Semi Finals 2014

Discussion about all aspects of the ECF County Championships.
David Pardoe
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Re: Semi Finals 2014

Post by David Pardoe » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:27 pm

Many factors can effect what happens on the county scene..not least travel, county/union organisation, and player availability. I have spoken about these matters previously.
Notts is a core MCCU county, so has an inbuilt travel advantage (incentive) over many other counties, perhaps travelling less than 30 miles on average to play there qualifying games. Compare that to the travel needed by West of England counties, for instance. I can remember many years ago playing for Gloucestershire, and travelling miles to play Devon, Cornwall and Somerset..but they have great memories for me. I am most grateful to the drivers who made these trips possible, and they were enjoyable days out...with much banter on the journeys to keep us occupied and entertained.
Key of course is having a keen county captain with good backup support/contacts from local players and clubs/leagues...
The south east of course has a huge population advantage and could probably enter multiple teams at each level if these were eligible for qualification to the National stages. so not surprising that they figure in many Finals stage matches.
The pairings can also effect the representation from various Unions...i.e., say that you got several SCCU teams paired against each other in say the Qtr or Semi finals.
Then you have counties like Manchester, with various inbuilt difficulties...and not to mention that they never play any home matches these days. Another problem/challenge comes as a result of our high junior representation, which evaporates at the Finals stages (due to exam pressures, etc..)...leaving us with a potentially significant challenge to find alternative players. Our Junior organisers do a really first rate job in encouraging chess amongst our youngsters, and it would be great to see more juniors in our local clubs and leagues. Stronger schools connections might help, along with more parent participation/support..but of course teachers are now struggling under the pressures of today's schools regimes, and the educational football that our politicians have created.
But its not just about counting players. Many players cant play at, domestic, social, cost, time and travel issues can cause player numbers to shrink significantly.
Its the teams that can successfully negotiate these hurdles that have the best chances of success.
However, I would like to see Union bodies do more to actively encourage entries, and to actively engage with county bodies to see if more teams can be raised, and good county competitions created...particularly at the U160, U140, and U120 levels. Some changes to the County Competition rules might also help.
Volunteers for our Union bodies are keenly sought to help organise and run these events, without which, progress is zugzwanged. With the aid of the web, communications these days should be easier, so a good list of contacts (..and web links), is very useful for all county and Union bodies.
Its currently the AGM season, so I`d urge players to come forward and offer there support. Contact local club and league officers to find out what is going on, and what posts are available on the various County bodies. Much help and advice is usually forthcoming. Alternatively, look on league and county websites for details of vacant posts and meetings, and see if you can attend to find out more.
Top marks to all those who give there time to ensure the wheels keep turning and these very valuable chess activities are maintained for the benefit of our players in this country.

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Re: Semi Finals 2014

Post by MartinCarpenter » Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:02 am

27/8 players surely isn't really enough to support a 16 man county team? You'd need exceedingly good turnouts. Probably more like 50 as a realistic minimum.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Semi Finals 2014

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:46 pm

agreed; well, 40 + at any rate.

Neil Graham
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Re: Semi Finals 2014

Post by Neil Graham » Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:50 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote:27/8 players surely isn't really enough to support a 16 man county team? You'd need exceedingly good turnouts. Probably more like 50 as a realistic minimum.
The Under 120 is a 12 board team. I was pointing out that there were enough active players to have at least one grading limited team.

David Pardoe
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:29 pm
Location: NORTH WEST

Re: Semi Finals 2014

Post by David Pardoe » Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:06 am

Neil, you are probably right, but there needs to be the structures in place to create good lively competitions.
More volunteers needed on County and league committtees, to bring fresh ideas...its AGM season so I`d urge players to get along to these and find out how they might help. Ask your local club officials for details.
This means county, Union, and league bodies shaking themselves up and promoting chess in there respective areas.
I think we need a grass roots initiative to encourage novice and inexperienced players to take up chess and join local clubs, and play in Congresses and Rapidplay events in there areas.
Publicity helps...but good welcoming messages from clubs to inexperienced and junior players to encourage them to join, maybe offering informal coaching and some friendly `all play all` club competitions for novice players might help.
Local league need to get there message out to the towns in there area to encourage new clubs and new teams to enter leagues. Not easy...but some local Press releases can help improve awareness, perhaps publishing league tables once a month to let people know there is chess going on in there area.
Also, there are shed loads of players who play online chess to quite a reasonable standard, who dont realise they are quite good enough to join there local clubs.
Maybe we need a novice level online counties event.
Some rule changes and reorganisation of counties events might also previously mentioned.

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