The Four Nations Chess League (the 4NCL) will commence in a fortnight’s time (14/15 November), with Divisions 1 and 2 playing at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport, and Division 3 South and the new Division 4 South being held at the Park Inn, Telford.
There will be four Suffolk-based teams this season, with Anglian Avengers (captain Ian Wallis) having one team in each of Divisions 2 and 3. Iceni (captain John Feavyour) will have two teams in Division 4.
Last season, Division 3 South was very large, especially so after the Northern section joined it for the final rounds. A sensible decision was made to form a new Division 4. Unfortunately for Iceni, their first team finished in mid-table last season and were placed in the new Division 4. It would have been better for Iceni if their teams had been split between Divisions 3 and 4.
This season, the top three divisions will be organised in pools of eight teams. Each team plays the others in their pool over the first seven matches. The top four in each of the two pools then form a ‘promotion pool’ and the bottom four play in a ‘relegation pool’. The 20 teams in Division 4 will play in a straightforward Swiss system.