Sunday, 28 February 2016

NECL Update

In Division 3, Colchester C have played five matches and are top of the table with a 100% record. They still have three matches to play but are on track to secure promotion to Division 2. Colchester D are in 2nd place but have played more games than some of the teams below them. Two wins in a row have moved them up to a score of 50%.

In Division 2, Colchester B have a 100% record from six matches. Their two remaining games are against the teams currently in 2nd and 3rd (Chelmsford B and Clacton A). One more win should be enough for promotion to Division 1, though the B team don't have another match until late April and if other results go their way they could already have the title wrapped-up before they play again. Last season Colchester B finished in 2nd place (behind the A team).

The race for 1st place is much closer in Division 1. A draw against Writtle A and a win against Writtle B mean that Colchester A are now in 2nd place, behind Writtle A. A poor first match of the season means Colchester are unlikely to win the division - though it is still possible if Writtle A and Chelmsford A drop points. Whatever the results of the remaining games, Colchester A have had a good first season back in the top division.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Tony Locke Rapidplay - Round 4

The 4th round of the Tony Locke Rapidplay has now been made. There are still a number of games from earlier rounds outstanding but two players so far - Matt Stemp and Svein Kjenner - have won all three of their matches. For the purposes of making the draw games not played so far have been assumed to be draws. Three players have been removed from the draw for round 4 as they have not played in the 1st three rounds.

Draw for round 4:

Svein Kjenner V Matt Stemp
Felix Schnell V Clive Bellinger
Nathan Barnes V Denzel Gonzales
Norbert Voelker V Dave Chatfield
Phil Daley V Mark Johnson
Brian Remmer V John Duff-Cole
Pete Smith V Martin Harris
Ed Goodman   BYE

Currently the outstanding games are (if any of these matches have taken place, results have not been reported):

Clive Bellinger V Denzel Gonzales
Phil Daley V Felix Schnell
Felix Schnell V Mark Johnson
Martin Harris V Ed Goodman
John Duff-Cole VPete Smith
Mark Johnson V Brian Remmer

The answer to the question in the previous post cannot be shown in a viewer. Black played 1...Rxd3+!, White replied 2.Rxb4 removing the knight guarding Black's rook, but it is an illegal move as the king is still in check. Black, playing quickly, failed to notice and captured White's rook. White then took the rook on d3 and had an easily won pawn endgame. If the illegal move had been noticed Black had a simple win and would have had enough time on the clock to finish the game.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

NECL player of the year

The Al Scibor prize is awarded to the adult player with the best percentage score in the NECL league - it has been won by Colchester players for the last two years (and the winners' main rivals have been mostly Colchester players as well).

Back in the 2013/14 season, Eldar Lachinov was player of the season closely followed by Mike Wagstaff and Pete Smith. Nathan Barnes and Phil Daley also scored more than 70%.

Last season, Alex Orava was player of the season closely followed by Svein Kjenner, Nathan Barnes, Matt Stamp and Ian Gooding. Simon Denney and Mark Johnson also scored more than 70%.

This season? Again it is looking good for Colchester players. Currently in the lead having scored 100% from 9 games is Norbert Voelker. In 2nd place is Svein Kjenner, also on 100% but from 7 games. Pete Smith is in joint 10th with (in order) Felix Schnell, Clive Bellinger, Martin Harris, Mike Wagstaff, Matt Stemp, Nathan Barnes and Ian Gooding also all scoring 50% or more from at least 4 games.

There was one key game that decided the winner of the trophy last year. The position below is taken from the Hughes, P - Barnes, N game in the Colchester A - Witham B match. Black is winning, though running short of time, and a win in this game would mean Black would win the Al Scibor trophy. How did Black make sure that this didn't happen? The answer is far from obvious...