Another night of mixed results – this time coupled with strange online happenings.
The A team was outgraded on every board again and lost but it was once again looking promising at one stage. Gavin Lock was playing IM Jack Rudd who plays incredibly quickly which always makes things difficult for the opponent. Gavin had reached a winning position but it was complicated and by move 35 he only he only had 17 seconds left vs Jack’s 42 minutes. The time situation took its toll and Gavin went from won to level to lost in the space of two moves. Rolandas Lukosius reached a favourable R+B vs R+N endgame, and swapping rooks off won the knight but his opponent had seen further, realising that he could create an unstoppable passed pawn.
The B team won comfortably with smooth wins for Allan Pleasants and Rajasekhar Rentakota. Dominic Tunks had to withstand a lot of pressure but was emerging a clear pawn up when his opponent wanted to offer a draw but clicked the wrong button and resigned by mistake. Dominic understandably did not want a draw and was happy for him to un-resign but Lichess does not allow that so the arbiters ruled that Dom won.
The C team victory featured a nice win by Bill Adaway which I give with a few notes at the end of this report.
The D team match finished 1-1 i.e. drawn after a bizarre bottom board double default. The convention is that the White player challenges the Black player on Lichess to start the game. Graham Hillman was meant to be playing White, but his opponent challenged him with the wrong colours which unfortunately Graham accepted. His opponent blundered a piece after a few moves, resigned and disappeared for the evening. Graham did re-challenge his opponent but not until after the 7:45 pm deadline. The arbiters adjudged that a valid game had not been played and a valid challenge had not been issued on time, so they awarded a double default.
The E team match featured another slightly curious incident when Larissa Cuthbert, albeit in an already difficult position, put a rook en prise. Perhaps this was online blindness (I doubt Larissa would have done this over the board) but my guess it was a mouse-slip. Such are the perils of online chess.
All in all an evening of interesting chess punctuated by some bizarre events!
Going into the last round
The structure of the leagues is that each of Divisions 1-5 are broken up into four groups of 8 and there are 7 all play all rounds. In Division 6 there are no groups but one large pool with Swiss pairing. The top two from each group get promoted and the bottom two get relegated. For Divisions 1 to 5 there are also play-offs between the group winners to determine the overall division winners.
With one round to go the state of play is:
- The A team is second from bottom of their Division 1 group. It is mathematically possible for them to avoid relegation but it looks unlikely – they would need to win and have other results go in their favour.
- The B team is joint top of its Division 3 group and is guaranteed promotion. They play the other top team in the last round and this will decide who goes into the play-offs for the honour of being Division 3 champions.
- The C team is joint top of its Division 4 group. It is not yet guaranteed promotion but it is looking pretty likely as they play a lower placed team in the last round. They also have a chance of reaching the play-offs to be Division 4 champions.
- The D team is in the bottom half of its Division 5 group.
- The E team is 47th out of 68 in Division 6.
If the above game is not showing up as an interactive board but just text, please look at this page on how to resolve the issue.