Southern Giga Final

National developments, strategies and ideas.
Mick Norris
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Re: Southern Giga Final

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:58 am

Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Southern Giga Final

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:14 am

Thanks Mick. About 420 on the Saturday and about 500 on the Sunday then by the looks of it.

Mike can be forthright (can't we all) and he and I have certainly disagreed on a number of things in the past. I'm sure we will again in the future. But (and this is the thing), it is possible to disagree whilst still respecting the other perspective.
Alan Burke wrote:No you don't have to find a better venue, but in your original answer you said that you had done so.

However the events you mentioned do not attract the numbers present at the UKCC, so I was therefore just pointing out that your attempted answer did not fulfill the criteria of the event in discussion. Would you therefore still maintain that the venues you have provided are better than the ones used in the Southern Gigafinal and could be used for that purpose ?
One thing is for sure - Alan is mistaken to accuse Mike of not having arranged venues for that number of players.

Matthew Turner
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Re: Southern Giga Final

Post by Matthew Turner » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:02 am

I find it a bit strange that Mike Truran would bother to come on here to publicly criticise a venue he hasn't even been to. He then goes on to raise genuine questions about the whole methodology behind the UK Chess Challenge. I am left with a nagging suspicion that Mike is simply trying to run down a much more successful competitor to his own Junior 4NCL.

Mike Truran
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Re: Southern Giga Final

Post by Mike Truran » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:14 am

David - fair enough! I could have phrased things differently. To be fair, others could have done the same.

Sean - thanks! I have!

Sarah - no problem with your comments, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. I was really making a point about expectations.

Let me try again. Yes, of course the UKCC has many positive aspects. Yes, I think it could be much better in a number of ways (but what event couldn't be?) My main questions were:

(a) do mass volume events like this do anything to retain children's interest in chess longer term? (and if they don't, does it matter anyway?)
(b) would conditions (venues, organisation etc) be better if more money was invested in the event rather than being diverted elsewhere (and if they would, does it matter anyway?)

I have a further question. Is there any connection between the growth of the UKCC and the decline of junior and schools league chess in England (and if there is, does it matter anyway?)

Mike Truran
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Re: Southern Giga Final

Post by Mike Truran » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:20 am

Matthew

Not true. My intention is not to run it down. If I was, I would not have tried to raise my concerns about a number of aspects directly with Mike Basman.

More power to the UKCC's elbow as far as I'm concerned. It depends though on how one defines 'successful'. No doubt the UKCC is very good at sucking juniors in at the front end. What I'm not sure about is whether that's a particularly important criterion in the development of successful juniors later on (but again, does that really matter?).

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Southern Giga Final

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:27 am

Mike Truran wrote: I have a further question. Is there any connection between the growth of the UKCC and the decline of junior and schools league chess in England (and if there is, does it matter anyway?)
The event has been running for quite a few years, so players like Ben Purton and Phil Makepeace, now in their twenties, were participants from the very beginning.

Trying to think that far back, it would be my impression that the event was a response to the decline of inter-school chess rather than its cause. Inter-school chess almost certainly wasn't helped by the ever increasing form filling which began to inflict schools over twenty years ago. A reluctance of teachers to be involved in out of school activities was also unhelpful. If it isn't possible to run teams, an individual competition would have to take its place.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Southern Giga Final

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:31 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:Trying to think that far back, it would be my impression that the event was a response to the decline of inter-school chess rather than its cause.
I don't believe this to be true.

I've read somewhere that Mike initially set up a UKCC style of competition within the junior clubs or schools he was involved with. So it had the furry mascots and the badges and so on. This brought people through the door, and so was deemed to be a good thing. After much effort (and not a lot of external help), it was rolled out nationally, and the county stage and beyond fell into place from there.

The furry mascot thing might be part of why older children don't play in the UKCC as enthusiastically. They're undoubtedly great at getting 8 year olds through the door, but the 16-year olds wouldn't be seen dead with them. They perhaps perceive the event is something for primary school children, rather than for them.

Peter Turner
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Re: Southern Giga Final

Post by Peter Turner » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:44 am

Hopefully Richard James will have some knowledge of the early days of what became the UK Chess Challenge. I think Rotary International in conjunction with The Richmond Junior Chess Initiative wished to support chess in schools. They encouraged Rotarians around the country to get involved with chess in their local schools. I did quite a bit in Lincolnshire schools on behalf of Rotary International. Mind I could be wrong!! :oops:

Matthew Turner
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Re: Southern Giga Final

Post by Matthew Turner » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:50 am

The decline in School clubs and leagues is ultimately down to two things
1. The teachers strike in the mid eighties which led to teachers (in the state sector) reducing their after school commitments
2. The rise of (portable) computer games

I believe that to be successful a junior really needs to become involved in an adult chess club fairly early on. The demographics of junior chess are that the average age of players is getting younger and younger. This makes it more difficult for the players to get involved in an adult club.

It is hard to see how the UK Chess Challenge has created either of these factors.

Mike Truran is really engaging in double-speak again
"More power to the UKCC's elbow as far as I'm concerned. It depends though on how one defines 'successful'. No doubt the UKCC is very good at sucking juniors in at the front end"

He starts off with more power to the UKCC's elbow, but then goes to say it is sucking in juniors rather than attracting them. That nagging suspicion remains that he is just throwing things out to try to run down a much more successful competitor.

Alan Burke

Re: Southern Giga Final

Post by Alan Burke » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:04 am

If Mike Truran has organised events for the number of players involved in the Gigafinal (and note the word "if" because although it may be true, without any evidence I don't know if he has or not) then all he had to do was to make known of that fact in his original answer to me. Instead he just mentioned the Junior 4NCL, which certainly does not accommodate the numbers in attendance at Mike Basman's event.

He also had a second opportunity to make his case when I pointed out that his tournament was not equal in numbers to the UKCC competition. However, yet again he failed to mention he could have provided a better venue (if that was indeed the case) but decided to backtrack and say he didn't see why he needed to answer such a question - even though he had originally responded, albeit with an insufficient reply.

A third chance then came his way, but yet again he decided not to prove he could have surpassed Mike Basman's efforts but instead just posted insults and imitated the little kids who say something and then put their fingers in their ears and shout a lot so they can't hear what anyone else is saying to them. If, however, Mike Truran does not wish to respond for himself, then I can't see why anyone else should have to answer on his behalf.

As far as the aim of the UKCC; surely Mike Basman cannot be blamed for just introducing youngsters to the game of chess ? Again, I will use a football scenario - a local amateur club encourages a young player to join them and who is then spotted by the scout of a professional club. The local club have played their part in getting the youngster involved in the game but it is now up to someone else to take him on to the next level.

At our local club - where the other week we had 72 players of age 16 or under - we also have many youngsters who come and go, having played the game for a while and then decided it wasn't for them. Many of those have never entered the UKCC so should our club be criticised for first of all introducing them to chess but then not being able to retain them ?

Krishna Shiatis
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Re: Southern Giga Final

Post by Krishna Shiatis » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:18 am

Mike Truran wrote: Let me try again. Yes, of course the UKCC has many positive aspects. Yes, I think it could be much better in a number of ways (but what event couldn't be?) My main questions were:

(a) do mass volume events like this do anything to retain children's interest in chess longer term? (and if they don't, does it matter anyway?)
(b) would conditions (venues, organisation etc) be better if more money was invested in the event rather than being diverted elsewhere (and if they would, does it matter anyway?)

I have a further question. Is there any connection between the growth of the UKCC and the decline of junior and schools league chess in England (and if there is, does it matter anyway?)
Hi Mike,

I think I can see what you are trying to say.

I do believe that the UKCC is a very good competition. It has brought many children into chess. I do also see your point as I have heard many complaints from Kent parents about conditions at these venues and they have been put off attending tournaments in general because they have not had much experience with tournaments and the conditions they experienced here were not so good.

I do actually agree with you, as along the way, Mike Basman has not perhaps reinvested back into the chess that which he could have, by having better venues and managing the actual competitions a little better. He has perhaps put profit ahead of 'chess'. In the real world of course, profit is what ultimately drives business forward. So many might argue that 'so what?'

I think that what Mike T is trying to say is that there comes a point when you do have to question it because the net result may be that you might be putting some children/parents off and that is counter productive to what we are trying to achieve with junior chess at this time.

I do think that UKCC is a good competition and the premise behind it is also sound and I hope that it continues for many years bringing children in. I hope though that the organisers also take a look at how they are impacting on parents/children going forward and take note of what parents like Mike T are saying because he is very brave to have come forward, to say what he has and his case/opinion is not isolated.
Last edited by Krishna Shiatis on Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Southern Giga Final

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:24 am

Alan Burke wrote:As far as the aim of the UKCC; surely Mike Basman cannot be blamed for just introducing youngsters to the game of chess?
Krishna Shiatis wrote:It has brought many children into chess.
Two people have said this now, so it's worth my while pointing this out.

The UK Chess Challenge hasn't brought many children into chess at all.

I can't imagine many people have taken up chess just because they wanted to enter the UK Chess Challenge. What will have happened, is that juniors will have been introduced to chess (thanks to the efforts of organisations like 3Cs and KJCA), and once they've been introduced to the game, they find they get entered into this thing called the UK Chess Challenge.

I could believe that a kid would take up football because he wants to play in the Premiership; he's exposed to that in the media on a regular basis, and would be aware of various local football teams aged about 7. By contrast, chess doesn't have this luxury. I would have thought parents would be completely oblivious to the UK Chess Challenge when they initially sign their son up for the school chess club.

What the UK Chess Challenge has done, is introduce children to competitive chess. I see this as distinct from introducing them to chess.

Mike Truran
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Re: Southern Giga Final

Post by Mike Truran » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:35 am

Thanks Krishna - it's good to know that I haven't gone completely mad.

Anyone would think I'd shot Bambi. :lol:
An ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it.

Krishna Shiatis
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Re: Southern Giga Final

Post by Krishna Shiatis » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:36 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
The UK Chess Challenge hasn't brought many children into chess at all.

I can't imagine many people have taken up chess just because they wanted to enter the UK Chess Challenge. What will have happened, is that juniors will have been introduced to chess (thanks to the efforts of organisations like 3Cs and KJCA), and once they've been introduced to the game, they find they get entered into this thing called the UK Chess Challenge.

I could believe that a kid would take up football because he wants to play in the Premiership; he's exposed to that in the media on a regular basis, and would be aware of various local football teams aged about 7. By contrast, chess doesn't have this luxury. I would have thought parents would be completely oblivious to the UK Chess Challenge when they initially sign their son up for the school chess club.

What the UK Chess Challenge has done, is introduce children to competitive chess. I see this as distinct from introducing them to chess.
Hi Alex,

I think that you are right, but also slightly wrong. Let me explain. You are right that UKCC has introduced the children to competitive chess (so, as Mike T has said, it is important that this experience is a good one for as many as possible). IMO, it has also introduced children to chess in some cases.

I do know of some children who have only started playing chess because their friends got fluffy toys at chess club (courtesy of the UKCC) and they wanted them, so they went along and then they did well at school, so they went to the megafinals and then their parents talked to other parents and they found out about the world of competitive chess.

So I think that the UKCC has in some way started them on their journey.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Southern Giga Final

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:36 am

Alan Burke wrote:If Mike Truran has organised events for the number of players involved in the Gigafinal (and note the word "if" because although it may be true, without any evidence I don't know if he has or not) then all he had to do was to make known of that fact in his original answer to me. Instead he just mentioned the Junior 4NCL, which certainly does not accommodate the numbers in attendance at Mike Basman's event.
The 4NCL has 36 teams of 8 boards and around 40 teams of 6 boards. So that's in excess of 500 players when all divisions are in the same venue as at Hinckley. Junior events can be different because for every player, there's usually one or more accompanying parent or other family member.

This is the thread about last year's event.
http://rs2.blueapricot.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3224

I made the same comment about 4NCL numbers in that thread. For most practical purposes, adult chess can ignore spectator requirements. The same is not so for Junior chess.

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