Move rates and League structure

Venues, fixtures, teams and related matters.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Move rates and League structure

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu May 02, 2013 1:49 pm

Simon Brown wrote: but I would guess that accommodation and transport alone would outweigh the cost of a Gold ECF membership.
Let us not forget that the cost of an ECF Gold membership is in addition to the costs of accommodation and travel and that at least some of the players are local to the venues. Regarding the cost as de minimis doesn't square with the 4NCL's wild card membership exemption, as Sean put it, to promote the growth of the League.

Simon Brown
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Re: Move rates and League structure

Post by Simon Brown » Thu May 02, 2013 2:01 pm

Roger, my point was that playing 4NCL is expensive, yet people are prepared to do it. The additional few pounds for membership is neither here nor there and lets you play for a whole year, not just a weekend. I have no view on the exemption - if Sean/ECF thinks it will promote the growth of the league, so be it.

My real point was that if ECF promoted and delivered its aims, services and products as well as Mike does, paying what for most people is not very much money at all would not cause the hassle I am reading about here.

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Ben Purton
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Re: Move rates and League structure

Post by Ben Purton » Thu May 02, 2013 2:08 pm

Simon Brown wrote:Roger, my point was that playing 4NCL is expensive, yet people are prepared to do it. The additional few pounds for membership is neither here nor there and lets you play for a whole year, not just a weekend. I have no view on the exemption - if Sean/ECF thinks it will promote the growth of the league, so be it.

My real point was that if ECF promoted and delivered its aims, services and products as well as Mike does, paying what for most people is not very much money at all would not cause the hassle I am reading about here.
Hotel is a reduced , you get to stay in a nice hotel.
Petrol for travelling etc is a formlaity if travelling.
Paying the ECF for sub rate, what do you actually do service............its priceless....in the sense the price should be signficantly less.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Move rates and League structure

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu May 02, 2013 2:43 pm

Simon Brown wrote: My real point was that if ECF promoted and delivered its aims, services and products as well as Mike does, paying what for most people is not very much money at all would not cause the hassle I am reading about here.
Much of the money raised by the ECF goes on paying for its Office in Battle. But isn't a major part of the costs of the Office, administering membership schemes?

David Pardoe
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Re: Move rates and League structure

Post by David Pardoe » Thu May 02, 2013 5:04 pm

Nobody for one minute is criticising Mike, or all the other people behind the scenes, who contribute to making this 4NCL a premier offering in UK chess.
What we are talking about is `how we might improve things further`, or at least try to..
Thats what my `alternative suggestions` were aimed at.
They could be `rubbish`, and get rejected. Some might have merit.

The comment about `costs` is important. Some seem to dismiss the costs of a weekend as if it were nothing, but even `Gold Membership` to some is a significant barrier. Hotels, food, transport does add up to a meaningful amount, but I tend to agree that the package represents good value.
The point about a rule change for Div 3 players to allow Silver Members to play is not about money, its about `value. At least 30 - 50% of games played in this division dont actually get FIDE rated. So, Im suggesting that it might help attract further interest by allowing the lower division to join with `Silver status`.
The recent debate was about `process`, and trying to ensure that a wide range of views are heard. Many of these might prove of little value, and get rejected, which is fine, but some might actually help take things forward.
Maybe at a future point these things can be addressed...
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David Robertson
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Re: Move rates and League structure

Post by David Robertson » Fri May 03, 2013 6:13 pm

I see Neil Graham would like to abolish the Northern League (email to 4NCL captains). Is there any chance of abolishing Neil Graham instead?

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Move rates and League structure

Post by MartinCarpenter » Fri May 03, 2013 8:10 pm

Seems a bit of a drastic response :)

Several years too early to judge things of course, but if the Northern league does remain stuck at 8 not especially strong teams the question will eventually need asking.

Andrew Bak
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Re: Move rates and League structure

Post by Andrew Bak » Fri May 03, 2013 9:15 pm

David Robertson wrote:I see Neil Graham would like to abolish the Northern League (email to 4NCL captains). Is there any chance of abolishing Neil Graham instead?
I don't think abolishing Neil Graham needs abolishing, but I would disagree with him about Division 3 North.

It has introduced approximately 100 new players into the 4NCL and most of these are new to FIDE-rated chess, just think of all the Gold Memberships this supplies ;).

Three Div 3 North teams have been promoted to Div 2, with the possibility of another two going up this year.

Hopefully more teams might be willing to try out Div 3 North next season as the Div 3 venues are going to be permanently seperate from Div 1 and 2 venues anyway!

Neil Graham
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Re: Move rates and League structure

Post by Neil Graham » Fri May 03, 2013 9:50 pm

I always welcome David Robertson's comments on this forum.

Firstly I have no idea of the financing of the 4NCL Division Three North or the deals with the hotels so I can't comment on the financial/commercial implications of not running this. However what can be said is that an entry of 8 in 2010/11; 6 in 2011/12; 8 in 2012/13 compared with over well over 30 in 4NCL South every year doesn't seem to me to be viable. Andrew suggests that "hopefully more teams might be willing .... next season". The facts as they stand is that the North Division has singularly failed to capture the imagination of players and that entries have shown no signs to date of reaching a level where the league is really sustainable. With Division Three now fixed in the Midlands adjacent to a motorway it would make far more sense to have a larger and more competitive Third Division at one venue where teams playing in the North are welcomed just are they are in the latter rounds now.

If, of course, David can find another eight teams to compete in the Third Division North it might just make it tenable. Martin Carpenter suggests that the question needs asking - well it's now been asked - let's see if there is a response.

Incidentally this was one of a number of proposals I put forward for discussion. Mike Truran suggested they were radical. I'll try and post the others on this site tonight if I get the opportunity.

David Pardoe
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Re: Move rates and League structure

Post by David Pardoe » Fri May 03, 2013 11:16 pm

Neil,
As has been said, the new 4NCL Northern league has already contributed significantly to the 4NCL party, and created several new Div 2 teams from the region. So, it definately offers a good and valuable chess option, and provides an opportunity for Northern teams to compete, without necessarily travelling all the way to Lecester & Daventry.
The league faces challenges, not least because of the `one-way` promotion system, which has drained teams from the Northern section. Also, the league faces challenges because the other part is long established, and has already sucked in significant numbers of players.
You mention that 4NCL Div 3 `south` has about 40 teams already. It might make more sense to redistribute some teams to balance up these leagues, not least, because the `south` league is excesively large, many may think.
But I do hope that the captains meeting will take the opportunity to consider a variety of options that have been posted and discussed here, along with those currently on the agenda..
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Andrew Bak
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Re: Move rates and League structure

Post by Andrew Bak » Fri May 03, 2013 11:29 pm

Neil Graham wrote:I always welcome David Robertson's comments on this forum.

Firstly I have no idea of the financing of the 4NCL Division Three North or the deals with the hotels so I can't comment on the financial/commercial implications of not running this. However what can be said is that an entry of 8 in 2010/11; 6 in 2011/12; 8 in 2012/13 compared with over well over 30 in 4NCL South every year doesn't seem to me to be viable. Andrew suggests that "hopefully more teams might be willing .... next season". The facts as they stand is that the North Division has singularly failed to capture the imagination of players and that entries have shown no signs to date of reaching a level where the league is really sustainable. With Division Three now fixed in the Midlands adjacent to a motorway it would make far more sense to have a larger and more competitive Third Division at one venue where teams playing in the North are welcomed just are they are in the latter rounds now.

If, of course, David can find another eight teams to compete in the Third Division North it might just make it tenable. Martin Carpenter suggests that the question needs asking - well it's now been asked - let's see if there is a response.

Incidentally this was one of a number of proposals I put forward for discussion. Mike Truran suggested they were radical. I'll try and post the others on this site tonight if I get the opportunity.
Don't forget that the main 4NCL also had very humble beginnings.

I think that Div 3 North is tenable with eight teams, the 4NCL also seem to think so as they have chosen to carry it on into a fourth season at least.

Completely seperate to this, how can this competition really be called the 4NCL when all the venues are in the middle of England and no teams from Scotland or Northern Ireland are taking part (have any ever taken part?). Then again, I guess it's not as bad as the USA and Canada calling their baseball finals the World Series!

Neil Graham
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Re: Move rates and League structure

Post by Neil Graham » Fri May 03, 2013 11:41 pm

I append the suggestions I made with the omission of the Div Three North one which is in the process of debate already.

a) Title - anyone hearing the title Four Nations Chess League would imagine it was something like the Six Nations Rugby Championship - ie an international match between four nations. There isn't any evidence at all of this being a competitive competition between teams from four nations. No Scottish teams for seasons, no Irish teams to speak of and just a few Welsh teams. Change the name to the National Chess League.

b) Division Names - in common with football, rugby, hockey rename the First Division - the Premier League and subsequent divisions First Division, Second Division and Third Division. There is some kudos in having a Premier Division to a National League and would certainly be more appealing to sponsors. Retitle the Divisions

c) Go back to a simple all-play-all structure. All the sports quoted above have a simple all-play-all structure with champions, runners-up, relegations and promotions. The current promotion/relegation pool system is unwieldy and to the outside observer incomprehensible. Go back after next season to 3 x 12 divisions of all-play-all and a Big Swiss fourth division. If necessary there can be a seeding sytem in the draw so seeded teams met at the end of the season. It's clear and preferable to the current structure.

d) New Teams start at the bottom - it will take three seasons for a new team to work it's way from Division Three to the Premier Division. This isn't unreasonable.

e) Public Relations/Publicity Officer we all know that there is a dearth of officers at every level of English chess; however I am sure that the 4NCL would benefit from someone with expertise in this field if you could find one.

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Re: Move rates and League structure

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri May 03, 2013 11:53 pm

Andrew Bak wrote:Completely seperate to this, how can this competition really be called the 4NCL when all the venues are in the middle of England and no teams from Scotland or Northern Ireland are taking part (have any ever taken part?). Then again, I guess it's not as bad as the USA and Canada calling their baseball finals the World Series!
I don't know which the four nations are; but until very recently, there was a team from Jersey and Guernsey combined that played in Division Three.

"Their baseball finals" is a very interesting way of summarising 115 years of rivalry between the National League and American League. :)

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Move rates and League structure

Post by MartinCarpenter » Sun May 05, 2013 9:35 am

It is interesting looking at venues for 4NCL North vs South next season.

With the 'southern' league playing all of its matches at what it is now the 'neutral' venue the travel really isn't very different from Leeds/Bradford to the southern league as it is to the north. While it isn't a totally obvious decision but to be honest if I was running a third division team from round there I'd be strongly looking at going 'south' next season because you get a far more varied field to play at a rather minimal additional travel cost. This really doesn't seem calculated to help the Northern league prosper :)

If they are going to try and keep both divisions running long term it would surely make more sense to shove the 'Southern' venues somewhere quite a bit more genuinely southern and bring the Darlington venue down somewhere around Leeds/York etc. (Harrogate must have some nice hotels!) That surrenders the far NE of course but they've not really been joining in anyway. And it might get a more even split team wise, with maybe even some midland teams going North?!

Or just combine the two. I'm certainly not sure if the current arrangements really stack up long term.

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Move rates and League structure

Post by LawrenceCooper » Sun May 05, 2013 11:13 am

Andrew Bak wrote:
David Robertson wrote:I see Neil Graham would like to abolish the Northern League (email to 4NCL captains). Is there any chance of abolishing Neil Graham instead?
I don't think abolishing Neil Graham needs abolishing
:lol:

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