Rule changes

Discussion about all aspects of the ECF County Championships.
MartinCarpenter
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Rule changes

Postby MartinCarpenter » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:01 am

Might as well move this off to this section :)

The principle of FIDE rating the Open competition seems very sane to me. One thing I did notice reading them was that the proposal talks of using +-80 FIDE as the sole determinant for board order purposes.

Is that entirely wise? The FIDE ratings for the top few boards in the Open county teams will be mostly very reliable, but they really aren't for the bottom ones. There are solid reasons for so much of the 4NCL choosing to use converted ECF grades instead.


As for the other one, the split weekends do slightly confuse me. They'd surely only really help people fielding lots of teams if they let players double up in (say) the Open/U180 1/4 finals? Didn't seem clear if that would be allowed, but I'd rather hope not!

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Rule changes

Postby Roger de Coverly » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:05 am

MartinCarpenter wrote: They'd surely only really help people fielding lots of teams if they let players double up in (say) the Open/U180 1/4 finals? Didn't seem clear if that would be allowed, but I'd rather hope not!


The point was almost certainly to allow the doubling up. There's usually an overlap between players who take part in the SCCU Open and Under 180 teams. As far as the SCCU teams are concerned, the grade bands and fixture lists are set so as to allow players to play more weekend chess than the number of teams entering nominally permits.

Michael Farthing
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Re: Rule changes

Postby Michael Farthing » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:11 am

That was my understanding.

It must be said that this matter was handled in the last five minutes of the meeting with little discussion. I think the general feeling was that it looked sensible and was brought forward for the benefit of the Championship and that therefore we should do our best to get it through in the short time left. There was some concern about splitting the dates would reduce suitable dates for other competitions and a little hesitant talk of a card vote (either on this or the exclusion of the minor section from FIDE rating, I don't recall which). But of course there was no time for a card vote and the issue was not pressed further.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Rule changes

Postby MartinCarpenter » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:36 am

Yuck. I really dislike that on principle - I'd sooner cut the team sizes and don't like that idea much!

Actually, even viewed purely pragmatically I do wonder how much it'll help.

There's the travel commitment for one thing. Its hard enough to find people willing to put up with the considerable travel commitments for one knock out match, but to do it on consecutive weekends?

The other thing is that, if there is a big overlap in terms of players in your Open/U180 teams then you're simply not going to be very competitive vs the top Open county teams. Looking at Yorkshire, Middlesex, Kent etc teams in recent knock out matches, the bottom 4-6 boards are typically ~185 long term strength players, and a few of those randomly drop under 180 each season.

Really not the same as a having a genuine overlap with your long term U180 team though. Oh well :)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Rule changes

Postby Roger de Coverly » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:51 am

MartinCarpenter wrote: Its hard enough to find people willing to put up with the considerable travel commitments for one knock out match, but to do it on consecutive weekends?


I'd suspect it would help on the margins, If you had to get 32 players to turn out on a single weekend, that's likely to be more difficult than getting up to 32 players to turn out on one of two weekends.

It's also applying to the lower competitions, where the same considerations of absolute strength don't apply.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Rule changes

Postby Sean Hewitt » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:58 am

MartinCarpenter wrote: Its hard enough to find people willing to put up with the considerable travel commitments for one knock out match, but to do it on consecutive weekends?

I get the logic, and support the principle. But isn't there a fundamental flaw in implementation if you don't split the final weekend? Specifically, counties which have doubled up in the previous rounds and got consecutive teams to the finals will either have to default a final or field a significantly weaker team if all finals are played on the same day?

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Rule changes

Postby MartinCarpenter » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:48 pm

That is a big problem yes. I can't disagree that something perhaps needed (needs?) doing - the top competitions in particular are just running out of teams.

I've just (briefly) checked further down the scale to U180/60/40 etc and there really isn't any substantive overlap there either. There's a lot of players round 160-120 standard, so not a surprise the bottom boards in those teams tend to stay up to strength.

One thing this could allow would be teams doubling the vast bulk of their minor counties teams in the U180's. Have to imagine that would feel rather too silly for anyone to want to do it!

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Rule changes

Postby Andrew Zigmond » Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:42 pm

Of course rather than speculating on why the split weekends proposal was put forward you could just ask Alex or myself.

In the other thread I explained that we have had complaints from some counties about having to potentially mobilise 88 players in a single day. Other counties wanted a single default date and in some cases would only play on that date. I cannot be more specific on this point without divulging confidential correspondence.

Essentially Alex put this on the agenda to resolve the issue one way or another.

As Sean correctly says there is a slight flaw in the set up; namely that if a county could end up with six teams in the final at which point they will have to play on a single date anyway. However the chances of this happening are relatively slim - while having a large pool of players is a factor the stronger teams are generally those that have a committed squad.
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MartinCarpenter
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Re: Rule changes

Postby MartinCarpenter » Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:33 pm

It was already getting a bit of discussion on the other thread, so it seemed kind to untangle it from the mess :)

That flaw that Sean pointed is actually fairly large.

Inherently it is easier to organise a county team of X players over one weekend than X/2 for two weekends running. The transport sharing becomes rather easier to organise.

The trouble is going to be that some counties just don't have X players so need to double up players to have viable teams.

I don't mind that in evening leagues so much (some do), but knock out county chess?

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Rule changes

Postby Andrew Zigmond » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:50 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote:It was already getting a bit of discussion on the other thread, so it seemed kind to untangle it from the mess :)

That flaw that Sean pointed is actually fairly large.

Inherently it is easier to organise a county team of X players over one weekend than X/2 for two weekends running. The transport sharing becomes rather easier to organise.

The trouble is going to be that some counties just don't have X players so need to double up players to have viable teams.

I don't mind that in evening leagues so much (some do), but knock out county chess?


Well no, because if the two teams are playing in completely different places transport sharing is irrelevant. And match dates can be altered by mutual agreement anyway.

As I noted in my earlier post there are arguments for and against. That's why it went before Council.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Rule changes

Postby Roger de Coverly » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:56 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote: That's why it went before Council.


Which gave the verdict that sharing players was OK for the quarters and semis. If both teams reached the finals, you needed a full set of bodies.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Rule changes

Postby MartinCarpenter » Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:24 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:Well no, because if the two teams are playing in completely different places transport sharing is irrelevant.


Not that I care but pedantically, no, it still helps a bit. Even if they're ending up in different places you need to get them from the corners of your county to central spots to organise the transport. Hull in Yorkshire say.

I would have absolutely no problem with this if you stated that all the 1/4, 1/2 etc matches are considered to be simultaneous in time even when they aren't.

Letting people share players between teams in the knock out stages is a much more contentious sort of step.

As I noted in my earlier post there are arguments for and against. That's why it went before Council.


I do wonder about that, very well intentioned as an idea, but it sounds a bit like it got time cramped at the end of a confusing meeting and waved through as being well intentioned :)

Michael Farthing
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Re: Rule changes

Postby Michael Farthing » Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:32 am

I really don't understand the problem. It's recognised, for example, at the British Championships that it's perfectly reasonable for a player to enter u14 and u16 and timetabling is often done to facilitate this. What's wrong with an under 140 player being used in an under 160 team as well? The under 140 player is still under 160 after all!

In practical terms, such flexibility increases the ability of some counties to put out teams and if that means a greater entry to the tournament and more chess being played then in my book that is a GOOD THING.

Mick Norris
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Re: Rule changes

Postby Mick Norris » Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:35 am

MartinCarpenter wrote:Letting people share players between teams in the knock out stages is a much more contentious sort of step.


Martin

Easy to say with a massive county like Yorkshire but in the real world Greater Manchester have often had U150 players in the U175 or Open teams, and U160 players in the Open/Minor teams

This has always taken place during the MCCU stages, and often in the ECF National stages - we know that we couldn't do it if 2 teams reached the finals day, but we also know that getting people to turn out in a final is much easier
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MartinCarpenter
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Re: Rule changes

Postby MartinCarpenter » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:50 am

Well, maybe I'm in a minority. I've been trying to work out why it annoys me so.

Firstly, if you want 'fair'/mass participation chess then the 4NCL does it so much better. Really, even the minor counties/U160's do it better, as the entries show!

The open county competition is currently constructed as a purposefully elitist test of the playing resources/organisation of the counties concerned. Very large teams, tricky transport, no limits on team strength, odd eligibility rules etc etc. The difficulty of course comes when you start to run out of teams who are willing/able to join in an elitist fight with unequal resources :)

We might have reached that point - definitely getting quite close - but if so we should absolutely acknowledge it and do something more dramatic/genuine. I dunno, scrapping the MC/U180's, cutting to 12/team, slapping a 190 av limit on it and letting big counties enter two teams. Or maybe the history of the Open county competition dictates that it should be left as at it is until it (at knock out level anyway) eventually curls up and dies/reaches the undeath of the National clubs.

This concrete rules feels a bit like a refusal to acknowledge actual problems (not per se from Andrew Z & co - trying to change stuff properly would be very hard!). I do also find the idea of doubling up fairly offensive in context and the chance of an uncontested final really undesirable.

Not that I genuinely mind :)


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