2016 draw

Discussion about all aspects of the ECF County Championships.
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Mick Norris
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Re: 2016 draw

Post by Mick Norris » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:08 pm

LawrenceCooper wrote:
Mick Norris wrote:Staffs were offered matches by the MCCU, I got no reply from their captain when I emailed to ask if he wanted a friendly against G Man
Yes, I recall being copied into some e-mails, although I can't now recall if that was this or last season. I only became aware of the existence of a captain this season on 28th April.
Loz, start of this season - you were kind enough to reply, as was David Anderton, and you both directed me, or copied in, the relevant "captain" (or captain designate or whatever) - he didn't get back to me, even to say no thanks

Anyway, the offer is there, plus as in previous years you would be welcome to play in the MCCU MInor even if seeking the Open nomination
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

LawrenceCooper
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Re: 2016 draw

Post by LawrenceCooper » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:18 pm

Mick Norris wrote:
LawrenceCooper wrote:
Mick Norris wrote:Staffs were offered matches by the MCCU, I got no reply from their captain when I emailed to ask if he wanted a friendly against G Man
Yes, I recall being copied into some e-mails, although I can't now recall if that was this or last season. I only became aware of the existence of a captain this season on 28th April.
Loz, start of this season - you were kind enough to reply, as was David Anderton, and you both directed me, or copied in, the relevant "captain" (or captain designate or whatever) - he didn't get back to me, even to say no thanks

Anyway, the offer is there, plus as in previous years you would be welcome to play in the MCCU MInor even if seeking the Open nomination
Thanks Mick. David Anderton did a great job over many years and finding a permanent replacement for someone like that isn't always easy. Hopefully what occurred this season will be a one-off though :oops:

MartinCarpenter
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Re: 2016 draw

Post by MartinCarpenter » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:34 pm

It is maybe too radical to really be considered now but if you were organising the Open/U180 competitions rounds the North/Midlands from scratch, you would not use the NCCU/MCCU structure. Far too few teams, so you get maybe one (or no) internal match with no meaning then massive travel to play various Southern counties in the middle of Summer.

Pretty daft really. It'd be much better to use some super Midlands/Northish area with say GM/Yorks/Lancs/Staffs in one qualifying group. Sane enough travel. If feeling really radical - assuming no teams from outside the SCCU you could qualify two from there, two from elsewhere and have a semis/finals day over a weekend somewhere. It'd be a much nicer competition in some ways.

One thing I do think is worthwhile to note is that with no formal qualification outside the SCCU, the N/MCCU probably should be at least strongly considering doing this sort of thing with friendlies. Why ever not? Packed calendar but the travel is easy enough, and it would give things much better grounding.

Goodness, I know it sounds quite utterly daft but I wouldn't even be shocked by a Manchester - Lancashire 'friendly' happening. Just so long as they didn't have to admit the existence of Manchester as a county! Getting along nicely in Manticores after all.

Mike Truran
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Re: 2016 draw

Post by Mike Truran » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:48 pm

Is county chess in long term decline? Discuss.

Light blue touch paper and retire......

LawrenceCooper
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Re: 2016 draw

Post by LawrenceCooper » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:23 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote:It'd be much better to use some super Midlands/Northish area with say GM/Yorks/Lancs/Staffs in one qualifying group. Sane enough travel. If feeling really radical - assuming no teams from outside the SCCU you could qualify two from there, two from elsewhere and have a semis/finals day over a weekend somewhere. It'd be a much nicer competition in some ways.
We wouldn't fit into that geographical group. Our matches with Greater Manchester are played at a neutral venue and so venturing further north would be a non starter. A good chunk of our team comes from the Wolverhampton League so matches against Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire etc are far more viable, maybe Derby, Leics, Notts, at a push.

Richard Bates
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Re: 2016 draw

Post by Richard Bates » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:27 pm

Scrap the Minor Counties Championship. It serves no real purpose other than to simultaneously undermine the Open and U180 competitions.

Neil Graham
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Re: 2016 draw

Post by Neil Graham » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:02 pm

Mike Truran wrote:Is county chess in long term decline? Discuss.

Light blue touch paper and retire......
Not at all. When I first started playing several decades ago there were only county first and second team competitions - nothing like the graded sections we have now ; so over the years county chess has actually increased.

All this goes back to a subject that I come back to again and again on this forum. You are in the hands of volunteers some more competent than others.
At every level of chess from the Federation downward there is a dearth of organisers. My own county ran five teams (six if you include the U180), a neighbouring county which is similarly demographically ran two, a county in the north with a population of over 250,000 more than Nottinghamshire has no county teams at all.

Mike Truran
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Re: 2016 draw

Post by Mike Truran » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:11 pm

You are in the hands of volunteers some more competent than others.
At every level of chess from the Federation downward there is a dearth of organisers.
Indeed. It may be that it will be the ruination of us all in the fullness of time.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 2016 draw

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:32 pm

Mike Truran wrote:Is county chess in long term decline? Discuss.
The general question is that if there's a demand for single day chess at the weekend, what format should it take? With an objective to be there and back inside a day, that imposes geographical restrictions which the 4NCL avoids by being residential. The justification for weekend play has to be the longer sessions this permits, so games can be timed to last four hours or more, rather than the typical three hours of evening chess.

David Pardoe
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Re: 2016 draw

Post by David Pardoe » Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:14 am

LawrenceCooper wrote:
Mick Norris wrote:
LawrenceCooper wrote:
Yes, I recall being copied into some e-mails, although I can't now recall if that was this or last season. I only became aware of the existence of a captain this season on 28th April.
Loz, start of this season - you were kind enough to reply, as was David Anderton, and you both directed me, or copied in, the relevant "captain" (or captain designate or whatever) - he didn't get back to me, even to say no thanks

Anyway, the offer is there, plus as in previous years you would be welcome to play in the MCCU MInor even if seeking the Open nomination
Thanks Mick. David Anderton did a great job over many years and finding a permanent replacement for someone like that isn't always easy. Hopefully what occurred this season will be a one-off though :oops:

Yes, Manchester is also looking for a volunteer to captain our County Open/Minor Counties team.
These events provide some very good team playing chess opportunities for those who can spare the time for these Saturday afternoon, big team 16 board matches.
In the MCCU the Counties events have been pretty well run over the years by our Union/county bodies, and quite well supported by the member counties.
We have also established some good playing venues, so travel distances are reasonable for most teams.
I`ve always maintained that you really need two volunteers (one as vice captain), to run a county team and help get the teams together.
A team pool squad of about 30 - 40 players is desirable, to ensure good availability over the season, and these groups can include quite a wide grading group of players. For example, Manchesters U160 team will often contain players graded 100 - 159, so its not all about having super strong teams for an enjoyable days chessing. Obviously if you`re fortunate enough to have a strong squad, your chances for reaching the later stages increase, but you have to start somewhere... and we have had some very good matches.

Good communications is essential, and keeping a good set of up to date contact email data and phone contacts is vital.
Shared transport also helps keep costs in check, and good transport arrangements are vital. Help with this from parents can greatly assist juniors to participate in these events. These youngsters are a vital part of our chess scene...
Captains are also helped by the wide assortment of player details and various result/grading/performance and contact data available on a wide number of county, league, and club websites.
I personally would prefer to go back to the previously used grading bands, as this would help ease team selection, particularly for those counties with lower player numbers..
The other great selling point for county chess is the time controls, which allow for a more relaxed game, where it is much easier to play out a full game into meaning full endgames, without getting into the blitz, pot luck shootouts that accompany normal league chess.

But what I would stress is that there is a great variety of chess offerings out there, all appealing to slightly differening chess groups... some like league chess, some prefer congress and Rapidplay, some go for County, others for FIDE rated 4NCL.
All these flavours have a distinct appeal and there is a place for all of these formats on our chess calendar.
It is vital therefore that all of these are well supported, well promoted, and well run... and particularly important that these events have a good crop of willing volunteers to keep the wheels turning and ensure the richness of our chess offerings is maintained.
BRING BACK THE BCF

MartinCarpenter
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Re: 2016 draw

Post by MartinCarpenter » Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:08 am

LawrenceCooper wrote:
MartinCarpenter wrote:It'd be much better to use some super Midlands/Northish area with say GM/Yorks/Lancs/Staffs in one qualifying group. Sane enough travel. If feeling really radical - assuming no teams from outside the SCCU you could qualify two from there, two from elsewhere and have a semis/finals day over a weekend somewhere. It'd be a much nicer competition in some ways.
We wouldn't fit into that geographical group. Our matches with Greater Manchester are played at a neutral venue and so venturing further north would be a non starter. A good chunk of our team comes from the Wolverhampton League so matches against Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire etc are far more viable, maybe Derby, Leics, Notts, at a push.
Well, yes, but they're not raising teams of the requisite strength :( I guess little hope of their ever doing so with the universally reduced player base, although I do have to wonder quite what Warwickshire are doing with Birmingham!

You'd probably use neutral venues, but from a Yorkshire travel perspective? At the moment we get one match vs Lancs then any/all qualifiers are vs southern teams down in Long Buckby, which is far enough to put people off. If the competition switched to a qualifier vs GM/Lancashire/Staffs then a single finals event, we'd end up with less travel even if we played Staffs in Wolverhampton :)

Hypothetical anyway given Lancs vs GM :( The friendlies are much more realistic sort of idea.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: 2016 draw

Post by MartinCarpenter » Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:13 am

Richard Bates wrote:Scrap the Minor Counties Championship. It serves no real purpose other than to simultaneously undermine the Open and U180 competitions.
Tempting, although it is the one competition with a healthy entry :) Could always fold the U180 into it instead - it'd be roughly as easy for the bigger places to field an average <180 team than a specifically all <180 team anyway.

Mick Norris
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Re: 2016 draw

Post by Mick Norris » Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:29 am

MartinCarpenter wrote:Hypothetical anyway given Lancs vs GM :( The friendlies are much more realistic sort of idea.
You can't have friendlies against people who won't acknowledge you exist :wink:

We have played an U160 friendly v Cumbria, offered Staffs an Open friendly and would be open to offers from anyone else

Alex's idea of reforming the County Championship would have allowed direct entry thus swerving round the Unions, but the SCCU are understandably reluctant given the strength of their internal events - the WECU, EACU and MCCU have their own competitions which are fine below national open team strength

No reason not have a national Open competition with the SCCU staying as they are to qualify a single team for the final, and anyone else in their own qualifier - Staffs, Yorks & Lancs playing matches against each other home and away would be a good start, and give each team 4 matches, but could you fit this round 4NCL and Yorkshire league weekends?
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

David Pardoe
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Re: 2016 draw

Post by David Pardoe » Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:56 am

MartinCarpenter wrote:
Richard Bates wrote:Scrap the Minor Counties Championship. It serves no real purpose other than to simultaneously undermine the Open and U180 competitions.
Tempting, although it is the one competition with a healthy entry :) Could always fold the U180 into it instead - it'd be roughly as easy for the bigger places to field an average <180 team than a specifically all <180 team anyway.
That's probably a reasonable option... and maybe rename the `Minor Counties` to something like `Tier two Counties` perhaps.

But to boost the Open event you probably need to jazz it up a bit, with maybe better prize fund, more publicity, and to amend the rules to allow the West of England & East of England to enter separate `Union combined teams`...
With our top players wanting big tournaments, Congresses, and 4NCL, the competition at that level is high, so its always going to be difficult to persuade our top guns to play in the Counties events, except maybe the later Finals stages.
Yes, travel is an issue in the Finals stages.. maybe they should hold a jamboree style finals event, say at the May Bank Holidays.
Certainly three rounds and a Preliminary is quite a stretch over the summer months..
BRING BACK THE BCF

MartinCarpenter
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Re: 2016 draw

Post by MartinCarpenter » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:06 pm

Well, if Lancs keep being daft, Yorkshire could always take ourselves off to the MCCU ;)

Think it'd be OK time wise. If you moved it down to just one final weekend (to allow for semi finals), or just a pure final then you could easily enough include 3 to 4 semi local qualifier events in the time slots for the 1/4, 1/2 etc. Maybe play some of them slightly earlier in the season, can double up on a Yorkshire league weekend if required.

The enthusiasm might be more debatable.

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