4NCL update


Once again all four of us went to Hinckley Island to play two games of chess in the Four Nations Chess League. Colin plays for White Rose, while Andrew manages the superb Wood Green 1 & 2, employing John and me. A selection of our annotated games are in this pgn link.

On the Saturday I had a very complicated game where I was guessing all the time. I expected the computer to laugh at me after the game, but the weirdest thing happened: It liked all of my moves. Sure, the rook sacrifice was second best, but still good enough to win. Meanwhile John won a nice game in the Slav, while Andrew lost a long game.

Colin drew both his games, including against our team (specifically Jon Speelman) on the Sunday.

Andrew drew on Sunday in a game where he was slightly better.

On Sunday John had a very interesting fighting game. Choosing to enter an endgame on move 10 he was slowly outplaying his opponent, until a weird blunder left him much much worse. He recovered only to blunder on move 41.

Black to play and win

John’s opponent found the right move. John found a way to continue the game, but it was a “matter of technique”. Luckily his opponent’s technique was lacking and after more than six hours play, John secured half a point.

My game on the Sunday was quite interesting. It had a few moments of great interest (see the pgn file for a selection of games). But of course, as it is Monday, I have to come up with a few tips:

* There is a tendency to underestimate the importance of getting all the pieces into the game. See for example 16…Nf3+? and 18.Re1! in my game with Buckley.

* When your opponent is in time trouble, it is a good idea to give him an open choice. See for example 26.b4!? against Buckley. The move is prophylaxis and slightly difficult to handle. Because what should Black actually do in this position?

* When you are out of shape, don’t play sharp theoretical games. Focus on the basics (Sabino Brunello told me recently that whenever he does not feel on top, he will use the three questions repeatedly during the game to make sure he at least plays decently. And here I am telling people that using the questions during the game is overkill…)

Sabino by the way solved his problems easily in both his black games against Chinese opponents in Wijk aan Zee. Especially the first round game was a pleasure to see.

6 thoughts on “4NCL update”

  1. I had a quick look at J. Shaw’s game and it is truly wonderful! I would have been scared to death to play against the white pieces 😉

  2. i guess e. berg knows the kindermann book about 7…0-0 but he doesn’t know the 2 volume
    vhs-video repertoire (chessgate)?

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