County Chess vs 4NCL

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
User avatar
IM Jack Rudd
Posts: 4101
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:13 am
Location: Bideford

Re: County Chess vs 4NCL

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:01 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote: There's no automatic right to play in a county team. but in practice a certain amount of creative eligibility has usually been tolerated.
Indeed. If you really want to play for a county, it's usually not that hard to find a club in that county that will have you.

User avatar
Joey Stewart
Posts: 1219
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:35 pm
Location: All Of Them

Re: County Chess vs 4NCL

Post by Joey Stewart » Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:26 pm

David Pardoe wrote:
County captains are always in demand.. this is not a overly demanding job these days, with lots of web information available. One key point is to get started early. Last minute arrangements can go badly wrong, particularly if you`re trying to chase players on the eve of a match.
I`d say that each county team needs a captain and deputy, who can work together and get things organised. Effective communication is important.


I would say that it is very much the opposite, that it is a hugely time consuming operation to find 16 willing players for every match, hence the reason very few ex captains return to the role. Plus there is growing discontent that so many strong teams have been allowed to slip down into the minor counties competition and dominate year after year while the open is left virtually uncontested with only northern and london counties entering.
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

David Pardoe
Posts: 1225
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:29 pm
Location: NORTH WEST

Re: County Chess vs 4NCL

Post by David Pardoe » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:11 pm

You have been around the county scene for a while, doing good deeds, and flying the flag for Warks..
Yes, you`re right to say that county chess has its challenges.. as does many of the other `flavours`.
Not least, because of competing needs on our time. Today, for instance, I went to see the Manchester derby at Old Trafford..
On Monday there is a key 4 day, county cricket match at Old Trafford, when Lancashire take on the mighty Middlesex
Society now has too little time for the traditional pastimes of old.. we`re all too busy trying to earn a crust, and live in the current economic madhouse our nutty politicians have created..
Quite how they will resolve the BREXIT disaster.... I`m not sure. Fixing good trade deals...and negotiating with our European partners??

Anyway.. to chess..
The county scene has a great deal to offer, I believe.... as do other flavours of our noble pastime..
4NCL, Congress chess, online chess, league chess, and other tournament events, including club internal events, all have something to offer..
One of the challenges is to continue to bring new talent and fresh faces to these events..
We also need to address the all important job of promoting and supporting our chess offerings..
I would urge players to consider what they can do to support such events...even if its just an occasional appearance. Many county captains would be very grateful if more of there local players could make just an occasional appearance.

I firmly believe we should be trying to encourage the `next generation` to partake of the joys of these events..
Looking at the age demographic on our chess scene... we have a goodly proportion of `Fischer generation` players, who probably age 60+.
My guess is that upwards of 55% of ECF players are 50+.
Maybe 25% ish are aged 25 to 50..
And the rest are younger...
So, are we reaching out to the emerging younger groups..?
I know that Manchester have always been very active in encouraging our young players, thanks in no small part to a very dedicated group of junior organisers, who have done great things for many years.
County chess does offer great opportunities for such all the grading levels, to progress and gain valuable match experience..
I`d just encourage counties to get involved and support these events..

Yes, I note that the Open section currently has a lesser take-up... again, I`d encourage our county bodies and Unions/ECF to be more pro-active and support these events.
I`ve suggested a number of ways these events might be taken forward... its not easy to progress such change.. I agree.
As Neil Graham has often said.. apathy and lack of new volunteers is a factor. We need new faces to come forward and bring new change and enthusiasm. Such renewal is vital for all sports..
Many counties could raise at least one or two teams at various levels, and quite often it is just the need for a couple of volunteers to come forward to organise a team... And we`re only talking about 2 or 3 matches in the 6 month period for the Qualifiers.
Its important that players and captains don't obsess too much about `team strength`.. What`s important is keen volunteers to play, so don't set the grading bar too high when selecting teams. Winning is nice...but just simply participating and enjoying the camaraderie of such events has its rewards.

Gary Kenworthy

Re: County Chess vs 4NCL

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:22 pm

A whole host of points to many posts. All chess events can co-exist. Period. Hate the either or Or. Chronologically.
The Bradford Latvian Club and the clog dancing. Memories-
My first junior event where I got knocked. (posted two days ago)
The next AGM was a levy on board fees of 6D (2.5 p) – nearly caused a walk out. Unaffordable, - yes ! does sum chess - yes ! Money is always an issue in chess.
The 1975 National Club Match Bradford, v Manchester, I was the home captain trying to tell my opposite number, Jim Tenant-Smith that we need to abandon the match, but he could not hear that, but we then did hear enough to agree. Only fully by stopping the clocks etc (which two captains can do to override, even an arbiter in those days.). Clogs do not discriminate on competitions.
Next Year Bradford were fiddled in the N C Plate Final. I wrote a long letter to the National Controller, entitled How to Make the Tournament a success.

In the early 1980s and some super-teams were disqualified from the National Club. One of the corrective actions was to send out a shorter well edited version of How to Make the Tournament a success. I know the reasons and the timelines. All prior to 1993 and a Premier League concept.

With the National Club, I had some influence and power, unlike in the Sunday Times event (later Times after CHO’DA’s passing) where B R Eley was the Zone(s)/ Regional set of Controller, Arbiter and Adjudicator. E.g. 1st round pairing for the West Riding was my school versus Northallerton (next stop Darlington). Bent pairings, bent judgements. As one example that any event or any tournament can be ruined and degraded so it loses its appeal in that area. You can wreck anything in the wrong hands. A major factor.

The 4*NCL, (later renamed 4NCL), was launched in 1993. I was the one who fetched Chris Dunworth, who had being in hiding for hours due to the threat of physical violence. If you look at the CHESS magazine report, I was given the title Chief Controller of that Round. I actually do have a lot of pre and early 4NCL knowledge, besides other competitions.

In the next round, the fisticuffs on the podium was about Greater Manchester breaking away from Lancashire. That reason alone. 1974 Local government change.

Lancashire still won the 1976/7 County Championship. 13- 11 over Yorkshire. (Later, Yorkshire then suffered one of their worst loses against Merseyside – who also parted company, but were still NCCU. The old Lancashire had split three ways. County Chess was strong on the compact West coast. Yorkshire and the NE had several woes, including from County captains, the loss of fares equalisation and mainly politics. But, IMHO the economic decline of traditional industries, especially in the NE, post 1979 became the biggest overall factor.

Next season, I was highly aware of the efforts to destroy the 4NCL, an independent organisation. On the pretext of the impact to the National Club. Nothing in these many debates and calls ever mentioned County Matches. Never seen that view before, I was easily one of closest and most involved at that time.
6 teams of 8 in the first year, no comparison to the current size, no comparison to County Matches. Many of those players even did not play County chess.
Rgds (FM) Gary Kenworthy.

Gary Kenworthy

Re: County Chess vs 4NCL

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:32 pm

correction: My first junior event where I got knocked out of the event. (posted two days ago)

Posts: 2669
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 10:58 am

Re: County Chess vs 4NCL

Post by MartinCarpenter » Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:33 pm

Tennant Smith leading a Manchester team in the national clubs? Amusing :)

I'm not aware of any clog dancing at the Latvian club anymore, but it can still be a rather interesting place to play.... Sensibly quiet the last two times though iirc.

Gary Kenworthy

Re: County Chess vs 4NCL

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:15 pm

Off course Jim Tennant-Smith, was Manchester based, and a staunch Lancastrian, who put his money where his mouth was over the legality of Greater Manchester going into the MCCU. (BTW as per Vic Knox and others, without Manchester there would not have been a BCF- they drove the creation).
Thank you Martin for understanding the extra quip. :0)
No names for who hit who in the second weekend of the 4*NCL over the continuing Greater Manchester v Lancashire "debate".

The solution to clog dancing, was just find their dates, and not play at home with a clash - simple solution. Nick seems to have pointed out that that these pre-match checks has got lost over time. Oops .Oh Dear.

When was there the old cupboard had chess clocks that seemed at the time, to be from Bradford 1888 (The First UK International Chess Tournament outside London). But I now believe they were 1903 vintage -- First ever County match in the country to use chess clocks - Fattorini's for Yorkshire v Lancashire at Bradford. As pictured and advertised in Cooks Compendium c 1912.
rgds GK
Last edited by Gary Kenworthy on Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Alex McFarlane
Posts: 1530
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:52 pm

Re: County Chess vs 4NCL

Post by Alex McFarlane » Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:27 pm

Gary Kenworthy wrote: Bradford 1886 (The First UK International Chess Tournament outside London)
What about Dundee 1867? Dundee is in the UK and outside London.
Dundee could be the first to give a half point for a draw. Next year sees the 150th anniversary of that International event. (Keep watching on this)

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19086
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: County Chess vs 4NCL

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:02 am

Alex McFarlane wrote: Dundee could be the first to give a half point for a draw.
Staunton era tournaments were knock-outs or matches. Was Dundee one of the first, if not the first to adopt an all play all or league system of play? It might well extend as a first beyond chess, wiki has the Football League starting in 1888.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19086
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: County Chess vs 4NCL

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:10 am

Gary Kenworthy wrote: (BTW as per Vic Knox and others, without Manchester there would not have been a BCF- they drove the creation).

There was some research on this forum about the involvement of the Manchester League in the foundation of the BCF. They didn't have anything to do with it and their status as a constituent member dates from the late 1960s with the BCF trying to be more inclusive or whatever.

Other than personal animosity, the opposition to the formation of a Greater Manchester county makes little sense. In the south, in the SCCU, there was a general agreement to stick with the traditional boundaries. In the NCCU, Cleveland was carved out of Durham and Yorkshire and Merseyside from Lancashire and Cheshire without causing a forty year feud.

Gary Kenworthy

Re: County Chess vs 4NCL

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:16 am

Well done - Alex McFarlane. There are several errors in "British", British Empire", "BCF", "English" mix up in many areas. But Bradford was much stronger though. e.g. This example one clarified by "major"

Bradford 1888, International Chess Tournament - A J GillamEdited by A.J.Gillam; 26 photos; 101 diagrams; all available games208 pages, paperbackFirst major chess event held outside London. Gunsberg won ahead of Mackzenie, von Bardeleben, Mason, Burn, Weiss, Blackburne, Taubenhaus, Bird, Pollock, Thorock, Locock, Mortimer, Lee, Owen, Hall, Rumboll and Skipworth; many contemporary newspaper reports; indices. The result was a great success for Gunsberg and added weight to his his claim to be a world championship match against Steinitz, which was played 2 years later.

Bradford could afford it - more millionaires in Bradford than London, at that time. Just like how Bradford won the F A Cup in 1911. A real "Premier" league team concept.

I notice that on Olimbase that the Barbican team in the European Club Cup has I Thompson, (a poster here) rather than C S M Thompson (ex Castlemilk etc,). Barbican had a number of Scottish Players, with Chris Morrison (Scottish captain) and Craig Pritchett as well. BTW: Craig Thomson, often said the BCF should be the ECF. Something I raised many times later as a BCF Director, as organisations should have their correct name and not be passed off as something else. We had a number of issues of organisations hi-jacking BCF logos and similar. When the BCF did become the ECF you could knock me over with a feather, I had given up with that happening.
Rgds GK
Last edited by Gary Kenworthy on Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

John Reyes
Posts: 461
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:51 pm
Location: Manchester

Re: County Chess vs 4NCL

Post by John Reyes » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:54 pm

Alex had a Idea and wonder if you could explain it again!!

can't find the link where you wrote it!!
Any postings on here represent my personal views only

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19086
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: County Chess vs 4NCL

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:06 pm

John Reyes wrote:Alex had a Idea and wonder if you could explain it again!!

can't find the link where you wrote it!!
Would it be this comment? ... 74#p186974

Gary Kenworthy

Re: County Chess vs 4NCL

Post by Gary Kenworthy » Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:38 pm

One of the main sponsors of the Bradford 1888 International was Julius Delius of Claremont Villas, BRADFORD, BD7. Father of the composer, Fritz Delius (later re-styled as Frederick Delius).
[Best see Szen e.g. in Wiki to help explain the intellectual and cultural influx to these island after 1848 events in Europe- like Julius Delius]
Post WWII, the Ukrainians used this villa and converted into a club and bar to play chess matches. It was a very Catholic organisation. As WWII veterans died out, so did the club and it collapsed. Still a social club though.
Such millionaire “villas” of wool magnates were later used as Universities (e.g. Bradford Management College—yes a very very big private house), solicitors offices, and other chess clubs, like the Latvian Club at 5 Clifton Villas. The Latvians had BH Wood print up the scoresheets with “Latvian Club (Riga)”. They held social events like Miss Captive Nations, for their version of Miss World for any country under the Communist yoke. (Clog Dancing !?).

Cross over from Claremont, via, Morley St., Edmund St. That is where the Polish Parish Club exists. Often fielding 5 teams in the Bradford Evening League. Social, religious, cultural (and even political) centre.
After WWII the number of Poles was boosted to 40,00 Poles in Bradford, many ex-servicemen. As a teenager, I once talked to an old embittered Cabinet minister (the self-styled Polish Government {In exile]. He was not happy the way Poles were treated.
During the 1st Cold War, the contributions of the Poles in WWII were heavily air-brushed in History books, official records, war histories, films etc.
e.g. In another thread about Bletchley Park – it was mentioned “Sink the Bismarck” – a fairly accurate film, but one of destroyers in Vian’s flotilla was Polish (In the film – the Solent) -- as she attacked at an even shorter range signalling – “I am Pole”
The Film “Battle of Britain”, heavily plays down the Polish (+ Czech and FFF ) contributions.
Of the two destroyers sunk on D-Day one was Polish, the other FFF. Etc etc Simply, Poland was Soviet Bloc in The Cold War.

Most importantly, without the Poles the Enigma might not have been broken in WWII by the British. The Poles decided in 1932 that a machine was needed to attack a machine, so built one, long before Turing had the idea. The Bombe is Polish. More on that under Bletchley Park. Plus the contributions of the chess players at GC&CS.

BTW: Fleeing terrors in Europe, according to Cochrane, on the chess explosion in London, during late Napoleon times and later, was due to a musician, a court composer. He was stronger than his rival, Robespierre at their club in Paris. That also was a likely factor.

Regards (FM) Gary Kenworthy, Bletchley

Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:59 pm

Re: County Chess vs 4NCL

Post by IanCalvert » Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:30 am

Gary Kenworthy wrote:Most importantly, without the Poles the Enigma might not have been broken in WWII by the British.

Do you know if the great C20 Polish mathematician W. Sierpinski was involved in the early work, in Poland?

Post Reply