Another Membership Success

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Roger de Coverly
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Re: Another Membership Success

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:34 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote: This year has been no worse than previous years. In fact, it's been better because more chess has been played despite the doomsday scenarios put forward by you and others.
Fewer players meeting the grading qualification though and the absolute total of players playing a graded game hasn't yet been published. If membership was so wonderful, the long list of concessions needed to water down its adverse effects wouldn't be needed.

Neil Graham
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Re: Another Membership Success

Post by Neil Graham » Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:51 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:
MartinCarpenter wrote:Hummmm. Not that there isn't an opportunity, but those figures are fairly unrepresentative of what you'd 'reasonably' expect :)

They're calculated based on the purposefully punitive rate 2 pound/game rate for non members, so include a lot of players paying a lot more than they would be to be members. If the leagues were ECF graded then you'd hope/presume that this would be quite rare. Although it has actually happened somewhat more than seems sane in the Yorkshire league this season! (More organisation next year should reduce that bill quite a bit.).
Absolutely. The Leeds league is a great example of what happens when membership is properly implemented. Ditto the Stockport league where only 9 games out of 900 were played by non members last season. If and when regional Yorkshire leagues become graded, I expect we'll see membership levels more like Leeds than Bradford.
Martin is perfectly correct, the figures given on the YCA grading site are based on the £2 game fee; if everyone in the Yorkshire Leagues signed up the per player figure at £12 per player would, I assume, yield less income. Perhaps the figures are already there but I have yet to find them.

The Yorkshire League is already affiliated; it has been made perfectly plain from the ECF that "part leagues" can't sign up; there can by no Division One graded and not Division Five. To turn to another comment "the potential costs for something like the lower divisions of the Sheffield league would be terrifying so they may well be quite reluctant". The costs are not terrifying - they are £12 per person - that hasn't terrified the huge majority of chess players at this level throughout the country. The unpalatable facts are that chess players in the Yorkshire Leagues have had chess on the cheap by not paying a sensible contribution for decades. The BCF/ECF have failed to do anything and even now in the post above we have an "if and when" post. As the position stands there is no "if and when"; the position will continue and the gap will become ever wider and impossible to breach.

What we now have is a National Grading List which is acknowledged by everyone and a separate Royston Vasey List "A local list for local people". Neither is satisfactory for Yorkshire players as neither is accurate, the national list is missing huge swathes of results from a selection of the largest leagues in the country and the Yorkshire List just contains results from God's own county; anything in "foreign" climes is ignored. Consequently when I did a swift comparison of the top 20 players in the Yorkshire Grading List compared with the ECF list; not one grading was duplicated - indeed one player didn't appear in the ECF list at all (shown as inactive) and the grades were at variance at up to 12 points either way; in ten cases the Yorkshire grade was higher and in nine cases the ECF grade. A swift look at the ten most improved players in Yorkshire showed that four weren't on the ECF active list and in one case the Yorkshire List was an astounding 38 points in excess of the July 2013 published ECF grade.

The ECF needs to address the situation - not at some time in the distant future but now.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Another Membership Success

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:06 pm

Neil Graham wrote: The Yorkshire League is already affiliated; it has been made perfectly plain from the ECF that "part leagues" can't sign up; there can by no Division One graded and not Division Five.
I was under the impression that would still be allowed, there being nothing to stop a league adopting a rule which said a division wouldn't be graded or even a set of playing conditions which prevented it.

The ECF was objecting to individual players, clubs or matches opting in or out of grading.
on a piecemeal basis.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Another Membership Success

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:12 pm

Neil Graham wrote:The BCF/ECF have failed to do anything and even now in the post above we have an "if and when" post. As the position stands there is no "if and when"; the position will continue and the gap will become ever wider and impossible to breach.
That's simply not true. The ECF has ended the 'Regional Specials' status that meant there was no incentive for leagues in Yorkshire to be graded. The ECF has had an ongoing dialogue with YCA officials for over a year. At the request of the YCA the ECF sent two Directors to the YCA AGM. The YCA voted overwhelmingly (just one vote against) to be graded next season - a big improvement on the previous years vote. At least two regional leagues are considering going graded next season. If that's failing to do anything, then the ECF are guilty as charged, but I don't believe that that is failing to do anything. I think that's doing quite a bit to build bridges.
Neil Graham wrote:The ECF needs to address the situation - not at some time in the distant future but now.
What do you suggest?

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Another Membership Success

Post by MartinCarpenter » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:42 am

Mandating membership for any league in Yorkshire - would, at the moment, given the history etc, be putting chunks of these competitions at risk. So you have the risk of the excess 2/game fees (cf the Yorkshire league this year say) and have to do it slowly/sensibly. Which seems to be in progress :)

Sean has said on here that grading just the top divisions of a league is fine. It'd be very easy to present them as distinct competitions anyway.

The YCA and ECF grading lists might have fairly different calculation systems, and contain different games, but the yearly grades tend to be very much aligned. I've had two for years and they're rarely been much different. It takes something on the order of Pierre Weller slicing through the major open in Sheffield to get a major difference.

Mick Norris
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Re: Another Membership Success

Post by Mick Norris » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:16 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote: This year has been no worse than previous years. In fact, it's been better because more chess has been played despite the doomsday scenarios put forward by you and others.
Fewer players meeting the grading qualification though and the absolute total of players playing a graded game hasn't yet been published
See here
http://www.sccu.ndo.co.uk/grad.htm
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Andrew Bak
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Re: Another Membership Success

Post by Andrew Bak » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:29 am

Mick Norris wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote: This year has been no worse than previous years. In fact, it's been better because more chess has been played despite the doomsday scenarios put forward by you and others.
Fewer players meeting the grading qualification though and the absolute total of players playing a graded game hasn't yet been published
See here
http://www.sccu.ndo.co.uk/grad.htm
Thanks for that link, makes for interesting reading.

There was an extra month in 2012 which can easily explain the increase in the number of half-games played. However I don't understand why an extra month resulted in such a large spike in the number of active players also? Do people come out of the woodwork to play congresses in the summer?

Mick Norris
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Re: Another Membership Success

Post by Mick Norris » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:48 am

Andrew Bak wrote:There was an extra month in 2012 which can easily explain the increase in the number of half-games played. However I don't understand why an extra month resulted in such a large spike in the number of active players also? Do people come out of the woodwork to play congresses in the summer?
Richard concentrates on comparing 2011 with 2013, as both were 12 month periods, rather than 2012 which had 13, so that seems reasonable

Like you though, I was puzzled by an extra month resulting in more players, especially given they seem to disappear in 2013
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
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Re: Another Membership Success

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:15 am

Mick Norris wrote:
Richard concentrates on comparing 2011 with 2013, as both were 12 month periods, rather than 2012 which had 13, so that seems reasonable

Like you though, I was puzzled by an extra month resulting in more players, especially given they seem to disappear in 2013
The 2013 data covers the period from July 2012 to June 2013. The 2012 data covers the period from June 2011 to June 2012. To get proper comparisons, you also need June 2011 so as to remove it from 2011-12. As it stands, the raw data shows an increase in 2011-12 followed by a decline in 2012-13. June 2011 might explain part of the game count, but not the head count unless there was a major event attracting numerous overseas players making one-off visits in June 2011.

The major drop in game count from 2011-12 to 2012-13 was in events described as "Miscellaneous".

These went from 6896 in 2010-11 to 10456 in 2011-12 to 5574 in 2012-13. It seems worth investigating what went into this category, not least to check whether the treatment is consistent from one year to the next.

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Ihor Lewyk
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Re: Another Membership Success

Post by Ihor Lewyk » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:04 pm

Neil Graham wrote:
The Yorkshire League is already affiliated; it has been made perfectly plain from the ECF that "part leagues" can't sign up; there can by no Division One graded and not Division Five.

I'm worried about your understanding on this one Neil.
I have recently put a proposal to the Bradford league to grade their games by the ECF. If not for the whole league then at least for division one where most of the players are already ECF graded.
I think Martin Carpenter expresses it the way most of the Yorkshire committee see things. The whole situation of Yorkshire leagues should be seen as an opportunity for the ECF. The active players in Yorkshire, most of whom are ECF members, are certainly trying to convey the message of a unified accurate rating list. But the rating list isn't what the ECF should be exclusively regarded for.

Consider one of the typical players in the Bradford league lower divisions. They play every Tuesday so they can have a pint or two with some of their friends and play a friendly but challenging game of chess in a good structured healthy league. There are many different competitions both team and individual to keep these players interested from September through to May.
If someone asks them for £12 to pay for a grade they may turn round and say but it only costs me £10 to be a member of my local chess club. Yes the cost of living in Yorkshire is seriously that depressed!

I will have to sell the idea of becoming a member of the ECF by explaining the bigger picture of what the ECF hope to be doing for the game of chess and how becoming a member of the ECF will help them do this. The list starts from running national teams and national competitions to ensuring unified rules are played throughout the country and even the world.

Any help to do this would be most welcome Neil.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Another Membership Success

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:27 pm

A point Neil Graham has overlooked on this and other threads is that the schism between the ECF and the YCA dates back twenty years and to most people it's passed into Jarndyce vs Jarndyce territory - nobody can remember what it was about in the first place (Roger did provide some detail in the Yorkshire Problem thread). This constant bashing of the YCA over a historical issue does rile me. However moving on;

Basically it's a gradual process of a pro ECF majority outvoting an anti ECF minority in each individual league, as has happened in Leeds. I said at the time of the YCA AGM that Sheffield may be the next bastion to challenge and hopefully this has been followed up.

Obviously the YCA grading list only exists as long as somebody is willing to put in the considerable (unpaid) time and effort needed to produce it. I pointed out at the AGM that we are not constitutionally obliged to provide one and I personally think we could start asking the anti ECF movement within Yorkshire what they would do if the list ceased to exist.

EDIT - uneccessarily provocative comment removed. Just following on from my last paragraph, IF the YCA grading list was to cease to exist the Yorkshire Leagues would have two options; either swallow the ECF fees or go ungraded. I suspect many leagues would opt for the latter option, particularly the smaller ones. Given that the ECF can't prevent competitive chess happening outside its grading system (contrary to the conspiracy theorists) the insinuation that Yorkshire players have somehow `withheld money` from the ECF sticks in my throat a little bit.

Finally carrots and sticks - the ECF has always had more success with carrots.
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All views expressed entirely my own

Neil Graham
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Re: Another Membership Success

Post by Neil Graham » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:14 pm

In response to some of the points raised. I believe it was Alex Holowczak that advised the ECF would not consider part leagues for grading; if that position has changed I'm sure players would like to know.

Can I say that I do appreciate the comments made by Yorkshire delegates and committee members via this forum; the situation is now a lot better than it was say 20 years ago. I was on the BCF Board as a MCCU delegate at the time and I must admit that the reason for the schism is as lost to me as it is to today's correspondents. I believe it was due to finance and allegations of misspending by the BCF and the response was to set up the Finance Committee of the Federation. Of course I could be wrong so perhaps someone can remind the forum.

Turning to the grading issue, as I pointed out the variances in the national grading list and the Yorkshire List are unacceptable. I did provide some figures but whilst an odd grading point is fine finding 10 points difference at the top and 38 points at the lower levels is not on and will lead to some bad feelings in congresses in which grading limits are used.

This has dragged on for decades now. Can I ask where contributors speak of "anti-ECF" people why people are anti and what the ECF could do to change this - after all the national championships have been held in Yorkshire four times in the last fifteen years?
I understand the ECF board delegates were respectfully heard at a recent meeting; this is in marked contrast to a visit by the then BCF President when he was afforded five minutes at the end of a meeting and then barracked by those present.

As to payments made by the players. It is going to take a big step for players who pay nothing to cough up £12 to join the ECF but that is a step that other players across the country have taken in exactly the same situation even if they are playing in the lowest league and just turning out for a pint and a game. If this were a huge figure to ask I'd be grovelling around - but at the end of the day it's substantially less than paid out last week to watch a 0-0 draw over 90 minutes of "entertainment".

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Another Membership Success

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:28 pm

Neil Graham wrote: I believe it was due to finance and allegations of misspending by the BCF and the response was to set up the Finance Committee of the Federation. Of course I could be wrong so perhaps someone can remind the forum.
The BCF hosted part of the 1986 match between Karpov and Kasparov. In retrospect the financial arrangements were less than satisfactory since the BCF had little opportunity to make a profit and was liable for expense overspend. This and a parallel loss of sponsorship increased quite considerably the amounts demanded by the BCF from its main funding source, in those days almost exclusively the territorial county associations. The Yorkshire County Association appeared to resent this more than most and I think left the BCF for a year or two.

According to Kingpin, it was all the fault of a well known writer and columnist.

http://www.kingpinchess.net/2007/11/rai ... ra-mundum/

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Another Membership Success

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:48 pm

A delegate at the YCA AGM made a very interesting point. When the YCA first voted to leave the BCF twenty years ago he was the sole vote against because he thought it would be a damaging move. When the vote for re-affiliation came around he opposed it because he didn't think not being in the BCF had made the blindest bit of difference.

I don't think a lot can be done against the `anti ECF` pockets and I think the best plan would be to let them fade away over time (rather than make them feel important). It is true that Yorkshire has had its fair share of ECF events; however I've long been of the opinion that some evening league players wouldn't notice a congress if it was held in their own back garden! If the event returns to Yorkshire in the next few years I'd like to think the YCA could play a full part.

I agree that the YCA are making a rod for our backs with the seperate grading list and hopefully a time will come when that list can be stopped. Unfortunately we've not quite reached that stage yet.

I'm not sure who the BCF President who received such an unpleasant response was but I attended the 2004 AGM where Gerry Walsh was the guest - his speech was listened to politely and later in the meeting he was invited to present the prizes.
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MartinCarpenter
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Re: Another Membership Success

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:33 am

Umm, no the variances for YCA vs ECF grading are entirely acceptable. To be honest, no one even blinks at it. Actually checked they are, in general, astonishingly well aligned. Much more so than there is any right to expect given that they're grading different sets of games (ok some overlap) with some non triviall differences in the methodology.

I checked for 57 of York's players from ~230 to 50. Average, absolute grade difference from YCA yearly to ECF July grades? ~5.6. To put that into perspective, the same figure for the January to July ECF grading lists for the same set of players is ~5.3.

There were actually more players with a +-10 difference on the 2 ECF lists than between the YCA and ECF lists (8 vs 5). The logical conclusion would be that you could happily use either list as a measure of a players strength :) The live YCA grades are a slightly different matter.
(There's one absolute outlier for YCA vs ECF (30 difference) caused by a huge difference in how he did in YCA vs ECF graded events. Nothing to be done about that asides from ECF grading more Yorkshire events.).

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