After an exciting regular season going down to the very last game, Bristol University 1 went into the playoffs to see which team would be crowned the champions of Division 2. Bristol’s opponents were Chessable White Rose 2, one of only two undefeated teams across all the groups and with a first team that regularly fielded GMs and IMs. There were clearly taking this game very seriously with an FM returning to the side to bolster the side.
The University had a few tricks up their sleeves too. Daniel Savidge and Ian Gallagher swapped board order for the first time this season, and we immediately ran out of tricks. Due to the rule that only people that played during the group stages were eligible for the playoff games, the side was a bit short-numbered. Having seriously considered submitting a team sheet with only three players, Philipp Prasse took one for the team and was able to play his game via his phone while travelling to Hamburg. Unsurprisingly, he was first to finish, moving quickly after dropping connection at several times on his journey! Despite the rush, he had a close to winning position, but inaccuracies were inevitable when moving so quickly and his opponent escaped with a draw.
Dan lost his game, but the board count tiebreaker meant that the University could still win the match if Alice could hold on to a draw and Ian could win against the FM in the encroaching time troubles. Sadly, it wasn’t to be with Alice losing and Ian drawing after missing several endgame wins, thus bringing the first 4NCL Online season to a close. A disappointing finish but this should definitely not tarnish an excellent few months for University. Despite the quarter final defeat, the team has won a place in Division 1 next time, if we wish to continue our adventures online.