ECF Council - Controversial Issues

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Malcolm Clarke
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Re: ECF Council - Controversial Issues

Post by Malcolm Clarke » Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:25 pm

On the subject of the proposal to not grade games that have an adjudication option I would like to know a bit more background as to why the Home Director is proposing this.

The league I am involved with has an adjudication option, but we have not a single adjudication in two years, although having the option does sometimes make it easier to assign venues to unfinished games.

With adjudication not the default option, then players cannot play for a win on adjudication if the opponent wants to adjourn.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Council - Controversial Issues

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:28 pm

Malcolm Clarke wrote:On the subject of the proposal to not grade games that have an adjudication option I would like to know a bit more background as to why the Home Director is proposing this.
The Home Director has not commented, however the Manager of Grading gives a background further back in the thread. Whilst elimination of adjudications would be a "good thing", the claim that they infringe the FIDE Laws of Chess lacks merit, given their existence back to the days of Staunton.

Assuming you still have games adjourned, a game adjourned but not resumed because the players agreed a result is a self adjudication and still within even the letter of the Laws of Chess.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: ECF Council - Controversial Issues

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:15 pm

The ECF AGM is next weekend (11 October 2014)? I'm wondering if I still have time to go over to the official forum and ask there about the ECF Library. My view, FWIW, is that the official forum should (in theory) be a good place to get official responses (and give opinions there rather than here if one chooses), and this forum can be much more wide-ranging. What would be good would be if the ECF had more publicity people (even if just volunteers) willing to publicise official announcements. I've sometimes missed official statements on the ECF website and on the official forum because I mostly follow this one. The way information spreads is not always as simple as publishing something and insisting people turn up and read it. Sometimes you have to promulgate announcements.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: ECF Council - Controversial Issues

Post by Carl Hibbard » Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:34 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:The ECF AGM is next weekend (11 October 2014)? I'm wondering if I still have time to go over to the official forum and ask there about the ECF Library. My view, FWIW, is that the official forum should (in theory) be a good place to get official responses (and give opinions there rather than here if one chooses), and this forum can be much more wide-ranging. What would be good would be if the ECF had more publicity people (even if just volunteers) willing to publicise official announcements. I've sometimes missed official statements on the ECF website and on the official forum because I mostly follow this one. The way information spreads is not always as simple as publishing something and insisting people turn up and read it. Sometimes you have to promulgate announcements.
There is nobody there but you are welcome to try.
Cheers
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Council - Controversial Issues

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:37 pm

Carl Hibbard wrote: There is nobody there but you are welcome to try.
There's already a thread for it.

http://www.englishchess.org.uk/Forum/vi ... ?f=4&t=191
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

David Pardoe
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Re: ECF Council - Controversial Issues

Post by David Pardoe » Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:44 pm

Controversial issues - never seems to be any shortage of these..
eg.. The President...
Every time we have a discussion about this.... Carl ends up `getting bored` and applying the shackles..

What should we require from our officers...
A willing volunteer is not a bad starting point... no volunteers doesn`t look good.... and good volunteers, rejected because of spurious agendas, or not fitting the `party image`, etc..... is nonsence in my view...


More importantly, what key things need to be addressed to take UK chess forward..

I was reading David Robertsons address recently, and he talked `controversially`, about the pending demise of chess...and it decending into a 1950s black hole....and dramatic decline
So, are there any measures being contemplated to address this potential predicament..
I dont see many....certainly not on this years agenda...

Chess at club level faces a challenging time...we actually need a national drive to boost numbers, and I`d say we need to look at lifting numbers by around 20 -30% over the coming few years. Our clubs, leagues, and county bodies need to put out welcoming messages to those novice players (of all age groups..), graded zero to say, ECF 70 ish, and offer these people some olive branches, to get them started..
The grading of internal club competitions at a cheap discount rate, could help encourage more players onto the grading ladder.
We need to encourage more support for our key events...including county competitions...
We need to put structures in place that encourage more sustainable events...e2e4 seems to have hit the buffers, at least temporarily, but definately showed signs of offering a valuable product in our UK chess portfolio..

Many of our congresses and clubs exist by the efforts of a few dedicated key individuals....and can simply vanish in a flash the minute any of these people leave the scene...we need to address the issue of `continuity` in chess, more effectively..
Volunteers are the bedrock upon which all our chess depends...our bodies need to address this in a more considered way, rather than just waiting till someone goes.... and watching helplessly as elements disappear over the cliff..
Most of our towns should be able to sustain at least one chess club...can we generate initiatives to encourage the formation of new clubs across the UK...can we network with colleges and secondary schools to encourage this sector...

I see in yesterdays Daily Telegraph they picked up on another factor that might be depressing chess...ie, chess.
computers, with monster power are encouraging players to play clock work autopilot `logically correct` and unexciting chess. In the 50s and 60s and 70s we had mecurial GMs who were acclaimed as legends, and many books are filled with there games...played with vision, magic, and deep thought. Then along came those `boring machines` which looked deep into every position and showed the way to `perfect chess`..
Question is...how can we put the magic back into chess......

Then we have junior chess seemingly always scrounging around for funds to send budding stars on expensive trips to far off places to participate in prestege junior events... yet we have money sloshing around doing nothing....like the John Robinson funds.
How should such trips be funded...could travel or accomodation deals be done more cheaply..
I remember one occasion when a group of juniors travelled to Somerset to play at an event. I think it cost £750 to send the party...mainly coach hire, I believe. Our local chess body fielded a request for cash to support this...
Should our funds be heading in this direction, or should parents and others put up the cash... difficult.

Can we put funds (like John Robertson..) to better use.... can we get parents and local bodies to offer better support. Are there cheaper alternatives for our juniors... there are other barriers (hurdles) that might prevent junior development...hopefully these wont end up strangling or stifling interest.

Lots to work at for the coming years...
BRING BACK THE BCF

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Chris Goodall
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Re: ECF Council - Controversial Issues

Post by Chris Goodall » Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:19 pm

Adjudications: they're neither allowed nor banned by the FIDE Laws. Let's assume Alex H is motivated by a desire to eliminate local variations to the Laws, as he claims in his proposal, rather than by a personal disdain for anything other than QPF/Fischer. Why is he not also proposing that games scored in descriptive notation may not be submitted for grading? Or that games in which a player has a phone on their person, and is subjected to no penalty at all, may not be submitted for grading? Or that games in which persons who are neither players nor arbiters are allowed into the playing area may not be submitted for grading?

Game Fee: is essential to retain. £13 for one league game is nonsense. Sadly, the people who will end up making the decision on compulsory membership will be the people like me who stand to gain financially from it, not the fringe players who stand to lose out.
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Brian Valentine
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Re: ECF Council - Controversial Issues

Post by Brian Valentine » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:29 pm

Chris Wardle wrote:Adjudications: they're neither allowed nor banned by the FIDE Laws. Let's assume Alex H is motivated by a desire to eliminate local variations to the Laws, as he claims in his proposal, rather than by a personal disdain for anything other than QPF/Fischer. Why is he not also proposing that games scored in descriptive notation may not be submitted for grading? Or that games in which a player has a phone on their person, and is subjected to no penalty at all, may not be submitted for grading? Or that games in which persons who are neither players nor arbiters are allowed into the playing area may not be submitted for grading?
Let's explore the issue assuming Alex has no motivation. The Grading rules currently state that the FIDE Laws of chess are used. The FIDE laws allow some variation and it is thought that all the other points you outline can be accommodated within those laws (with a bit of care in constructing the tournament rules).

As you say, adjudication is neither allowed nor banned, but the Laws are silent on all kinds of other completions such as: if the game has not finished at the end of a session it is decided by the toss of a coin. Our problem is that various FIDE changes have been outside the way England has conducted chess and we can expect further changes to combat cheating and so we need to decide where to draw lines around what constitutes chess. Adjudication has been widespread in league chess, but now appears to be used in any form in under 15% of leagues. In all sports the rules adapt to meet changing circumstances and the ECF needs to decide whether it follows international practice or follows another path.

The proposal is there so that Council can decide what to do about the anomaly rather than the alternative of a top down imposition.

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Re: ECF Council - Controversial Issues

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:41 pm

Brian Valentine wrote: The proposal is there so that Council can decide what to do about the anomaly rather than the alternative of a top down imposition.
The proposal
Competitions where adjudication is possible will not be ECF-graded from 1st July, 2015
reads like a top down imposition to me.

As was pointed out, an adjudication can be fitted to the FIDE Laws by considering it as just an adjournment where the players agree the results themselves without resuming the game.

Brian Valentine
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Re: ECF Council - Controversial Issues

Post by Brian Valentine » Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:33 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
As was pointed out, an adjudication can be fitted to the FIDE Laws by considering it as just an adjournment where the players agree the results themselves without resuming the game.
I think that it's only you that has suggested that this is possible. I'm no legal expert, but I can't see how this view is compatible with Appendix E. I do play in the Herts League where adjudication only happens if both players can't agree - how do you propose covering that situation?

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Re: ECF Council - Controversial Issues

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:42 pm

Brian Valentine wrote: I think that it's only you that has suggested that this is possible.
The idea comes from Richard Bates.
Richard Bates wrote:An adjudication is just an adjournment where both players mutually agree to conclude the game without resuming on the basis of further analysis, where they agree to subcontract the analysis to a common third party. Since third party analysis isn't forbidden and can't be prevented for adjournments, I'm not quite sure why it should be considered such a departure from the normal conduct of a game of chess as to undermine the grading system which is IMO the only real justification for it to be effectively imposed on Leagues (and by extension players) by the ECF, presumably against their wishes. Taken to its logical extension you would potentially refuse to grade any game that isn't played out to checkmate, certainly you would ban adjourned games from grading. Which would probably be fine by AlexH, i imagine, but wouldn't be consistent with the stated aim of the proposals ('compliance' with FIDE laws of chess).
The ECF Directors can have a stand up fight with some of the UK's leagues if they want to. There should be plenty of fudges available if they don't or Council reject the motion as worded.

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Re: ECF Council - Controversial Issues

Post by Brian Valentine » Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:53 pm

I apologise for missing Richard's post. I don't think that his position answers the wider issue on what constitutes a game of chess. While it fleshes out the idea I don't see it as being consistent with Appendix E.

edited after further thought

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Chris Goodall
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Re: ECF Council - Controversial Issues

Post by Chris Goodall » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:38 pm

Brian Valentine wrote: Let's explore the issue assuming Alex has no motivation. The Grading rules currently state that the FIDE Laws of chess are used. The FIDE laws allow some variation and it is thought that all the other points you outline can be accommodated within those laws (with a bit of care in constructing the tournament rules).
Then I don't see how adjudication can't be accommodated within those laws, which state in their Preface that they can't cover all eventualities. You're saying it's less problematic to straight-up disregard the law on algebraic notation, than to legislate a point on which the laws are silent. I disagree - I'm all for democratic debate, but I think it should be admitted that this proposal has nothing to do with upholding the integrity of the Laws, and everything to do with banishing silly old-fashioned adjudications that Alex H doesn't like.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Council - Controversial Issues

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:11 am

Chris Wardle wrote: but I think it should be admitted that this proposal has nothing to do with upholding the integrity of the Laws, and everything to do with banishing silly old-fashioned adjudications that Alex H doesn't like.
That's the bottom line really. ECF Council decisions can be difficult to anticipate, but an outright ban with one year's notice isn't I suspect likely to gain majority support even with organisations like Congresses that abolished adjudication as soon as quick play finishes became legal for grading.

So a softer motion "The ECF recommends the abolition of adjudications" might acquire general support.

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Re: ECF Council - Controversial Issues

Post by Richard Bates » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:45 am

Just a thought - how many leagues which otherwise operate mandatory (or at one player's insistence) quickplay finishes, make exemption for games involving disabled players?

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