County Chess

Discussion about all aspects of the ECF County Championships.
Nick Thomas
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County Chess

Post by Nick Thomas » Sun May 19, 2013 1:46 pm

I played my first county game for Warwickshire for a couple of years yesterday. Last time I played I mentioned on here that we lost 14.5/1.5 (in the q/f I think) and there was a bit of a discussion about whether it was the worst result in living memory.

Anyway after 2 years getting over it I mustered up enough enthusiasm to have another go in the q/f against Middlesex. At least we couldn't do any worse than last time I played I reasoned :D

This time we managed to lose by the unlikely score of 14/1 (we defaulted one board so had a point deducted).

I'm not sure how to explain this. Some possibilities:

1) I am unlucky for the team :cry:
2) It was the correct result given the grading differences :|
3) Southerners underrated/Midlanders over/mixture :?
4) Random chance :!:
5) Other :?:

It has got to the stage where most of the strong Warwickshire players don't play county chess anymore (me included). I just can't quite see the fun in travelling for 2 hours to be hammered by a bunch of talented mercenary southerners and being out of pocket by about £25 for the privilege.

Oh, BTW, well done to a very strong Middlesex team :oops:


Alex Holowczak
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Re: County Chess

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun May 19, 2013 2:08 pm

Nick Thomas wrote:This time we managed to lose by the unlikely score of 14/1 (we defaulted one board so had a point deducted).
Not quite right - 14-2 became 14-1 because Rob Walker isn't on the ECF membership list. So he was ineligible to play, and thus 1 penalty point was imposed, and the game declared won for his opponent. The second part of the penalty didn't need to be applied.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: County Chess

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Mon May 20, 2013 4:24 pm

I hesitate to mention the following pre-match incident at Essex's Minor County QF yesterday, but since RdC hasn't yet contributed to this thread, here goes -

one of the Essex players travelled to play the match yesterday but it was only noticed an hour or so beforehand (or maybe on the journey up, I don't know exactly) that his membership had recently laspsed. So: he has been a member and he just hadn't got round to renewing. Various people tried to renew it there and then but there was no internet access (usual empty hall in the middle of nowhere county chess) and people couldn't do it online on their blackberries. So ... he just watched the match, substituted by someone who presumably didn't want much to play but who was on the updated ECF membership list.

Mmmm. Now, of course there are two sides to this. If one has a compulsory membership scheme, one would want people to play before they play - you won't always expect them to pay afterwards for the privilege of having a (possibly lost) game counted for grading. I also assume that the player had had a reminder of some sort and in any event the membership list is available for everyone, including match captains to check.

Still! The impression left is most distasteful - he had travelled to play. For situations where the player has been a member until recently, a county or other team should be allowed to play him for a financial penalty of (say) £40, to be refunded if he rejoins in the next two weeks. Would that really be too complicated? Or do we not trust county captains, etc either? (Making it easier for everyone to join /rejoin even without having internet access, ie, by phone with a debit card, would also be a way forward and would have been the best solution yesterday).

Sean Hewitt
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Re: County Chess

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon May 20, 2013 4:30 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:Still! The impression left is most distasteful - he had travelled to play. For situations where the player has been a member until recently, a county or other team should be allowed to play him for a financial penalty of (say) £40, to be refunded if he rejoins in the next two weeks. Would that really be too complicated? Or do we not trust county captains, etc either? (Making it easier for everyone to join /rejoin even without having internet access, ie, by phone with a debit card, would also be a way forward and would have been the best solution yesterday).
Leaving aside the 'why did they leave it so late to check question' a phone call to Alex H with name and credit card details would have secured instant gratification (or membership at any rate).

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: County Chess

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon May 20, 2013 4:35 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:
Jonathan Rogers wrote:Still! The impression left is most distasteful - he had travelled to play. For situations where the player has been a member until recently, a county or other team should be allowed to play him for a financial penalty of (say) £40, to be refunded if he rejoins in the next two weeks. Would that really be too complicated? Or do we not trust county captains, etc either? (Making it easier for everyone to join /rejoin even without having internet access, ie, by phone with a debit card, would also be a way forward and would have been the best solution yesterday).
Leaving aside the 'why did they leave it so late to check question' a phone call to Alex H with name and credit card details would have secured instant gratification (or membership at any rate).
Is it possible that memberships under the old system are still expiring at various points throughout the year, and that this is happening under the new system as well (I wouldn't know as I've always renewed in August)? What would happen if, for instance, a membership expired the day of a match, and the controller checked the membership the next day and thought the player was not a member? Or if membership expired between the submission of team lists and the match being played? Or between the period when a player was cleared by the controller to play and the match taking place? Does "check when memberships expire" have to be added to the list of captaincy duties?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: County Chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon May 20, 2013 4:47 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Does "check when memberships expire" have to be added to the list of captaincy duties?
4NCL captains have always, at least in theory, had to do this. The membership year now expires at 31st August, which is a closed period for leagues and county matches. Previously the membership year was for the whole year after joining. For the next couple of years, the issue remains as the three year memberships run out.

It's a case of stating the obvious, but if you have compulsory membership you create jobs for someone to check the memberships and someone to apply the penalties for any detected non-members.

Whilst aligning the year to the league season has merits for leagues, there's a potential problem for anyone forced to join to play in a Congress. If they play in a Congress towards the end of the season, they will be asked for the whole year rate for perhaps just the one tournament.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: County Chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon May 20, 2013 5:10 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote: So ... he just watched the match, substituted by someone who presumably didn't want much to play but who was on the updated ECF membership list.
If you didn't have a reserve, would it have been better to default? That would have started the match at 0 to 1 assuming the opposition were present in full. If you field a player not eligible by virtue of ECF membership, I think you start the match in effect at minus 1 to plus 1.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: County Chess

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Mon May 20, 2013 6:15 pm

If we had not had a reserve, we would have been better of defaulting, yes (though not financially), because playing a non-member also means a loss on that board plus an extra gamepoint penalty.

It sounds as though phoning Alex H is actually the easiest way to join the ECF, if only you are prepared to wait until the last minute to ask!

John Philpott

Re: County Chess

Post by John Philpott » Mon May 20, 2013 6:20 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote
So ... he just watched the match, substituted by someone who presumably didn't want much to play but who was on the updated ECF membership list.
In fact I drove the non-member home half an hour after the match started, and he was perfectly happy to spend the rest of the afternoon watching the Arsenal match on Sky. The substitute was a travelling reserve who won his second game for Essex in the course of the weekend, so not too much harm done.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: County Chess

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon May 20, 2013 6:33 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:If we had not had a reserve, we would have been better of defaulting, yes (though not financially), because playing a non-member also means a loss on that board plus an extra gamepoint penalty.
Presumably the thing to do then is to push everyone else up a board, agree to default board 16, and then say to the opposition board 16: "you're getting the win by default anyway, but we do have somebody for you to play, should you wish to". It does at least mean that everybody gets a game, although not a meaningful game.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: County Chess

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon May 20, 2013 6:59 pm

Well, several things in Jonathan's account don't tally with later accounts by others, indicating that he maybe didn't have the full story (the bit about how the player who didn't play watched the match, when he had been driven home and was watching the football - and the presumption that the substitute "didn't much want to play" when we are later told he was a travelling reserve and was presumably happy to play given that he had played in a match earlier that weekend). Also, Essex's opponents (Norfolk) defaulted board 16, so a double-default there (in the scenario Jack describes) would have been the obvious solution if there had been no reserve.

http://www.oxfordfusion.com/oca/ViewCup ... ot=4&Org=4

Maybe this was all a ploy to get to watch the football? :D

What we are not told is which board the travelling reserve slotted in on (I'm guessing it was Mark Murrell on board 14 from the clues provided by John Philpott - I have bad memories of losing a won game to Mark in the London League back in December!). Presumably not the bottom board that was defaulted by Norfolk, unless John has a broad definition of "won his game". Presumably the same board that the original player was unable to play on? I'm not sure how much latitude captains have to adjust the board order in such cases after teams lists have been swapped.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: County Chess

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Mon May 20, 2013 7:25 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Well, several things in Jonathan's account don't tally with later accounts by others, indicating that he maybe didn't have the full story (the bit about how the player who didn't play watched the match, when he had been driven home and was watching the football - and the presumption that the substitute "didn't much want to play" when we are later told he was a travelling reserve and was presumably happy to play given that he had played in a match earlier that weekend)....
Several irrelevant and inconsequential things no doubt were inaccurately conveyed but the pertinent facts indicating the problems that can be caused to people trying to play county chess in good faith were, I think, accurately conveyed :cry:

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: County Chess

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon May 20, 2013 7:39 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Well, several things in Jonathan's account don't tally with later accounts by others, indicating that he maybe didn't have the full story (the bit about how the player who didn't play watched the match, when he had been driven home and was watching the football - and the presumption that the substitute "didn't much want to play" when we are later told he was a travelling reserve and was presumably happy to play given that he had played in a match earlier that weekend)....
Several irrelevant and inconsequential things no doubt were inaccurately conveyed but the pertinent facts indicating the problems that can be caused to people trying to play county chess in good faith were, I think, accurately conveyed :cry:
Yah. Nothing to cry about though.

Apropos of nothing in particular, I'm currently re-reading my copy of How to be Lucky in Chess, written by your opponent in that match! I just Googled him and found this delightful interview and photo:

http://www.lowestoftchessclub.org/repor ... erview.htm

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: County Chess

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Mon May 20, 2013 7:56 pm

Well spotted. He was indeed very nice, I wouldn't be surprised if some of my own team mates were privately rooting for him!

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