NCCU and the MCF

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Michael Farthing
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Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Michael Farthing » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:08 am

I've read Mick's paper and noted also there's discussion about county eligibility rules, but the incredible gap as I see it is that there seems to be absolutely no knowledge of what counties are!

Can anyone tell us, (or point us to some definitions) of what is currently the case. [And I don't mean from a government definition - as it happens from other work I've done I'm probably among the most expert on that in the forum]. I'm talking about how the ECF, NCCU and MCCU define things.

I assume that the MCCU definition of MCF 'territory' currently overlaps the NCCU definition of LCA territory and that consequently MCCU and NCCU overlap each other. What does the ECF think about this? Or does it just keep quiet and try and keep the peace?

Presumably clubs in the overlap areas just pick whether to be NCCU or MCCU? Could they get away with playing for both?
Or, to reflect another thread, is this whole area just an unobserved quantum entanglement.
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David Pardoe
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Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by David Pardoe » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:32 am

I think this dispute has a wider dimension that has not really been addressed/understood.....
Its right to say that it is crazy that this dispute has lasted around 40 years.....its a most unfortunate situation.
Note that the only one of the new `chess counties` that currently fields teams in any county competition is GMan.....and its not without its challenges. I`d like to see the participation levels increase.
Whether GMan plays in the MCCU events or the NCCU events is not really a big deal. For instance, some say that if GMan returned to the NCCU it would boost there competitions...not true.
You would just end up with the three big hitters slogging it out for qualification to the national stages, with the rest left as spectators. With GMan in the MCCU it gives the benefit of having an extra potential big hitting `northern county` getting through to the national stages, to take on the `heavily advantaged` south quarter.
In the Qudos stakes...winning the Nationals, and even getting into the Finals, is a definite boost for those involved...and something good to mention at AGMs etc.. But more publicity should be given to these events in our regional Press....for `local interest`.
I can see why Lancs and Yorks are cagey/sceptical about options to restructure, which involve them splitting off different chunks to create new `chess counties`...I mention West Yorks, East Yorks, South Yorks, with North Yorks merging with Cleveland as possibilities. And Central Lancs...
The main problem with this shrinking of these giant super counties is that it could significantly weaken there army of players, thus rendering them at a potential disadvantage to the big SCCU counties, who have already got the huge inbuilt population and transport/wealth advantages....in the booming south east corner.
These issues could be addressed by a combination of structural and rule changes to the Counties events, that might help level the playing field for many counties, and thereby encourage more participation from across the UK.
But such changes would require a strong national council steering committee, made up of good representation from across the Union and county bodies. To be effective, this body would need to meet mainly via internet contact and debate..with the occasional face to face meeting to sign off/finalise key agreements.
Part of the problem with UK chess is that it can take ages to get things moving, due to the difficulties of scheduling meetings. I think the `web` could provide a means of bridging that problem.
One thing to consider is the ethos of these county events. For me, its about local players representing there local areas.
Yes, a little flexibility is always necessary.

NB...just to clarify territorial issues.. GMan is that area served by the major Manchester Gov bodies...eg Police, Fire Service, Transport..etc...and yes, a liitle flexibility helps with these things.
Last edited by David Pardoe on Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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MartinCarpenter
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Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by MartinCarpenter » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:35 am

One county/season but so long as you're eligible for multiple counties there's no lock in or anything. Probably quite a few people are eligible for multiple counties.

I hadn't realised there were so many eligibility criteria: http://www.englishchess.org.uk/Forum/vi ... ?f=26&t=23 . I think I might well be able to play for Warwickshire, Staffs, GM and Yorkshire at any stage and Durham as a temporary thing.

The legal answer for the overall county chess competition/the ECF seems to be 5.2 in the ECF articles, which is amusingly vague, but then I'm not sure what sensible response there might be given the continual boundary changes :)
"“County Associations” being such chess organisations representative of chess within statutory or otherwise customarily accepted county areas as shall be admitted by the Council to membership under this Article 5(2)."

So basically whatever the ECF choses.

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Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by MartinCarpenter » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:58 am

To answer David's point -there's absolutely no chance of that happening, not because its absolutely insane (it isn't) but because the 4NCL/(especially) the Yorkshire league duplicate what that would provide so closely.

To keep any useful meaning for Yorkshire, county chess at the top level has to stay about fielding very strong, very large teams. Yes, that concept has its own problems.

Yorkshire league Yorkshire based of course, although Calderdale manage to smuggle a fair few Lancastrians over the border :) The Yorkshire border is strange enough round GM that you could actually quite easily sustain a basically GM based team, even without formally extending the leagues scope. The 4NCL 3N might well do it more conveniently/sensibly though.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:19 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote: So basically whatever the ECF choses.
As always there's quite a lot of history. The BCF appeared to have an objective to set up county associations to cover the whole of England. Wales seemed a little more regionally based. If individual county histories are to go by, this was achieved by 1939. It was based naturally enough on the pre 1974 counties. Fast forward to the early 1970s and it appears that in the SCCU, MCCU and WECU, there was no desire for any restructuring. In the NCCU, there were two proposals. One was to upgrade the Teesside league into a county by transferring relevant areas of Durham and Yorkshire. The other was a restructuring of areas of Cheshire and Lancashire into four. So you would have Lancs, Cheshire (with North Wales) plus new counties of Merseyside and Greater Manchester. The Cleveland and Merseyside changes went through with little or no dispute, on the other hand the Greater Manchester change didn't.

Later there have been local tidy-ups. Once they had agreed the status of the borough of Richmond (Middlesex) and Twickenham (Surrey), the London based counties agreed to define themselves by reference to current local authority boundaries. It doesn't particularly matter where you live provided you are a member of a club affiliated to the county you want to play for. For reasons best known to itself, the ECF wants to discuss a proposal that would outlaw this. Where counties run leagues, the practical boundaries are defined by what works as transport corridors for evening league play. So Berkshire is defined by the M4 and M3 and Bedfordshire by the M1 and A6. Milton Keynes players, for example, although from a traditional part of Buckinghamshire play alongside Bedford and Luton players in the EACU.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:32 pm

David Pardoe wrote: I can see why Lancs and Yorks are cagey/sceptical about options to restructure, which involve them splitting off different chunks to create new `chess counties`...I mention West Yorks, East Yorks, South Yorks, with North Yorks merging with Cleveland as possibilities. And Central Lancs...
It is a matter of common knowledge that Yorkshire are fully behind the Greater Manchester bid to join the NCCU - a vote at the 2013 YCA AGM committing the county to supporting their application was passed with only one vote against.

In all the time I've been involved with the YCA (and that dates back to the late 90s) the idea of splitting into different constituent counties has never once been discussed. Given that we're currently struggling to field any county sides at all due to lack of captains, splitting into four teams with four captains required is a complete non starter. We can't be cagey about a non issue.
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Andrew Wainwright
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Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Andrew Wainwright » Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:41 pm

Quite right Andrew Zigmond, the YCA is in support of the MCF joining the NCCU and I look forward to receiving a report from the YCA officials who attended the NCCU meeting to understand what they said and did in support the MCF's application at the last NCCU meeting.

Mick - I truely hope that this will not put the MCF off continuing with their application as there is a swell of support for the MCF that should not be allowed to evaporate. I spoke with several Lancashire captains at the NCCU stages this year when I captained the Yorkshire u180, u120 and u100 teams. All of the Lancashire officials I spoke to, with the exception of Bill, had no objection to MCF's application. Bill does an awaful lot of good work for chess in Lancashire and has done so for a long time, as a result it appears that many in Lancashire are happy to go along with what he thinks is best. I like Bill on a personal level, though I disagree with his position on this matter absolutely and hope that he will eventually see that Lancashire's continuing objection to the MCF's entry to the NCCU only continues to damage chess in the North of England.

As a Yorkshire man it is hard for me to accept but Manchester is the "biggest" city in the north, it should play its chess in the North!!!

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Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Mick Norris » Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:02 pm

If you have any idea what else we could do, let me know

I think I have established the position clearly, and people can make their own minds up - either accept the Lancs position of destroying our county, or accept ours of letting the players decide which county they wish to play for

It really is as simple as that :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
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Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:21 pm

Andrew Wainwright wrote:Quite right Andrew Zigmond, the YCA is in support of the MCF joining the NCCU and I look forward to receiving a report from the YCA officials who attended the NCCU meeting to understand what they said and did in support the MCF's application at the last NCCU meeting.
As I understand it they spoke in favour of the application and voted for it. I'm not quite sure what else they could have done.
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Paul McKeown
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Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:39 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:Once they had agreed the status of the borough of Richmond (Middlesex) and Twickenham (Surrey), the London based counties agreed to define themselves by reference to current local authority boundaries.
Errrrrrrrrr .... Richmond is south of the river (i.e. Bandit Country), Twickenham north of the river. So exactly the reverse.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:01 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:Once they had agreed the status of the borough of Richmond (Middlesex) and Twickenham (Surrey), the London based counties agreed to define themselves by reference to current local authority boundaries.
Errrrrrrrrr .... Richmond is south of the river (i.e. Bandit Country), Twickenham north of the river. So exactly the reverse.
Although, just to make the geography really confusing, Richmond is further north than Twickenham.

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Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Neil Graham » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:55 pm

Michael Farthing wrote:I've read Mick's paper and noted also there's discussion about county eligibility rules, but the incredible gap as I see it is that there seems to be absolutely no knowledge of what counties are!

Can anyone tell us, (or point us to some definitions) of what is currently the case. [And I don't mean from a government definition - as it happens from other work I've done I'm probably among the most expert on that in the forum]. I'm talking about how the ECF, NCCU and MCCU define things.

I assume that the MCCU definition of MCF 'territory' currently overlaps the NCCU definition of LCA territory and that consequently MCCU and NCCU overlap each other. What does the ECF think about this? Or does it just keep quiet and try and keep the peace?

Presumably clubs in the overlap areas just pick whether to be NCCU or MCCU? Could they get away with playing for both?
Or, to reflect another thread, is this whole area just an unobserved quantum entanglement.
The MCCU position on this is clear

Item 2 of the MCCU Constitution - "The term “Midland Counties” shall include such counties or parts of counties as may be approved by the Union General Meeting"

The MCCU can affiliate who it wishes and there is no reference to so-called "territory" in it's constitution. The MCCU has always taken the view that it can affiliate who it wants if a general meeting so desires. It is nothing to do with the ECF or indeed any other Union.

As for the question of clubs, the Unions are Unions of Counties and consequently the question of clubs is not a concern. For example in my county, Worksop is not affiliated to the Nottinghamshire Chess Association - it is situated in the far north of Notts and plays in the Sheffield League. Nottinghamshire wouldn't contemplate demanding that Worksop had to affiliate to our Association and stop playing in South Yorkshire.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:25 pm

Neil Graham wrote: As for the question of clubs, the Unions are Unions of Counties and consequently the question of clubs is not a concern. For example in my county, Worksop is not affiliated to the Nottinghamshire Chess Association - it is situated in the far north of Notts and plays in the Sheffield League. Nottinghamshire wouldn't contemplate demanding that Worksop had to affiliate to our Association and stop playing in South Yorkshire.
So this presumably means that Worksop is affiliated to the Yorkshire county association, and that Worksop members are eligible to play for both Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire (although not both in the same season). We have similar clubs in the Somerset league; Trowbridge is actually in Wiltshire, and Gillingham and Shaftesbury is actually in Dorset.

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Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:58 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:
So this presumably means that Worksop is affiliated to the Yorkshire county association,
You presume wrongly - it isn't.

EDIT - my reply was unnecessarily blunt. The only organisations that need to affiliate to the Yorkshire Chess Association are those entering a team in the Yorkshire League. Worksop don't at present so there's no need for them to do so.
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MartinCarpenter
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Re: NCCU and the MCF

Post by MartinCarpenter » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:14 pm

Actually very few clubs affiliated to Yorkshire then :) Its only really Leeds which plays in the Yorkshire league with its evening league clubs. Everywhere else mostly uses city wide associations.
(Leeds did for most of its history too, but the past few decades really haven't been kind in terms of their organisation!).

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