Last night (Tuesday) Atticus played two matches in the inaugural 4NCL online. Atticus A lost 3-1 in Division 1 to a strong team (the seventh seeds.) Atticus B lost to a handy team in Division 4 and we defaulted one Board in that match.

Arkell's Angels  3-1  Atticus A

2429 GM Keith Arkell  1  0 John Redmond 2327e
2425 GM Das Neelotpal  1  0 FM Charlie Kennaugh 2249
2347 IM Paul Littlewood  1  0 Steve Kee 2155e
2188 FM David Friedgood  0  1 FM David James 2147e
     3  1    

Against a team containing 2 GMs, an IM, and an FM, David James was our stand-out performer, daringly sacrificing an exchange in the middlegame to drive home his wedge of passed e- and f-pawns. In my own game I spent too long thinking in the opening, missed some chances in the middlegame, and then got ground down in the ending. Charlie apparently had chances and I am not sure what happened to Steve.  In this format it is quite difficult for the captain to keep track of all the other games (or in fact of any other games) and, in addition, I was having to troubleshoot a good deal during my own match-up. With my laptop, phone and watch continually buzzing it felt like R2D2 was kibitzing beside me. As I also had to take calls, for captaincy reasons, it probably amounted to the weirdest set of circumstances under which I have ever played. Having said all that, we were happy to be there - one suspects the inaugural night of the 4NCL Online may prove to be an historic event. While the virus has driven everyone online, there was already a noticeable tilt in that direction. Events of this sort may not be The Future but they are probably a major part of the future, and it is a credit to our club that we put up a good showing in Division One against one of the strongest outfits. The 4NCL organisers (and lichess) did a really good job - we got a lot of help when we needed it, especially from Alex Holowczak.

Hatch End A 3½-½ Atticus B

(we had default penalty as well)

 1870e William Phillips  1  0 Luke Boumphrey  2020e
 1825e Greg Breed   ½ ½ James Rothwell  1892e
 1757c Laith Hayali  1  d John Lambert  1757c
 1757e Kishan Pattni  1  0 Sanjoy Banerjee  1720e

I also did not see anything of the games in our Division 4 match. Unfortunately John Lambert had some technical issues and so we yielded a default on his Board. Gratifyingly, Sanjoy was able to turn out although he is now settled in his new home of Germany. James secured us our only other non-loss. No doubt matters will improve during the remaining nine rounds when we all get a bit more used to the technology and the conditions.


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