Final weekend (2013-14 season)

Venues, fixtures, teams and related matters.
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Christopher Kreuzer
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Final weekend (2013-14 season)

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:04 pm

Maybe slightly early to be thinking about the final weekend of the 2013-14 season (when the draws are published would be the more logical moment), but does anyone have any thoughts on who are favourites for winning the divisions and for promotion and relegation? Or is it all too close to call?

http://www.4ncl.co.uk/tbs_1314.htm

Division 1c: it is close in terms of game points. Will Guildford 1 be able to overhaul Wood Green HK 1 on game points before the final round clash? Can White Rose 1 pull off a shock defeat of Guildford 1? Can Cheddleton down Wood Green HK 1? Who will qualify for that spot in that European team competition? [Probably. No. No. Who cares?]

Division 1d: it looks like any of the teams in positions 2-6 could currently go down (things look dire for Kings Head 1 and Grantham Sharks 2), though Wood Green HK 2 are presumably safe if they are strengthened by a knock-on effect from their first team. So which of Oxford 1, 3Cs 1, Blackthorne Russia, and Cambridge University 1 are likeliest to survive/go down?

Division 2c: presumably the top four will come from the current top 5, but looks very close. Warwickshire Select 1, The AD's, Cambridge University 2, Hackney, Bristol 1. Which team, on paper, is the weakest there?

Division 2d: Brown Jack sitting comfortably on top of this table, but it is still desperately close. Huge swings possible as Rhyfelwyr Essyllwg were top before round 8 and a big loss sent them plummeting to 6th place! Things look bleak for the bottom 2 teams (Bradford DCA Knights A and Poisoned Pawns), but the top six could all still go down or survive (though not all of them, obviously)

Division 3: Guildford 3 to win with 100%. Seventeen (17) teams in the chasing pack of teams on 13 to 10 match points (six points available from the final weekend). After Guildford 3's spot is accounted for, only three promotions spots available...

Colin S Crouch
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Re: Final weekend (2013-14 season)

Post by Colin S Crouch » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:13 pm

The main candidate for demotion from Division 1 was obvious, even before the first round had even started. This was of course Grantham Sharks 2 :lol:

Under a complete fiasco of management by Kevin McCarthy :lol: :oops: Grantham Sharks managed to lose three IMs and an Olympiad member before the round had even started. McCarthy decided to drop two disabled players (myself and Chris Ross) and he did not have the guts to say that the two players were being dropped. Even when both of us sent emails, he did not reply. Two other players refused to play for the team.

McCarthy consistently boasted that he was good at dealing with managers from other teams, and indeed he was trying to set up a packaged draw with 3Cs. It folded, because various other players did not like it. Various other teams were of course well aware of what Pandora's Box might be wanted to try. It seems though, from posts with one of the 4NCL, that at least some arbiters had no suspicion of what was going on.

McCarthy's handling of players much stronger than himself proved to be disastrous.

Why Grantham Sharks 2? Simple. There was a merger between Sharks and Grantham Pandore's, effectively between players from players from the Sharks Team, and a few remnants of the former Pandora's squad. This was never a first division squad, but I guess it would have been even worse if Ben Purton had not stepped in.

Next interesting question: will Grantham Sharks 2 get whitewashed? :D :lol:

See the final weekend ... :)

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Final weekend (2013-14 season)

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:22 pm

Oh dear. Have I opened a Pandora's Box? A thread on 4NCL team management might get rather long and acrimonious. Maybe it might be better to talk about which top GMs might get flown in for the final weekend? (Even if only on paper).

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Re: Final weekend (2013-14 season)

Post by Colin S Crouch » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:26 am

The question here for the 4NCL is to try to ensure that a promoted team, especially going up to the top division, is not vastly weaker than the team which was aiming for promotion in the first place. Fines, perhaps?

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Re: Final weekend (2013-14 season)

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:39 am

Christopher Kreuzer wrote: Maybe it might be better to talk about which top GMs might get flown in for the final weekend? (Even if only on paper).
If I'm playing in the final weekend, I will have to face Barbican Youth. I'm wondering to what extent "squad orders" will affect their disposition of players. Usually Barbican 1 are fighting for a qualification place in the Euros whilst Barbican 2 have to fight off relegation and thus Barbican 3 are mostly left with players not selected for the top two teams

This season Barbican 2 have contrived to qualify for the div 1 Championship section, with Barbican 1 in the demotion pool, although leading it.

Barbican Youth (3) have the toughest fight with no teams obviously safe in the Division 2 demotion pool.

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Re: Final weekend (2013-14 season)

Post by David Robertson » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:29 pm

You can be sure Barbican Youth will not be allowed to go down. Their expensively-educated youngsters are not expecting to slum it in Life's third division - and definitely not in the 4NCL. If their own efforts won't suffice, help will be to hand - as we found last year

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Re: Final weekend (2013-14 season)

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:51 pm

David Robertson wrote:You can be sure Barbican Youth will not be allowed to go down. Their expensively-educated youngsters are not expecting to slum it in Life's third division - and definitely not in the 4NCL. If their own efforts won't suffice, help will be to hand - as we found last year
To read this, you could be forgiven for thinking that David's team was beaten by Barbican Youth fielding a host of "helpers" last year. In fact David's team won, and Barbican Youth that day fielded three juniors and a female player (and there would have been a fourth junior had he not fallen ill when travelling up). Actually David sealed the victory by beating a nine year old. So what they have to complain about is anyone's guess. I thought we had actually helped them to try to survive...

As to the "expensively-educated youngsters" bit - what is the agenda here?! I mean, we don't actually ask our younger juniors about their schooling and social background when selecting them, but I'm pretty sure that Richard Palliser, Lawrence Trent, Lorin d'Costa, David Eggleston and George O'Toole, to name but a few, did not go to expensive schools. (Actually I do know about George, he went to a grammar school for girls, but I digress ...)
Last edited by Jonathan Rogers on Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Final weekend (2013-14 season)

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:05 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote: Usually Barbican 1 are fighting for a qualification place in the Euros whilst Barbican 2 have to fight off relegation
I have to correct this. This is the third consecutive year when Barbican 2 has made the championship pool - so it has now done so three times out of six. It really is quite a feat for a wholly unsponsored club and I don't expect anyone to imitate it in the foreseeable future. Even Wood Green and Guildford, with all their tens of thousands, have managed to get their second teams in the championship pool only twice in the six years under the new system.
Roger de Coverly wrote: This season Barbican 2 have contrived to qualify for the div 1 Championship section, with Barbican 1 in the demotion pool, although leading it.
Ok, but I take issue with the word "contrived". The second team has never fielded any regular in-form first team players. Indeed the best performing second team player (Chris Dorrington) was quicky seized by the first team. It just happens that our regular second team players have been in form while the same has not been true of everyone in the first team. (And, the first team has not been lucky. It is very rare to finish with 8/14 matchpoints in a pool and still be in its bottom half!).

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Ben Purton
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Re: Final weekend (2013-14 season)

Post by Ben Purton » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:00 pm

Colin S Crouch wrote:The main candidate for demotion from Division 1 was obvious, even before the first round had even started. This was of course Grantham Sharks 2 :lol:

Under a complete fiasco of management by Kevin McCarthy :lol: :oops: Grantham Sharks managed to lose three IMs and an Olympiad member before the round had even started. McCarthy decided to drop two disabled players (myself and Chris Ross) and he did not have the guts to say that the two players were being dropped. Even when both of us sent emails, he did not reply. Two other players refused to play for the team.

McCarthy consistently boasted that he was good at dealing with managers from other teams, and indeed he was trying to set up a packaged draw with 3Cs. It folded, because various other players did not like it. Various other teams were of course well aware of what Pandora's Box might be wanted to try. It seems though, from posts with one of the 4NCL, that at least some arbiters had no suspicion of what was going on.

McCarthy's handling of players much stronger than himself proved to be disastrous.

Why Grantham Sharks 2? Simple. There was a merger between Sharks and Grantham Pandore's, effectively between players from players from the Sharks Team, and a few remnants of the former Pandora's squad. This was never a first division squad, but I guess it would have been even worse if Ben Purton had not stepped in.

Next interesting question: will Grantham Sharks 2 get whitewashed? :D :lol:

See the final weekend ... :)

Firstly Colin I want to congratulate both the ex-Grantham players for putting up a valiant effort in scoring 0.5/3 against our(myself and Kev's) so called weak sides.

It is interesting that a "fiasco" includes 4 potential norms, qualifying for Europe and nearly winning 7 out of your 8 games. After all it is Pandora's Box which technically are Grantham Sharks 1 have had their greatest season as an amateur entity. I find it interesting that questioning the "understanding" issue of stronger players. Most captains are at the bottom end of their teams in the 4NCL. I will maybe captain 20-30 more years of sides but I will never have a better season in terms of giving players what they want and also the tactics working perfectly.

Our second team was given a chance to play division one because Sambuca Sharks were not relegated due to the Jutes of Kent withdrawal. What are you suggesting? I go "oh sorry guys as much as you'd like to play GM's, Colin Crouch won't be happy on the ECF forum so I'm afraid it is div 2 this year". Also criticising how we are doing is also criticising Kings Head, they are on 0 also and have less game points. I believe lots of these players make up your Middlesex county team, it is a shame. Grantham Sharks 2 just got 2.5 against Wood Green 1 , the joint highest score against them all season thus far. I am pretty sure e2e4 should have lost against GS2 if Varnam had put away James Jackson.

I run a team with incredible unity, most of the side have been friends for well over half their lives. They have exceeded all my expectations this season. I am proud of them and Kev's players have had key moments in that season.

If you are bitter about things with you and Kev, fine. But do not criticise my teams who both deserve to be in this division and have performed above all expectations.
Last edited by Ben Purton on Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Final weekend (2013-14 season)

Post by KMcCarthy » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:54 pm

I generally do not bother to comment in here but as Mr Crunch has called in to question my frankly appalling captaincy down the years enough is enough ...read and copy because it will no doubt get removed.

Firstly ...I started Pandora's several years ago with 7 players and we have fought our way into div 1 twice and survived once ...along the way there were good and less good players but all sociable and played as a team - and generally paid their way.

Jerzy Slaby IM, a very good friend (and conqueror of Adams with black in our heyday), moved abroad and is unavailable
Richard Polaczek IM, ditto. lives and works in Belgium and follows every match and remains a well-respected member of the squad when we can get him over if he is not playing in Belgian League

Whilst the facts need not get in the way of a Crouch rant, myself and Ben plus some others go back a long way from playing for Slough Sharks - we decided to merge when it appeared we would have one div1 and one div2 side ...a proviso being that Crouch and Ross would not be part of it ...this was from several sharks and 2 of my existing squad who refused to play in a side with them any more...a simple decision in the end

Whilst generally Crouch had underachieved on the playing front ...Chris Ross had a strong season on the middle boards in division 2 BUT neither player paid a penny to play in an amateur side for 2 years, relied frequently on one of the players to ferry all over without a word of thanks let alone a donation for petrol - both are high maintenance in the extreme NOT as mooted due to disability but attitude and social skills - I no longer play much chess and have no time for 'clowns' who freeload and then turn against the hand that fed them - God knows what his rumble about a 'captains draw' with 3Cs was about ...if i recall correctly I was drunk as a skunk that weekend as non playing gopher, sorry captain. It has been mentioned elsewhere that we are more than happy with the season so far and funny to hear the clown still whittling on ...Once a Shark it seems

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Re: Final weekend (2013-14 season)

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:35 am

I can certainly vouch for Chris Ross being an 'interesting' character to captain at times :) Nice person (and a very fine chess player!) and well behaved in the Yorkshire league this year but definitely non trivial mantainance.

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Re: Final weekend (2013-14 season)

Post by Andrew Camp » Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:29 pm

It's serious stuff, this board game!
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Re: Final weekend (2013-14 season)

Post by KMcCarthy » Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:47 pm

On the subject of final weekend 4NCL I will be there to bumble around, mess things up and generally arrange fixed matches as part of a Far East betting coup whilst drinking in the Triumph Bar ...and am probably available to play should anyone be short and need to avoid defaults ... :lol:

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Re: Final weekend (2013-14 season)

Post by Joey Stewart » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:27 am

I would like to hear some more about the grantham sharks scandal - the rest of the team has been very quiet about the issue, I thought they would come out with vocal support for their captain (or dissent, if they felt he was in the wrong) rather then just silence.
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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Final weekend (2013-14 season)

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:49 am

Joey Stewart wrote:I would like to hear some more about the grantham sharks scandal - the rest of the team has been very quiet about the issue, I thought they would come out with vocal support for their captain (or dissent, if they felt he was in the wrong) rather then just silence.
Not sure that is the best use of the forum, but it's up to Carl really. I am a bit miffed that this thread has turned into a grouching session. Would it be possible to split that off somewhere else and get this one back to discussing possible last weekend scenarios, if there is any appetite for that?

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