League Management Committee – Minutes

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Minutes of the LMC meeting held at Gambit Chess Club on 07/02/2006

Present: Wallace Bryce (WB), Ian Fillingham (IF), David Levens (DL), Alex Posazhennikov (AP), Barry Redburn, Drag Sudar (DS).

Apologies received from Steve Burke and Maurice Hill.

WB was appointed acting chairman.

Previous Meeting On 17/10/2005

The minutes of the previous meeting in July were approved. In the one matter arising the LMC approved DS’ proposal (to be seconded by DL) to remove all references to adjudication from the rules.

Rules A3 & A4e

The meeting noted that DL would not be able to vote on the two items involving West Nottingham (WN) but agreed to allow him to be present at the discussion of the items.

DS said he had informed WN he would abstain from voting on the item that involved Gambit to ensure that the vote was seen to be conducted in a fair manner.

IF also decided to abstain.

Rule A13

Last July DS had informed the LMC he would ignore rule A13 in producing the fixture list mainly due to 5 teams moving home nights to Tuesday and to cater for clubs’ requirements, and this would result in some matches between teams from the same club being scheduled in January.

AP had expressed concern that a league rule was to be broken in order to cater for the wishes of clubs.

After discussion, the LMC concluded that DS should have sought permission from the LMC.

DL proposed a change to rule A13 – from 31st December to 31st January – which WB offered to second.

The LMC decided not to penalise the teams that had broken rule A13 due to the fixture list.

AP expressed concern that some rules were allowed to be broken but others were strictly applied. DS said it was impractical to strictly apply all the rules, giving examples including teams agreeing to postpone matches without requesting permission and every single captain breaking D2e.

The LMC decided to seek guidance from the AGM as to how strictly the rules should be applied.

The LMC asked the LS and RS to review the rules with a view to streamlining them.

Rule C2 – Request for Eamon Lim (EL) to play for WN having already played for Nomads this season

DL said EL had approached them stating his wish to play for them. He had played once for Nomads.

BR was initially against due to the potential affect on opposition teams in the division Eamon would play in.

DS said that WN had not consulted Nomads and had e-mailed the LMC directly rather than following the correct procedure of sending the request to the LS. Nomads had objected to Eamon playing for WN and were unhappy at WN’s conduct.

After discussion the LMC voted 4–1 to allow Eamon to play for WN, as it was his first season. The LMC asks all clubs to remind players they are committed the club for the whole season. The LMC instructs all clubs that requests under C2 must be sent to the LS and that the player’s original club should be consulted.

Rules A12 & E7 – WN1’s appeal against a default to Gambit 1 on 29/11/2005

DS reported that WN 1 defaulted after DL failed to get Brian Hayward’s (BH) agreement to postpone that night’s match. A week after Gambit claimed the match WN asked DS to agree to a postponement. DS told WN that DL had not sought permission (A12a), that an inability to raise a team was not a valid reason to postpone and that WN should have made more effort to find replacements or to turn up with the three available players (WN had informed DS that the 3 the players (two juniors) had no transport). WN appealed.

DL stated that on the morning of the match, with some of his players already unavailable, he was informed that a player was ill. He also felt unwell so tried to contact BH and they finally spoke in the early afternoon. BH did not agree to a postponement. DL informed BH that WN 1 would not be able to play the fixture.

DL informed the LMC that he felt illness was a compelling reason for asking for a postponement.

BR said that WN 1 could have made more effort to turn up and if the LMC overturned the default it could set a precedent where teams might postpone matches when short of their better players.

WB said although it was unfortunate that players had become unavailable at short notice more effort should have been made to play the fixture.

DL felt he had not had enough time to try and find other players or sort out transport.

DS said there should have been enough time from early afternoon to try to arrange something.

DL felt the penalties were harsh and said in the previous season he had happily agreed to a postponement when a team was struggling for players, as he believed the emphasis should be to play chess.

The LMC agreed that A12a was perfectly clear that a postponement had to be requested before the fixture.

AP thought that the £10 fine should be revoked as DL had contacted BH before the match.

BR said the penalty should be as stated in E7, 2 points and £10.

WB suggested the two-point penalty be reduced to one point.

The LMC voted 3–0 not to overturn the default.

The LMC voted 2–1 against upholding both the 2-point penalty and the £10 fine.

The LMC voted 2–1 to uphold the 2-point penalty.

The meeting closed at 9:58 pm.

Minutes of the LMC meeting held at Gambit Chess Club on 19/07/2005

Present: Wallace Bryce (WB), Steve Burke (SB), Ian Fillingham (IF), Maurice Hill (MH), David Levens (DL), Alex Posazhennikov (AP), Drag Sudar (DS)

Maurice Hill was elected chairman.

Minutes of the meeting on 22/03/2005

DS was asked to refer in the fixtures handbook to the rules regarding the fall of the flag and the recording of moves.

SB said that he and Marcel Taylor (a member of the previous LMC) were disappointed that at the rules revision meeting (RRM) in June 2005 members of the LMC had voted against a proposal (Schedule F) that they had supported in principle at the meeting in March, and he felt that the LMC members should support proposals made on behalf of the LMC. There was sympathy with that view but some agreed that it was possible for people to change their mind between an LMC meeting and the RRM, or during the RRM.

League entries

DS reported that all 13 clubs had eventually submitted their entries and that 41 teams had been entered with West Bridgford and Grantham both asking that their 2nd team be placed in the lowest division.

The LMC decided upon a league structure of 5 divisions with 9, 8, 8, 8 & 8 teams in them (details can be found in the fixtures handbook issued last August to clubs and captains). DS suggested that the 1st division should be reduced to 8 teams but the LMC decided against.

Rule B8 – Exemption from quick play finishes

DS reported that only 2 clubs had remembered to reapply for exemptions from quick play finishes for the members of their clubs that had had the exemption in the previous season. DS had prompted the other 4 clubs (as he wanted to avoid those clubs making the application in September when they realised the players were no longer exempt) who then made the requests. After some discussion, although there was a general consensus that most of the 6 should not be exempt, the LMC reluctantly decided to grant exemptions to all 6 players feeling it would be unfair to remove exemptions that had been granted for a number of years.

A request by Radcliffe & Bingham for exemption for D. Toms was rejected. The LMC agreed that managing time on the clock was each player’s responsibility and an integral part of league chess.

Any other business

MH asked DS to mention in the fixtures handbook that Nomads had lost money due to having to hire a room for a match only for the opponents to default.

The meeting closed at 8:35 pm.

Minutes of the LMC meeting held at Gambit Chess Club on 17/10/2005

Present: Wallace Bryce (WB), Steve Burke (SB), Ian Fillingham (IF), Maurice Hill (MH), David Levens (DL), Alex Posazhennikov (AP), Drag Sudar (DS)

Previous meeting on 19/07/2005

The minutes of the previous meeting in July were approved.

Rules D1 and D2 – Submission of results

Neil Graham had asked the LMC to clarify how results could be sent to the records secretary. Earlier in the season he had sent a result by email but was informed this was in breach of rules D1 & D2 and that the AGM in July 2005 had decided to leave unchanged the current method of submitting results.

The LMC confirmed that the rules require the match result to be sent on a result card signed by a representative of each team. It is acceptable to email a scan of a result card containing both signatures. To be able to use any other method of submitting results someone will have to propose a change to the rules.

Rule E7 – Penalties for defaulted matches

University 3 defaulted its first match, away to Ashfield 4. The University 3 captain, Phil Jacobs, wrote to DS explaining the circumstances and asking that no penalty be applied.

The LMC decided the circumstances were within the club’s control (see rule E9) as there had been enough time between the start of term and the date of the match for the club to organise a team. Therefore the 2 point penalty would be applied. The LMC recognized that this was Phil Jacob’s first match as captain and therefore agreed to waive the £10 fine if University 3 does not default another match this season.

Rule B8 – Exemption from quick play finishes

Having had a previous request for exemption from quick play time limits (QPTL) for D. Toms (DT) rejected at the July meeting, Radcliffe & Bingham again requested exemption, this time claiming a medical reason.

The following is a brief summary of the points made at the meeting.

DS reminded the LMC that the July meeting had agreed the following:

There was general agreement that competitive chess is stressful and players can be in time trouble not only near the end of the game but also at any time control (in adjudication time limits (ATL) it is possible to have more than one time control)). Effective clock management is the player’s responsibility, especially if he knows that he struggles when short of time.

MH and WB wondered whether players who suffered from medical conditions that they felt could affect them in time trouble should think about whether they should be playing at all.

The meeting noted that quite a few players had conditions similar to DT’s but happily played to QPTL.

The meeting also noted that as a player gets older it becomes more difficult to maintain the same level of grade. Most players would eventually have to face this fact, especially those with higher grades, as for them the reduction in grade can be larger than for others.

DS said that all players should play to the same rules and adapt their game and their time management as required. He half expected someone to request exemption from having to make the first time control!

IF felt that this LMC, because of previous LMCs’ decisions, had little choice but to grant exemption. However, he was concerned with the wording of the rule and would prefer to see adjudication abolished.

SB said that the LMC should follow precedent and grant exemption. It would be wrong for this LMC to ignore decisions made by previous LMCs, even if some current members disagreed with those earlier decisions.

DL said that if this claim were taken in isolation, he would be against granting exemption. However, he felt that there probably was some precedent and therefore the LMC might have to grant exemption.

DS said there was no precedent as no player was exempted for the same reasons claimed by DT. He felt that the LMC should not be bound by poor decisions made by previous LMCs that went against the original intention of the rule he had proposed in 1994 (to grant exemptions on the ground of physical incapacity).

SB asked DS if he knew why previous exemptions been granted. DS replied that, according to the records:

  1. 2 for physical disability
  2. 1 for blindness
  3. 1 for angina
  4. 1 without a reason
  5. 6 for being ‘old’

DS said that the player with angina had stopped playing competitive chess as he found that playing to the adjudication time limits (ATL) did not reduce his stress during the game. He added that at least two of the players currently exempt from QPTL play in county matches and congresses seemingly without any difficulty. One of those had exploited a loophole (before it was closed in 2004) to choose whether to play to QPTL or ATL in the NCA league. As DS’s original intentions when proposing the rule change in 1994 was that exemptions should be granted to players who had genuine difficulties with pressing the clock, he felt that some players had taken advantage of previous LMC members’ generosity in granting them exemptions.

There was a discussion as to whether anybody at all should have exemption. It was noted that many physically disabled and blind people played to QPTL in leagues and congresses, and that the Derby & District Chess League had never had ATL yet this had not prevented players with physical disabilities from playing. One of the two players exempted in 1994 currently plays in the DDCL.

IF noted that some players brought helpers along to press the clock for them.

DL felt that the rule had been taken advantage of and it should be changed to only grant exemption for those with genuine problems such as blindness or cerebral palsy etc.

SB said the current rule was badly worded as it left open to interpretation what was considered to be valid grounds for exemption and so it needed to be changed.

AP said he agreed with DS.

SB IF and DL voted to grant exemption.

WB AP and DS voted not to grant exemption.

MH had the casting vote and found the decision difficult but eventually decided not to grant exemption.

The request was refused by 4 votes to 3.

The LMC decided that the rules had to change either to exempt players only on the grounds of physical disability or to abolish ATL. The LMC would put forward a proposal for consideration at the RRM. If the proposal is rejected the LMC would seek advice from the AGM (to which it reports) as to what it should consider as valid grounds for exemption.

The meeting closed at 9:15 p.m.