Quarter-Finals

Discussion about all aspects of the ECF County Championships.
Roger de Coverly
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Re: Quarter-Finals

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun May 25, 2014 7:39 pm

Mick Norris wrote:Penalties have changed some of the match scores

The same nonsense as last year, with the ECF demanding that ungraded players be "approved" in the Open and Minor Counties. If you say it's the rules, it's up to the attendees at Council meetings to shout at the Directors responsible.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Quarter-Finals

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sun May 25, 2014 7:57 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mick Norris wrote:Penalties have changed some of the match scores
The same nonsense as last year, with the ECF demanding that ungraded players be "approved" in the Open and Minor Counties. If you say it's the rules, it's up to the attendees at Council meetings to shout at the Directors responsible.
Whilst I have some sympathy with respect to the open, surely approval must be a requirement for the minor where the allocated grade can have a direct bearing on whether the selected team is legal or not. Even in the open, can't the assigned grade can affect the board order?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Quarter-Finals

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun May 25, 2014 8:33 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote: Even in the open, can't the assigned grade can affect the board order?
I would have thought that in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that competition controllers should respect the integrity of match captains. So the estimate is based on where the match captain sees fit to place him in the team. In many cases, someone is only ungraded because they haven't played enough recent games to meet the 9 in 36 months, with 1 in the last 12 minimum standard.

Would it not be a reasonable rule in all the ECF Competitions, that if someone is ungraded, but they've previously had a grade, that it defaults back to what it had been most recently previously? If we ran an Elo style system, that would be next to automatic as a rule.

That's a more friendly approach than applying penalties for not filling your forms correctly.

Neil Graham
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Re: Quarter-Finals

Post by Neil Graham » Sun May 25, 2014 9:39 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote: Even in the open, can't the assigned grade can affect the board order?
I would have thought that in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that competition controllers should respect the integrity of match captains. So the estimate is based on where the match captain sees fit to place him in the team. In many cases, someone is only ungraded because they haven't played enough recent games to meet the 9 in 36 months, with 1 in the last 12 minimum standard.

Would it not be a reasonable rule in all the ECF Competitions, that if someone is ungraded, but they've previously had a grade, that it defaults back to what it had been most recently previously? If we ran an Elo style system, that would be next to automatic as a rule.

That's a more friendly approach than applying penalties for not filling your forms correctly.
Every match captain had an e-mail from the event Controller before the start of the national stages that advised captains of the rules web-site and pointed out "captains should familiarise themselves with these rules, particularly those relating to ungraded players.

Perfectly clear!

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Quarter-Finals

Post by MartinCarpenter » Mon May 26, 2014 9:12 am

Many more than enough players even, just no team :(

Have to say that all these defaults aren't designed to encourage reluctant captains to come forward!
(Hasn't Conroy played for (organised even) Lancashire U175/180's for basically forever?)

Andrew Wainwright
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Re: Quarter-Finals

Post by Andrew Wainwright » Mon May 26, 2014 10:33 am

Is that not entirely the point, we shouldn't have to force "reluctant" captains to take things on because no one else will. Yorkshire chess (and from my experience chess in general) lacks compitent and committed individuals willing to put in the work to to run teams, leagues, competitions etc.

Relying on "John Smith" because he has done the job forever is not the solution. We have an aging demographic within the game and more should be done to encourage new people to come forward.

Personally I think that I did a pretty good job this year running the u100s, u120s and u180s in the NCCU stages of the county championship. We had some great matches and 10+ yorkshire players who had never represented their county before got a chance to do so (including 6 juniors). The fact that this all fell to pieces in the national stages when I had to step back just proves how lacking we are in organisers.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Quarter-Finals

Post by Michael Farthing » Mon May 26, 2014 11:53 am

All credit to you, Andrew, and I suspect you would have put in a lot of effort. You have found new players, but I suspect you had to hunt for them - they didn't come floating in on the tide: an organiser is battling to pull a team together. If there were players queuing up for the honour the organisation would be much less of a problem.

I'm only recently back in OTB chess after a gap of about 30 years. Last year I played for Lancashire in the U140s and was very pleased to be invited. First match against Yorkshire in the last round of the NCCU stage. Shame I hadn't been in the earlier rounds (oh, there weren't any!). Never mind, we won!!! We're through to the NATIONAL STAGE. [Oh, Yorkshire go through as well. Why did we bother!]. Still it was an enjoyable game. Shame about my fellow club member. I'd got him to volunteer at the last minute. Another player whom I was asked to give transport to dropped out when I told him I wouldn't break the speed limit to get him back earlier. Anyway, my fellow club member got all the way there to find he had no opponent. 4 hours driving and no match.

Finals stage. Home match against Shropshire. Played rather closer to Shropshire than to us so another 4 hours driving for a single game. Well, about 6 actually because we spent an extra two hours stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway. My opponent was delighted when we swapped off down to a colourless position with no possibilities for anyone. Quick draw and he could get home early. Sadly, I couldn't. Had a car load. We didn't have a full team (OK fair enough, one of our players had a major personal tragedy on the day, so pretty unavoidable). Anyway we clearly lost. Then we lost some more because we had three disqualifications.

Did I feel as enthusiastic at the end as the beginning? Err. No not really. Mediocre entry. No competition for places. Sense of having to do a favour. Lot of travelling. OK a game, but for a lot less travelling I can go to a weekend congress and get 5 games, many of which will be against new opponents. Chess-wise a better bet.

Didn't play this year. I did get selected again, but had to point out that my grade was too high for the U140s. U160s didn't approach me: dunno if my grade was too low or if nobody thought to look.

Another club colleague plays enthusiastically for Lancashire: his grade is rather higher and the county matches provide his more challenging games and his variety of opponents. I can see that. But at my more humble level is a county championship a well-thought out idea? Is it not an attempt at inclusivity for a half-hearted clientele? If asked next year I'd probably accept the invitation: but I'd think hard about it.

This all seems rather negative, and I don't think of myself as a negative sort of person, so I'll finish with a couple of positive ideas thrown out without a lot of critical examination [I'm sure others could provide that :-)]:

a) Change of Format
Instead of several sections (u100, u120, u140 etc) what about a single section with some boards reserved for differing strengths?
A healthy team (maybe even with more boards) might be easier to put together and could encourage other counties to come in.
Don't ask me for exact details - haven't worked that out [at least I'm being honest!]

b) Replacement
I do wonder if a better approach to help lower graded people get new opponents and a higher status tournament might be for counties to concentrate on an inter-local-leagues competition.

Mick Norris
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Re: Quarter-Finals

Post by Mick Norris » Mon May 26, 2014 12:00 pm

Michael

NCCU meeting on Saturday, so now is a good time to feedback ideas

If the NCCU switch the county matches to one weekend at a central venue, nice location/hotel, with matches Saturday and Sunday, would that sound better? Be a bit more like the 4NCL possibly
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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Michael Farthing
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Re: Quarter-Finals

Post by Michael Farthing » Mon May 26, 2014 12:12 pm

Mick,

Thanks for the positive response in view of our recent more negative (though polite) exchange of views!

I think the idea is well-worth considering, though personally I'm reluctant to do overnights - I aim to pick congresses that are within commuting distance. That doesn't mean I wouldn't take part - just that I'd be hesitant and I suspect others would rule themselves out too (I have a club colleague who couldn't possibly leave his dogs for that long). The aim must be to find a format that works so I'd suggest a wide soliciting of views before action since a change of format risks losing those that are used to it and not gaining converts! I don't envy you your task and I wish you well with deliberation.

Andrew Wainwright
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Re: Quarter-Finals

Post by Andrew Wainwright » Mon May 26, 2014 12:42 pm

Michael - To be honest I didn't struggle for players at all and pretty much everyone I asked jumped at the chance. I could easily have filled 16 boards in each team if needed (we played each match over 12 boards). I know a lot of players in Yorks having run teams and competitions for about 10yrs so it was pretty easy really.

The format worked well having all three matches in one big hall (in Bradford, so not a bad commute across the M62 for Lancs). Proud to say we had no defaults and the 3 Lancs captains all worked well with me to organise everything. Particularly in the u100s where we both fielded 6 juniors each and the match was really close (6.5-5.5 to Lancs) as was the u120s (same score). This format would work in a bigger hall if we joined up with the open, u160s and u120s. Imagine 72 Yorks players against 72 Lancs players under one roof, that is a competition I would like to play in. Plus there would be no need for an overnight event.

The mixed strength sides idea is interesting. Bradford DCA played the Manchester CF over 20 boards a few years back with 5 different bandings within the team (i.e. 4 open, 4 u175, 4 u150, 4 u125, 4 u100). It was great match, 10.5-9.5 to Bradford :-) That said I dont think this would work at county level.

Mick - thanks for flagging up that the NCCU meeting is next week. How ironic that I had no idea and you did :-) Needless to say I wont be attending.

I once again raised my support for the MCF joining the NCCU with certain Lancashire representatives in the county stages. Once again I got the same old arguments about borders and erroding Lancs status. It just doesn't fly with me and until the NCCU get their act together and realise it is 2014 (not the 1980s) then frankly I want nothing to do with them as they personify everything that is wrong with Chess in this country.

Mick Norris
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Re: Quarter-Finals

Post by Mick Norris » Mon May 26, 2014 2:27 pm

Michael Farthing wrote:Mick,

Thanks for the positive response in view of our recent more negative (though polite) exchange of views!

I think the idea is well-worth considering, though personally I'm reluctant to do overnights - I aim to pick congresses that are within commuting distance. That doesn't mean I wouldn't take part - just that I'd be hesitant and I suspect others would rule themselves out too (I have a club colleague who couldn't possibly leave his dogs for that long). The aim must be to find a format that works so I'd suggest a wide soliciting of views before action since a change of format risks losing those that are used to it and not gaining converts! I don't envy you your task and I wish you well with deliberation.
Michael

I have no problem with disagreeing, as long as it stays polite and preferably positive

I think the existing format doesn't work by all accounts, but as I'm not in the NCCU I can't influence that

If you want to play teams from geographically large counties, you need to make some effort otherwise you are always asking them to do so and currently (apart from Cumbria U160) all you have is Lancs v Yorks
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Mick Norris
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Re: Quarter-Finals

Post by Mick Norris » Mon May 26, 2014 2:32 pm

Andrew Wainwright wrote:Mick - thanks for flagging up that the NCCU meeting is next week. How ironic that I had no idea and you did :-) Needless to say I wont be attending.
I'm waiting to see if I am invited :wink:
Andrew Wainwright wrote: I once again raised my support for the MCF joining the NCCU with certain Lancashire representatives in the county stages.
Thanks for your continued support
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Quarter-Finals

Post by MartinCarpenter » Mon May 26, 2014 2:49 pm

Well Yorks vs Lancs has always worked OK - and has actually been held as a jamboree at times. They are after all decent strength matches gained for minimal travelling.
(Obviously NCCU chess would be an awful lot better if we could persuade certain people to accept the blindingly obvious :().

Like Michael found, its the knock out stages which get considerably more problematic. Very low entries nowadays, much more travelling, after the end of the season etc etc. I mean how excited can you get about a competition where Yorkshire (or others) could theoretically lose 1 match then qualify direct for the semi finals?

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Quarter-Finals

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Mon May 26, 2014 5:14 pm

I am aware of the comments here and elsewhere regarding the penalties applied. I am not going to make any comment as it is a matter solely involving the county captains concerned. Unfortunately where penalties exist I am obliged to enforce them.

I read the comments from NCCU members with interest; while I have no standing within that organisation I am a Yorkshire county official and a club secretary with that county so have a foot in both camps. I think the point does need to be made that there are occasional Skype conferences between the Home Director and Union representatives - the NCCU are never in attendance.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Quarter-Finals

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon May 26, 2014 5:59 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:I am aware of the comments here and elsewhere regarding the penalties applied. I am not going to make any comment as it is a matter solely involving the county captains concerned. Unfortunately where penalties exist I am obliged to enforce them.
One comment I did notice on the SCCU site was for more transparency over what penalties have been applied and for what reasons. Allowing for appeals to take place, will it be possible for a full accounting of the penalties applied to be published at some point?

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