MCCU Proposal to reduce number of Boards in County Matches

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Ian Kingston
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Post by Ian Kingston » Sun Apr 15, 2007 11:15 am

I'm with Neil Graham on this issue. Most counties have enough players to raise teams of 16 if they have enthusiastic and competent captains. Finding people willing to take on these roles is the difficult job. Reducing the number of boards doesn't properly address this fundamental issue.

If county chess is to continue to be viable then it has to compete with all the other options available to potential players - in other words, it has to be an attractive prospect for those with the time to play. Compare the typical conditions at 4NCL venues with those at county matches - no contest, really.

Obviously, good venues cost money. It is also notoriously difficult to persuade chess players to part with the cash necessary to hire such venues (although, oddly, not so difficult to extract cash from them at the bar). However, it ought to be possible to change the format of the county competitions to deal with the problems. Suppose, for example, that we take a leaf out of the 4NCL's book: set aside two or three weekends for the unions to hold their championships, perhaps holding the Open, U150 and U100 competitions on separate weekends from the U175 and U125 competitions (allowing players to play for more than one team). This reduces the organisational effort for captains and pools the available financial resources. Unions could act separately or combine their efforts if they wanted to. Sponsorship opportunities might be available.

On the negative side, the burden on the responsible officer within each union might increase. One way round this would be to have each county nominate one person to join an organising subcommittee.

All this is really just me thinking out loud. There might be some very fundamental reason why this particular approach won't work. Regardless, I think trying new approaches must be preferable to simply acquiescing in the decline and ultimate extinction of county chess.

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Joey Stewart
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Post by Joey Stewart » Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:45 pm

I think another reason this might not be such a great idea is the issue of venues.
If there are less players in a team, and assuming they play in the same venue, then it is going to cost more for each individual player to hire the venue.

If there is the need to downsize would it not be more practical to increase the size of other section teams by means of merging them together and disposing of a section entirely.

For example the new system could look something like this

Open: 20 boards

Under 165:20 boards

Under 135: 20 boards

Under: 100: 20 boards

Thereby, killing two birds with one stone - the problem of driving players away through increased costs of venue hire and also the problem of a decline in membership meaning that cuts need to be made.
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

juliedjohnson
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County team numbers

Post by juliedjohnson » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:21 pm

In response to various posts on the subject -

Consultation -

I do not normally engage in arguments over semantics, whilst I used the term feedback in my previous post, I would point out for those who do not see feedback and consultation as being the same, that the article in the MCCU Newsletter was headed "County Chess Consultation"

It opened thus-

Are you a county team captain past or present? Do you play county chess? Do you not currently get the chance to play county chess because your county doesn’t run a team covering your grading? Then I would like to hear from you.
& having set out the points raised at the GM closed thus -

What do YOU think? Now is the chance to haveyour say. Please don’t just sit back and leave the decision to a small number of people based on their
view of the situation. Let the future reflect what grass roots players want and have YOUR say.


The MCCU GM voted that if the responses received supported a reduction for 16 to 12 a motion should be put to ECF Council. I stand by the view that inviting comment/ feedback/views through the MCCU Newsletter (the "publication" of which is widely publicised via an email network) is an appropriate vehicle as it provides the widest opportunity for players in the MCCU to gain information & respond to it.
Having had response from several past & present captains all wanting 12 a side & only 1 player who responded wanting to retain 16 a side, with a few "perhaps the Open/Minor should stay at 16", I felt it my duty to put the motion to ECF Council.

If those who did not contribute to the original request to provide input, for whatever reason, do not wish to see this motion go through, they can make their views known to their respective county delegate.

OVERLAPPING -

The matter of overlapping between teams has been commented on. It is not simply that a grading overlap is arising. Several team captains have commented that they face difficulties because some of the players they would like to select are not prepared to play 2 weekends running, this can weaken the top end of a team, due to players preferring to play for the higher team. In larger Unions it is impossible to produce schedules that avoid this. This leads to captains filling the bottom boards of their team with whoever they can persuade to play. The comment I had from several current & past captains was - "it's usually quite easy to get 12 boards, it's those last 4 that are the problem"

REDUCTION IN NUMBERS -

In my view the total number of games graded is not the measure to use for county chess. It is how many players there are available & wanting to play in county teams. If a significant number of team captains are struggling to raise sides & having to resort to "who do I know that is eligible & will play if they can, irrespective of their grade?" to fill teams, it seems to me that the message is that the pool of players is not large enough to support 16 a side.

Sean Hewitt

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:04 pm

Chris Majer wrote:Sean Hewitt says
I believe that the number of graded players nationwide has reduced by 30% in the last 10 years.
This is a much quoted but misleading statistic. The number of standard play halfgames graded games dropped by a third between 96 and 99 from 307,000 to 208,000. The number of standard play games graded last year was 202,000. Year to year fluctuations are probably about 6000 halfgames. So I don't believe that chess activity has declined significantly over the last six to eight years.
I dont think its misleading in that in this context, the number of active players rather than the number of games being played must be the key stat. To take matters to the absurd, if there were only 100 active players left in the country, but they played 200,000 half games between them, would you still maintain that all is well?!! :oops:
Chris Majer wrote:
Given the overlapping nature that county teams now demonstrate, it seems sensible to me to reduce the number of players per county side on a pro-rata basis.
I fail to see why grade overlap necessarily equates to a need to reduce the number of players in a teams. The relevant parameter, I would have thought, is the number of defalts.
The reason is that if counties are having to bring in weaker players to make up the numbers, this clearly impacts on their ability to compete. No sides wants to default boards and all try to provide the opposition with a game. Indeed, the ECF fines counties for defaulting boards. Therefore, a side would rather play a 70 graded player rather than default the board. So grade overlapping should set the alarm bells ringing that something is amiss.

Mick Norris
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Post by Mick Norris » Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:24 am

Neil Graham wrote:[
Can I state that as an MCCU captain, I have never been consulted about this proposal from the MCCU which I am firmly and implacably against.

This constant watering down of the regulations leads, in the end, to competitions disappearing - just look at the National Club Championship for an example.

In the four Under 150 matches this season I've captained there has only been one player Under 125, a promising junior, selected in 64 games. I'm already having to turn players away - I understood the purpose of these competitions was actually to let people play chess.

I hope this proposal is roundly rejected by Council as it has been in the past.
Neil

I am an MCCU captain, and I did take the trouble to respond to Julie, sorry you missed the MCCU newsletter which asked for feedback

I also spent weeks organising a venue for the MCCU U175 Jamboree, the main difficulty of which was finding somewhere big enough but cheap enough - I wish chess players would pay more for better venues, but my experience of county matches is they won't

Of course, all my work was wasted when the Northants & Notts U175 teams withdrew at only 5 days notice and the event was cancelled

I appreciate that you have an excellent U150 team and your captaincy is the reason - but your players have a lot less travelling than ours in the MCCU competitions (an accident of geography) and indeed the ECF County Championships and 4NCL too

In our county, we struggle to get 16 players for the Open and U150 teams, and I struggled to get 12 for the U175 Jamboree (some of whom won't play for me again, due to the late cancellation)

Mick
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

David Pardoe
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Re MCCU Motion to reduce County team sizes to 12 player

Post by David Pardoe » Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:41 pm

Hello,
Just a few points..
Firstly...yes, it is not easy to get players for county matches...but that is part of the challenge. Neil is testimony to this...his views should be heeded.
Mick mentions travel...yes,. this is a significant issue......it requires some hard work to turn out a team..particularly for away matches. And it requires players to show some support/commitment for these events...for which more Press/media publicity might not go amiss...particularly the Finals stages. What is our BCF PR machine doing about this...its a great opportunity to promote chess amongst the masses....and maybe encourage more into the game...and more new faces in our chess clubs....too many people dont realise that they have a local club on there doorstep who would love to see them...regardless of standard.....todays novices are tomorrows experts!!
But the failure of this years MCCU U175 event surely demonstrates that this is not just about getting 16 players......(or 12 players even)....
the U175 Jamboree required only 12 player teams for this seasons MCCU qualifier event, yet it failed...despite all Micks efforts to get a suitable venue?? Not even the `home` county (Staffordshire), could be bothered to enter a team?
Another point...we must stop playing all these finals in Leicestershire...this is balmy. Lets circulate these around....get the county`s and Unions to offer good venues, on a round robin basis...lets see these in Stafford, Warwick (Warwick Castle could be a great venue??), Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Oxford, Nottingham and London....Preston, Norwich.....Derby...
Maybe we should get one of our major hotel chains to give us a long term 10 year deal...Marriott, or Best Western perhaps....
Other issues include competing events..ie, 4NCL, congresses, other county events, and so on....
Last years U150 National event shows that things are not all bad...look at the team sheet for the Semi Final match Yorks v Warks...which Yorks fielding a very strong team outgunned Warks.
Our own MCCU U150 qualifier event is well supported...and a strong competition....probably one of the strongest around...
One problem I think is that captains underestimate the effort needed to get these matches played...and the need to research players/clubs, building up a good database of potential players.
Player overlap is not a big issue...it also gives the `lower graded` players some exposure to `stronger` opposition...the grading system is not some kind of holly grail...these grades can at best only be regarded as `indicative`...... I`d like to see grades `banded` over 10-point ranges to refect this.
Another problem, possibly linked, is captains who mess about...causing much aggrevation for other teams, by postponing matches...and dilly dallying over match arrangements...again causing disaffection.
Another problem is the rules...and players becoming disaffected by some of the nonsense that goes on......as Mick has indicated.
Regarding rules....this is not really a true `county` event...due to the rather slap dash qualifying rules for player eligabilility...I`m keen to see these tightened up...clubs which are not actually within a county boundary should not (generally) be allowed eligability......ie, one county should not be able to poach another county`s clubs. Similarly, leagues should be split across county boundaries, in terms of eligability...and in terms of county association membership, I believe.
Regarding rules...those relating to mobile phones and move recording, should in my view be revised...so that less draconion penalties are applied for infringements... If a phone goes off inadvertantly, at most a 5 minute penalty should apply...and only after the first `offence`...(unless serious foul play is strongly suspected) ...certainly for all events below international level....we need to focus on the fact that players are mainly out for an enjoyable days chess.
Just as a further illustration...I was at a club recently, and there was a group of noisy kids playing outside, making the noise that kids make...this was far worse than any mobiles going off.....in terms of distraction.
Another point...communication...this motion was flagged at an MCCU meeting last Nov....to my knowledge no minutes have yet been circulated...all we have is a `web message` that people are somehow supposed to click onto...amongst the mega information mountain out there.....this is not sufficient.....and neither is taking action based on a handfull of responces.....I still remember the almost ludicras way in which the BCF was engineered out...in favour of `Little England`...???
We gave up our most prestigious flagship ...which gave us a potentially valuable `British` platform ...with its Commonwealth connections...a much better base from which to challenge as `world class` status.....some real `British teams` surely could give us a chance of `world recognition`...and be more economic...rather than trying to prop up several mini states? How can we hope to compete with the might of the USA and Russia, unless we use our limited resources effectively....
But, apart from that....the BCF flagship has a history and pedigree that is worth preserving, and far more valuable than this `team england` malarky......and it gives us some much needed cohesion....British is Great...we need to put the `great` back into our chess scene...lets have some real vision.
Back to communication...had this `motion` been broadcast to the MCCU officials via an email, advising what had happened, as a support for the `web message`, it might have given it some greater meaning, and recieved more feedback...although I know that emails dont always elicit great response...but I reckon this should have been circulated to at least 100 delegates across the MCCU union, to be effective, and more credible as a communication...
Another issue I`ve mentioned before...the Unions could do with some restructuring...they have become too large and unwealdy (and remote) , I think...
What about splitting the MCCU into two halves...what about a new northern Union based across the M62 corridor...several groups could be usefully pulled together here. And what about splitting the massive Yorks county back into the three `Ridings`...creating some new `county` bodies...South Yorks could then drop into the new M62 based Union...I know the Chilterns were musing something last year...
And we desparately need to reconnect the headless chicken...this aloof `ECF management` have created. We should not be a `company`....
And we should not be after `sports` recognition....but should be after `leisure` status....and favourable tax treatment....this country desparately needs to encourage promote its cultural persuites....before we all drop dead with this crazy work life imbalance we now have...as the planet sinks under the ravages of climate change, and natural resources disappearing under the relentless persuit of `materialism`...what will be left for our grandchildren if this madness is allowed to continue.
BRING BACK THE BCF

John Fahy
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MCCU Proposal

Post by John Fahy » Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:49 pm

As a Warwickshire County captain - I am totally against the MCCU proposal to reduce the National event boards from 16 to 12 players - what purpose does it have in promoting the playing of chess - the MCCU would like to retain the Midland event as a 16 player competition - what do we say to those players who have played in most/every game but now find themselves left out ?? will they be so supportive of the MCCU event the next year ?? why should they - only to find they are possibly left out again - will we then be struggling to get players out in future ??

This is an ill-conceived idea and brings into question the intentions of those who have made the proposal without proper consultation.

I may have only been a County captain from this year but have assisted others in the past - progressing through from U100 U125 and now to U150 level - each time always being available to play for the higher section team - thats part of the challenge each year for some players - and if players are showing potential then whats wrong with allowing them to play in the higher section - we are here to promote the playing of inter-county chess not stop it !!??!!

I have been notified of this proposal by several people now and from different MCCU counties - they are all against this proposal - which again begs the question - why this proposal has been put forward by the MCCU ?? without proper consultation with those of us who actually have the task of raising players - surely the MCCU should have consulted with all of its Counties and their captains before undertaking such a proposal - or is that too democratic ??

John Fahy - Wark's U150 Joint Captain

Neil Graham
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16 board matches

Post by Neil Graham » Mon Apr 23, 2007 11:23 pm

Going back to Julie Johnson's point about semantics.

As I understand "consultation", the MCCU has a list of county captains with e-mail addresses on their website. "Consult" - ask for advice or information. The MCCU never consulted with the captains who actually run the county teams. Instead they asked for "feedback" in an article cunningly concealed on Page 15 of the November 2006 MCCU Middle Game (just after the important article on circular chess). I'm certainly not on the circulation list for this bulletin and wouldn't expect to have to scour the internet looking for this so-called feedback - which surprise, surprise no-one fed back.

Of the five Under 150 captains in the MCCU competition, three have already commented here (myself, David Pardoe and John Fahy) about the MCCU motion. I have spoken to Staffordshire Under 150 and they don't want the reduction to 16 boards either.

The MCCU does not speak for me or any of these captains in their motion - their motion will stop people playing chess.

Chris Majer
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Points raised by Sean

Post by Chris Majer » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:19 pm

Sean Hewitt seems to be unaware why the claimed 30% reduction in the number of chess players is misleading, so I will enlighten him.
Firstly, about ten years ago the Yorks leagues were part of the BCF grading system. Many of those players are still playing chess today, though not alas featuring on the ECF grading system. So the reduction in the number of players in the country is actually less than the 30% claimed.
Secondly, there was a peak of chess playing at the time of, and for a few years after, the Short-Kasparov match. Selectively choosing a peak in any activity and using it as the baseline, while good for headlines, misleads.
The decline in chess activity nationally over say 20 years is probably about 20%. It’s still worrying - but not quite as serious as the headline-grabbing figure.

In 'justifying' the MCCU proposal
The reason is that if counties are having to bring in weaker players to make up the numbers, this clearly impacts on their ability to compete. No sides wants to default boards and all try to provide the opposition with a game.
Not all counites field teams in all grade bands so some of these supposed overlaps are probably players who only play for that team and have no other team to play for. To be a convincing argument the MCCU needs to show that the weaker players acutally play for another team and are therefore genuinely reserves.
A review of the grade bands, as has been suggested elsewhere, makes more sense to me
Chris Majer
ECF Chief Executive

David Pardoe
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Post by David Pardoe » Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:27 am

A good post Chris...
yes, declining numbers are a concern...in the MCF it is a topic currently under discussion.
So one of the real issues is....what can be done about this.
At grass roots level, clubs and secretaries, and leagues must be more pro-active in trying to encourage new players into the chess scene.
There are many players who play `on the web`...so also lerk outside the official stats ...can these people be encouraged to join local clubs...??
More local Press publicity would be helpful...welcoming players of all standards to our clubs...publishing league tables, giving contact details. Clubs also need to get there act together...make there chess offerings more attractive..club competitions, etc...more attractive venues...more realistic membership fees..yes, slightly higher perhaps....you cant fund this on fresh air...
But also...a key issue across the chess scene generally...CLUBS, COUNTIES, UNIONS, and NATIONAL CHESS BODIES really do need more volunteers to fill posts...in order to make things work...
In this regard...with the AGM season aproaching...I`d urge club players to consider this carefully...CAN YOU VOLUNTEER to help......most jobs require just some of your time...and are not ROCKET SCIENCE. So dont stand back and leave it to others...worse still ..leave posts unfilled.
This applies to team and county captains....without people willing to take on these key roles....yes..surprise surprise...things will start to degenerate...
It is no surprise therefore that the successful teams tend to be those with captains...who have put in much effort...and are often supported by a group of enthusiastic helpers/supporters.
A note on travel...another `problem`....
I view these events as `a day out`...the travel is part of the deal.....going to new places...meeting new players.....team camaradery.....and some good chess.... but I know this is not always easy....our county has more travel being on the fringes of our Union...
Player overlap...this is no bad thing...we need flexibility...and chess grades are not a holly grail.....they should be viewed as `indicative`...I`d say over a range of 20 - 30 points these can be regarded as `not necessarily too significant...
Would like to see Yorkshire return to the grading fold.....
Good Chessing.....
BRING BACK THE BCF

Sean Hewitt

Re: Points raised by Sean

Post by Sean Hewitt » Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:40 am

Chris Majer wrote:Sean Hewitt seems to be unaware why the claimed 30% reduction in the number of chess players is misleading, so I will enlighten him.
Firstly, about ten years ago the Yorks leagues were part of the BCF grading system. Many of those players are still playing chess today, though not alas featuring on the ECF grading system. So the reduction in the number of players in the country is actually less than the 30% claimed.
Secondly, there was a peak of chess playing at the time of, and for a few years after, the Short-Kasparov match. Selectively choosing a peak in any activity and using it as the baseline, while good for headlines, misleads.
The decline in chess activity nationally over say 20 years is probably about 20%. It’s still worrying - but not quite as serious as the headline-grabbing figure.
So its not misleading at all, its just that it is from a peak. At least you now appear to accept (by implication) that it is the number of active players that is the key stat, not the number of half games played - as you had claimed earlier. One Nil to the good guys!
Chris Majer wrote: In 'justifying' the MCCU proposal
The reason is that if counties are having to bring in weaker players to make up the numbers, this clearly impacts on their ability to compete. No sides wants to default boards and all try to provide the opposition with a game.
Not all counites field teams in all grade bands so some of these supposed overlaps are probably players who only play for that team and have no other team to play for. To be a convincing argument the MCCU needs to show that the weaker players acutally play for another team and are therefore genuinely reserves.
A review of the grade bands, as has been suggested elsewhere, makes more sense to me
I agree that this achieves the same goal, if the number of divisions were reduced from 5 to 4 with the bandings being widened from 25 points. But as I have said elsewhere, there will be as many against the reduction in divisions as there are to reduction in boards. But we need to wake up and smell the coffee. County Chess is in terminal decline at the moment. If we dont address the realities of the situation, and do it soon, it will be too late to bring it back to life.

Sean Hewitt

Re: MCCU Proposal

Post by Sean Hewitt » Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:45 am

John Fahy wrote:As a Warwickshire County captain - I am totally against the MCCU proposal to reduce the National event boards from 16 to 12 players - what purpose does it have in promoting the playing of chess - the MCCU would like to retain the Midland event as a 16 player competition - what do we say to those players who have played in most/every game but now find themselves left out ?? will they be so supportive of the MCCU event the next year ?? why should they - only to find they are possibly left out again - will we then be struggling to get players out in future ??

This is an ill-conceived idea and brings into question the intentions of those who have made the proposal without proper consultation.

I may have only been a County captain from this year but have assisted others in the past - progressing through from U100 U125 and now to U150 level - each time always being available to play for the higher section team - thats part of the challenge each year for some players - and if players are showing potential then whats wrong with allowing them to play in the higher section - we are here to promote the playing of inter-county chess not stop it !!??!!

I have been notified of this proposal by several people now and from different MCCU counties - they are all against this proposal - which again begs the question - why this proposal has been put forward by the MCCU ?? without proper consultation with those of us who actually have the task of raising players - surely the MCCU should have consulted with all of its Counties and their captains before undertaking such a proposal - or is that too democratic ??

John Fahy - Wark's U150 Joint Captain
John,

The Warwickshire MCCU reps were at the meeting and voted (IIRC) in favour of the proposal, as did the majority of reps. This is why the MCCU put the proposal forward. FYI, the meeting also decided to put to the MCCU AGM a seperate motion to reduce MCCU stage matches to 12 boards, irrespective of what the ECF decides.

Sean

John Fahy
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MCCU Proposal

Post by John Fahy » Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:20 pm

Sean,

Thanks for the info - most interesting.

Why was the "consultation" buried in a newsletter - if those (and i'd be interested to know who) who tabled this motion had wanted proper consultation and discussion on a democratic basis - why did they not contact all of the County captains directly (they've got our dtails) and allow Associations appropriate time to to discuss it properly ?? What exactly was the rush ??

It appears that someone ?? is keen to reduce the numbers playing County Chess ?? surely the MCCU are there to do just the opposite - they should be supporting it and raising its profile - why should we be concerned that overlapping happens - its a good thing - both you and i have come through the system and played above our grading band on several occassions - what the problem with that ??.

If some Counties are having difficulty raising teams - I know Leicestershire have defaulted a match this year in the U150 section - maybe they should look at how their captains approach the matter and raise the profile of County chess in their area - rather than try and make wholesale and unnecessary changes on every other County just to suit their circumstances - and if they still struggle - then how many do we have playing the next time 8 and where do we stop ??

There is nothing wrong with the current 16 board set up or the grading band limits - it makes for competitive chess across the full grading band and below - if we just want the best players in each grading band we could end up with no one below 135 or so in the U150 section - so what happens to those players below that level then ??

This item has clearly not been thought through properly and it appears that most of the MCCU - Associate Counties do not support it - whatever happened at this Nov meeting needs to be opened up - so everyone can see who set the "agenda" for this item and how on earth it was allowed to continue - without being put back to the MCCU after the so called "consultation" !?!

John Fahy - Wark's U150 captain

Sean Hewitt

Re: MCCU Proposal

Post by Sean Hewitt » Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:23 pm

John Fahy wrote:Sean,

Thanks for the info - most interesting.

Why was the "consultation" buried in a newsletter - if those (and i'd be interested to know who) who tabled this motion had wanted proper consultation and discussion on a democratic basis - why did they not contact all of the County captains directly (they've got our dtails) and allow Associations appropriate time to to discuss it properly ?? What exactly was the rush ??
I cant answer why the consultation was done in this manner as I didnt do it. However, I am told that amogst the replies were 12 county captains, and that 11 of those were in favour of the proposal.
John Fahy wrote:
If some Counties are having difficulty raising teams - I know Leicestershire have defaulted a match this year in the U150 section - maybe they should look at how their captains approach the matter and raise the profile of County chess in their area - rather than try and make wholesale and unnecessary changes on every other County just to suit their circumstances - and if they still struggle - then how many do we have playing the next time 8 and where do we stop ??
I can't recall who brought the subject up. But the majority of MCCU counties were at the meeting, and the the majority supported the idea of reducing board numbers. So I dont think its one county trying to change things to suit their own circumstances.
John Fahy wrote:
There is nothing wrong with the current 16 board set up or the grading band limits - it makes for competitive chess across the full grading band and below - if we just want the best players in each grading band we could end up with no one below 135 or so in the U150 section - so what happens to those players below that level then ??
You clearly think that 16 boards is the right number, and thats fine. But I havent seen a convincing argument for 16 boards, other than some people dont want 12 boards. Why not 20 (as it was a while ago), or 24, or 32? The point, surely, is that the number of boards at county level should be commesurate with the number of active chess players?
John Fahy wrote:
This item has clearly not been thought through properly and it appears that most of the MCCU - Associate Counties do not support it - whatever happened at this Nov meeting needs to be opened up - so everyone can see who set the "agenda" for this item and how on earth it was allowed to continue - without being put back to the MCCU after the so called "consultation" !?!
That simply is not the case John. The majority of counties at the MCCU meeting were in favour of this proposal and voted accordingly. Those that didnt bother to attend can hardly cry foul after the event. And as I said earlier, apparently 11/12 county captains who did reply to the 'consultation' were in favour of the reduction.

Personally, I would have carried out the consultation differently. But the motion has been with the ECF delegates long enough for them to get their respective county opinions and vote accordingly tomorrow. Whichever way the vote goes, democracy will have triumphed. But the debate that the motion has provoked has clearly been worthwhile and might encourage the ECF to consider how to improve county chess in the future. And that's something we would all support.

Chris Majer
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Post by Chris Majer » Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:11 pm

So its not misleading at all, its just that it is from a peak. At least you now appear to accept (by implication) that it is the number of active players that is the key stat, not the number of half games played - as you had claimed earlier. One Nil to the good guys!
Indeed 1-0 to the good guys and an own goal by Sean. I have been publishing the number of active players in the ECF/BCF Strategic Planning documents for several years. I chose to use the number of games played for this theme because I have to hand nearly twenty years of data. I only have to hand about seven years of data on the number of active players.

The debate is about the MCCU proposal to reduce the number of boards in county matches. Therefore to use a peak to justify the proposal is inappropriate, after all we had 16 boards in county matches pre the Short boom.
County Chess is in terminal decline at the moment
Perhaps it is in the MCCU. The number of county teams in the SCCU increased last year. :P
Chris Majer
ECF Chief Executive

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