County Championship Consultation

Discussion about all aspects of the ECF County Championships.
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Adam Raoof
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Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Adam Raoof » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:34 am

Nigel White wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:12 am

I had agreed to play in an away County fixture. I had some regrets, as there was a normally well organised congress I would have liked to play in that weekend, just a few miles from my County match venue.
I wondered where you were...

Nick Grey
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Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Nick Grey » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:32 am

Such a shame - our SCCU competition is fantastic & organisation is brilliant.
It was nice that I was well enough to shift 15 tables out. The highest quality clock setting by you know who. Lots of help before the match.
Great two matches & after my game complete seeing some fantastic work on open/minor counties/U180 on a lap-top.

Now hoping that our U160 match meets the top quality refreshments on offer from our hosts as usual on 27th Jan.

Neil Graham
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Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Neil Graham » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:24 am

It's now a month since any contribution to this thread.

The consultation Mark 2 documents should now have been returned. I did write a considerable piece about these but managed to delete it :oops: before posting. However in the absence of any other meaningful contributions I decided not to do it again and awaited something appearing.

There has been a dreadful silence on all aspects of the County Championship for a considerable time.

In particular the ECF webpage shows the Union results as "pending" and there are no rules being shown and indeed no dates for the Final Stages which are also shown as "pending". I have arrangements to make and teams to organise so it would be extremely helpful if the Rules could be put back, the final stage dates shown and arrangements for the Finals posted.

David Sedgwick
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Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by David Sedgwick » Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:33 pm

I never thought that I would post about The Campaign for Real Ale, but I was interested to read the following in today’s Daily Telegraph:

“… The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) risks a rebellion from members over plans to support lager for the first time.

Camra … is launching a "revitalisation project" in an attempt to attract younger members. [Its] Chairman said it must "evolve so that we are relevant to drinkers of all types" amid a changing "beer and pub landscape".

But the move risks a backlash from thousands of staunchly traditional members … [The] Vice-Chairman of Camra's South Herts branch said that the proposals changed Camra's entire ethos.

The proposals, which are backed by the leadership, will be voted on at Camra's Annual General Meeting … next month.”

If you change a few details, you have a pretty fair summary of the Counties Championships debate.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:44 pm

"If you change a few details, you have a pretty fair summary of the Counties Championships debate."

Except I am genuinely surprised by the nonsensical CAMRA proposal.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by MartinCarpenter » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:24 pm

It does seem odd. They could always create a sister organisation or something.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:28 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:33 pm
“… The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) risks a rebellion from members over plans to support lager for the first time.
Isn't that a bit like a Communist party deciding that capitalism is a good idea? But then you could quote the example of China.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:33 am

I don't think the analogy is entirely accurate. It might be if the proposals were to allow larger chess clubs to enter the counties championship. The only major changes to the format are severing the links between the union and national stages (which I'm sorry to say does cause problems) and introducing a few demographic requirements which I remain unconvinced by.

Going a bit off topic but if there was a chess analogy it might be my campaign for the Harrogate & District Primary Schools Chess Association to cover secondary school chess as well (which I have now abandoned). I accept there is a clue in the name but all their work dies a death when players move to secondary school. Currently Harrogate primary schools have a registered charity to look after their interests while secondary schools chess has to come out of the back pocket of a single individual.

Going further off topic; I appreciate a decent pint of real ale but get the appeal of a decent, crisp, chilled lager on a summers day. Both tend to get squeezed out by cheap session lagers so I can see the argument.
Controller - Yorkshire League
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David Sedgwick
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Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:22 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:33 pm
[The] Vice-Chairman of Camra's South Herts branch said that the proposals changed Camra's entire ethos.
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:33 am
I don't think the analogy is entirely accurate....The only major changes to the format [of the Counties Championships] are severing the links between the union and national stages...

You just don't get it, do you? Do you really not understand, even now, that severing those links would at best change the entire ethos of the Counties Championships and could well totally destroy them?

Fortunately, we now have a Controller, Mark Murrell, who is committed to sustaining the Counties Championships in accordance with their 114 year old traditions.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:04 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:22 pm
You just don't get it, do you? Do you really not understand, even now, that severing those links would at best change the entire ethos of the Counties Championships and could well totally destroy them?

Fortunately, we now have a Controller, Mark Murrell, who is committed to sustaining the Counties Championships in accordance with their 114 year old traditions.
I'm perfectly happy to accept that it will "change the entire ethos of the Counties Championship".

Should an organisation/competition cling to those traditions for the sake of clinging to them, while watching their members/participation decline (as has been happening in the County Championship over the last few years, if not in the SCCU), or should it try to change something to help improve it? That's the question that a significant number of organisations are asking themselves, and it's one that's at the heart of this proposal. You quoted CAMRA. I might also quote the ECB - see the franchise T20 tournament coming in the next few years that will exclude many of the first-class counties; albeit Warwickshire are called Birmingham even in the one we have. The counties are a 200-year plus tradition, and even needed the ECB to have a constitutional change to make the new T20 happen.

I could understand people rejecting the changes on the balance of pros and cons, but I don't understand dismissing it entirely on the grounds of tradition. I would put "tradition" in the cons column, but there would be points in both columns.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:05 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:22 pm
David Sedgwick wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:33 pm
[The] Vice-Chairman of Camra's South Herts branch said that the proposals changed Camra's entire ethos.
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:33 am
I don't think the analogy is entirely accurate....The only major changes to the format [of the Counties Championships] are severing the links between the union and national stages...

You just don't get it, do you? Do you really not understand, even now, that severing those links would at best change the entire ethos of the Counties Championships and could well totally destroy them?

Fortunately, we now have a Controller, Mark Murrell, who is committed to sustaining the Counties Championships in accordance with their 114 year old traditions.
I recognise entirely that there are historic traditions around the County Championships, not least the fact that it was founded for the purpose of allowing the champions of the union stages to compete for a national title. Dare I suggest that 114 years ago they did not foresee that the competition would expand into an open and minor together with five grade restricted sections? And the Open is hardly a championship of the five unions these days.

The reality is that the link between the union and national stages can be more of a hindrance than a help in 2018. It means that the ECF gets tangled up in union level disputes, not least the infamous case of the county not recognised by the union it ideally belongs in. It creates a tripwire for many well meaning county captains who don't realise that players cleared by a union controller have to be cleared again by the national controller. Also some of the key national stage matches fall during the exam season which prevents many younger players from taking part.

Decisions about the future direction of the county championships sit entirely with the Director of Home Chess who is elected by the ECF council. Council itself can reject or impose new rules for the county championships and indeed have done so in the past. While Alex always consulted me during my tenure as controller and I made a few suggestions of my own on occasion, the role of the controller is a purely administrative one. It makes relatively little odds what the controller is committed to or not.

You are entitled to your opinions about me. I am sure that Mark Murrell will show the same dedication to the role as I tried my best to provide during my four years as controller.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:13 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:05 pm
It creates a tripwire for many well meaning county captains who don't realise that players cleared by a union controller have to be cleared again by the national controller. Also some of the key national stage matches fall during the exam season which prevents many younger players from taking part.
The tripwire is of the ECF's making in not rubber-stamping decisions of the union controllers. As to clashes with exam periods, what do you expect from a competition taking place in the late Spring and early Summer? If it's moved to the Winter, it overlaps with the existing Union competitions to say nothing of a calendar already crowded with 4NCL, Congresses and league matches to say nothing of possibly disruptive weather conditions for longer distance travel.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:49 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:13 pm
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:05 pm
It creates a tripwire for many well meaning county captains who don't realise that players cleared by a union controller have to be cleared again by the national controller. Also some of the key national stage matches fall during the exam season which prevents many younger players from taking part.
The tripwire is of the ECF's making in not rubber-stamping decisions of the union controllers. As to clashes with exam periods, what do you expect from a competition taking place in the late Spring and early Summer? If it's moved to the Winter, it overlaps with the existing Union competitions to say nothing of a calendar already crowded with 4NCL, Congresses and league matches to say nothing of possibly disruptive weather conditions for longer distance travel.
Your first point is valid although it hinges upon union controllers making the right decision in the first place. If a decision is debatable then the ECF ends up in a mess again. I take your point that moving to winter would create problems of its own but at least congresses and league matches might just have to shift to slightly later in the calendar; a luxury students don't have with their exams.

The removal of rose tinted spectacles would reveal that a clash with the union stages would only really affect the SCCU and MCCU. It is not a national problem in that respect. Removing the union link would simply enable the ECF to invite and collate entries and send out details without having to hang fire for unions to get their internal program sorted out (while batting away other captains chomping on the bit).

But what would I know?
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

David Sedgwick
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Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:57 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:05 pm
You are entitled to your opinions about me. I am sure that Mark Murrell will show the same dedication to the role as I tried my best to provide during my four years as controller.
I didn't express any opinions about you. I criticised the views which you hold, in particular your suggestion that there is nothing fundamental about the link between the Union Stages and the National Stages.

Take a look at http://www.essexchess.org.uk/ and at http://www.essexchess.org.uk/index.php/ ... mm-tms1718, and note the delight of the new Controller's county that they have qualified for all six Divisions of the National Stages for the first time. That is the essence of the Counties Championships.

I entirely accept that you worked hard in the role during the four years for which you were the Controller and I am grateful for that.

You seem to have taken my criticisms as a personal attack, in the same way as Mike Truran did previously in relation to Alex Holowczak. My full response is at viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9564&start=45, towards the bottom of the page.

David Sedgwick
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Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:05 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:05 pm
Dare I suggest that 114 years ago they did not foresee that the competition would expand into an open and minor together with five grade restricted sections?
Indeed they did not, but that expansion is hardly a rationale for scrapping the entire concept.

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