Monday, 30 November 2015

Woodbridge Junior results

78 children from around East Anglia, aged between 6 and 18, played in the Woodbridge Junior Open yesterday.   There were five sections: u8, u10, u12, u14 and u16/18.   This tournament, organised by IM Adam Hunt, is one of the qualifying events for the London Junior Championships.   Players in the Under 8 section needed 4 points to qualify, whilst those in the Under 10 and Under 12 sections needed 3½ points for the Minor section at London, or 4½ points for the Major section.   Several youngsters managed to achieve their desired qualification certificates.

Suffolk prizewinners included the following:

Under 18  Winner   -   Alex Sheerin (Ipswich)
Under 18   3rd place:   -   Alan John (Bury St Edmunds)
Under 12   Winner   -   Teddy Yang (Leiston)
Under 12   2nd place   -   Jaden Jermy (Bury St Edmunds)
Under 12   =3rd place   -   Adam John (Bury St Edmunds)
Under 10   =3rd place   - Toby Martin (Bury St Edmunds)
Under 8   2nd place   -   Rowan Kent (Woodbridge)
Under 8   =3rd place   -   Tia Martin (Bury St Edmunds)

The five prizewinners from Bury St Edmunds are all members of the Bury Knights Junior Chess Club (pictured right including Alex Sheerin, former Bury Knights member).

Separate trophies were awarded to Woodbridge School pupils who performed best in each section.

A large number of photos taken during the event can be viewed as a slideshow here (click on 'Slideshow').

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Suffolk First Team victorious again

The Suffolk First Team took on Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire today at Newmarket.   Despite fielding a weakened team, Suffolk won both matches, 9 - 7 and 13 - 3 respectively.

Five players won both games: Ian Wallis, Mike Cook, Tim Lunn, Richard Lamont and David Brown (1 by default).   Mike Cook has now won all four games this season for the county.

These results confirm Suffolk's position at the head of the league table, which can be viewed here.   Bedfordshire did Suffolk a huge favour by beating Norfolk 9½-6½.   It now seems likely that the two matches against Cambridgeshire on 7 February and 13 March will be crucial in deciding the EACU Championship.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

The draw kings

Several Suffolk players have drawn most of their league matches this season:

Division 1   -   Tim Lunn   5 draws/5 games;   Bob Jones   3/3;   Phil Hutchings   3/4;   Kevin Greenacre   3/4;   Mike Cook   3/5;   Simon Riley   3/5.

Division 2   -   Martin Alvin   4 draws/4 games;   Jim Buis   3/4.

Division 3   -   David Green   3 draws/4 games.

It's interesting to note that there are fewer draws in the lower divisions.   In Division 1, 27 games out of 68 have been drawn (40%).   In Division 2 it's 30% (18/59) and in Division 3 only 24% (16/67).

There have been just two defaulted games so far this season, one in Division 2 (Manningtree B) and one in Division 3 (Ipswich F).

Friday, 27 November 2015

A game from 1961

54 years ago, the Under 21 British Junior Championship in Aberystwyth featured two local players - Vivian Woodward and John Feavyour.   At the time, John lived in Saxmundham, whilst Vivian was from Leicestershire (he was then the Leicestershire under 21 and senior champion).   Now a member of Sudbury Chess Club, Vivian has provided the original game score (above) and the game can be played through below (it may take a few seconds to load).   The notes to the game are Vivian's, apart from the possible ending after John's resignation.

Soon after, Vivian gave up chess for 30 years, but John continued playing.   Perhaps they should now play a challenge match, where John may be able to get his revenge!

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Adam's the name

One of the more common names amongst Suffolk chess players is ... Adam.   There are six of them, including an International Master and a FIDE Master.

IM Adam Hunt (Woodbridge)FM Adam Taylor (Manningtree)Adam Harvey (Bury St Edmunds)
Adam Wilson (Ipswich)Adam Leigh (Bury St Edmunds)Adam John (Bury St Edmunds)

But Adam is far from being the most popular name amongst active Suffolk players.   According to the grading database, the leaders are:

John:   (Barratt, Barty, Feavyour, Kent, Lambert, McAllister, Peters, Player, Price)   =   9
David (& Dave):   (Brown, Clark x 2, Green, Mabbs, Robertson, Spence, Wild, Wood)   =   9
Michael:   (Clapham, Cook, Coughtrey, Harris, Schalit, Spalding, Usher)   =   7
Andrew:   (Donnelly, Lewis, Molloy, Paige, Salmon, Shephard)   =   6
Also, there are four Richards, four Martins and four Stephens (or Steve).

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

London Chess Classic

Who's going to the London Chess Classic?   This prestigious event is taking place at the Kensington Olympia, between 4 and 13 December.

The main tournament is the final (and third) leg of the Chess Grand Tour.   Nine players are competing in this nine-round event (Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Veselin Topalov, Alexander Grischuk, Vishy Anand, Anish Giri, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Levon Aronian), to which Michael Adams has been invited as England's No.1.   Topalov is the current leader.   There is a total prize fund of over a million dollars!

The Final of the British Knockout Championship will take place between 4 - 9 December. Seven of England's top players, as well as Scotland's Jonathan Rowson, will be competing for a first prize of £20,000.   The quarter-finals and semi-finals will be held on 1 and 2 December at the nearby Hilton Hotel, with the two finalists battling it out over six games at the Classic.

Also taking place between 4 and 11 December is the FIDE Open, which has a guaranteed prize fund of £15,500.   To date 26 GMs have entered, as well as a host of IMs and FMs.   Amongst the 205 entrants is Bury's Ed Player, who is also playing in the Super Rapidplay (see below).

Manningtree's Adam Taylor is playing in the 5-round Weekend Open (4 - 6 December), as well as the 10-round Super Rapidplay (12 - 13 December), which has a massive entry of 238 players.

You can watch some of the world's best players for just £20; that's the cost of a daily ticket, which can be purchased online.   Women and anyone aged under 25 can watch for free - all you need to do is register online.   Tickets include access to the Auditorium, where the games will be played, as well as to the live Grandmaster commentary room and all other festival events areas.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

European Team Championships round-up

The European Team Championships concluded on Sunday, with England's teams finishing 10th (Open) and 23rd (Women).   Both results were rather disappointing, as the teams had been seeded 5th and 18th respectively.

In the Open section, all except bottom board Gawain Jones under-performed, especially Luke McShane, whose performance of 2466 was more than 200 points below his current rating.   England finished with 11 points (four wins, three draws), whilst winners Russia scored 15 points (six wins and three draws).

In the Women's section, England's top board Jovanka Houska played extremely well, scoring 7/8 to gain the silver medal for Board 1, with a performance of 2614.   Suffolk's Dagne Ciuksyte had a disappointing event, losing her last two games against lower-rated opponents.   This was the position from her last-round game, where White (Dagne) is to play in a level position against her opponent from Azerbaijan.   Dagne erred with 39. Kxg2??   Instead 39. Rxe5 or Rd5 maintains equality.   After 39... Rd2! Dagne had no answer to the threats on f2.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Sharing the lead

As at the start of this week, there are some unusual features in both the Suffolk League and the Bury Area League.

In all three divisions of the Suffolk League, the lead is shared by two teams.   In Division 1, Ipswich C and Bury St Edmunds C have both scored 9½ points from four matches.   In Division 2, Sudbury and Ipswich D have scored 10½ points from four matches.   And in Division 3, Ipswich E and Ipswich F are equal on 11 points from four matches.   Also, in all three divisions, several other teams are very close behind, making this season one of the most closely fought in recent memory.

Meanwhile, over in the Bury Area League, there's a 'first'.   Linton's three teams are all heading their respective divisions.   Linton A lead Division 1, Linton Blacks Division 2, and Linton Whites Division 3.   Between their three teams Linton have played 11 matches, winning 10 and drawing one.   Not a bad start to the season!

You can view the latest tables by clicking on the respective leagues:

Suffolk League
Bury Area League.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Suffolk Cup and Plate draw

The initial round of the Suffolk Cup & Plate was completed last Tuesday, when Sudbury thrashed Felixstowe B 4 - 0.   The draw has now been made for the next round.   Because of the number of teams playing, several byes are necessary.   The aim, of course, is to get four teams into the semi-finals of both sections.

The 11 teams and their sections are as follows:

Cup - Bury St Edmunds E; Saxmundham A; Felixstowe A; Ipswich B; Sudbury and Manningtree A

Plate - Bury St Edmunds D; Ipswich F; Saxmundham B; Manningtree B and Felixstowe B

So, to decide the semi-final line-ups, two matches are needed in the Cup and one match in the Plate.   These are as follows:

Cup - Saxmundham A v Manningtree A (to be played on Tuesday 15 December); and Ipswich B v Bury St Edmunds E (on Tuesday 22 December).   Felixstowe A and Sudbury both receive a bye.

Plate - Ipswich F v Felixstowe B (on Tuesday 22 December).   Bury St Edmunds D, Saxmundham B and Manningtree B are straight through to the semis.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

A game from Division 3

It's not often that a game from Suffolk League Division 3 features on this website, but here is one between Bury St Edmunds' Chas Szentmihaly (right) and Felixstowe's Dave Robertson.   It was played recently in the Suffolk Under 125 Cup.   Aged 84, Chas is Bury's oldest member, who swears that good health in old age is related to the food that you eat.

The game has its errors, as might be expected from players graded 108 and 104.   But the finish is good!

Friday, 20 November 2015

10 days to go to the Woodbridge Junior

Adam Hunt reports that entries are coming in well for the 15th Woodbridge Junior Open tournament, which takes place at Woodbridge School on Sunday 29 November.

This is a qualifying tournament for the London Junior Chess Championships, with sections for Under 8, u10, u12, u14, u16 and u18.   There are six rounds, with 30 minutes each for the game.   All games will be ECF Rapidplay graded.

To avoid a £4.00 late entry fee, be sure to send in entries by next Wednesday.   Entry forms can be downloaded from the Woodbridge School chess website.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Cambridgeshire Girls' Chess Challenge

The first Cambridge Junior Chess Challenge for Girls took place on the 8th of November in Sydney Sussex College, Cambridge.   36 participants were divided into three sections (Under 8, Under 11 and 11+).   Five rounds, with 25 minutes each for a game.

Dagne Ciuksyte took her two girls, Charlotte (8) and Sofia (6) along to the tournament and this is her report.   The photo above was taken back in August when the girls played in a tournament in Lithuania:

"A great event for the little girls like Charlotte (8) and Sofia (6) Ciuksyte.

Charlotte, playing in the Under 11 section had fun promoting the pawns into queens (in one of the games she had as many as three of them on the board!) then showing her excellent restriction technique but found it difficult to deliver the mate.   Two stalemates rather than checkmates and the total result 1 point out of 5.   Look out - we know now what to work on!

Sofia did well scoring 2½ out of 5 in the Under 8 section but she had a hard time as well.   In one of her games she played a long Qc3-c8 check but then her opponent captured the queen with her king.   When Sofia pointed that the queen was defended by the bishop on b7, her opponent captured the bishop as well!   So here you go - Sofia was the queen and bishop down, looked puzzled about what happened but carried on playing without calling the arbiter.   She didn't give in and getting close to one of her opponent's rooks and capturing it gave her an idea to sneak close to another rook which she did and succeeded in demolishing it as well.   So now she was two extra passed pawns up in the minor pieces ending, but not knowing what she should be doing next offered a draw a few moves later.   :)

A big thank you to the organisers for a very well-organised tournament, a great venue and nice experience for all the participants.   And I'm pretty sure there's been more of the girls coming back home and wanting to play more chess games on the same day like my Charlotte and Sofia did!   Mum's dream came true!"

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

European Team Championships latest

After four rounds of the European Team Championships in Reyjavik, Iceland, the England Open team (Adams, Howell, McShane, Short and Jones) are still unbeaten.   But three of their matches have been drawn.   Today they face 10th seed Germany in Round 5; a good win could elevate England into third place.

In the Women's section, England are not doing so well, having won only one of their four matches.   Whilst the top two England boards are strong (Houska/Ciuksyte), the remaining team members have been heavily outrated in all the team's losses.   Suffolk's Dagne Ciuksyte (pictured right) has been rested for today's match against Sweden, who should provide weaker opposition and an opportunity for the England team to climb the table.

The Russia teams have won all four matches in both sections.

The venue, the Laugardalsholl, is where the legendary match between Fischer and Spassky took place in 1972.

Round by round results can be followed here.   Tomorrow (Wednesday) is a rest day in the nine-round schedule.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Basildon Junior Congress

Remember the name - John.   And that's a surname, not a first name.

There are three 'Johns', all with first names beginning with 'A'.   The oldest is 12-year old Alan, currently graded 111 but heading for 130+ in January.   Then there's 9-year old Adam (93 ECF) but also expecting to be around 130 in January.   Both Alan and Adam are regularly beating adults in the Suffolk League and the Bury Area League.   The youngest is 7-year old Amy (13R).

All three played in the Basildon Junior Congress on Sunday, where strong opposition can always be expected.   Alan played in the Under 14s (he's eligible for the same section next year) and scored 4½/6 to finish joint second.   Adam, in the Under 10s, scored 5½/6 and shared first place.   Amy played in the Under 8s, scoring 5/6, also sharing first place.

The three Johns were joined by five other Bury Knights' members.   11-year old Tom Roy (67 ECF) was joint second in the Under 12s, with 4½/6 (beating a 115 grade in the last round).   Tom's 6-year old sister Tania, playing in her first tournament, scored 1½ in the Under 8s.   Other Bury Knights playing were the three Martins: Toby 3 (u10s), Tia 3 (u8s), and Ralph 2 (u14s).

Sunday, 15 November 2015

4NCL Results

The first two rounds of the 4NCL season took place this weekend.   Divisions 1 & 2 were held at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport.

Playing on Board 1 for Division 1 team Oxford 1, IM Justin Tan faced two strong GMs and lost both games.

In Division 2, Anglian Avengers 1 drew 4-4 on Saturday, and won 4½-3½ today.   Individually, Andrew Lewis scored 1½, Adam Taylor 1 (two draws), Ed Player 1 and David Spence ½.

Divisions 3 and 4 were held at a new venue, the Radisson Park Inn at Telford.   This proved to be an excellent hotel, with spacious, clean facilities and friendly staff.   Those who had dinner in the hotel enjoyed an excellent meal.   Below is one of the two tournament rooms in the hotel:

In Division 3 (South), Anglian Avengers 2 drew 3-3 on Saturday, and won 3½-2½ on Sunday.   Graham Moore scored 1, Steve Gregory ½, and Ian Wallis ½ (played only one game).

In Division 4, Iceni 1 lost narrowly on Saturday 2½-3½, but whitewashed the Barnet Knights 3 youngsters 6-0 today.   Jon Collins scored 1½ and John Feavyour 1.

Iceni 2 played a triangular match, so the results were not known until today.   They beat BCM Hippos 3½-2½, but lost to Oxford 3 by the score of 2-4.   Peter Collicott scored 1½, Bob Jones 1 (two draws) and Vivian Woodward 0 .

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Adam draws with Ivanchuk

Playing in the European Club Championship recently, Adam Hunt (2421) faced GM Ivanchuk (2726) in the first round. Using the Caro-Kann Exchange (Panov) Variation, Adam (White) played an interesting sacrifice on move 15, which led to a draw; a fine result for him.

Here's the game (it might take a few seconds to load):

Adam may disagree with some of my notes.   His comments will be most welcome!

Friday, 13 November 2015

European Team Championships

The nine-round European Team Championships commence today in Iceland.

Representing England on Board 2 for the women is Suffolk's IM Dagne Ciuksyte.   There are 30 teams entered, with England seeded #18.   They face third seed Ukraine in Round 1.

In the 36-team Open section, England are seeded fifth, with a strong team (Adams, Howell, McShane, Short, Jones) with an average rating of 2703.   Top seeds are Russia on 2743.

You can watch live games on ChessBomb here - Women / Open.   Matches start at 15.00 daily, except next Wednesday, which is a rest day.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

4NCL this weekend

Four Suffolk-based teams will be travelling west this weekend to play in the first rounds of the 4NCL.   The venues are the Holiday Inn, Birmingham (Divisions 1 and 2) and the Park Inn, Telford (Divisions 3S and 4S).

Anglian Avengers 1 play in Division 2, whilst Anglian Avengers 2 are in Division 3S.   The two Iceni teams play in the new Division 4S.

The first round (Saturday) pairings are as follows (start 14.00):

AA1   -   The ADs
AA2   -   Shropshire 1
Iceni 1   -   Throw in the Tal 1
Iceni 2   -   BCM Hippos / Oxford 3 (triangular match)

The opponents for Sunday are already known for the Division 2 and 3S teams (start 11.00):

AA1   -   N.E. England
AA2   -   Midland Monarchs 1

The results will be published here on Sunday evening.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Results from Norwich

The Norfolk and Norwich Chess Club Rapidplay Congress took place last Sunday.   A total of nine Suffolk players were represented amongst the total entry of 82.

The only Suffolk adult was Ed Player (pictured right), seeded fourth, who 'walked away' with the Open/u160 section of 15 entrants, scoring 5½ points out of 6, a clear 1½ points ahead of anyone else.   The runners-up in the Open were Andrew Brett (194), Roy Hughes (187) and Jonathan Wells (175).   Ed beat all three.

Also playing in the same combined section was 12-year old Alan John (112) who scored two points including a win against a 148 and draws against players graded 155 and 142.

There were only seven entrants in the Under 120 section.   The lowest graded, 10-year old Adam John (94) (pictured left), scored 4½ points to finish in second place.   He lost only to the eventual winner.

In the Under 100 section (18 entrants), 12-year old Ralph Martin scored 4 points to finish in equal third place.

In addition to the graded sections, there were three age-group sections for juniors.   A total of 42 children played.   Suffolk players' scores were:

Tom Roy (u13) - 4½ (=3rd)
Toby Martin (u10) - 3
Amy John (u8) - 4 (3rd)
Tia Martin (u8) - 3
Edison Lorejo (u8) - 3

All nine Suffolk players were from either the Bury St Edmunds club or the Bury Knights Junior Chess Club.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A position from the Bury Congress Open

Suffolk's Ian Wallis, facing 210-graded David Graham in the final round of the recent Bury St Edmunds Congress, found himself (White, to play) in the following position.   Can you see what Ian should have played (but didn't)?

Ian comments:   "Coming at the end of a very tough but enjoyable congress this was an opportunity missed.   I would like to think if this occurred in the first round I would have found the continuation!   I played 32. Qh4, retaining an advantage but eventually letting Black off with a perpetual check.

32. Nxe7+! was the killer move.

If 32. ... Kg7,   33. Rxh7+!   Kxh7,   34. Qg6+   Kh8   35. Qg8#
If 32. ... Kf8,   33. Nxg6+   hxg6 (33. ... Kg7,   34. Qd4+   Kxg6   35. Qg4+   Kf6,   36. Qh4+   Kg7,   37. Qxh7+   Kf8,   38. Qg6 transposes to same position.   38. Qh8+ also wins easily.)   34. Qxg6   Ke7,   35. Re1+   Kf8 (else the rook drops with a trivial win) but now 36. Qh6+ and it is mate in six or sooner.
If 32. ... Rxe7,   33. Qxe7 +-
Complicated lines but calculable; must be getting old!"

Thanks for this Ian - more games and positions are always welcome.

Monday, 9 November 2015

25 years ago

Back in 1990, the Suffolk Rating List was published every month.   The November 1990 issue contained Elo ratings for all active adults in Suffolk, as well as more than 400 juniors.   The 'Top 100 Juniors' list showed Simon Lunn at the top (2020) and Emily Orton (1150) at #100.

How things have changed!   Nowadays we are struggling to find twenty juniors with ratings over 1150 (or its ECF equivalent).

Suffolk has entered the English Primary Schools' Chess Association Under 11 tournament again; this will be the fourth successive year that a Suffolk team will compete against other counties.   For the past three years Suffolk has been unable to qualify for the Finals, finishing in seventh or eighth place in the Zonals.   In 1990 the Suffolk Under 11 team won the Zone Final, then travelled to Newton Abbot in Devon to play in the National Finals.   They finished runners-up to Kent by just half a point.

The Under 11s in 1990 were headed by a couple of twins by the name of Pert (1740/1720), and down at Board 8 was an up-and-coming eight-year old by the name of Edmund Player (1430).   At the top of a Suffolk Under 11 list today would be 9-year old Adam John (93 / 1219), 10-year old Jaden Jermy (89R / 1067) and 10-year old Aaron Saenz (72 / 971), all from the Bury Knights JCC.   These youngsters certainly have the potential to emulate their great predecessors, but we just don't have the strength in depth.

Chess is not being played nearly so much in schools as it was 25 years ago, and there is only one active junior club in the county.   But the good news is that there are a number of people trying to get junior chess off the ground again.   They deserve the active support of the county's adult players.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Herts Congress

The 64th Hertfordshire Congress took place over the weekend, with six Suffolk players included amongst the 135 entrants.

The best result was by Graham Moore, who came joint third in the Open with 3½ points out of five and a 207 grading performance.   The Open was won by the only titled player, IM Richard Bates.

Other Suffolk players did not fare so well.   They included (section and score in brackets) Silas Peck (Open - 1); Colin Roberts (Challengers - 1½); Alex Sheerin - (Challengers 1 out of 3); Steve Peck (Minor - 1½); David Wood (Minor - 1).

Former Suffolk player 11-year old Anita Somton was unbeaten in the Challengers on three points and a grading performance of 170.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

No obstacle

An amazing video, which proves there is...

Friday, 6 November 2015

World Youth Championships round-up

This eleven-round event concluded yesterday, with the two Suffolk players Justin Tan and Adam Taylor finishing on 8 points and 6½ points respectively.

Justin, on his Facebook page, comments on his 'shaky start', which included a loss to his Australian compatriot IM Rishi Sardana.   But he finished with a flourish, beating the only opponent with a higher rating, GM Alekseenko (2539) in the final round.   Justin's rating will improve marginally to just over 2450.   Seeded eight, he finished in joint fourth place (fifth on tie-break).

Adam lost four games, all to higher-rated IMs.   Three of these opponents also finished on 6½ points, the same score as Adam.   He lost 11 rating points to 2281.   His six wins tended to be against low-rated opponents.

The final standings in the Open can be viewed here.

The photo above shows Justin Tan (left) at the Closing Ceremony, about to shake hands with the winner of the Open, the untitled Iranian Masoud Mosadeghpour.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

A 'Diamond' Club

The UK Schools Chess Challenge, currently sponsored by Delancey, the property development company, has now been running for 20 years.   The tournament regularly attracts more than 50,000 children from around the UK.

The Bury Knights Junior Chess Club has supported the event since its inception.   In recognition of their involvement, the Club has received the following certificate from the organiser, MIke Basman, in recognition of ten years' continued participation:

The tournament enters its 21st year this season, and schools in Suffolk are invited to enter.   Contact me for further details.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

A winning formula

18-year old Alan Merry (19 in a few days' time) just can't stop winning. His grading record this season shows he has played eleven games - and has won them all!   His grading performance over these eleven games is a staggering 246.

He won the Suffolk Closed Championship (5/5), won both his County First Team games (on Board 1), and then won all four games played at the recent Bury Congress.   Had he not taken a bye in Round 3, he would've had the opportunity to play GM Matthew Sadler.   But as it happened, both Alan and Matthew shared first prize on 4½ points.

Here is a game from Alan's Bury Congress (Round 4), when he beat Steven Jones, graded 203:

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

World Youth Championships - three rounds to go

After successive wins in rounds six and seven, IM Justin Tan faced his Australian compatriot, IM Rishi Sardana, in Round 8 yesterday.   In the position below Justin blundered with 23. Be4??   Can you suggest Black's winning reply?

Black should've responded 23... Qc7!, with a completely winning position (24. Ka1   Nxe4   25. Rb1   Rc1   26. Re1   Rxe1   27. Rxe1).   Instead, Black played 23... Nxe4!?, when White cannot take the queen on d8 because of Nd2+ etc.   After 24. Rxe4   Qc7, White made another error with 25. Rde1 (Ree1 was necessary).   Black responded 25... Ne5 and White's position has collapsed.   Justin fought on to move 65, but was always losing.

It's interesting that Australia has two International Masters at Under 18 level, whilst England has none....

FM Adam Taylor is on 4½ points, having won yesterday.   Adam's Mum Debbie is Head of Delegation for the 24-strong English team, along with their six coaches.   You can follow Debbie on Twitter.

Both Justin and Adam will be on today's Round 9 live games from 13.00.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

4NCL news

The Four Nations Chess League (the 4NCL) will commence in a fortnight's time (14/15 November), with Divisions 1 and 2 playing at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport, and Division 3 South and the new Division 4 South being held at the Park Inn, Telford.

There will be four Suffolk-based teams this season, with Anglian Avengers (captain Ian Wallis) having one team in each of Divisions 2 and 3.   Iceni (captain John Feavyour) will have two teams in Division 4.

Last season, Division 3 South was very large, especially so after the Northern section joined it for the final rounds.   A sensible decision was made to form a new Division 4.   Unfortunately for Iceni, their first team finished in mid-table last season and were placed in the new Division 4.   It would have been better for Iceni if their teams had been split between Divisions 3 and 4.

This season, the top three divisions will be organised in pools of eight teams.   Each team plays the others in their pool over the first seven matches.   The top four in each of the two pools then form a 'promotion pool' and the bottom four play in a 'relegation pool'.   The 20 teams in Division 4 will play in a straightforward Swiss system.