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WDCL by the dozen

Posted on May 22, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Andrew Davies and David Blower attended the Wolverhampton Chess League 2014 AGM on behalf of the club.  There were in total 22 proposed rule changes to the league rules, and the meeting lasted so long that there was enough time to go through the first 13 of them, with the proposals 1-8, and 10-13 accepted (with number 9 withdrawn.) 


But first there was also the routine stuff.  After the meeting opened, and attendance and apoliogies were took, the minutes of the 2013 AGM were accepted and matters arising were gone through we then had: 


  • General Secretary's Report
  • Treasurer's Report
  • Record Secretary's Report
  • Tournament Secretary's Report
  • Publicity Consultant’s Report
  • Webmaster's Report
  • Staff Reps Report
  • E.C.F Rep. Report


This was all very detailed. 


Onto the nice part of the AGM and the trophies were given for the teams that had won leagues, Stourbridge A in division 1, Boldmere St. Michaels in division 2, Stourbridge B in division 3 and Walsall Kipping C in division 4. 


In the cup competitions Wolverhampton won the Pittaway Cup and Walsall Kipping won the Humphreys Trophy.  David Wrightman from Wolverhampton won the Rock Cup and Malcolm Phipps from Boldmere St. Michaels won the Bidgood Cup.  Congulations from Brewood to all the clubs and players that won team or individual trophies. 


After the routine stuff of reelecting the committee, we then had 2 applications to join the league.  In reality Shiftnal & Telford had never really left the league, but had withdrawn from division 1 of the league last season and had therefore effictively counted as one of the relegated teams from division 1.  They entered division 2 of the league.  Birmingham Chess Club were also elected to division 4. 


Then the league teams.  Brewood will enter the A team in division 2, the B team in division 3 and we confirmed our entry into the Humphreys Trophy.  Despite winning division 4 Walsall Kipping C did not take up promotion to division 3 and it was agreed that Mercia B (who finished 7th and were relegated from division 3 last season) would take up the vacant place in division 3. 


All of this took up until 9:00pm and then there were the proposals.  12 rule changes to the league rules were voted through.  And some of them were major. 


Proposals 1 and 2 were concerning tiebreak situations with regards to rules 10c and 10d, when teams were level on match points.  The method of deciding the tiebreaks by total game points won was eliminated.  Instead the new tiebreak method is first of all teams defaulting the fewest number of matches and if still equal than a playoff. 


Proposals 3-6 were concerning defaulted matches with regards to rule 3d.  Basically the Wolverhampton Chess League will now be more stricter on defaulted matches.  Expect points deductions for teams that default matches from next season.  There was a general feeling that it has been too easy for teams to default matches.  Here is the new rule 3d in full: 


  • Any team defaulting a match will be penalised 1 league point and must give at least 24 hours notice to the opposition, or be penalised an additional 1 league point in an away match,


  • or an additional 2 league points in a home match. Should a home team default and cause a team a wasted journey on 2 occasions, they shall be expelled from the league for that season.


  • Any team defaulting 3 matches in a season shall be expelled from the League for that season. 


  • A defaulted match should be defined as any match where less than 50% of a team play. 


Proposal 7 was regarding active players and registation of players (rule 5f) proposal 8 was regarding the length of season (rule 3a) and both were voted through.  Proposal 9 was withdrawn. 


Proposal 10 was regarding the time limit controls for games in all divisions within the league.  People wanted their say and it was never going to be a simple routine matter.  The "quality of chess" argument was brought up, fritz, the fact that some players will not play if we get rid of adjournments, petrol costs, the fact it was better to have all games in one evening. 


Counter argument after counter argument but eventually this proposal was put to the vote: 


DELETE all of current Rule 13 and REPLACE with:  

1.  The use of clocks shall be compulsory, and the time limits shall be one of the following options:

        (1)                    30 moves in 65 minutes, followed by a 15-minute quickplay finish.

        OR

        (2)                    if both teams agree before the start of the match, 36 moves in 75 minutes, followed by 28 moves in the next 60 minutes, followed by a 15-minute quickplay finish.

 

2.     In matches played to the time limit in 13.1.(2), both captains may agree to change the first time period from 36 moves in75 minutes to 42 moves in 90 minutes. 

 


It was voted through. 


Proposals 11-13 were an attempt to standardise the rates of play in the league matches, Pittaway Cup, Humphreys Trophy, Rock Cup, Bidgood Cup and playoffs.  All of the proposals 11-13 were voted through with the agreed time limit in quickplay matches of the first 30 moves in 65 minutes, followed by a 15-minute quickplay finish. 


Catherine Hiley from Rugeley Chess club was chairing the meeting and sensibly brought a halt at 10:15pm meaning proposals 14-22 will be carried to the 2015 AGM.  In AOB it was agreed in princable to have the 2015 AGM "this week next year" but that could not be given as a crystal eyed guarantee. 


I think it was known in advance that these proposed rule changes would create a debate and it proved that way.  But Andrew and I voted with our instinct of what we thought would be best for the players, clubs and the league.  Some people were not happy as they left, but whatever the result would have been it would not have pleased everyone.  As Andrew Davies would say good chess everyone! 

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