Should Grading limits be changed in leagues

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Alan Walton
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Re: Should Grading limits be changed in leagues

Post by Alan Walton » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:19 am

Joey Stewart wrote:It sounds like Dulwich were not exactly the innocent party here, refusing promotion like that was bound to antagonise people so they brought the grade restrictions on themselves.

In the Gloucester league knockout we employ a handicap system based on the difference between average grades which works very well - nobody is restricted from playing but it just makes it harder to win a match if you bring out a big hit squad.
That would probably work quite well for leagues with big grading descrepencies between the top and bottom teams rather then an arbitary figure to block players from getting a game at all.
I do like the idea of a handicap system, since grades are available quite easily on the ECF site, why don't leagues just have a normal system but then also have additional handicap standings for an extra incentive playing in the league and gives the weaker players something to strive for

Sean Hewitt

Re: Should Grading limits be changed in leagues

Post by Sean Hewitt » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:35 pm

I designed a handicap system used in Leicesteshire for the league cup competitions.

Bonus points are given to the lower graded team based on the total grade differential as follows:-

0-12: 0;
13-37: ½;
38-62: 1;
63-87: 1½;
88-112: 2;
113-137: 2½;
138-162: 3;
163-200: 3½;

If the grade difference between two players on a single board is more
than 50, it counts as 50 exactly, so the maximum team handicap is 200 points.

It works perfectly (it has resulted in the win / loss ratio between higher and lower rated teams being 50/50) but is standalone from the league which operates on a normal open basis.

EDIT : I should have said that this is a 4 board per team competition!
Last edited by Sean Hewitt on Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LozCooper

Re: Should Grading limits be changed in leagues

Post by LozCooper » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:03 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:I designed a handicap system used in Leicesteshire for the league cup competitions.

Bonus points are given to the lower graded team based on the total grade differential as follows:-

0-12: 0;
13-37: ½;
38-62: 1;
63-87: 1½;
88-112: 2;
113-137: 2½;
138-162: 3;
163-200: 3½;

If the grade difference between two players on a single board is more
than 50, it counts as 50 exactly, so the maximum team handicap is 200 points.

It works perfectly (it has resulted in the win / loss ratio between higher and lower rated teams being 50/50) but is standalone from the league which operates on a normal open basis.
I'm thankful it's not used in the FA Carling Cup :oops:

matt_ward
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Re: Should Grading limits be changed in leagues

Post by matt_ward » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:15 pm

As it happens the leagues I play in are purposely designed to handicap individual players for example playing in all two or three divisions as rightly people pointed out would be unfair on the lower membership clubs and smaller clubs with a smaller variety of depth in strength.

However there are more positives in adjusting the grading boundaries at least in smaller membership clubs they will play high standard they are likely to learn more etc etc, besides this gives more competition too for people in general.

If the division two and three got adjusted it would give far more games to people that are paying expensive memberships and are restricted because of there grade for example 156 Your too high for division three and not good enough for division two.

Of coarse that presuming people or the captains of teams take great concern with the grades which are totally unreliable.

Oh well, give it another decade and we will see the Leagues demolish into just teams of paid professionals. Which has its advantages and disadvantages.

Matt. :) :) :) :D :D :oops:

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Gareth Harley-Yeo
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Re: Should Grading limits be changed in leagues

Post by Gareth Harley-Yeo » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:39 pm

you could adjust them further and get rid of the restrictions all together. - better chess all round.

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Re: Should Grading limits be changed in leagues

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:56 pm

The handicapping for Cup competitions in the Birmingham League is quite barmy.

There are four trophies and six divisions. The top three divisions enter one cup competition, and the bottom three enter another; the first round losers go into associated "Plate" competitions, which make up the others.

The Div 4-6 trophy seems reasonable: A team 1 division higher gets 1/2 point handicap, 2 divisions higher gets 1 1/2 points handicap.

However, the Div 1-3 handicapping doesn't follow the same system. Div 2 gets 2 1/2 points start against Div 1, and Div 3 gets 3 1/2 start against Div 1, and 1 1/2 against Div 2. If a Div 4 team enters it, which it can do in rule but not in practice, then they get 4.5 points start.

So over a 6-board match, a Div 1 side needs to beat Div 2 sides 4.5-1.5, Div 3 sides 5-1, and anyone else 5.5-0.5.

There are 4 Division Three teams in the Quarter Finals, and three teams in Division 1 - one of which has beaten other teams in Division 1 to get to that stage, so hasn't had handicaps to worry about yet. The handicap is far too extreme. The other trophy seems more reasonable, 4 from Division 4, 3 from Division 5, 1 from Division Six (who often don't enter due to the usual requirement for 4 players for a league match, but 6 for a cup match).

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Re: Should Grading limits be changed in leagues

Post by matt_ward » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:18 pm

Well The cup competitions down South are probably in my humble opinion regarded as the best, and they attract a wide range of standards and ages and genders possibly in some cases.

In contrary to this We have a Bell Trophy which is over five boards and grading restricted.

Board 1:<170
Board 2:< 155
board 3:< 140
Board 4:< 125
Board 5:< 110

This is an interesting concept an one which I fully comprehend and think is good for the game, it's more of pure chance for the teams to get there strongest teams, and the two captains have too agree a fixture date, and there are a certain amount of rounds depending on a number of entries from other clubs. And it is a Knockout tournament.

The other tournament we organise for any standard is A Haslemere Trophy which is five boards with two games per player on the night, And is Knockout and based on handicap therefore getting your strongest team against a weaker team is strategically not good because you might have to win 10-0.

Matt.
:) :) :D :D :D

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Joey Stewart
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Re: Should Grading limits be changed in leagues

Post by Joey Stewart » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:11 pm

It is not good for the game at all - it means that clubs with large memberships can deliberately field sides that fit exactly in the ratings boundaries and are very strong in this competition and the smaller clubs are forced to either use what they have available and, in some cases, would have to forfeit boards completely if their players did not rate within the required boundaries.

The goal of any league should be to encourage people to play as much chess as possible - not restrict them with red tape.
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

matt_ward
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Re: Should Grading limits be changed in leagues

Post by matt_ward » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:23 am

Joey,

I am afraid I totally disagree with you on this, under no circumstances is the Bell Trophy unfair, it is purely a case of chance to whom can field the closes to the limits on each board. And that does not necessarily mean the larger competitive clubs will benefit.

If you know contacts i.e. Promotional advertising or any other conditional ways to help promote my local league give me their contact details.

As it happens I'm hoping sometime this year to do a Simul at my local club night for the juniors.Or for the adults too. And do You know how much it costs to put Chess Adverts in local papers?


Do let me know on how else you could run the Bell Trophy if you deem it to be totally unfair!

Matt.

Malcolm Clarke
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Re: Should Grading limits be changed in leagues

Post by Malcolm Clarke » Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:28 am

As someone who has been involved in the administration of the Southampton Chess League for 20 years I personally think you need a balanced approach to player eligibility.

You do not want to make things too restrictive for captains, but at the same time it is not a good idea in my view to allow players to play regularly in both the top and bottom division.

I think that individual leagues have to evaluate the parameters most relevant to the competition. I personally though am not in favour of grading limits. If they had been used throughout my time with my league, it would have been very likely that I would have had one instance of a player being a member of a club for 30 years, who had played regularly in his team that has been relegated, and then becoming ineligible to play in the division his team has been relegated to. We have had something interesting matches in which it has been a case of whether one team's superior strength at the top can compensate for the other team's superior strength at the bottom.

I actually think that as the Bristol League does it is a good idea to ensure that if a club has teams in different divisions, then the one in a higher division is superior in strength. In our league appearances for higher teams restrict the ability to play for lower teams, but the rules are less strict when the teams are only one division apart.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Should Grading limits be changed in leagues

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:44 am

Malcolm Clarke wrote: becoming ineligible to play in the division his team has been relegated to
I don't think you should combine promotion and relegation with grading limited divisions. In the Border League each "division" is a stand alone entity. You can enter whatever divisions you wish if you think you have the necessary players, regardless of last season's results.

They even allow you to play for two different clubs as long as they are in different divisions.

Malcolm Clarke
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Re: Should Grading limits be changed in leagues

Post by Malcolm Clarke » Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:41 am

Before I became involved with the administration of the Southampton Chess League the system was that divisions were not determined by the results of the previous season. I think there are a few people who would prefer the old system to be in place and it has certain advantages, but I think the general concensus is to keep things as they are from that point of view.

I can see that one thing that could potentially happen if it was reintroduced in our league. A new club could form, recruit the best local chess talent round, get placed in the top division, win it comfortably several seasons on the trot, and then disband when it was no longer likely to win the league.

I personally think it is honourable for players to want to play for a particular club whatever division they play in, and that building strong clubs is probably more important than building strong teams. I have taken a great deal of satisfaction from the fact that my own club was at one stage in the lowest division and we worked our way to the top division, as have a couple of other clubs, and that is something that in my view that should be encouraged.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Should Grading limits be changed in leagues

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:19 pm

"It sounds like Dulwich were not exactly the innocent party here, refusing promotion like that was bound to antagonise people so they brought the grade restrictions on themselves. "

That's certainly a fair point - I should perhaps have explained that the bottom division is detached from the others so there was no compulsory relegation to, or promotion from that division. But it still upset people. A "General Meeting" decides the other divisions, although the rules "recommend" that there will be promotion and relegation. Incredibly, that meeting allowed a team that had won a higher division with 8/8, about 3 points ahead of the runners-up, to stay down, as the captain produced a sob story about how they might lose if they went up!

A Handicap system might be good. Another problem with a grading restricted division is that you might end up defaulting boards, when there are four people sitting around who would normally be eligible to play but who aren't allowed to play, as the average is too high... And I have this archaic idea that people enter leagues to play chess.

We could not enter one of the "average grade" competitions the other year as the only way we could fulfil the requirements was if the lowest graded player in the club played every match. If he were unavailable, we could not produce a legal team. (I must add quickly that we would have been happy to do that if he had wanted to play, but he didn't.)
"Kevin was the arbiter and was very patient. " Nick Grey

matt_ward
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Re: Should Grading limits be changed in leagues

Post by matt_ward » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:39 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Malcolm Clarke wrote: becoming ineligible to play in the division his team has been relegated to
:D :D :D
They even allow you to play for two different clubs as long as they are in different divisions.

Roger I can't understand what this has to do with anything I'd imagine most leagues allow you too play for two different clubs. However what I think is wrong is that you can play for a different team in club competitions which is abit unfair on either club your a member of.

Matt. :) :)

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Re: Should Grading limits be changed in leagues

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:37 pm

matt_ward wrote:Roger I can't understand what this has to do with anything I'd imagine most leagues allow you too play for two different clubs
In the Berks league you wouldn't be able to play for both Crowthorne and Reading. You could only play for one of them in the Berks and for the other in the Border. In the Border league you can play for two clubs in Border league competitions as long as you don't play for two teams in the same grading band division.

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