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At the recent board meeting several items were discussed with regard to next season and I thought it was important to bring you up-to-date with them.
After much discussion and consideration of the input we have had from various interested parties the Board has decided to make the structure of the 4th Division a Swiss for up to 36 teams.
In line with the Olympiad, placings will be decided on game points rather than match points.
Tie-breaks will be decided on game points, then match points, then sum of opponents' scores and then coin toss.
Pairings will be made after each round and will be based on game points.
Four promotion places will be available.
For 80 point purposes across single squads spanning different divisions and for establishing board order, BCF grades wherever available will be converted to a notional FIDE rating using BCF's new modified conversion formula, with real FIDE rates only used where BCF grades are not available for conversion.
There will be a three game point penalty for every two defaults.
Entry fees will be increased slightly to £125 for first teams and £150 for second teams etc. This brings them more into line with Divisions 1-3 having adjusted for just 6 players per team rather than 8.
A number of options were discussed in regard to the continuing problem of defaults. Suggestions that teams deposit a bond, for compensation to those affected players, were rejected as impractical.
However to encourage Captains as much as possible not to default the Board has decided to increase the penalty such that for every two defaults, one match-point will be lost in Divisions 1,2 and 3 and three game points in Division 4.
It is important to note here that if a team provides an ineligible player, so that an opponent does not have a wasted journey, this game will score nil for the team but will count for rating purposes and will not count as a default.
These tighter rules will be brought in next season because of the increasing number of players who are incurring an unnecessary expense in turning up and then not getting a game.
With regard to the great desire among League participants that all divisions should be in the same venue, we are pleased to announce that we have gone some way towards this by securing the Paragon hotel in Birmingham as a venue for Divisions 1,2 and 3.
The rates are slightly higher than this year: £37 for a single and £50 for a twin/double.
However I think you will all agree that this is worth it considering we are getting a central venue and are able to accommodate three divisions. They are also broadly in line with the expected rates for the Nottingham and West Brom Moathouses next year.
Dates For Next Season
These have all been agreed and have been posted on the web-site
Entry Fees and Prize-money
Entry fees in Divisions 1-3 will remain the same but prize money will be increased by 20% across all divisions. See the website for full details.
Mark Hogarth has been appointed to the Board as a "B" director. He will be focussing on sponsorship, PR and marketing as well as being an informal representative for teams in Division 4.
Paul Littlewood (4NCL Chairman)
Pride and Prejudice
Barbican 4NCL 1
White Rose 1
Cambridge Univ. 1
Barbican 4NCL 2
Pandora's Box Grantham
S. Wales Dragons
Poisoned Pawns 1
Jutes of Kent
Warwickshire Select 1
Barbican 4NCL Youth
Poisoned Pawns 2
Celtic Tigers 1
White Rose 2
FCA Solutions 1
Sambuca Black Sheep
Cambridge Univ. 2
Warwickshire Select 2
FCA Solutions 2
The Full Ponty
Sussex Smart Ctls.
Braille Chess Assoc.
Beauty and the Beasts
Celtic Tigers 2