Victory for the Dinosaurs

Discussion about all aspects of the ECF County Championships.
Nick Grey
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Re: Victory for the Dinosaurs

Post by Nick Grey » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:23 pm

As we have a regular County player moving to Cumbria believing there are only 8 players in Cumbria so it is unlikely to change isn't it?

Surrey are in minor counties this year so is there any provision for winning it to go into Open next season.

Whist there may have been a struggle for 16 board teams in SCCU they have been filled generally by providing weaker players that may not be expected in the U180s, U160s U140s, U120s & likely to pick up at the National Stages with stronger teams (my experience since the U175/U150 changes).

I commended Essex at our U180 match for finding a very young opponent with a 90 point ECF deficit on my low grade. Analysed after, with Essex players and commended her parents. Mentioned a young junior that is playing for their Open team and then compared her play as reminiscent to a game I played against a young Lawrence Trent in a county match.

Many of us play 4NCL as well as County Chess. Of course a change in venue away from this year next season may reduce the teams entering so I cannot see the relevance.

Not so long ago I was captaining a U160 team at the national stages & at the preliminary stage the opposition got a change of date because of a congress, yet that clashed with a 4NCL weekend. I was non-playing captain when I realised how weak the opponents were and I was not going to drop any player under 100. Convinced them that they would win. Then played the Bank Holiday Monday in Telford to avoid a default and cost, as well as playing a female junior that was playing on bottom board that whole weekend. That was my only 4 NCL game that season.

Personally I cannot see why the selection limitations on the content of a Open Team is still in as I thought most rejected it in the original consultation.

The main issue for juniors is that they have lots of opportunities to play chess but when they are available for our County they are given opportunities to play and all organised very well. Not sure why wanting to put an artificial constraint when most Counties are fantastic at inclusion of juniors and females at all levels.

It is likely to be an interesting meeting on 28th so enjoy.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Victory for the Dinosaurs

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:58 pm

Nick Grey wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:23 pm
Surrey are in minor counties this year so is there any provision for winning it to go into Open next season.
There is no provision under the rules but you could ask the SCCU to nominate Surrey for the Open next year irrespective of any other factors. That's how the current system works.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Michael Flatt
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Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Victory for the Dinosaurs

Post by Michael Flatt » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:15 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:58 pm
Nick Grey wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:23 pm
Surrey are in minor counties this year so is there any provision for winning it to go into Open next season.
There is no provision under the rules but you could ask the SCCU to nominate Surrey for the Open next year irrespective of any other factors. That's how the current system works.
The ECF County Final competition rules, including rights for nomination to play in a particular sections, are available on the ECF website: https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-cont ... 7-2018.pdf

This season, being SCCU Controller I nominated three teams to the Open and two (although only one accepted) to the Minor Counties in accordance with our own Union County competition rules: https://sccu-chess.com/index.php/en/county-match-rules.

Any SCCU county secretary, county team manager or county team captain as appropriate may request an additional place and I will coordinate any such request with the competition's National Controller. There is a protocol to be followed so as to avoid confusion and misunderstanding.

Any team that had already been nominated in the Minor Counties would have to take up that place before being able to request or accept any additional places in the Open. It would not be permitted to swap a nomination in the Minor with a nomination in the Open.

Graham Borrowdale
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Re: Victory for the Dinosaurs

Post by Graham Borrowdale » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:48 am

Nick Grey wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:23 pm
Surrey are in minor counties this year so is there any provision for winning it to go into Open next season.
Just out of interest, why on earth are Surrey in the Minor Counties in the first place? Surely that competition is for second string counties. It sounds a bit like Manchester United and Arsenal playing in the Europa League.

Michael Flatt
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Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Victory for the Dinosaurs

Post by Michael Flatt » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:57 am

Graham Borrowdale wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:48 am
Nick Grey wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:23 pm
Surrey are in minor counties this year so is there any provision for winning it to go into Open next season.
Just out of interest, why on earth are Surrey in the Minor Counties in the first place? Surely that competition is for second string counties. It sounds a bit like Manchester United and Arsenal playing in the Europa League.
Surrey didn't achieve a top three place in the SCCU County Championships which would have entitled them to one of SCCU's nominations to the Open section of the ECF competition.

Please, refer to my previous post which references the rules of both competitions.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Victory for the Dinosaurs

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:00 am

Graham Borrowdale wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:48 am
It sounds a bit like Manchester United and Arsenal playing in the Europa League.
Surrey failed to finish in the top 3 of the SCCU competition.

Unlike football clubs, it's against the rules to import players to strengthen a squad, which means that if the SCCU only has 3 places, two of Kent, Surrey, Essex, Sussex and Middlesex are going to be "Minor" counties. That's a contributory reason as to why there's a average grade limit.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Victory for the Dinosaurs

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:03 am

"Just out of interest, why on earth are Surrey in the Minor Counties in the first place? Surely that competition is for second string counties. It sounds a bit like Manchester United and Arsenal playing in the Europa League."

You make a reasonable point, but Arsenal may not be good enough for the Europa League at present...

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Victory for the Dinosaurs

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:10 pm

Graham Borrowdale wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:48 am
Nick Grey wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:23 pm
Surrey are in minor counties this year so is there any provision for winning it to go into Open next season.
Just out of interest, why on earth are Surrey in the Minor Counties in the first place? Surely that competition is for second string counties. It sounds a bit like Manchester United and Arsenal playing in the Europa League.
Well, I appreciated this comment, even if it seems to have passed Roger and Michael by. :lol:

Graham Borrowdale
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Re: Victory for the Dinosaurs

Post by Graham Borrowdale » Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:53 pm

Thank you Alex! You just restored my faith that ECF officers are capable of recognising humour.

As for Surrey in the Minor Counties, it is a very keenly contested event, so be careful!

Michael Flatt
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Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Victory for the Dinosaurs

Post by Michael Flatt » Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:36 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:10 pm
Graham Borrowdale wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:48 am
Nick Grey wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:23 pm
Surrey are in minor counties this year so is there any provision for winning it to go into Open next season.
Just out of interest, why on earth are Surrey in the Minor Counties in the first place? Surely that competition is for second string counties. It sounds a bit like Manchester United and Arsenal playing in the Europa League.
Well, I appreciated this comment, even if it seems to have passed Roger and Michael by. :lol:
It was a legitimate question and as the person responsible for making SCCU nominations I don't see the problem in answering it at face value.

It is demeaning to those counties participating in the Minor Counties competition to categorise them as 'second string'. How will comments like that encourage more players to take up county chess?

Jaimie Wilson
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:34 pm

Re: Victory for the Dinosaurs

Post by Jaimie Wilson » Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:15 pm

Like many here, I love county chess and see it as important so I really appreciate the efforts of everyone involved to help keep it in the best shape possible.

I must admit though that when I heard that Sussex had been drawn against Lancashire in the Open section I thought it was an April fools'! Then I realised that 3 of the unions weren't even involved.. Now whilst I totally understand why you wouldn't be willing to travel a long way for an 'almost certain defeat', I think it's worth noting that my lot, Sussex, achieved 2nd place in the very competitive SCCU with an average grade of 184/185. This means we're only a wee bit stronger on paper than the teams in the patently strong Minor counties competition (which I'm pleased to see appears to be in rude health). What's more, chess isn't played on paper (it's usually played on plastic).

I can't speak for for people in the Western, Midland and Eastern unions and I'm certainly not dismissing their concerns but in recent years when Sussex have been in the Minor we've lost to Leicestershire and Bedfordshire with a team only slightly weaker (if at all) than our regular so I'm quite sure there are more than 6 counties out there potentially capable of getting the better of the South Saxons, just as the Wessex army did back in the 8th century.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Victory for the Dinosaurs

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:13 pm

Michael Flatt wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:36 pm
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:10 pm
Graham Borrowdale wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:48 am


Just out of interest, why on earth are Surrey in the Minor Counties in the first place? Surely that competition is for second string counties. It sounds a bit like Manchester United and Arsenal playing in the Europa League.
Well, I appreciated this comment, even if it seems to have passed Roger and Michael by. :lol:
It was a legitimate question and as the person responsible for making SCCU nominations I don't see the problem in answering it at face value.

It is demeaning to those counties participating in the Minor Counties competition to categorise them as 'second string'. How will comments like that encourage more players to take up county chess?
I didn't think it was a question about chess at all. I thought it was a joke about Manchester United and Arsenal, both which could only qualify for the Europa League this season.

Andrew Zigmond
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Location: Harrogate

Re: Victory for the Dinosaurs

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:23 pm

Regarding Michael Flatt's response above, my point was that if Surrey won an agreement with the SCCU that they would be nominated for the Open next year irrespective of where they finished in the internal competition there would be nothing the ECF could do to prevent it. I appreciate that in practice that would not happen.

Another route open to Surrey would be to ask one of the three non Open competing Unions (Midlands, East and West) to nominate them for the Open competition. They might have to affiliate and go through a few constitutional hoops but there is no ultimate barrier. Again it is unlikely but perfectly legal under the competition rules, as competing counties are nominated by the unions and who and how is an internal union matter.

Of course if the ECF proposed that the winner of the minor counties could take up a wild card place in the Open for the following season should they wish they would no doubt be accused of undermining the competition etc. God forbid that we should have direct entry and just allow counties such as Surrey to pick their preferred ... no that's far too radical.

I certainly would describe the competitors in the minor counties as `second string`. Nottinghamshire have a proud tradition of county chess and Leicestershire can field one of the country's most active Grandmasters on top board. While the perennial open teams would be the favourites in an amalgamated competition I don't think every `minor` county would be heading to certain defeat. And once again, the fact that the Unions split down the middle at the highest level (SCCU and NCCU in one, the rest in the other) it makes a mockery of this `meeting of the union champions` that the dinosaurs are determined to protect.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Alan Walton
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Location: Oldham

Re: Victory for the Dinosaurs

Post by Alan Walton » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:37 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:23 pm
Another route open to Surrey would be to ask one of the three non Open competing Unions (Midlands, East and West) to nominate them for the Open competition. They might have to affiliate and go through a few constitutional hoops but there is no ultimate barrier. Again it is unlikely but perfectly legal under the competition rules, as competing counties are nominated by the unions and who and how is an internal union matter.
At the beginning of season, Greater Manchester asked the MCCU if they would nominate us into the Open competition since currently no county actually wants to play this section

It was refused saying that we would have to still enter the qualifying competition if they were going to nominate us

Michael Flatt
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Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Victory for the Dinosaurs

Post by Michael Flatt » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:55 pm

Alan Walton wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:37 pm
At the beginning of season, Greater Manchester asked the MCCU if they would nominate us into the Open competition since currently no county actually wants to play this section

It was refused saying that we would have to still enter the qualifying competition if they were going to nominate us
The MCCU website indicates that there was a qualifying competition in which the two top teams could opt to play in either the ECF Open or Minor Counties. Neither chose to play in the ECF Open competition.
MCCU website wrote: 11 Sep. Overall there are two new teams this year. Derbyshire and Leicestershire - shown in red in the table below - play in the under-120 competition. There were no entries for the Open section and five counties that entered the Minor will compete for the Midland Counties Team Championship. The two top teams will be asked to choose nominations to compete in either the Open or the Minor Counties championships in the national stages.
Ref: http://www.mccu.org.uk/cmatch.htm

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