Gonzaga and Enniscorthy are in action today and tomorrow (Sunday 12th) in Yorkshire, in the first weekend of the Four Nations Chess League (Division 3 North).
Gonzaga have won their opening match (Stephen Jessel's game may still be in progress as I write, or else the result's not yet posted) but the juniors of Enniscorthy seem to be losing,
Line-ups today were: Jessel, Jackson, Delaney, Moran, Murray and Freeman; boards 3 and 4 drew. And for Enniscorthy: Paul O'Neill, Agustin & Mercedes Plaza Reino; Dovydas Pocevicius, Robbie Kildea, and Dean Copeland. Credit to Robbie who beat a 2012 opponent. Agustin drew; no results up yet for 4 and 6 so there's still a chance.
It's a pity Mercedes is missing the Irish Ladies Championship, though.
Great result for Enniscorthy - 4.5-0.5 (their opponents defaulted on 6).
Gonzaga currently 2-2 with winning positions on the last 2 boards.
Elsewhere, wins for Sam and David in division 1. John Redmond playing Alvaro Valdes Escobar of Elm Mount. Ryan Griffiths still playing.
Gonzaga just won 4-2.
Nick Larter drew in division 2.
Second weekend of the 4NCL started today with wins for both Irish teams in Division 3 North.
Gonzaga won 5.5-0.5 against the Bradford B team; Killian Delaney had a draw on board 2.
With Conor O'Donnell and Henry Li playing the Mulcahy in Cork, the Gonzaga line-up started with a new recruit, Icelandic FM Pal A. Thorarinsson. The other winners were Carl Jackson, David Murray, Gordon Freeman and Stephen Moran (who I had expected to be playing Armstrong for Trinity today, but maybe his game was rearranged).
The juniors playing under the banner of Enniscorthy won 3.5-2.5 against Manchester Manticores 4.
The line-up was Shane Melaugh, Paul O'Neill, John C. Kelly, Alex Goss, Dean Copeland, and Dovydas Pocevicius.
Tomorrow's pairings look tougher: Castleford Roses v Gonzaga and Enniscorthy v the Bradford A team.
Castleford might sound like a Rugby League side but actually seem to be a mixture of Slovaks and other foreigners who were surprisingly beaten today by a lower-rated team.
The pairings were done in advance as I believe this season they are implementing a new system that tries to keep the top seeds apart until the final weekend.
In the top division, playing for Barbican, Sam Collins lost to former British Champion Jonathan Hawkins and Ryan Rhys Griffiths lost to Keith Arkell.
In Division 2a, playing for White Rose 2, expats Colm Barry and Kieran O'Driscoll both lost too. Better luck tomorrow.
Stephen played his Armstrong game on Wednesday alright
Round 4 under way. Wins already for Shane Melaugh and Carl Jackson. Gonzaga varied their board order.
NB: round 2 of Tata Steel is now under way with online commentary at chess24.
Gonzaga won 4.5-1.5 (Gordon Freeman losing on board 2). So they lead the division (possibly shared, which I have not checked).
Enniscorthy had a draw on board 2 but their bottom four boards all lost.
In Division 1, Sam Collins drew with Andrew Greet today so he is down a few Elo points on the weekend, but not drastically.
Ryan Rhys Griffiths did not play today.
In Division 2 today, Colm Barry won and Kieran O'Driscoll drew.
Stephen Jessel was apparently not in action this weekend?
Ryan played on board 1 for the other Barbican team on Sunday and had a good win; he gained a couple of points over the weekend and like Stephen Jessel is closing in on 2400. Ryan is now roughly 2368 while Stephen is 2372. David Fitzsimons was also playing and had a loss and a win.
Gonzaga co-lead on 8 points with the 3Cs 2nd team the other team on full points. There doesn't seem to be any teams on the level of Manx or Manchester this season but who knows who'll be recruited over the last few games.
Next round in 3N is February 10-11.
Gonzaga won both their matches this weekend in Division 3 North of the 4NCL. They are one of two teams to have six wins out of six, with slightly more game points. They haven't played the other leading team because of the way the pairing system works.
Enniscorthy and one of the English teams appear to have withdrawn.
Today's results are at http://www.4nclresults.co.uk/2017-18/4ncl/6/3n/export/
Gonzaga won both their matches at the weekend, against their closest rivals, and now have a 3MP lead ahead of the second club. There are five or six teams chasing the second promotion spot with three matches to go on the May bank holiday weekend; Gonzaga played three of them already. They need 4MP out of 6 to clinch the title but 3 could well be enough and 3 cannot be worse than a tie for second. So Gonzaga are very likely to be in Division 2 next season, a much tougher proposition but not beyond them.
The Gonzaga team last weekend had an unusual look, maybe because of the rugby? Icelandic FM Pal Thorarinsson played top board again and scored 1.5/2.
Karl McPhillips and Eddie O'Connor came in as wildcards but cannot play again, so Gonzaga will need more of the regulars back to clinch the promotion.
Enniscorthy, on the other hand, seem to be out. They were in the draw for Saturday's round but defaulted.
Alex McFarlane of ECF has clarified two points from my previous post.
1) Enniscorthy were very unlucky. They had indeed declared their team for Saturday's round but were stuck on a ferry which, because of bad weather, failed to dock at Holyhead, and had to return to Ireland.
2) McPhillips and O'Connor can play again as registered players.
I was looking at 4NCL rule 6.9 which says "No player may play as a wild card on more than one weekend during the season." I wasn't aware they could subsequently be registered.
The ICU website has announced that David Fitzsimons has achieved his third and final IM norm by winning his game today against an IM in the first division of the 4NCL. Congratulations! Here is his game:
Also noteworthy in Division 1 is that Ryan Rhys Griffiths drew with French GM Laurent Fressinet who seems to have made a shrewd tactical draw offer in a probably lost position.
Meanwhile Gonzaga's bid to win Division 3 North and qualify for the second division next season looked a bit shaky at one point this evening with the 4NCL website showing them 3-2 down in the first of three matches this weekend. (Reports from anyone on the spot would be welcome.)
Happily it's now showing that Killian Delaney won (with Black) the last game to finish and so secure a 3-3 draw and one match point.
It's the first match they failed to win this season but I think they will be happy because the team that had been lying second was beaten and so Gonzaga are still 3 MP ahead with only two matches to go. One more MP from those will guarantee promotion and two MP (a won match or two draws) will make it mathematically impossible for any other team to equal their score. Tiebreaks should favour them too in the worst case scenario.
Enniscorthy had a walkover on one board today, losing 3.5-1.5 in games actually played.
Some Irish players were in action in other divisions I think. Colin Menzies beat Jonathan Pein in Division 2.