Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Ian Thompson
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Ian Thompson » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:01 pm

Michael Flatt wrote:The last complete list of qualifiers (2016) is given at: http://www.britishchesschampionships.co ... iers-2016/
It's nowhere near a complete list of qualifiers. I'm sure there are dozens of names omitted from it, me included, who were qualified for 2016 through having a deferred place from 2015.
Andrew Zigmond wrote:I'm probably being thick here but one of the players listed in the graded >=218 (a very good friend of mine) has been inactive for two years and the highest his grade ever got was 188 (in 2011), so I don't quite understand how he came to appear on the list.

Also Paul Littlewood, who is currently ungraded,although he qualifies as a former British Champion anyway.

Michael Flatt
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Michael Flatt » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:29 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Michael Flatt wrote:The last complete list of qualifiers (2016) is given at: http://www.britishchesschampionships.co ... iers-2016/
It's nowhere near a complete list of qualifiers. I'm sure there are dozens of names omitted from it, me included, who were qualified for 2016 through having a deferred place from 2015.
It is what the ECF have published as the official list of qualifiers, but it may not be as accurate as the Master list which they use to process entries. I do remember having a Dicken's of job getting qualifiers accurately listed on the website for a tournament in 2015/16 season.

Responsibility for the list has passed between a number of individuals but I understand that none of them could upload information directly to the website - only the webmaster is able to do that.

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Joey Stewart
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Joey Stewart » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:47 pm

I am not able to see the proposal on the ecf website, the link just tries to download files to me (which I never accept from any website anywhere anymore) so could somebody sum up the key points - it sounds like there will be a new minimum rating to enter the main british but will there be the same amount of qualifying places available or will those be more regulated as well?
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:56 pm

Joey Stewart wrote: it sounds like there will be a new minimum rating to enter the main british but will there be the same amount of qualifying places available or will those be more regulated as well?
There's no minimum rating, but being able to qualify by rating or grade will be cut right back. Also the ability to qualify by having one good weekend will be abolished. To qualify from tournaments, you either have to do it the long way by being the best non-exempt player at a nine-rounder, or accumulate points by playing in lots of rated five-rounders.

Paul Cooksey
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Paul Cooksey » Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:12 am

Comparing the 2016 tournament:
  • 6 players >2500 the number of these players likely to vary according to the extra sponsorship available

    13 players 2300-2500 who would still qualify, I guess some of these attracted by the prize fund which may now be lower. But perhaps some in this range who would rather play in a stronger tournament. Hard to say

    66 players <2300 who would be subject to the new qualifying rules. Those 66 likely replaced by about 15 players in the range 2100-2300
So certainly different, and certainly not in line with the aim as stated. But whether it is better, still not sure.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:26 am

Paul Cooksey wrote:
So certainly different, and certainly not in line with the aim as stated. But whether it is better, still not sure.
I would have thought the practical effect of the proposals (as hypothetically applied to the 2016 event) would be to cut the British down to around 32 players, with perhaps half pre-qualified by title and the remainder a near lottery selection from the sub 2300 players who are frequent tournament participants. Whilst charging entry fees of £ 300 for players under 2000 helps the financial viability of the existing Championship, a 32 player event with half the field getting free entry is going to need external finance.

Looking at the stated aims.
Aim of Changing the Regulations
The British Championship draws criticism for having a “weak tail”, i.e. players rated well below 2000 who qualify.
Isn't the first step to look at and criticise the qualification rules that allows players under 2000 to qualify? I would have thought it the low hurdle for the participation of under 21s being an ECF grade of 180. That's not only a direct effect, but an indirect one, that the qualification standard from tournaments is lowered because of pre-qualified players.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:40 am

Ultimately the ECF are criticised every year for the `weak` tail of the Championship so I don't think they can be criticised for seeking to do something about it. The interesting question will be whether those players who will no longer be able to qualify will stay away or whether they will simply drift into other events; the tail generally end up playing among themselves anyway and could do that just as easily in the Major Open or (if eligible) the Seniors.

Personally I think this is a bold step by the ECF and should be applauded, although the proof will be in whether the reform (and the nine day format) bring the 2200-2400 demographic back to the event.

I put weak in inverted commas because the players in the tail are far stronger than I could ever dream of being.
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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:43 am

I shall make predictions. Feel free to quote this post when the 2018 event rolls around:

The reforms will be successful in lowering the number of sub-2200 players playing.
They will marginally increase the number of 2200-2400 players playing.
They will have no appreciable effect on the Major Open.

Alan Walton
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Alan Walton » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:56 am

I know it may take some time, but what do other countries do for their national championship

I suspect where sponsorship is available they have a closed APA or small Open from strong regional qualifying events, where sponsorship isn't available they have one Open event with the highest eligible player qualifying for the title.

I suspect the only way the ECF can go is make it totally open and have tiered entry fees and conditions only to British players, unless they find significant funds and move to the other structure

Michael Flatt
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Michael Flatt » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:53 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:Comparing the 2016 tournament:
  • 6 players >2500 the number of these players likely to vary according to the extra sponsorship available

    13 players 2300-2500 who would still qualify, I guess some of these attracted by the prize fund which may now be lower. But perhaps some in this range who would rather play in a stronger tournament. Hard to say

    66 players <2300 who would be subject to the new qualifying rules. Those 66 likely replaced by about 15 players in the range 2100-2300
So certainly different, and certainly not in line with the aim as stated. But whether it is better, still not sure.
I've done a detailed review of the method of qualification for those who entered the British Championship 2016

Former British Champion: 3
Former Womens Champion: 3
GM title: 8
IM title: 5
FM>2200: 8
WFM>2000: 1
Junior>=ECF180: 12
FIDE tournament: 28
ECF tournament/Union nominations, etc: 6
Individual nominations: 2
deferrals from 2015: 1
unknown: 9

The proposed 2018 Regulations will not achieve their stated aim of removing the "weak tail"
Of the 28 qualifiers from FIDE rated tournament only 2 players were rated over 2200. In fact, the range of all ratings was 1655 to 2257.
The 9 with unknown qualification status range from 1783 to 2244.

Brian Towers
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Brian Towers » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:07 pm

Alan Walton wrote:I know it may take some time, but what do other countries do for their national championship
In Israel they have a number of "1/n final" stages based in clubs for the earlier rounds where the top 20% finishers go into the next stage along with rating qualified players.

So, the 1/16 finals are open to all players under 1700, 1/8 finals = qualifiers + 1700 -> 2000, 1/4 finals = qualifiers + 2000 -> 2200. These will all be club based competitions held at similar times of the year (i.e. 1/16 finals to be completed before date X, etc.) These can be round robins or 9 round Swisses with more than 10 players. You can enter more than one competition. So, if South Shields are holding a competition on Monday evenings, Durham City on Tuesday evenings and Morpeth on Wednesday evenings you can enter all three. If somebody qualifies from more than one competition or a qualifier doesn't take up their place in the next round then places become available to those who just missed out.

I'm sketchy on the details of semis and above as I've never got that far but there aren't very many and they aren't club based.

Here are the details for the last final -
https://ratings.fide.com/tournament_rep ... t16=140903
http://chess-results.com/tnr240221.aspx?lan=1

and for a couple of the semis -
http://chess-results.com/tnr215314.aspx?lan=1
http://chess-results.com/tnr207728.aspx?lan=1

and one of the 1/8th finals -
http://chess-results.com/tnr170508.aspx?lan=1

As you can see the composition is quite different from the British although the very top players are still noticeable by their absence ;-)
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:38 pm

Brian Towers wrote: As you can see the composition is quite different from the British although the very top players are still noticeable by their absence ;-)
From 1949 to around 1980, one of the routes to qualification for the British Championships was through a long and tortuous system of regional all play alls and possibly knock outs. Even former regular Olympiad players such as Peter Clarke were expected to take part. Stewart Reuben abolished it, replacing it by the notion of qualification from a selected of Weekend Swiss tournaments and a lot more exemptions by grade or rating.

Nick Grey
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Nick Grey » Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:58 pm

If the free entry is transferred to the Major or Seniors or Juniors * some changes to the prize funds for those tournaments it may well be no losses on entry.
Anything that helps Jack & others get their norms or chance for record low scores by titled players in British Championship is good in my books.
May even give chances to increasing entry in some of the other tournaments.

Nick Grey
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by Nick Grey » Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:04 pm

Let's also be fair to the ECF - like the Council reforms they have also sought comments from every current member of ECF & not just those that have previously played as per the last change.

So they ought to be applauded - can understand feelings of anyone that may miss out compared to old regime.

E Michael White
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Re: Proposed British Chess Championship Qualifying Regulations

Post by E Michael White » Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:35 am

Paul Cooksey wrote:66 players <2300 who would be subject to the new qualifying rules. Those 66 likely replaced by about 15 players in the range 2100-2300
If none of the other 51 plays in another event, isn't that approx. a ( 50 x average £200 entry fee = ) £10,000 loss to the prize fund ? Perhaps it should be phased in over several years to see what happens in years 1-2 before proceeding.

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