Roger Lancaster wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:32 am
David Sedgwick wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:08 pm
A 17% increase.
My central prediction was a 20% drop. I understand that the organisers thought that it might be greater.
Those of us, including me, who campaigned hard behind the scenes for a change in the ECF and the 4NCl Rules and Regulations can take a quiet satisfaction from the outcome of our efforts.
Those who stormed out in a huff must decide for themselves what if anything they achieved.
Curiously, exactly the opposite outcome to the Junior 4NCL where the organisers seem to have expected an increase but actual entries were well down. I find the contrast puzzling, as I suspect do the organisers. Any theories?
(a) The 4NCL Online is generally perceived to be a success. The first season was well-organised and enjoyable, albeit there were a few teething problems. To the degree that 'The 4NCL' is a brand, it was enhanced not tarnished by Season 1.
(b) Lichess is an attractive platform. Thanks to recent events more and more players are becoming familiar with it and, generally speaking, it 'suits' the event.
(b) Discussions on the Forum focus so much on cheating they give a distorted picture of the 4NCL Online - they make the event seem endlessly beset and problematic. But this was far from the comfortable and stable round-by-round experience of most players (that I know).
(c) It is (almost) the only show in town. Unless you want to play OTB under 'dystopian conditions' (masks, screens, paranoia) or travel abroad and risk quarantine then there is nothing else.
(d) Some players may have thought that 'normal' OTB chess would resume earlier than now seems likely. Such players may have given the original season a miss calculating they could resume League/4NCL in the Autumn.
(e) Some of the advantages of online chess may have become clearer. As a total experience, The 4NCL Online can't beat the regular 4NCL (I imagine nearly everyone agrees with this) BUT it does have some advantages which will weigh heavily with some: it is is much less of a time-sink and it is much cheaper.
I suppose the real test of the 4NCL Online will be when 'full-blown normality' returns. But we may have to wait a while for that to happen and, for now, this event is on the up.