County Championship Rules

Discussion about all aspects of the ECF County Championships.
David Sedgwick
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by David Sedgwick » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:58 am

Kevin Williamson wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:That's not actually the case though. County matches at Union level still have captains and squads. If as a match captain, you are uncertain about the level of support for a long distance match in April or May and you or your Treasurer are threatened with financial consequences if you pull out when you cannot raise a team, isn't that a disincentive to even try?
Absolutely.

When I made that point on Page 1 of this thread I was told that was the intention of the new rule. So, after consultation within the county, Beds decided not to enter (the u180) this year. It’s quite possible that we would have raised a team but we decided not to take the risk.

I’m not sure what the ECF plan to do with any money raised from the fines, but should any be collected could I ask that they consider the reintroduction of individual trophies for members of the winning teams on Finals Day?
I've nothing against Bedfordshire, but I use them as an example because of what you've said.

Let us suppose that there were nine nominations for the U180 Division, one of which was Bedfordshire. As the first (only) nominee of the EACU, they avoid having to play in the Preliminary Round.

Then we get to the Quarter Finals and Befordshire default. Unless they happen to have been drawn against the winners of the Preliminary Round, their opponents will in effect receive a bye to the Semi Finals. Meanwhile two other teams have played a Preliminary Round match which should have been unnecessary.

You think Bedfordshire should be allowed to behave like that without consequence. Well, you're entitled to your opinion.

The test of the current rules will not be with what the ECF do with any fines received. It will be whether the money received in fines drops to zero, as all the nominees are now from counties and Unions which are committed to fulfilling their obligations.

It does of course remain to be seen whether or not that will prove to be the case

Brian Valentine
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Brian Valentine » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:35 am

While David only uses Bedfordshire as an example, let's be clear with our position.

We would need to consider the knock on effects of later rounds, but the big issue for us would be about fulfilling that 1st round match.

If you look at our recent EACU Open sides you will see the grades fall away at the end and for U180 we need to replace 5 stronger player in this example:

http://www.c4results.org.uk/chess/php/D ... pantId=422

The nuance with David's comments is that we are committed to the £100 risk, before it is clear whether we are capable of fielding a side. If we played a game (, won) and then defaulted the fine would be annoying, but understandable. The current rules discourage us from attempting the first step of a contingent entry, before seeing if a team is available after we have "qualified".

I doubt that we are the only smaller county in this position.

Brian
Beds CCA secretary

Alex Holowczak
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:07 am

Kevin Williamson wrote:I’m not sure what the ECF plan to do with any money raised from the fines, but should any be collected could I ask that they consider the reintroduction of individual trophies for members of the winning teams on Finals Day?
The intention this year is to have individual trophies for the winning counties, but it means that players will have to pay for food at the centre. The Unions at our meeting earlier in the year wanted this.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am

Brian Valentine wrote:The nuance with David's comments is that we are committed to the £100 risk, before it is clear whether we are capable of fielding a side. If we played a game (, won) and then defaulted the fine would be annoying, but understandable. The current rules discourage us from attempting the first step of a contingent entry, before seeing if a team is available after we have "qualified".

I doubt that we are the only smaller county in this position.
Whilst unfortunate, it might have helped if the EACU sent someone to the meetings we've had so that this point of view could be put across. As it was, all of the Unions that attended or supplied comments were in favour of the change.

Kevin Williamson
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Kevin Williamson » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:38 am

David Sedgwick wrote: You think Bedfordshire should be allowed to behave like that without consequence. Well, you're entitled to your opinion.
David, that isn’t my opinion at all. Believe me, this has been discussed at length within Bedfordshire and further afield in the EACU, although it’s not for me to put forward the views of other counties or the Union. We actually feel we took a responsible decision when to chose not to participate.

My (personal) view, already expressed here, is that the draw should take place once all the Union qualifiers have been completed and teams know which competitions they can be nominated for. Captains can then gauge the likely availability of their players before making a firm commitment. Fines applied after that point are completely understandable. However, Alex has told us that the Unions don’t want that. I accept that, but as a consequence some small counties may choose not to be nominated.

An additional complication for the EACU is that the First teams don’t know which event they will qualify for until all the matches are completed, thus compounding decisions which have to be taken mid-competition.

Mick Norris
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Mick Norris » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:13 am

Neil Graham wrote:In the Minor M1 and M2 are therefore in the same side of the draw.

My understanding of the rules is that the Preliminary Round should have involved M3 ie Rule D2.2 Should there be more than eight nominations, a preliminary round shall be played before the quarter final. Teams placed in the preliminary round shall, where possible, be the third nominees of Unions.. Is there any reason that this didn't take place so that a more equitable draw was achieved? IMHO the present draw is not satisfactory for the Midland's first two nominees.

I note that S3 has correctly been placed in the preliminary round of the Under 160 event.
The draw has now been changed
http://www.englishchess.org.uk/competit ... onships-2/

Although Greater Manchester are moved into the preliminary round, it is nevertheless correct, and well done for all in making the correct decision

We do have all 3 MCCU teams in the same half of the draw, though
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Neil Graham
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Neil Graham » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:24 am

Mick Norris wrote:
Neil Graham wrote:In the Minor M1 and M2 are therefore in the same side of the draw.

My understanding of the rules is that the Preliminary Round should have involved M3 ie Rule D2.2 Should there be more than eight nominations, a preliminary round shall be played before the quarter final. Teams placed in the preliminary round shall, where possible, be the third nominees of Unions.. Is there any reason that this didn't take place so that a more equitable draw was achieved? IMHO the present draw is not satisfactory for the Midland's first two nominees.

I note that S3 has correctly been placed in the preliminary round of the Under 160 event.
The draw has now been changed
http://www.englishchess.org.uk/competit ... onships-2/

Although Greater Manchester are moved into the preliminary round, it is nevertheless correct, and well done for all in making the correct decision

We do have all 3 MCCU teams in the same half of the draw, though
Both Graham Booley (Leicestershire) and I have raised objections to this. The ECF has now managed to do the draw properly with M3 playing a preliminary game. In the past the draw has been so arranged so county first and second nominees are kept apart until the final. The ECF inform me that the draw was done correctly under Schedule D - however they have already shown they are incapable of following their own rules - surely someone has the wit and wisdom to keep all three MCCU reps out of the same side of the draw. Had I wanted to play Leicestershire three times in six months I would have arranged a series of matches with them.

Neil Graham
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Neil Graham » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:32 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Kevin Williamson wrote:I’m not sure what the ECF plan to do with any money raised from the fines, but should any be collected could I ask that they consider the reintroduction of individual trophies for members of the winning teams on Finals Day?
The intention this year is to have individual trophies for the winning counties, but it means that players will have to pay for food at the centre. The Unions at our meeting earlier in the year wanted this.
In the past there was the facility for printing out certificates; it would be a nice gesture if the players from the runners-up in each section(or indeed all participants) could be presented with one of these to state they played in a national final. The cost would be negligible.

Neil Graham
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Neil Graham » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:56 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Neil Graham wrote:The threat of fines or etc have nothing to do with whether a county plays or doesn't. The reason that counties don't compete is the usual one I allude to regularly in this forum - a dearth of players willing to take responsibility for organisation at every level from club, through county, Union and up to national level.
That's not actually the case though. County matches at Union level still have captains and squads. If as a match captain, you are uncertain about the level of support for a long distance match in April or May and you or your Treasurer are threatened with financial consequences if you pull out when you cannot raise a team, isn't that a disincentive to even try?

The Open is somewhat lopsided. There will be three SCCU counties who will qualify from the usual intense and difficult to predict dogfight plus Yorks, Lancs and Staffs with automatic qualification.
Counties enter the competition with the ambition to qualify for the national stages and then go on to be national champions. Everyone is well aware at the start of the season of how these competitions operate and that we will have to play other Union representatives in the quarter-final stages. We are disappointed that only four of our five teams have got through. Kevin Williamson has made some comments on EACU qualification; unfortunately it is not clear how nominations operate from the EACU website. There is one Counties Championship event (Norfolk, Suffolk, Beds and Cambridgeshire) where it appears two counties have gone forward into the Minor Counties.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:12 pm

Neil Graham wrote: Counties enter the competition with the ambition to qualify for the national stages and then go on to be national champions.
That doesn't have to be the case. A county competition can be just a self contained winter Saturday afternoon set of fixtures amongst regional rivals. This gives players the opportunity denied in evening leagues to play games lasting four hours or longer instead of three.

The Chiltern competitions between Bucks, Berks, Hants and Oxon give no rights to the winners to enter National stages and little interest is expressed whenever the prospect that they might be offered is raised.

Neil Graham
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Neil Graham » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:22 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Neil Graham wrote: Counties enter the competition with the ambition to qualify for the national stages and then go on to be national champions.
That doesn't have to be the case. A county competition can be just a self contained winter Saturday afternoon set of fixtures amongst regional rivals. This gives players the opportunity denied in evening leagues to play games lasting four hours or longer instead of three.

The Chiltern competitions between Bucks, Berks, Hants and Oxon give no rights to the winners to enter National stages and little interest is expressed whenever the prospect that they might be offered is raised.
As described in this thread?

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=1841

If the Chilterns want to organise their own parochial competition that's fine. Counties who play in the County Championship do so knowing that it is a proper competition for a national title.

Kevin Williamson
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Kevin Williamson » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:35 pm

Neil Graham wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Kevin Williamson wrote:I’m not sure what the ECF plan to do with any money raised from the fines, but should any be collected could I ask that they consider the reintroduction of individual trophies for members of the winning teams on Finals Day?
The intention this year is to have individual trophies for the winning counties, but it means that players will have to pay for food at the centre. The Unions at our meeting earlier in the year wanted this.
In the past there was the facility for printing out certificates; it would be a nice gesture if the players from the runners-up in each section(or indeed all participants) could be presented with one of these to state they played in a national final. The cost would be negligible.
Good news about the trophies; much better than a free lunch!

And a good suggestion from Neil. It’s not often that patzers like me get something to show for our efforts; I’m sure that a small keepsake would be appreciated by most participants.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:43 pm

Neil Graham wrote: Counties who play in the County Championship do so knowing that it is a proper competition for a national title.
That was never true for Buckinghamshire when we played in the SCCU Open. Over a period of something like thirty years, we qualified for national stages just four times and it was a novelty to play in them rather than an expectation. In bad seasons, you ended up taking teams with 130 players on bottom boards on long trips round the M25 to lose 15-1, or even worse only around ten players of any sort of strength willing to play.

Bedford, Norfolk and Suffolk also played in the SCCU. From what I recall of the formation of the EACU, one of the motivations was to reduce both the travelling and strength disparities of the Saturday afternoon matches.

David Sedgwick
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by David Sedgwick » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:45 pm

Kevin Williamson wrote:
David Sedgwick wrote: You think Bedfordshire should be allowed to behave like that without consequence. Well, you're entitled to your opinion.
David, that isn’t my opinion at all.
I apologise for misrepresenting you.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:01 pm

Neil Graham wrote:The ECF inform me that the draw was done correctly under Schedule D - however they have already shown they are incapable of following their own rules
The point of the draw being changed demonstrates that we are capable of following our rules. Regrettably, being human and all, we made a mistake at the time. When that mistake was brought to our attention, we fixed it.

I informed you that your other objection was not a constraint of the draw, and so the draws were legal from that point of view. If you want a philosophical debate about whether it should be legal, then fine - but you do yourself no credit to complain that the draws are either wrong or "not satisfactory".

When I next hold a Union Representatives meeting (Julyish, probably soon after the Finals Day), I will add this to the list of things to discuss.

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