Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

London Chess League (Final Round)

London League hosts strongest ever match

Pub chess is the staple of the UK league scene. Photo © John Saunders.

Pub chess is the staple of the UK league scene. Photo © John Saunders. |

Wood Green put out a team in the London League with 10 Grandmasters and two IMs in order to beat the Drunken Knight's first team in the London League. The Knights have concluded their season now Wood Green have to beat Athenaeum 1 for the title. The pub league is the staple of competitive chess in this country, I play all my chess in this scene which has some pretty strong players throughout the country. Photos from John Saunders plus the tables and games in the article below.

Short report on Wood Green vs Drunken knights league decider from non-playing captain Nevil Chan

Drunken Knights had led the London League Division 1 since the start of the season going into the final match against Wood Green which was played on Monday night at a room above The Plough pub in Central London.

Jonathan Rowson against Eddie Dearing. Photo © John Saunders

Wood Green assembled what is believed to be the strongest twelve board team ever assembled in the history of British chess. Ten GMs and two IMs, having an average English Chess Federation grade of 234 and an average FIDE rating of 2509! This was also the best ever Drunken Knights team by far, with an average 214 ECF rating / 2346 FIDE.

Chris Ward and Krisztian Szabo. Photo © John Saunders

The match was much closer than the final score (Wood Green: 10 - Drunken Knights 2) suggests.

A general view of the venue Photo © John Saunders

With twenty minutes left to play, Wood Green were leading just 1½-½. Both Eddie Dearing and Ben Savage were winning, but the anticipated two points evaporated in the inevitable time scrambles. Blair Connell turned down an early draw offer, but then overpressed his position.

The venue "The Plough" Photo © John Saunders

The sole winner from Drunken Knights, David Moskovic, outplayed his GM opponent with some John Travolta-like moves.

It was a memorable evening for players and the many spectators alike.

London League Results Page

London League Match 18th April 2011
1 Conquest, Stuart CGM2529ENG 01 McShane, Luke JGM2683ENG
2 Dearing, EddieIM2412SCO 01 Rowson, JonathanGM2576SCO
3 Mah, Karl C CIM2428ENG 01 Speelman, Jon SGM2521ENG
4 Sowray, Peter JFM2340ENG ½½ Lalic, BogdanGM2474CRO
5 Quillan, GaryIM2383ENG 01 Pert, NickGM2570ENG
6 Bisby, Daniel LFM2306ENG 01 McDonald, NeilGM2460ENG
7 Moskovic, David MFM2293ENG 10 Berczes, DavidGM2535HUN
8 Merriman, John2253ENG 01 Emms, John MGM2475ENG
9 Savage, Ben D MFM2289ENG 01 Szabo, KrisztianGM2517HUN
10 Duncan, Chris RFM2314ENG 01 Ward, Chris GGM2449ENG
11 Connell, Blair N2263ENG 01 Pert, Richard GIM2457ENG
12 Crouch, Colin SIM2343ENG ½½ Buckley, Graeme NIM2394ENG
London League Table with 1 match to be completed
RkTeam MptsBpts
3HACKNEY 1769½

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