As chess moves towards online only competition, there have been a number of high-level tournaments set up to replace over the board chess and the university have been exploited these opportunities. To replace the cancelled 4NCL events, the English Chess Federation have introduced a free-to-play 4NCL Online tournament, which has attracted a huge number of players, approximately 800 registered players spread across 180 teams in 5 divisions. Bristol University are responsible for two of the sides, the A team competing in Division 2 and the B team in Division 5.
After 5 rounds of the competition, the university has taken its Bristol League form over to online play. Bristol University B are equal 20th out of 52 teams in Division 5 with a very good game point tiebreaker, winning matches by large margins but sadly losing very tight matches, helped very much by Asha Jina scoring 3.5/4 on Board 2. They will hope for an easier set of opponents in Round 6 to move even higher up the table.
The remaining divisions are organised differently, with 32 teams being split into 4 all-play-all pools of 8 teams. Bristol University A are currently equal 2nd in their group after Round 5 in one of the tightest pools across all the divisions. Both university teams have been aided by entering as “Bristol University” rather than “University of Bristol” given us a little boost in the current standings! The side is undefeated but with four match draws we would have liked to have done a little better, although Alice Lampard can thank a FIDE International Arbiter for one of her draws. The two remaining matches of the pool stage are against the bottom two teams of the group, so the university has a good chance to finish top of the table for the next stage of the competition against the other pools in the division.
The star for the A team has been Alex Vaughan with 4.5/5 all while rightfully moving up the board order. Let’s all learn something by looking at one of his game.