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Armstrong Cup 2018-19

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  • Good suggestion by Ciaran.

    Looking on the bright side, if it doesn't happen, Rathmines getting relegated (and not promoted from the Heidenfeld) would break the sequence of getting the same teams.

    It's not even really true, sodacat, if you go back two seasons.
    In 2016/17 Rathmines played Balbriggan in round 10 and Blanchardstown in round 11:
    http://www.chessleague.net/chessorg/leinster/fixtures.php?org=1&lid=85

    In 15/16 Rathmnines was in the Heidenfeld and in 14/15 Rathmines played the two Elm Mount teams in the last two rounds.




  • That is only because promoted teams replace relegated teams. We had the same fixtures, just with venues reversed, in the same order this season as last.
    I am sure that Trinity would enjoy relegating their local rivals, Dublin, so start ensuring that you get a strong team out against them in may!




  • sodacat11 wrote: »
    That is only because promoted teams replace relegated teams. We had the same fixtures, just with venues reversed, in the same order this season as last.
    I am sure that Trinity would enjoy relegating their local rivals, Dublin, so start ensuring that you get a strong team out against them in may!

    We shall do our best to save you but you need to get all your big guns out on the last day, whatever the problems with school exams etc.

    At least the tie-break is in your favour if you can make up the half-point deficit on Dublin?

    I suspect it will come down to who is available on whichever date and venue is chosen. Personally I favour playing on the 12th May in Rathfarnham rather than out in ALSAA on the 19th. Both dates are bad for some people, between student exams, clash with Ennis on the 19th, and other factors. It's just far too late in the season.

    Meanwhile the league table has been updated. Some teams including Gonzaga are still missing a few Reg deductions and Blanchardstown are minus all their points at present.




  • I suspect it will come down to who is available on whichever date and venue is chosen. Personally I favour playing on the 12th May in Rathfarnham rather than out in ALSAA on the 19th. Both dates are bad for some people, between student exams, clash with Ennis on the 19th, and other factors. It's just far too late in the season..

    I never heard the 12th in May being mentioned anywhere. What's that about?




  • sodacat11 wrote: »
    I never heard the 12th in May being mentioned anywhere. What's that about?

    Well you are the one who posted on 19 March (page 25 of this thread):
    sodacat11 wrote: »
    I heard that both the venue and the date of the last round might be changed. They both certainly should be!!

    May 12 was the original date, though no venue was announced.
    I am going on what I've been told unofficially by our captain.

    The Aer Lingus club is only available on the 19th apparently but he tells me there is a move to have the matches (or some of them) played on the 12th after all at Colaiste Eanna, Rathfarnham.

    This is unofficial; I have no first-hand confirmation.


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  • Dun Laoghaire 1-7 Gonzaga B




  • Dun Laoghaire 1-7 Gonzaga B

    So that is first, second and last places confirmed. Which leaves third place and the other relegation spot to be decided on 19 May, but LCU still have not made a definite announcement about the times that each division final is to be played, so far as I can see.




  • benildus .5 Rathmines .5
    I hear that Trinity only have four or five players available for their match against Dublin on Sunday. If this is the case then either Trinity should get relegated for failing to fulfill their fixtures or we should get a play off against Dublin. It would be grossly unfair if we were relegated because of a combination of inept fixturing by the league controller and unacceptable behaviour by Trinity. If Trinity knew they weren't going to be able to field a decent team why didn't they contact the Controller and have their match v Dublin played in advance? The whole thing is a pathetic farce.




  • sodacat11 wrote: »
    benildus .5 Rathmines .5
    I hear that Trinity only have four or five players available for their match against Dublin on Sunday. If this is the case then either Trinity should get relegated for failing to fulfill their fixtures or we should get a play off against Dublin. It would be grossly unfair if we were relegated because of a combination of inept fixturing by the league controller and unacceptable behaviour by Trinity. If Trinity knew they weren't going to be able to field a decent team why didn't they contact the Controller and have their match v Dublin played in advance? The whole thing is a pathetic farce.

    I am not the captain and I don't know where you got your information. I don't know how many players we shall have (it was four a few days ago) but I will play and do my best. Probably this will be the last league game I play for anyone, certainly for Trinity.

    Our captain, as I understand it, entered the Ennis Congress before the LCU changed the date of the last round. Even the original date was far too late in the year, falling in the middle of student exams.
    Also Trinity has to field an Ennis team in the same session. I have no idea whether there will be a full team for that.

    I believe our captain asked for games or the whole match to be played in advance but Dublin wouldn't agree because of course they want to exploit the situation.

    LCU cannot penalise us for their mistakes but I agree you should get a challenge match against Dublin to decide the relegation spot.




  • You can join Rathmines Tim!
    Not very sporting of Dublin to decline a reschedule but no surprise as sportsmanship seems to be a thing of the past these days . The only fair way of solving what is a very unfair situation is a play off between Dublin and Rathmines. Then again, maybe Benildus could do a "trinity" a field a vastly weakened team, that would teach Dublin a lesson.


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  • sodacat11 wrote: »
    You can join Rathmines Tim!
    Not very sporting of Dublin to decline a reschedule but no surprise as sportsmanship seems to be a thing of the past these days . The only fair way of solving what is a very unfair situation is a play off between Dublin and Rathmines. Then again, maybe Benildus could do a "trinity" a field a vastly weakened team, that would teach Dublin a lesson.

    Thanks for the offer, Sodacat! I might take you up on it but don't expect me to play many matches.

    I don't know exactly what exchanges there were between our captain and Dublin CC.
    Benildus are two points ahead of Trinity for the "bronze" and 3.5 ahead of Kilkenny. They are safe from us, I think, but might be worried about Kilkenny scoring big against Blanchardstown.




  • I now learn that Trinity did NOT ask for their match v Dublin to be rearranged, apparently their captain "forgot".
    I was looking back at last season, Trinity defaulted eight games, 4 v Dun Laoghaire and 2 each v Rathmines and Kilkenny. Every season they can't play their first match at the same time as everyone else and now they seem unable to field a decent team for their final fixture. I have to wonder just what the point is in having them in the league at all especially since most of their players are just poached from other clubs once they start going to university.




  • There is (or at least used to be) a rule that if a team wins a game by walkover and that result had a significant impact on champions/promotion/relegation that results against the team that gave the walkover would be discounted (or something like that?). I don't know how or if that would apply to partial walkovers, in the instance that seems likely to occur.




  • 5.5 Where a team defaults or concedes walkovers in three or more games in a match, and
    as a result there is a distortion in placing such that another team suffers, either by
    relegation, missing a play-off or promotion place or failing to win a division when they
    might have done, a special match shall be arranged between the team benefiting from
    the defaults (say team “A”) and the displaced team (say team “B”), to determine
    relative places. Team “B” shall only have the right to this match if:
    a) Team “B” has a greater total of points than team “A” when both
    teams scores on the defaulted boards only against the team that
    defaulted or conceded walkovers are eliminated and
    b) Team “B” has itself not defaulted or conceded walkovers in 3 or more games
    in the season or has not benefitted from defaults or walkovers in 3 or more
    games in the season.
    c) To reverse the placing, team “B” must defeat Team “A” (who shall have home
    venue). In the event of a draw placing remains unchanged. Where multiple
    defaults occur, the scores of all defaulting teams will be eliminated to
    determine “special match” rights.


    Here is the rule in question




  • Yep. So let's say Trinity only put out four boards on Sunday (as an example). Then Dublin win those boards 4-0 obviously, while Rathmines lost 3-1 on the same boards earlier in the season. Dublin have gained 3 points as a result, and if that is the difference between relegation and survival, then Rathmines are entitled to challenge Dublin to a play-off match.

    Similar story at the top of the Ennis if it comes to it - Drogheda v Trinity and St Benildus v Cavan, with both Drogheda and St Benildus currently level on points. If Trinity only have three players, then St Benildus scored 2½ on the bottom three boards in the league meeting while Drogheda will have scored 3/3, and so if that decides the title, then a play-off can be held.

    Something similar happened on the last day of the 2009/10 season; Elm Mount and Kilkenny were two of the teams going for the title on the last day (along with St Benildus), but Kilkenny faced a Trinity side with just five players. again involving Trinity, and I think the captains of Kilkenny and Elm Mount were called aside before the match to ensure they were clear on the rules. Probably something similar will happen this Sunday.

    (In that case actually, as Elm Mount had scored 3/3 on the bottom 3 boards against Trinity, no play-off would have been granted if Kilkenny had won the title, which is slightly unfair as Elm Mount's 3/3 was achieved against real people and was therefore much harder, but it's difficult for the rule to be perfect.)




  • So better for Rathmines if Trinity only have four or five players and three defaults than they turn up with three very low rated subs?




  • Yes. If they play 4 patzers on 5-8, then Dublin still win 4-0, but there's no provision for a play-off




  • Sadly the LCU seem to ignore many rules passed over the years
    ( notably the rule that 6 Armstrong matches be played before Christmas)
    which might, if adhered to , meant that the Leagues could have finished much earlier.
    Why bother going to AGM's if rule changes are not implemented?




  • I do not see anything in the rules about playing six rounds before Christmas. I know that there may be a wish for that to happen but there are not that many free weekends before Christmas to fit everything in. Clubs also do not like to play two weekends running as well. They also do not want to play much in December. So I am sure there are plenty of experts out there who can take over and come up with a schedule that suites EVERYONE.

    Good luck on that one.




  • Kilmokey wrote: »
    I do not see anything in the rules about playing six rounds before Christmas. I know that there may be a wish for that to happen but there are not that many free weekends before Christmas to fit everything in. Clubs also do not like to play two weekends running as well. They also do not want to play much in December. So I am sure there are plenty of experts out there who can take over and come up with a schedule that suites EVERYONE.

    Good luck on that one.
    No set of fixtures will suit everyone but better to use the most common sense approach which excludes having a huge break between rounds ten and eleven. I don't see how a game in December could be such an inconvenience especially as there are no other tournaments between Kilkenny and Christmas.


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  • Kilmokey wrote: »
    I do not see anything in the rules about playing six rounds before Christmas. I know that there may be a wish for that to happen but there are not that many free weekends before Christmas to fit everything in. Clubs also do not like to play two weekends running as well. They also do not want to play much in December. So I am sure there are plenty of experts out there who can take over and come up with a schedule that suites EVERYONE.

    Good luck on that one.

    And the highlighted bit above is the issue. The Armstrong as originally configured was a weekday evening event. Over the years, it has gradually become a weekend event (even more so in 2019/20 than in the current season), based on the highly inefficient model of 1 game per weekend. We either grasp that particular nettle and do something about it, or we live with the fact that the it takes us 9 months to complete an 11 round event.




  • anchor4208 wrote: »
    And the highlighted bit above is the issue. The Armstrong as originally configured was a weekday evening event. Over the years, it has gradually become a weekend event (even more so in 2019/20 than in the current season), based on the highly inefficient model of 1 game per weekend. We either grasp that particular nettle and do something about it, or we live with the fact that the it takes us 9 months to complete an 11 round event.

    Good point! Maybe the solution is to play the final two rounds on the same day in one venue sometime in March, it would certainly make for a very exciting finish as well as ease fixture congestion.




  • sodacat11 wrote: »
    Good point! Maybe the solution is to play the final two rounds on the same day in one venue sometime in March, it would certainly make for a very exciting finish as well as ease fixture congestion.

    That would mean some teams had five home matches and others had four.

    Maybe even better would be to have a double-round day at a single venue in October, which would make it much easier to have six rounds before Christmas, and just a single round at the end (as at present) but always pre-Easter.

    At present there are two or three clear weekends between the St. Andrews charity classic and Limerick.




  • You also need spare weeks /weekends as well to accommodate those away on international duty as there are more players going away to these events and they are need to close off rounds to get the games rated.

    A single venue to play extra round will cost more money and require divisional controllers to give up more time !!

    also it is a Leinster wide competition so it is unfair to blame country teams for taking up weekends




  • Kilmokey wrote: »
    also it is a Leinster wide competition so it is unfair to blame country teams for taking up weekends
    I don't think that was necessarily intended. There's been a trend for Dublin-based teams to move to playing on Saturdays in recent years.




  • mikhail wrote: »
    I don't think that was necessarily intended. There's been a trend for Dublin-based teams to move to playing on Saturdays in recent years.

    For sure, it was never my intention to blame anyone. What's happened is down to a number of factors - Dublin traffic, a thriving Irish chess scene with multiple new tournaments etc. etc.

    The point is this, there's no point in complaining about the current setup without being aware of what the alternatives are. Very simply, there are just three alternatives

    1. We revert to an evening league, with the only exception being for country teams.

    2. We continue our move to being a weekend league, but with a number (1+) of double rounds.

    3. We continue the way we are.

    I really don't see any other options. Which one is the least bad?




  • I think that the leagues should be midweek as there are plenty of weekend events already. It takes me an hour from my home to drive to any Dublin venue and it is not a big deal so I would only give "country status" to teams like Kilkenny and Ballinasloe and Drogheda, certainly not to Bray or Balbriggan which aren't all that far from Dublin. Even the Curragh is less than half an hour from the Red Cow roundabout. Maybe a "country" club could be defined as one in a county without a Dublin border?




  • I think the amount of weekends available is underestimated. I’ll be trying to free up a weekend in September for the start and will work with the new league controller on it. 95% of event dates are known by September.

    1 September round, 1-2 October Rounds, 1-2 November Rounds, 1-2 December round. I don’t think it’s imperative that we play 6 rounds before Christmas as Tim and others suggested - preferable though.

    Then 2 January rounds, 2 February rounds and 1-2 March rounds. I don’t really have a problem finishing in April.




  • anchor4208 wrote: »
    ... a thriving Irish chess scene with multiple new tournaments etc. etc.

    Definitely. Perhaps the main cause right there.
    anchor4208 wrote: »
    The point is this, there's no point in complaining about the current setup without being aware of what the alternatives are. Very simply, there are just three alternatives

    1. We revert to an evening league, with the only exception being for country teams.

    2. We continue our move to being a weekend league, but with a number (1+) of double rounds.

    3. We continue the way we are.

    I really don't see any other options. Which one is the least bad?

    4. Reduce the number of clubs per division to 10.

    5. Tinker around the edges.

    5a. Start the season a week earlier.
    5b. Add a week in December.
    5c. One double round on final weekend. (= smallest version of 2)
    5d. Require all non-country teams to be able to play 1-2 home matches on weekdays to accommodate the away team (= mini-version of 1)
    5e. Narrow definition of country team, so that home team only has to switch to Saturday if it's really necessary.
    5f. Six rounds before Christmas.
    5g. Finish league before Easter.

    Re 5d, it might be awkward to have to make arrangements to have club premises available on a night other than the regular club night. But it's no more awkward than the current situation in which all weekday club night clubs have to do exactly that to accommodate country teams. For some clubs it's just more awkward than it's worth to arrange two possible days (unless they have to), so they switch to Saturdays, which in turn induces other teams to switch to Saturdays as well, since their players adjust their personal schedules more and more around Saturday play. There needs to be some push in the other direction.

    Re 5e, there may not be scope to change many fixtures, but for example Elm Mount (home) v. Balbriggan was a Saturday match this year. Is this absolutely necessary?


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  • I think this argument is a non-issue essentially and will be resolved next year. Going through the calendar, there are 21 free weekends between September and the end of March. Take away the latter half of December, 3-4 weekends for yet to be announced events and there’s still 15 weekends.

    Hopefully the new league controller can get bedded in quickly and gets some help from the outgoing LC.

    7/12 Armstrong teams use Saturdays currently - I don’t think the genie will go back in the bottle and I don’t think it needs to; not for this reason anyway.


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