Quality of club venues

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J T Melsom
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Quality of club venues

Post by J T Melsom » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:15 pm

I am sure we have all experienced good and bad venues, the majority in my experience being tolerable. However, just as we have seen congresses in more comfortable venues do well in recent years, I've become of an increasing number of players who won't play evening chess because after a hard days work, nobody wants to sit in a cramped venue for three hours further stretching the brain. I know that for some clubs it is a matter of finding a venue at the right price, though if this is unattractive to prospective members that may prove a false economy. Are there any leagues out there which make the adequacy of venue a condition of membership?

Niall Doran
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Re: Quality of club venues

Post by Niall Doran » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:58 pm

J T Melsom wrote: Are there any leagues out there which make the adequacy of venue a condition of membership?
While I agree that unattractive venues are, well, unattractive, I don't see how any league could impose such a thing, as the definition of the word 'adequate' would need to be clearly defined. I can't see too many people volunteering to give up their evenings writing a definition which would take in all the different parameters such as size, noise, odour, damp, lighting, accessibility, temperature, space per board etc.

J T Melsom
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Re: Quality of club venues

Post by J T Melsom » Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:06 pm

Niall,

I suspect it would amount to a sense of a reasonable environment for chess. I was struck by the fact that if a new club sought to join a league, one would consider such factors formally or otherwise, but an existing club moving venue effectively has the freedom to downgrade its facilities without risking league membership. I wouldn't want to use the rules to reduce the number of clubs but rather to prevent a race to the bottom which some smaller clubs seem hellbent on.

Mick Norris
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Re: Quality of club venues

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:57 pm

J T Melsom wrote:I am sure we have all experienced good and bad venues, the majority in my experience being tolerable. However, just as we have seen congresses in more comfortable venues do well in recent years, I've become of an increasing number of players who won't play evening chess because after a hard days work, nobody wants to sit in a cramped venue for three hours further stretching the brain. I know that for some clubs it is a matter of finding a venue at the right price, though if this is unattractive to prospective members that may prove a false economy. Are there any leagues out there which make the adequacy of venue a condition of membership?
We have had a go at introducing something in Manchester, but it isn't easy
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Quality of club venues

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:11 pm

By far the worst venue I ever played in was in the Thames Valley league. You got there by going through a door marked "Toilet". It went downhill from that point on.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Quality of club venues

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:20 pm

Earlier discussion of playing venues here:

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2578

The venue nadir Jonathan is talking about was mentioned here (and if you read that thread, you will see that the venue is no longer used).

(EDIT: the link to the newspaper article changed to this.)

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Quality of club venues

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:32 pm

In the Birmingham League, one club at the moment doesn't even have a venue that can be open for the duration of the playing session. I'll leave it at that, other than to say that it is very common in football and cricket that a team can't get promoted to a higher division if its facilities aren't up to standard.

harrylamb
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Re: Quality of club venues

Post by harrylamb » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:34 pm

Mick Norris wrote:We have had a go at introducing something in Manchester, but it isn't easy
Manchester League rule 7 PLAYING CONDITIONS FOR MATCHES wrote:The home team shall provide reasonable playing conditions and set up the venue, equipment, etc., before the starting time. There should be sufficient sets, boards and clocks of appropriate design. Tables and chairs should be spaced to allow easy access. The venue should be reasonably quiet, clean, well lit and ventilated.
Many years ago as secretary of the Manchester League disputes' committee I advised the AGM that I did not think that Club X was providing reasonable playing conditions because it played its matches in a pub in a room open to the public. Club X took the hint and found premises where they played in a private room. About two months later I had a complaint from Player A of club Y that he volunteered for an away match at club X because he liked a drink and I said at the AGM they played in a bar. When he got there he was upset to find the venue dry.
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Martin Crichton
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Re: Quality of club venues

Post by Martin Crichton » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:40 pm

Greenford chess club once played a league match in the men's toilet of the British Legion because their regular room was booked. That was more than 10 years ago. I think I played on board 2 or 3 for Greenford. Not suprisingly, I have forgotten who we played or if we won or lost the match.
Member of "the strongest amateur chess club in London" (Cavendish)

my views are not representative of any clubs or organisations.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Quality of club venues

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:22 pm

Chorlton to be made to play all our home matches in Summer or something then ;)

There was a match vs 3C's 2 in a very cold winter a few years back where our heating died entirely. I did think at the time that they could have claimed it as entirely unfit conditions. Maybe there isn't consideration for this in the league rules.

I guess it could be plausible for a league to be able to force switch home matches to away venues as a punishment.

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Quality of club venues

Post by LawrenceCooper » Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:25 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:In the Birmingham League, one club at the moment doesn't even have a venue that can be open for the duration of the playing session. I'll leave it at that, other than to say that it is very common in football and cricket that a team can't get promoted to a higher division if its facilities aren't up to standard.
The second venue of a club of mine to go bust midway through a season :oops: Although not ideal, the temporary 19:00 start allows us to finish matches before being thrown out by the caretaker although it was touch and go in a 19:30 start once :oops:

Mick Norris
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Re: Quality of club venues

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:06 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote:Chorlton to be made to play all our home matches in Summer or something then ;)
Well, yours is the club whose name comes up during these discussions locally :lol:
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Quality of club venues

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:23 pm

LawrenceCooper wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:In the Birmingham League, one club at the moment doesn't even have a venue that can be open for the duration of the playing session. I'll leave it at that, other than to say that it is very common in football and cricket that a team can't get promoted to a higher division if its facilities aren't up to standard.
The second venue of a club of mine to go bust midway through a season :oops: Although not ideal, the temporary 19:00 start allows us to finish matches before being thrown out by the caretaker although it was touch and go in a 19:30 start once :oops:
That was the problem that affected my club: Our player played someone from that club and arrived at 19:30 as instructed, and I guess the player from your club had choice of venue. The game was a quickplay finish, and our player was told after the time control that they couldn't play a quickplay finish and had to adjourn because they were going to get kicked out, which he had to do instantly despite having well over an hour on his clock to make the next move if he wanted it.

The only saving grace was that the resulting Rules Committee appeal that was being written didn't need to be heard because the home club player resigned.

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David Grobler
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Re: Quality of club venues

Post by David Grobler » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:27 pm

Playing matches in a toilet eh ? Sounds like great fun .
I play for Stannington in the Sheffield League. We play at the New Barrack , which is one of the best pubs in the country and a key member of the Lower Don Valley pub crawl (google this via CAMRA if you are interested) , which is THE best pub crawl in the country :)
We play in a brand spanking new function room that still has that "newly decorated " smell . No noise from the general bar area at all . On match nights the landlord provides free sandwiches. It costs the club exactly £0.00p to play there.
Our club is thriving....I wonder why? Sorry if I sound smug...its hard not to.

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Joshua Gibbs
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Re: Quality of club venues

Post by Joshua Gibbs » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:20 pm

I have played in a match in the Merseyside league which was interrupted for the Police to evict a sleeping substance user from our playing area.
Chess, translation, dealing with the police, programming and almost getting killed or arrested: http://honyakujoshua.blogspot.co.uk/

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