Wood Green

Venues, fixtures, teams and related matters.
Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Wood Green

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:52 pm

Perhaps I still have it, but not on this computer. Do you really want to see it - it sounds as though your main concern is to find some compromise, not necessarily this in particular? But I wonder whether, in the 4NCL, the money problem will get you every time. You say you don't want to play Guildford 1 again - are you saying that you would not object if they recruited and fielded in Guildford 2 a number of new players of around the same strength?

I suspect you should be looking more to distinguish the 4NCL from other local competitions in this regard. Although the 4NCL is mainly an amateur affair, that is because it reflects the reality of Britisch chess. Nonetheless, its ambitions is to go beyond that, to give opportunities for professionals to earn money and to give amateurs the chance to play them. Objections to playing very strong teams, even if they are to bemoan the fact that they were less strong at other times in the season, sit rather uneasily with that.

Simon Ansell
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Re: Wood Green

Post by Simon Ansell » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:07 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:Perhaps I still have it, but not on this computer. Do you really want to see it - it sounds as though your main concern is to find some compromise, not necessarily this in particular? But I wonder whether, in the 4NCL, the money problem will get you every time.
I'm interested in the theoretical/mathematical "problem" (for want of a better word). I think the multiple team clubs definitely have something of an inbuilt advantage - you may disagree, but I haven't seen anyone challenge that assertion so far in this thread. The "money problem" (whatever that is) is irrelevant.
Jonathan Rogers wrote:You say you don't want to play Guildford 1 again - are you saying that you would not object if they recruited and fielded in Guildford 2 a number of new players of around the same strength?
No, I wouldn't object, because by the rules we are perfectly able to do that too - recruit new players and drop our underperforming IMs, such as myself, and replace them with much stronger players.
Jonathan Rogers wrote:I suspect you should be looking more to distinguish the 4NCL from other local competitions in this regard. Although the 4NCL is mainly an amateur affair, that is because it reflects the reality of Britisch chess. Nonetheless, its ambitions is to go beyond that, to give opportunities for professionals to earn money and to give amateurs the chance to play them. Objections to playing very strong teams, even if they are to bemoan the fact that they were less strong at other times in the season, sit rather uneasily with that.
I have no objection to playing strong teams - again, on the contrary. I am an amateur, and one of the main reasons I play chess (and in particular in the 4NCL) is to test myself against professionals/the best. I love playing them! But I also care for my team, as much as you do your team,so I'd prefer it to be a level playing field. Some teams abuse the situation, as Wood Green did in 2003/04 as you (and I also) referred to earlier - Beat Wood Green 1, draw with Guildford - doesn't matter, you still have to play them again if you're unfortunate with the fixtures.

Richard Bates
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Re: Wood Green

Post by Richard Bates » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:20 pm

Simon Ansell wrote:
Jonathan Rogers wrote:Perhaps I still have it, but not on this computer. Do you really want to see it - it sounds as though your main concern is to find some compromise, not necessarily this in particular? But I wonder whether, in the 4NCL, the money problem will get you every time.
I'm interested in the theoretical/mathematical "problem" (for want of a better word). I think the multiple team clubs definitely have something of an inbuilt advantage - you may disagree, but I haven't seen anyone challenge that assertion so far in this thread. The "money problem" (whatever that is) is irrelevant.
I think Jonathan's point, as is mine, is that rules such as the one you propose can never harm the team(s) with unlimited player resources (in the sense of being able to "buy in" virtually anybody, of whatever the required strength, to fill a vacancy in a team). Whereas they can have a devastating effect on team(s) who try to operate within a consistent and restricted squad where players will move between teams for perhaps no other reason than varied player availability from one game to the next. Whilst arguing that multi-team squads have an advantage under the current situation, they would almost certainly be at a disadvantage under the alternative rules (assuming no unlimited ability to buy in equivalent player resources).

I've sometimes wondered if i didn't miss my vocation in not seeking to become a lawyer.

Simon Ansell
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Re: Wood Green

Post by Simon Ansell » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:29 pm

Richard Bates wrote:
Simon Ansell wrote:
Jonathan Rogers wrote:Perhaps I still have it, but not on this computer. Do you really want to see it - it sounds as though your main concern is to find some compromise, not necessarily this in particular? But I wonder whether, in the 4NCL, the money problem will get you every time.
I'm interested in the theoretical/mathematical "problem" (for want of a better word). I think the multiple team clubs definitely have something of an inbuilt advantage - you may disagree, but I haven't seen anyone challenge that assertion so far in this thread. The "money problem" (whatever that is) is irrelevant.
I think Jonathan's point, as is mine, is that rules such as the one you propose can never harm the team(s) with unlimited player resources (in the sense of being able to "buy in" virtually anybody, of whatever the required strength, to fill a vacancy in a team).
Fine, but no reasonable rule is able to do that. I would love to see Aronian et al playing next weekend. Unfortunately, it won't happen and I'll be surprised if more than one of the new registrations is present.

Jonathan's examples are specific to his team. Barbican have never abused having two teams in the first division - Jonathan has managed the teams incredibly well over the years and I have great respect for that. This particular rule I proposed (or a similar one) may hurt them on occasion (and probably not drastically, by any means) - that's unfortunate, but what about the rest of us? I suspect not everyone cares enough or has enough time to produce a six-page document to argue/explore the case - that's all I'm trying to do.

Richard Bates
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Re: Wood Green

Post by Richard Bates » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:47 pm

Simon Ansell wrote:
Jonathan's examples are specific to his team. Barbican have never abused having two teams in the first division -
Hmmm. Not 100% sure about that... :wink:

Anyway, on a positive note, in 2005, my old team Richmond ran into Guildford 2 (with nothing to play for!), needing a win to stay up.

Their team: Kosten, Gallagher, Plaskett, Flear, Shaw, Flear, Chernaiev, Yurenok.

OK so we only drew and went down (thanks to myself losing a drawn K+P ending), but i am holding out hope that they won't be as strong as that on Saturday...!

Simon Ansell
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Re: Wood Green

Post by Simon Ansell » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:21 am

Richard Bates wrote:
Simon Ansell wrote:
Jonathan's examples are specific to his team. Barbican have never abused having two teams in the first division -
Hmmm. Not 100% sure about that... :wink:

Anyway, on a positive note, in 2005, my old team Richmond ran into Guildford 2 (with nothing to play for!), needing a win to stay up.

Their team: Kosten, Gallagher, Plaskett, Flear, Shaw, Flear, Chernaiev, Yurenok.

OK so we only drew and went down (thanks to myself losing a drawn K+P ending), but i am holding out hope that they won't be as strong as that on Saturday...!
Can't see a weak link in that team :)

I'm not sure how the discussion became specific regarding our Saturday match - that wasn't my point at all, and Jonathan is misunderstanding if he thinks it is. I'll restate that I'm more interested in the general theoretical argument regarding movement of players between connected teams in the same division than any specifics.

As I said in my first post in this thread:
Simon Ansell wrote: "My (and Richard's) team, Blackthorne Russia, are likely to be severely disadvantaged in round 9 vs Guildford 2 (I'm not trying to make excuses, and certainly not in advance of the match, as our relegation troubles are largely our own fault/due to unfortunate circumstances early in the season)"
Is one team being severely disadvantaged in a critical relegation battle more important than, say, Barbican, having minor trouble distributing their players for a couple of less relevant matches a season?

I don't know. I'm trying to find out.

William Metcalfe
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Re: Wood Green

Post by William Metcalfe » Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:29 am

The Durham league rules are very straight forward teams consist of 5 players if you have 2 teams in the same division you nominate the top 8 players by grade between the two teams 4 players each they can not play for the other team in the same division or play down leagues.All players in teams in lower divisions can play as often as they like for either team.
My club Darlington has two teams in the A division and 1 in the B division so 4 players are tied to either the A or B team but every other club member is free to play for any of the 3 teams as often as they want.

The Cleveland league has similar rules about nominating your top 8 players but once you have played for any team in a higher division you are tied to that 1 team
So we have one team in A division B division C division so 4 players are tied to our A and B teams and can not play down but players from the B and C teams can all play up.If we had two teams in same division then things get tricky as a player playing up is then tied to that team in higher division but he can still play for his team in lower league.
So our players have the opportunity to play plenty of chess and we can play more teams in the leagues that can only be good for local leagues and good for players
I am speaking here for myself and not the NCCU which i am now president of

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Wood Green

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:25 am

Simon asked

"This particular rule I proposed (or a similar one) may hurt them [Barbican] on occasion (and probably not drastically, by any means) - that's unfortunate, but what about the rest of us? "

This made me smile. "What about the rest of us"! I had always assumed that Barbican have been the primary victims of Wood Green and Guildford strengthening their second teams with first team regulars in the final weekend. Consider:

2002/3 - Wood Green 2 play Ward and Martin (first team regulars) in their round 10 match v Barbican 2. they win 4.5 v 3.5 and this could easily have spelt relegation for Barbican 2. A drawn match would have left them safe.

2004/5 - Wood Green 2 play Barbican 2 in the second division in round 10, and are strengthened by a German IM and other second team regulars. Again, they win 4.5 v 3.5 and this could have derailed Barbican 2's bid for promotion.

The next day, round 11, Barbican 1 play Wood Green 2, more strengthened than ever because of course superstars play in Wood Green 1 for the season finale v Guildford. Speelman plays for Wood Green 2 for the first time ever in this match; it might have been Baburin and Arakhamia's first appearance for Wood Green 2 too. Cheers all round when Barbican win anyway to clinch third.

2005/6 - Barbican 1 play Guildford 2 in round 10, featuring Flear, Chernaiev (and maybe someone else) from the ealier match between the first teams. Guildford 2 win and play a part in Barbican from falling from third place as they were at the time.

2006/7 - a beefed up Guildford 2 beat Barbican 1 in round 10 again, albeit that this time Barbican 1's season had already gone pear shaped.

2007/8 - a third consecutive Barbican 1 v Guildford 2 encounter in the final weekend. This time it is in the final round and Guildford 1 cannot be caught. The Guildford 2 is stacked as far as possible since second place is at stake: Howell, N Pert, King and Kosten all play against Barbican 1 for the second time. They win and finish second.

2008/9 - Wood Green 2 are back, and in round 10 Greet and McDonald (maybe others) play against Barbican 1 for the second time. The match is drawn, though as in 2006/7, this time Barbican 1's main ambitions have already been thwarted.

2010/11 - Barbican 2 is in serious relegation trouble and needs a draw with Wood Green 2 in round nine to keep survival "in their own hands". Greet and Hanley play against them for the second time, and there is McDonald on board six and another GM on board eight - and it's another 4.5 v 3.5 victory for Wood Green 2.

Quite a catalogue, huh? And don't get me started on how many times I personally have played the same player twice in a season - I am sure I hold the record here too....

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Wood Green

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:47 am

Jonathan Rogers wrote: I had always assumed that Barbican have been the primary victims of Wood Green and Guildford strengthening their second teams with first team regulars in the final weekend.
I suppose there could be a rule which barred second teams with squads shared with a first team from the first division entirely. The likely effect of this would presumably be a permanent road block of Wood Green 2, Guildford 2 and Barbican 2 at the top of the second division with the other second division teams getting the "benefit" when the first team squads were strengthened.

Professional football has a concept of player loan. So whilst the top clubs have enough players for two teams, in practice they are prepared to lend players not required for first team matches to lower division teams on condition that the lower team plays the wage bill.

Chess has a very strong tradition of one player, one squad, with mid season transfers not allowed, but I wonder if some form of loan system could be made to work in the context of 4NCL rules?

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Wood Green

Post by LawrenceCooper » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:53 am

Jonathan Rogers wrote: And don't get me started on how many times I personally have played the same player twice in a season - I am sure I hold the record here too....
Thankfully I only had to face you with black in successive weekends once, perhaps it was no surprise that I drew the very boring game and lost the interesting one :oops:

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Ben Purton
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Re: Wood Green

Post by Ben Purton » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:55 am

It is interesting and quite sad that the longest discussion of any 4NCL "team" has been a 'problem' with the most successful team in it's history.
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I would die happy if I beat Wood Green in the Eastman Cup final - Richmond LL captain.
Hating the Yankees since 2002. Hating the Jets since 2001.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Wood Green

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:10 pm

Anyway - more to the point Simon, who does not have a problem with two teams in the same division in principle, wants to know whether the inconveniences of his proposed rule would be all that unbearable. I think the answer is Yes; they would have made all such amateur teams quite unworkable back in 2004. Once I were to play in the first team against x in the first team, I would not have been able play in the second team v x in the next weekend - AND SO (if ony to avoid a default lower down the chain) I play in the first team again that day, against y, and then I cannot play in the second team later on against y either, and so on - and at some point I might be unable to play on one day for either first or second team.

To some extent the problems are admittedly not as extreme as back in 2004, because nowadays, under the new format, our first and second teams are not constantly playing the same opponents - this only happens now in the last four matches of the season. But still it is a problem. If I were unable to play v Cambridge in round 9 this year and if I were unable (because of the 80 point rule) to play in the first or youth team, we would be at real risk of a consequent default. Big (amateur) clubs tend not to have lots of reserves - you are normally only just filling the lowest team in the chain. You can't be having regular players missing out on games even when they are available and willing to play. And it would be impossible to get many players to a weekend at all, if they have to miss one of the games for such a reason.

Not that any of this inconveniences the teams with money, as already mentioned.

But I want to return to another theme. Simon says that he is not bothered about playing a very strong Guildford 2 line up, not even if they recruited lots more 2500s and played them, instead of the regulars 2500s they already played when they played against Guildford 1. His objection is purely to playing exactly the same players again. Well, if he says that is his concern, then of course I believe him. But isn't it an odd concern? Is it such a big deal to play the same player twice instead of two games against different opponents but of the same level? Isn't it the case that 95% of the people who would support his rule are those who would also find something wrong if Guildford 2 were to import a team of new 2500s in order to get around such a rule?

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Wood Green

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:31 pm

Ben Purton wrote:It is interesting and quite sad that the longest discussion of any 4NCL "team" has been a 'problem' with the most successful team in it's history.
Just in case there was any misunderstanding, I was not complaining about the series of Wood Green 2/Guildford 2 matches listed above - just noting them in response to an assumption that it is only "the rest of us" (excluding Barbican) who are affected!

Lawrence now reminds me that Beeson Gregory 2 also stacked against Barbican 1 in round five in 2001/2 - and this was really the equivalent of the last weekend problem, because on that occasion their first team was playing for the title v Wood Green in round six.

Simon Ansell
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Re: Wood Green

Post by Simon Ansell » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:13 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote: Is it such a big deal to play the same player twice instead of two games against different opponents but of the same level? Isn't it the case that 95% of the people who would support his rule are those who would also find something wrong if Guildford 2 were to import a team of new 2500s in order to get around such a rule?
I think it is a big deal. It's the principle. Anyone can import new players if they have the desire and budget to do so the playing field is level here. But I would suggest that teams that regularly do this will soon find themselves short of regular players, who don't wish to play for such a "team". Such a policy will soon get prohibitively expensive.

Assume everyone has zero budget. The multi-team clubs can, for important matches, pick and choose from their much larger squads:
- players who have a good record against a particular opponent (if I have 0/6 against a particular opponent, is it fair that I should play him twice rather than another player of notionally the same strength?)
- players who are in-form
- players who are good with White to play White
- players who are particularly solid with Black to play Black
and so on.

There is a definite inbuilt advantage. Does anyone disagree?

If that is accepted, shouldn't something be done about it? Not necessarily in the exact form I proposed, but by definition any rule of this nature (new restrictions) will cause some unwanted side-effects. I am searching for a compromise.

It doesn't help that in the past some teams have abused their power - Barbican are not one of them, as Jonathan is well aware!

Simon Ansell
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Re: Wood Green

Post by Simon Ansell » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:26 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote: I had always assumed that Barbican have been the primary victims of Wood Green and Guildford strengthening their second teams with first team regulars in the final weekend.
This may or may not be true - I don't know, and yes, that is quite a catalogue. But you can't really complain about it if you want the status quo to remain - fine, that's your opinion - the benefits of the (lack of) current rules outweigh the negatives. I hold the opposite opinion, and think there is a case for reform.

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