County teams 2014-15

A forum for the Midland Counties Chess Union.
Neil Graham
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Re: County teams 2014-15

Postby Neil Graham » Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:41 am

Notts U100 played Staffs U100 at Newcastle-under-Lyme on Saturday.

The prize for the teams was that the winner would go forward as Midlands second representative into the national finals; Warwickshire having already won the zone with a convincing 6/6.

At the end of a well contested match the result was 6-6! I must admit here that I was less than conversant with the rules than I should have been. The various tie break rules were firmly imprinted on my mind but unfortunately I'd got the wrong one in my head for this one!

Anyway the correct rule was that the winner of the match between the two counties concerned would go forward - oh but that's a draw! Into second tie-break - it will be decided by Board Count. Staffs win on 2,4,7,10 & 12 and Notts win on 1,6,8,9 & 11 with two drawn games. Add them up 35-35 each - but oh that's a draw as well! Into third tiebreak - bottom board elimination - and Notts win by 6-5! Luckily all the games weren't drawn so a fourth tie-break doesn't come into effect.

So Notts are nominated, Staffs aren't. :?

Can I move on now to the national stages - in the national stages there are just six nominees for eight places (SCCU 1, SCCU 2; MCCU 1, MCCU 2, NCCU
& EACU). At this point I make my usual point, Notts and Staffs U100 have played more matches (3 each) than the whole gamut of the matches in the NCCU which to date comprise of two matches betweens Yorks and Lancs over 12 boards at Championship and U160 level. There have, of course, been no matches at U100 level where it is suggested that Lancashire are the sole nominees.

The ECF rules suggest that any vacancies at the quarter-final can be filled if there are insufficient entries. The MCCU have applied for an extra place for Staffs - I sincerely hope that they will be allowed to play.

David Sedgwick
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Re: County teams 2014-15

Postby David Sedgwick » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:18 am

Neil Graham wrote:The ECF rules suggest that any vacancies at the quarter-final can be filled if there are insufficient entries. The MCCU have applied for an extra place for Staffs - I sincerely hope that they will be allowed to play.

They can only be given a place now if a team that has been informed that it has a bye to the Semi Finals is now told that it does not have one. In my opinion that is unacceptable.

The proper time for Unions to indicate that they would like extra places is when they are asked to confirm numbers in December / January, prior to the draw. That would enable the controller to decide then whether or not he wishes to accept extra nominations.

Did the MCCU apply for a third place in the U100 Division at that time?

David Blower
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Re: County teams 2014-15

Postby David Blower » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:44 am

I am over 100 but I am gutted about Staffordshire Under 100s missing out. I am biased but I also hope Staffordshire get a Under 100 place.

In response to the question the Midland Counties Chess Union only has 4 teams in the regional stage so I guess under the rules they only notimated the top two (although I am guessing here, I don't know for certain.) But of course if teams were to simply nominate teams in case extra places were available wouldn't a union just simply nominate every team taking part.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: County teams 2014-15

Postby MartinCarpenter » Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:56 am

That latter is actively discouraged - I'm fairly sure you get fined if you nominate a team then don't fill it.
(iirc Yorkshire last season with our U180 team.).

I do think byes into the semi finals are a really bad thing on principle - especially so when there's a willing team to stand in - although getting another match to play when promised a bye clearly isn't ideal either :(

David Pardoe
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Re: County teams 2014-15

Postby David Pardoe » Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:29 am

I too am totally against byes through to the Semi`s...and particularly teams who have played no meaningful qualifying games.
Those teams who play minimal games to qualify, I think should also come first in line to enter the preliminary stages.. rather than going straight into the main draw..
So, I think it highly desirable that an option be created that allows any team to put itself forward to fill any vacant slots in the Qtr Final stages (with non or few strings attached).....no team should have any right to expect to qualify straight into the Semi Final stages, in my view... the initial draw schedule should be taken purely as `indicative` upto the final cut off date, ie..30th/31st March...
The obvious cases are those where a team maybe had some bad luck in previous qualifying rounds, and missed out on a place which they probably merit under normal circumstances...
But, as I`ve said previously, the Finals stages probably merit some revisions and possible streamlining, to liven things up...
Suggesting changes does seem like talking to the dead at times.. nobody wants to move the goal posts for fear of upsetting the apple cart...but I accept that any changes do need to be thought through. I`d like to see a committee set up to review matters and make recommendations to the ECF. Leaving things to a single director to take a lead is not a good idea...on any of the ECF main platforms.

Just to take Manchesters position, for instance, like many counties, they struggle to raise teams at the best of times, for a host of reasons. Travel is a tricky issue, being on the fringes of the Union boundaries....and we play a number of qualifying games, during which time players are challenged by pressures of competing events, etc...so, by the time you get to Feb/March many players probably feel they have had there quota of county chess for the season, and thoughts of playing more games into the long hot summer months perhaps doesn't quite hit the spot...
The Finals stages probably need a revamp to liven up the interest...I`ve suggested a number of options previously, as have others.
But I do like these big 16 board match occasions, with more relaxed rates of play on a Saturday afternoon, which allow the potential for playing out a decent endgame in non blitz mode. Should we make some sections 20 boards...should we widen those grade boundaries...and other options.
Prizes, structure, publicity...all need looking at....

Key to success for any county is having an enthusiastic captain and strong support from clubs across the county. I`ve said that running county teams is really a two or three man job, with the captain assisted by two deputies from other clubs, to help give strong support.
Unions need to try to actively encourage more support for these events, and should note that they have the potential to give many players some good match experience....and provide good platforms for aspiring players....and some good chess camaraderie. Watching other matches finish over a cup of coffee, and chats in the corridors, does generate good banter...and chance to exchange views with other players.

But counties should recognise that these county events do cater for teams of all strengths, and not just think in terms of the big Open team section.
I`m sure many counties could consider entering say an U160, U140, U120, or U100 teams.... but, as I said previously, some revisions of these groupings might be useful.
BRING BACK THE BCF

Mike Truran
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Re: County teams 2014-15

Postby Mike Truran » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:01 pm

nobody wants to move the goal posts for fear of upsetting the apple cart

Brilliant, quite brilliant.

AustinElliott
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Re: County teams 2014-15

Postby AustinElliott » Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:46 pm

Mike Truran wrote:
nobody wants to move the goal posts for fear of upsetting the apple cart

Brilliant, quite brilliant.

I blame the badgers.

David Pardoe
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Re: County teams 2014-15

Postby David Pardoe » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:42 am

AustinElliott wrote:
Mike Truran wrote:
nobody wants to move the goal posts for fear of upsetting the apple cart

Brilliant, quite brilliant.

I blame the badgers.


By `move the goal posts`, of course I mean `make some changes`....glad to note Mike`s enthusiasm..
And Austin suggests we might badger the ECF for change.... maybe...

But some positive initiatives to improve the offerings could well yield results.. and hopefully improve support.
These could come from various elements within the ECF framework...County, Union, and National...
BRING BACK THE BCF

David Blower
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Re: County teams 2014-15

Postby David Blower » Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:04 am

Staffordshire Under 100 have got through according to the MCCU.


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