Player eligibility - 4NCL, Hertfordshire League and J4NCL

Watford has two teams in the country's premier club competition, the Four Nations Chess League, which is rated among the strongest in Europe.    Watford entered this as recently as 2017-18 and our teams are currently (2022-23) in Division 3 East and Division 4 respectively.   Watford A aims to be competitive while Watford B aims primarily to give serious weekend chess to those of our slightly weaker players who desire it.

The competition takes the form of an 11-round Swiss tournament played over 5 weekends and both adults and juniors of sufficient standard are eligible to play in the Watford teams.   Team managers (joint) are Roger Lancaster and Sanjay Vig.  The 4NCL website gives detailed information on this competition.

In the Hertfordshire League, where several Watford teams compete, all clubs are required to nominate players for particular teams.   This is to ensure that, for example, a club's champion player is eligible to play only for its first team and not its fourth team.

Watford team nominations for 2019-20 are shown below. The main significance of the nominations is that individual club members are not permitted to play for teams lower than the team for which they are nominated.   These nominations affect only the Hertfordshire League.

Club members may be invited, from time to time, to play for a team which is higher-rated than that for which they have been nominated.  However, once they have played for a higher-rated team or teams five times, they become ineligible for their nominated team - this happened several times each season.  

Hertfordshire League nominations for 2019-20 are as follows:

Watford 1:   Chris Duncan, Venkataramanan Tiruchirapalli, Ed Holland, Andrew Stone (captain), Jerry Rudge. 

Watford 2:   Omowale Nelson. Roger Lancaster, Ernest Karumazondo (captain),  Mace Carnochan, Jeff Tomy.

Watford 3:    Michael Luberto, Darrell Pigott, Alistair Taylor, Cecil Sloan (captain), Simon Charles.

All other club members [subject to the "five times" proviso mentioned earlier] are eligible to play for Watford 4 or one of the three higher-rated teams.     Watford 4 team captain is Sanjay Vig.

All club members graded (standard play, ECF August list) under 120 are also eligible to play for the Watford u-120 team irrespective of which of the four above-mentioned teams they may or may not have played for.   U-120 team captains [joint] are Keith Hylands and Karthik Ramesh.

Juniors are eligible to play, and do play, in all the above events.   However, exclusively junior teams (under age 18) also compete in the Junior 4 Nations Chess League.   This takes place over three weekends each year and the team manager is Roger Lancaster - further information about J4NCL appears on the 4NCL website but please note that J4NCL did not take place in 2022-23 and is uncertain for 2023-24.     Finally, there are periodic friendly matches against other clubs which aim to give our less experienced juniors some match experience.