Union Reps Skype Meeting 17/July

Discussion about all aspects of the ECF County Championships.
Neil Graham
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Union Reps Skype Meeting 17/July

Post by Neil Graham » Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:15 pm

This has been announced on the Home Chess section of the new English Chess Federation Forum.

Considering that there are 1050 members here and only 71 on the ECF Forum, I thought that it was appropriate to draw everyone's attention to it here. Indeed there have already been comments about County Championship eligibility in the "NCCU and the MCF" thread which might have been more appropriate to a separate discussion here.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Union Reps Skype Meeting 17/July

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:49 pm

Neil Graham wrote: Indeed there have already been comments about County Championship eligibility in the "NCCU and the MCF" thread which might have been more appropriate to a separate discussion here.
The current rule for eligibility is
(iii) Two months immediate previous and present membership of a club either in or affiliated to that County.


This rule is combined with
(iv) One month’s immediately previous and present residence in that County
It's clear that if you live in a border area between two counties, then you have a choice of which county to play for. If you don't live in the county you want to play for, you join a club that affiliates to it, whether inside the geography or outside it.

It's perfectly sensible, outside of Lancashire perhaps, that such flexibility should be available.

The wrong type of change could bar a player from playing for the county they wished to. This applies to clubs like Worksop who as mentioned elsewhere are geographically in Notts but part of Sheffield (Yorks) for chess purposes. Locally to me there are Henley who are Berkshire for chess, but geographically Oxon, plus Berkhamsted (Bucks/Herts) and Milton Keynes ( Beds/Bucks)
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

Graham Borrowdale

Re: Union Reps Skype Meeting 17/July

Post by Graham Borrowdale » Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:36 pm

Why on earth should it be necessary to belong to a chess club to play chess for a county?

Neil Graham
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Re: Union Reps Skype Meeting 17/July

Post by Neil Graham » Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:09 am

Graham Borrowdale wrote:Why on earth should it be necessary to belong to a chess club to play chess for a county?
Roger is quoting only part of the eligibility rule which is reproduced in full here:-

C3.1. The qualifications for a player to represent a County in the Championship shall be one of the following:-
(i) Birth in that county.
(ii) Five years’ residence in that county at any time.
(iii) Two months immediate previous and present membership of a club either in or affiliated to that County.
(iv) One month’s immediately previous and present residence in that County.
(v) Present attendance as a teacher or student at a school, college or university in that County.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Union Reps Skype Meeting 17/July

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:16 am

Graham Borrowdale wrote:Why on earth should it be necessary to belong to a chess club to play chess for a county?
If you live in the county it isn't. If you don't the rules require it, apart from the birth and five year residence. I would like to see a virtual elimination of these rules, so that if a Brian Smith or even a Nigel Johnson wanted to build a winning sixteen board County team, they should be permitted to do so, no matter how impoverished, in a chess sense, the county.

Graham Borrowdale

Re: Union Reps Skype Meeting 17/July

Post by Graham Borrowdale » Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:39 am

Neil Graham wrote:Roger is quoting only part of the eligibility rule which is reproduced in full here:-
Thanks Neil. I was aware of that, but I play for a neighbouring county because my club plays in that county's league, so my continued membership of that club would apparently be a condition of playing county chess. I could not play for the county I live in, since they choose not to enter ECF competitions. I could not play for the county I was born in, for the same reason. I could knock on Surrey's door, since I lived there for many years, but I suspect I would not make their team. Not of great interest to anyone I am sure, but a fairly typical scenario I would say.
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Graham Borrowdale wrote:Why on earth should it be necessary to belong to a chess club to play chess for a county?
If you live in the county it isn't. If you don't the rules require it, apart from the birth and five year residence. I would like to see a virtual elimination of these rules, so that if a Brian Smith or even a Nigel Johnson wanted to build a winning sixteen board County team, they should be permitted to do so, no matter how impoverished, in a chess sense, the county.
Roger, that does not answer the question.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Union Reps Skype Meeting 17/July

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:43 am

Graham Borrowdale wrote: Roger, that does not answer the question.

If you live in the county you are asked to play for, it isn't an issue. It's when you don't live there it becomes a problem.

I would sweep away all or most of the eligibility rules. It's long seemed to me wrong that counties are not competing on on equal footing in terms of who they can approach as potential team players.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Union Reps Skype Meeting 17/July

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:40 am

Graham Borrowdale wrote:I could knock on Surrey's door, since I lived there for many years, but I suspect I would not make their team.
You'd probably make one of their teams. They compete in most (all?) of the grading bands.

PeterFarr
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Re: Union Reps Skype Meeting 17/July

Post by PeterFarr » Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:49 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Graham Borrowdale wrote: Roger, that does not answer the question.

If you live in the county you are asked to play for, it isn't an issue. It's when you don't live there it becomes a problem.

I would sweep away all or most of the eligibility rules. It's long seemed to me wrong that counties are not competing on on equal footing in terms of who they can approach as potential team players.
I agree with your intent, but perhaps you risk losing the essential character of the thing if you go too far? Also I would worry that it might only make strong counties stronger instead, as they would have more ability to attract players; so that might make the situation worse.

Few thoughts though:

- at the moment some players could I think, at least theoretically, be excluded from any team at all if they were born in, live, work and play in a county that has no team. Those players should be allowed to choose a team.

- smaller counties could be allowed to combine for playing in the National stages - e.g. you might have a "Chilterns" team.

- maybe you could relax the criteria in other ways just for smaller counties, though that gets messy in terms of definitions.


Certainly, any attempt to tighten up criteria, for a competition that is generally struggling, would seem misguided.
Last edited by PeterFarr on Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Union Reps Skype Meeting 17/July

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:51 am

This is a link to the thread on the new forum http://www.englishchess.org.uk/Forum/vi ... ?f=26&t=23 on which Alex Holowczak discusses in detail his thoughts around the proposal and notes that he personally does not have any strong views around it, however he suspects some people might.

I would say that the rule mainly acts as a bar to obvious ringers. There are arguments for and against this and ultimately Alex will be guided by what Union representatives, who are in turn accountable to players within that Union, want. As I said on another thread, if you hold a strong opinion on the subject, it may be best to feed this back to the representative of the county you play for (providing of course that you play for a county that's affiliated to one of the five unions).
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Michael Farthing
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Re: Union Reps Skype Meeting 17/July

Post by Michael Farthing » Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:09 am

One point that has not been made is that by allowing players from outside a county to play you risk excluding candidates from inside a county. The desire of captains to select better players for the glory of winning comes at the price of setting up a county championship structure designed to offer opportunities for all players to engage.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Union Reps Skype Meeting 17/July

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:16 am

Michael Farthing wrote:One point that has not been made is that by allowing players from outside a county to play you risk excluding candidates from inside a county. The desire of captains to select better players for the glory of winning comes at the price of setting up a county championship structure designed to offer opportunities for all players to engage.
I think that is the crux of the issue which is probably more marked at club than county level. As I said, there are arguments for and against, but when local players are being denied the opportunity to play because of outside help you have a problem.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Union Reps Skype Meeting 17/July

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:27 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote: As I said, there are arguments for and against, but when local players are being denied the opportunity to play because of outside help you have a problem.
Successful teams have competition for places, it helps as well, since it ensures a turnout for the annoying away matches. It's not as if county matches are the only weekend playing opportunity. With only six teams willing to contest the national stages of the Open, it doesn't feel as if there is a vast amount of unsatisfied demand for county chess.

Kevin Williamson
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Re: Union Reps Skype Meeting 17/July

Post by Kevin Williamson » Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:35 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Graham Borrowdale wrote: Roger, that does not answer the question.

If you live in the county you are asked to play for, it isn't an issue. It's when you don't live there it becomes a problem.

I would sweep away all or most of the eligibility rules. It's long seemed to me wrong that counties are not competing on on equal footing in terms of who they can approach as potential team players.
I think it reasonable that players from clubs who play in a County’s league should be eligible to play for that County’s team during that season.

Graham plays in the Bedfordshire league for Milton Keynes, which is in Buckinghamshire. Northampton also play in the Beds league. Neither Bucks nor Northants currently have a team which play in their Union or ECF competitions, so by depriving these players of the opportunity of playing for Bedfordshire they are prevented from playing Union/ECF County chess all together. Players from MK and Northampton are welcome to play in (and often win) the Beds Individual competition. As far as I know nobody has a problem with that.

It appears that some have an issue with the word ‘affiliated’, seeing as an underhand means of bolstering a County team with outsiders through some tenuous link. Maybe the wording does need updating but a change to include players who actively play in a County's league seems eminently sensible to me.

Mike Gunn
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Re: Union Reps Skype Meeting 17/July

Post by Mike Gunn » Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:58 am

Graham Borrowdale wrote:I could knock on Surrey's door, since I lived there for many years, but I suspect I would not make their team. Not of great interest to anyone I am sure, but a fairly typical scenario I would say.
Graham, you would be welcome to play for Surrey. l'll put you in touch with the appropriate captain(s) if you like!

This issue was discussed at yesterday's SCCU AGM and (on the whole) we think that the eligibility rules are fine as they are. It is not uncommon for somebody to start playing county chess for one county then move elsewhere and continue playing for the original county. I can see nothing wrong with this practice but it could be knocked on the head if the 5 years residence in a county eligibility clause is removed. By restricting/ removing quite reasonable grounds for eligibility the ECF is in danger of shooting itself in the foot. If there is some evidence of abuse of the spirit of the rules, I suppose some tweaking could be appropriate, but I don't think that is the case, is it?

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