THANKS!

Venues, fixtures, teams and related matters.
Sean Hewitt
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Re: THANKS!

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue May 08, 2012 2:48 pm

LawrenceCooper wrote:
Mike Truran wrote:A big thank you to all our arbiters, game inputters, live game transmitters and other organisers (and of course our webmaster) for their efforts over the course of the 2011/2012 season.
Sadly the person writing the reports is running late this week having just returned from Romania. I will start work on it and hope to have a draft submitted sometime tomorrow :oops:
You were lucky they let you out the country you troublemaker :-)

Brian Valentine
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Re: THANKS!

Post by Brian Valentine » Tue May 08, 2012 5:19 pm

May I also add my thanks. As someone only picked for the Monday match, I was particularly pleased and grateful that the results and pairings were on line so quickly.

My only (minor) comment is this should be a key feature and it was not really advertised as being done on the main page of the 4NCL site.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: THANKS!

Post by Carl Hibbard » Tue May 08, 2012 8:49 pm

Mark Howitt wrote:Yes it was pretty good- ideally though there would be more live game coverage (like the German league) and maybe computer analysis. This would be a good area for the ECF to invest their players tax in!
A big thanks to Dave Clayton (and helper on site this time?) for doing all the hard work
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

Paul Dargan
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Re: THANKS!

Post by Paul Dargan » Wed May 09, 2012 8:19 am

It seems one big barrier is the travel distances - even Hinckley is a stretch for some for the final two weekends for Div3NS. Perhaps we could just run two parallel Division threes and accept that 1 team from the North and 3 from the South win promotion.

Of course this assumes that
(i) you could raise enough teams in the North to hold 11 rounds (but a 6 team double round Robin could work?)
(ii) that teams who are put-off by long travel distances are interested in being promoted to Div2 which will require trips to Sunningdale

Just me $0.02 but maybe a guaranteed promotion slot would increase take-up - it also happens to reflect what has happened in the first 2 seasons with one Northern team ending-up in the Top4 for the last 2 seasons.

Paul

Sean Hewitt
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Re: THANKS!

Post by Sean Hewitt » Wed May 09, 2012 9:00 am

Paul Dargan wrote:It seems one big barrier is the travel distances - even Hinckley is a stretch for some for the final two weekends for Div3NS. Perhaps we could just run two parallel Division threes and accept that 1 team from the North and 3 from the South win promotion.

Of course this assumes that
(i) you could raise enough teams in the North to hold 11 rounds (but a 6 team double round Robin could work?)
(ii) that teams who are put-off by long travel distances are interested in being promoted to Div2 which will require trips to Sunningdale

Just me $0.02 but maybe a guaranteed promotion slot would increase take-up - it also happens to reflect what has happened in the first 2 seasons with one Northern team ending-up in the Top4 for the last 2 seasons.

Paul
Personally I can't see the merit in the idea that a division with 6 teams in gets 1/3 of the promotion slots compared to a division with 32+ teams in.

North East England were well worthy of promotion this year (and with a bit of luck they could easily have won the division) but there's no guarantee that there would be similarly strong teams in future years.

I guess the real question is how many Northern teams really want to play in the mainstream 4NCL? I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if the answer this year was 1.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: THANKS!

Post by Sean Hewitt » Wed May 09, 2012 10:21 am

Bob Clark wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote: I guess the real question is how many Northern teams really want to play in the mainstream 4NCL? I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if the answer this year was 1.
I'm not sure I understand your question Sean.
I think that most of us who play in the northern league want it to be part of the mainstream 4NCL.
Hi Bob, sorry for not making the question clear. Perhaps a better way of phrasing it would be how many northern teams would want to play in Div2? Or Div3 for that matter, if the Northern league didn't exist?

Mick Norris
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Re: THANKS!

Post by Mick Norris » Wed May 09, 2012 10:47 am

My impression from last season was that Holmes Chapel and Cheddleton 2 would be interested in Div 2 if promotion were achieved, as were Atticus and Bradford A in practice

My impression is that Jorvik are not, that Bradford would be happy to get 2 teams promoted, and that NE England will accept promotion this year

The Manticores would like to be good enough to get promoted, and to then enter a team in Div 2 as well as a second team in the Northern League - we think the current split between 3 Northern League and 2 merged weekends is fine (although as we remain unbeaten at Hinckley Island after 8 matches, maybe we should think again :wink: )

Of course if e2e4 would put 1 of the teams in the Northern League, we would be happy
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Sean Hewitt
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Re: THANKS!

Post by Sean Hewitt » Wed May 09, 2012 12:25 pm

Mick Norris wrote:My impression from last season was that Holmes Chapel and Cheddleton 2 would be interested in Div 2 if promotion were achieved, as were Atticus and Bradford A in practice

My impression is that Jorvik are not, that Bradford would be happy to get 2 teams promoted, and that NE England will accept promotion this year

The Manticores would like to be good enough to get promoted, and to then enter a team in Div 2 as well as a second team in the Northern League - we think the current split between 3 Northern League and 2 merged weekends is fine (although as we remain unbeaten at Hinckley Island after 8 matches, maybe we should think again :wink: )
In which case, maybe the teams that want to be promoted could join the main Division 3 for the whole season, leaving those that don't to play in a stand alone division. I do find it strange that northern players used to argue that northern teams they didn't play in the 4NCL because it was southern centric / biased and too far to travel. Then the 4NCL created a northern league to play in but can't get enough support to make it viable. One wonders how long the hotels will live with the volumes. Meanwhile, southern teams are prepared to travel to the Midlands for their 4NCL chess because they appreciate just how enjoyable the 4NCL is.

None of this is criticism of the teams that play in the Northern league but I do wonder whether, for whatever reason, there is sufficient demand in the north.
Mick Norris wrote:Of course if e2e4 would put 1 of the teams in the Northern League, we would be happy
I seriously considered it at the start of the season and did ask my northern based players if they wanted to play in the Northern league. The answer, unanimously, was no so there is zero chance of an e2e4 team in the northern league. I think the reasons were three fold. Firstly, they don't consider the distances so great as to be prohibitive and secondly they prefer the social element that the national division gives. It was also commented that the players were likely to be ones that they would play locally anyway and that put some off. For me, it is far simpler administratively to have all teams in the same national division - but that's a small consideration. I guess 3Cs came to similar conclusions.

David Pardoe
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Re: THANKS!

Post by David Pardoe » Wed May 09, 2012 12:40 pm

I think the problem with 4NCL is that it is too `south-centric`, which almost automatically creates a kind of northern barrier.
The `merge process` for the Finals w/e at Hinckley is unfortunately skewed, so that, up to now, the `weakest` Northern sides find themselves paired against `easier opposition`. Hence you get situations like Manchester, who cant win a game in the Northern section, then turm round and knock ten bells out of the lower order `southern teams`....
Maybe the pairings could be adjusted...
Another problem for the northern league is that it keeps losing teams because of `one way` promotion...
I`d suggest splitting the two div 3 leagues more evenly, and perhaps adjusting the venues. Maybe a venue at Sheffield/Chesterfield might add some balance, and be applied to both Div 2 & Div 3. This would help balance the 4NCL leagues, so that the `north` were given a greater sence of `inclusion`...
But northern players are present in good numbers throughout various teams in the 4NCL, so its difficult for the northern league to draw additional players.
How can you call something `National` when quite clearly it is southern based....
BRING BACK THE BCF

Alan Walton
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Re: THANKS!

Post by Alan Walton » Wed May 09, 2012 12:41 pm

Sean, we did come to similar conclusions

Our view is that we wanted to expose our juniors to a different environment (north west chess does get a bit repetitive once to get to a higher level, I must have played Mike Surtees over a 100 times over my chess career)

Also having the first team around also helps, we are able to give instant feedback on their games

And finally being at the "main event" means our young juniors after finishing their games have the opportunity to walk around a see the top grandmasters ply their trade

I was speaking to a few players from the Northern League, and one person actually said he would consider not playing for his team unless they entered the "main event", it sounded like the social side of it was alot more enjoyable

Ideally, I would like one weekend further north (to counterbalance the Sunningdale), but from Manchester, Hinckley has only been taking just under two hours which isnt too bad

LawrenceCooper
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Re: THANKS!

Post by LawrenceCooper » Wed May 09, 2012 2:11 pm

Alan Walton wrote:Sean, we did come to similar conclusions

Ideally, I would like one weekend further north (to counterbalance the Sunningdale), but from Manchester, Hinckley has only been taking just under two hours which isnt too bad
I was wondering the same thing. Hinckley seems an ideal halfway house venue and being able to accommodate all the divisions is a big plus. In the early days I remember travelling north to Washington, Blackburn etc so once a year in the north shouldn't put off too many southern teams. If it would entice more northern teams is as yet unknown.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: THANKS!

Post by Sean Hewitt » Wed May 09, 2012 2:28 pm

LawrenceCooper wrote:Hinckley seems an ideal halfway house venue and being able to accommodate all the divisions is a big plus. In the early days I remember traveling north to Washington, Blackburn etc so once a year in the north shouldn't put off too many southern teams. If it would entice more northern teams is as yet unknown.
I agree. The other alternative, and this may not be viable, is to dump the Sunningdale / Latimer split weekend and have a 5th weekend in the Midlands - Hinckley, Daventry or elsewhere. The problem with that approach of course is that you could do all that and still not attract northern teams, whilst giving more traveling to the southern teams.
David Pardoe wrote:Another problem for the northern league is that it keeps losing teams because of `one way` promotion...
That only happened last year and couldn't be avoided as there were no northern teams in div 2! This year one northern team got promoted (and thoroughly deserved it was too) and one got relegated. Next year you could have four northern teams promoted, or none. Equally you could have two relegated or none. That's natural when you have a regional league feeding into a national one.
Bob Clark wrote:As to the future of the Northern league providing the teams that have entered this year, (With Bradford replacing NE England) all enter next year, then there is a chance that the league can grow to a sustainable level. I have heard of a couple of potential new teams for next season and hopefully more new teams will be encouraged to enter.
Positive news - fingers crossed!

David Pardoe
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Re: THANKS!

Post by David Pardoe » Wed May 09, 2012 3:20 pm

Sean,
This represents a major problem for the Northern League, which effectively loses nearly a qtr of its teams.
Coupled with the imbalances due to some northern teams heading south (sucked into the vortex...).
But this North -South divide could be healed by having some genuinely northern venues, which a united Div 3 & Div 2 could play at...and it would bring a vital sence of inclusivity to the table.
Obviously such moves would not instantly change things, but I do believe that venues such as Sheffield, York, and Harrogate should be high on the list of reforms to make 4NCL more genuinely `National` and not just `South centric`. Note, the ECF & BCF before it suffered from the same image problem, which partly accounts for Yorkist rebellion over Game Fee, etc.
Remember Sheffield 2011...the northern forces showed they can be a power in the land, even during times of great austerity, which are undoubtedly hitting the north hardest too....
Sheffield was a stunningly brilliant success, apart from CJs bad wardrobe day...but he too takes great credit for helping to make that event a success...
If some of our lifeless chess organisations could get there acts together British Chess might yet come out of the dark ages.
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Alan Walton
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Re: THANKS!

Post by Alan Walton » Wed May 09, 2012 3:35 pm

David,

3Cs weren't "sucked into the vortex", we entered the 4NCL nearly 13 years ago, then all divisions were played in central Birmingham, we eventually pulled out (approx 6 seasons ago was our last), due to the fact 2 or 3 weekends were down south.

When we realised 3 years ago that they had settled predominantly back in the Midland, we decided to re-enter feeling one weekend down south isn't a major inconveinence for good chess, and the "main event" seemed to work well the first time round improving our juniors (e.g Stephen Gordon), we decided that it would be the best place for our current young batch

People have to remember that the 4NCL is a National League, and I would say the best model would be all weekends in the Midlands (Hinckley seems fine), but over the years I have been playing I would say nearly 75% of the players are based in the South or Midlands, so I kind of see the logic having a southern venue

I would think that the northern league needs to double in size in its current form before changes overall can be considered
Last edited by Alan Walton on Wed May 09, 2012 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mick Norris
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Re: THANKS!

Post by Mick Norris » Wed May 09, 2012 3:36 pm

Bob Clark wrote:It was always going to be difficult for the Northern League to thrive, partly because a lot of the northern players who might have been interested were already playing in the main 4NCL.

However I would argue that the league has been a success, teams such as Bradford and Atticus would probably not have been formed without the inception of the northern league and they have both performed creditably in the second division this season.

I cant speak for the other teams, but I think it would be unlikely that Holmes Chapel would compete in the main league if the northern league is disbanded.

Like Mick I agree that the setup this year with two combined weekends has worked well, perhaps on future one of the combined weekends could be earlier in the season.

As to the future of the Northern league providing the teams that have entered this year, (With Bradford replacing NE England) all enter next year, then there is a chance that the league can grow to a sustainable level. I have heard of a couple of potential new teams for next season and hopefully more new teams will be encouraged to enter.
Indeed, I really enjoyed his weekend at Hinckley Island, but I would have preferred not to play (as original scheduled until 1 of our team had a problem) - our squad is split between those who prefer Hinckley, those who won't go to Hinckley at all and those who don't want to go to Hinckley twice :roll:

The journeys this weekend were OK, but then so was the weather - Hinckley in winter if it was snowing would be interesting, although Harrogate this February was tough and Redworth in January may be a bigger challenge
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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