The Four Nations Chess League - abbreviated 4NCL - is a British chess tournament in which teams from four nations ( hence the name) England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland participate.
It is the most important club tournament in the UK. It is organized independently of the national chess federations of the participating teams. The event is organized every year at several weekends from October to May; which is comparable with the German Chess Bundesliga roughly. In four classes ( divisions ) occur at about 600 chess players, including many world-class grandmasters. Unlike other national leagues and more teams a club can play in the same class.
The competition was initiated in 1993 by Chris Dunworth. In the top division NCL 1 used to play 12 teams in a round robin tournament. Currently seven rounds are first played in two preliminary groups of eight teams. The top four teams from both groups come in the master group, the remaining four in the descent group. In these final groups, while maintaining the results of the opening acts and a further four rounds of the Masters and four losers played in the second division. A team consists of eight players or players, at least one woman is prescribed. The installation can be chosen freely, but a player may not play at a higher board as a crew member who has more than 80 Elo points. In addition, a player may be used during the season, which has not yet been reported early in the season. In the decisive games to teams can therefore surprising increase for their opponents.