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, but unfortunately we were not able to ascertain his user handle in order to follow his game.


Games can be followed fortnightly on Tuesday evenings starting at 7.30pm at https://lichess.org.  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.

The new monthly ECF Grading System has been released today.

Follow the link below to get all the latest Atticus Club Grades.


The Cross Keys Pub are continuing with their generous food offer throughout September. All meals have 50% reduction on Monday,Tuesday and Wednesday in September.

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 https://lichess.org.  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.


Tuesday night saw the start of the sophomore season of 4NCL online.  Season one, for those who missed it, was a baptism of fire for Atticus A, who were drawn in a group where all the favourites seemed to congregate.  The draw, at least on paper, appears kinder this time around.

Wood Green Youth 1½-2½ Atticus A

When 4NCL stalwarts Wood Green sound the clarion, any number of titled players may answer the call.  No surprise then to find Wood Green Youth team was represented by the #1 and #2 under 16 players in the ECF list.

Ranesh Ratnesan v John Redmond

John and his opponent entered a sharply theoretical line in the Classical Nimzo, which had reached an equal rook and minor piece endgame when black found a nice tactic to win a pawn at the base of the queenside pawn chain to earn a protected passer on c4, albeit - with few good squares available - a4 was an awkward lodging for the dominated knight.  Living on increment, and with customary sang froid, John appeared close to the win, but a halved point was all the team needed to seal a fine win.


Charlie Kennaugh v Shreyas Royal

For a generation that grew up with Short, Speelman, Nunn, Adams, Sadler and latterly Jones and Howell, it is disconcerting to note that no English player is currently in the world top 100 juniors.  Yet peer a little further into the future and eleven year old Shreyas Royal - currently #10 in the world in his age category - may be a name to remember.  Already it appears the babe has been dangled in a deep theoretical font, and I wonder if Charlie’s enterprise and guile were best served by a Vienna Game structure which seemed an uncertain punt.  Still the position held until a hapless rook found supply lines cruelly severed.


Chirag Guha v Steven Kee

If chess is a battle of ideas, the game between Steve and the ironically handled “computermoves” pivoted when in a Benoni-like structure (emerging from a Leningrad Dutch) white vacated the choice e4 outpost and offered a trade of rooks for queen, at which point it was place-your-bets time.  Yet chess is a concrete game, and a kaleidoscopic sequence delivered a white knight to e6.  The so-called octopus was swiftly made risotto, causing heartburn in black’s position, yet while queen and bishop were debating how to capitalise, Steve’s rooks took advantage of the space left behind to settle the game.


David James v Stephen V Woodhouse

To say that Dave made light work of his opponent is a compliment, since in a Classical Dutch there were inaccuracies and mis-steps, but no single moment where you could say “There!  That’s where the game was lost!”, yet black was simply overpowered in 25 moves.  Fans of the internet server in question might care to note that Dave recorded no inaccuracies, no mistakes and no blunders.  Is a perfect game one where there are no mistakes?  In the words of Alexander Grischuk, “No, mistakes only by your opponent!”

Games can be followed live each Tuesday night starting at 7.30pm at https://lichess.org.  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.

Congratulations to Sanjoy Banerjee for taking 2nd place in the Major (u2000) in the 2nd 4NCL Online Congress this weekend.

Full results can be found here


Round 1: Sanjoy Banerjee (136) 1-0 Mark Szymanski (147)


Round 2: Paul H Kenning (163) ½-½ Sanjoy Banerjee (136)


Round 3: Sanjoy Banerjee (136) ½-½ Graham L Cole (158)


Round 4: Paul D Doherty (144) 0-1 Sanjoy Banerjee (136)


Round 5: Sanjoy Banerjee (136) 1-0 Maxamillian John (115)



































1 - 0 









0 - 1 

Rick Renegade 







0 - 1 

Harry Gardiner 







1 - 0 









½ - ½  









½ - ½ 

Lukasz Michalek 




Wiseman (Capt) 



1 - 0 









1 - 0 






5 - 3 




David  Hulme (Non-playing Captain) 

*130: LeeWebster Jan 2020 ECF Grade based on 5 games only played at Heywood Congress in 2019. Most recent previous grade (2004) = 94; Between 1994 & 2003 (incl) grades ranged between 84 & 102 . I have discussed this with Crewe Captain David Hulme and estimated his current grade to be somewhere between 115-120. 


A very close match with honours going to Atticus this time making up for the drubbing Crewe unleashed upon us last time. 

All the games appeared close and there was chances for both players on most of the boards. 

Thanks to Crewe for accepting the challenge and I hope everyone enjoyed the match 

Jim Wiseman 

(Atticus Captain) 

Could all Atticus players who are interested in playing in this season's MCA Matches, please state their intent immediately as teams need to be registered next week.

Please conctact Secretary Steve Kee to express your interest  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

It is likely all games will be played online on the Lichess Website.

Any players at present based abroad will be able to join in with this online format. Full instructions will be given nearer the start of the competition.


On a personal note can I thank Martin Blasczyk for running an excellent Open Summer Tournament.

Well done to Waterloo players Colin Horton and Peter O'Driscoll for finishing 1st and 2nd with Atticus Dave James in 3rd place.





A return match has been arranged with Crewe Chess Club for Tuesday August 18th at 19h30, everyone is welcome to play in this game and the number of boards will be adjusted accordingly. 

Time Control  45mins + 15secs on the Lichess Website

Please contact organiser/Captain Jim Wiseman to join the team.

 email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Happily, Atticus have been restored to Division One of the 4NCL Online (thanks tp the withdrawal of the Anglian Avengers.) Therefore, just as in Season 1, we will likely field two teams in the coming season - in Division One and Division Four.

The new grades have emerged. Not a great deal of movement (given the circumstances.) Many players have stayed the same or only gone up or down by one. Luke, however, is up 8 to 185 while Steve B is up 4 to 135. Mark is also up 4 to 132. Well done to all concerned!

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