of the evening , beating a player graded 266 points higher.


Our H team faced a much stronger team in Chess Challengers A (a new team who appeared in Round 2 for the first time)

A win from Florence against a player graded 158 points higher (our 2nd best “grade-result”) of the evening and a draw from Tim (playing from Spain nowadays!)  saw us narrowly lose 1.5 – 2.5

Keith Gregory, September 2022


I watched a few of the games live, including Allan’s and concentrated more on that one as it reached its final stage.  It was obvious that Allan was worse but he seemed to have practical chances and those gradually increased to my eyes. However, it was a queen ending being played at great speed because the players were desperately short of time, so it was hard to be certain of anything much.

With the luxury of time and an engine running, it is possible to find out the “truth”: was his opponent initially winning, where was it that Allan became objectively equal, and was he winning before his opponent’s final blunder?  My sympathy goes to his opponent who had to navigate the challenges in the real world unaided and for whom this was probably an especially painful loss, and my congratulations to Allan for whom it must have been a very pleasurable and well earned outcome.

Peter Anderson

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