Div 3 North 2016-17

Venues, fixtures, teams and related matters.
David Robertson
Posts: 2143
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:24 pm
Contact:

Re: Div 3 North 2016-17

Post by David Robertson » Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:56 pm

We have passed 'peak SoA'.

Running a 'C' team stretched us too much, and raised questions about our raison d'etre as a unit. It must also be said that, for a number of the squad the 4NCL 'experience' has begun to pall. Part of the problem lies in the physical disconnection between elements of our squad. For a tightly-bound outfit like ours, this has taken a toll on esprit de corps and the integration of newcomers. Last year, for the first time ever, we were unable to assemble as a whole squad because of distances between 3N and Div 1 venues. You may shrug. But for us, it was an important symbolic change; and not good. Then the hotels and surrounding Sat night 'entertainment' opportunities have declined in quality. Hard to find much to get excited about in Wakefield or Brum Airport and their neighbourhoods. Don't make me discuss the merits of Bolton this coming year!

Someone will be along shortly to complain that I've gone negative on the 4NCL. Not a bit of it! I hope the 4NCL thrives and flourishes. Those responsible do their best in sub-optimal circumstances: that much is known and understood - and respected. Things like hotel quality may improve next year; and other squads may be motivated by different factors from those that have driven Spirit of Atticus hitherto. But there's no escaping the fact that, last year, a number of us - not least myself - found ourselves for the first time wondering whether this was any longer the way we wanted to spend a weekend. Hence, enthusiasm has dipped. I hope the moment passes.

Mike Truran
Posts: 2389
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Div 3 North 2016-17

Post by Mike Truran » Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:52 pm

All good points, and well made. The 4NCL organisers have operated in an increasingly unforgiving environment over the last few years, trying to reconcile the entirely understandable wish on the part of many chess players to get as favourable a financial deal on their weekend outlay as they can with the increasing reluctance of hotels to accept business that they see as marginal at best - a reluctance reinforced by sterling's post-Brexit collapse which has led to the expectation that more people will be taking their holidays in the UK rather than going overseas, together with the perception that economic conditions are gradually improving such that people will accept higher prices. So the stock of hotels willing to deal with us has reduced, and those that are willing to deal with us want better terms. Maybe things will swing back in the other direction soon, but I wouldn't put any money on it.

While such conditions pertain, as you say we endeavour to do our best - and thank you for recognising that. In the meantime, thank you everyone for your continuing support. It would be great if such support would extend to accepting another £10-15 on bedroom rates with no fall-off in bedroom take-up, but that's not going to happen!

David Pardoe
Posts: 1221
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:29 pm
Location: NORTH WEST

Re: Div 3 North 2016-17

Post by David Pardoe » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:01 pm

Thanks Mike... your comments are noted.. The challenges of the chess world...and trying to please chess players..?!?
If we could encourage greater room take-up and greater use of the hotel facilities.. meals, drinks etc., then our value to these hotels might improve..
What numbers are we talking here.. say 60% team/room take-up, and maybe 40% of players dining at the hotel..?
We are very lucky to have such good facilities, and current room rates are very reasonable.
I certainly wouldn't object if the rates were slightly higher..
I think the whole package offer possibly needs some tweaks...
My first point would be meals.. Can we get these upmarket hotels to offer some additional food options.
Maybe Pork chops, Steak & Ale pie, Lamb Shank, Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Tekka, etc.. could be offered.
Standard pub grub, instead of the rather upmarket and fancy meals that sometimes appear.. nicely laid out they may be to appeal to the food connoisseur.
It might be that some discussions and further feedback might be useful...maybe even a questionaire to teams.
For instance, should the hotel offer a mini buffet on Saturday lunch time including sandwiches, fruit, tea, coffee, chips, hot pie, etc..
For a room cost of say £65 per player.... those not staying would pay £10 per head for the buffet, to include an additional drink in the afternoon session. I do recollect at Daventry the hotel put on a hot food lunch option, including a curry.. on Saturday and Sunday, and Monday, which I thought was very good... not sure what the take-up was, but it seemed popular.
Given what Mike has said about the hotels.. is there any way we could get back some of our previous venues.... Buxton, Harrogate, Darlington.. Hinckley even?
Are there other hotel group options that DR or others might suggest.?
My other thought might be to reduce the playing sessions for Divs 3 & 4 teams to 5.5 hrs.. to enable a 7.30 pm finish on Saturday..?
As regards the team gatherings.. I`m wondering if some of our larger team groups are too big.. maybe split them down to individual teams with a slightly more separate identity.

One thing that might help is if we could move up the Div 3 leagues to 20 teams each.. it would be great to attract more teams to the Div 3 `North`...maybe if we could restore some previous locations to the schedule in future years it might help.

To my mind this is a very good chess format... and I`d particularly urge more teams north of Birmingham to join this group. Fresh new teams too would be most welcome. This would also add some financial muscle to the events, and add to room occupancy.
I don't know if there`s any mileage in encouraging teams to become `more individual` by allowing some bigger multi team squads to allocate players to specific teams, thereby allowing them to create teams of say `roughly equal strength` perhaps.
BRING BACK THE BCF

Mike Truran
Posts: 2389
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Div 3 North 2016-17

Post by Mike Truran » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:07 pm

Some very good news - Gonzaga, our very first team from Ireland *, will be playing in Division 3 North this coming season.

So Division 3 North has been responsible for attracting teams from both Scotland and Ireland, and for allowing us finally to fulfil Chris Dunworth's original Four Nations dream.

* Na Fianna graced the 4NCL in the early years, but as I recall most/all of their players were based in England.

Mick Norris
Posts: 7428
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:12 am
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester
Contact:

Re: Div 3 North 2016-17

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:11 pm

Brilliant news

I can confirm that there should be 4 Manticore teams this season
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
Posts: 2389
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Div 3 North 2016-17

Post by Mike Truran » Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:47 pm

That may mess up the 2 x 8 format.

But still, a good problem to have. :D

Mick Norris
Posts: 7428
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:12 am
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester
Contact:

Re: Div 3 North 2016-17

Post by Mick Norris » Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:26 am

I don't think we can yet be sure how many other teams will enter - not that we can worry about it

As you said previously, if we get an odd number of entries, at least we get to spend pages debating triangular matches!
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Mick Norris
Posts: 7428
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:12 am
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester
Contact:

Re: Div 3 North 2016-17

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:08 am

The current entries are a little confusing e.g. I assume we have paid for all 4 Manticores teams

Have Cheddleton confirmed and paid for their 1st and 2nd teams only, in which case are they entering a 3rd team? If yes, and Broadland aren't playing, but the others are, we would be back to 16 teams I think
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
Posts: 2389
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Div 3 North 2016-17

Post by Mike Truran » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:47 am

Yes, all four MM teams fully paid up. Haven't quite caught up with publishing the up to date list yet, what with everything else going on.

Cheddleton 3 out. :(

So if Broadland also out, I think down to 15. :( :(

Mick Norris
Posts: 7428
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:12 am
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester
Contact:

Re: Div 3 North 2016-17

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:36 pm

No problems Mike, it wasn't a criticism

Pity about Cheddleton 3; with SoA C going too, that's the 2 lowest finishing teams from last season gone, which suggests our new 4th team may find it very tough
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

MartinCarpenter
Posts: 2434
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 10:58 am

Re: Div 3 North 2016-17

Post by MartinCarpenter » Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:00 pm

It is perhaps getting to be a bit of a problem that, yes.

Jorvik have a couple of relatively weaker - if far from terrible! - players in the squad and it was very clear last season that playing both of them at once made it very tough to win matches. From what I've gathered we'll be modestly strengthened this coming season.

Does 15 mean an inevitable swiss, or is there potential for some sort of randomly fancier arrangement?

Mick Norris
Posts: 7428
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:12 am
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester
Contact:

Re: Div 3 North 2016-17

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:21 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote:Does 15 mean an inevitable swiss, or is there potential for some sort of randomly fancier arrangement?
Well, probably still too early to be certain about 15, but probably a swiss is the only thing in the rules? You could presumably modify it somehow, but of course the seedings will be the usual potential issue with new teams joining, and we have the triangular matches too

I'd hope to avoid too many meetings between the Manticores teams, though starting with 1 v 2 may make sense
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

MartinCarpenter
Posts: 2434
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 10:58 am

Re: Div 3 North 2016-17

Post by MartinCarpenter » Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:01 pm

Swiss has to be hugely the most likely, and likely sanest :)

The 2016-17 rules on the website actually seem to be amusingly precise about this, but quite possibly wrong - they've not changed at all from the 2 divisions 8 thing last season and I can't see any provision for a smaller/larger Div3N. Oh well. (Rule 7.1)

Its intriguing (esp if at all used to bridge movements which make this look utterly trivial!), to wonder if with 15 you could wrangle something that works basically like the 8+8 then promotion/relegation pools. Do it as 6+6+ the bottom 3 seeded teams floating or something. The triangular match requirements may break things.

David Pardoe
Posts: 1221
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:29 pm
Location: NORTH WEST

Re: Div 3 North 2016-17

Post by David Pardoe » Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:12 pm

Hopefully some teams can muster a bit more support and enter at least one or more teams..
Cheddleton.... surely they can do it....even with a weaker team, it would still be good match experience.
Same goes for SOA... a third team from them would be great and help to liven up proceedings...if not, another Merseyside team would be very welcome. And a couple of easy trips to Bolton...!!??!!
And definitely it would be excellent to see Broadlands return, and with a reasonable squad they should have more than an evens chance of promotion place, I`d say..
If we can push this up to 17 or more teams, it would make for an excellent seasons 4NCL Norths chessing..
Manchester have certainly set the ball rolling with a very good 4 team entry....
BRING BACK THE BCF

Mick Norris
Posts: 7428
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:12 am
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester
Contact:

Re: Div 3 North 2016-17

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:05 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote:Swiss has to be hugely the most likely, and likely sanest :)

The 2016-17 rules on the website actually seem to be amusingly precise about this, but quite possibly wrong - they've not changed at all from the 2 divisions 8 thing last season and I can't see any provision for a smaller/larger Div3N. Oh well. (Rule 7.1)

Its intriguing (esp if at all used to bridge movements which make this look utterly trivial!), to wonder if with 15 you could wrangle something that works basically like the 8+8 then promotion/relegation pools. Do it as 6+6+ the bottom 3 seeded teams floating or something. The triangular match requirements may break things.
I imagine the rules will catch up with the number of entries when known - there's quite some time until the first weekend

There was a time when 15 teams would have been a great outcome :lol:

15 isn't an easy number to cope with - you could be insane and split it into 5 groups of 3, all playing triangular matches over the first weekend, but no idea what would follow after that - 3 groups of 5 would be even worse - I think you just stick with the swiss and get creative about the pairings

It does leave the possibility that the main teams aiming for promotion will all have played each other before the final weekend, so stumbling across a 16th team would be great (a transfer from Div 3 or 4 in the south appearing more likely than a return of Aigburth/Atticus/Ferry, NE England 2, or the emergence of Alba 2)
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Post Reply