In round 6 of season 3 of 4NCL Online the Wessex teams had mixed results, winning 2, drawing 3 and losing 3. With one round to go the situation is already clear for some teams whilst for others the final round will be critical.
The A team lost 1.5 – 2.5 against the very strong Guildford Young Guns, headed by the 63 year old Mark Hebden. Gavin Lock managed to hold the balance against him for most of the game but succumbed in a complicated endgame when short of time. Congratulations to Jamie Wilson for his draw against IM Matthew Wadsworth. Once again Antonio Martinez-Sykora had an excellent result beating a strong junior – this was the last Wessex game to finish and drew quite a crowd. The A team is safe from relegation but equally can no longer win its group.
The B team won convincingly and is now guaranteed promotion to Division 1. If they win in the last round they will top their group and will go into the play-offs against other Division 2 group winners for the honour of being Division 2 champions.
The C team drew. They are third in their Division 3 group. To gain promotion they must win their last match and hope that the second placed team, St Benildus B, lose theirs (though that seems unlikely).
The D team drew with Watford Juniors A, the team just above them in their Division 4. Therefore they remain second from bottom of their Division 4 group, level on match points but 1.5 points behind on game points. To avoid relegation the D team not only needs a good result in the last round but require Watford Juniors A to have a bad result against their opponents, the bottom placed team in the group. The match featured a nice game by Gillian Moore where she outmanoeuvred her opponent and a win from Adam Ursell where he exploited positional mistakes to generate an unstoppable attack. I give the latter at the end of the report.
In Division 6, the E team lost their match due to a default, despite scoring 2 points in the games played. That could be costly as they are one of three teams on 4 match points but have the worst game points and are therefore second from bottom of their group. However, the good news is that their fate is still in their hands as they play one of the other teams on 4 points in the last round, so a win will see them avoid relegation.
In Division 7 it was mixed results. The F team lost so any hopes of promotion for them have disappeared. But the G team won again lifting them well clear of the bottom. The H team, which joined the league in round 4, drew, giving them 50% from their 3 matches.
Peter Anderson 7/4/21