4NCL team names

Venues, fixtures, teams and related matters.

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Ben Purton
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Re: 4NCL team names

Post by Ben Purton » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:33 am

Do you ever turn up to the 4NCL before writing such trash Leonard?
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Richard Bates
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Re: 4NCL team names

Post by Richard Bates » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:40 am

Ben Purton wrote:Do you ever turn up to the 4NCL before writing such trash Leonard?
I think he makes a reasonably sound point. But then the 4NCL is not really a professional league, so citing a "less professional air" is perhaps rather missing the point. What is the chicken and what is the egg?
Last edited by Richard Bates on Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:48 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Ben Purton
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Re: 4NCL team names

Post by Ben Purton » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:42 am

You seem to fail to mention the French league is divided up across the country which often comes under criticism as being an
"enjoyable" event by professional players.

There is no doubt the German league is the number 1 in world, I doubt the 4NCL claim to be. For example The United States of America, you know I heard they are a big country somewhere? They have names which are on the same level as those in 4NCL.

So really before you are critical of 4NCL in the press, consider visiting the event often?

Also the website is quite good, its a volunteer effort and I think it does a good job especially with the recent game annotation prizes.

Ben
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Leonard Barden
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Re: 4NCL team names

Post by Leonard Barden » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:53 am

Ben Purton wrote:YFor example The United States of America, you know I heard they are a big country somewhere? They have names which are on the same level as those in 4NCL. Ben
The top Eastern Division teams in the 2010 US Chess League were New England, Boston, Baltimore and New York. The top Western Division teams were Arizona, Chicago, Miami and Seattle.

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Ben Purton
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Re: 4NCL team names

Post by Ben Purton » Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:02 am

New England Nor'easters?? you mean?
Boston Blitz
Baltimore KingFishers?
Miami Sharks(a personal fav considering we are Sharks also)

What about the very quotable Manhattan Applesauce's?

I do think your article is ludicrous attack on mainly Claire's team name.

My team use to be called Slough Sharks, we took over from Slough of old, the problem with Slough Sharks, like with most of the teams in Germany, France and US is that none of the bloody players actually had any connection with Slough except I played for the team as a junior the end?

Considering my team had a share capacity to consume alcohol, I decided we were more accurately depicted as Sambuca Sharks.

I don't think you can compare Chess to football here.

The 4NCL is a fun event and does great for British chess, I think your article is negative and it does not/should not be.
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Richard Bates
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Re: 4NCL team names

Post by Richard Bates » Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:20 am

I think many of the European Leagues, or certainly the Bundesliga, are very much bottom up organisations. They are mainly genuine 'club' leagues, regionally based below the top of the pyramid, and as such it is unsurprising that they consist of teams with names genuinely connected to known areas. In the top league most players have little connection to their "areas", but i doubt this is true after relegation/sponsorship dries up and they have to rely on their amateur resources.

The 4NCL has always been a very different concept, very much top down and is much more of a "team" rather than a "club" league. Although obviously as the league has expanded there have been more examples of clubs entering at the lower levels. It may be true that the team names are often "media unfriendly" to some extent, but simply slapping some place names on the front wouldn't make any serious difference whilst, as Ben says, there is no "back story" connecting the players to the place names.

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John Saunders
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Re: 4NCL team names

Post by John Saunders » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:05 pm

I think Ben is quite wrong to interpret Leonard's article as an attack on the league itself. It is a criticism of individual team/club managers who choose to give their teams inappropriate or obscure names.

One of the 4NCL's great strengths has always been its enlightened and easily comprehensible set of rules. It had the advantage of being new in the 1990s, so it could write a set of rules to go with the times, unlike long-established leagues and associations where the rules had been laid down in Edwardian times (and still seemed to have some Edwardian committee members to ensure they didn't get changed!). However, this laudable 'live and let live' attitude means that it chooses not to impose rules about naming of teams and relies on clubs to exercise good sense. Of course, as has been pointed out before, one of the least appropriate names is '4NCL' itself. 'Four Nations' was more of an aspiration than a fact. No Scottish team ever entered, and no Irish team has played for a long time. But it's a bit late to do anything about this and it has become established as a sort of brand anyway.

I do sympathise with Leonard. I've long hated many of the 4NCL team names for all the reasons he states, plus their general incomprehensibility. Plus all those tedious abbreviations which have to be explained time and time again in print. In journalism it is standard practice to give the full form of an abbreviation once in a given article/issue, so in a magazine I would write "English Chess Federation (ECF)" and thereafter just use the abbreviation. Perfectly OK for things like ECF or FIDE but I got fed up having to explain all the abbreviations of 4NCL teams, filling up valuable space and utterly ruining the flow of an article. The basic point is that, if a name has to be explained to a third party, then it is probably not a very sensible choice of name.

Of course, if all the names were changed to something more media-friendly overnight, it doesn't mean sponsors would suddenly coming flocking round and lavish their cash on us. But it would be small step in the right direction and it would also be less off-putting to individual 'newby' chessplayers who wouldn't need all the in-jokes and jargon terms explained.

None of the above should be interpreted as an attack on the 4NCL, nor am I suggesting that the league should legislate to insist on a standard name pattern. The less rules the better. But team managers should think carefully when naming their teams and perhaps seek a bit of advice (from the league or elsewhere) before doing so.
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David Sedgwick
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Re: 4NCL team names

Post by David Sedgwick » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:11 pm

John Saunders wrote:One of the 4NCL's great strengths has always been its enlightened and easily comprehensible set of rules.
Really? I've always found them totally incomprehensible. Moreover, they always seem to change from one season to the next.

But I digress.

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Re: 4NCL team names

Post by Alan Walton » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:16 pm

After reading Leonard's article,he does seem to have a problem with the match Cheddleton v The AD's

I presume he is only talking about the The AD's team, and not Cheddleton, because if he is complaining about a team name which is named after their home town (admittedly few of the players are actually residents) then this contradicts his whole argument

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Re: 4NCL team names

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:25 pm

Alan Walton wrote: I presume he is only talking about the The AD's team, and not Cheddleton
Was he making the point that many readers of the Guardian would struggle to find Cheddleton on a map? (It's just east of Stoke-On-Trent but I needed to use www.streetmap.co.uk to find it). That's not necessarily bad, having a team named after your town or village in a national event does increase name awareness. Think Rushden, Accrington or on the world stage Kalmkya.

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John Saunders
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Re: 4NCL team names

Post by John Saunders » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:35 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
John Saunders wrote:One of the 4NCL's great strengths has always been its enlightened and easily comprehensible set of rules.
Really? I've always found them totally incomprehensible. Moreover, they always seem to change from one season to the next.

But I digress.
David

Trust you to put your finger on the weak spot in my argument. If I substituted "used to be" for "has always been", would you be happy? Trouble is, this amendment would detract from my claim not to be criticising the 4NCL...
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John Saunders
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Re: 4NCL team names

Post by John Saunders » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:49 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Alan Walton wrote: I presume he is only talking about the The AD's team, and not Cheddleton
Was he making the point that many readers of the Guardian would struggle to find Cheddleton on a map? (It's just east of Stoke-On-Trent but I needed to use http://www.streetmap.co.uk to find it). That's not necessarily bad, having a team named after your town or village in a national event does increase name awareness. Think Rushden, Accrington or on the world stage Kalmkya.
I think it is a bit of both - Cheddleton ("parochial"), The ADs ("obscure"). One has a sliver of sympathy for the Cheddletons of this world, if they are an established club of that name and want to compete under it in a national competition. Why shouldn't they? No reason at all. But if more local clubs follow their lead and put together strong teams, it could ultimately lead to a headline such as "Cheddleton and Little Piddlington-in-the-Marsh Vie for British Chess Championship" - which might evince guffaws from the general public and/or prospective sponsors. The basic point is that the league really needs a few Londons, Birminghams, Manchesters, Liverpools and Newcastles in there - is that too much to ask?
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Richard Bates
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Re: 4NCL team names

Post by Richard Bates » Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:08 pm

John Saunders wrote: The basic point is that the league really needs a few Londons, Birminghams, Manchesters, Liverpools and Newcastles in there - is that too much to ask?
Perhaps you could approach the London chess club and suggest they enter a team? Wood Green could change their name to "London League" i suppose ;)

Manchester are already playing. Not doing very well though, i think they've had a bit of a problem finding enough players :D

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Re: 4NCL team names

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:28 pm

John Saunders wrote:The basic point is that the league really needs a few Londons, Birminghams, Manchesters, Liverpools and Newcastles in there - is that too much to ask?
It's not likely to have any Birminghams; people from Birmingham either play for Warwickshire Select or Halesowen.

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