Postponement - official

Venues, fixtures, teams and related matters.
Jonathan Rogers
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Postponement - official

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:21 pm

Mailed to all captains this evening from Mike Truran:

"I can now confirm that in light of the current coronavirus position and the Prime Minister’s latest announcements we’ve decided to postpone weekends 4 and 5 of the 4NCL.


Some more background/detail:


1. We considered simply cancelling the rest of the season. That was not an acceptable option given that our partners at Bridge Overseas/Guaranteed Events (BO/GE) would have remained financially liable for the cancelled bedroom allocations (around £50k for the final two weekends). We also considered holding the weekends as planned. That would have in our view presented an entirely unacceptable health risk to the players, arbiters and other attendees; in any event, the likely number of team and player withdrawals would probably make the weekends unviable as well as leaving BO/GE again with a substantial financial liability for bedroom cancellations. It appears that in many cases hotels will only consider waiving contracted-for charges if events are rescheduled to a later date with them.


2. We have already confirmed WE4 for Divisions 1 and 2 as taking place on the weekend of 29-31 August at Mercure Telford Central Hotel (so the same venue as WE5 would have been played). Please note that this is the late summer bank holiday weekend, so three rounds will be played.


3. BO/GE are in the course of negotiating the other dates and venues we need with the hotels; I hope to hear back from them later this week. At the moment we’re hoping to get dates in August and in October/November, with the 2020/21 season starting in January next year, but all of that is of course subject both to what BO/GE can find for us and to the coronavirus situation as it develops.


4. I also expect to hear later this week on whether bedroom bookings will be transferred across ‘en bloc’, or whether they will need to be cancelled and rebooked.


5. The 4NCL will consider reimbursing non-refundable travel arrangements that have already been made. That said (and so as to avoid draining the 4NCL’s meagre coffers if at all possible), could I please ask teams and players before they approach the 4NCL to check first whether if at all possible flights, train journeys etc that have already been booked can be transferred to later weekends once those weekends are confirmed? I’m afraid that the 4NCL won’t be able to reimburse non-refundable hotel bookings.


6. As well as helping with non-refundable travel costs we have also agreed to help Bridge Overseas with any unavoidable costs that they may incur during the process (for example non-refundable room hire charges). So, and with many apologies, we will therefore be applying some if not all of the 2019/20 prize fund to fund these costs. It is not what we would have wanted to do, but the 4NCL essentially runs on a not for profit basis and has no significant reserves to cope with situations such as this. Perhaps we should have, but that’s one for another day.


7. If we have to play Division 3 South on a 2 + 2 days basis rather than a 2 + 3 days basis (because the late summer bank holiday weekend is not available) we will put in place an appropriate workaround. Alex H and Dave T already have some ideas on how this might work. The Swiss-format divisions would run as usual, but with 10 rather than 11 rounds.


I’ll update you further as I receive more information. In the meantime, could you please share this email with your players?


Many thanks for your patience and understanding in these difficult times.


Kind regards


Mike"

Mick Norris
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:35 pm

Thanks Jonathan

Sounds sensible
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Neil Graham
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Neil Graham » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:38 pm

I think we should place on record our thanks to the officials of the 4NCL and indeed the ECF who are dealing with a situation no-one could have envisaged even a few weeks ago. Let us hope that by the time August is here that chess will be back to something like normality.

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by LawrenceCooper » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:40 pm

Neil Graham wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:38 pm
I think we should place on record our thanks to the officials of the 4NCL and indeed the ECF who are dealing with a situation no-one could have envisaged even a few weeks ago. Let us hope that by the time August is here that chess will be back to something like normality.
Seconded.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:58 pm

Yes, quite.

And in the spirit of these difficult times, Barbican formally renounces any prize money it might stand to win should it finish third in this current season :P

Ian Thompson
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Ian Thompson » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:19 pm

Reading Mike's e-mail, I'm surprised the parties bearing financial risk haven't taken out insurance to cover themselves against cancellation under force majeure circumstances. Easy to say with hindsight, though.

On point 5., I'd have added that anyone with flights they no longer want might do best to wait for the time being. With numerous flights being cancelled by airlines there's a reasonable chance that they'll be able to get a refund from their airline when it cancels the flight.

I'll third Neil Graham's comments as well.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:47 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:19 pm
Reading Mike's e-mail, I'm surprised the parties bearing financial risk haven't taken out insurance to cover themselves against cancellation under force majeure circumstances. Easy to say with hindsight, though.

...
I suppose - whilst knowing nothing - that some insurance policies might carefully restrict force majeure policies to require changes in the law, or a state of emergency declared by the government, etc, none of which has happened yet.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:56 pm

"I think we should place on record our thanks to the officials of the 4NCL and indeed the ECF who are dealing with a situation no-one could have envisaged even a few weeks ago. Let us hope that by the time August is here that chess will be back to something like normality."

Quite right.

Nick Grey
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Nick Grey » Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:35 pm

I agree Kevin tho I do not think that the travel hotel industries will be the same again let alone the markets.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Mar 17, 2020 3:41 pm

Neil Graham wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:38 pm
I think we should place on record our thanks to the officials of the 4NCL and indeed the ECF who are dealing with a situation no-one could have envisaged even a few weeks ago. Let us hope that by the time August is here that chess will be back to something like normality.
I'm very happy to second this.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Neil Graham
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Neil Graham » Mon May 25, 2020 3:56 pm

Neil Graham wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:38 pm
I think we should place on record our thanks to the officials of the 4NCL and indeed the ECF who are dealing with a situation no-one could have envisaged even a few weeks ago. Let us hope that by the time August is here that chess will be back to something like normality.
Clearly my optimism above has proved ill-founded about a return to normality. Do we have any update on the 2019-20 4NCL postponements?

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by LawrenceCooper » Mon May 25, 2020 5:07 pm

Neil Graham wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 3:56 pm
Neil Graham wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:38 pm
I think we should place on record our thanks to the officials of the 4NCL and indeed the ECF who are dealing with a situation no-one could have envisaged even a few weeks ago. Let us hope that by the time August is here that chess will be back to something like normality.
Clearly my optimism above has proved ill-founded about a return to normality. Do we have any update on the 2019-20 4NCL postponements?
I don't believe that there is any further news beyond the August bank holiday weekend being provisonally booked. Your post prompted me to check if the 4NCL Congress in July had been cancelled and I see that it now has. It was only a matter of when and not if admittedly.

Neil Graham
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Neil Graham » Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:36 pm

Having read the guidance from the ECF I don't think any OTB chess is likely until there is a relaxation in the social distancing rules. The chances of the 4NCL resuming in August are IMHO negligible. If there's a second wave of coronavirus we can say goodbye till 2021 at the earliest.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:50 pm

Neil Graham wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:36 pm
The chances of the 4NCL resuming in August are IMHO negligible. If there's a second wave of coronavirus we can say goodbye till 2021 at the earliest.

The latest NIC magazine has an advert for the Gibraltar Festival giving its January 2021 dates. It was reported elsewhere that Gibraltar had successfully self isolated from the world, but what pre event quarantine, if any, it would require for a gathering of chess players from much of the world remains to be seen.

Conferences or events like the 4NCL and Congresses that have similar characteristics seem likely to be amongst the last events permitted to resume.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:14 pm

Neil Graham wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:36 pm
Having read the guidance from the ECF I don't think any OTB chess is likely until there is a relaxation in the social distancing rules. The chances of the 4NCL resuming in August are IMHO negligible. If there's a second wave of coronavirus we can say goodbye till 2021 at the earliest.
Hasn't there already been a relaxation of the strict "2 metres apart" rule?
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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