Thursday, August 2, 2012

Can We Start a Chess League at LCCC?

We have the facility. We have the volunteer spirit. Do we have the players or will a league bring in the players - even if it is only for a once a month event?

Terry G. came up with this proposal. Give it a look and please give us your input. Thanks!

PROPOSAL: Provide ‘team competition’ for all ages/skill levels that want to enroll
· Improve attendance by renewing inactive player’s interest in chess
· Improve balance of ‘skill level’ to achieve more realistic challenges
· Provide stronger motivation to study and improve
· Encourage team spirit and friendships
· Improve opportunity to learn from teammates
· Three person (or more if interest grows) teams are seated according to strength
· Standings based on team results each night (win = 2; draw = 1; loss = 0)
· Schedule runs from September thru April … ONE GAME per month
· New teams formed each year based on ratings/strength (cannot have same teammate two years in a row)

Distribution of Player’s Strength on Teams

Team # 1, # 2, # 3, # n-1 # n (last)
Board 1 - Strongest
board 2 - Middle strongest
board 3- New, Young and Beginning players

* First Year teams are determined by consensus of club members; strongest group on board 1 and next strongest group is on board 2 in reverse order (players distributed much like a Fantasy Football draft)

· Initial players rating: strongest = 1200; experienced = 1000; new/weak = 800 (initial rating for new players are determined by the club’s experienced members)

· Will use Harkness Rating System (transfers points between opponent’s ratings)
16 points for win/loss; 1 point for every 25 point spread in ratings; max is 28

RULE options:
· Must clock be used? Time: 30 moves/30 min. OR 60 minutes/game
· Touch move OR move ends when clock pressed (like speed chess)?
· Must each player record moves (to prove time limit and/or to study)??
SUB options:
· Subs are only allowed on board 3 (new or young players)???
· Bds 1 and 2 can play makeup game within a week if notified the week before
· OR Rating of sub must be within 100 (+ or -) points of absent player???

Please give us your thoughts. Thanks.


  1. What an amazing group of people we have available for club leadership! IMO, any of the three candidates for President will do an outstanding job! How do we choose between the three? I wish we had candidates of this caliber running for public office!

  2. I like the idea of a league, especially if players from nearby clubs are invited to participate. I'm not sure how far people are willing to drive for this, but a few might be willing and it would make things even more interesting.

    Do we want to do this on our regular club meeting night (Monday)? Monday would be easy because we already have the room, but this question is still worth thinking about, expecially if other clubs are interested in coming. Another consideration is that Federal holidays are often celebrated on Monday, so should we decide to stick with this day, we will want to set the schedule up to avoid holidays.

    We need to remember that the building becomes unavailable when Hartland schools are shut down for any reason, and will need to decide how to handle it should it be unexpectedly closed on a scheduled league night. Do we reschedule games, or do we just cancel for the month? Also, we need to make sure that players driving a distance to get here are informed about unexpected shut downs.

    Boards 1 and 2 definitely should use clocks and record games, as higher level players tend to take the game more seriously, and this will help prevent and/or settle potential disputes. We could make it optional for new and young players, since they often don't know chess notation and move pretty quickly anyway. But even if optional, we should encourage board 3 to record games and use clocks as it will be good experience should they later move up to a higher board or decide to participate in tournaments.

    Subs will definitely be needed on board 3, especially we get a lot of kids participating as they are more likely to have scheduling conflicts which require them to miss games. On boards 1 and 2, IMO it depends on whether this league is mostly composed of LCCC players, or gets a lot of outside participation. Makeup games might be more difficult for people driving a longer distance.

    When setting up teams, we should ask potential players if: A) They would like to be on a team, or B) Would they prefer to be a sub (not assigned to a team, but having the option to participate when needed). Many players might decline joining because they can't make it every month, yet enjoy playing every now and then. And the more teams we have, the more likely it is that subs will be needed.

    Figuring out how to construct teams could be tricky, expecially if we get participation from other clubs. Within our own club it can be tricky deciding the rank of players. For example, I believe that Aaron, Scott, Vince V., and Ken T. are probably the 4 best players that have been with the club for a 6 months or longer. But ranking these 4 individuals precisely could be tough. Who is better, Scott or Aaron? Vince V. or Ken T.? And should they wish to participate, where do new LCCC'ers fit in? For example, Jewell M. would obviously be somewhere around the top, but is #1, #2, etc?

    For the sake of simplicity, it might be better to break down participants into groups for board 1, board 2, and board 3, without trying to rank them within the particular group, and then draw names to create groups. We could argue endlessly about whether player A is better than player B, but it should be much easier to get people to agree who the top 5 players are, who the middle 5 players are, etc.

    It's tough to say on the scoring system. Probably it would work OK unless and until someone comes up with a better system.

  3. I think it is a great idea. But for us to have enough players, I think we will need to bring in other clubs for the once a month League Night.
    And if other clubs join, they will want their own team set up - probably like a Team A, B, etc., just like a college team has.
    If that is the case, LCCC would have to pick our teams according to strength also and have a A, B, C, D, E, etc team. I think that would still hit all of the objectives of the League idea Terry talked about.
    Just my thoughts.