Is the definition of a Minor county the correct one?

Discussion about all aspects of the ECF County Championships.
Alex Holowczak
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Re: Is the definition of a Minor county the correct one?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:27 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Christopher Kreuzer wrote: Another way to put the above: What constitutes the 1st and 2nd team competitions and how does a Minor competition fit into this? Are the Open and Minor the 1st and 2nd teams competitions? Or are the Open and u180 the 1st and 2nd team competition?
That might depend on where you are. In WECU, the Open and u160 are the 1st and 2nd team competitions.
In the MCCU, the Open and the Minor is the 1st team competition. The U180 is the 1st-and-a-half team competition. The U160 is the 2nd team for most counties, some dip into U140 and U120 before picking up a 2nd team.

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Re: Is the definition of a Minor county the correct one?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:31 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Christopher Kreuzer wrote: Another way to put the above: What constitutes the 1st and 2nd team competitions and how does a Minor competition fit into this? Are the Open and Minor the 1st and 2nd teams competitions? Or are the Open and u180 the 1st and 2nd team competition?
That might depend on where you are. In WECU, the Open and u160 are the 1st and 2nd team competitions.
In the MCCU, the Open and the Minor is the 1st team competition. The U180 is the 1st-and-a-half team competition. The U160 is the 2nd team for most counties, some dip into U140 and U120 before picking up a 2nd team.
Ah, and for the SCCU, there is no Minor competition and the Open and U180 are the first and second team competitions, while the top two in the Open SCUU section go into the Open National stages, while the next two down in the Open SCCU section go into the Minor National stages (I think). What about EACU and the NCCU?
Last edited by Christopher Kreuzer on Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is the definition of a Minor county the correct one?

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:31 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Was discussing this topic with some other Middlesex players, and the following was pointed out:

(1) The recent history of the Middlesex Open team is that it fizzled out twice during the late 1990s and early 2000s, the most recent reincarnation entered the Open in 2007-08, reached the final that season, and won it this season (as we should all know by now!). But it was effectively a Minor team in terms of strength when it re-entered, and only really built up to Open-winning strength in the last few seasons.

(2) The question about the Minor Championships is really whether it is a consolation prize for those unable to compete effectively at both Open and U180 level (i.e. field both 1st and 2nd teams at the normal level), but who can compete at a level somewhere in-between (depending on where in the team re-building cycle they are); or whether the Minor is a competition for counties that are never able to really challenge in the Open (effectively a second-tier 1st team competition)?

Another way to put the above: What constitutes the 1st and 2nd team competitions and how does a Minor competition fit into this? Are the Open and Minor the 1st and 2nd teams competitions? Or are the Open and u180 the 1st and 2nd team competition? If the Open and U180 are the 1st and 2nd team competition, care should be taken when using statistics to propose grade boundary adjustments, as the statistics don't really reflect those willing and able to play for a team. Ditto when considering what the grade average limit should be for the Minor.

Anyway, some points that may add to the discussion. It should be noted that some counties are naturally stronger in some grading bands than others, and only the largest counties are really able to compete effectively at two or more levels (not always the Open and next level down). This might affect things as well.
The U160 trophy is the third team trophy, so I assume the U180 is the second team, which suggests the Minor was aimed at something different (hence the name)

The Minor should be aimed at Counties that can't compete at Open level, though whether you define this in terms of size (which I would prefer) or ability (which is effectively what happens at the moment) is a matter of opinion
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Re: Is the definition of a Minor county the correct one?

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:34 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Ah, and for the SCCU, there is no Minor competition and the Open and U180 are the first and second team competitions, while the top two in the Open SCUU section go into the Open National stages, while the next two down in the Open SCCU section go into the Minor National stages (I think). What about EACU and the NCCU?
The SCCU top 3 go into the Open, and the next 2 are offered the Minor

The NCCU only have 2 Open teams, and they both enter the Open

The EACU have gone just for the Minor, but now seem to go top into the Open and next 2 into the Minor

The MCCU used to have 3 in the Open, but now just 2, and always have taken 2 in the Minor
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Re: Is the definition of a Minor county the correct one?

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:37 pm

Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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Re: Is the definition of a Minor county the correct one?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:38 pm

Mick Norris wrote:The Minor should be aimed at Counties that can't compete at Open level, though whether you define this in terms of size (which I would prefer) or ability (which is effectively what happens at the moment) is a matter of opinion
I always thought it referred literally to size, and I also assumed that it would be a lower number of boards (which would be logical). Having it be the same number of boards is a bit confusing. It would be better to see the smaller counties compete for a trophy over 12-board matches, maybe?

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Re: Is the definition of a Minor county the correct one?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:40 pm

Mick Norris wrote:
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Ah, and for the SCCU, there is no Minor competition and the Open and U180 are the first and second team competitions, while the top two in the Open SCUU section go into the Open National stages, while the next two down in the Open SCCU section go into the Minor National stages (I think). What about EACU and the NCCU?
The SCCU top 3 go into the Open, and the next 2 are offered the Minor

The NCCU only have 2 Open teams, and they both enter the Open

The EACU have gone just for the Minor, but now seem to go top into the Open and next 2 into the Minor

The MCCU used to have 3 in the Open, but now just 2, and always have taken 2 in the Minor
And to complete the set, WECU?

(Is there a single page anywhere detailing all the chess counties of all five regional unions?)

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Re: Is the definition of a Minor county the correct one?

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:40 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Mick Norris wrote:The Minor should be aimed at Counties that can't compete at Open level, though whether you define this in terms of size (which I would prefer) or ability (which is effectively what happens at the moment) is a matter of opinion
I always thought it referred literally to size, and I also assumed that it would be a lower number of boards (which would be logical). Having it be the same number of boards is a bit confusing. It would be better to see the smaller counties compete for a trophy over 12-board matches, maybe?
At the MCCU AGM we were told in no uncertain terms that smaller counties need (at least) 16 players to spread the cost of venue hire between the participating players
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Re: Is the definition of a Minor county the correct one?

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:43 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:And to complete the set, WECU?
This season, 1 in the Open and 2 in the Minor. I know of no season where we've taken more places than that. (Also, our Minor nominations are based on the result between the two competing teams, not on their overall placing in the five-team WECU first division.)

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Re: Is the definition of a Minor county the correct one?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:52 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:(Is there a single page anywhere detailing all the chess counties of all five regional unions?)
Found it here: http://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-conte ... ok_wee.pdf

Was hoping for an html version just listing the counties, but not found that yet.

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Re: Is the definition of a Minor county the correct one?

Post by LawrenceCooper » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:59 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Mick Norris wrote:The Minor should be aimed at Counties that can't compete at Open level, though whether you define this in terms of size (which I would prefer) or ability (which is effectively what happens at the moment) is a matter of opinion
I always thought it referred literally to size, and I also assumed that it would be a lower number of boards (which would be logical). Having it be the same number of boards is a bit confusing. It would be better to see the smaller counties compete for a trophy over 12-board matches, maybe?
I'm not so sure. I'd rather the number of boards be the same in the union stage as the national stage so a captain isn't faced with the prospect having to ditch four players who have contributed to the early part of the season. That is, unless the majority of teams were in favour of dropping from 16 to 12.

I always found it tricky when the union stage was 20 and the national stage was 16 to have to leave out players who had played a part in getting us through.

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Re: Is the definition of a Minor county the correct one?

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:00 am

Mick Norris wrote:At the MCCU AGM we were told in no uncertain terms that smaller counties need (at least) 16 players to spread the cost of venue hire between the participating players
By whom?!

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Re: Is the definition of a Minor county the correct one?

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:05 am

A Worcestershire delegate, but he seemed to get agreement from a number of others

It doesn't affect Greater Manchester, but I appreciate the cost basis of county chess in many counties is different to ours - I wouldn't want the standard of venues to go down along with a reduction from 16 to 12 boards, say, but also I am aware that some existing venues would struggle with an increase from 16 to, say, 20 boards
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Re: Is the definition of a Minor county the correct one?

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:19 am

Mick Norris wrote:A Worcestershire delegate, but he seemed to get agreement from a number of others

It doesn't affect Greater Manchester, but I appreciate the cost basis of county chess in many counties is different to ours - I wouldn't want the standard of venues to go down along with a reduction from 16 to 12 boards, say, but also I am aware that some existing venues would struggle with an increase from 16 to, say, 20 boards
Venues vary in size according to need and cost varies with size to some extent. I know in Leicestershire for example our U120 team (12 boards) uses a venues that our Minor team (16 boards) would not be able to. If county teams were 12 boards, some venues would simply change.

Mind you - size isn't everything. I've played a county match at Chorlton. Big enough for 2 matches (probably) but we insisted on using neutral venues after that experience.

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Re: Is the definition of a Minor county the correct one?

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:45 am

Sean Hewitt wrote:
Mick Norris wrote:A Worcestershire delegate, but he seemed to get agreement from a number of others

It doesn't affect Greater Manchester, but I appreciate the cost basis of county chess in many counties is different to ours - I wouldn't want the standard of venues to go down along with a reduction from 16 to 12 boards, say, but also I am aware that some existing venues would struggle with an increase from 16 to, say, 20 boards
Venues vary in size according to need and cost varies with size to some extent. I know in Leicestershire for example our U120 team (12 boards) uses a venues that our Minor team (16 boards) would not be able to. If county teams were 12 boards, some venues would simply change.

Mind you - size isn't everything. I've played a county match at Chorlton. Big enough for 2 matches (probably) but we insisted on using neutral venues after that experience.
Better than Uttoxeter library, though :lol:
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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