Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.

Is the ECF doing a good job?

Poll ended at Wed May 31, 2017 9:42 pm

Yes
23
53%
No
20
47%
 
Total votes: 43

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon May 29, 2017 10:26 am

Alex McFarlane wrote:Another point you are missing is that for your events they are spread out over a period of time. With Scarborough there is a very short time frame.
I'm afraid I don't understand this.

Let's take in isolation the Birmingham Rapidplay, a comparable event in that it is in October (probably a week before Scarborough). What is the short time frame? Renewals went live in July last year, so there were three months for people to renew their membership individually before our events.
Alex McFarlane wrote:This year at Scarborough there was a player who has been a Platinum member for a very large number of years. We accepted his word that he renewed (he thought he had).
Why would you do that?

The downloadable membership list from the website updates daily. In a similar situation, I would inform them that they're not members and they haven't renewed. I might have first called the Office or the ECF Director of Membership first to check that there hasn't been a glitch.

I'd then ask them to sort this out in time for the tournament, so that they can be paired in the tournament. They won't appear on the list of entries on the website. I don't think about it again until either they e-mail me saying they've sorted it, or the day before the event. If it's sorted, they get paired. If they haven't, I send them a reminder e-mail/phone call informing them they won't be paired.

I don't see it as my job as a tournament organiser to go around sorting out any individuals' membership problems there may be. I see it as my job to point out there is a problem to the player, and leave it to the player and the ECF to sort it out between themselves.

NickFaulks
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by NickFaulks » Mon May 29, 2017 2:31 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Alex McFarlane wrote: [It will be possible to rate an Open with a 3 hour playing session but games involving 2200+ players will be ignored.]
It's a totally alien concept that you deliberately don't rate a player's best performance or protect players from the effect of poor performance. I would not expect any take up of this idea in English chess.
The point is that you allow people who want to play chess to play chess, and you allow people who want to play rated games, as far as possible, to play rated games. You won't understand, so don't try.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon May 29, 2017 2:47 pm

NickFaulks wrote: The point is that you allow people who want to play chess to play chess, and you allow people who want to play rated games, as far as possible, to play rated games.
In the English context, the events already exist and are graded in the ECF system. It's FIDE's refusal to allow games of a length of three hours or three and a half hours to be unconditionally rated that is amongst the reasons why organisers will be reluctant to extend rated events in this manner.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon May 29, 2017 5:21 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Alex McFarlane wrote: [It will be possible to rate an Open with a 3 hour playing session but games involving 2200+ players will be ignored.]
It's a totally alien concept that you deliberately don't rate a player's best performance or protect players from the effect of poor performance. I would not expect any take up of this idea in English chess.
The point is that you allow people who want to play chess to play chess, and you allow people who want to play rated games, as far as possible, to play rated games. You won't understand, so don't try.
I'm afraid I don't understand either.

The rationale of this change was to allow organisers to have the freedom to (continue to) organise tournaments with 3-hour sessions, but allowing them to remove the 2200 limit and allow the higher-rated players to play in the tournament, but there games wouldn't be rated.

The proposals from other Federations and myself would have achieved the same thing, but the games would be rated. If the proposals didn't carry public approval, then the worst that would happen is that the U2200 tournaments would become Opens but the 2200+ players wouldn't enter the tournament. So you end up with the same tournaments that you've got now, no longer U2200s but Opens, but with the same players playing as before. Players rated 2200+ could choose whether or not they wanted to play. The worst that could happen is that nothing changed.

By contrast, the downside of the QC proposal is that players rated U2200 who could once enter a tournament and could guarantee playing rated games, now might enter a tournament and some of their games won't be rated, assuming the organiser has lifted the ceiling from U2200 to make the tournament an Open.

So if the ambition is that these U2200s become Opens, my proposal was neutral to the U2200s, but allowed 2200+s who couldn't play the opportunity to play if they were prepared to play rated games. The QC proposal is a positive for the 2200+s, but now the U2200s might not get the rated games they were getting before, which is worse than neutral.

In passing, while the QC has switched emphasis from rating tournaments to rating games, it might be nice if FIDE changed its charging policy accordingly. I realise that's not the QC bailiwick. But why does it cost so much more to FIDE-rate a Round Robin, or a Match, than a Swiss?

John McKenna
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by John McKenna » Mon May 29, 2017 6:57 pm

Could the answer to the above question of cost be to do with exclusivity, flying 1st class or business costs more than economy.

As for the 2200 cutoff - it didn't take FIDE's rules to bring that about - "Stars-Barred" tournaments were introduced to give amateur players a chance.

For some previous discussion of that see -

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... tow#p49790

The days of a top-section with a ceiling for pecuniary considerations are almost over - apart from in the US, perhaps, where high prizes (due to high entry fees) are sometimes still available.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

NickFaulks
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by NickFaulks » Mon May 29, 2017 8:01 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote: The proposals from other Federations and myself would have achieved the same thing, but the games would be rated.
Your proposal, that all three hour games should be rated, was doomed to failure because the top GMs appear not to desire players who are very effective at such quick time controls to obtain 2700+ ratings on that basis. They are a powerful lobby when roused, as shown when they vetoed the ill-considered decision to double their k-factor in 2008 - even though that had the enthusiastic support of both the PB and their own trade union, the ACP.

So, given that tournaments with three hour games will be played, the choice is between banning strong players and allowing them to play, but with their games unrated The third option, not to rate the tournaments at all, is obviously in line with English traditionns, but in some of the larger federations would simply not be contemplated.
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon May 29, 2017 8:25 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote: The proposals from other Federations and myself would have achieved the same thing, but the games would be rated.
Your proposal, that all three hour games should be rated, was doomed to failure because the top GMs appear not to desire players who are very effective at such quick time controls to obtain 2700+ ratings on that basis. They are a powerful lobby when roused, as shown when they vetoed the ill-considered decision to double their k-factor in 2008 - even though that had the enthusiastic support of both the PB and their own trade union, the ACP.

So, given that tournaments with three hour games will be played, the choice is between banning strong players and allowing them to play, but with their games unrated The third option, not to rate the tournaments at all, is obviously in line with English traditionns, but in some of the larger federations would simply not be contemplated.
I don't think that someone obtaining a 2700+ rating by playing exclusively 3-hour sessions is very likely at all if they started from near the 2200 threshold. It's not like that one guy who only plays local Rapidplays so has inched towards 2700+ at Rapidplay at a rate of about 1 rating point per game for years, which I can understand the top GMs might be upset about. You might get someone who has a mix of shorter games and longer games, but you get that now with the 4-hour session. You have to draw the cutoff somewhere, and I don't see that lowering the cutoff to 3 hours would have made a difference. Furthermore, given France proposed the same thing as me (from memory, their proposal may have been slightly different), it suggests that it had the backing of at least one larger Federation. I don't think it was as doomed as you think, but I confess your ability to predict these things within FIDE is substantially greater than mine!

The majority of English FIDE-rated tournaments have 4-hour sessions or longer, and so they will be unaffected. I think it is only Adam Raoof who runs a number of 3-hour session tournaments. It'll be interesting to see what he does with those.

Am I right in thinking that a lot of the larger Federations have scrapped their domestic rating system in favour of the FIDE system since it dropped the rating floor to 1000? I can understand why they wouldn't consider not FIDE-rating the tournament if they don't have an alternative. The difference in England (and Scotland, Wales) is that there is an alternative.

NickFaulks
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by NickFaulks » Mon May 29, 2017 9:05 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:I don't think that someone obtaining a 2700+ rating by playing exclusively 3-hour sessions is very likely at all if they started from near the 2200 threshold.
Nobody is saying they would start from 2200. They might start from 2600. In any case, it isn't what we think that matters.
Furthermore, given France proposed the same thing as me (from memory, their proposal may have been slightly different), it suggests that it had the backing of at least one larger Federation.
Yes they did, but I wondered at the time whether they had consulted their top players. There was no opposition from federations to the Dresden k-factor changes, but it turned out that their players wouldn't wear it.
I think it is only Adam Raoof who runs a number of 3-hour session tournaments. It'll be interesting to see what he does with those.
There is a huge amount of 3 hour chess played in England. The only reason why most of these games cannot be rated will be the 40 move rule, which I admit is inappropriate for games played at this pace. I expect these will largely remain unrated, but at least organisers will have the choice.
Am I right in thinking that a lot of the larger Federations have scrapped their domestic rating system in favour of the FIDE system since it dropped the rating floor to 1000? I can understand why they wouldn't consider not FIDE-rating the tournament if they don't have an alternative. The difference in England (and Scotland, Wales) is that there is an alternative.
Yes, many federations regard the FRS as their only or primary rating system. It is a shame that it continues to be treated in England as a cuckoo in the nest.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon May 29, 2017 9:24 pm

NickFaulks wrote: The only reason why most of these games cannot be rated will be the 40 move rule
It's not the only reason. Allow an unlicensed arbiter onto the premises and the games cannot be rated either. The ECF's tax on players with FIDE ratings is mostly the ECF's fault, albeit the process wad kick-started with a misunderstanding of what FIDE were saying when they expressed a requirement that everyone should be a "member" of a national federation.

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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by NickFaulks » Mon May 29, 2017 9:48 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:It's not the only reason. Allow an unlicensed arbiter onto the premises and the games cannot be rated either.
That is solved by the payment of a tax of €25 ( unless the arbiter has demonstrated their skill by becoming an FA or IA, in which case it is mysteriously much more ). This is an irritant, but should be within the budget of a congress. Leagues generally do not see the need for arbiters.

A reason you missed is adjudications, which quite properly, in my view, rule out FIDE rating.
The ECF's tax on players with FIDE ratings is mostly the ECF's fault
Entirely their fault, except they wouldn't see it as a fault. It's a central element of their funding. If the "misunderstanding" hadn't occurred, they would have had to invent it.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon May 29, 2017 10:58 pm

NickFaulks wrote: A reason you missed is adjudications, which quite properly, in my view, rule out FIDE rating.
The relative handful of die hard leagues that still allow adjudication show little sign of moderating their position. They did however see off a ham-fisted attempt by the ECF Directors and management to remove them from ECF grading.

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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue May 30, 2017 12:19 am

NickFaulks wrote: That is solved by the payment of a tax of €25 ( unless the arbiter has demonstrated their skill by becoming an FA or IA, in which case it is mysteriously much more ). This is an irritant, but should be within the budget of a congress. Leagues generally do not see the need for arbiters.

A reason you missed is adjudications, which quite properly, in my view, rule out FIDE rating.
Putting aside the daftness that is that an event can be FIDE-rated with no arbiter present, but not with an unlicensed (but qualified) arbiter present or otherwise - an issue again that I realise is nothing to do with QC! - there are ingrained issues still.

I remember the SCCU being opposed to FIDE-rating the County Championship because they couldn't use their time control because of the first time limit being at move 35. This was for a 4.5 hour session, rather than a 3-hour session, so there is no particular reason why it needs to be at move 35. Apparently before settling on their current time limit, there were riots on the streets of London, paratroopers storming the AGM and copies of the SCCU Bulletin being set ablaze in organised public burnings. They had absolutely no desire to re-open the debate, I was informed.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue May 30, 2017 9:05 am

John McKenna wrote: As for the 2200 cutoff - it didn't take FIDE's rules to bring that about - "Stars-Barred" tournaments were introduced to give amateur players a chance.

For some previous discussion of that see -
The subject of that discussion, Exeter, reverted to being an Open not long afterwards. This year, the top seed was Keith Arkell and the second seed John Nunn.

The long standing Kidlington Congress has also abandoned its Under 225 restriction.

I don't see that a long established Open with three and a half hour sessions would go FIDE rated under the conditions proposed. From the point of view of players who are usually IM or GM cannon fodder, they are putting their FIDE rating at risk when paired against someone rated 200 points or more below, but don't have the potential upside when facing the titled players.

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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue May 30, 2017 9:30 am

Alex Holowczak wrote: This was for a 4.5 hour session, rather than a 3-hour session, so there is no particular reason why it needs to be at move 35.
Originally it was 40 moves in 2 hours, followed by adjudication. It was apparent that venues could accommodate an extra half hour, which utilised the time previously spent discussing the likely results of unfinished games. For reasons lost in time, an extra 15 minutes wasn't acceptable, so it was 30 minutes. In total then, it would have been 135 minutes for each player.

Those who like to divide their scoresheet into blocks of equal time held sway, so that rather than 40 in 105 + 30, it became 35 in 105 + 30.

Yorkshire do something similar, but their pet rate is 42 moves in 105 + 15.

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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue May 30, 2017 10:06 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:The long standing Kidlington Congress has also abandoned its Under 225 restriction.
There were a couple of reasons for it, from what I understand:-
(1) The idea was to bar the event to give the strongest Oxfordshire players a chance and not lose to touring GMs. But a few years ago, Under 225 would have started excluding Oxfordshire players who had supported the event for years, notably Marcus Harvey.
(2) Oxfordshire CA wanted to bring back its Individual Championship, and decided to award it to the person who scored the most points combined in the Open section of the Witney and Kidlington Congresses. So they didn't want to risk Oxfordshire players being ineligible to play at Kidlington.

Loz Cooper once told me of the time he couldn't enter the Staffordshire Championship, organised as part of a weekend Congress, because the top section was Under 210. The Staffordshire Congress changed to being an Open as well.

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