Looking Back and Ahead
Article by Phil Morgan
Four of the 5 divisions in the Notts. League 2017-18 were won by the highest graded teams.
The League title was claimed by Mansfield, whose average team rating was 179.5. Grantham, title holders 2010-2017 remained the highest graded team, ATR 190.5 . At their peak in 2016-17 with 14 wins, Grantham endured 6 losses last season. Mansfield twice defeated Grantham and, as is usual in clashes between the top teams, these matches were decided on the lower boards. An exception to this pattern was Gambit 2’s outstanding victory in January over a Grantham team with an average rating of 199 with wins on the top 2 boards!. The Average grade of teams in Division 1 was 173. In recent seasons Division 1 seems to have divided into the consistently strong teams, Grantham, Mansfield and Gambit 1 and the rest. Teams with an average grading of under 170 will have to fight for every League point. Grantham 2, promoted as runner-up, with an ATR of 147.4 will know they face a tough season ahead.
The average grading strength of teams in this division was 143, with many closely matched teams.. Gambit X’s winning team last season averaged 155.9. Relegated West Bridgford 1 with an Average Grade of 154.9, appear the likely pre-season promotion favourites. 5 sides last season had an average grading of between 142 and 147. The teams with an average grade of below 135, possibly Ashfield 3 and University, will need to be at their best to earn League points.
The average grade of teams in this division was 128. Gambit 3’s winning team averaged 139.7. 7 of the 8 teams in the division averaged between 120 and 140.
The average grade of teams was 107. Gambit’s winning team averaged 122.8
Beeston were much the strongest team in this division with an average grade of 136.9. The remaining team had an average grading under 100. Beeston look well placed to continue their ascent of the League.
It can be seen from this that the Notts. League offers playing opportunities to players of all strengths. Good Luck to the new teams in the League this year and any new individual entrant to League chess. Congratulations to Jonah Willow on attaining the FIDE Master title, conferred by reaching a 2300 FIDE rating in August. Thanks to Mike Naylor for the statistics that informed this article.