British Chess Championships 2011

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Ian Thompson
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Ian Thompson » Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:21 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:Richard Bates >The lack of players in the 2250-2400 bracket seems to be a particular weakness in the British at the moment <

Reducing the entry fee or increasing the prize money available do not seem to do the trick. Any suggestions?
As a player in this bracket, I can tell you why I choose not to play, which may help:
1. Very high entry fee compared to other tournaments, with nothing making it worth paying.
2. Far too many players in it rated much lower than me.
3. Last time I did play, in 1997, the BCF failed to pay me the prize I won.

Sean Hewitt

Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:27 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote: Reducing the entry fee or increasing the prize money available do not seem to do the trick. Any suggestions?
Stewart Reuben
There are 85 English FM's, 11 Irish FM's, 14 Scottish FM's, 8 Welsh FM's and 1 from Guernsey plus however many foreign FMs qualify to play by residency.

Yet there were only 6 FM's playing in the Championship.

I think the entry fee has alot to do with it. IM's pay nothing, non titled players pay £200. Bizarrely FM's pay £200 also (except within a year of gaining the title, when they pay £140).

Personally I change the rules so that all active FM's and IM's are pre-qualified for the event and in addition I would charge FM's a reduced entry fee of £50-£75.

This would bring more FMs into the event, make it stronger and see more players making norms.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:38 pm

I just read the whole of the thread, including the posts made back in June, and noticed the question asked in June about Scottish players. I think it is excellent news (posted in August) that so many of the strongest English players will be playing, but as it is the British Chess Championships, are the strongest players from other parts of Britain also likely to be playing?

Richard Bates
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Richard Bates » Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:59 am

cjdemooi wrote:I agree about increasing the dearth of players in the rating bracket you mention. However, I must emphasise I have no authority in the British Champs and can only try and introduce various incentives to make the event more appealing to all potential participants.
I prefer not to discuss specific conditions for various people simply because this would be an invasion of their professional privacy and also, if the money is coming out of my own pocket, it would be inappropriate for me to comment.
However, I am confident of attracting a sponsor at Staunton Memorial Dinner and if this is achieved, further conditions to other titled players will be available.
I absolutely have no problem with you doing with your own money whatever you wish. Just cautioning that attracting the top four English players is unlikely to be a permanent state of affairs, even with long term sponsorship (the Smith and Williamson sponsorship rarely produced it) and that there are many other factors affecting the long-term sustainability and quality of the British Championship. I accept however that many of this is not really a matter for you as opposed to wider ECF organisation.

Wildly differing conditions for players (when combined with high prize funds which the already best paid players would then be expected to walk away with) can no doubt cause their own problems in themselves (see for example the Indian 'problem' and more recent issues involving the Scots) and hopefully those stronger players who have generally supported the British Championship through thick and thin would get some reward and continued encouragement.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:29 am

Various thoughts

1) I too have concerns about the lack of any incentive or reward for strong IMs/lowly rated GMs who have consistently supported the British. While we are on the subject, did anyone find out whether Adams had a private supporter for his British appearance?

2) Certainly, unless and until the whole format of the Briitish changes, FM should have automatic entry and a reduced entry fee because

a) they make the event more attractive to IM norm seekers. Nowadays half of your field needs to be titled, so if you only play three IMs, you need to top up your opposition with another 2 FMs. I'd be curious to know whether potential norm seekers missed out this year on account of this (i.e they may have spent a spell on the lower boards in the first or second week where they didn't even play any FMs). This is a problem in the 4NCl nowadays too, even sometimes in the first division.

Of course, having more FMs encourages other FMs for that same reason - they are happy to play each other, at least twice ... And it may help to solve the chicken and egg problem that we have, that no 2300 wants to play a tournament when he bounces between beating 2100s and losing to 2500 - and so they practically all stay away for that reason. Playing opponents of his own level is the best way to gaining rating points and having norm chances.

Notably, the original regulations, giving automatic (and free) entry to IMs were made at a time when playing FMs was totally irrelevant to norm seekers.

b) it will encourage more players actually to claim the FM title. At present many do not, seeing it as a simple waste of £80 of whatever.

c) probably it will help with the economics too. 15 FMs paying, say £120 each, will bring in more money than six paying £200.


3) I am a bit concerned with the lack of incentive for players of 2100 and 2200 level to enter the Major Open, which is where they belong unless they regard themselves as genuine norm seekers.

4) Congrats to Nick Pert and Adam Hunt on an excellent British

Roger de Coverly
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:46 am

Jonathan Rogers wrote:
3) I am a bit concerned with the lack of incentive for players of 2100 and 2200 level to enter the Major Open, which is where they belong unless they regard themselves as genuine norm seekers.
A number of the "older" FMs are in this rating range. This includes the new British Senior champion and several of his potential rivals.

I have mixed feelings about the 7.5 target (7 for juniors) in the Major Open for qualification for the British. In Torquay, it lead to a considerable number of qualifiers. The old approach was that the top 4 qualified.

Alan Walton
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Alan Walton » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:15 am

Should there be a consideration for a more tiered entry fee structure for the Championship and Major Open sections

For example,

For the Championship

GM/IM = Free
FM/WGM/WIM - £50
Over 2300 (with no title) - £80 (encourages 2300s to claim the FM title)
2200-2300 = £120
2100-2200 = £160
2000-2100 = £200
u2000 = £300

Then for the Major Open

Over 2300 = £50
2200-2300 = £60
2100-2200 = £80
2000-2100 = £90
u2000 = £100

Using this years entry this structure would have resulted in a £2500 shortfall, but with these reduced fees it should make it more attractive for the 2200+ bracket to enter in either tournament, and thus alleviate the problems as Jonathan suggested around the FM situation. I think the lower entry fees in the Major Open should also encourage entries into this tournament as well, which has dwindled over the years

With the extra funds available next year in Sheffield, isn't it worth trying something a little different than what has happened the the past few years

Matthew Turner
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Matthew Turner » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:37 am

Alan,
I think your entry fee structure would be fine for an 'Open' tournament, but you have to qualify for the British. Can it really be right that a 1990 has to qualify and then pay £300 on top?

Alan Walton
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Alan Walton » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:30 am

Matthew, I take your point

Though for players U2100 you could offer an 50% reduction on Major Open entry if they feel this is too expensive (or maybe remove that rule if you have qualified you cannot enter the Major Open altogether and give them the choice of tournament to enter)

My view is that we would like to see a strong Championship without a large tail, I have always come under the impression that the Major Open is there to limit an excessive tail in the Championship

LozCooper

Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by LozCooper » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:40 am

Jonathan Rogers wrote:Various thoughts

2) Certainly, unless and until the whole format of the Briitish changes, FM should have automatic entry and a reduced entry fee because

a) they make the event more attractive to IM norm seekers. Nowadays half of your field needs to be titled, so if you only play three IMs, you need to top up your opposition with another 2 FMs. I'd be curious to know whether potential norm seekers missed out this year on account of this (i.e they may have spent a spell on the lower boards in the first or second week where they didn't even play any FMs). This is a problem in the 4NCl nowadays too, even sometimes in the first division.

b) it will encourage more players actually to claim the FM title. At present many do not, seeing it as a simple waste of £80 of whatever.
The same is true of WFMs. They all count towards the number of titled players you play so whilst you must play 3 GMs to have a chance of a GM norm, or 2 GMs/3 IMs for an IM norm etc the other 2 or 3 titled players can be any of GM/IM/FM/WGM/WIM/WFM. Even if we only attracted one or two out of Sophie, Meri, Sabrina, Maria, Sarah, Ann-Marie, Rosalind etc it could help someone in norm contention to play them instead of an equivalent rated untitled 2000-2100.

Incidentally, although I am unlikely to play the British anyway, I believe I have to qualify despite being an IM because of my lowly rating. There are no doubt other IMs below the rating threshold too who are unable to play without pre qualifying.

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Wilf Arnold
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Wilf Arnold » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:14 pm

Incidentally, although I am unlikely to play the British anyway, I believe I have to qualify despite being an IM because of my lowly rating. There are no doubt other IMs below the rating threshold too who are unable to play without pre qualifying.
Maybe the organising committee can do a Wimbledon and offer 'wildcards' to those titled players below the threshold who haven't qualified? There could be rules established so that the same people don't get them year after year.

I'm not saying invite everyone, just a few based on grade maybe - just work down a list until you get however many acceptances you want.

Just a thought.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:27 pm

Wilf Arnold wrote: I'm not saying invite everyone, just a few based on grade maybe - just work down a list until you get however many acceptances you want.
Well, that sort of happens already:

8) The Champion, or nominee, of each of the English Chess Unions.
9) One nominee of each of the English Counties practising the membership only system.
10) One nominee per Officer of the Director of Home Chess, the Director of Junior Chess and the Manager(s) of the British Championships.

The MCCU could easily nominate Loz, however in reality, it offers the place to the winner of the MCCU Grand Prix (so he has to qualify).

Staffordshire doesn't have a MO system, so that's out of the question. But it doesn't say that a county practising an MO has to nominate someone from within its county...

However, Adam Raoof, Peter Purland, Dave Welch or Alex McFarlane could nominate him as a "wildcard". (It says PP gets a nomination, it doesn't say he has to nominate a junior!) So this is a possible means of getting in without qualifying!

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Wilf Arnold
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Wilf Arnold » Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:44 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Wilf Arnold wrote: I'm not saying invite everyone, just a few based on grade maybe - just work down a list until you get however many acceptances you want.
Well, that sort of happens already:

8) The Champion, or nominee, of each of the English Chess Unions.
9) One nominee of each of the English Counties practising the membership only system.
10) One nominee per Officer of the Director of Home Chess, the Director of Junior Chess and the Manager(s) of the British Championships.

The MCCU could easily nominate Loz, however in reality, it offers the place to the winner of the MCCU Grand Prix (so he has to qualify).

Staffordshire doesn't have a MO system, so that's out of the question. But it doesn't say that a county practising an MO has to nominate someone from within its county...

However, Adam Raoof, Peter Purland, Dave Welch or Alex McFarlane could nominate him as a "wildcard". (It says PP gets a nomination, it doesn't say he has to nominate a junior!) So this is a possible means of getting in without qualifying!
The snag, as I see it is, that 8 and 9 are potentially subject to the politics of the governing bodies involved - although I do like the idea of a declared qualification mechanism such as the one you mention.

Without wanting to besmirch the reputations of the 4 individuals named, there's always a chance of accusations of 'cronyism' when making such nominations. Are the 4 places restricted to titled players? Although I think there's a case for PP to nominate a junior who he feels would benefit from the experience. Were the places offered/taken up this year?

I also don't know Loz - he seems popular on the forum because he's making more than a decent fist of his ECF role, (I'm WCU anyway), so this scheme isn't aimed at getting him particularly 'through the door'. I'm merely suggesting a way of offering more places to titled players.

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Paul Littlewood
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Paul Littlewood » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:45 pm

Speaking as one of the brethren would it be an interesting publicity exercise to make sure all the ex-British Champions are invited to play in the 2011 British Championships ? The extra names would be people such as Jonathan Speelman, John Nunn, Jonathan Mestel, Julian Hodgson...all of whom still play a mean game. Also the most interesting case is Peter Lee who I can tell you still plays pretty well despite concentrating his efforts on bridge these days.

isaac wallis
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by isaac wallis » Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:40 pm

Surely the most interesting case would be Mike Haygarth. That really would be a shocker if you could get him to play - have to find him first!

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