Wessex moved into the second half of the season (it goes so quickly!) with Round 4 on the 25thof October and, as usual, we fielded 32 players across 8 teams, including all 5 divisions.
The league tables continue to take shape so I’ve commented again on how they are looking so far…
For the 32 games played, we scored 14 wins, 5 draws and 13 losses (unfortunately one of the wins was by default).
This translated in match terms into 4 wins, 1draw and 3 losses, so a reasonable evening at the office.
We were higher graded on 25 boards, where we scored 14.5/25.
We were lower graded on 6 boards where we scored just 1/6 (!)
– congrats to Andrea Bucchi for his excellent win!
Now to the actual matches…
As per round 3, Wessex A looked to have a great chance on paper yet it was not to be, with Gavin suffering a rare loss to an untitled player on board 1 trying to win a queen ending with an extra pawn and Oscar losing a tactical game on board 2. Mark & Jamie won some tough battles to leave the match at 2-2. Mark looked under pressure in the opening and defended calmly to outplay his opponent and win.
With 1 point from 4 rounds we are bottom of our section and will need a great run-in to try to stay up – with 2 of the top 3 teams left to play this looks tough.
Richard’s opponent made two mistakes: 1) he played 1…f6 and 2) he tried to match Richard’s speed. The whole 35 move game took just over 7 minutes with both players taking an average of 6 seconds a move. Richard emerged victorious giving us a quick 1-0 advantage. You can see the game at the end of this report.
However, the next 3 games went against us (all long tough battles) so we lost 3-1.
With 6 points from 4 rounds Wessex B remain in the top 3 and the critical match is likely to be the ones against Hackney Heffalumps to decide the top 2 teams for the play-offs.
Wessex C out-graded the opposition on every board and took the match with wins from Christian & Mike plus a draw from Roger. Franz lost to Rudy Kemenade, a very experienced player who has been in the ECF 180+ grade range in the past although nowadays has a surprisingly low online grade.
With 6 points from 4 rounds Wessex C are well placed for a top 2 finish (and promotion to Div1 ) as we have played the other strong teams and are facing lower-rated teams for the rest of the season (on paper at least!)
Wessex D heavily out-graded their opponents both overall and individually so always looked likely to win, and so it proved, with our wins coming from Reenen, Bill & Robert.
With 6 points from 4 rounds we’re currently in 3rd place with a possible top 2 finish to get into the play-offs
Our Wessex E team, edged a tight match 2.5 – 1.5 with the win coming from Joe Coburn who smoothly converted an opening advantage into a win.
With 6 points from 4 rounds we are looking a good bet for a top 2 place, having played the runaway top team.
Our F team looked like having a balanced match with similar player grades although it turned out to be a 3-1 loss with our win coming from Andrea.
With 2 points from 4 rounds we are looking for a very strong finish to stay up.
A good evening for our G team who comfortably beat their lower graded opponents with our wins coming from Ashraf, Kevin & Stephen.
Our H team went down 3-1 to higher graded opposition with our win coming from Manuel against an opponent graded nearly 300 points high – go Manuel!
As it is too large to show here, please follow the link to the Division 5 Table.
A quick look at the “individual stats” shows our top performers so are
- 3/3 – Tom Philidor
- 3/4 – Joe Coburn, Reenen Du Toit, Phil Pinto, Chris Peacock
Keith Gregory, 4NCL Online League Wessex captain, 27th October 2022