Atticus A  ½-3½  Brentwood A, Division One 4NCL Online,  March 9th 2021 

2298 John Redmond ½ ½ IM Richard Pert 2513
2239 FM Charlie Kennaugh 0 1 FM David Haydon 2435
2147 FM Dave James 0 1 Karl Bowden 2340
2098 Steve Kee 0 1 Russell White 2105


In this match we were facing higher-rated opposition. Charlie faced a dark-square clamp on the Black side of the Reti, missing one or two tactical opportunities to free himself. Steve Kee also conceded space in the opening and was unable to 'break out'. Dave described his game as being messy before it got away from him near the end. I got a level-ish position in the Anglo-Catalan until I unwittingly disimproved on theory. Still my position was compact even after I won a pawn and gave it back and so my opponent offered a relatively early draw.


Atticus B  ½-3½  MCS Oxford A, Division Three 4NCL Online, March 9th 2021 

1877 James Rothwell 0 1 Tom Shepherd 2018
1680 Steve Burge 0 1 Hari Selveraj 1934
1666 Mark Wadsworth 0 1 Hou Ning Zhou 1830
1480 John Lawton ½ ½ Samir Khan 1664


While John Lawton managed a creditable draw we had difficulties on the other boards. Typical hard going in the 4NCL!

4NCL Replay: Here are all games from this and previous seasons available for replay and as pgn for download.
Unfortunalely this is an "old" http-website without SSL encryption.

This might be useful if you want to preparte yourself for the next match.

4NCL Online Season 3, Division 1, Round 1

Atticus A -v- Alba Bon Accord 1     1½ - 2½

4NCL Online Season 3, Division 3, Round 1

Atticus B (1689) -v- Hertford 1 (2086)     1½ - 2½

Last season Hertford 1 won the 4NCL Division 4 Group C (6 wins, 1 draw, 0 loss) and was promoted to 4NCL Division 3. This season Hertford 1 is the strongest team in our division and they may aim to win the league again. Atticus B was largely outrated on all boards and at the end the result is a good one for us.

I want to draw your attention to the game FM Byway, Paul -v- Burge, Steve, board 3. Steve sacrificed his f-pawn, then his whole queen side, exchanged his attacking rook against a knight and an even stronger attack against the white king. White tried to make the best of this bad job but there was no place to hide, his position was doomed. Congratulations to Steve for this phantastic win.


Atticus A -v- Blackthorne Russia 2½ - 1½

Redmond, John P. (2335) ½ - ½ Gormally, Daniel W (2522)


Kennaugh, Charles W (2249) 1 - 0 Bates, Richard A (2470)


Kee, Steve (2147) 0 - 1 Taylor, Adam A (2267)


James, David J (2140) 1 - 0 Varney, Zoe (1997)

Atticus A  2½-1½  Blackthorne Russia, 4NCL Online, October 6 2020

  Atticus A    Blackthorne Russia  
2335e John Redmond ½-½ GM Danny Gormally 2522e
2249 FM Charlie Kennaugh  1-0 IM Richard Bates 2470e
2147e Steve Kee  0-1 Adam Taylor 2267e
2140e FM Dave James  1-0 Zoe Varney 1997e

Atticus A had a great result against Blackthorne Russia in Division One of the 4NCL Online. Full report to follow.


Wessex Some Stars C  2-2-  Atticus B, 4NCL Online, October 6 2020

  Wessex Some Stars C   Atticus B  
1997e Rajasekhar Pentakota  0-1 James Rothwell 1870e
1975e John Weatherlake  1-0 Sanjoy Banerjee 1720e
1967e Michael Krawczuk  1-0 Mark Wadsworth 1690
1952e William Adaway  0-1 Martin Blasczyk 1645

A tremendous result for a much out-rated Atticus B. They are tied for first in Group D of Division 4. Full report to follow.

4NCL online (week 3)

22nd September 2020

Atticus B 3-1 Temple Sutton

It would be churlish not to admit that the draw has been favourable to Atticus B this season, our first three fixtures being against the three sides that occupy the bottom places in the eight team divisional pool.  Yet you have to beat what is in front of you, as they say, and this season we are doing that consistently in a way were were not last time around.

James Rothwell 1-0 John R Marshall

It was terrific to welcome James back for his first out in the 4NCL this season.  Black's plan in any hypermodern system should be to destabilise white's centre, yet once the centre closed, white's space advantage looked strategically superior.  Once the breakthrough came via the f4 break, black's cramped pieces simply lacked the co-ordination to defend.

Melvyn R Pool 0-1 Sanjoy Banerjee

After two decidedly streaky wins, I retained my own personal 100% tally, yet once again not without luck.  The 6.h3 treatment of the Najdorf is the ultra-fashionable way to find an advantage, indeed so much so that I had neglected to brush up on my plans and ended up in a painful middlegame where my queenside attacked seemed painfully slow, versus white's direct attack.  Yet my opponent was too tentative and allowed me to catch up and overtake, and the breakthrough on the queenside came with a bare couple of tempi to spare.

Mark Wadsworth 1-0 Purba Audhora

Mark survived a real scare against his tyro opponent, who appears to have a scorching kingside attacked, which resolved itself into a material imbalance of two minor pieces versus rook, which remained favourable.  Yet experience is an invaluable commodity and Mark was able to capitalise in the endgame before black co-ordinated properly to take the victory.

Mark Clancy 1-0 Lee Webster

Games can be followed fortnightly on Tuesday evenings starting at 7.30pm at  Simply search for the player’s online handle and navigate to the games tab.  Fixtures, results and details of player account names can be found on the 4NCL website an hour before games begin.

Round 4 is this evening (Tuesday 6th October).

4NCL online (week 3)

22nd September 2020

Chessable White Rose 1 2½-1½ Atticus A

Conceding an average of 150 ELO points per board, one might have expected Atticus A to be intimidated by their storied opponents, boasting two GMs, and IM and an FM.  In the event, we could count ourselves unlucky not to take a least an even share of the spoils.

James Adair 1-0 John Redmond

In a French Tarrasch 3...Be7, the so-called Morozevich Variation, white signalled intent with 11.Ne1 and 12.Qg4, but then I guess you don't play the black side of the French, if you are not happy to soak up a little pressure.  But just as Foreman was tiring, Ali had the chance to get the queens off the board and all but nullify white's efforts, yet in seeking the natural looking counterplay on the queenside, left white one last opportunity to land the haymaker.


Charlie Kennaugh ½-½ Peter Wells

After being unavailable for round 2, it was a delight to see Charlie bring his best form on the occasion of his return to the team in what turned out to be a humdinger.  Playing the aggressive 6.f4 line of the Najdorf (a favourite of Judit Polgar among others), the game transposed into a kind of Grand Prix Attack and once attacked with scant regard for reputation, it was clear that even illustrious opponent's "don't like it up 'em".  As blows were traded through a tense middlegame, black had precious little time remaining when he was able to simplify down to a rook and minor piece endgame, although a pawn to the good, white was still even money favourite.  Yet, just as it seemed the game would be drawn, Charlie found himself obliged to give up his rook to prevent a passer.  It would have been cruel end, yet there was one last twist as honours finished even.



Alexander Raetsky ½-½ Steve Kee

Steve has taken some flack for playing Bird's Opening since the beginning of last season.  Yet in my view unfairly so, since it has effectively been a Leningrad Dutch with an extra tempo.  Return to the black side of said opening, he is starting to show a deep knowledge, and had achieved clear equality before his opponent pushed the envelope too far and exposed his king.  With fifteen minutes on the clock, it may have cost Steve more than the odd night of sleep to consider what might have been.  Yet the winning plan was not straightforward, and his opponent was able to wriggle free and secure the draw.



David James ½-½ Tim Wall

I suspect Dave has forgotten more about the positional aspects of chess than I ever knew!  This game turned on subtly disbalancing black's forays towards central control.  After one centralised knight found its way back into the wooden box, another took its place, yet a pin along the h1-a8 diagonal forced the second piece to be traded and landed black with weak doubled-pawns.  Even once queens were traded to leave a rook and pawn endgame, Dave had enough trumps force home the win, but as a reflection on the night as a whole, will leave wondering what might have been.



Games can be followed fortnightly on Tuesday evenings starting at 7.30pm at  Simply search for the player’s online handle and navigate to the games tab.  Fixtures, results and details of player account names can be found on the 4NCL website an hour before games begin.

Round 4 is this evening (Tuesday 6th October).

4NCL online (week 2)

8th September 2020

Warwickshire Bears B ½-3½ Atticus B

Atticus B comfortably defeated their game opponents to set the early pace at the top of division 4 with two wins from two.

Tristan Wong 0-1 Sanjoy Banerjee

As Napoleon famously said of his generals, it is better to be lucky than good.  I walked into better prep in the Jobava London, and looked dead lost out of the opening, yet managed to turn the tables.  There followed a long period of tactical play, which taxed both my time and wits.  I had reluctantly just settled for the threefold when my opponent deviated into mate in one!


Steve Burge ½-½ Shriya Pillay

A typical Steve Burge game in many ways.  He foxed and befuddled his opponent in a King's Gambit (Declined!) to set up a win, but accepted a draw in the interests of the team to ensure we won the match.


Zain Amir 0-1 Mark Wadsworth

Mark's game, a reverse Closed Sicilian, reached an interesting structure with white pawns on c4, d3 and e4, but a nice tactic allowed white to compromise black's kingside.  Yet white immediately gifted the b-pawn in return.  Still white's space advantage looked enviable, until in trying to attack on the kingside, white's queen became hemmed in on the h3 square.  Mark looked to be poised to break through when a hanging rook on c1 prematurely ended the contest.


Jim Wiseman - Tom Junde He

Jim unfurled a Smith Morra Gambit, which his opponent insouciantly accepted, but appear to have an idiosyncratic approach.  The gambited pawn became an IQP and the game seemed poised.  Black had a miserable dark-squared bishop, but the attempt to play the freeing f5, just gave Jim's bishop pair great scope, leading to an unfortunate pin which decided the game.


Games can be followed fortnightly on Tuesday evenings starting at 7.30pm at  Simply search for the player’s online handle and navigate to the games tab.  Fixtures, results and details of player account names can be found on the 4NCL website an hour before games begin.

Round 3 is this evening (Tuesday 22nd September).

4NCL online (week 2)

8th September 2020

Atticus A 1½-2½ Oxford 1

John Redmond 1-0 David Zakarian

John continued his fine form with a nice win in week 2.  From a Symmetrical English, white was able to create pressure on the c-file to pick up a pawn.  A nice tactic secured a second pawn, and after some simplification the game headed into an opposite-coloured bishop endgame, which despite their drawish reputation was nicely converted.


Nakul Nataraj 1-0 Steve Kee

Steve's game began as a Hyper-Accelerated Dragon, but soon transposed into the sharply theoretical Yugoslav Attack, where opposite side castling requires both players to tread a tightrope to avoid disaster.  On this occasion it was white who prevailed as his kideside attack was first to break through.


David James ½-½ Kieran Smallbone

Dave's game was a closed Catalan, which after queens were traded by move 9 became a strategic arm-wrestle.  Black was able to win a queenside pawn, and black had some play on the kingside, but ultimately neither side was able to prove an edge.


James Cole 1-0 Andrej Stancak

Andrej made his debut in the online format.

Games can be followed fortnightly on Tuesday evenings starting at 7.30pm at  Simply search for the player’s online handle and navigate to the games tab.  Fixtures, results and details of player account names can be found on the 4NCL website an hour before games begin.

Atticus B 3-1 Bishop Trojans

Not to be outshined by Atticus A, our second team also began the new 4NCL campaign with a satisfying win.

Sanjoy Banerjee v Peter J Smith

Chess is a difficult game, and only marginally less so when you have no clue what you are doing.  A blunder (unpunished) on move 14.  An anti-positional move on move 18.  A dubious pawn sacrifice on move 20.  And when black uncorked the super-cute 31…Rg3!, there is no objectively sound way to defend.  White’s only solace is that he won.  Chess is also a cruel game. 


Steve J Burge v Brian Robinson

A bad night for the Classical Dutch.  Steve’s handling of this opening has served him well across the course of a recent sustained and rich vein of form, but tonight he ran into an opponent who was simply better on the night.


Mark Wadsworth v Brian J Bainbridge

An efficient and technically correct demonstration on board three, no flashes of brilliance, just simple adroit play.  I am tempted to wonder if Mark has been spending the pandemic studying the games of Mikhail Botvinnik.


Robert Berry v Jim Wiseman

Who are these people that play online chess?  The Bowdler Attack (2.Bc4) against the Sicilian Defence seems to be an online speciality - barely ever (correction, never) encountered over the board.  Jim demonstrated there is nothing to fear from the line and looked also to be emulating Mark’s efficient modus operandi.  But it would not be Jim without a tactical finesse.  24.dxc4 looks playable due to the back rank weakness, but always look for the intermezzo.  In this case, the queen check allows black to profit by a rook while keeping the f8 square defended.  Bravo.

Games can be followed live each Tuesday night starting at 7.30pm at  Simply search for the player’s online handle and navigate to the games tab.  Fixtures, results and details of player account names can be found on the 4NCL website an hour before games begin.


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