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

Jonathan Rogers
Posts: 3851
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:26 pm

Re: National Club finals

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:08 pm

Cyril Johnson covered the day at Golden Lane in 2005. I remembering him announcing the event as though it were a blow to al-Qaeda (who at the time were widely supposed to have been involved in the attacks on the underground a few days previously).

I will return to a previous bugbear - why are we still maintaining the Open section on the NCC? The reasons for abolition have been made painfully clear elsewhere. Obviously virtually no players of 4NCL standard are interested anymore. There has not even been a proper Open Final for some years, which is something of a problem given the general KO format of the NCC, and this year the top two (of the three) teams did not even go through the charade of arranging their (round robin) match on Finals day to make it "look as though" it were a Final.

Adam seems to have dragged his feet on this issue, hoping that some other solution will materialise. It won't. Since the ECF presumably makes a loss from the Open, it now has another reason to scrap it. Lose the Open, and gain some cash for a second arbiter!

Paul Buswell
Posts: 383
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:56 pm

Re: National Club finals

Post by Paul Buswell » Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:56 pm

juliedjohnson wrote: 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.
This is a matter of particular interest to me as I have been pressing for better publicity for some time.

However, I do wish to test the use of 'extensively', an adverb of the use of which I am sceptical, so I ask Julie Johnson:
approximately how many clubs received details by e-mail?
approximately how many more clubs received entry forms by post?

You see, I doubt that the ECF has an adequate database of clubs in England.

PB

John Philpott

Re: National Club finals

Post by John Philpott » Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:06 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote
this year the top two (of the three) teams did not even go through the charade of arranging their (round robin) match on Finals day to make it "look as though" it were a Final.
Had this had been done it would almost certainly have been to the detriment of the team that Maidstone was able to field in the Major final.

David Sedgwick
Posts: 3444
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: National Club finals

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:47 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:There has not even been a proper Open Final for some years, which is something of a problem given the general KO format of the NCC, and this year the top two (of the three) teams did not even go through the charade of arranging their (round robin) match on Finals day to make it "look as though" it were a Final.)
It wasn't the two leading teams who played on Finals Day in 2009. The motivation for scheduling a match on that day in previous years was simply to take advantage of available space at the venue.

Jonathan Rogers wrote:Cyril Johnson covered the day at Golden Lane in 2005. I remembering him announcing the event as though it were a blow to al-Qaeda (who at the time were widely supposed to have been involved in the attacks on the underground a few days previously.
I particularly remember Cyril's closing remarks at the end: "Up yours, Al-Quaeda".

For the record, I was the arbiter on that occasion. Cyril was present as the Director of Home Chess. As the event was taking place only three days after the 7/7 bombings, he felt that he should be at that location.

This was the occasion when there was no arbiter in Syston. In the special circumstances it was felt that the one or two matches at that venue could make telephone contact with London if necessary. That's very different from saying that the London end, which always has the larger number of matches, should be left without an arbiter present in more normal times.

Scott Freeman wrote: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.
I would in fact have been available, but I was away at the Olympiad in Turin at the time when Chris Majer, then Director of Home Chess, was making the arrangements. He asked you in order to make sure he had the position covered.

I'm sorry that you missed half the 2006 World Cup Final. At least I was spared the possibility of anything similar happening to me yesterday. Moreover I understand that the event at Golden Lane was largely trouble free, unlike the one controlled by Howard Webb.

When I was first approached before the 2005 Finals, I was told that the importance of the occasion was such that the presence of a Senior Arbiter was considered desirable. It was solely for this reason that the job reverted to me in 2007 - it was certainly no reflection on you.

We no longer have an Open Final, so perhaps a Senior Arbiter is not now necessary. Moreover, if for any reason I'm no longer considered suitable for the role, I would naturally stand aside. I'm sure that another arbiter could be found who would officiate for expenses only. However, as to the decision taken in respect of yesterday, the results of the poll seem to be pretty clear.*

*Edit: Albeit no longer unanimous.

User avatar
Adam Raoof
Posts: 2352
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: NW4 4UY
Contact:

Re: National Club finals

Post by Adam Raoof » Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:01 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:Adam seems to have dragged his feet on this issue, hoping that some other solution will materialise. It won't. Since the ECF presumably makes a loss from the Open, it now has another reason to scrap it. Lose the Open, and gain some cash for a second arbiter!
One of the problems with year-long posts is that you inherit a lot of decisions about formats, venues and dates that you have no control over, and it takes about nine months to work out what's going on. For instance I am dealing with venues for the British in 2012 and 2013, and I might not even be in post then! It would be too easy to just wade in and make changes for the sake of it, but I like to observe, ask questions, see what people are saying and make an informed decision. The ECF is behind other bodies in electing Directors for one year terms - three years should be a minimum, and I may suggest that in October.

Having been a non-playing Captain at many rounds of the City of London Rapidplay League, and been asked opinions on all sorts of contentious issues as someone with a bit of experience, my feeling is that no ECF National Final should be without an arbiter on the spot, and seeing the results of the poll reinforces that feeling.

Not having an arbiter at Golden Lane did not save the ECF any significant amount of money.

I am not sure scrapping the Open would save the ECF much money.

Paul Buswell
Posts: 383
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:56 pm

Re: National Club finals

Post by Paul Buswell » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:00 pm

juliedjohnson wrote: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.
Then I suggest he should have been appointed as The Arbiter, ECF title or not.

A National Final is An Occasion, especially at Minor level - it may very well never happen again. Having all the trimmings that go with such a match is part of The Occasion. For the governing body not to think it even worthwhile appointing a ref shows a failure to grasp this and can only diminish players' regard for the ECF.

PB

David Sedgwick
Posts: 3444
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: National Club finals

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:03 pm

Paul Buswell wrote:Then I suggest he should have been appointed as The Arbiter, ECF title or not.

A National Final is An Occasion, especially at Minor level - it may very well never happen again. Having all the trimmings that go with such a match is part of The Occasion. For the governing body not to think it even worthwhile appointing a ref shows a failure to grasp this and can only diminish players' regard for the ECF.
At least Hastings (sorry - Hastings & St. Leonards) had a good result. Congratulations.

Scott Freeman
Posts: 284
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:42 am

Re: National Club finals

Post by Scott Freeman » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:33 am

David Sedgwick wrote:
I'm sorry that you missed half the 2006 World Cup Final. At least I was spared the possibility of anything similar happening to me yesterday. Moreover I understand that the event at Golden Lane was largely trouble free, unlike the one controlled by Howard Webb.

The counselling I have been receiving from the trauma of that still goes on!

It was no big deal really and I was glad of the experience. If I had been that desperate I am sure I could have found a pub to watch it in. However, the counselling I would have needed as a result of my wife's reaction to that could have been more intense. And you are right, my job was much easier than Howard Webb's (who I thought did brilliantly in one of the hardest ever matches to referee). The hardest thing I had to do on the day was to find the place! As far as play went, all I had to do was quietly suggest to a junior player that they didn't drum their fingers on the table. I am sure Howard Webb would have been grateful for such luxeries! :D

juliedjohnson
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:17 pm

Re: National Club finals

Post by juliedjohnson » Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:40 pm

Paul Buswell wrote:
juliedjohnson wrote: 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.
This is a matter of particular interest to me as I have been pressing for better publicity for some time.

However, I do wish to test the use of 'extensively', an adverb of the use of which I am sceptical, so I ask Julie Johnson:
approximately how many clubs received details by e-mail?
approximately how many more clubs received entry forms by post?

You see, I doubt that the ECF has an adequate database of clubs in England.

PB
I have etablished that the ECF office sent out 444 entry forms by snail mail, how many of these were actually received is beyond anyone's knowledge, as the postal service is of varying reliability.

I cannot quantify the full extent of emails sent to clubs, as some people kindly agreed to circulate details to clubs in their particular league or county, for whom circulation lists already existed locally. All of the clubs that had entered the NCC over the past few years, for whom an email address is held, are on a circulation list & were sent details. Coverage across the MCCU area was close to 100%, as we have our own circulation system. For other parts of the country, a combination of the ECF yearbook & chess websites for counties, leagues & the like were trawled for email contacts by the then Director of Home Chess Cyril Johnson ,with something like 450 contacts being emailed from the Johnson residence. Again it is impossible to say how many of these were received. This was done at the time when the ECF office was experiencing dreadful IT problems.

There will undoubtedly have been some overlap between the different mailings, but I feel that my claim to extensive coverage of clubs is fully justified.

David Lettington
Posts: 133
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:37 pm
Contact:

Re: National Club finals

Post by David Lettington » Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:40 pm

juliedjohnson wrote: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.
As one of team captains on the day, I'd like to thank Julie for her efforts in organising the event beforehand. However, it was a shame that Brian suggested that an arbiter was not needed, as he made it quite clear at the start of play that the team captains were to resolve disputes between themselves and that he would not intervene.

Given the presssures to save money at the moment, I'm not criticising either Julie or Brian, but I do agree with Paul Buswell that it would have been far better if an arbiter were present.

I think that there is still the potential for the NCC to be a success (perhaps not in the Open section) but it doesn't build the confidence of the clubs currently taking part when there is confusion and disagreement on the day of the Final itself.

Mick Norris
Posts: 7425
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:12 am
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester
Contact:

Re: National Club finals

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:59 pm

Why is the National Club structured differently from the Counties Championship i.e. the former organised centrally by the ECF and the latter locally by the Unions?

I'm not saying which is better, just wondered why historically it has grown this way
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 Sedgwick
Posts: 3444
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: National Club finals

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:05 pm

Mick Norris wrote:Why is the National Club structured differently from the Counties Championship i.e. the former organised centrally by the ECF and the latter locally by the Unions?

I'm not saying which is better, just wondered why historically it has grown this way
Because the MCCU, the NCCU and the SCCU already had Counties Championships when they, and the London and Manchester Leagues, came together in 1904 to found the British Chess Federation.

Mick Norris
Posts: 7425
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:12 am
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester
Contact:

Re: National Club finals

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:49 am

So, why didn't the National Club follow that format?

If you want to strengthen the National Club, then having NCCU teams would be helpful - the NCCU run their own Club championship, maybe the winner could be offered a slot in the National semi final?
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18056
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: National Club finals

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:12 am

Mick Norris wrote:So, why didn't the National Club follow that format?

If you want to strengthen the National Club, then having NCCU teams would be helpful - the NCCU run their own Club championship, maybe the winner could be offered a slot in the National semi final?
Historically the National Club was started in the early 1950s and in its prime, contained teams from Scotland and Wales. I don't know how long the NCCU open competition has been running, but it's a rival to the National Club and currently not much more successful at attracting entries.

From http://www.nccu.org.uk/events/club/0910/index.htm
We have 3 entries for the Open Section so far (Atherton, Bradford and Heywood) - 1 more and we'll get that Section going (I'm working on it!).

Mick Norris
Posts: 7425
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:12 am
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester
Contact:

Re: National Club finals

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:31 am

If they had 3 in the Open that's as many as the National Club

The NCCU had 9 in the Major, 9 in the Intermediate and 12 in the Minor, so that's pretty decent and would make a good feeder to the National, given that most NCCU teams don't compete in the National any more

You need to change something in the National, or just see it disappear in favour of 4NCL
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Post Reply