County Chess: ECF Policy of Fines

Discussion about all aspects of the ECF County Championships.
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Michael Flatt
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County Chess: ECF Policy of Fines

Post by Michael Flatt » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:46 am

As the Union competitions draw to a conclusion and the time arrives to nominate teams for the ECF County Championships, I am hearing rumblings of discontent regarding the inflexible manner in which fines are being levied by the ECF for county that default boards regardless of whether or not the default was declared in advance of the match itself.

A number of counties are considering refusing to accept a nominations by their Union, such that the competition itself is under threat.

Perhaps, it is time to have a proper debate as to whether the rules need to be revised so that the smaller counties do not feel discriminated against by not being able to field a full team.

I also hear that some players that have travelled to a match and suffered a default have not been reimbursed their legitimate travel expenses. That disinclines players to turn out for the county team in the future.

Should the Unions seek representation on the Rules and Appeals sub-committee so that those who participate in the competition are able to exercise some influence the Rules of the Competition and their application?

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: County Chess: ECF Policy of Fines

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:36 pm

I can see both sides to this. I'm sure most of us have traveled to a match at some point to be blithely told by the opposing captain, `Sorry we don't have a full side.` Which is always irritating even if the circumstances are genuinely mitigating. So in a competition where considerable distances have to be traveled I think it's right that there should be a robust penalty.

That said, if a team defaults boards and gives good notice nobody is inconvenienced and one team simply has the handicap of starting with a point(s) deficit. As controller I was quite happy to waive fines in those circumstances, however I would only do so if told in advance; I didn't see it as my job to go chasing up the circumstances of every default.

£20 for a defaulted board is not a huge amount of money in the grand scheme of things. `Legitimate travel expenses` would probably be a lot more (particularly if the player has traveled by public transport`. Personally if I suffered a default in a county match it wouldn't be the cost that was a disinclination, whether it was refunded or not. The irritation was the thought of what I could have done with the day instead.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Alex Holowczak
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Re: County Chess: ECF Policy of Fines

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:57 pm

Michael Flatt wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:46 am
A number of counties are considering refusing to accept a nominations by their Union, such that the competition itself is under threat.

Perhaps, it is time to have a proper debate as to whether the rules need to be revised so that the smaller counties do not feel discriminated against by not being able to field a full team.
I remember a "proper debate" in the past, where the prevailing public response to the threat of teams not wanting to be nominated was "Good".

The solution to not being able to field a full team is to reduce the number of boards per team, rather than have a bigger team in theory and default lots of boards. That was proposed, but there was again no wider public appetite for that.

John Reyes
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Re: County Chess: ECF Policy of Fines

Post by John Reyes » Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:10 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:57 pm
Michael Flatt wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:46 am
A number of counties are considering refusing to accept a nominations by their Union, such that the competition itself is under threat.

Perhaps, it is time to have a proper debate as to whether the rules need to be revised so that the smaller counties do not feel discriminated against by not being able to field a full team.
I remember a "proper debate" in the past, where the prevailing public response to the threat of teams not wanting to be nominated was "Good".

The solution to not being able to field a full team is to reduce the number of boards per team, rather than have a bigger team in theory and default lots of boards. That was proposed, but there was again no wider public appetite for that.

I remember a ECF meeting that you did said about 12 board, but some people was not happy!!

What is a Proper Debate :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
Any postings on here represent my personal views only

Nick Grey
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Re: County Chess: ECF Policy of Fines

Post by Nick Grey » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:01 pm

The fines are not picking up amounts owed to players affected by defaults. I'm still more than 60 quid out of pocket on last years Minor Counties Q/Final because opposition did not bother to communicate to us in the early hours that one of their players were not picked up. Watching cows not move in a field is not compensation. I would have a pudding & more drink if known. & bought ear-plugs to not have the awful choice of music by our driver.

We are looking at it but only after completion of matches.

Michael Flatt
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Re: County Chess: ECF Policy of Fines

Post by Michael Flatt » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:30 am

I am currently making ECF nominations to teams competing in the SCCU County Championships.

It is disappointing the number of teams refusing their nomination and citing the ECF fines that they received last season as the reason for their reluctance to participate this season.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: County Chess: ECF Policy of Fines

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:11 pm

Michael Flatt wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:30 am
I am currently making ECF nominations to teams competing in the SCCU County Championships.
Where are last season's results?

I tried a Google for "chess county championship" which failed to produce a direct link to the 2018 results.

J T Melsom
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Re: County Chess: ECF Policy of Fines

Post by J T Melsom » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:25 pm

I have just replicated the search using Bing.
This is the4th entry that came up. https://sccu-chess.com/index.php/en/county-championship

Roger de Coverly
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Re: County Chess: ECF Policy of Fines

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:24 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:25 pm

This is the4th entry that came up. https://sccu-chess.com/index.php/en/county-championship
which leads here
http://ecflms.org.uk/lms/node/36/home

Doesn't tell you who played and which teams had defaults.

I was looking for something similar to
http://www.4nclresults.co.uk/2018-19/4ncl/8/2d/export/

Mike Gunn
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Re: County Chess: ECF Policy of Fines

Post by Mike Gunn » Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:29 pm

This year (and last) I am the captain of the Surrey U140 and U100 teams. The U100 team defaulted its first match last year (a semi final) because I was unable to find more than 5 players to travel to Milton Keynes from Surrey. I got some flack for this at the Surrey AGM and this year I was told that I would have to demonstrate I could raise a team for the relevant dates (fair enough). In fact I can't do that and so there will be no Surrey U100 team in the national stage. I'm very disappointed with this as I was the person who made the original suggestion of having (what was originally) the U75 competition with the objective of getting juniors playing county chess. The fact is that parents of juniors (on the whole) give a higher priority to playing in specifically junior events when they conflict with county chess because their offspring get more games that way.

I was the only person who spoke and voted against this system of fines at SCCU meeting a few years back. In my experience most county captains take their responsibilities very seriously, notifying opposing captains 24 hours (at least) in advance when you can't raise a team (so that some players don't have to travel) and trying to have reserves available to cover last minute withdrawals. When despite all this when you default a board or match it's a real kick in the teeth and then the Home Chess directorate kicks you in the teeth (again) by fining you.

Down with fines!

Alex Holowczak
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Re: County Chess: ECF Policy of Fines

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:53 pm

Michael Flatt wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:30 am
It is disappointing the number of teams refusing their nomination and citing the ECF fines that they received last season as the reason for their reluctance to participate this season.
Mike Gunn wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:29 pm
I was the only person who spoke and voted against this system of fines at SCCU meeting a few years back.
So taking your statements together, you are saying that the SCCU was in favour of the system of fines with 1 against, but are complaining about the system of fines as the reason why teams are not prepared to be nominated? This does not seem logically consistent to me.
Mike Gunn wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:29 pm
The fact is that parents of juniors (on the whole) give a higher priority to playing in specifically junior events when they conflict with county chess because their offspring get more games that way.
In my experience, they also give a higher priority to playing in weekend congresses for the same reason. It's not just juniors who do that, of course.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: County Chess: ECF Policy of Fines

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:06 pm

It is difficult - on the one hand, it is really annoying if people default, but if you are an organizer and players let you down at the last minute, what can you do?

Redhill discussed putting a team in one of the National Club events, everyone agreed at the AGM and committed to play, and when it came to the first match, everyone said they didn't want to play in it. This was just 6 players and it is more difficult for county matches and you have to give people plenty of warning. We had one Surrey captain who used to ring round a couple of days before the match and he had lots of defaults! There is more travelling in the later stages of course.

On balance, if you commit to entering a competition, you are duty bound to put a team out, as it is unfair to the opposition (and maybe someone who would have played if you didn't). But if the fines are too large, fewer teams will enter. Then maybe the competition gets cancelled...

David Pardoe
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Re: County Chess: ECF Policy of Fines

Post by David Pardoe » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:20 pm

This is a tricky one.. If prior notice is given that a team will be players short, then I think there should, in general be no fines imposed. If we were playing professionally for money, then it might be different. It does help if you have a group of you organising things, who can share ideas, if problems arise.
BUT AGAIN, LAST MINUTE DROP OUTS ARE A PAIN, BUT ARE NEVERTHELESS UNAVOIDABLE. SO NO FINES IN THAT CASE EITHER IN GENERAL.
THE PENALTY OF BOARD POINT LOSS FOR A DEFAULT IS PROBABLY FAIR. If it is a high board default, then the additional penalty of having the default applied to the bottom board is an additional penalty. NO CAPTAIN WANTS TO GO TO A MATCH WITH PLAYERS SHORT.
SIMILARLY, IF A MATCH IS DEFAULTED DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES, THEN NO PENALTY SHOULD BE IMPOSED, IF ADVANCED NOTICE IS GIVEN.
I can remember once getting stuck on the motorway on the way to WOLVERHAMPTON. We were stuck there in standing traffic for over 3 hours. The match had to be cancelled. For contact purposes, it is helpful if each car going has a mobile in it, so players can keep in touch and advise of any problems on route.
BRING BACK THE BCF

Alex Holowczak
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Re: County Chess: ECF Policy of Fines

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:51 am

David Pardoe wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:20 pm
I can remember once getting stuck on the motorway on the way to WOLVERHAMPTON.
It could have been worse. You could have arrived in Wolverhampton.

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