County Championship Consultation

Discussion about all aspects of the ECF County Championships.
Post Reply
Michael Flatt
Posts: 1231
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:36 am
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Michael Flatt » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:12 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:24 am
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:30 am
If there's an intent to persuade Berks or Bucks to reenter even the SCCU competitions, the contemptuous dismissal of eligibility issues says quite a lot.
It's not my job to persuade anyone to enter the SCCU competitions. I understand the SCCU think they've tried that in the recent past, but not succeeded. No doubt Michael Flatt can provide chapter and verse.

But again, I think you're a lone voice in the wind, to some extent. No one else has complained about it at all; or at least, no one put it in the questionnaire responses. I have to put forward proposed solutions to the problems that many people are telling me are problems, and not just one person.
This is my second year as SCCU County Match Controller. I was the only volunteer when the previous incumbent retired after having held the post for 18 years.

This season, my leniency over the late registration of an ungraded player was contested and went to the Appeals Committee. The player was defaulted and the opposing team awarded an addition game point as penalty.

So, I do sympathise with Roger over the strictness with which the rules are applied.

Andrew Zigmond
Posts: 1716
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:58 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:08 pm
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:56 am
Here's another radical suggestion. If it's a competition between Union qualifiers whose rules are not controlled by the ECF, why not remove the competition from the ECF and have it run by appointees of the Unions?
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:00 am
This suggestion has been made by David Sedgwick up thread. In the past most consultation has normally begun with the union county controllers although if they were given a more executive role some might delegate it to experienced county captains. The words recipe, for and disaster immediately come to mind.
I haven't commented further on this thread since the post to which you refer, as I feel that I should first contact Alex privately about his "Shame on you, David" post. Indeed I owe Alex an apology for not having found the time to have done that already.

But, rest assured, I shall be back in due course to refute what both he and you have said.

Happy New Year to all.
I shall look forward to it. Just to clarify one point; I have very little against the idea of a governing committee made up of union representatives in principle. Indeed you could argue that this how, up to a point, the championships operate at present. The union controllers are frequently consulted and some experienced captains provide feedback. However let's just say you have a committee of ten with each union nominating two representatives and follow that thought through.

I have to admit that I've been amusing myself by compiling the likely composition of such a committee. That's the reason for my cynicism. But there are other practical problems. One is the question of whether the WECU, with just a handful of competing teams, should have the same clout as the larger unions. Perhaps more seriously the competition is already hostage to the internal politics and vested interests of some of the unions. We saw it this year when a certain long running dispute reared its head. My fear is that any committee of union representatives (who presumably will be directed by their union committees and AGMs) will simply vote along factional lines and even less progress will be made.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18102
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:34 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:09 am
Either that or not bother with summer team chess.
Looking at the proposed timings, it seems as if the revised competition is likely to run in parallel with the Union competition. It's all very well starting out with representatives from all 5 Unions, but over time, the WECU and EACU and perhaps MCCU representatives would be relegated to be replaced permanently with a choice from the heavyweights of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Surrey, Middlesex, Kent, Essex and perhaps Herts and Sussex.

SCCU counties would then have to compete simultaneously in the regional and national competitions.

If it isn't the desire to replace the Union competitions, that could be made clearer by clarifying which months of the year would contain the revamped competition.

User avatar
Michael Farthing
Posts: 1811
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:28 pm
Location: Morecambe, Europe

Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Michael Farthing » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:04 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:54 am

I don't see it as "shoving a youngster in against a 180+ player" at all. Andrew is also probably right that Yorkshire ought to have rich pickings in this regard, so while I haven't looked the grades of your players up individually (and of course, in many cases because they're not on the ECF list which makes it harder), I confess that I rather thought Yorkshire wouldn't just have < 120 players available for selection in those areas.
Alex, have you done any analysis on the grades of juniors at all?
However, I challenge you to name a single Yorkshire u11 player with a grade greater than 120. Hey, I'll make it a bit easier: 110. Oh, that doesn't help. What about 100? Or 90? Oh dear! I've fallen off the bottom of the ECF listing of the top 100 u11 players. [Strikes me that this list is a good starting point for investigation of the viability of the whole u11 idea. I commend it to potential researchers].

Never mind, as you say this is Yorkshire - we can consult the Yorkshire Junior Grading List. Hey presto! 4 in the 80s (birth year 2006 or later). I must admit I don't know how to convert, but 2 of them do feature in the ECF rapidplay list at round 50.

User avatar
Ihor Lewyk
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:50 am
Contact:

Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Ihor Lewyk » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:09 pm

Thanks Michael. This is a true and embarrassing position the most populous county finds themselves in. Is it true of most other counties too?
Will a dumbing down of the County Open competition really be of value to anyone?

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18102
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:21 pm

Ihor Lewyk wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:09 pm
Is it true of most other counties too?
Here's the link to the under 11 list
http://ecfgrading.org.uk/new/menu.php?f ... gelimit=11

London area is the hotspot.

Also female under 18
http://ecfgrading.org.uk/new/menu.php?f ... gelimit=18
and female
http://ecfgrading.org.uk/new/menu.php?f ... limit=none
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NickFaulks
Posts: 5089
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:26 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:48 am
Arguably if the SCCU runs a competition where the 16 best eligible players compete, what stops it offering a challenge to Yorkshire, Lancashire and other counties feeling hard enough to fight it out for a national title?
If these proposals go through that's probably what will happen, though to begin with there will be a messy fight in which the ECF spends membership fees trying to shore up its own version.

Alex Holowczak
Posts: 8910
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Oldbury, Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:53 pm

Ihor Lewyk wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:09 pm
Thanks Michael. This is a true and embarrassing position the most populous county finds themselves in. Is it true of most other counties too?
Warwickshire's leading under 11 is graded 97. This is why I don't think it will be a case of putting a lamb up for the slaughter.

To some extent, perhaps I thought that something like this might encourage counties to be embarrassed about their positions in this regard, and maybe even take steps to do something about it. In some competitions in continental Europe, with rules that are even more diverse than the ones I put forward, they have them to achieve precisely that - to encourage local organisations to train up junior and female players in particular. Maybe these would encourage counties to do something about that? But apparently no one is interested in these areas.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18102
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:10 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:53 pm
Warwickshire's leading under 11 is graded 97. This is why I don't think it will be a case of putting a lamb up for the slaughter.
Warwick v Herts, Sussex or Kent. They could be facing 150+ opposition.

The ECF grades for under 18 s are faked though, as they include a factor for projected improvement.

User avatar
Michael Farthing
Posts: 1811
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:28 pm
Location: Morecambe, Europe

Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Michael Farthing » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:19 pm

Alex, in more conciliatory tone, I hope:

The requirement for three junior players strikes me as neither a big major incentive for general take-up at junior level nor as a practical means of encouragement to counties to do more. Despite the senexophobic language ( :-) ) that has appeared in this thread on occasion it strikes me as quite unfair to characterise the county selectors as old men with no interest in diversification - they would love to have more players and they would love them to be younger (and female though this post concerns itself with juniors). The added burden of these proposals will not, however, excite their endeavours to do more - the captains have enough on their plate to get a team together, to get it to the right place and to deal with the regular catastrophes in the week prior to a match and, of course, on the day - the M6 log jam, the critical illness, the player who read the time wrong (all of which I have scenarios I have witnessed as I'm sure many others have). The captains have neither the time nor probaby the skill to start coaching youngsters - so the counties must find someone else for this very time consuming task. I doubt that there is a county in the land that finding such an individual would not embrace their endeavours, but the ECF contribution would be more productive and supportive if it threw its weight behind those individuals (including a well-known former county championship controller) attempting the task rather than by making harder an already hard task for the county captains.

In Lancashire we are better endowed than Yorkshire and have a variety of up and coming juniors. They do get into county teams - but at the level of their ability and as full-members who have earned their place amongst their peers - the rickety old men. That is the level they know is right for them and it gives them the immediate and achievable objective of progressing forward one step. Indeed, I joked to one such player (aged 11, graded 135) that next congress she she should be playing in the major section. This was greeted with a hollow laugh: she has ambition but also the sense to progress surely and steadily. Such maturity we should encourage - not exploit their youth to put them in teams outside their reach in the vain pursuit of a worthy, but flawed, objective. Think again, Alex.

User avatar
IM Jack Rudd
Posts: 3932
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:13 am
Location: Bideford

Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:37 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:53 pm
In some competitions in continental Europe, with rules that are even more diverse than the ones I put forward, they have them to achieve precisely that - to encourage local organisations to train up junior and female players in particular. Maybe these would encourage counties to do something about that? But apparently no one is interested in these areas.
Forgive me if I misunderstand this situation, but my impression is that in France, say, the organizations that will be training up players are the same as the organizations that will be putting teams into the relevant competitions. English chess doesn't really have the same sort of tightly-knit structure, so I'm not sure that the same thing will work here.

Alex Holowczak
Posts: 8910
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Oldbury, Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:40 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:37 pm
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:53 pm
In some competitions in continental Europe, with rules that are even more diverse than the ones I put forward, they have them to achieve precisely that - to encourage local organisations to train up junior and female players in particular. Maybe these would encourage counties to do something about that? But apparently no one is interested in these areas.
Forgive me if I misunderstand this situation, but my impression is that in France, say, the organizations that will be training up players are the same as the organizations that will be putting teams into the relevant competitions. English chess doesn't really have the same sort of tightly-knit structure, so I'm not sure that the same thing will work here.
Yes, which is why they were more relaxed than those. I didn't know if the same thing would work here, which is why the question is being put out there.

NickFaulks
Posts: 5089
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:03 pm

I'm in agreement with Michael, except possibly for
Michael Farthing wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:19 pm
In Lancashire we are better endowed than Yorkshire
where as a Southerner I should maintain neutrality.

In my county, any 130 graded female player would be welcomed by the U140 captain, as would a 90 graded 10 year old in the U100s. I can see no possible advantage in pitching them instead into the Open team, even if the players they displace are elderly and male.

Mike Gunn
Posts: 687
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:45 pm

Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Mike Gunn » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:18 pm

Speaking as the aforementioned U140 captain I would like to endorse Nick's remarks. As it happens in the 2 matches I have captained this year (for the Surrey U140 and U100 teams) I have had a total of 3 11 year old females playing. I'm all in favour of promoting diversity, but the idea of quotas in county chess teams is crackers (in my personal opinion), the players simply don't exist at all the relevant levels and will just lead to inevitable defaults. Indeed, has 20 years of requiring at least one female player in 4NCL teams been an unqualified success? (It doesn't seem to have contributed to any particular resurgence in British women's chess.) As pointed out by many, it's social and cultural factors that lead to so few women playing chess - the way to tackle this is to create friendly environments for women of all abilities to play, not insist that we fill places in county teams with players that simply don't exist.

I do, however, support the average grade idea - this will lead to greater flexibility for captains in constructing their teams and I suggest the relevant grades should be 10 points lower than the current maximum limits. It should lead to competitive matches between smaller and larger counties.

Alex Holowczak
Posts: 8910
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Oldbury, Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: County Championship Consultation

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:33 pm

Mike Gunn wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:18 pm
I'm all in favour of promoting diversity, but the idea of quotas in county chess teams is crackers (in my personal opinion), the players simply don't exist at all the relevant levels and will just lead to inevitable defaults.
Have people realised that that proposal only applies to the Open section?
Mike Gunn wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:18 pm
Indeed, has 20 years of requiring at least one female player in 4NCL teams been an unqualified success? (It doesn't seem to have contributed to any particular resurgence in British women's chess.)
I don't know the answer to this, but as an academic, you will understand that no comment can be made about whether or not it was a positive thing, because there hasn't been a control group.

Post Reply