4NCL 2016-17 arrangements

Venues, fixtures, teams and related matters.
David Robertson
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4NCL 2016-17 arrangements

Post by David Robertson » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:19 pm

...in anticipation of imminent announcements, a thread to seek constructive solutions

Alan Walton
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Re: 4NCL 2016-17 arrangements

Post by Alan Walton » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:52 pm

I have just replied back to the email and suggested swapping the Div1/2 final weekend to Telford and moving the Div3S to Wokefield

More teams are affected with the travelling in Div1/2 compared with Div3S (relabelled Div 3 South and Midlands), if the minority of Midland teams in Div3/4 who worry about the additional southern weekend still have the option of the Northern League

David Robertson
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Re: 4NCL 2016-17 arrangements

Post by David Robertson » Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:06 pm

For avoidance of doubt, I've seen the details, but as Alan's post above indicates, 4NCL consultations are ongoing. Hence I'm not willing to comment on proposals while matters remain fluid. It would help no one in an awkward, and probably stressful position to have to respond to a general kicking-off at this stage. I do suspect, however, that opinion will need to be offered, once formal proposals emerge

NickFaulks
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Re: 4NCL 2016-17 arrangements

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:43 pm

David Robertson wrote: Hence I'm not willing to comment on proposals while matters remain fluid.
So why did you start the thread?

Mick Norris
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Re: 4NCL 2016-17 arrangements

Post by Mick Norris » Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:44 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
David Robertson wrote: Hence I'm not willing to comment on proposals while matters remain fluid.
So why did you start the thread?
To annoy you :lol:
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

David Robertson
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Re: 4NCL 2016-17 arrangements

Post by David Robertson » Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:49 pm

Mick Norris wrote:
NickFaulks wrote:
David Robertson wrote: Hence I'm not willing to comment on proposals while matters remain fluid.
So why did you start the thread?
To annoy you :lol:
That would be reason enough. But in fact, to prepare for an appropriate discussion in due course, so removing the off-topic material in the Div 3N thread

David Robertson
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Re: 4NCL 2016-17 arrangements

Post by David Robertson » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:01 pm

OK, we have progress - of some kind.

First, the very good news: no more HIBA. What began as a promising relationship, soon went off the boil. We'll not miss it

Second, the pretty good news: Wokefield Park & Telford have been switched for Div 1/2 & Div 3/4S. Alan Walton's plea is heard. The former replaces HIBA for weekend 1; but the northern teams in Div ! & 2 need make the long trip just once. Telford is of course far from ideal for southern teams from the top divisions. But there's a trade-off with Northampton for weekends 2 & 3. Good news for lower southern teams: four weekends at WP

Third, the Mick Norris favouritism news: 3N has two weekends in Bolton! Who said the 3n teams have all the fun? :shock:

Fourth, the grim news: booking arrangements, via an agency, will make team captains blanch! They must take on all the financial risk and revenue recovery. No more idle day-dreaming for them then.

Matthew Parry
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Re: 4NCL 2016-17 arrangements

Post by Matthew Parry » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:14 pm

My understanding from the e-mails is that hotels aren't prepared to take on the risk of allowing the NCL to guarantee the block. Given the history of the competition which, in my experience, has reflected higher demand than supply for available rooms, this demonstrates a remarkable lack of judgement and commercial awareness. But there we are and if they won't go for it then they won't.

There have been lots of improvements to the agency booking procedure and while it is not perfect, I think it meets most of the concerns, in particular as it isn't really asking too much for your players to be reliable and pay the money when asked, whether to the captain or to the agency directly, 24 hours before the event. My one concern is if it will encourage the hotel to be more laid back about their standards as they will have the money in the bank rather than be faced with a customer threatening not to pay if a significant issue does arrive, but that's no different to paying in advance for a cheaper tariff.

Personally, it would have been good to see the weekends merged at least once, but the bigger picture looks far better now than it did before. At least in my view, which I accept may be entirely in the minority.

Mike Truran
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Re: 4NCL 2016-17 arrangements

Post by Mike Truran » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:46 pm

My one concern is if it will encourage the hotel to be more laid back about their standards as they will have the money in the bank
I don't think that will be a particular concern. The way it works is that Bridge Overseas will get the money from block bookings in on the Friday and will then pay the hotels early in the following week once the final rooming list reconciliations have been completed.

Mick Norris
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Re: 4NCL 2016-17 arrangements

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:52 pm

David Robertson wrote:Third, the Mick Norris favouritism news: 3N has two weekends in Bolton! Who said the 3n teams have all the fun? :shock:
Well, lovely as Bolton is :wink: I do get to spend most weekends here, so for me I would prefer somewhere that I can justify staying over at the hotel - what it will help is me calling in to see the team when (as is usually the case) I'm not playing - or indeed, skipping the chess and just going to the team meal :lol:
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Mike Truran
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Re: 4NCL 2016-17 arrangements

Post by Mike Truran » Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:08 pm

My apologies again for a situation that is far from ideal for a number of teams - although to be fair a situation that was not of our making. The legacy of Hinckley Island and Daventry Court letting us down so badly was difficult enough to cope with. Having HIBA do the same made things well nigh intolerable.

Please bear with us. If we can get through the coming season OK I am pretty certain that the arrangements for 2017/2018 are going to be a lot more satisfactory - if only because we have already started discussions with venues.

If there are silver clouds, they are that: (a) the deal we have struck with Bridge Overseas means that the 4NCL's financial position should be reasonably secure for a good few years; (b) we continue to receive free conference space from all of our venues; (c) bedroom rates have been kept low, and at a significant discount to open market rates; (d) the new booking arrangements, although they change the financial and operational dynamics somewhat, do mean that captains and players now have a single point of contact for all bedroom booking matters - and the feedback we have had so far from our congresses is that players are pretty happy with the arrangements.

Nobody can deny that things aren't perfect - but we have, I think, come through quite a dangerous period for the 4NCL in some sort of shape, and the future looks promising. Please don't give up on us now!

Alan Walton
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Re: 4NCL 2016-17 arrangements

Post by Alan Walton » Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:34 pm

I agree when booking for the congress as an individual it was very smooth and efficient, so apart from the slight inconvenience of one person being liable within a team I think it should run fine

Also very pleased that there is a sensible mix of venue locations

Thank you Mike for all your hard efforts

MartinCarpenter
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Re: 4NCL 2016-17 arrangements

Post by MartinCarpenter » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:31 pm

Definitely :) Must be a truly horrible task! Sounds like it worked out quite well too.

I'm intrigued about this Bolton venue - is it Bolton Bolton or somewhere in the countryside a bit away from Bolton?

LawrenceCooper
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Re: 4NCL 2016-17 arrangements

Post by LawrenceCooper » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:49 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote:Definitely :) Must be a truly horrible task! Sounds like it worked out quite well too.

I'm intrigued about this Bolton venue - is it Bolton Bolton or somewhere in the countryside a bit away from Bolton?
Mercure Georgian House which I assume to be this one: http://www.mercurebolton.co.uk/

MartinCarpenter
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Re: 4NCL 2016-17 arrangements

Post by MartinCarpenter » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:55 pm

Thanks. Not quite Buxton but enough out that it'll be surprisingly nice :)

Looks very safely walkable from Blackrod or Horwick parkway too, so very commendable.

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