More 4NCL

Venues, fixtures, teams and related matters.
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Joey Stewart
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More 4NCL

Post by Joey Stewart » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:45 pm

I sometimes think to myself that it would be nice to have a little more 4ncl in the autumn (something along the lines of a round in late september/early october and then another in late november/early december) as people tend to be most psyched up about chess around this time of year and it gives a better chance to cash in on the enthusiasm.
Has this been thought of/attempted before or is this the first time it has been suggested?
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: More 4NCL

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:58 pm

The scheduling depends on the hotels - we're low priority, because we have discounted room rates, so the weekends are when they don't have anything else booked.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: More 4NCL

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:54 pm

Joey Stewart wrote:I sometimes think to myself that it would be nice to have a little more 4ncl in the autumn (something along the lines of a round in late september/early october and then another in late november/early december) as people tend to be most psyched up about chess around this time of year and it gives a better chance to cash in on the enthusiasm.
Has this been thought of/attempted before or is this the first time it has been suggested?
That has been the format in the past. Autumn / pre Christmas 4NCLs did have a habit of clashing with international events, the Olympiad, the Euro Team, the Euro Club team, Guernsey and previously the Isle of Man all looking for the same time slot.

As Jack says above, cheap hotel rates are also a factor - December can be busy for hotels because of Christmas parties.

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Joey Stewart
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Re: More 4NCL

Post by Joey Stewart » Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:03 pm

Yeah I suppose - those big international events should'nt be too much of an issue for 99% of the players in the 4ncl though - but I can see where the trouble with hotels comes in.
In fact, now I come to think about it, we could have had a weekend when the rapidplay event was being held.
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

Mike Truran
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Re: More 4NCL

Post by Mike Truran » Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:14 pm

Only Sunningdale and Daventry were available on that date, and I took the view, rightly or wrongly, that they were too far apart given the objective (not always achieved!) of playing either in the same venue or in venues not too far distant from each other. Harben House is fine for the rapidplay, but doesn't have enough bedrooms for either Div 1/Div 2 or Div 3.

Roger is right - the combination of venue availability shortage and competing events pre-Xmas doesn't always make life easy, to say the least of it.

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Re: More 4NCL

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:19 pm

Students aren't big fans of the mid-January round; it's often smack in the middle of exam time!

Roger de Coverly
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Re: More 4NCL

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:17 pm

Joey Stewart wrote:Yeah I suppose - those big international events should'nt be too much of an issue for 99% of the players in the 4ncl though
It's usually a somewhat higher % for leading teams in the first division.

David Sedgwick
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Re: More 4NCL

Post by David Sedgwick » Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:34 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Joey Stewart wrote:Yeah I suppose - those big international events should'nt be too much of an issue for 99% of the players in the 4ncl though
It's usually a somewhat higher % for leading teams in the first division.
You also need to bear in mind the adverse impact on the other event. A few years ago a mooted clash between the 4NCL and the previously announced dates for the Isle of Man jeopardised the sponsorship of the latter. To his great credit Mike Truran rescheduled the 4NCL weekend. (Thanks, Mike)

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Ben Purton
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Re: More 4NCL

Post by Ben Purton » Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:29 am

I have to admit the hotels the 4NCL use are a mixed bag. I find that the De vere hotel far outweigh the Barcelo's regarding not screwing my team over. We have rooms for May and Wokefield, Ironically Wokefield is the least "needed" as I probaly live one of the closest to the venue(1.8 miles). However the Hinckley Island one in May "overbooked" and "lotted us out" as all the rooms were in my name and not my players. I have to say I was impressed I did not use profanity for once when I was told this.

That being said , Mike Truran has an impossible job, finding hotels that suit chess players. He does very well and is I believe a volunteer, I would never be able to do his job better and I truly think few could do his job better. I think Sean Hewiitt must have had some influence in the hotel subsidy idea at least partly from 4NCL, considering he uses the same two firms.....As previously discussed when he considered quitting his tournaments, they are the highlight with the 4ncl of the British chess calender for the working people. London Chess classic for me is impossible to get off for it all, similar with hastings, the British is "too long".

Id perhaps prefer the January weekend to be pre christmas and have say one in September and one in November. I am pretty sure we use to have the 2-3 not 1-4 split back in the day(feels old). I am a team of students and well. We get hit so hard in January its ludicrous. Luckerly my core players are now young adults....or pretend to be.

One thing I am not sure how to deal with in 4NCL is if to drop myself, I am an utter disgrace at playing @ 4NCL's and I've been captain for 7+ years now.

Ben
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Re: More 4NCL

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:44 pm

Ben Purton wrote:That being said , Mike Truran has an impossible job, finding hotels that suit chess players. He does very well and is I believe a volunteer, I would never be able to do his job better and I truly think few could do his job better. I think Sean Hewiitt must have had some influence in the hotel subsidy idea at least partly from 4NCL, considering he uses the same two firms.
Thanks for the compliment Ben but we don't have anything to do with the 4NCL hotel deal. We use the same chains (though often different venues) simply because there are few national chains that do this kind of business. We have also used Holiday Inn and hope to soon announce new events with both Holiday Inn and another chain. Mike has a much tougher job than me because

i) 4NCL needs more rooms and more playing space
ii) Typically, 4NCL players stay 1 night at the hotel (e2e4 players typically stay for 2 nights)
iii) 4NCL needs to book his events 18 months in advance

His job is made considerably harder by team captains shafting the hotels!

Alan Walton
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Re: More 4NCL

Post by Alan Walton » Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:30 pm

As good as the current venues are at the 4NCL, the problem is when the hotels are fully booked, because of the isolation of these venues, the nearest alternative hotels are a far distance away (last season, it cost me over £10 to get a taxi between the two Daventry venues, one-way). This also detracts from one of the positive aspects of the 4NCL, the social side

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Re: More 4NCL

Post by Mike Truran » Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:42 pm

I'm currently working with both De Vere and Barcelo to address the worsening problem of some captains block (over)booking rooms on a provisional basis, then releasing the rooms they don't need just before the weekend. This means that (a) the venues are out of pocket because they can't resell the rooms in the time available (Sean's point) - last weekend Staverton found itself 50 rooms short of what they thought the bookings would be (b) the 4NCL is out of pocket because it doesn't get commission on the unsold rooms (c) players can't get rooms because the venues think they're fully booked when they're not (Alan's point).

I hope to be in a position to send something out soon.

Alan Walton
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Re: More 4NCL

Post by Alan Walton » Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:55 pm

Mike,

The following could be used to prevent overbooking, where each team are only allowed to prebook a maximum of 8 single rooms at 4NCL rates (for one team, therefore 3Cs would be allowed 14 prebooked rooms max), therefore if they want extra rooms on top of this allocation they have to pay hotel standard rates, this maybe draconian but will solve the current problems

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Rob Thompson
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Re: More 4NCL

Post by Rob Thompson » Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:00 pm

Alan Walton wrote:Mike,

The following could be used to prevent overbooking, where each team are only allowed to prebook a maximum of 8 single rooms at 4NCL rates (for one team, therefore 3Cs would be allowed 14 prebooked rooms max), therefore if they want extra rooms on top of this allocation they have to pay hotel standard rates, this maybe draconian but will solve the current problems
better than a blanket enforcement of this is only to enforce it on teams that have had a habit of overbooking, i think.
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Alan Walton
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Re: More 4NCL

Post by Alan Walton » Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:12 pm

But Rob, it doesn't get rid of the problem in totality, if you don't want overbooking to occur at all then you have to have a rule in place for everybody

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