NCCU and the MCF

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.
Post Reply
David Pardoe
Posts: 1221
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:29 pm
Location: NORTH WEST

Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by David Pardoe » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:54 am

Fair points Andrew and Eric.... you guys are on the ground in Yorks, so know first hand what the mood music is over there as regards county chess.
You`re right to say that county chess is not `flavour of the month` on the chess scene just now, and trying to raise the profile has been a challenge. Maybe some significant prizes might help.
But you need to appreciate county chess for what it is... an opportunity for your `local team` to do battle with other teams across the country, and to enjoy the challenges and camaradery that goes with this... And, as a Saturday event, it has a partuicular flavour all of its own...with travel (a day out), playing at a variety of venues, meeting players from neighbouring counties, and enjoying some interesting chess battles....not to forget the opportunitty to meet and chat with players from other areas. But, nevertheless you are quite right about this key issue of raising the profile.
Maybe more national acclaim and publicity for the winning teams might not go amiss.
You raised some key issues about travel in Yorks...a 120 mile round trip to play a home game? Thats precisely why I raised the idea of splitting Yorks into `East` (with York as the centre/focal point) & `West`...and maybe `South`... to try to raise the sence of identity with the area, create more `localised` teams, and cut out the sence of exclusion created by having to travel huge distances to `home` games. But if you can suggest other groupings across Yorks, I`m sure its worth a shot. Maybe Humberside would make sence as one... Maybe this is something that should go top of the agenda at the next Yorks/NCCU county meeting/AGM. The collosal size of the current Union blocks makes them almost unmanageable.
However, another move that might help is for a return to the previous county team units...ie, U175, U150, U125, and U100 groupings. That would give larger groupings, which might make it easier for some counties to raise teams.
Another idea might be to reduce the groupings further... ie go for say Open, U170, U135, & U100...but add to this that each grouping should contain certain minimum subgroups of players... ie, the U170 section should contain teams where say no more than 6 players were above 160, no more than 5 others were above say 150, and at least 2 players had to be U140. This would create a representative spread within these groupings. Such scheme might enable team sizes to be increased to say 20 or 24 board matches, to enable more players to participate. It might create an even better match atmosphere...

This digresses somewhat from the original discussion, and what I would add to previous points is that there is an old engineering addage ...if its not broke, dont fix it... and the MCCU is certainly not broke so Manchesters place there is sound and makes good sense. Having said that, ...having strong links on all levels with neighbouring groups is very important, and highly desirable, so I am strongly in favour of Manchester retaining good relations and active conections with the NCCU also..and fostering any initiatives to the benefit of northern chess.
One area they could work on is the strenghtening of the 4NCL northen league, and more teams from across this region would be most welcome.
Mick, and Bill Metcalf are to be commended on there efforts to break down some historic barriers have have dogged relations for far to long.
BRING BACK THE BCF

Alan Walton
Posts: 1269
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:33 pm
Location: Oldham

Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Alan Walton » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:57 am

Martin Carpenter wrote:For that matter Oldham could all by themselves
Clarifying this point, from looking at players who actually live in Oldham, we have the possibility of putting a 16 board team out with everybody graded over 160 (with 5 players graded over 200)

If you then also include anybody who play for 3Cs in some capacity (local and national) you can easily add another 8-10 players graded over 180

So if you expand that out to the wider Manchester area it would easily be competitive, when we won the county championships a couple of times (about 10 years ago), I was actually playing on board 14 (graded around 180)

One of the reasons Manchester county team hasn't hit the heights since, is that alot of the 3Cs players decided not to play county chess, this was around the inconveience of travelling and possibly our entry into the 4NCL as a replacement

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18521
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:42 am

David Pardoe wrote: But you need to appreciate county chess for what it is... an opportunity for your `local team` to do battle with other teams across the country,
Is it? I would say it's a means of organising Saturday afternoon chess. In Yorkshire, as far as I am aware, their main county competition takes place on Saturday afternoons, so any additional competitions are competing with this. Elsewhere in the country, the more stringent you are with eligibility conditions, the less likely you are to avoid one sided matches, so 4NCL and Congresses become viable alternatives.

With a completely clean sheet, you are looking to organise Saturday afternoon chess with the stipulation of not much more than an hour's travel and matches where players aren't consistently out graded. Without a means of ironing out grading disparities, counties with a smaller base of chess resources are always going to struggle.

Andrew Zigmond
Posts: 1751
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:54 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
David Pardoe wrote: But you need to appreciate county chess for what it is... an opportunity for your `local team` to do battle with other teams across the country,
Is it? I would say it's a means of organising Saturday afternoon chess. In Yorkshire, as far as I am aware, their main county competition takes place on Saturday afternoons, so any additional competitions are competing with this. Elsewhere in the country, the more stringent you are with eligibility conditions, the less likely you are to avoid one sided matches, so 4NCL and Congresses become viable alternatives.
That is true. At present Yorkshire weekend players are currently catered for by three events; a) the Yorkshire League, b) Congresses and c) the 4NCL. While anybody can enter a congress and most people who want to play league chess can find a team the third, by its nature, caters only for the higher echelons.

The weakness of the ECF (or BCF as was) allowed the 4NCL to steal a lot of their thunder. It should stand to reason that participation in County chess would increase as you go down the grading scale but the reverse is true. There is an issue here that clearly needs addressing.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18521
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:04 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote: It should stand to reason that participation in County chess would increase as you go down the grading scale but the reverse is true.
I don't think it follows that participation should increase down the scale . The peak numbers in the grading scale are around the 120 to 150 level. It follows that players at that level are not going to have to travel very far to meet diverse opposition of their own standard, so local competitions can suffice. Below that level, whilst no doubt there are players working hard to improve, a majority don't take chess seriously enough to be willing to travel long distances on Saturday afternoons.

At the higher levels, particularly in more sparsely populated regions, higher graded players are forced to travel in order to meet any variety of opposition. They are also in demand by match captains.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18521
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:14 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote: The weakness of the ECF (or BCF as was) allowed the 4NCL to steal a lot of their thunder.
The BCF came to the conclusion that
(a) a national league was needed
but
(b) it would have to be organised by a group or individuals outside the BCF to get it off the ground.

That's what happened with a key feature of the 4NCL being that it was team rather than club or county based. This differed greatly from the BCF/ECF which was then and perhaps still is, concerned with eligibility issues preventing organisers and captains selecting teams from anyone willing to play for them.

A hybrid where the BCF could have retained some degree of control would have been one where only county and league associations were given the rights to enter 4NCL teams, but with the critical difference that it was then open season or almost open season on who could play for which team. It's unlikely that such a system would ever have been considered as it would involve 'bussing in' entire teams.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18521
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:30 pm

Browsing some Northern chess sites, I came across the minutes of the May NCCU meeting. It appears from these minutes that the attempt of Manchester to rejoin the NCCU may have foundered at the final hurdle.

http://www.cumbriachess.org.uk/wp-conte ... 0513DC.pdf

in which
A wide ranging discussion took part, with all Counties expressing views as to if and how the MCF could be accommodated within the territorial boundaries of Lancashire. The consensus was that such a division would be unconstitutional and create tensions which the NCCU wish to avoid as the Union was seeking consolidation. Constitutionally, the NCCU could not approve the MCF application to join, as a 12 month consultation with affected Counties had not taken place (a formal 12 months consultation between Lancashire, Cheshire & NW and the MCF is required); importantly , the MCF is not recognised as a ‘County’ Chess Association (as it is a Federation).
If I understand it, the MCF was an amalgamation between the Greater Manchester County and the Manchester League for the purposes of running chess in Manchester.

Is the latest twist that the NCCU won't admit the MCF as themselves unless they break up their federation back into its component parts? Greater Manchester is recognised having county status by the ECF, for that matter membership of the SCCU is extended beyond pure County Associations.
The consensus view of the NCCU was that Manchester players be asked to play for Lancashire County teams
Wasn't that where the dispute started? That the Manchester players wanted their own teams. It had always been my understanding that GM wanted membership of the NCCU under the same terms as other 1974 counties such as Merseyside and Cleveland and that Lancashire wanted to deny them this.

The Manchester report is confident that membership can be achieved next year.

http://manchesterchessfederation.co.uk/page74.html
I was told that having achieved the necessary 2/3rds majority, we had to make a formal application to join the NCCU, which we did, and that this would then be voted on in the NCCU meeting earlier this month, where it would require only a simple majority. For reasons I don’t understand, the meeting date was moved, and the item postponed until December. I hope that will end the 38 year dispute, and we can join the NCCU in 2014.

Andrew Wainwright
Posts: 119
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:05 pm

Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Andrew Wainwright » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:34 pm

I can not begin to explain how angry I am about this decision.

On the one side the NCCU recognise that their actual contribution towards northern chess is pretty much negligible (given that only Yorkshire and Lancashire really compete at county level, their junior activities are at the bare minimum level and their NCCU club competition has pretty much died), and on the other side they reject an obvious solution to a lot of these problems - inviting the MCF back into the fold and recognising that they are separate to Lancashire and wish to stay as such.

I took on arranging the Pennine Cup (u16 tournament) this year to try and promote northern chess. For the first time in many years we had all but one county represented. I also invited the MCF to join in following discussions with Mick and Julian in order to foster closer relations with the MCF, they sent two teams to take part. I also previously arranged a 20 board match against the MCF with Bradford a year or so earlier, again to build bridges and get to know our northern neighbours a bit better.

I don't give a s*#£ what happened in 1975! I wasn't even born at that time for a start. Why 35+ years later do these people still think that they can dictate what happens in the NCCU just because they hold an historic grudge that frankly no one outside of Lancashire cares about?!

Why don't the NCCU grow a spine and stand up to them? If the constitution is the problem then change it. If certain individuals get the hump who cares!

If this is what the NCCU has to offer northern chess then I want no part of it and will certainly not be running the Pennine Cup again this year if this is their attitude.

Sorry to rant but for god sake who are these people!!!!

Andrew Zigmond
Posts: 1751
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:13 pm

Andrew - the minute Roger quoted comes from a meeting in May. This predates the YCA AGM in June where Ihor reported that big progress has been made and you put forward a successful motion that Yorkshire would fully support the application. The quoted part of Mick Norris' statement also dates from June. Hopefully 2013-14 will be the year this ridiculous dispute is put to bed.

Bill Metcalfe, the current NCCU President, has done a lot of work to achieve reconciliation. Unfortunately there is a crabbed old boy for reasons best known to himself is determined that Greater Manchester will not join the NCCU as a county and is prepared to spend a million pounds of his own money taking legal action. Therefore everything that happens has to be within the constitution so that he doesn't have a leg to stand on; defending a legal action, no matter how ludicrous, would cost the NCCU money.

I should add that the litigant in question is said to be a gentleman of the old school and did great service to chess in his day. It's sad that his legacy will be forty years of obstructing progress.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18521
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:24 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote: I should add that the litigant in question is said to be a gentleman of the old school and did great service to chess in his day. It's sad that his legacy will be forty years of obstructing progress.
As far as I can see, the gentleman in question is still one of the Lancashire representatives to the NCCU. Why doesn't Lancashire just deselect him? Perhaps they are frightened he will threaten legal action against them as well.

Andrew Wainwright
Posts: 119
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:05 pm

Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Andrew Wainwright » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:25 pm

Andrew - noted but the minutes do not reflect Ihor's report and frankly it looks like we have taken one step forward and two steps back.

I am so frustrated when reading this. I have therefore emailed the NCCU in a personal capacity to let them know what I think of these minutes and to confirm that I will not run any NCCU events next year (like the Pennine Cup) whilst this continues to be their mentality. I have copied you and other YCA committee members on this email to keep you in the loop.

If this is voted on in December and approved then I will happily get back on board and help out.

Mick Norris
Posts: 7885
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:12 am
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester

Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Mick Norris » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:42 pm

I'll say little as wishing Roger wouldn't post about matters he doesn't understand is pointless I guess

Andy - not as annoyed as I was when I got Dave Cole's email

The MCF have replied and we wait patiently to find out the response - I'd like it sorted by the end of my Presidency in June but hey what's another few years :roll:
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Andrew Zigmond
Posts: 1751
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:14 pm

Andrew Wainwright wrote: I am so frustrated when reading this. I have therefore emailed the NCCU in a personal capacity to let them know what I think of these minutes and to confirm that I will not run any NCCU events next year (like the Pennine Cup) whilst this continues to be their mentality. I have copied you and other YCA committee members on this email to keep you in the loop.

If this is voted on in December and approved then I will happily get back on board and help out.
For the sake of good order I've forwarded the email on to the three YCA committee members not on the list of recipients (Richard White, Jon Griffith, Steve Burton). It may also be an idea to see if you can find a postal address for Mr Tennant-Smith who is ultimately the main blocker of progress (although the other Lancs rep raised objections having read the minutes) and send him a copy.

It is tempting to resort to name calling against Mr Tennant-Smith, however as I stated above he is believed to be a true gentleman in most respects. I wonder if he knows a) the general depth of feeling about his behaviour and that b) his continual threats of legal action on a dispute dating to 1975 are now making him a laughing stock.

One possibility that occurred to me is a motion sponsored by the YCA committee asking the NCCU to formally accept the Manchester application in principle and condemning those who obstruct it - Mr Tennant-Smith would hopefully have to recognise that.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Sean Hewitt
Posts: 2190
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:18 pm
Contact:

Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:52 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote: One possibility that occurred to me is a motion sponsored by the YCA committee asking the NCCU to formally accept the Manchester application in principle and condemning those who obstruct it - Mr Tennant-Smith would hopefully have to recognise that.
Hopefully this is the final leg of the journey for Manchester joining the NCCU. If not, what would stop Manchester and all of the other northern counties simply leaving the NCCU and forming a new union?

Andrew Wainwright
Posts: 119
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:05 pm

Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Andrew Wainwright » Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:52 pm

Andrew - Unfortunately there is little point in me contacting the gentleman as I have no official capacity within the NCCU or the YCA. I like your suggestion though of Yorkshire championing the MCF's application. Indeed I thought that this is what we had mandated Ihor to do at the last YCA meeting.

Sean - clearly you have never attended an NCCU meeting, they are not that dynamic a group. I can not see the other counties ever leaving the NCCU to set up a new body with the MCF. We need to bring Yorkshire, Lancashire and the MCF together. Not swap Lancashire for the MCF. We are stronger as a collective unit to promote chess in the north. We just need to brush aside those who are stuck in the past in order for this to happen.

Post Reply