NCCU AGM Minutes 2010

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Alan Walton
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Re: NCCU AGM Minutes 2010

Post by Alan Walton » Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:43 am

Neil,

The point I am making is currently GMan isn't entering the strongest team due to the travelling aspects of the MCCU, if GMan played in the NCCU you will most probably see alot stronger team entering the competition

I can see your point around the NCCU only having Lancs & Yorks competing (although the open was over 16 boards at the jamboree) being a poor situation in the north. But just having a third teams in each section would be a massive improvement on the current situation

You have to remember that the 3 places that the MCCU put in the Open section, have almost invariably been Staffs, Warks, and GMan over the past years, so if you lose GMan, the Midlands will gain new county going through national stages

David Pardoe
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Re: NCCU AGM Minutes 2010

Post by David Pardoe » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:35 am

Its precisely because of the Northampton type situation that I suggest some counties `merge teams` for the purposes of counties events. Herefordshire is another example..could maybe merge teams with Worcestershire. & Northants with Leicestershire.
Anything that constructively improves the ability of counties to participate should be considered..if only to help ensure our keener players in those areas can get to play.
The Gman situation is not just about some players prefering to travel north. GMan is a very small county, and certain elements trying to assert that it should reside totally within the M60 ring road really doesnt help. Some realism & fair play is needed to resolve this...
Looking at the NCCU situation, it would almost make sense for counties like Merseyside, Cheshire, South Yorks etc..to consider joining the MCCU (maybe creating an MCCU (North) grouping. At least they`d find some great chess opportunities that they could actively participate in without feeling they might get blown away by monster counties. A splitting of the MCCU & NCCU to create a third group, based around the M62 corridor might be worth doing, and would result in more manageable sized groups. Maybe this could be handled as a joint venture between the NCCU & the MCCU without trying to create any new Union structures.

Those of us who have attended county AGMs know that they cover a fair breadth of issues. Check out the agenda for say the MCCUs latest meeting. One problem is travel to these meetings, which can be held in remote spots, and sometimes could benefit from being held more centrally. Unfortunately these meetings can be dictated by certain parties, and proper debate limited. However, it is a major effort to ensure these meetings function properly and are well supported. The MCCU doesnt do too bad a job, but, as I said before, it is a struggle getting out the correct & full messages to all constituent members...even more difficult reaching rank and file membership. And too much work falls on the shoulders of the few...more volunteers would greatly help such bodies, who often strive bravely to ensure a meaningful chess offering. Maybe more feedback (both ways) should be facilitated via county captains/teams and also via congresses. Maybe copies of minutes/agendas, etc should be circulated via these networks, vie one-page summeries and newsletters...and particularly asking for volunteers.
Just to pick one issue...junior chess. Derbyshire have run the U18 & U13 National competitions in recent years...very good efforts from Derbyshire organisers, but not great support or recognition from the MCCU as a whole. Communications need to be improved...both ways.
Another issue relates to MO schemes. The MCCU could do with an MO scheme comparible to that running in the NCCU...but I slightly worry that these schemes are effectively subsidising some groups at the expense of the general membership, and also, that the ECF is losing out. Are these schemes transparent & sufficiently accountable..is my other concern.
BRING BACK THE BCF

Alan Walton
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Re: NCCU AGM Minutes 2010

Post by Alan Walton » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:55 am

I do agree with David that the a better regionalisation of the zonal competition could be beneficial

Maybe having areas like the following

1) SCCU would keep the same format as it work perfectly well (3 entries)
2) M62 Corrider - Lancs/Yorkshire/GMan/Cheshire/Merseyside (2 entries)
3) WMidlands - Shropshire/Staffs/Worcestershire/Warwickshire (2 entries)
4) EMidlands - Notts/Lincs/Leics/Derbyshire/Northants (1 entries)
5) North of England - The rest of the NCCU (1 entry)
6) Suffolk/Norfolk/Bedfordshire/Cambridgeshire/etc. (2 entries)
7) Devon/Cornwall/Somerset/Dorset/Hampshire (1 entries)
8) Gloucester/Hereforshire/Wiltshire/Berkshire (1 entries)

These have been quickly done so pardon some of my geography, but this should significantly reduce the travelling at zonal level which is the main problem at the moment, it also means there could be a better presence at the national stages

But we shouldn't allow counties to merge with other counties, or ask counties to split up, as this defeats the object of the current system of a county championship

Thoughts?

Alex Holowczak
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Re: NCCU AGM Minutes 2010

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:12 am

David Pardoe wrote: Just to pick one issue...junior chess. Derbyshire have run the U18 & U13 National competitions in recent years...very good efforts from Derbyshire organisers, but not great support or recognition from the MCCU as a whole. Communications need to be improved...both ways.
I believe Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire both entered some sections last year too. Greater Manchester and Warwickshire did this year.

I think asking for twelve Under 18 players is stretching it a bit. I think teams of 6 would be far easier to get. The SCCU might not like it, because most of their counties can field teams of 24 if they wanted to (their jamboree probably has far larger team sizes). Unfortunately, the rest of us don't have such an extensive player pool.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: NCCU AGM Minutes 2010

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:14 am

Alan Walton wrote:I do agree with David that the a better regionalisation of the zonal competition could be beneficial

Maybe having areas like the following

1) SCCU would keep the same format as it work perfectly well (3 entries)
2) M62 Corrider - Lancs/Yorkshire/GMan/Cheshire/Merseyside (2 entries)
3) WMidlands - Shropshire/Staffs/Worcestershire/Warwickshire (2 entries)
4) EMidlands - Notts/Lincs/Leics/Derbyshire/Northants (1 entries)
5) North of England - The rest of the NCCU (1 entry)
6) Suffolk/Norfolk/Bedfordshire/Cambridgeshire/etc. (2 entries)
7) Devon/Cornwall/Somerset/Dorset/Hampshire (1 entries)
8) Gloucester/Hereforshire/Wiltshire/Berkshire (1 entries)

These have been quickly done so pardon some of my geography, but this should significantly reduce the travelling at zonal level which is the main problem at the moment, it also means there could be a better presence at the national stages

But we shouldn't allow counties to merge with other counties, or ask counties to split up, as this defeats the object of the current system of a county championship

Thoughts?
If you do it that way, you may as well get the teams which qualify for the national stages to add up to 16, rather than 13! Perhaps add a third entry to the M62 Corridor, a fourth to the SCCU, and one more entry to the zone whose county won it last year?

Alan Walton
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Re: NCCU AGM Minutes 2010

Post by Alan Walton » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:17 am

Alex,

Those numbers are fully adjustable, currently the national stages have a prelim stages anyway so maybe 3/4 of these (SCCU1&2, M62, WMidlands) get byes into the first round proper, and the rest play-off, otherwise we would have 16 qualifiers and an extra national round

Sean Hewitt

Re: NCCU AGM Minutes 2010

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:29 am

Alan Walton wrote:I do agree with David that the a better regionalisation of the zonal competition could be beneficial

Maybe having areas like the following

1) SCCU would keep the same format as it work perfectly well (3 entries)
2) M62 Corrider - Lancs/Yorkshire/GMan/Cheshire/Merseyside (2 entries)
3) WMidlands - Shropshire/Staffs/Worcestershire/Warwickshire (2 entries)
4) EMidlands - Notts/Lincs/Leics/Derbyshire/Northants (1 entries)
5) North of England - The rest of the NCCU (1 entry)
6) Suffolk/Norfolk/Bedfordshire/Cambridgeshire/etc. (2 entries)
7) Devon/Cornwall/Somerset/Dorset/Hampshire (1 entries)
8) Gloucester/Hereforshire/Wiltshire/Berkshire (1 entries)

These have been quickly done so pardon some of my geography, but this should significantly reduce the travelling at zonal level which is the main problem at the moment, it also means there could be a better presence at the national stages

But we shouldn't allow counties to merge with other counties, or ask counties to split up, as this defeats the object of the current system of a county championship

Thoughts?
Alot of interesting ideas being submitted to the Holowczak and Hewitt Chess Prevention Society. Which is odd, if it isn't broke!

I think the main problem is that the current structure is designed with large (and therefore mainly SCCU) counties in mind. That is why the current model works so well in the SCCU (hence their understandable opposition to changing it) but fails to provide meanigful competitions to a greater or lesser extent elsewhere.

My suggestion is therefore to srap the Union stages. Allow those counties that want to play in the National Stages to do so. If that means we get 6 SCCU counties enter a division, but only 3 MCCU, 2 NCCU, EACU and 1 WECU then so be it. This would necessitate one additional round in some, but not all events which I think is manageable.

Of course, the first round draw could be regionalied (if desired) to reduce travelling.

The beauty of this suggestion in my opinion is that the Unions can retain their own competitions and titles, although they would no longer be qualifying competitions. This means that, if a Union felt changing something (perhaps a grading band, or number of boards) to facilitate more internal competition then that could be done without affecting their number of qualifying places.

It may go some way to addressing some of the Gtr Man / Oxon / Bucks / Berks issues.

It may also help address the inequality where currently SCCU and MCCU both get three qualifying places in the Open, despite the SCCU clearly being the stronger event.

I hope no-one thinks that this suggestion is, in any way, an attempt at chess prevention or seeking to destroy a successful event ;-)

Alan Walton
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Re: NCCU AGM Minutes 2010

Post by Alan Walton » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:32 am

Sean,

Some good points to dwell over, anyway that's me done for 3 weeks on this Forum

Alan

Sean Hewitt

Re: NCCU AGM Minutes 2010

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:35 am

Alan Walton wrote:Sean,

Some good points to dwell over, anyway that's me done for 3 weeks on this Forum

Alan
Good luck in Canada!

Brian Valentine
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Re: NCCU AGM Minutes 2010

Post by Brian Valentine » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:09 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:It may go some way to addressing some of the Gtr Man / Oxon / Bucks / Berks issues.
Well perhaps half of it - we need to find somewhere for Oxon and Bucks to play!

David Sedgwick
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Re: NCCU AGM Minutes 2010

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:31 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:I think the main problem is that the current structure is designed with large (and therefore mainly SCCU) counties in mind. That is why the current model works so well in the SCCU (hence their understandable opposition to changing it) but fails to provide meanigful competitions to a greater or lesser extent elsewhere.

My suggestion is therefore to srap the Union stages. Allow those counties that want to play in the National Stages to do so. If that means we get 6 SCCU counties enter a division, but only 3 MCCU, 2 NCCU, EACU and 1 WECU then so be it. This would necessitate one additional round in some, but not all events which I think is manageable.

Of course, the first round draw could be regionalied (if desired) to reduce travelling.

The beauty of this suggestion in my opinion is that the Unions can retain their own competitions and titles, although they would no longer be qualifying competitions. This means that, if a Union felt changing something (perhaps a grading band, or number of boards) to facilitate more internal competition then that could be done without affecting their number of qualifying places.

It may go some way to addressing some of the Gtr Man / Oxon / Bucks / Berks issues.

It may also help address the inequality where currently SCCU and MCCU both get three qualifying places in the Open, despite the SCCU clearly being the stronger event.

I hope no-one thinks that this suggestion is, in any way, an attempt at chess prevention or seeking to destroy a successful event ;-)
I accept your assurance in your last sentence. I nevertheless fear that your proposals would have that effect.

If the ECU Counties Championships were to attract a worthwhile entry as open knock-out events, then even one extra round would inevitably mean that they would have to start earlier than the current National Stages do. Teams aren’t going to want to take part both in them and in the current Union Championships – there aren’t enough available weekends.

Hence either the Union events (and in particular the SCCU Counties Championships) will suffer, or the ECF events will. I’m confident that it would be the latter if it came to it, but I don’t wish that to happen.

About ten years ago, similar arguments, and similar problems in one or two Unions, resulted in the then BCF turning the U18 Counties Championship into an open competition. The Union events could continue (and the SCCU one has done), but they ceased to be qualifying competitions.

Does anyone now believe that either the Union U18 Championships or the ECF U18 Championship are in better shape than they were before the changes were made?

Sean Hewitt wrote:A lot of interesting ideas being submitted to the Holowczak and Hewitt Chess Prevention Society. Which is odd, if it isn't broke!
I did apologise for the jibe. As you said, personalising the discussion is usually a sign that you’re losing the argument.

If I’ve counted correctly, thirteen people (including you and me) have posted on the thread since I made my earlier remarks. You are one of no more than two or three who still seem to be opposed to my contention that the SCCU Counties Championships should be retained in their present form as an integral part of the ECF Counties Championships.

Meanwhile, unless there are any defaults, 208 people will be assembling in Leicester next Saturday for the National Finals of these supposedly broken events.

I believe that you’re about to requisition an Extraordinary General Meeting of Council on the Chess for Schools issues. If you think that your ideas about the Counties Championships are worthwhile, why don’t you seek Council approval for them by tabling an additional resolution for the EGM? People will want to turn up and oppose you and that will help you to obtain the necessary quorum for the Chess for Schools matter.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: NCCU AGM Minutes 2010

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:27 pm

David Sedgwick wrote: About ten years ago, similar arguments, and similar problems in one or two Unions, resulted in the then BCF turning the U18 Counties Championship into an open competition. The Union events could continue (and the SCCU one has done), but they ceased to be qualifying competitions.

Does anyone now believe that either the Union U18 Championships or the ECF U18 Championship are in better shape than they were before the changes were made?
I put this down to the general decline of junior chess in that period, rather than the changing format. The emergence of the NYCA (I don't know when it was founded) has also given it competition.

Sean Hewitt

Re: NCCU AGM Minutes 2010

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:53 pm

Brian Valentine wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote:It may go some way to addressing some of the Gtr Man / Oxon / Bucks / Berks issues.
Well perhaps half of it - we need to find somewhere for Oxon and Bucks to play!
Brian - they could play in both the Chiltern league and the National Stages. Win Win!

Sean Hewitt

Re: NCCU AGM Minutes 2010

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:54 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:Meanwhile, unless there are any defaults, 208 people will be assembling in Leicester next Saturday for the National Finals of these supposedly broken events.
On that basis, you would consider 14 entries in total (2 in each of the 7 divisions) a success. I wouldn't.
David Sedgwick wrote: If the ECU Counties Championships were to attract a worthwhile entry as open knock-out events, then even one extra round would inevitably mean that they would have to start earlier than the current National Stages do. Teams aren’t going to want to take part both in them and in the current Union Championships – there aren’t enough available weekends.
Are you seriously suggesting that one extra game would mean that teams would either withdraw from the Union stage or not particiapte in the National Stages? That seems rather far fetched, given that teams may already have to play a preliminary round or find themselves playing a different number of Union stage matches dependent on the entry.
David Sedgwick wrote:If you think that your ideas about the Counties Championships are worthwhile, why don’t you seek Council approval for them by tabling an additional resolution for the EGM?
Because, quite frankly, I don't care enough to do so. It's not something that affects me greatly either way. But even so, I can recognise that all is not well with the event.
Last edited by Sean Hewitt on Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

David Sedgwick
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Re: NCCU AGM Minutes 2010

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:56 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:
David Sedgwick wrote:Meanwhile, unless there are any defaults, 208 people will be assembling in Leicester next Saturday for the National Finals of these supposedly broken events.
On that basis, you would consider 14 entries in total (2 in each of the 7 divisions) a success. I wouldn't.
Some statistics:

Number of Divisions: 2008 - 6; 2009 - 6; 2010 - 7
Number of Nominations for the National Stages: 2008 - 43; 2009 - 58; 2010 - 58
Number of Defaulted Matches in the National Stages: 2008 - 3; 2009 - 7; 2010 - 4

I consider that to be a success. Moreover, it's the exact opposite of what you were predicting a year ago.

Sean Hewitt wrote:Are you seriously suggesting that one extra game would mean that teams would either withdraw from the Union stage or not particiapte in the National Stages? That seems rather far fetched, given that teams may already have to play a preliminary round or find themselves playing a different number of Union stage matches dependent on the entry.
It's the old story of the straw and the camel's back. A number of SCCU counties and teams have mixed feelings about whether the National Stages are really worth the effort. However, they're proud to play in an event for which they've qualified. If that link were removed and they were faced with having to fit an extra match into an already crowded calendar, some of them might well decide to give the ECF competitions a miss.

When the corresponding change was made at U18 level, several teams continued to enter the SCCU event but didn't bother with the ECF one.

Sean Hewitt wrote:I can recognise that all is not well with the event.
I'm not suggesting that everything is perfect. But the Counties Championships are in considerably better shape than they were three or four years ago. There seem to be far fewer complaints from actual or would be participants in the National Stages than there were at that time.

If people feel that they are problems with the Counties Championships within their Union, they should seek to address them at that level.

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