Four-Nations Chess League: Guildford 1 Wins Title with Fressinet, Short, Edouard, Jones, Saddler, Kampen, Stefanova
Guildford 1 won the Four Nations Chess League (4NCL) on Monday finishing on 13 points out of 7 matches. The team, which had e.g. Laurent Fressinet, Nigel Short, Romain Edouard, Gawain Jones, Matthew Sadler, Robin van Kampen and Antoaneta Stefanova playing this year, scored one match point more than Wood Green Hilsmark 1 (with e.g. Vassily Ivanchuk, Michael Adams, Alexei Shirov and Luke McShane), according to a ChessVibes report.
The Four Nations Chess League (4NCL) is a team tournament (league) over three divisions in the UK. Over 850 players are taking part and there's over £10,000 in cash prizes on offer. It is held at different venues over various weekends. The first eight rounds were played over four weekends, and the final three rounds took place last Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Like the German Bundesliga, the 4NCL is a company and not connected to an official body. Different from the Bundesliga and other leagues is that each team must have at least one female player.
For the final, decisive weekend some teams flew in a few really strong players. Especially reigning champion Wood Green's line-up was impressive: in the last three rounds Vassily Ivanchuk, Michael Adams, Alexei Shirov, Luke McShane, David Howell, Jonathan Rowson, Pia Cramling, Alexander Baburin, John Emms, Andrew Greet and Nicholas Pert all played at least one game.
But it was not enough. Instead, Guildford 1 took the title, playing with Laurent Fressinet, Gawain Jones, Romain Edouard, Nigel Short, Matthew Sadler, Robin van Kampen, Antoaneta Stefanova, Mark Hebden and Stuart Conquest.
Guildford had won all of their matches and they went into the final weekend a point ahead of Wood Green, who dropped a match point on February 23rd in their match with Cheddleton 1. All games ended in draws there.
Last Saturday, both Guildford and Wood Green won their matches. Wood Green's Michael Adams, who played his last game in the Alekhine Memorial in St Petersburg only three days before, slowly outplayed Peter Wells in a double rook endgame.
From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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