4NCL Online League – Season 9 – Play-off semi-finals – Wessex Results

4ncl competition

Wessex A & Wessex B qualified for the Division Championship play-offs for Div 1 & Div 2 respectively and went into action on 23rd April.

Two close matches ensued with only 1 draw across 8 boards and both matches went down to the wire… see below…

Division 1

Our A team faced a strong Streatham A team who won their section by a mile with 7 wins from 7 rounds.

Wessex A were unbeaten in their section, although with a more modest 2 wins and 5 draws they qualified by the tightest of margins, by a half-point on game points!

Wessex A rose to the tough challenge and a win from Gavin with the black pieces yet again (his 5th black from 6 rounds this season), against a strong FM opponent, combined with a win from Jaimie and a draw from Rolandas saw us over the line to a narrow 2.5 – 1.5 victory, inflicting Streatham’s first loss of the season.

This is the 5th time we have played Streatham (in 5 consecutive seasons) and I suspect this rivalry will long continue. We have lost 3 of the previous 4 matches, our only win coming in Dec 2022 season 6) when (as this time) Gavin beat their board 1 FM with the black pieces.

So…….. on to the final next week and a chance for cup glory

Streatham A 2099 Wessex Some Stars A 2140
121 w Venkataramanan, T.S. f 2217 e 0 – 1 Lock, Gavin R 2218 e
122 b Hodgson, John H 2030 e ½ – ½ Lukosius, Rolandas 2129 e
123 w French, Angus J 2034 e 0 – 1 Wilson, Jaimie 2114 e
124 b Stone, Andrew M 2116 e 1 – 0 Pye, David E 2102 e
1½ – 2½

Division 2

Our B team faced a useful looking Heffalump Hunters, who, having been promoted from Division 3 last season, swept all before the to win their Division 2 section with 7 wins from 7 rounds. Our Wessex B had also had a cracking season with 6 wins and a single loss (to Oxford 2 who topped the section) so it was always going to be tight. With white winning on every board we tied the match 2 -2 (our wins came from Peter & John) to then disappointingly lose the match on board count.

I noticed that Peter beat an FM with a 2295 FIDE rating whilst John beat an opponent with a “real world OTB grade” of 2315! Well done to both.

Historical note – Wessex D played Heffalump Hunters last season and lost in their section match before beating them in the play-off final (on board count!) to take the Div 3 title.

Heffalump Hunters 1909 Wessex Some Stars B 1955
211 w Chaerle, Josse 2033 1 – 0 Pentakota, Rajasekhar 1973 e
212 b Kokol, Peter f 1931 e 0 – 1 Anderson, Peter W 2036 e
213 w Carpentier, Jannes 1919 e 1 – 0 Marsh, Roger D W 1907 e
214 b Vanden Bussche, Steven 1756 e 0 – 1 Weatherlake, John P 1907 e
2 – 2

So our season continues into Round 9, a.k.a the FINAL, with Wessex A waving the flag and looking to retain their Div 1 title against a strong Dundee A team (who narrowly beat Dundee B, on board count, in the other semi-final).

I’ll issue a “Final report” after next weeks battle on 30th April.

We then have a “long break” until Sept 10th when season 10 starts…

Keith Gregory , 25th April 2024

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