We have internet! And a Successful 4NCL Weekend

You would have seen after my big announcement things have been quiet on the update front. It’s not really been my fault as we have now moved to Sheffield and we only got internet today! It was a real hassle setting up with Virgin as it didn’t work and we switched to SSE- today I was waiting for an engineer to come and they never showed up so I plugged in the box myself and it worked!

Gawain’s study coming together.

The only thing we are now waiting for is our bed and Gawain’s desk and then we will be done with getting everything for the house. Then it’ll be time to start getting back into a routine and me figuring out how I’m going to balance things.

Last weekend we both headed down south to Wokefield Park near Reading to play in the 4NCL. Gawain’s playing for Guildford, last year’s winner, and I’m playing for White Rose. We travelled on the Friday night and we got caught in bad traffic from Reading – it took us about 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to the venue from the train station!T

My first round didn’t start out the way I planned, I was playing a strong youngster who recently came 1st= in the 4NCL Congress which was a qualifier for the British Knockout. I played by mistake an accelerated Breyer and after 11 moves this is my position


I was quite embarrassed thinking I was going to lose in under 20 moves, especially after I announced I was just going to be playing chess. Luckily for me, my opponent erred and the line he played I don’t believe was much better for him and he wasn’t able to switch his thinking and allowed me too much pressure in the endgame and I managed to win.

Gawain on the other hand played a very nice game.

[pgn height=500 initialHalfmove=16 autoplayMode=none]

[Event “4NCL 2016/17”]
[Date “2016 11”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Jackson, J”]
[Black “Jones,G”]
[Result “0-1”]
[PlyCount “52”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. c3 d6 8. Re1
Bb6 9. a4 Bb7 10. d4 h6 11. Qd3 O-O 12. d5 Na5 13. Ba2 c6 14. Nbd2 cxd5 15.
exd5 Ng4 16. Rf1 f5 17. Qe2 bxa4 18. h3 Nf6 19. c4 Nh5 20. Qd1 Ng3 21. Re1 e4
22. Nh2 Bxf2+ $1 23. Kxf2 Qb6+ 24. Kxg3 f4+ 25. Kh4 Qd8+ 26. Kg4 Qg5# *


On Sunday, after a sleepless night. I found out I was playing another youngster FM William Hansen-Claridge after paying more attention to my theory I managed to get a winning position after he blundered with 10… Bg4

[pgn height=500 initialHalfmove=16 autoplayMode=none]

[Event “4NCL 2016-17”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2016.11.20”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Maroroa, S.”]
[Black “Claridge-Hansen, W.”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “B06”]
[WhiteElo “2128”]
[BlackElo “2302”]
[Annotator “Doe,John”]
[PlyCount “51”]
[SourceDate “2009.03.12”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. c3 {Luckily my fabulous husband showed me some theory.
After yesterday I definitely need to work on my theory!} d5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. d4
Bg7 6. Na3 cxd4 7. Bc4 Qe4+ 8. Be3 Nh6 (8… dxe3 9. Bxf7+ Kxf7 10. Ng5+ {a
well known trick}) 9. cxd4 O-O 10. Nb5 Bg4 $2 {a blunder. From what Ga told me
earlier playing a move like Nf5 also allowed me to play my knight to c7 so I
didn’t understand why this was different.} 11. Nc7 {Let’s go and win a rook!}
e5 (11… Nf5 12. Bd5 Nxe3 {nearly traps the queen in} 13. Bxe4 Nxd1 14. Rxd1
Nc6 15. Nxa8 Rxa8 {and I’m an exchange up}) 12. Bd3 {attacking the queen. I
realised this forcing line leaves the queen on a much worse square and
relieves the pressure on my king} (12. dxe5 Qxc4) (12. Nxa8 exd4 {allows black
so much pressure}) 12… Qc6 13. Rc1 {a move I believe that black missed. His
queen now has not many good squares to go to} Qd7 14. d5 $1 {A nice move which
I was happy to play. This keeps the e&d file closed up and keeps his b8 knight
on a bad route, Na6 is not a move he wants to play and I potentially have a
strong d pawn if I can co-ordinate my bishops and get my king to safety} Nc6
15. Nxa8 Qxd5 16. Nc7 Qa5+ {and I’m also sure here he missed} 17. Qd2 $1 {
attacking the knight on h6. After the game my team mates asked me why I tried
to swap off dark squared bishops -little did they know there was a Knight
hanging there} Qxc7 18. Bxh6 Rd8 19. Bxg7 e4 20. Bf6 (20. Qh6 exf3 21. Bf6 {
transposes to the game}) 20… exf3 21. Qh6 Qa5+ 22. Rc3 {allowing my rook to
defend my bishop once he has to sacrifice his queen} (22. Bc3 Qe5+ 23. Bxe5
Nxe5) 22… Qe5+ 23. Bxe5 Nxe5 24. g3 {a safe and calm move. I was so many
pieces up, I just wanted to simplify things and get my king to safety. I
didn’t want to allow any tricks} (24. Qg5 fxg2 25. Rg1 Nf3+ {yuck}) 24… Nxd3+
25. Rxd3 Rxd3 26. O-O 1-0



A delicious treat eaten on the train home!
A delicious treat eaten on the train home!

We will of course be watching the World Chess Championship tonight (yes to having internet!). Tomorrow we fly to Ireland to play in the Kilkenny Chess Festival.  I don’t know if you’ll be able to follow the games live but check out the Kilkenny Chess facebook page and I’ll try my best to update during the tournament and I’ll definitely do a write up next week.