Point Deducted

Lichfield’s Cannock League 2A team has been docked a point in the match with Oscott, turning a win into a 2-2 draw. The league decided that having played newcomer Steve Mcloughlin on board one the estimated grading should have been higher than the board two player and would therefore have resulted in the total rating limit for the second division being exceeded by 20 points.

League controller Steve Whatmore’s explanation was that as Board 2 was rated as 1743, by playing players in order of strength, board one by definition had to be rated higher.

“Steve had won both his previous games, including against a player rated on 1840 on 7th October so the approximate rating calculated by the team captain on 11th Oct should have exceeded 1840, even with his limited experience.

We have no doubt that this was a genuine oversight by the Division 2 captain and absolutely not done with any intention to circumvent the rating threshold in a deliberate way.

However, the rules are there to ensure that each team only includes players with a combined rating up to this set level and this was not the case in this match with too strong a team selected. This oversight is likely to have affected the the result of the match as Oscott had to play against a better team than allowed

Lichfield secretary David Short said the club accepted the decision. “In no way does this reflect on team captain Ray Sawyer who accepted advice from me and another senior member of the club to enter a lower rating, the argument being that Steve had only previously played two over the board games in his life and that it was unrealistic to enter a higher grading. Twenty rating points under the new system is a miniscule amount” he said.