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Page published 16 June 2012

MCCU Publicity Officer's and Webmaster's Report 2011-12

Ray Collett 10 June 2012


As in the previous year I have concentrated my efforts on maintaining and enhancing the MCCU website. The publication policy remains centred on the MCCU area and players in affiliated counties. Where possible the MCCU website links to details of events rather than trying to duplicate information that is on the ECF, league, or county websites. An increasing number of viewers are visiting websites using mobile devices, but the MCCU website is designed primarily for laptop and desktop computers and some updating may be required.

Review of annual performance

The major business has been to report in as timely a fashion as possible the results of MCCU stage county matches. A total of 75 match results were published, almost all within two days of a match being held. I am very grateful to county captains who have sent me details and corrected my errors. I have adopted the practice of reporting on the ECForum when all of a weekend's results are published on the MCCU website. This means that captains who wish to keep abreast of results can receive automatic notification and do not need to visit the union's website repeatedly 'on spec'.

A second major aim has been to report the current leading positions in the Midlands Grand Prix and Rapid Grand Prix. Progress towards timely and efficient publication is still evolving. Tournament directors employ a range of electronic systems for recording results and the information provided by players to congress organisers is not always consistent. I am proposing to ask congress organisers whether they can add ECF grading codes so that players can be identified more easily. It would also facilitate the compilation of these tables if the MCCU could ask counties for definitive lists of affiliated clubs from county associations.

A third aim has been to promote and develop chess in the MCCU area. Upcoming congresses and chess-related events in the MCCU are now featured on the MCCU home page as well as the congress page. I have invested some time to give greater prominence to junior events and the amount of information on the junior pages is increasing. More reports from junior organisers will be welcome.

About a hundred news items were reported, compared with about fifty last year. These cover county matches, congresses held within the MCCU area, and notable achievements of MCCU players. Exceptionally this year I published full results of a congress on the MCCU site because the webmaster of the organisation was unable to post results onto a county website. I prefer, however, in line with the publication policy, to summarise main MCCU congress results and offer a link to the relevant county or league website for those people wanting full results.

An honours roll of MCCU individual champions has been added to the site. Although not visible to the website viewer, historical county team results have now been re-coded in a consistent format to make it easier for any future webmaster to maintain the site

Currently, adding a county match result to the website takes about 20 minutes, adding Grand Prix or Rapid Grand Prix results to the leader boards takes about 2 hours because this task requires significant file manipulation and checks on players' grades and clubs. News reports take about 10 minutes. Reports with graphics require between one and two hours depending on the complexity of the page design.

Over the summer months I hope to be able to add a game viewer to the website and I propose to ask leading county players for game scores next season.

    I welcome discussion on the issues below
  1. I recommend that the union should do more to promote the Grand Prix and rapid Grand Prix at participating congresses.
  2. should participation in the Midlands GP and RGP require organisers to agree with the webmaster an acceptable electronic format for reporting congress results?
  3. I recommend the CEO requests all counties in membership to provide lists of affiliated clubs to help the administration and reporting of the GP and RGP
  4. what priority should be given to adding a game viewer to the website?
  5. what priority should be given to writing a 'mobile-friendly' set of pages for news, this season's match results, rules, and contact details for captains and  officials can be readily viewed on mobile devices?
  6. what features would your county association members like the webmaster to consider adding to the MCCU website?


Again I thank all correspondents who have reported news, match results and pointed out errors. Without this input the website would be less comprehensive and much less accurate. I am willing to continue as Publicity Officer next season.