Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Jonathan Bryant
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Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:44 am

I’m posting this for information debate

http://www.englishchess.org.uk/proposed ... gulations/

mostly without comment from me since I haven’t yet had time to read the proposals in any detail.


The only thing I would say at this stage is that the British Championship qualifying 'system' and the field for the event itself has been a horlicks for many years. Whether or not I would agree with this specific proposal, the attempt to improve an obviously unsatisfactory system is very much to be welcomed.

Alan Walton
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Alan Walton » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:15 am

Excellent proposal in my eyes; just need more detail on the composition of the Qualifying Grand Prix

You'll hope that this will also result in the Major Open becoming more competitive since this possibly could be an easier route into the championship itself

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:27 am

I am much in favour too, as some might have guessed; doubtless every year I complain on this forum about half the field seemingly being below 2150, with virtually no players between 2250-2400 as a result.

I have replied to the consultation, adding these comments:

"I have two suggestions, mainly on pre-qualification:

First, a minor one: if FMs have to be over 2300 (eg, "proper FMs"!), shouldn't IMs too have to have some minimum rating, even if a lower one (such as 2250 or 2200)? Nowadays the title is not regarded as such an achievement that it should qualify one for life, eg when forty years past his peak and below, say, 2250. (While they have previously reached a higher peak than FMs, they will also have declined much more by the time of the event in question!).

Juniors who reached a certain rating (2240, or maybe it was 2280) used to be pre-qualified too, even in the heyday of the event back in the 1980s: a lower limit still seems appropriate today. This still leaves the problem that many juniors will put on their spurt in the months leading up to the championships. For this reason, I think that discretionary nomination should still apply, because you might otherwise miss out on some exceptional young players. You could restrict it accordingly "eg the tournament director, in consultation with the ECF Home Director, may admit any player who will be under 18 years age at the start of the championships and who is rated over 2100, and who has in their opinion recently improved his or her rating very substantially and has recently beaten or drawn with several adult players who meet the pre-qualification conditions".

John Hickman
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by John Hickman » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:41 am

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Angus French
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Angus French » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:45 am

Alan Walton wrote:You'll hope that this will also result in the Major Open becoming more competitive since this possibly could be an easier route into the championship itself
Except qualification from the Major Open isn't in the proposal. I think it should be, both as it's the next tournament down from the Championship and because with the strengthening of the Championship it will, in theory, itself become stronger. If there aren't qualifying places from the Major Open people may not play.

Alan Walton
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Alan Walton » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:52 am

Angus French wrote:
Alan Walton wrote:You'll hope that this will also result in the Major Open becoming more competitive since this possibly could be an easier route into the championship itself
Except qualification from the Major Open isn't in the proposal. I think it should be, both as it's the next tournament down from the Championship and because, with the strengthening of the Championship, it will, in theory, become stronger. If there aren't qualifying places from the Major Open I suspect people wouldn't play.
Angus, the qualification score of 7.5/11 is still in place; I am assuming this would be around 5 players achieving this in a much larger competition as currently run; it is possible to reduce this to 7/11 and possible covering 10 places
ECF Document wrote:• There is no proposed change to the 2017 Regulation regarding the qualification scores required from the British Championship or the Major Open.

Angus French
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Angus French » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:03 am

Alan, you are right. I misread that bit.

Graham Borrowdale
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Graham Borrowdale » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:06 pm

My initial reaction to this is that it will almost certainly put a stop to any chances I might have had of ever playing in the Championship. No complaint, I have had many years to try to qualify but never did! :cry:

I welcome the review, but with a couple of reservations:
1. Increasing the average rating of players in the Championship, by leaving out the long tail, could well leave a funding gap, unless the assumption is that the missing middle (say 2250-2400) will suddenly (re)appear.
2. While the consultation asks what people think of the proposals for the Championship, is there concrete evidence that the 'middle' will play, and also that the 'tail' will choose the Major Open rather than other leisure activities?

On balance it looks to me like a good move, but there will no doubt be other consequences, which I am sure the management team have thought of.

Alan Walton
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Alan Walton » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:36 pm

Graham Borrowdale wrote:1. Increasing the average rating of players in the Championship, by leaving out the long tail, could well leave a funding gap, unless the assumption is that the missing middle (say 2250-2400) will suddenly (re)appear.
My answer will be that removing the tail would theoretically bring the 2200-2400 players back in to tournament (I am one of these); these are the players predominantly seeking norms and the magical 2300 rating for FM

When there is a major tail which has been more prevalent recently it significantly deters them due to achieving a high enough average rating to make these norms possible at a reasonable score; currently to get an IM norm would need at least 6.5/9, ideally you want 5.5 or 6 to acheive more norms

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:53 pm

Hmmmm.

I'm not necessarily convinced that the 2200-2400 players are, in general, there to be brought back. They aren't playing the British, but they also aren't playing many other tournaments of this type either.

Alan Walton
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Alan Walton » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:09 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:Hmmmm.

I'm not necessarily convinced that the 2200-2400 players are, in general, there to be brought back. They aren't playing the British, but they also aren't playing many other tournaments of this type either.
You maybe correct, but I would say there is a least a couple of dozen players who play foreign tournament during the summer; if they are doing these instead of the British is a valid question and will they come back is another

I for one is deterred from the long tail in conjunction with the expensive cost of holiday in the UK; the foreign events I play also have tails but are significantly cheaper, so if you remove the tail then the cost element is counteracted somewhat

Chris Rice
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Chris Rice » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:22 pm

The ten highest-placed non-qualified players in the British Championship Qualifying Grand Prix will qualify. This will be composed of results from the Open section of all FIDE-rated Swiss tournaments in BICC territory. For the purposes of this regulation, Open tournaments will now be tournaments without a rating restriction, and not permit tournaments with a rating restriction above the minimum qualification rating limit.
In my reply comments I wanted to know more details about this proposal as I haven't seen it before. For examples which tournaments will be included because if they are disproportionately in one country that would cause some concerns wouldn't it? How and by who would this list be maintained? How often will it be updated? I don't dislike the idea as it will no doubt produce higher rated Elo qualifiers but it looks like it might entail quite a bit of work.

Mick Norris
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:26 pm

Not sure there are that many FIDE rated Opens, but I assume the idea would be to encourage more Opens to go FIDE rated
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Alan Walton
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Alan Walton » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:42 pm

Mick Norris wrote:Not sure there are that many FIDE rated Opens, but I assume the idea would be to encourage more Opens to go FIDE rated
Interesting one this, I actually think there are more than we actually think there is (4NCL, e2e4, Southend & Bolton Easter etc); but one example is that Blackpool would currently lose their qualifying place if they don't become FIDE rated again

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:57 pm

Alan Walton wrote: When there is a major tail which has been more prevalent recently it significantly deters them due to achieving a high enough average rating to make these norms possible at a reasonable score; currently to get an IM norm would need at least 6.5/9, ideally you want 5.5 or 6 to acheive more norms
(my emphasis)

"Recently" is a relative term, of course, but I first got around to writing about the problematic tail in 2010, I think. It/the field of the championship had been on my mind quite a time before then.

The tail might or might not encourage the middle range sub-IM folk to return. What it might do also/instead is encourage folk like me to enter the Major Open. Currently folk like me have no real incentive to enter the British because there’s no proper tournament for us. A rejuvenated Major Open would provide that tournament (as it used to in the late 1980s when I first started playing).

Whether I or others would return given the availability of cheap foreign tournaments is another question.


And, yes, the reforms would knacker my prospects of every qualifying for the championship too. However it was the thought that I wasn’t that far away that first convinced me that the system was screwy beyond comprehension.


Jonathan Rogers wrote:I think that discretionary nomination should still apply, because you might otherwise miss out on some exceptional young players. You could restrict it accordingly "eg the tournament director, in consultation with the ECF Home Director, may admit any player who will be under 18 years age at the start of the championships and who is rated over 2100, and who has in their opinion recently improved his or her rating very substantially and has recently beaten or drawn with several adult players who meet the pre-qualification conditions".

My concern about this - while I totally agree with your underlying premise - is that in practice it will become the tournament director, in consultation with the ECF Home Director, will admit any player


Certainly in short order it would be the tournament director, in consultation with the ECF Home Director, will admit any player whose parent behaves in a generally obnoxious manner and bullies and nags their child’s way into the event regardless of actual merit because let’s face it letting them in is always going to be less hassle than standing our ground.
Last edited by Jonathan Bryant on Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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