Postponement - official

Venues, fixtures, teams and related matters.
NickFaulks
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:41 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.
My conclusion after reading the same guidance is that this weekend's relaxation is sufficient for OTB chess to be possible. Perhaps not entirely pleasant, though, and insurance is of course a potential problem.
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MartinCarpenter
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by MartinCarpenter » Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:46 am

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
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?
The messaging on that was incredibly confusing, but fundamentally no.

They've tried to make economically motivated exceptions for a few things that can't run without reducing it, but no one would classify chess into that and there's a lot of conditions attached.

Matthew Turner
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Matthew Turner » Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:52 am

NickFaulks wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:41 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.
My conclusion after reading the same guidance is that this weekend's relaxation is sufficient for OTB chess to be possible. Perhaps not entirely pleasant, though, and insurance is of course a potential problem.
I think you are probably right, but the issue seems to me to be more would people wants to/be prepared to, play rather than whether it was technically possible. I just don't see teams with a substantial proportion of older players coming back any time soon. That will have a significant impact on the national league, but surely it will destroy much of local league chess.

Neil Graham
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Neil Graham » Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:55 pm

Received today from Mike Truran:-

We have with great regret decided not to proceed with weekends 4 and 5 of this season's 4NCL, which we had hoped could be held in August and September. Given the continuing uncertainty caused by the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, in our view the financial and operational risks both to the 4NCL and to Guaranteed Events are just too big to run the risk of proceeding at this stage.

We will be actively looking at two options for the future:

1) If over the board chess resumes in an orderly manner and in a way which makes running 4NCL weekends viable by late 2020 we will consider starting the 2020/21 season in November/December 2020 and continuing as normal in 2021. In this event the 2019/20 season would effectively be abandoned (so there would be no promotions or relegations).

2) If over the board chess does not resume in an orderly manner and in a way which makes running 4NCL weekends viable until 2021 we will consider holding the final two weekends of the 2019/20 season in March-May 2021, effectively 'losing' a season - assuming, that is, that a return to orderly over the board chess is possible even then. Please note that FIDE has given the option for leagues to extend beyond a year, and so any title norm opportunities would still be available in the event of option 2.

If there is a suitable gap in the calendar under option 2, we may look at holding a separate one-off weekend team event at some point.

We apologise for the continuing lack of clarity over future plans (other than the clarity that the 4NCL will not now resume until November/December 2020 at the earliest), but the 4NCL Board hopes that 4NCL captains and players will understand the difficulties that we face at present in making anything like informed decisions that do not entail significant risk at a time of such uncertainty.

Kind regards,

Mike Truran

Neil Graham
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Neil Graham » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:38 pm

Neil Graham wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:55 pm
Received today from Mike Truran:-

We have with great regret decided not to proceed with weekends 4 and 5 of this season's 4NCL, which we had hoped could be held in August and September. Given the continuing uncertainty caused by the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, in our view the financial and operational risks both to the 4NCL and to Guaranteed Events are just too big to run the risk of proceeding at this stage.

We will be actively looking at two options for the future:

1) If over the board chess resumes in an orderly manner and in a way which makes running 4NCL weekends viable by late 2020 we will consider starting the 2020/21 season in November/December 2020 and continuing as normal in 2021. In this event the 2019/20 season would effectively be abandoned (so there would be no promotions or relegations).

2) If over the board chess does not resume in an orderly manner and in a way which makes running 4NCL weekends viable until 2021 we will consider holding the final two weekends of the 2019/20 season in March-May 2021, effectively 'losing' a season - assuming, that is, that a return to orderly over the board chess is possible even then. Please note that FIDE has given the option for leagues to extend beyond a year, and so any title norm opportunities would still be available in the event of option 2.

If there is a suitable gap in the calendar under option 2, we may look at holding a separate one-off weekend team event at some point.

We apologise for the continuing lack of clarity over future plans (other than the clarity that the 4NCL will not now resume until November/December 2020 at the earliest), but the 4NCL Board hopes that 4NCL captains and players will understand the difficulties that we face at present in making anything like informed decisions that do not entail significant risk at a time of such uncertainty.

Kind regards,

Mike Truran
One assumes now that the 4NCL will announce that the first option above is now abandoned and hope that things improve sufficiently for the second option to take effect in late Spring 2021.

Nick Ivell
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Nick Ivell » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:45 pm

I'm not hopeful, even about option 2.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:07 pm

Assuming things will be no better in March-May 2021 does seem highly pessimistic tbh.

(and if true, we would likely have weightier matters than OTB chess to worry about)
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David Robertson
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by David Robertson » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:31 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:07 pm
Assuming things will be no better in March-May 2021 does seem highly pessimistic tbh
There's a reasonable chance things could be far worse! We're in the early stages of a second wave; or, if you prefer, an intensification of the first wave. The NE has entered quasi-lockdown already; parts of the NW (including Merseyside) will likely follow tomorrow. That's unlikely to be the end of it. By late Spring 2021, still awaiting a reliable vaccine, a second wave could have swept through with incalculable disruption.

I've been a pessimist on this matter since mid-February. Nothing since has changed my view that we're in this for the long haul. How long is that? Deep into 2021, minimum. Beyond this time next year, I don't have a view. Not yet.

Mick Norris
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Mick Norris » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:34 pm

You need enough players wanting to book rooms in the host hotels to make a 4NCL weekend viable

My experience of the demographic in Div3N would suggest that Nick may be correct

This is independent of the financial position of the hotels and the possibility of local lockdowns which might prevent players attending who use public transport

On the other hand, I understand from Trump that we will have a vaccine by the start of November, so everyone might be fine
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Nick Ivell
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Nick Ivell » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:40 pm

The virus will have certain advantages over the next few months. Same as flu in that respect.

I can't see myself going back to shaking hands at 4NCL. If anything is a vector for infection during the flu season, that must be it.

And yet in the good old days we never worried about it, did we?

John Sellen
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by John Sellen » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:51 pm

I think David you are spot on
Having only got back into chess on my retirement I have loved going to weekend congresses over the last few years and really want OTB chess to start again
Personally ( and we all have our own view ) I cant see OTB chess in the UK getting going again until the 2nd half of 2021 at the earliest
Having said this I will be delighted to be proved wrong

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by LawrenceCooper » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:42 pm

Neil Graham wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:38 pm

One assumes now that the 4NCL will announce that the first option above is now abandoned and hope that things improve sufficiently for the second option to take effect in late Spring 2021.
I think that the longer the uncertainty continues then the less likely it is that they will even try to arrange five new weekends. Having one player on the verge of his final IM norm from the 2019-20 season I am trying not to give up hope that he will get the chance of playing three of the final five rounds at some point but it's hard to be too optimistic of that at present.

Neil Graham
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Neil Graham » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:48 pm

LawrenceCooper wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:42 pm
Neil Graham wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:38 pm

One assumes now that the 4NCL will announce that the first option above is now abandoned and hope that things improve sufficiently for the second option to take effect in late Spring 2021.
I think that the longer the uncertainty continues then the less likely it is that they will even try to arrange five new weekends. Having one player on the verge of his final IM norm from the 2019-20 season I am trying not to give up hope that he will get the chance of playing three of the final five rounds at some point but it's hard to be too optimistic of that at present.
I think trying to arrange the last two weekends of 2019-20 at some future date is the best we can hope for.

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by LawrenceCooper » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:00 pm

Neil Graham wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:48 pm
LawrenceCooper wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:42 pm
Neil Graham wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:38 pm

One assumes now that the 4NCL will announce that the first option above is now abandoned and hope that things improve sufficiently for the second option to take effect in late Spring 2021.
I think that the longer the uncertainty continues then the less likely it is that they will even try to arrange five new weekends. Having one player on the verge of his final IM norm from the 2019-20 season I am trying not to give up hope that he will get the chance of playing three of the final five rounds at some point but it's hard to be too optimistic of that at present.
I think trying to arrange the last two weekends of 2019-20 at some future date is the best we can hope for.
Agreed. Ending up with two seasons in limbo would be most unfortunate.

Neil Graham
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Re: Postponement - official

Post by Neil Graham » Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:27 pm

I understand that option 1 as described in Mike's missive above (ie resumption in Nov/Dec of a new 20/21 season) won't take place.

Option 2 (resumption of 19/20 season in late Spring 2021) is now the only alternative on the table. As discussed elsewhere on this thread prospects for this don't seem optimistic at present.

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