2013 Final Stage

Discussion about all aspects of the ECF County Championships.
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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Postby Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:04 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:"Kent board 12 ineligible: Not an ECF member when the game was played. Game declared won for his opponent, and Kent penalised 1 gamepoint."


I wouldn't blame Kent if they decided to boycott the competition in future years. The ECF has got its pound of flesh in membership money, why does it need to wreck the competition for good measure?

Checking the exact time to the hour that someone became a member is taking compliance with rules to a level almost beyond belief.


Well, I'm not going to comment further until it is clear what will happen. And it might be be best for others to wait likewise.

John Moore
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Postby John Moore » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:30 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:"Kent board 12 ineligible: Not an ECF member when the game was played. Game declared won for his opponent, and Kent penalised 1 gamepoint."


I wouldn't blame Kent if they decided to boycott the competition in future years. The ECF has got its pound of flesh in membership money, why does it need to wreck the competition for good measure?

Checking the exact time to the hour that someone became a member is taking compliance with rules to a level almost beyond belief.


Well, I'm not going to comment further until it is clear what will happen. And it might be be best for others to wait likewise.


Well it's not exactly a legal issue, is it Chris. It does become clear that captains will need to check that all of their players are ECF registered - if they don't then this is what's going to happen. But you have got to feel sorry for Kent and for the player concerned who is been playing county chess for donkeys years

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Postby Roger de Coverly » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:55 pm

John Moore wrote: But you have got to feel sorry for Kent and for the player concerned who is been playing county chess for donkeys years


Previously a Gold member as well, expiring 2nd May 2013 according to older versions of the membership list.

Coming to a league near you, all the problems of compulsory membership.

Angus French
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Postby Angus French » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:26 pm

Proposed redraft of the County Championship rules as presented in advance of the April 2012 Finance Council Meeting wrote:A4. In the Final Stage each team shall pay an entry fee, and all players must be ECF members at bronze level or above.
Source: http://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/C16.22-County-Championship-Rules-Redraft.doc
County Championships Rules – 2012 / 2013 wrote:A4. In the Final Stage all players must be ECF members at bronze level or above. Non-members shall be deemed to be ineligible, and treated in accordance with C3.3.
Source: http://www.englishchess.org.uk/county-championships-rules-20122013/
April 2012 Finance Council Meeting Draft Minutes wrote:19. County Championship Rules
The following changes were noted and agreed:
i. C4.1 - loss of match by default should be changed to one penalty point.
ii. D2.2 - Unions' third nominations should be made more formal.
iii. D3.1 - Amendment to say "All rounds should be held in the same grading season".
iv. D5.1 - Should say "report match by email within 48 hours."
v. E2.3 - Should say "list players with 10 point grading band."
vi. E4.2 - Should say "the captain winning the toss gets choice of colours".
Source: http://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/C17.5-April-2012-Finance-Council-draft-minutes.pdf (The minutes were approved at the ECF's 2012 AGM in October without change to what was recorded for item 19.)

Some observations and comments:
1. The rule as it currently stands is different to what was in the proposal document for the 2012 Finance Council Meeting. The proposal had no mention of penalties for non-ECF members.
2. The minutes omit to document that the proposed text for rule A4 was approved at the 2012 Finance Council Meeting. I was at the 2012 Finance Council Meeting and don't recall that the proposal for A4 was discussed and voted on. This doesn't mean that it wasn't - discussion of the proposed County Championship rules came late in the meeting and I may have switched off by that point. That said, I'm sure that given the opportunity I would have voted against the proposed rule A4 - and having done so, I may just have remembered it.

Can anyone confirm when the current rule A4 - including the reference to the clause about penalties - was approved and by whom?

Richard Bates
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Postby Richard Bates » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:16 pm

IMO this is exactly why the rules, if they have to exist with draconian (match result affecting) penalties, should include a 'discretion' clause to allow the Controller to override for obviously honest mistakes. Especially on something like membership where the membership status, unlike, say, an ineligible player on the grounds of qualification/grading strength really has no bearing on the competitive outcome of the match at all. Since membership is really just a financial issue, why can counties not just be billed in arrears like leagues? The situation here is even worse because it could only have arisen in this 'transition' year - in future it will not be possible to be an ECF member for part of the season.

I don't think that many people want to play in knockout matches where they are not aware of the 'real' match situation whilst they are playing, and would only want it to occur in cases of 'genuine' deception. The match situation affects how people play their games - do they need a draw, do they need a win? etc - post match penalties just make this impossible.

Whoever is to blame for the rules (or even if nobody is to be "blamed") I can't believe that many people are really happy about what has happened. And yet it utterly unsurprising that it has (and that's not with hindsight).
Last edited by Richard Bates on Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Postby Roger de Coverly » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:31 pm

Angus French wrote:Can anyone confirm when the current rule A4 - including the reference to the clause about penalties - was approved and by whom?


The Board seem to be playing "pass the parcel" and blaming result changing interpretations on Council.

I do however note the document
http://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-conte ... -note2.doc

which states
The Board is minded to revise the rules with effect from 2012-13. It is not envisaged that Council will be asked to approve the new version in detail. However, Council’s comments are sought on the draft version presented in these papers. The wishes of Council on specific points will carry weight which the Board would ignore at its peril.


This rather suggests that it was the Board who inserted the clause applying result penalties for non-members. Discussion on the rules at the 2012 meeting was brief according to meeting reports, so the whole principle of whether you default non-members was presumably not discussed with Council.

Ian Thompson
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Postby Ian Thompson » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:59 pm

John Upham wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:
if it works the same way as the Berks, London League


Fortunately it does not.

Anyway, some aspects of the application do appear somewhat familiar! :lol:

The knowledgeable would realise this immediately - if it worked in the same way as the Berks and London Leagues, the match cards would be littered with players called AN Other entered by one match captain and confirmed as correct by the other one. :lol:

Simon Spivack
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Postby Simon Spivack » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:10 pm

Richard Bates wrote:... the rules, if they have to exist with draconian (match result affecting) penalties, should include a 'discretion' clause to allow the Controller to override for obviously honest mistakes.

I concur.

Those who have been active in London chess organisation know the principals, they will be confident this was an oversight. I have been told that the Kent captain is not on the Internet. Perhaps someone from Kent CCA could confirm this.

In my view the match was marred by the fun and games that occurred after two hours play. My opponent dropped a piece, almost certainly due to the din, which I could still hear inside the "sound-proofed" room. However, I don't see how the Kent organisers can be held responsible for human folly outside their remit.

My main complaint would be that both Middlesex-Kent matches this season were played in the Garden of England. An annoyance reinforced by the fact that Middlesex CCA won all the SCCU stage matches.

John Upham
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Postby John Upham » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:28 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
John Upham wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:
if it works the same way as the Berks, London League


Fortunately it does not.

Anyway, some aspects of the application do appear somewhat familiar! :lol:

The knowledgeable would realise this immediately - if it worked in the same way as the Berks and London Leagues, the match cards would be littered with players called AN Other entered by one match captain and confirmed as correct by the other one. :lol:


Brian does an excellent job of monitoring match cards and dealing with unregistered players: he is very proactive. Most issues are turned round in 48 hours at worst.

The problem is much worse in the Berkshire League and its normally down to me to discover who the unregistered player was.

David Sedgwick
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Postby David Sedgwick » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:50 pm

SCCU website wrote:A penalty has been imposed in the Open match Kent - Middx, reversing the result, and we hear an appeal is on the cards.

My emboldening

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Postby IM Jack Rudd » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:10 am

David Sedgwick wrote:
SCCU website wrote:A penalty has been imposed in the Open match Kent - Middx, reversing the result, and we hear an appeal is on the cards.

My emboldening


Ah, is it? And this time, I am eligible to be one of the Three Wise Men. How utterly splendid.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Postby Roger de Coverly » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:18 am

IM Jack Rudd wrote:Ah, is it? And this time, I am eligible to be one of the Three Wise Men. How utterly splendid.


As the ECF Directors wrote the rule, or at least agreed to it, should any ECF directors be involved?

Richard Bates
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Postby Richard Bates » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:40 am

If the penalties have actually been determined by the Board then IMO it puts the claim that "Council" are responsible in a somewhat different light. It is important in any competition that the penalties should match appropriately to the transgression of any rules that are broken. There is a current discussion in Formula 1 about appropriate penalties if Mercedes are found to have broken the "Sporting Regulations" in performing illegal testing to gain an advantage over other teams. Rivals argue that penalties should be "sporting penalties" ie. points deductions, race bans etc, as opposed to "financial penalties" which are more appropriate for technical breaches of rules which do not bring competitive advantage.

Very much the same thing should apply here (in reverse). Fielding a player without ECF membership does not derive a competitive advantage to a team. A financial penalty for such a transgression would IMO be far more appropriate. Similarly with things like penalties for defaults. This contrasts with sporting transgressions (fielding a player not eligible for a county, too strong for a grading limited section etc) for which points deductions are more appropriate (although i still dislike the "penalty point" penalty, but that's another matter).

Kevin Williamson
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Postby Kevin Williamson » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:10 am

I now see that two of the Minor Counties Quarter Finals have had their results adjusted by having similar penalties (to that given to Kent) applied. This current spate appears to be due to non-renewal of expiring 3-year memberships which terminate mid-season. I’m not sure if this was the intention when the rules were drafted, but it does seem to penalise the very people who have been most supportive of the ECF over a number of years. I don’t know of course, but I suspect that most (all?) of these are genuine oversights. Maybe as a goodwill gesture the ECF could extend this type of membership, expiring at this time of year, to the 31st August following as a ‘loyalty bonus’ and as a means of aligning expiry dates?

Whilst I am a believer that the rules should be followed to maintain the integrity of the competition, and it must be said that the penalties are being applied consistently and in line with the rules, in these circumstances perhaps some leniency should be shown. For future seasons perhaps Richard’s suggestion of a financial penalty for such a transgression should be considered.

Richard Bates
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Postby Richard Bates » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:21 am

Incidentally, for the record it would probably make sense for the specific reasons for penalties applied to be included on the ECF results pages - at the moment (assuming i'm not mistaken) it looks as if the pages are linking in real time into the central membership database, which means that players deemed ineligible on membership grounds at the time of the matches are shown as fully paid up members when the match cards are viewed at a later date.


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