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Richardson 2012-13
Not enough reference to facts in this thread and too much hot air!

1. Can someone please definitively say (maybe Alex Macfarlane!?) whether there is or isn't an "80 rating points" discretionary rule in regard to setting team orders? I and I think most others have always thought there was. Is it some (long) past discretionary addition (say by a past Home International Director) to the apparently somewhat vague existing rule "requiring" teams to follow "current strength" (or does it lurk somewhere else in the existing rules)?

2. If there isn't one, however, we should surely have one! Teams seem to set board orders in accordance with it and don't seem to infringe the "80 point" definition in doing so ... for very good reasons ... Ratings are simply not precise markers of strength and come as everyone knows with enormous dollops of statistical margins of error .... and the fewer the actual recently rated games the larger this "error" becomes.

3. Any existing or new "80 point rule" probably needs to be clear that it refers to CS and / or FIDE rating - I'd say it should nowadays probably be either. It also needs clarification as to whether the base rating used for any player is the "published" rating or the adjusted rating as it changes within rating periods.

Points 2 and 3 are offered for debate. But surely someone can nail the facts on point 1 ... no one has done in any of the above so far.
Congratulations to Dragons, they deserved to win the match.

However, the current situation is a complete joke. You have Edinburgh West playing out of grading order in one match and doesn't seem to have been an issue, yet in another match you have one team threatening to boycott the match if we don't. Hamilton were never planning to vary much from the order played anyway (only one change would have been made).

Something needs to be done before next seasons event.
Quote:3. Any existing or new "80 point rule" probably needs to be clear that it refers to CS and / or FIDE rating - I'd say it should nowadays probably be either. It also needs clarification as to whether the base rating used for any player is the "published" rating or the adjusted rating as it changes within rating periods.

I'd prefer 'published', partly to ensure continuity within the same competition. With regards to CS/FIDE - at the moment the tournament isn't FIDE-rated, so I don't think FIDE ratings should come into it at all. That said, and as I've argued on previous occasions, I think it should be, and if that were the case I agree that both should be acceptable. I agree entirely with Craig's point that far too much of the debate on this subject is more than a bit too vague.

I'd also support the 'publish teams the night before the match' position - it seems a fine compromise between allowing teams to adjust for the vagaries of the rating system and different players' preferences on the one hand, and giving one team or the other a preparation disadvantage on the other.
Yesterday's match was, as Andy Muir says, played in good spirits (despite the online equivalent of a 'stairheid rammy' in the days before it!) - fair play to Hamilton. The eagerly anticipated game between myself and Andy was a damp squib however...

[pgn]1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Bb5 Bd7 8.Bxc6 Bxc6 9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.e5 dxe5 11.Qf3 e4 12.Nxe4 Qa5+ 13.c3 Nxe4 14.Qxe4 Qd5 15.Qxd5 cxd5 16.Ke2 Bc5 17.Be3 Rc8[/pgn]

With regard to a couple of points made by Craig and Joe, Craig firstly: 1) I don't recall the 80 point rule being specifically accepted as a discretionary rule in the past, but there may have been matches where both teams agreed to some version of it?! I have played in a lot of Richardson matches over the last 20 years, but obviously one of the directors/arbiters would be better placed to answer that as you say.

2) Having an '80 point rule' on its own really ought to be a non-starter. Whatever arguments there may be for allowing closely-grade team members to have a chance to play up a board or two (Hamilton's general argument over the past few years) has to be outweighed by the fact that the rule is intrinsically unfair (not a good thing in the world of rules!)

As a specific example, in yesterdays match Alan Tate could have been playing Steve Mannion/ Andy Muir/ Pat Coffey or Joe Redpath. Whoever Hamilton chose for board 1 could reasonably predict they would be playing Alan. On board 2 Hamilton could again have at least 4 players, possibly 5 whereas Dragons only have 2 (myself or Nicol Bathie). The extent to which this matters is arguable (preparation is important to some, not at all to others) but it certainly cannot be said it's fair.

Hugh and others (Adam, myself, etc) find a more suitable idea might be to publish the team lists the evening before a match. This balances out some of the advantage/disadvantage and is a compromise solution I personally would be happy enough with. However, as our captain Elliot asked me yesterday, what happens with late withdrawals? It would seem harsh to penalise a genuine call-off, but there might be some who would take advantage of this (and I don't mean Hamilton! Just that in general it could be open to abuse).

It would be interesting to know (since the 4NCL has been mentioned a lot in this and earlier debates) how the '80 point rule' would be perceived by players there if there were no exchange of team lists the evening/morning before matches?

Coming to Joe's point about last years final/board order irregularities/lack of complaints at the time - well, I have already explained the position regarding my own game (unacceptable according to Joe and he has a point to an extent). As for the other boards, I genuinely don't know (or at least I can't recall) what happened.

Perhaps others who were there might be able to clarify this? Did we use live gradings? (Looks unlikely). Did we agree to some version of the 80 point rule? (Sounds unlikely, however...) I do know that there has been distrust/unease/feeling of unfairness about Hamilton's use of the board order switching in the past. The final round of the National League between Ed. West and Hamilton with the title at stake is a case in point. I have only heard my brother's version of this (he was playing for Ed. West), so if Joe or another Hamilton member or Donald Wilson (who I believe made the final decision that grading order be used?!) wants to give their side I'd be curious to hear it (although I don't really want to stir up a hornet's nest of acusations and ill-feeling!)

If we do decide on some version of the '80 point rule' for the future, it should be either be Live or Published CS gradings, unless we introduce FIDE rating for the Richardson in which case FIDE ratings should probably be used.
If a team had complained to me about a board order infringement in a match I did not play, I would only have upheld a complaint if the difference was > 80 pts. A personal opinion only.

I think Hamilton will compromise a bit for the May vote and suggest the same rules as SNCL ie 50 pts on published CS grades - to get it passed.

I would not vote for handing in team lists the night before.

There will probably be a separate May FIDE vote too and maybe others.
Castlehill 3 Dundee 5
w D Rocks 0 D Findlay
D Payada 0 E Spencer
M Grove 0.5 A Borwell
D O’Rourke 0 S Hogg
C Edwards 0.5 G Weir
A Babin 1 J Anderson
K Rose 0 G Robertson
M Chalmers 1 B Wallace
Oban 2-6 Edinburgh
C Jonathan Lennox .5-.5 Calum MacQueen
John Treasurer 0-1 Neil Berry (Default)
Duncan Campbell 0-1 Clement Sreeves
Alistair Campbell 0-1 Andrew Green
Bruce Harrold .5-.5 Daniel McGowan
Hugh Flockhart .5-.5 David Oswald
Derek Coope .5-.5 Hugh Brechin
Geoffrey White 0-1 Raj Bhopal
I still haven't heard any counter-argument to my assertion that the '80 point rule' is simply unfair as it stands? If I'm just plain wrong please tell me. I

If others believe that it's unfair, but giving teams the flexibility to provide players with a more equal share of stronger games is more important, I'd be interested to know why they believe this.

W.Dragons 4.5 -3.5 Hamilton

Publ. Live Publ. Live
2349 2265 A Tate 0.5 S Burns-Mannion 2342 2314
2249 2238 A Burnett 0.5 A Muir 2270 2290
2164 2158 A Minnican 1-0 P Coffey 2273 2279
2144 2142 M Orr 0.5 J Redpath 2242 2246
2007 2083 H Olsen 0.5 S Tweedie 2218 2229
1923 1869 R Kynoch 0.5 P Jamieson 2203 2189
1877 1850 E Sloan 1-0 C Tweedie 2066 2083
1845 1720 E Campbell 0-1 T Donohue 2012 1953

Looking at yesterday's match in more detail with regard to an 80 point rule/ 50 point rule, using the Published gradings would have allowed the teams to field the following board orders with

an 80 point rule

1, 2 and 3 in any order
2, 3, 4, 5, 6 could all switch
4, 5, 6, 7 likewise
and boards 7 and 8 could swap.

For Dragons
3 and 4
6 and 7
7 and 8

Live ratings at 80 points difference give the following

1 2 3 and 4 could play in any order
2 3 4 and 5 likewise
4 5 and 6 could swap

1 and 2
2 and 3
3 and 4
4 and 5
6 and 7

Under a 50 point rule
2 3 and 4 in any order
4 5 and 6 in any order

3 and 4
6 and 7
7 and 8

1 2 and 3 could swap
2 3 and 4
3 4 and 5
5 and 6

1 and 2
3 and 4
6 and 7

The 50 point rule makes a difference, but there still isn't anywhere near parity. Any rule which allows this is clearly flawed in my opinion, regardless of who is involved. I would argue exactly the same thing if it gave Dragons an unfair advantage. Any opinions would be welcomed Smile
If one team recruits players with similar grades eg Muir=Redpath=Coffey which gives more flexibility than another then they should be praised.
For Dragons: Burnett = Bathie = Cocuzzo. If Bathie and Cocuzzo don't play then it is Dragons fault.
I want to encourage as many strong players as possible and don't want the 3rd best player to always get weak games and put him off.
Why not prepare for Muir/Redpath/Coffey now, then when play Hamilton you have all the answers at your fingertips. I prepared for Burnett/Bathie/Cocuzzo and was happy to play all 3 or even Tate/Orr.
Variety is spice of life, keeps me young etc.

Those are my arguments for a 50/80 point rule
Kilmarnock 4 - 2 Edinburgh Civil Service

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