Proposed county championship changes

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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David Shepherd
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Re: Proposed county championship changes

Post by David Shepherd » Wed May 06, 2015 5:59 pm

Probably a really stupid idea but could you set the competition rules so that counties could chose the number of board they entered for a team so for example they could enter either a 16 player, 12 player or an 8 player team. If two 16 board teams play each other the match is over 16 boards, if a 16 board team plays an 8 board team the match is over 8 boards etc.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Proposed county championship changes

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed May 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Not at all a stupid idea really. That - and similar stuff - is done in some qualifying competitions, because it suits people/makes for better matches.

The knock out stages are meant to be properly 'serious' though, so enforcing 16 man teams makes sense. Maybe gets questionable if you run out of willing teams ;)

David Pardoe
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Re: Proposed county championship changes

Post by David Pardoe » Wed May 20, 2015 12:32 pm

I fear that a negative slant has had the effect of `talking down` the very thing you`re trying to promote and encourage.

Instead of the negativity, it might be helpful if some folk actually focused on the many good points of county chess...and its potential benefits as a chess platform.
These 16 board matches, played on a Saturday afternoon are great chess fayre, not least because the time controls do at least allow the possibility of playing out a full game without needing to resort to `blitz mode` and wild time scrambles, etc.. And great social banter over a coffee, etc... whilst watching other matches complete.

You can talk til the cows come home about the challenges...not least, the key issue of finding a captain to run the teams, supported, I would suggest, by one or two `deputies` from other clubs, who can help drum up support. Good support from players, even on an occasional basis, is vital.

I`ve made my suggestions for changes elsewhere, and amongst these, I`d like to see a return to the 25 point grading bands, to give captains more leeway for team selection. I`d also urge counties to think about the full range of events on offer within the Counties events. No reason why some counties cant start with say a U140 team and say a U100 team, and develop from there. Too much focus is placed on the Open event, in my view, although it would be good if these had greater support. And I`d urge team captains not to be too choosy, based on player grades, when picking teams.
I`m keen to have players who are keen to play, and its surprising how the `form book` can be upset by the lower graded players at times.
Taking part is the key thing... we`re of course always trying to win, but a good days chessing does feed the apatite.
I`d just add that Manchester are keen to hear from any players who could help run the county Open team and the U160 team.. Jon Lonsdale would be glad to hear from anyone who can help.. contact Jon Lonsdale<jon@jlonsdale.net>;

As for the Open, I`d add a rule to allow the East and West Unions to enter `combined counties` teams. This might allow some participation from these areas, who face the handicaps of sparse populations and difficult travelling.
Another change I`d make is to rename the so called `Minor Counties` event as `The Championship`...give it a brighter title...there`s nothing `minor` about it.
Promotion, publicity, and more local/regional Press coverage might help.
And restructuring can be looked at.. I`d suggest that a working party/steering committee, be set up to look at options. It might just get things done and carry more weight.
As regards filling empty slots in the National Stages, I`d be in favour of a `wild card` system, which allowed counties to offer to fill any vacant slots, and be offered `qualifier places` in the Preliminary stages to fill any holes. Counties could put themselves forward say late January/Feb for any vacant slots, and slotted straight into the draw, behind all those teams who had genuinely won qualifier events.
The NCCU might be better served by arranging zonal events.. say based on `East - West` splits, to cut travel issues.. but that's for the powers that be to decide.
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peterrice
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Re: Proposed county championship changes

Post by peterrice » Wed May 20, 2015 1:22 pm

David Pardoe wrote:As regards filling empty slots in the National Stages, I`d be in favour of a `wild card` system, which allowed counties to offer to fill any vacant slots, and be offered `qualifier places` in the Preliminary stages to fill any holes. Counties could put themselves forward say late January/Feb for any vacant slots, and slotted straight into the draw, behind all those teams who had genuinely won qualifier events.
Good plan. A better way to fill places than the current fines on unions who fail to fill all their intended places.

I can imagine a few complications ... if wildcards then qualify (i.e. get nominated) after all, and if qualifying counties then have to play an extra preliminary round match to accommodate them in the draw. Having a set maximum number of accepted wildcards should work.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Proposed county championship changes

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed May 20, 2015 2:29 pm

Its basically the current proposal that :)
(Well no limit on the numbers.).

David Pardoe
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Re: Proposed county championship changes

Post by David Pardoe » Thu May 21, 2015 12:34 pm

Not true Martin... re-read the full text of my initial comments.

If it does produce some additional entries (via wildcards and combined counties teams, etc..) to plug some gaps and generate more participation, then so much the better.
But the central qualifying method would still remain as the Union competitions, with wild cards filling any gaps.
Along with the other suggestions, hopefully we`ll see some progress.

Ray Collett put out a note recently to the MCCU membership/counties stating clearly the deficiencies of the current proposals that the ECF are looking at..

The present county qualifying competitions in the MCCU.. and SCCU.... and those in the East & West Unions appear to run fairly satisfactorily.
It would be good to see a revival in the NCCU, with fresh impetus from that region ...ie, some teams from Durham, Merseyside, Northumberland, Cheshire, Cleveland, Humberside, East & West Yorks.. etc, based on zonal events might work, with a few other tweeks...we`ll see what the new generation of NCCU chiefs can muster.
I`m sure that various ideas are under consideration....

However, it has to be noted that the chess calendar is quite full, so not a great deal of room for expansion perhaps.
Remember, the Northern chess powerhouse has already gone up a gear with the successes of the 4NCL Northern league, and I`m hopeful this will also continue to attract more interest from players and some additional new teams. The entry from a Scottish team is a real `plus` and we look forward to meeting up for some good chess weekends next Autumn..
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MartinCarpenter
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Re: Proposed county championship changes

Post by MartinCarpenter » Thu May 21, 2015 2:03 pm

The proposal for filling the spaces is essentially the same :)

NCCU teams chess is just fine as is really. Those small places just aren't viable counties any more. The Yorkshire league - which actually includes Humberside as Hull, and chunks of Lancashire moonlighting as Calderdale - picks up the regional chess where single day travel is sane, and the 4NCL (N and otherwise) the rest.

Of course one obvious way to improve the NCCU county chess, but stupid obstacles :(

David Pardoe
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Re: Proposed county championship changes

Post by David Pardoe » Thu May 21, 2015 2:25 pm

Martin,
My scheme keeps the County qualifying competitions as centre stage (ie, as the main qualifying route), ...the ECF proposals make the new National format with everyone lumped into the pot, and no Union qualifier events, as its centre piece.

These are two quite different schemes...and with my `wild card` option, kicking in after the `Qualifiers`, it would be nice if this would fill some holes in the Finals stages, but I don't envisage a flood of applicants. And allowing the East & West Unions to enter a combined counties team(s) for the Open section, could see a welcome presence from these areas. Incidentally, a similar option could be invoked if Yorks slit into zones, then recombined its `Open` teams for the Finals stages...just as a possibility..ie, with some rules flexibility.

The MCCU have run such qualifier events quite successfully for many years....!!!

Key issues are `a` getting willing volunteers to captain the teams and organise things, but also, getting Union groups together to organise the competitions...again, I accept that there are challenges, not least, that Yorks already plays a host of weekend chess events.
The current NCCU counties qualifier events are a tad disappointing, with large swathes of these areas left unrepresented... a regional based qualifier, at the Minor Counties, U160, U140, U120, or U100 levels (split east-west to avoid excessive travel), could well work....and provide some good county team experiences for the Northern quarter..
Not easy, I do agree...
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MartinCarpenter
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Re: Proposed county championship changes

Post by MartinCarpenter » Thu May 21, 2015 2:54 pm

The current ECF proposals don't involve throwing away the qualifying competitions. Just delinking them, which is precisely what you're talking about :)

They're basically equivalent because there aren't more than ~8 teams wanting to play the K/O stages anyway and sometimes less than that :(

David Pardoe
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Re: Proposed county championship changes

Post by David Pardoe » Thu May 21, 2015 7:14 pm

Martin,
I suggest you re-read my initial comments. I`m certainly not talking about delinking the Qualifiers events..
But I think that my scheme, or something similar, could add a few to the list for the Finals stages, and hopefully help to stimulate greater interest.
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Ihor Lewyk
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Re: Proposed county championship changes

Post by Ihor Lewyk » Fri May 22, 2015 9:42 am

It would be good to see a revival in the NCCU, with fresh impetus from that region ...ie, some teams from Durham, Merseyside, Northumberland, Cheshire, Cleveland, Humberside, East & West Yorks.. etc, based on zonal events might work, with a few other tweeks...we`ll see what the new generation of NCCU chiefs can muster.

What new NCCU chiefs are these David? Have I missed something?

Actually the NCCU has tried a few of your ideas in recent years to try and resurrect competition in the county championships. We tried running a Jamboree one day only event at Bradford City but it only realised three teams outside of Lancashire and Yorkshire. We tried to see if counties would merge resources in order to take part and we have even agreed to reduce the number of boards per team.

The NCCU are even trying new ideas and formats to boost their club competitions. This year we are running a senior competition for teams with average age over 55.

Maybe a glance at the NCCU site would answer some of your concerns.

David Pardoe
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Re: Proposed county championship changes

Post by David Pardoe » Fri May 22, 2015 2:28 pm

Hi Thor,
I appreciate that organising these events is no easy matter. and it can take time to get any new scheme established.
The geography is one obvious problem area for NCCU county events, so an East - West split might work, playing some matches at say Darlington, and the `west` matches maybe at Preston/Burnley/Warrington. perhaps. Its not my call to interfere, and it could very well be that the NCCU has enough chess activity going on already, and doesn't need the counties events to any greater degree.
Some counties do appear to be side lined, and mutterings that Manchester might add some spark does seem to suggest a demand for some additional competition..
As for the NCCU, I hope they will see new faces on all the respective chess bodies, to add a fresh ideas, and hopefully push through new initiatives, particularly to attract a new wave of entrants to the various clubs across the regions. Large numbers of clubs exist out there who are very keen to see some new faces, and maybe they could focus on running internal `starter events` for such players. Might be a good topic for forthcoming AGMs.
New volunteers to help keep the wheels turning is certainly a key issue for many chess bodies. A few willing volunteers can make a big difference, so I`d urge fellow players to give this some thought.. There is plenty of support and assistance available to offer advice/help from the various committees/groups.
I think a new grass roots initiative is needed to encourage take up of club chess, as well, as supporting the many congresses and other chess events on offer..
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Alan Walton
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Re: Proposed county championship changes

Post by Alan Walton » Fri May 22, 2015 2:30 pm

David Pardoe wrote:Hi Thor,
I know Ig is a good captain/organiser; but when did he come a member of the Avengers

Ian Kingston
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Re: Proposed county championship changes

Post by Ian Kingston » Fri May 22, 2015 2:40 pm

Alan Walton wrote:
David Pardoe wrote:Hi Thor,
I know Ig is a good captain/organiser; but when did he come a member of the Avengers
That hammer could come in handy.

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Ihor Lewyk
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Re: Proposed county championship changes

Post by Ihor Lewyk » Fri May 22, 2015 2:58 pm

rofl
I'll be watching the first Thor movie tonight!

David out of interest have you managed to put all your suggestions to work at your own club? What has worked best and is there anything we should avoid?

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