4NCL Online – Season 6 Round 7 Report and Games

4ncl competition

Round 7, the final group round, on 6th Dec, saw a tough evening at the office with mixed results in terms of Wessex teams promotions and relegations.

As usual, we fielded 32 players across 8 teams, covering all 5 divisions although an unexpected Wessex default, combined with an opposition default in the same match on a different board, meant only 30 games were played.


From the 30 games played, we scored 11 wins, 5 draws and 14 losses

In match terms, this translated into 3 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses.

We were higher graded on just 9 boards, where we scored 5.5 / 9

We were lower graded on 21 boards where we scored 8 / 21

Now to the actual matches…

Division 1

Wessex A, although out-graded by a very strong Streatham team emerged with a “comfortable” 3-1 win. This result hid a number of epic battles and the match could easily have gone the other way round.

First game to finish was Oscar with an excellent win – he sacrificed two rooks for a queen and then proceeded to slowly but steadily strangle his opponent making full use of his more active pieces, with a master-class of “good bishop” v “bad bishop” – this was the one game I felt where I knew what was happening at all times 😊 … so 1-0 to us.

The next two games finished at much the same time – a win from Jaimie after a roller-coaster tactical game and a  loss by Rolandas who was up against a very under-graded ex-2250+ player.

So…with the match now at 2-1 in our favour all eyes turned to board 1 where Gavin was having a titanic struggle against a 2243 FM.  Gavin described it perfectly as “It felt like four games all rolled into one. Losing, then winning, then losing again, and finally winning”.

When the dust settled, we had remarkably won the match 3-1 to not only secure our place in Division 1 but also to catapult us to the dizzy heights of 4th place with 6 points – a remarkable achievement after losing our first 3 matches – all credit to the grit and determination of our A team. The section was incredibly competitive with 6 teams on 5 or 6 points below the “big two”, Dundee A and Farnham A who secured the top two places comfortably on 13 points & 9 points respectively.

Wessex B looked on paper to have a balanced match and so it turned out with The B’s edging it 2.5 – 1.5 with wins from Allan & Richard and a draw from Christian.

Richard had a migraine so played his game at a blistering pace and was all wrapped up before the 30 minute mark!

With 10 points from 7 rounds Wessex B secured 3rd place and will join Wessex A in Division 1 next season.

Division 2

What looked like a comfortable match on paper proved anything but and we ended up with a hard fought 2-2 draw, with 4 decisive results.

Roger and Raj won to secure the draw – special credit to Raj, currently in India, who started his game at 1 am local time!

With 11 points from 7 rounds, Wessex C came 2nd in their group and will join the winners, Dundee City B, in the play-offs next week. This also means we will have THREE teams in Division 1 next season – an awesome achievement.

Division 3

Wessex D faced a strong Hebden Bridge team and duly lost 3-1, draws from John & Bill.

Weirdly we lost both white games and drew both black games.

With 8 points from 7 rounds we finished in a comfortable 4th place.

Division 4

The E team had a strange match with only two games played as whilst we won board 1 by default, we also lost board 4 by default.

We split the two games played, with Robert losing on board 2 while Jamie notched up a useful win on board 3

With 11 points from 7 rounds we held on to 2nd place and will go into the Div 4 play-offs next week. We will also go up to Division 3 to join our D team next season.

Our F team, locked in a tight relegation battle, won their match with wins from Rob and Graham plus a draw from Ed.

Sadly, despite this, with 4 points from 7 rounds we missed out on “staying up” by the smallest of margins (a half-point over the 28 games in the season) so will be looking to play in Division 5 next year.

Division 5

Our G team lost heavily in what had promised to be a close match on paper, with David drawing his game to avoid a whitewash.

With 7 points from 6 rounds, we stay in our natural home mid-table in Div 5 (21st from 36).

Our H team, out-graded on every board, went down 3-1, with our only win coming from Florence.

With 6 points from 7 rounds the H team also finish somewhere near mid-table (23rd from 36).

As it is too large to show here, please follow the link to the Division 5 Table.

Overall Stats

A quick look at the “individual stats” shows our top scorers are:

  • 5 – John Weatherlake, who takes the “golden boot.”
  • 4.5 – Raj Pentakota who came from behind to snatch the “silver boot”.


Keith Gregory, 4NCL Online League Wessex captain, 9h December 2022


As it is the end of the season and as we get into a light-hearted Xmas mood, I thought I would do something a little different this week and focus on blunders (it might also have something to do with me committing a terrible blunder OTB myself earlier in the week)!

With 32 games running there are always a few serious mishaps.  However, we seemed to benefit a little more than usual towards the end of games this week, with three outright blunders by opponents settling games quickly in our favour.  The first two were in the critical A team match and the third in the H team match.

With congratulations to our players on scrapping skilfully and with apologies to their opponents (I know how much it hurts)! …

First up, Gavin Lock, playing Black, was fighting hard for the draw and had just given check with 76…Qb6+.  His opponent, trying to hang on to the c-pawn played 77.Kc4, overlooking the skewer 77…Qa6+ picking up the rook.

From the same match, Jaimie Wilson, also playing Black, was pushing for a win and had just played 49…Qxg3+.  Had his opponent played Qg2 in reply, Jamie would have had to try win a drawn minor piece endgame or the challenge of avoiding endless checks in the queen ending to claim victory – never easy.  Instead his opponent played 50.Kf1 and after 50…Nh2+ 51.Ke2 Qg2+ had to resign – another skewer!

Florence Spirling, also playing Black, was a piece down and under attack.  Her opponent went to finish her off with 23.Rxd5 only to fall foul of Qf1+.  Ouch!

Peter Anderson

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