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Richardson/Spens results
I would be in favour of a rule of automatic demotion for a team that defaults
e.g. Cathcart should play in Spens next year and Hamilton B should be relegated to Rosebowl.

If Richardson was 6 boards, Murad would not be youngest ever winner.
Basic structure here is that the Richardson is Premier league and Spens is First division standard.

If the first division ceases to exist then, in general, those first division players would not enter the premier league.

(Writing the above as a first division player myself ).

Reasons for The success of the SNCL relative to the Richardson/Spens ?

Apart from the superb job done by Glynis and helpers over many years. Teams can avoid defaults by bringing in their friends from anywhere in the country or even from abroad.

The qualification rules in the Richardson and Spens are much tighter -this increases number of defaults.

Personally I would rather play against a ringer than play against a default.
Agree with what Phil is saying in his last post. However one key point with the SNCL not noted is the "central venue" (appreciate not quite everyone might agree that it is central). The clearly defined venue along with a date set in stone is what the Richardsons/Spens is perhaps needing?

That has to be a large part of the SNCL success and attraction to players. It takes away a lot of organising for club volunteers of venue etc, that has to be a good thing. It also gives clarity in advance not just of date but of location. Again a good thing for club members and organising a team.
Getting the number of players is normally nowhere near as difficult as getting the number of drivers sorted. For any long distance travel, 6 players means 2 car loads. A 5 player SNCL is just 1 car. I really don't think reducing the Richardson from 8 to 6 would help all that much. 8 to 5 yes, but we already have a 5 board event in the SNCL...
I wonder across Richardson, Spens and Rosebowl how many teams are participating currently in total?
This season the entrants were:

Spens (8)
Troon, Wandering Dragons, Glasgow Polytechnic, Hamilton, Irvine, Phones, Kilmarnock, Castlehill

Rosebowl (5)
Irvine, Edinburgh Civil Service, Wandering Dragons, Irvine, Castlehill

Richardsons (8)
Cathcart, Dundee, Bon Accord, Edinburgh West, Glasgow Polytechnic, Edinburgh, Hamilton, Wandering Dragons

We should probably exclude Rosebowl as its part of the Spens competition, depending how you view it? By definition any team playing in Rosebowl must have played in the Spens. (Not understanding why there are 5 teams in the Rosebowl either! would usually be 4?)

[*]Wandering Dragons, Poly Technic, Hamilton all entered a team in both Spens & Richardsons.
[*]There is also a rule whereby the same player can play in their clubs Spens & Richardsons team if they on the bottom 2 boards of Richardsons, unless there has been a recent rule change.
[*]There appears to have been 1 team withdrawal or default in the Spens, and 1 also in the Richardsons.

This info extracted from the competition pairings at
Jonathan Livingstone Wrote:Rosebowl (5)
Irvine, Edinburgh Civil Service, Wandering Dragons, Irvine, Castlehill

I think you have Irvine listed twice, in the Rosebowl.
Thanks Jim, to correct my typing mistake, Hamilton should be the 5th team in the Rosebowl... there was a prelim match between Irvine - Hamilton, before it went to the semi-finals (according to the CS data anyway on the link given).
"(I like the quote marks around 'central', Hamish. Does that mean you're worried that we'd end up holding it on an oil rig or something?)"

Or perhaps that a lot of folk's idea of "central" is likely to be halfway between Glasgow and Edinburgh, whereas as it is the Richardson is the only chess within easy driving distance for Bon Accord players. (An oil rig would be quite cool and I'd rather play the Richardson Final there than Grangemouth!)
Suggested change to format

1 8 Teams in each tournament
2 Teams of 8 in Richardson and 5 in Spens and Rosebowl
3 Matches to be played on Saturday mornings (Or Sunday) of selected congress - lets say Edinburgh and Glasgow to begin with, possibly Ayrshire and a northern congress if suitable/appropriate
4 Players playing get 1/2 bye to allow the option of playing rest of congress
5 Losing teams play off to see who gets relegated
6 Last place/first place gets relegated/promoted
7 Possible option of 2nd and 2nd last playing off for promotion
8 Possible option to reduce teams to 5 only if both teams agree in Richardson except in final - must be 8
9 Byes/ pre qualifiers could be brought in to get numbers correct
10 Consideration to a 4 man team junior tournament using same format -perhaps under 18 and under 14 if demand is high

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