Jonathan Rogers wrote:
LawrenceCooper wrote: ...
That is what it says (and presumably applies to all non ENG countries), albeit it's a different point to the one I was making. From speaking to one prominent captain at the weekend he was unaware of the change that would prevent norm seekers playing games over both divisions to make a norm. I interpret it to mean you could make a norm with 9 games in one division and that one or two games in the other division would be discounted from the norm result but I'll check it before the start of the new season.
I would have thought so. I had actually been led to believe that such provision was already in force, and even applied last year, but perhaps not. It is an annoying change, no doubt about it. At least three of our past norms have been made by players who played some first and second division games, and having this facility also helped Matthias Gantner this year, whose game in round five for White Rose 2 (winning against Chris Ward) presumably contributed invaluably to his norm.
The issue came up in Tromso 2014, when various opinions were expressed at the QC meeting. There was discussion of the various different formats in different counties; for example, in other countries, different divisions are played at different times, meaning it is possible to play in several divisions throughout the season. This is unlike the 4NCL, where the rounds are normally concurrent, and where they're not, there's a rule prohibiting playing in more than one division in the same round.
Nick Faulks (minutes from the Tromso 2014 QC meeting) wrote:7. Norms from combined divisions of team events. There are many variations of national team events. The question is the extent to which games from two or more sections of the same competition may be combined to produce a norm. This is generally permitted at present. The Chairman proposed that in future, only games from one single section or division may be used for a norm. This was agreed by commissions, by a vote of 6-1.
There was then a vote on whether this interpretation should be used from 1.7.15. This was approved by a vote of 6-1.
The 4NCL is a particularly complicated case which must be handled individually, and there may be others. The Chairman invites affected federations to contact him.
The 4NCL being a "particularly complicated case" was Nick's summary of my raising the issue of whether Division 1a/b/c/d counted as "one division", and the conclusion was that the pool system was basically just a fancy pairing system with 11 rounds and 16 teams.
Nick's minutes omit the comment from one high profile FIDE person who appears to be no longer involved in chess, but who wasn't bosom-buddies with England, that any norms involved previously using games from different divisions of leagues should be taken away, and in the case where successful title applications were made off the back of those applications, the titles should be taken off them too. The Chairman, in his wisdom, decided to move on rather than entertain that idea.
So the rule changed in time for the 2015/16 season, and sufficient noises were made about its coming in.
Fast forward to Baku 2016, when the same thing came up again. This time, it was to be written formally in the regulations that have now been published coming in from 1.7.17. David Welch, in attendance, asked if this meant that for norm puroposes, the 4NCL could use games from more than one division in 2016/17, if this new regulation came into force. "Yes", was the Chairman's answer, followed by a witty remark about owing him a drink or somesuch, even though it contradicted the minuted decision from Tromso 2014.
Nick Faulks (minutes from the Baku 2016 QC meeting) wrote:
1.43b. Clarification was sought on the question of whether norms could be based on pooled results from different divisions of a national team championship. It was agreed by a clear decision that no pooling should be allowed. However, in view of the uncertain nature of the present position, this will be allowed for the 2016/17 season.
"Pooling" in this context means using more than one division, and as you can see has now made it into the regulations.
The situation seemed clear to me, unless something happened I am unaware of. But in the interests of this improving the 4NCL's lot for 2016/17, I didn't say anything.
So this is consistent with your view. Pooling was banned in 2015/16, permitted in 2016/17, and now banned again in 2017/18 going forwards.