LawrenceCooper wrote: Mick Norris 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
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.