Last night saw Round 2 of the current 4NCL Online Season (No 4). The A team faced division 3 hot shots – Guildford Castles while the B team took on Barnet Knight C in division 4.
The A team were never likely to succeed against a team that is highly rated enough to be amongst the top dogs in division 1, with an average rating above 2100. The gulf in class was apparent as the match was decided in under 30 minutes as our top three boards were all outplayed. The remaining game saw Simon Layhe play a blinder, as he prized open the castled king, and then forced the opponent’s overworked queen to fall. Simon’s win was the first board point collected by the A team after two matches. There is no rest in the next round as we face another top rated team !
The B team found the going much easier, with a big grade advantage on each board, although a team comprising juniors can never be under-estimated. On board 1, Rick Renegade threw his usual grenade into the mix, to emerge with 4 queenside pass-pawns, while his King was safely grounded on h8, in front of an opposition pawn on h7, which prevented his King being attacked for some time, before one of his own pawns converted to a queen.
Lukasz Michalek seemed to be involved in a game that was pretty equal until he created another queenside pawn majority that proved key in converting the position.
Skipper Dave Price was happily meandering along before realising he was a pawn down. However he did possess a couple of killer centre-pawns that pushed forward to squash his opponents position, and forced resignation when one was to be promoted. His game finished last to make the score 3-1.