2013 Final Stage

Discussion about all aspects of the ECF County Championships.
Roger de Coverly
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:41 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:The answer has already been given.
Give us the money or else we'll cancel your rating is a summary of the ECF policy on this. Isn't it about time someone on the ECF Council put their hand up and demanded that the ECF Directors withdraw this rather unpleasant blackmail?

Alex McFarlane
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Post by Alex McFarlane » Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:03 pm

I accept I might be dense but this is the first time I have (or at least I think I have) had it confirmed that an ENG player can only guarantee having a FIDE Blitz or Rapidplay rating published is if they have Gold Membership. I do not think this is clear to players from the information appearing on the ECF website. I still think anyone reading the ECF website and playing in a Blitz event would expect their rating to be published automatically if a Silver member.

I think Sean's refusal to actually acknowledge this oversight is unfortunate.

John Swain
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Post by John Swain » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:18 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
I would have though a series of measures to reduce the involvement of the Controller.

In the Open, anyone can play, and board order challenges have to be made by the offended county before the match starts.

In the grade restricted sections, eligibility is determined by grade in either the January or the July list and only players ungraded in both have to be cleared. (This actually extends the number of people potentially eligible to play) You would need a rule for checking the under 180 average requirement for the Minor Counties.

Financially, the entry fee is £ x per team plus £ y per player per match who isn't an ECF member or is an expired one.
Roger's suggestions for the future deserve to be reiterated. They are simple to understand, which will be a crucial reassurance for anyone wishing to put themselves forward as a county team captain for 2013-14. They protect both future county captains and a future County Championship Controller from the sort of fiasco which has spoiled the Open Section of the 2012-13 Championship.

If the future regulations are simpler to understand and implement, there might just be a chance that someone might volunteer as County Championship Controller for 2013-14. The key is that the CCC needs to be the servant and not the master of the competition. I applaud Alex H. for explaining his position, appreciate that there were several people and stages involved in the 2012-13 regulations and that Alex appears to have had little choice in the rulings he made. However, the CCC for 2013-14 also needs to have little room for manoeuvre, but in the opposite sense of having far less power.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Post by MartinCarpenter » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:34 pm

Or at least far less power that they're obliged to use on a routine basis. Those proposals seem entirely sane to me.

As for the potential enforcing of universal membership for 'normal' leagues, I can't see it happening. For one thing the 2 pounds/game would mean basically neutral (or negative?) financial implications. The other is that there isn't any obviously effective mechanism for enforcing it.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:02 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote:The other is that there isn't any obviously effective mechanism for enforcing it.
The obvious way would be to refuse to grade any leagues with games played by non-members and to refuse to grade any leagues with results obviously removed from the cross tables. In a manner of speaking they already come close to this, with the difference that they will levy an additional fee of £ 2 per game per non-member.

The skeleton of that rule is already in place, that's why they refused to grade Cumbria and the Yorkshire local leagues on a member only basis, even if the leagues themselves filtered out the non-members from the result files.

Here's what a now retired blogger thought of it.

http://stevegiddinschessblog.blogspot.c ... ouths.html
http://stevegiddinschessblog.blogspot.c ... tough.html

Cumbria relented and agreed to participate on the same terms as everyone else, but the Yorkshire local leagues continued as before.

Most leagues thought they could live with a system that demanded £ 2 per game capped at £ 12 from each player. One that wanted £ 12 for a single game would stretch their tolerance to its limits. Although as one or two have pointed out, it's a much simpler system for match captains for the club to just pay a league entry fee and then not have to bother about whether individuals had or hadn't renewed or joined.

Richard Bates
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Post by Richard Bates » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:35 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
John Hodgson wrote:Regarding the retrospective penalty applied to the Essex v Norfolk QF match:

This was applied after Essex had won the SF. Did we ever receive a reply to Richard Bates' question as to what would happen if the penalty had reversed the match result?

The penalty was not time-limited in the rules, but I'm not sure what a judge would make of it all. In the absence of clarity when they drew up the rules, did the legislators really wish the penalty to be applied after the next round of matches had been played (with the possibility of replaying the SF match with different teams?
This is a simple one to explain.

There was a bug in the software which was overlooked until the Middlesex captain told me about Scholes. When fixed, the penalties were applied that should have been applied before.

It was a relief that the results of none of the matches were overturned.
I actually think that this specific point is where the Appeal Committee made a mistake and missed the chance (at the very least if they were looking for one, and perhaps anyway) to overturn the Controller's decision. One of the two planks of the Appeal was the issue of the penalties applied at the Q/F stage, and it was rejected specifically on the grounds that there was no time limit within the rules for the issuing of penalties in relation to ECF membership. HOWEVER, in fact the reality was that there was only no time limit within the rules where a match result was unaffected . To my mind the Appeal Committee should have asked the question of what would have happened if a match result had been affected, and i think they would have concluded that there was an implied limit of (at the latest) the commencement of the next round of matches. And/or they would have been able to conclude that the rule as drafted was fundamentally flawed and should therefore be disregarded.

Richard Bates
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Post by Richard Bates » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:57 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
PeterFarr wrote:As Richard Bates has said, the result here is that both winners and losers are unhappy here, which is a big signal that something very wrong has happened. ...
I disagree with this.
I am somewhat concerned that moving on from the issue of whether anyone is to blame for what has happened, or whether all procedures have been followed properly and decisions taken correctly, that Alex does not share the (i suspect very close to unanimous) view that "something wrong has happened". I think comparisons with football/cricket etc are to some extent unhelpful, because they are generally far larger competitions that have blunt rules out of necessity due to the excessive adminstrative work that would be involved in having rules which are more nuanced to individual situations. If Alex does not accept the premise that something has gone wrong, then it doesn't give me a great deal of confidence that things won't go wrong in future, even if a rule is tweaked for this specific scenario.

Assuming there is a Controller, of course, although he would be reporting to Alex, which could create a conflict of views.

BTW, responding to the point on ECF membership and effectively preventing captains from not picking non-ECF members. Is this not going beyond Council views, which have specifically declared that they do not want to prevent non-ECF members from participation? - they just want them to make a disproportionate financial contribution for so doing.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Post by Sean Hewitt » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:53 am

Richard Bates wrote:I actually think that this specific point is where the Appeal Committee made a mistake and missed the chance (at the very least if they were looking for one, and perhaps anyway) to overturn the Controller's decision.
To be clear, we were looking to make the correct decision in accordance with the rules. This is an important distinction because

a) It's the right (and only fair) thing to do and
b) It is specifically what Middlesex asked the ECF to do

Had we sought to find a [spurious?] reason to overturn the decision, I doubt Middlesex, in light of (b), would have been happy with that.
Richard Bates wrote:One of the two planks of the Appeal was the issue of the penalties applied at the Q/F stage, and it was rejected specifically on the grounds that there was no time limit within the rules for the issuing of penalties in relation to ECF membership. HOWEVER, in fact the reality was that there was only no time limit within the rules where a match result was unaffected . To my mind the Appeal Committee should have asked the question of what would have happened if a match result had been affected, and i think they would have concluded that there was an implied limit of (at the latest) the commencement of the next round of matches. And/or they would have been able to conclude that the rule as drafted was fundamentally flawed and should therefore be disregarded.
That's a reasonable view of course, and may well have applied had a QF result been changed after the SF had been played. However, that's not the case here, where the decision was made within 48 hours of the match taking place.

I think you are mistaken in believing that comparisons with football and other games are not relevant. Most football is played at grass-roots; Sunday park stuff. Every team knows that if they play an ineligible player by accident (because they forgot to sign some paperwork for example) then they get kicked out of the cup. It's harsh, but it is effective in making sure that most people comply. There are other potential solutions of course, but the comparison is a reasonable one.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:28 am

Sean Hewitt wrote: I think you are mistaken in believing that comparisons with football and other games are not relevant. Most football is played at grass-roots; Sunday park stuff. Every team knows that if they play an ineligible player by accident (because they forgot to sign some paperwork for example) then they get kicked out of the cup. It's harsh, but it is effective in making sure that most people comply. There are other potential solutions of course, but the comparison is a reasonable one.
Surely football has mechanisms for banning players because penalties for foul play are an intrinsic part of the rule set? For that matter does it not enforce a monopoly by extending bans to those taking part in unauthorised competitions. This doesn't apply to chess and ECF directors should not think they have a license to introduce similar concepts. The ECF exists by courtesy of local organisations, not the other way round.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:34 am

Richard Bates wrote: BTW, responding to the point on ECF membership and effectively preventing captains from not picking non-ECF members. Is this not going beyond Council views, which have specifically declared that they do not want to prevent non-ECF members from participation? - they just want them to make a disproportionate financial contribution for so doing.
The ECF have gone beyond that for internationally rated play by making membership compulsory, but then Council were told the untruth over many years that it was a FIDE requirement. Also the penalty of removal from the international rating list has never been debated by Council in the light of it being something devised by the ECF.

David Gilbert
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Post by David Gilbert » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:35 am

Sean Hewitt wrote:
Richard Bates wrote:I actually think that this specific point is where the Appeal Committee made a mistake and missed the chance (at the very least if they were looking for one, and perhaps anyway) to overturn the Controller's decision.
To be clear, we were looking to make the correct decision in accordance with the rules. This is an important distinction because

a) It's the right (and only fair) thing to do and
b) It is specifically what Middlesex asked the ECF to do

Had we sought to find a [spurious?] reason to overturn the decision, I doubt Middlesex, in light of (b), would have been happy with that.
Richard Bates wrote:One of the two planks of the Appeal was the issue of the penalties applied at the Q/F stage, and it was rejected specifically on the grounds that there was no time limit within the rules for the issuing of penalties in relation to ECF membership. HOWEVER, in fact the reality was that there was only no time limit within the rules where a match result was unaffected . To my mind the Appeal Committee should have asked the question of what would have happened if a match result had been affected, and i think they would have concluded that there was an implied limit of (at the latest) the commencement of the next round of matches. And/or they would have been able to conclude that the rule as drafted was fundamentally flawed and should therefore be disregarded.
That's a reasonable view of course, and may well have applied had a QF result been changed after the SF had been played. However, that's not the case here, where the decision was made within 48 hours of the match taking place.

I think you are mistaken in believing that comparisons with football and other games are not relevant. Most football is played at grass-roots; Sunday park stuff. Every team knows that if they play an ineligible player by accident (because they forgot to sign some paperwork for example) then they get kicked out of the cup. It's harsh, but it is effective in making sure that most people comply. There are other potential solutions of course, but the comparison is a reasonable one.

I’d agree with that. Come along to any League AGM when rule changes are being proposed. Those representing member Clubs often use similarities with other sports to support their arguments. You’ll often read on this forum comparisons between the way chess is organized against other games and sports, bridge and tennis come to mind.

In my League there was a recent occasion where a team played an ineligible player on Board one of a cup final. He won his game and his team won the match. Although the League ruled that the Board one would be awarded to the opponents (in accordance with the rules) the offending team still won the match. The losing team argued that the ineligible player had affected the match result. If he hadn’t played on top board everyone would have had to play one board higher. However, the League had to deal with the case according the rules in place at the time. There is no scope for discretion in such matters.

In light of this case the Clubs changed the rules at the next opportunity so that any team using an ineligible player in a League or Cup match would forefeit the match. Whether it was a Board one or Board eight. At least one Club argued that the rule change corresponded with the rules in football at all levels, from the top professional to the lowest amateur ranks, and cited a team from the lower leagues that had been kicked-out of the preliminary rounds of FA Cup that season for breaching the eligibility rule.

David Gilbert
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Post by David Gilbert » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:50 am

Roger de Coverly wrote: For that matter does it not enforce a monopoly by extending bans to those taking part in unauthorised competitions.
[/quote]

Can you provide examples? The Brockley and District Sunday League was set up in the 1960s and played without the authorisation of the London Football Association for many years. The League was said to attact players who had been banned sine die after being found guilty by the football authorities of violet offences, but this was probably just rumour as the League seemed to manage its own disciplinary matters very effectively. So far as I'm aware no player or referee was ever banned for taking part in matches organised under its auspice.
Last edited by David Gilbert on Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:18 am

David Gilbert wrote: So far as I'm aware no player or referee was ever banned for taking part in matches organised under its auspice.
From http://www.liverpoolfa.com/services/affiliation which I found by a Google of "sanctioning of leagues football association", I read
It is compulsory that any League, Tournament or Competition shall be sanctioned by its local County FA under FA regulations. No players, clubs or referees can participate in unaffiliated competitions.
Perhaps it just says that to intimidate and there aren't any actual penalties. The ECF have already introduced something parallel to the first sentence except for "sanctioned" read "registered for grading" and it isn't compulsory for an event to be graded.
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

David Gilbert
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Post by David Gilbert » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:29 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Perhaps it just says that to intimidate and there aren't any actual penalties.
Yes. All competitions and Clubs must be affiliated to the County or National Association. A competition can't begin until it has been sanctioned. But the Brockley and District Sunday League was not affiliated to any County Association and went ahead in any case, and so far as I am aware none of the players of referees were ever banned. Indeed, I'm not sure how the County Association could have got hold of the names of the players and referees in order to ban them!

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 2013 Final Stage

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:31 am

Sean Hewitt wrote:To be clear, we were looking to make the correct decision in accordance with the rules.
If it is the attitude of the ECF Directors that the letter of the rules should have more effect than the usual spirit and conduct of the competition then it should follow that the rules need rather more scrutiny than a five minute discussion at the end of a long meeting and that the exact text should not be at the whim of just one Director or ECF Officer.

It might be overkill, perhaps there should be a rules sub-committee in parallel to the governance and finance committees charged with scrutinising every word and publishing not only the words but the intent behind them.

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