SCCU U14/U130 tournament

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Neill Cooper
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SCCU U14/U130 tournament

Post by Neill Cooper » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:40 pm

I think the SCCU U14/U130 tournament are the only inter-county junior matches (as opposed to Jamborees) still taking place.
It gives a chance for those who have moved to secondary school to continue playing for their county, and to keep on playing chess.
The first match of the season took place last week, with Kent beating Surrey 15 - 9.
https://sccu-chess.com/index.php/en/east-league-17-18

Alex Holowczak
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Re: SCCU U14/U130 tournament

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:59 pm

Neill Cooper wrote:I think the SCCU U14/U130 tournament are the only inter-county junior matches (as opposed to Jamborees) still taking place.
Oxfordshire is hosting a four-county Round Robin tournament on Sunday, against Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Berkshire. There are Under 11 Girls and Under 18 Girls sections, with teams of 8.

Warwickshire is hosting a four-county Round Robin tournament on 26th November, against Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. There are Under 9 (team of 8), Under 11 (team of 8), Under 11 Girls (team of 4) and Under 18 (team of 8, must have one boy and one girl in the team) sections.

John Swain
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Re: SCCU U14/U130 tournament

Post by John Swain » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:22 pm

There are also U130 "Four Counties" (Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire) 12 board U18 matches which were set up by Phill Beckett in November 2015. The events are held twice a year and work as a three-round all-play-all; each county has hosted once. The current holders of the trophy are Yorkshire, who won the event at Leicester GS in March 2017 (they also won the first two events narrowly from Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire respectively, but Leicestershire were winners of the Nottingham event in November 2016).

In Notts, we especially welcome the opportunity for those who have moved to secondary school to continue to play county chess in a junior team (as well as for grade-restricted teams where adults usually predominate) ; U11 county teams have flourished for a long time.

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Re: SCCU U14/U130 tournament

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:41 pm

Presumably that'll now be graded, given there are only three games, and so there is no liability at all?

Neill Cooper
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Re: SCCU U14/U130 tournament

Post by Neill Cooper » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:08 pm

Great to hear of all these events. What rate of play do you use for 3 rounds in a day?
Hopefully most of these counties will play at the ECF U18 County Championships at Grantham on February 25th.
Historically there was an ECF U18 county girls event - should we consider re-instating that? Entrants were sometimes so few that they played in the U18 minor.

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Re: SCCU U14/U130 tournament

Post by John Swain » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:21 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:Presumably that'll now be graded, given there are only three games, and so there is no liability at all?
The previous events in 2015-17 were graded but the new system means that counties will no longer be billed for the minority of players who are not ECF members.

In answer to Neill Cooper's question, we use 50 minutes on the clock with a Fischer increment of 10 seconds, allowing the games to be graded as standard play. Many of the juniors had never played with increments before, so it was good experience.

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Re: SCCU U14/U130 tournament

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:29 pm

Neill Cooper wrote:Great to hear of all these events. What rate of play do you use for 3 rounds in a day?
Game/30 + 10'/move in the two cases I mentioned. So it's Rapidplay.
Neill Cooper wrote:Hopefully most of these counties will play at the ECF U18 County Championships at Grantham on February 25th.
Will try!
Neill Cooper wrote:Historically there was an ECF U18 county girls event - should we consider re-instating that? Entrants were sometimes so few that they played in the U18 minor.
I think some philosophical thought about the competition is needed about its future format. It should be a prestigious ECF event, yet it has routinely struggled to find an organiser and its own slot in the calendar. I'm grateful to you for organising it in 2018, even if my own commitments prevent me from being there that day.

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Re: SCCU U14/U130 tournament

Post by Neill Cooper » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:38 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:I think some philosophical thought about the competition is needed about its future format. It should be a prestigious ECF event, yet it has routinely struggled to find an organiser and its own slot in the calendar. I'm grateful to you for organising it in 2018, even if my own commitments prevent me from being there that day.
Up to 2006 it was an ECF finals day, with each Union sending along one or two teams. Typically 5 to 7 teams of 12 players, so less than 100 it total.

Then it became an open event with minor, girls and U13 sections added. It then grew and grew, until in 2013 when Herts hosted there were 354 players, with 14 teams in the U18 Open. But it was now too big for anyone to host so the following year no one was willing to do so. I hosted an U18 only event with 168 players, followed by similar sized joint U18/U13 events the following two years and then last year's gap. (Recent history at ECF Counties U18/U13 older from the excellent Richard Haddrell archive

This year's event is again only U18 and earlier in the year so let us see how it goes.

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Re: SCCU U14/U130 tournament

Post by Roger Lancaster » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:16 pm

Well, just six teams in the Open under-18 and six teams in the Minor - and Herts, Kent and Surrey having entered both - that means just nine counties will be participating which probably answers the "let us see how it goes" question. Hindsight is a marvellous thing but situating the event in Grantham doesn't seem to have what I imagine was the desired effect, ie. of attracting a significant number of northern teams.

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Re: SCCU U14/U130 tournament

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:46 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:16 pm
Well, just six teams in the Open under-18 and six teams in the Minor - and Herts, Kent and Surrey having entered both - that means just nine counties will be participating which probably answers the "let us see how it goes" question. Hindsight is a marvellous thing but situating the event in Grantham doesn't seem to have what I imagine was the desired effect, ie. of attracting a significant number of northern teams.
Warwickshire ended up withdrawing because the main schools that Warwickshire's players come from all seem to have a mock exam week starting on Monday. So sadly, we had no hope of reaching the full compliment of players to raise a team. A few people were put off by the distance of travel, it is true, but overwhelmingly that was not the main reason for us, at least.

The event didn't happen last year because no one offered to host it. No one was offering to host it in 2018 either until Grantham offered. The desired effect was probably making sure the event happened.

If it's a choice between the event happening in a location considered to be sub-optimal, or the event not happening, organisers tend to err on the side of organising it. That seems to be true whether it's the ECF Under 18 County Championship in Grantham, or the various FIDE events held in Iran and Saudi Arabia. The best way to ensure a good location is for people in areas that are considered better to offer to host it themselves.

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Re: SCCU U14/U130 tournament

Post by Neill Cooper » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:40 am

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:16 pm
Well, just six teams in the Open under-18 and six teams in the Minor - and Herts, Kent and Surrey having entered both - that means just nine counties will be participating which probably answers the "let us see how it goes" question. Hindsight is a marvellous thing but situating the event in Grantham doesn't seem to have what I imagine was the desired effect, ie. of attracting a significant number of northern teams.
Roger obviously has very high expectations!
In 2017 there was no event. In 2016 at Brighton only 6 counties entered, with just one from outside the SCCU.
I think compared to the past 3 years, entries this year are not a failure.

I look forwards to Roger offering to host the 2019 U18 county championships in Watford.
It would be a better location than Grantham for SCCU and also reasonable for other counties.

ps This year I have also run the SCCU U14/U130 inter-county tournament (the title of this topic). Herts could have entered this event but did not. Roger could consider this for next year. The SCCU have not yet announced their U18 inter-county event for 2018 - perhaps Watford could host that?

CarolGraham
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Re: SCCU U14/U130 tournament

Post by CarolGraham » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:32 pm

Neill and his team deserve thanks for once again stepping in to organise this event.

As stated up thread Sussex knew a Brighton venue was sub-optimal when we offered it in 2016 but stepped in because a more suitable host county didn't come forward so at least the event took place.

Obviously there are more Counties participating at U11 level than secondary age, but part of the success of the EPSCA events must be down to the stable organising committee which sees dates and venues published well in advance and a timetable that is the same each year.

The NYCA events are another example of secondary age tournaments which have declined in numbers over recent years - but they at least have a stable slot in the calendar although in recent years they have lacked publicity. Is there any scope for a merger of effort between the ECF and the NYCA to come up with a revitalised national championship model in the Autumn Term?

The SCCU counties have a good record of travelling long distances to compete - but it is becoming increasingly diffilcult to ask people to travel long distances, sometimes with overnight stays being necessary, to play the same teams we play in the SCCU jamborees nearer to home.

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Re: SCCU U14/U130 tournament

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:36 am

I'm sorry if I've upset people, particularly those who will have put in hard work making sure Grantham works, which wasn't my intention. In fact, as far as travel from the south-east goes, it's no worse than West Bromwich and better than Telford, both of which have been recent J4NCL venues. But it can be a little dispiriting to spend a couple of hours (and longer for those south of London) travelling to these venues to find that most of the opposition is extremely familiar, having also travelled up from the south-east.

I don't wish to seem to duck Neil's kind suggestion but, unless I misunderstand the situation, this event is run on a very limited budget with the result that a free or very inexpensive venue is needed, very likely a school. There are areas where I have good contacts but academia is, sadly, not one.

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Re: SCCU U14/U130 tournament

Post by Neill Cooper » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:26 am

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:36 am
I'm sorry if I've upset people
If you post a critical comment the day before an event you are likely to upset organisers!
Posting it the day after would have been preferable.
There are areas where I have good contacts but academia is, sadly, not one.
Amongst Watford's 50 junior members some go to schools who are active in chess. Indeed Habs hosted this event only 5 years ago. So you could quite easily develop such contacts if you wished to.

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Re: SCCU U14/U130 tournament

Post by Roger Lancaster » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:54 am

True, Neill, although I've helped organise enough events at times over the past 50 years to know better than to become mega-sensitive to criticism. As to your comment - made, as far as I am aware, with little or no knowledge of my personal circumstances - that "... you could easily develop such contacts ...", I'm suitably appreciative of the suggestion as to how I could best use my time.

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