Yorkshire vs ECF disparity

General discussions about grading.
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Ihor Lewyk
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Re: Yorkshire vs ECF disparity

Post by Ihor Lewyk » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:07 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Ihor Lewyk wrote: In some sports, playing in the local unofficial league would have you banned from playing in local or national official competitions.
Even in Chess. The national chess federation of India springs to mind. Surely you are not advocating that sort of action Roger?

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Yorkshire vs ECF disparity

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:12 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote: Imagine a league full of say 70 per cent ECF members trying to impose compulsory ECF membership on the league. They get to get their games in that league graded. What do the remainder get out of it with the Yorkshire grading system about? Nothing at all.
[SNIPPED]
The only way I can see it really happening is if the membership levels get high enough that its possible to basically collectively buy memberships for the remainder of the league.
What seems to have happened in most of the country is that the 70% (i.e. the majority) have got the league to go down the graded route. The 30% are then faced with a decision join the ECF for £12 and carry on playing or refuse and either not play, or play very little. In the vast majority of cases, they seem to have decided that 25p per week is not a barrier to playing chess.

I don't know whether the issue in Yorkshire sits with players, or organisers (or both).

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Yorkshire vs ECF disparity

Post by MartinCarpenter » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:17 pm

Its the fact that the players have the option to have the league graded by Yorkshire instead :)

So while in the rest of the country the remaining 30 per cent get a grade etc out of this, and everyone gets a more functional league, in Yorkshire all that happens is that the 70% get more games included in their ECF grades.

I'm also not sure quite how high the membership levels in Yorkshire are at the moment. There is a lot of overlap between the Yorkshire and local leagues/congresses but it isn't universal by any means, especially not in the lower divisions.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Yorkshire vs ECF disparity

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:25 pm

Ihor Lewyk wrote: Even in Chess. The national chess federation of India springs to mind. Surely you are not advocating that sort of action Roger?
Of course not. I do however ask the membership advocates to deny that they want to go in that direction.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Yorkshire vs ECF disparity

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:54 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Ihor Lewyk wrote: Even in Chess. The national chess federation of India springs to mind. Surely you are not advocating that sort of action Roger?
Of course not. I do however ask the membership advocates to deny that they want to go in that direction.
Personally, I don't think the ECF should go down the route of banning players who play in unofficial events (as other countries do and as can, theoretically, happen here in football for example). However, I do think that the ECF should do nothing to assist these unofficial / unregistered events. I therefore think the ECF is right not to grade games (even from members) in unregistered events.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Yorkshire vs ECF disparity

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:30 pm

I'd say that Yorkshire players currently split into two camps. There are those such as myself who are sick of the constant schism with the ECF; the substance of which is long forgotten, and want to move forward. However there are also a substantial number who have become accustomed to YCA grades and don't see why they should have to join the ECF solely for grading purposes. The latter camp are not anti ECF, they are apathetic towards it. As Ihor has already pointed out, the fact that the ECF is being asked to consider heavy handed approaches to bring Yorkshire back into line shows that they have very little that is positive to offer.

As I've commented several times, it's the pro ECF Yorkshire players who are losing out. They're paying the same fees (bronze, silver or gold) as the rest of the country but cannot get all their games graded because certain events are deemed unregistered.
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Angus French
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Re: Yorkshire vs ECF disparity

Post by Angus French » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:59 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:...it's the pro ECF Yorkshire players who are losing out. They're paying the same fees (bronze, silver or gold) as the rest of the country but cannot get all their games graded because certain events are deemed unregistered.
Exactly. It's the ECF members who play in the affected leagues who will miss out; not the non-members who wouldn't have had their games graded in any case. Further, the lack of ECF grading is hardly likely to persuade a non-member to become a member.

And further still, the ECF members playing in the affected leagues won't, presumably, have a voice on Council which they otherwise would have had.

Did the ECF Board consult with the affected leagues before reaching their decision?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Yorkshire vs ECF disparity

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:13 am

Angus French wrote: And further still, the ECF members playing in the affected leagues won't, presumably, have a voice on Council which they otherwise would have had.
The Leagues concerned gave up their rights to be heard within the BCF/ECF when they declined membership in their own name or by proxy through the Yorkshire county in around 1993. Whilst the idea of allowing Gold or Platinum members unlimited rights to play in unregistered competitions and still have games graded has a certain attraction, it would have been of serious financial value, more so than the Game Fee/ Bronze hack, when applied to the 4NCL/ e2e4 hotbeds of ECF membership like Berks, Bucks, Surrey, Thames Valley, Border etc.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Yorkshire vs ECF disparity

Post by Sean Hewitt » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:54 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:I'd say that Yorkshire players currently split into two camps. There are those such as myself who are sick of the constant schism with the ECF; the substance of which is long forgotten, and want to move forward. However there are also a substantial number who have become accustomed to YCA grades and don't see why they should have to join the ECF solely for grading purposes. The latter camp are not anti ECF, they are apathetic towards it.
Players aren't members of the ECF solely for grades although they are, realistically, the most tangible part of membership. For example, I'm sure that Yorkshire players would want to see their aspiring young players as part of the England Junior set up. That costs money and the ECF has to bring in at least as much as it spends each year. It would be crazy to try to make each bit of the ECF self financing so money raised through membership is spent on things other than grading and membership.
Andrew Zigmond wrote: As Ihor has already pointed out, the fact that the ECF is being asked to consider heavy handed approaches to bring Yorkshire back into line shows that they have very little that is positive to offer.
I look at it another way. The whole ECF membership funding model is based on a high level of take up. This is predicated on events being graded whole, or not at all. If players / organisers were able to pick and choose whose games were graded and whose were not then this would have to apply country wide - not just in Yorkshire. In this scenario, the ratio of membership would go down and so the cost of membership would go up. That's fine, if that's what the majority in the country want. Just remember that it is not a zero cost option.

It's also worth remembering that the YCA grading system piggy backs on the ECF grading system by being able to use ECF grades for free. I'm not clear what the ECF gets out of that particular deal.
Andrew Zigmond wrote:As I've commented several times, it's the pro ECF Yorkshire players who are losing out. They're paying the same fees (bronze, silver or gold) as the rest of the country but cannot get all their games graded because certain events are deemed unregistered.
These events are not 'deemed unregistered'. They are unable or unwilling to comply with the requirements of being graded whole or not at all and so are no graded. I agree that Yorkshire players are not able to get all of their games graded. I wish that it were not so. However, this is because the affected leagues do not comply with the grading and membership rules. If they did, they could be part of the grading system immediately.
Angus French wrote:Did the ECF Board consult with the affected leagues before reaching their decision?
It was the other way around. The affected leagues had the same option as all other leagues in the country of paying game fee on games played by non-members or being ungraded. The affected leagues chose the latter whilst all others have, to the best of my knowledge, chosen the former.

Matthew Turner
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Re: Yorkshire vs ECF disparity

Post by Matthew Turner » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:10 am

Sean Hewitt wrote
"Players aren't members of the ECF solely for grades although they are, realistically, the most tangible part of membership. For example, I'm sure that Yorkshire players would want to see their aspiring young players as part of the England Junior set up. That costs money and the ECF has to bring in at least as much as it spends each year. It would be crazy to try to make each bit of the ECF self financing so money raised through membership is spent on things other than grading and membership."

The ECF does not have to raise money to support junior chess because it spend a negative amount on junior chess. If the ECF disappeared over night there would be more money for junior chess.
Along with getting a grade, members of the ECF support an organisation that reduces the amount of money available for juniors and has a policy of restricting funds for chess in the developing world.

Eric Gardiner
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Re: Yorkshire vs ECF disparity

Post by Eric Gardiner » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:32 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
As I've commented several times, it's the pro ECF Yorkshire players who are losing out. They're paying the same fees (bronze, silver or gold) as the rest of the country but cannot get all their games graded because certain events are deemed unregistered.
I certainly feel that way as an ECF member resident in Yorkshire. Perhaps I should ask for a partial refund of my membership fee as my ECF grade won't be as reliable as that of someone who's played the same number of serious games but had them all ECF graded :) ? It's also not fair on my future opponents if my grade displayed on the tournament wallchart etc. isn't as accurate as it could be (although the problem isn't a new one: during one season a few years ago my Yorkshire and ECF grades differed by 23 points!).
Sean Hewitt wrote: It's also worth remembering that the YCA grading system piggy backs on the ECF grading system by being able to use ECF grades for free. I'm not clear what the ECF gets out of that particular deal.
Sean, I know that you don't need to answer me 8) but I presume you're now in a position to find this out? I suppose the ECF could simply refuse to allow chessnuts to use the information? (I'm not saying that I think they should.) I don't know exactly how the processing works - could the ECF prevent a Yorkshire congress organiser sending the results to both the ECF office and also to the Yorkshire grading adminstrator ?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Yorkshire vs ECF disparity

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:34 am

Matthew Turner wrote: The ECF does not have to raise money to support junior chess because it spend a negative amount on junior chess.
In fairness to the ECF, you can observe that the money it raises is spent on its office. However it doesn't publish an analysis on which area of ECF activity, the ECF spends most in office support. It's also true that junior organisations are being expected to pay much more directly or indirectly to the ECF than in 2011-12 and that the ECF wanted even more until the initial proposals for membership rules and rates for junior players were modified by the April 2012 Council meeting.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Yorkshire vs ECF disparity

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:42 am

Eric Gardiner wrote: I don't know exactly how the processing works - could the ECF prevent a Yorkshire congress organiser sending the results to both the ECF office and also to the Yorkshire grading adminstrator ?
I think there were only a couple of Yorkshire Congresses, one of them Hull, which didn't sign up for the Game Fee scheme. Otherwise it's league results and is there not a system of direct input, where the clubs input the results for next day reporting? ECF codes and grades are used for "out of town" players. Presumably a player new to Yorkshire, but not chess will eventually have their ECF code replaced by a Yorkshire one for local grading.

(edit) The Hull Congress was in early October. The entry form is silent on membership requirements, discounts or ECF grading. It doesn't appear on the list of events graded for October, so presumably won't be ECF graded. (/edit)

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Yorkshire vs ECF disparity

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:15 am

Stopping chessnuts from using ECF grades really wouldn't do much besides raising the general level of irritation - there's enough of a basis purely on the YCA grades that the only substantive effect would be to make the grades of people coming from outside be a bit unreliable for their first few games. Also since Jon is gathering and processing all of the results for the YCA grading it'd be rather irrational to duplicate that (considerable!) effort. Mutual cooperation is good :)

Of course nearly all the competitions where people without current YCA grades are at all likely to play are already signed up.

Really I think there's just a problem because the ECF policies are reasonably well judged in terms of forcing membership across the country to get to the levels they need, but really don't make half as much sense in Yorkshire.

Eric Gardiner
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Re: Yorkshire vs ECF disparity

Post by Eric Gardiner » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:35 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
(edit) The Hull Congress was in early October. The entry form is silent on membership requirements, discounts or ECF grading. It doesn't appear on the list of events graded for October, so presumably won't be ECF graded. (/edit)
My understanding also is that it won't be ECF graded. In fairness this was indicated by the lack of a '~' symbol on the ECF calendar in advance of the congress although I know that one or two players assumed their games would be ECF graded as they were ECF members.
MartinCarpenter wrote:Stopping chessnuts from using ECF grades really wouldn't do much besides raising the general level of irritation - there's enough of a basis purely on the YCA grades that the only substantive effect would be to make the grades of people coming from outside be a bit unreliable for their first few games. Also since Jon is gathering and processing all of the results for the YCA grading it'd be rather irrational to duplicate that (considerable!) effort. Mutual cooperation is good :)
Agreed (I think!) - I suppose my point was that the Yorkshire list could continue to exist without any cooperation from the ECF. A pity that the ECF grading database doesn't yet have quite as many features as the Yorkshire one but I suppose that's something that the ECF can gain from the mutual cooperation :wink:

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