County Championship Controller's Report 2015

Discussion about all aspects of the ECF County Championships.
Andrew Zigmond
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Location: Harrogate

Re: County Championship Controller's Report 2015

Postby Andrew Zigmond » Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:03 pm

Just picking up on one point from David's comment (and again writing in an unofficial capacity) my personal perception of the NCCU is that they exist solely to run the union stage of the county championships, a (not overly well contested) club championship and a few other administrative points. They are certainly not leading from the front and capable individuals from the Northern counties work around them without too much difficulty. It perhaps doesn't help that the voting membership are delegates from the constituent counties which acts as a bottleneck for new volunteers (as opposed to a club or county AGM where people can choose to attend and volunteer from the floor although in practice not many do).

Of course this is written from an outsider's point of view (I've never been involved in the politics of the NCCU and have no time or indeed inclination to do so) so I may be doing them an injustice. I should perhaps add that the YCA committee have asked me to take on the delegate's role but a job that involves working weekends makes this impractical for me.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Neil Graham
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Re: County Championship Controller's Report 2015

Postby Neil Graham » Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:41 pm

Can I correct a statement made earlier that I detest "the resulting situation that Yorkshire and Lancashire can qualify automatically".

I find the current situation inequitable that teams can progress basically because of the inability of other counties in their Union to organise. I get fed up that my own county, which generally is successful in sorting out chess, is penalised because of the failings of others. I have said on numerous occasions in this forum that there is a dearth of people at a local, Union and indeed national level who will step up and become organisers. This year I see that Manchester and Derbyshire are unable to field teams in the MCCU Counties Championship - there are clearly enough players in these counties (as well as Merseyside, Cleveland, Durham, Cheshire & North Wales, Northumberland and so on) to field representative sides in the Counties Championship in whatever section - but, as usual, no-one is willing to step up to the plate. I look on the system wearily - just the 19 matches for Notts before we reach the national stages this year - rather than detesting it.

I'll look with interest on any proposals that might be brought to the ECF AGM.

David Pardoe
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Re: County Championship Controller's Report 2015

Postby David Pardoe » Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:53 am

There is a lack of co-ordinated action between ECF, Unions, and County bodies, which effectively means they are like headless chickens when it comes to trying to move forward in a co-ordinated manner, on any meaningful reforms.
Your comment about a motion coming forward from any Union or county body to reform or improve the counties events typifies the situation.
There is no shortage of ideas put forward on these boards/forums for improvements, but no-one seems to pick up on any of these and try to take things would appear. Maybe we need a national steering committee with representation from all Unions and some county bodies, to get together to formulate some changes.. A paper could be sent to all Union and county bodies for comments/suggestions.
I do wonder if it might help to have more flexibility in the structure of Union groups, with some counties combining and others possibly splitting into smaller units.. New `east` - `west` regions could be formed, creating separate qualifying events for each. This might ease travel issues.

I think part of the problem is that the various chess bodies seem to act almost entirely independently of each other, with no attempt to do `joined up thinking`.. and detailed interaction.

You point to problems with the NCCU qualifier events..
It starts at the top...
The Union in the NCCU has not managed to get to grips with organising and encouraging good qualifier competitions, that would incentivise the respective counties you have mentioned to actually stir themselves into raising teams and finding captains, as I see it.
Maybe we need to look at the counties events on all levels to see what can be done to improve matters.

These events, on all levels, offer some really good chess fayre... on a Saturday afternoon, and are played at reasonable time control rates which encourage games to be played out in full, to good endgames... and the match camaraderie and banter at these big 16 board events, as the games reach the latter stages, does muster great interest, as the players who have finished follow the remaining games in progress.
Are we selling/Marketing this product we need better publicity, maybe some rebranding... sponsorship perhaps..?
Having a good image and creating incentives, and adding interest are important factors.
You mentioned that vital ingredient of all these events...willing volunteers. Manchester is currently trying to address this problem.. we struggle for an Open Team captain.. hopefully some willing volunteers will come forward to keep the wheels turning.

There are social, domestic, and other problems which are challenging... and other calls on players time.
Next weekend is the Great North Run, at which I will be spectating...hopefully the weather will be kind. I will therefore miss two potentially attractive local Congress events at Bolton and Leek, and the key Man U v Liverpool match... choices.

It would be good to see more juniors participating in these chess events...but the full cross section of our chess community should join the cause..
They do offer great opportunities to develop team and match play experience, and the chance to interact with a wide range of players from across other areas.

For many counties, you are talking only about a hand full of matches per season, so its not majorly demanding, but does require team squads of say 30 - 40 players to support a 16 board team. With the availability of the web, finding players and contacting players and making match arrangements is a lot easier than in years past.
Players don't need to be available for every match, and if more players would try to commit to just one or two appearances, a captains job would be greatly eased..

It does require planning and doing things in a timely manner....and good communications.
Last edited by David Pardoe on Sat Sep 05, 2015 12:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: County Championship Controller's Report 2015

Postby LawrenceCooper » Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:52 am

David Pardoe wrote:Graham..

Perhaps you could call him by his first name :?

David Pardoe
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Re: County Championship Controller's Report 2015

Postby David Pardoe » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:39 am

Thanks Loz... my mistake.

I of course meant Neil...

David Pardoe
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Re: County Championship Controller's Report 2015

Postby David Pardoe » Sun Sep 06, 2015 12:46 pm

Mike Truran wrote:David

You seem to have plenty of time on your hands to post on this forum. Maybe time for you to step up to the plate yourself?


Thanks for your thoughts Mike...
Just to answer this.... I think a fresh pair of hands is probably needed who can extol the virtues of this fine historic event...which I think fills a useful place in the chess calendar... and hopefully encourage greater participation.
With a few well judged reforms this event should continue to offer excellent chess fayre for those who enjoy some Saturday afternoon sport.

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