End of season round-up, part three

Venues, fixtures, teams and related matters.
Post Reply
Jonathan Rogers
Posts: 3773
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:26 pm

End of season round-up, part three

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun May 12, 2019 6:11 pm

...in which JR speaks of the teams who finished 9-12th in the first division this year, and 5-8th in the original Pool B for that matter, and who may well all finish between 9-12th again but in a slightly different order next year.

3Cs

3Cs secured their survival easily enough by winning all three matches in the final weekend to top the relegation pool, by virtue of adding a second GM. whether it is one GM or two seems to make a big difference to 3Cs: with two regulars they can trouble all but the very best, as they did in 2016/7 when they finished fourth, but otherwise they can struggle and they were very fortunate that their weakest team of the season, in the first weekend, came across the especially weak version of Midland Monarchs. The impression one gets is that, with the possibility of calling in reinforcements should the need arise, 3Cs don't worry too much in the early season about relegation risks, which is all very well but perhaps a bit surprising from the team which once got relegated despite two of their players making GM norms during the season (2006/7).

Midland Monarchs (Wood Green 2)

Promotion to the first division had not been on the agenda in 2017/2018 and a string of first team absences left the team adrift after the first weekend of the season. But the win against a representative Grantham Sharks side in the second weekend was a turning point and from then onwards there was something to cheer in every weekend; had they anticipated the relatively weak Manx Liberty side in March, then a dramatic late bid for the championship pool would even have been possible. Many more FMs were found, to support this effort, but the team was never quite flooded with them, and many of the players who had played regularly in the second division continued to play. A quick glance at the table 1d, ie the matches which most mattered to the team's survival bid, reveals that FM Jonah Willow was their star player, and he must have been high up on the long list of Wood Green players gunning for norms.

Grantham Sharks 1

Not quite the dramatic escape performed by Blackthorne Russia in 2013/14, but creditable nonetheless. They started as number eight seeds (having finished seventh in 2017/18, and allocated eight position on account of Manx Liberty's strength) and so "ought" to have been the team which finished fourth. But they did not find their form and also found no easy pickings in Pool B, and things went from bad to worse after the loss to Midland Monarchs. Worse still, one of their two draws in pool B was "lost" when Blackthorne Russia made it to the championship pool, and so they started the relegation pool with just one draw - but like Blackthorne in 2013/4, proceeded to win all four matches in the reconstituted pool, assisted by foreign GM power in the final weekend. James Holland proved to be a reliable point scorer lower down the team but could not always be used by the first team because of an ever graver crisis in the second team. For all of that, if their form can be rediscovered, they might be the most likely team between 9-12th this year to make their way to the championship pool next year.

Celtic Tigers

Survived in division one for the first time, at their second attempt. For all the newsletters, it is not obvious why to me why they did not field their top players the last time they played in division one (though they twice deployed them in division two). Nor do I quite know how so many of them came to be staying in Shrewsbury in the last weekend, which almost led to mass defaults in the crucial last round - most 4NCL captains spend enough of their time worrying about traffic and car breakdowns on the Saturday of every 4NCL weekend, without adding other days into the mix. But they did deserve their survival, and were the early talking point of division one after wins over Blackthorne Russia and 3Cs, before they lost momentum after their defeat to the resurgent Midland Monarchs. With the lost momentum in mind as well, things must have seemed grim on the final Monday morning when they started 2-0 down on account of the transport-related default. A loss would have spelt relegation, on account of Oxford's win, but luckily for them North East England did not rise to the occasion, and agreed a draw in a good position in board two and unaccountably declined to play 20 Nxd5 and 21 Bc4 on board three. With big positions achieved early on boards one and six, the Tigers were soon to breathe more easily.

Alan Walton
Posts: 1242
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:33 pm
Location: Oldham

Re: End of season round-up, part three

Post by Alan Walton » Sun May 12, 2019 6:55 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 6:11 pm
3Cs

3Cs secured their survival easily enough by winning all three matches in the final weekend to top the relegation pool, by virtue of adding a second GM. whether it is one GM or two seems to make a big difference to 3Cs: with two regulars they can trouble all but the very best, as they did in 2016/7 when they finished fourth, but otherwise they can struggle and they were very fortunate that their weakest team of the season, in the first weekend, came across the especially weak version of Midland Monarchs. The impression one gets is that, with the possibility of calling in reinforcements should the need arise, 3Cs don't worry too much in the early season about relegation risks, which is all very well but perhaps a bit surprising from the team which once got relegated despite two of their players making GM norms during the season (2006/7).
Valid points

First weekend we did get fortunate for the first game, especially losing Alex & Sarah for that weekend due to being in London for the Carlsen match

Also losing the Horton brothers for most of the season; Andy just becoming an IM and Jamie (who did get 2.5/3 on the last weekend) didn't help

Anyway on to next season with Andy back should hopefully make us safe again, only if they sort out the Euro Club clash the first weekend next season; because at the moment we will be entering that and having to miss the first weekend

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 17868
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: End of season round-up, part three

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun May 12, 2019 8:03 pm

Alan Walton wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 6:55 pm
Anyway on to next season with Andy back should hopefully make us safe again, only if they sort out the Euro Club clash the first weekend next season; because at the moment we will be entering that and having to miss the first weekend
According to https://www.fide.com/calendar/fide-calendar.html
European Chess Club Cup 2019 Budva, Montenegro 9-Nov-2019 17-Nov-2019
The first weekend of the 2019-20 4NCL is 9-10 Nov 2019.

Richard Bates
Posts: 2842
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:27 pm

Re: End of season round-up, part three

Post by Richard Bates » Sun May 12, 2019 10:10 pm

Alan Walton wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 6:55 pm


Anyway on to next season with Andy back should hopefully make us safe again, only if they sort out the Euro Club clash the first weekend next season; because at the moment we will be entering that and having to miss the first weekend
Is that not dependent on 4NCL(/ECF?) nominating you which they may not be prepared to do...? On the face of it (but without knowing the details) this scheduling problem seems to be the result of ECU moving the ECC outside of its usual time of year in the calendar, into the European Club seasons, and compounding the problem by taking out two weekends in the process. And short of shifting the 4NCL to mid October not any obviously plausible alternative dates for the first weekend, given the disruption it would cause to other 4ncl and long established events. If the clash doesn’t disappear would expect the 4NCL to defend the integrity of the league first and foremost.

(EDITED to reflect the fact that ECU gave substantial advance notice of dates and that there were good reasons for them doing so)
Last edited by Richard Bates on Mon May 13, 2019 7:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

Alan Walton
Posts: 1242
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:33 pm
Location: Oldham

Re: End of season round-up, part three

Post by Alan Walton » Sun May 12, 2019 10:31 pm

Richard Bates wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 10:10 pm
Alan Walton wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 6:55 pm


Anyway on to next season with Andy back should hopefully make us safe again, only if they sort out the Euro Club clash the first weekend next season; because at the moment we will be entering that and having to miss the first weekend
Is that not dependent on 4NCL(/ECF?) nominating you which they may not be prepared to do...? On the face of it (but without knowing the details) this scheduling problem seems to be almost entirely the fault of the ECU moving the ECC outside of its usual time of year in the calendar, into the European Club seasons, and compounding the problem by taking out two weekends in the process. And short of shifting the 4NCL to mid October not any obviously plausible alternative dates for the first weekend, given the disruption it would cause to other 4ncl and long established events. If the clash doesn’t disappear would expect the 4NCL to defend the integrity of the league first and foremost.
As discussions have been ongoing it transpires that the 4NCL didn’t realise that the ECU moved the event due to the European team being at the end of October and the new IOM event at the beginning

These dates were published over 12 months ago, as you can see on the ECU website the 2020 event has moved back to October

Richard Bates
Posts: 2842
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:27 pm

Re: End of season round-up, part three

Post by Richard Bates » Mon May 13, 2019 6:49 am

Ok fair enough. Forgot my no1 rule (breached numerous times). Don’t post late at night about things I don’t know about...

It is certainly true that (whatever the apparent difficulties of doing otherwise) the 4ncl tardiness in finalising dates when so many other organisers try to work around them is not helpful and inevitably limits room for manoevre.

Post Reply