Round 5 on November 8th saw a fantastic set of results for the Wessex squad – almost certainly our best ever.
As usual, we fielded 32 players across 8 teams, including all 5 divisions.
For the 32 games played, we scored 20 wins, 4 draws and 8 losses (unfortunately one of the wins was by default).
This translated in match terms into 6 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss, an awesome set of results.
We were higher graded on 26 boards, where we scored 19.5 /26.
We were lower graded on 5 boards where we scored a solid 2.5 / 5.
It was great to see Wessex A notch up their first win of the season.
Jaimie quickly overwhelmed his opponent, whilst Mark lost to leave the match tied at 1-1. Gavin probed with the black pieces and was unable to break down a very solid defence by his FM opponent, so we were now 1.5 – 1.5 with all the pressure on Oscar!
Oscar rose to the challenge and prevailed in a KQP vs KQ ending, finishing with an unusual K + 2Q v K checkmate, after a rollercoaster game rich in tactics. This gave Wessex A the match victory. You can see the finish of Oscar’s game at the end of this report.
With 3 points from 5 rounds we have risen to 7th place and given there are 3 teams with 4 points we have a fighting chance of staying up. We are definitely due some more good luck after losing a few tight matches earlier in the season!
Some tough games all round saw the B team prevail 2.5 – 1.5 with wins coming from Rolandas & Richard and a hard fought draw by David against his FM opponent where David was clearly better in a complex 3 piece each endgame.
With 8 points from 5 rounds Wessex B move into 2nd place in their section with a great chance of reaching the play-offs to decide the overall Division 1 title.
As per round 4 Wessex C out-graded the opposition on every board and took the match 4-0 with wins from Mircea, Roger & Raj. Sadly we had a default win on board 1 so technically we won by 4.5 points!
With 8 points from 5 rounds Wessex C are currently in 2nd place and looking likely to reach the Division 2 play-offs as we have played all of the other top 6 teams.
As per round 4 Wessex D out-graded their opponents overall so always looked likely to win, and so it proved, with wins from Mike, Bill, John & Jamie. John played a superb long term piece sacrifice for an attack and some moves later finished his game in style; you can see the game in full at the end of this report. Mike had the toughest game but managed to prevail after a hard battle with his opponent who went wrong in a rook endgame.
With a 8 points from 5 rounds we’re currently in 3rd place with a reasonable shot of reaching the play-offs if the results pan out for us.
Our Wessex E team won comfortably with victories from Robert, Jamie & Chris.
Tim was unlucky to run into a very under-graded opponent who played well (his OTB grade is a far more realistic 1809).
With 8 points from 5 rounds we are currently 2nd and looking likely to take a top 2 place and go into the Division 4 play-offs
Our F team were heavily out-graded on the top 2 boards in particular (Angus French has been as high as ECF 187 in the past)and did well to lose the match narrowly 2.5 – 1.5
Graham, in his season debut, had the longest game of the evening and was “last man standing” for Wessex before he finally prevailed over his resilient opponent.
Rob had previously held a higher grade opponent with the black pieces to keep the match close.
With 2 points from 5 rounds we are looking for a very strong finish to stay up, with a double-pointer to come against Hebden Bridge 3 who we must beat!
Wins from Andrea & Stephen saw our G team draw with Barnet Knights D
With 5 points from 5 rounds we seem to have found our natural home mid-table in Div 5
Our H team won a balanced match grade-wise with Manuel & Florence wins plus a David draw to take u over the line.
With 4 points from 5 rounds, I’m guessing the H team will also finish somewhere near mid-table.
A quick look at the “individual stats” shows our top scorer is John Weatherlake with 3.5 / 5. With 11 players on 3 points there too many to list.
A special mention to our only 100% player – Tom Philidor on 3 from 3.
Keith Gregory, 4NCL Online League Wessex captain, 9th November 2022