Surrey Border League 2016-17 Season
Welcome to the new season of the Surrey Border League. We hope you enjoy the 176 chess matches currently planned. The notes below may help you to run your teams effectively, they explain but do not supersede SBL rules.
Fixtures and entries
The league fixtures are now on the website. This season they follow a pattern of Divisions 1 and 4 (6 teams) in the same weeks, Divs 2 and 5 (7 teams) together, and similar for Divs 3 and 6 (few teams) which fills the weeks from mid September to mid May. As always, you are free to negotiate changes and update the fixture dates published on the website.
There are some early fixtures - before Sept 26th. We have scheduled the Bell Trophy in the week 19th to 23rd September to avoid a clash with divisions 2 3 4 5, also two Wellington College B Division 5 fixtures are on 16th & 22nd Sept to put them into term-time. Please note rule 11.1 about confirming with your opponents all arrangements for the match beforehand, especially at the start of the season when some clubs may be less well prepared.
If you wish to make a late change to the teams entered, please advise Trevor Jones and Gareth Ward as soon as you can, and (in case we are busy or away) copy other league officers. Division 6 currently has 3 junior teams entered and could accommodate more.
Matches in any competiton should start at the time you advertise on the SBL website. Godalming's 7:15pm is the time the club opens - their matches start at 7:30 as for all other clubs. However captains are free to negotiate alternative start times in accordance with rules 11.1 and 11.3 - if you do this, please ensure all team members know. The SBL can support the idea that junior matches start earlier by agreement.
If you are planning to field players who are ungraded or new to the league or your club, please check whether the website has them registered correctly for your club. In particular ungraded or inactive players can drop off last season's list. Players must be registered before playing in any Cup competition or their 2nd league match. It is less work for all if registration is complete before their 1st league match, unless there is good reason (e.g. unplanned substitute).
The August 24th revisions to ECF published grades are now on-line and are definitive for the SBL 2016-17 season. All players without an ECF grade should have an SBL estimate grade as defined by rules 9.8 to 9.10 and E4. Any club is free to agree an SBL estimate with me in lieu of an unrealistic F grade (and by exception higher categories). If the player has a past published grade, it is depreciated by 2 ECF per year to form the SBL estimate, unless the the player is stronger than this estimate. For players requiring an SBL estimate (no previous grade, or F grade or depreciated estimate wrong), we need to see sensible evidence in support of a club's estimate.
For players with no previous grade, and where a club has too little evidence to estimate playing strength under rule E4, we use one of 3 'grades' ('44' '77' '144') to denote the player has no estimate. These values apply for grade limit eligibility purposes, but do not supersede rule 9.4 to field teams in order of current (un-)known playing strength.
Division 5 and 6 changes
The 2015 AGM voted for 5 divisions, and the 2016 AGM confirmed for the season about to start. Therefore Division 5 and 6 will operate under published SBL rules (which need some corrections to agree with AGM 2015 decisions), and the following clarifications. Some of the suggestions I communicated a few weeks ago (e.g. on failure to agree the match start time) will NOT apply.
Division 5 will comprise 4 players per team, grade limit 115. The time control is 60 minutes for all moves as per rule 10.6, and not incremental time controls, and not 90 minutes (rules 10.3/10.4 need correction). Division 5 will allow 2 overgrade players for the 2016-17 season as a temporary amendment to rule 9.11 made under rule 6.2 (to balance the league structure, we consulted all affected clubs). Using the overgrade rule benefits Godalming D less than the rejected option of a 1pt increase to 116, and provides their opposing 6 teams more flexibility to match them.
Division 6 (because of AGM decisions) is operated under rule 8.2 (additional friendlies), and will also follow the published rules for Division 5 (4 boards, 60 minutes all moves, 1 overgrade player) but with a Grade limit of 100. This is to help ensure the games can be graded compliant with ECF rules, and to make it easier for the 2017 AGM to award the Bill Lowe Trophy if it so chooses. Division 6 currently has 3 junior teams entered and could accommodate more. Entries were sought with a promise that Division 6 would involve no more than 6 fixtures, but if 5 teams enter there may be scope to agree whether to play 4 or 8 matches.
SBL Tournament Controller
3rd September 2016
Gareth Ward, Tournament Controller, Surrey Border Chess League, http://www.borderleague.org.uk/