Things you might have missed

Venues, fixtures, teams and related matters.
Jonathan Rogers
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Things you might have missed

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Tue May 05, 2015 4:22 pm

Random thoughts/observations: more will no doubt follow

1) Straight down again I believe this was the fourth time that all the promoted teams to the first division went straight down again. Moreover it has now happened in consecutive years (albeit that Oxford were reprieved from relegation at the end of last season due to the withdrawal of Wood Green 2). The first time was in 1998/99, the very first time that there were promoted teams; and the second time in 2009/2010. I don't think it happened on any other occasion but I haven't checked. (Of course it is de rigeur for most of the promoted teams to go down. Warwickshire have never stayed up and South Wales Dragons only survived once, each in several attempts).

2) Of course this is not to say that relegated teams tend to come up again, or at least, certainly not at once. The second division is far too competitive for that. BCM Dragons, winner of the second division with 100% in 2011/12, looked unlikley to return when in the second division in 2013/14 and were relegated this year; and Kings Head, who won the second division by a mile in 2012/13, were also worried about being relegated to the third division on their return this year.

3) In fact we have as many as three debutants in the first division next year; that, I believe, is a record (there were not even as many as that in the inaugural 1998/9 season, above). Even more astonishingly two of them had just been promoted to the second division and yet more astonishing one of them (Sussex Martlets) had even been making their second division debut. One welcomes Spirit of Atticus in particular though, for many reasons not least of which is that they are the only team who provide lively (and prompt) weekend reports of their matches.

4) Did David Howell make it to 2700 when he beat James Adair yesterday? Congratulations if so. He is not the first Englishman to secure 2700 at the 4NCL; Michael Adams did that by scoring 2/2 in March 1998 for Slough, before dropping half a point and leaving Slough forever in the following May weekend.

5) Again the pools were not quite equal, episode 94. In each of the top divisions, three of the four relegated teams came from the same starting pool, and the bottom two teams came from the same starting pool.

6) However, putting the Guildford teams in separate starting pools did at least ensure that the top two finishers came from different pools. (He says, provocatively). This is merely the third time that Guilford 1 and Guilford 2 have taken the top two positions, though the first time since we moved to the pool system in 2008/9, when Guildford 1 didn't win it (because they lost to their second team, and no, they didn't win it either).

7) For all the talk of Cheddleton's undoubted strength, and possible title challenge this year, this was actually the first time they finished as high as third. Expect this not to be mentioned by most 4NCL journalists. But perhaps that is why the Russians have not noticed them (see other thread).

8) Somehow one assumed it would be White Rose in third yet again, with the last weekend recruitment of John Emms confirming that they have now dropped the pretence of significant Yorkshire connections for their first team. But their second team earned promotion - well, hmm, they gained promotion - to the first division for the first time. This coincides with the first occasion when another team has been barred from being promoted on its merits (Guildford 3 finished fourth in the seond division - above White Rose 2 - but three teams from the same club are not allowed in the same division).

9) King and pawn endings Indeed they are not so easy. In two first division games in the same match (Barbican 2 v Wood Green), Houska v Berry and Speelman v Coleman, the result was not what it should have been. The full point swing in Houska v Berry enabled Barbican 2 to ensure its safety a day early. A shame that Mr Olly presumably missed it (see live games thread).

10) Yes, there was another fire alarm over the last weekend. Even I have lost count by now.

John McKenna
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Re: Things you might have missed

Post by John McKenna » Tue May 05, 2015 6:43 pm

I'm one up on Mr F. Olly then, because I missed all of the above apart from the irresistible rise of the Spirit of... Arturo Ui? I mean Atticus, no comparison intended but didn't they get away with murder?
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Richard Bates
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Re: Things you might have missed

Post by Richard Bates » Tue May 05, 2015 7:27 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:Random thoughts/observations: more will no doubt follow

5) Again the pools were not quite equal, episode 94. In each of the top divisions, three of the four relegated teams came from the same starting pool, and the bottom two teams came from the same starting pool.
Hadn't realised this at the time - but in this case is this not in part a quirk in the way they did the seedings? (of course there is always the possibility of unequal groups when certain teams weaken/strengthen dramatically from one season to the next). I would have thought that logically the four promoted teams should have occupied the bottom four seeding positions, but I presume that for some reason Oxford were assigned the bottom position after their reprieve courtesy of Wood Green II.

Alan Walton
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Re: Things you might have missed

Post by Alan Walton » Tue May 05, 2015 8:14 pm

Well hopefully 3Cs will stay up next season

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Things you might have missed

Post by MartinCarpenter » Tue May 05, 2015 10:27 pm

Must be a good chance I'd think. Spirit of Atticus look quite possible survivors too.

As for White Rose, well, even the cricket team is allowed overseas players nowadays ;)

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Things you might have missed

Post by LawrenceCooper » Wed May 06, 2015 9:24 am

I suspect 14 different female players playing for Midland Monarchs 1st and 2nd teams this season may be a league record for a season although P&P will have had a higher percentage in their early years.

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Ihor Lewyk
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Re: Things you might have missed

Post by Ihor Lewyk » Wed May 06, 2015 11:45 am

But their second team earned promotion - well, hmm, they gained promotion - to the first division for the first time.

I think you were right the first time, White Rose 2 earned their promotion. We actually beat Guildford 3 in our individual match and finished level on match points with them.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Things you might have missed

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed May 06, 2015 12:07 pm

Ihor Lewyk wrote:But their second team earned promotion - well, hmm, they gained promotion - to the first division for the first time.

I think you were right the first time, White Rose 2 earned their promotion. We actually beat Guildford 3 in our individual match and finished level on match points with them.
All very well. But you still finished fifth!

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Things you might have missed

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed May 06, 2015 12:23 pm

Could have been much sillier though :)

With Barbican youth in there too I presume there could relatively easily have been someone promoted in sixth place/potentially a very small points total indeed.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Things you might have missed

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed May 06, 2015 12:54 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote:Could have been much sillier though :)

With Barbican youth in there too I presume there could relatively easily have been someone promoted in sixth place/potentially a very small points total indeed.
Yes, if we (Barbican Youth) had had the same sort of team available in the final weekend as in the rest of the season, I think that the final qualifier would indeed have finished sixth!

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Ihor Lewyk
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Re: Things you might have missed

Post by Ihor Lewyk » Wed May 06, 2015 1:07 pm

All very well. But you still finished fifth!

I'll take it as joint 4th Jon.

Yes, if we (Barbican Youth) had had the same sort of team available in the final weekend as in the rest of the season, I think that the final qualifier would indeed have finished sixth!

All very well. But you didn't!

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Things you might have missed

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed May 06, 2015 1:12 pm

Ihor Lewyk wrote:All very well. But you still finished fifth!

I'll take it as joint 4th Jon.

Yes, if we (Barbican Youth) had had the same sort of team available in the final weekend as in the rest of the season, I think that the final qualifier would indeed have finished sixth!

All very well. But you didn't!
Tell me about it! :(

David Robertson
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Re: Things you might have missed

Post by David Robertson » Wed May 06, 2015 2:21 pm

Joint 4th? :shock: We were relegated from Div 2 two years back when 'joint 4th'. Alas, it said 6th on the final table, one game point short of safety. So off we went. And we had a little regroup, drawing on the lessons admirably described by Theodore Mommsen in his magisterial 'History of Rome' (vol 5, since you were about to ask) when, faced with a major setback in the Civil Wars, Pompey collapsed in despair. But Caesar's response to adversity was "to put forth yet mightier energies."

And so we did, building a 2nd team, and winning promotion back to Div 2 with the 1st. What's followed has rather shocked us. There was plenty of nervous laughter in the squad after we finished weekend 4, first with a safety-securing slugathon draw v. Barbican Yoof; then, with a convincing win over the Future Ruling Class 2. Those of our number who can count on their fingers reckoned we might already have done enough to sneak into Div 1.

But there the ill-ease rested for a month because we don't do 'sneak'; and we still had the three 'big beasts' from the much-harder Pool A yet to face. Our 'nightmare' was to win promotion from 5th or 6th on a technicality, to hoots of derision, having being slapped around the board by our fearsome opponents in weekend 5. Only after we'd handed out a delicious tonking to the Guildford juggernaut on Saturday did we finally start to believe. We dined happily that night in a valedictory celebration at our favourite restaurant. This could explain why the head-to-head battle for Cock-o'-the-North on Sunday slipped through our fingers. Had the Double Daves on 7 & 8 converted clear winning advantages, we'd have overcome a team who apparently stumble across French 2650 GMs under a bush on Saddleworth Moor. Never mind. He'll be needed next year.

And so to Sunday, very much an end-of-term jollity to the atmosphere in this match: lots of chat, even during the games, gentle banter between youngsters and oldsters. My opponent and I spent much of our time early on looking at the serious blood being spilled on the next board. Dave Latham, shell holes through his roof and front door off its hinges, was in hot pursuit of his young opponent's King, finally hunting it down on b3 (from h1). So kicking off a convincing win that concluded with Bret Lund winning at 5.20pm. Spirit of Atticus: last out of the room again. Again 8)

Now the nervous laughter can begin in earnest. Division 1. Wow. We only dreamed, nay hallucinated, this outcome five years ago when we started. Four of our very first team from Div 3N in 2010 were still present on Sunday evening (Carleton, Jackson, Ackley and myself). They'll be present again, dv, next November. In Division 1. On merit. Wow!

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Things you might have missed

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed May 06, 2015 3:31 pm

You did all really strike me as incredibly driven two seasons ago so I'm not so surprised at you doing so well since. Hope its a fun ride :) Div1 really does look awfully rough to me.

Meaningless of course but it makes me wonder who would get top Northern team this season.

If its based on having a team in 3N then obviously Cheddleton 1. If its by geography then it depends on what you qualify as northern! Whole UK competition so there's a non trivial case for making it just the NE teams, although York might well be just Northern enough, which would let White Rose 1 get it. Unless you don't like their guests ;)

Anyhow, all doing very well, which is very good to see :)

Leonard Barden
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Re: Things you might have missed

Post by Leonard Barden » Fri May 08, 2015 10:31 am

Jonathan Rogers wrote: 4) Did David Howell make it to 2700 when he beat James Adair yesterday?
I put this to http://www.2700chess.com/ who replied that David still needs another 2.2 points.

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