National Club finals

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.

Should there be an arbiter present at any ECF National Final?

Yes
17
89%
No
2
11%
 
Total votes: 19

John Philpott

National Club finals

Post by John Philpott » Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:25 am

I would myself have regarded the answer to this question as entirely self evident until I learnt last night that the ECF is not intending to provide an arbiter for the National Club finals which are taking place at Golden Lane this afternoon. Should a dispute arise that cannot be resolved by the team captains, the arbiter officiating at the Midlands venue of the finals in Syston will be contacted for a ruling.

This is one of the rare occasions when words fail me.

If anybody is interested in how the event is progressing during the afternoon, I am aiming to provide regular updates on the essexchess Blog at http://chesster9.wordpress.com/2010/07/ ... jor-final/. Although this will concentrate on the Major final between Wanstead & Woodford and Maidstone, I will also report results in the other events taking place at Golden Lane (Major Plate - Metropolitan v Athenaum, Intermediate - Bedford v Snodland and Minor - Chipping Campden v Hastings & St Leonards).

LozCooper

Re: National Club finals

Post by LozCooper » Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:44 am

John Philpott wrote:I would myself have regarded the answer to this question as entirely self evident until I learnt last night that the ECF is not intending to provide an arbiter for the National Club finals which are taking place at Golden Lane this afternoon. Should a dispute arise that cannot be resolved by the team captains, the arbiter officiating at the Midlands venue of the finals in Syston will be contacted for a ruling.

This is one of the rare occasions when words fail me.

If anybody is interested in how the event is progressing during the afternoon, I am aiming to provide regular updates on the essexchess Blog at http://chesster9.wordpress.com/2010/07/ ... jor-final/. Although this will concentrate on the Major final between Wanstead & Woodford and Maidstone, I will also report results in the other events taking place at Golden Lane (Major Plate - Metropolitan v Athenaum, Intermediate - Bedford v Snodland and Minor - Chipping Campden v Hastings & St Leonards).
Without any prior knowledge of this it would seem that it's up to the tournament organiser to arrange the venue, equipment and arbiter. Are you saying the organiser approached the Director of Home Chess and he refused to help with finding an arbiter? This doesn't sound very plausible. I wasn't previously aware that split venues are operated on finals day. Are they both viewed as official venues or did the teams playing at the southern venue ask to play seperately and therefore beocme responsible for all the arrangements?

Paul Buswell
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Re: National Club finals

Post by Paul Buswell » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:03 am

John Philpott wrote:I would myself have regarded the answer to this question as entirely self evident until I learnt last night that the ECF is not intending to provide an arbiter for the National Club finals which are taking place at Golden Lane this afternoon. Should a dispute arise that cannot be resolved by the team captains, the arbiter officiating at the Midlands venue of the finals in Syston will be contacted for a ruling.

This is one of the rare occasions when words fail me.

If anybody is interested in how the event is progressing during the afternoon, I am aiming to provide regular updates on the essexchess Blog at http://chesster9.wordpress.com/2010/07/ ... jor-final/. Although this will concentrate on the Major final between Wanstead & Woodford and Maidstone, I will also report results in the other events taking place at Golden Lane (Major Plate - Metropolitan v Athenaum, Intermediate - Bedford v Snodland and Minor - Chipping Campden v Hastings & St Leonards).
John:

I am appalled to read this.

For reasons which it would be premature to go into here it is very possible that the Hastings & St. Leonards club will be playing the match under protest. Following correspondence with the section controller, on Friday I advised our captain - who is by now on the train with his team - that if certain probable circumstances arose he should record a protest with the arbiter. As the potential problem lies within the tournament rules rather than the Laws of Chess I would not expect the arbiter to make a ruling, but our views would have been advised to authority before start of play. And now there is no arbiter.....

Certain heads must roll for this fundamental dereliction - and never roll back. And yes, Adam, if you are reading this I will volunteer to run one of the lower sections if no one else does - though only if they have been properly advertised for the first time in years.

In answer to Loz Cooper: my club had nothing to do with any organisation of today, we were just told when and where to play.

My Club committee resolved in early 2009 that it would cancel its ECF Corporate Vice-Presidency because of the Chess in Schools fiasco: a decision revoked with the announcement of Mr Walsh's retirement. If this afternoon goes pear-shaped that matter is straight back on the Agenda.

Paul Buswell
Chairman
Hastings & St. Leonards Chess Club

John Philpott

Re: National Club finals

Post by John Philpott » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:05 am

The National Club finals have been split over two venues for something like a decade, recognising the proponderance of teams from the South that normally qualify. Both venues are arranged by the ECF, and particular matches are allocated to either the London venue or the Midlands venue by the controller.

David Sedgwick
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Location: Croydon

Re: National Club finals

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:13 am

LozCooper wrote:Without any prior knowledge of this it would seem that it's up to the tournament organiser to arrange the venue, equipment and arbiter. Are you saying the organiser approached the Director of Home Chess and he refused to help with finding an arbiter? This doesn't sound very plausible. I wasn't previously aware that split venues are operated on finals day. Are they both viewed as official venues or did the teams playing at the southern venue ask to play seperately and therefore beocme responsible for all the arrangements?
As always, the cock-up theory of life has played a large part here.

As John has said above, it has been the practice for ten years or so for the National Club Finals to be split between two venues, in London and the Midlands, with the allocation of matches between the venues being decided once the finalists are known. Both are official venues and the ECF is responsible for the arrangements.

The responsibility rests with the Chief Controller, Julie Johnson, who reports to the Director of Home Chess, Adam Raoof. As Julie herself is based in the Midlands, she delegates the detailed arranging of the London end.

This year she took the decision that one arbiter (in the Midlands) would suffice. It should be borne in mind that all ECF Directors and Officers are under considerable pressure to cut costs wherever possible, even where the savings are extremely modest.

Unfortunately I had been invited verbally to be the arbiter (not by Julie) but the person who invited me had forgotten that he'd done so. As a result I only found out yesterday that my services would not in fact be required. I have received a fulsome apology and so far as I'm concerned that aspect of the matter is closed.

The policy issue highlighted by John remains. I understand that Adam will be reviewing the arrangements for next year.

Ljubica Lazarevic
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Re: National Club finals

Post by Ljubica Lazarevic » Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:07 am

Were there arbiters for both venues in the preceding years?

David Sedgwick
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Location: Croydon

Re: National Club finals

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:19 am

Ljubica Lazarevic wrote:Were there arbiters for both venues in the preceding years?
Yes.

John Philpott

Re: National Club finals

Post by John Philpott » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:56 pm

Indeed, between 2000 and 2004, when I hosted the Southern event in the Wanstead area, there were generally two arbiters. However, there did used to be an Open final in those days......

Sean Hewitt

Re: National Club finals

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:59 pm

David Sedgwick wrote: The responsibility rests with the Chief Controller, Julie Johnson, who reports to the Director of Home Chess, Adam Raoof. As Julie herself is based in the Midlands, she delegates the detailed arranging of the London end.

This year she took the decision that one arbiter (in the Midlands) would suffice. It should be borne in mind that all ECF Directors and Officers are under considerable pressure to cut costs wherever possible, even where the savings are extremely modest.
How modest a cost saving are we talking about here?

David Sedgwick
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Re: National Club finals

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:01 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:How modest a cost saving are we talking about here?
I have never sought, nor have I ever received, any fee for acting as the arbiter of this event.

Last year my expenses amounted to £40. The circumstances were exceptional and I offered to forego payment, but the offer was declined.

My expenses this year would have amounted to no more than £10.

David Sedgwick
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Re: National Club finals

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:06 pm

It looks as though I've had a narrow escape.

Not only have I not had to learn anything about the issue to which Paul Buswell alluded, I haven't had to sort out the problem mentioned by John Philpott in the first report on his blog:

"Events at Golden Lane did not get off to the most auspicious of starts. The ECF had decided in its infinite wisdom to dispense with the services of an arbiter, and an urgent telephone call had to be made to the controller when it emerged that Maidstone had not been advised of the 12.30 start. Play in the Major final eventually got under way at 1.00, with three of the Maidstone team not arriving for a further 10 minutes."

Alex Holowczak
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Contact:

Re: National Club finals

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:59 pm

One wonders how the 4NCL ever became so popular. :roll:

juliedjohnson
Posts: 4
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Re: National Club finals

Post by juliedjohnson » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:18 pm

I do not usually respond to forum items, but as the person who is being castigated, I felt compelled to set the record straight on some points.
This is not the first time the finals have been run at split venues with one arbiter physically present at one site, and providing a ruling at the other if needed. The Midlands venue has operated on this basis before.
I had discussions with Brian Smith who has run the London based Finals in recent years. I am sure that those who know Brian will be aware that although he is not an accredited arbiter, he has a wealth of experience as the London League secretary of many years. It was he who suggested that the services of an ECF arbiter were not necessary. One of the senior ECF arbiters views Brian as someone who would readily pass the arbiters exam and gain ECF arbiter status if he chose to do so. I was therefore comfortable that the event would be in very capable hands, with the safeguard of consultation with an ECF arbiter if needed.
A possible financial saving was a consideration, but not the main one. Whilst David has since indicated that he would have forgone any expenses claim if asked, I take the view that it is not acceptable to ask someone to do this. It is a request that could cause great embarassent.
Maidstone were informed of the start time of 12.30, but it appears did not receive the information. Team captains were canvassed ahead of the finals regarding a revised start time to take account of the World Cup Final. A couple of other captains appear not to have received the follow up email, but they contacted me to ask about the outcome of the consultation.
The NCC events were publicised extensively last year, in fact an email contact was obtained for the vast magority of clubs & details were sent to them. The ECF office also mailed entry forms out to club contacts for whom they have details. In addition details were also circulated via the internet on some other chess mailing lists. This did result in some clubs who had not previously entered the NCC doing so.
I would not claim that the NCC is a massive success, but this year I would at least claim to have stemmed the loss of entries. There are I believe a myriad of reasons for the decrease in entries prior to this, which are too many & varied to be detailed here, but not the least of which was the ECF Council decision a few years ago that the event must be budgeted to at least break even, with the upshot that prize money had to be cut. In the current climate there is little prospect of reversing this decision, and the only prospect of providing better rewards would be sponsorship, which again in the current climate is not likely.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: National Club finals

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:23 pm

"I would myself have regarded the answer to this question as entirely self evident until I learnt last night that the ECF is not intending to provide an arbiter for the National Club finals which are taking place at Golden Lane this afternoon. Should a dispute arise that cannot be resolved by the team captains, the arbiter officiating at the Midlands venue of the finals in Syston will be contacted for a ruling.

This is one of the rare occasions when words fail me."

Possibly a rarer occasion, me too....
"Kevin was the arbiter and was very patient. " Nick Grey

Scott Freeman
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Re: National Club finals

Post by Scott Freeman » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:55 pm

I remember being asked to cover the London based finals 4 years ago (I think David Sedgwick wasn't available).......and missed the first half of the World Cup Final as I got stuck in traffic on the way home. I don't recall being paid then or being offered anything. :shock: :)

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