4NCL Online Season 4 Final Round – Wessex Results, Standings and Game

4NCL Online Season 4 Final Round – Wessex Results, Standings and Game

The Wessex Some Stars teams won 4 and lost 4 matches last night, but overall it was still a great night as the two teams who were fighting for promotion achieved it!

Results and Standings

The A had a tough time in their final match, going down  0.5-3.5 with Gavin Lock picking up the draw (against a very well prepared opponent).  They finished in the top half of their group and can look forward to the next season with optimism.

The B team’s final match was illustrative of its whole season – heavily out-rated and suffering a harsh defeat.  Its group was especially tough and the team was just not quite strong enough for Division 1, picking up just 6.5 game points across 7 matches.

However, the gulf between Division 1 and 2 is big enough that the B Team must have an excellent chance of going back up next season, assuming the same players are in action.

In Division 2, the C team needed a win to secure promotion and duly delivered.  Rajasekhar Pentakota sacced a piece for three pawns which is often tricky to evaluate, but once his opponent swapped down to a minor piece ending it was clear he was better and he went on to win.  This interesting endgame is given at the end of this report.  His three colleagues never looked in any trouble, so it was a solid team performance.

They finish second in their group, so will be playing in Division 1 next year but miss out on the play-offs for Division 2 champions.

In Division 3, the D Team lost against a stronger team. It was an “interesting” season for them as they won the first three matches then lost the next four, though that reflects mainly the strength of the opposition teams as they played the top 3 teams last.

In Division 5, where the four Wessex teams were in one big Swiss pool, all the attention was on the F team which needed to win and have a few other results to go its way to gain promotion.  It did its bit with a 2.5-1.5 victory thanks in part to  Graham Hillman’s perseverance in a dead drawn R+2 vs R+2 ending that he eventually won.  The gods also did their bit as some of the other title contenders lost.  So the F team finished 8th, securing the last of the promotion places.

In the meantime, the E team also won finishing on 8 match points in 16th place.  The G team won too, finishing on 9 match points in 13th place.  Sadly, the H team lost due to a default and finished on 4 match points in 48th place.

Above are the top 10 places in Division 5.  The full Division 5 table is too large to show on this page but can be seen here on the 4NCL site.

Conclusion

Congratulations to the C & F teams for gaining promotion and commiserations to the B team for being relegated.

Next season, assuming 8 teams again, Wessex Some Stars will have:

  • Two teams in Div 1
  • One team in Div 2
  • One team in Div 3
  • One team in Div 4
  • Three teams in Div 5.

It will be interesting to see how the next season, which starts in January, pans out.  Will the return of OTB affect how many people want to play for Wessex and the availability of those who do?  And will it affect the strength of the opposition?

For my part I have thoroughly enjoyed playing this season and look forward to the next.

It only remains for me to thank Keith Gregory once again for his excellent captaincy.

Peter Anderson 17/11/21

Game