Hasson stars as CSC/Kingston 2 ignite promotion charge

Two wins at weekend 4 launch CSC/Kingston 2 into the division 4 promotion mix at 4NCL

Weekend 4 at 4NCL was a triumph for CSC/Kingston 2. With two wins – the one on Saturday against a team which massively outgraded them – we now suddenly, and perhaps just a little surprisingly, have a chance of promotion going into the final weekend at the end of April, though some very tough teams lie in wait. Both CSC/Kingston 1 and CSC/Kingston 2 are now in the promotion mix in divisions 3 and 4 at that final weekend, which promises to be edge-of-the-seat stuff.

The team’s victory on Saturday against War and Piece A was remarkable. The average rating gap was more than 250 points, which logically pointed to a convincing victory for War and Piece. But the CSC/Kingston team had other ideas. Peter Hasson, who has had a tremendous season at 4NCL, beat a 2100-rated played on board 2; Ewan Wilson and John Carter took the spoils of boards 3 and 5; and Petr Vachtfeidl and Nick Grey recorded important draws on boards 4 and 6 – all against much higher-rated opponents. An unforgettable triumph which ignited CSC/Kingston 2’s season.

Celtic Tigers 2 were on paper weaker opposition on Sunday, with CSC/Kingston this time the stronger team by an average of 260 points. We won reasonably comfortably, though the fact that the score was once again 4-2 demonstrated how dangerous it is to make assumptions in chess based on ratings. Who would have predicted ahead of the weekend that matches against two teams so far apart in strength would have produced the same result?

Hasson once again won on board 2, young Max Selemir was victorious on board 5, and Ewan Wilson followed up his success on Saturday with a draw with Black against Celtic Tigers’ strong board 1. But credit to Celtic Tigers 2 for draws against much higher-rated players on the other three boards. Two matches that could not have been more different, but the net result is that CSC/Kingston 2 now have a fantastic opportunity at the final 4NCL weekend, when three tough matches will be played over three days.

Stephen Moss