Counties Chess

2013 Annual Meeting

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Page published 14 June 2013

County Team Controller's report

Our Grading Director has already highlighted a reduction in county team games for grading. We had a net loss of 2 teams across all sections with Staffordshire & Shropshire fielding fewer teams, whilst Leicestershire added an U100 team. This of course led to a reduction on numbers of matches.

The weather led to more matches being postponed than for a few seasons. 1 match rescheduled to the penultimate Saturday for other reasons was unfortunately hit, with no time to reschedule again, hence the “not played” fixture. The number of defaulted boards and conceded matches was reduced from last year. If memory serves in all cases concessions were made with reasonable notice.

I have not made any proposals for rule changes this year. As I am stepping down as both CEO & County Controller I felt that I should only make proposals if there was something that I felt needed addressing urgently. At the last AGM the ECF stage rules had yet to be published, although some of the changes were known. I have not suggested we go down the ECF route of dictating that players effectively play in grading order, with only a little scope for variation. The main reason for this is that in order to apply this, any ungraded player must be assigned a grade. Whilst this might be a reasonable thing to attempt towards the end of the season, it would be difficult earlier on in the season. In some cases so little information is available, that assigning an accurate estimate would be impossible.

No huge issues arose during the season so I do not feel there is anything of urgency to be proposed. Evidently counties feel the same as no proposals for rule changes were received.

The last meeting did consider whether a constitutional amendment should be put forward at this AGM to allow the competition rules to be amended outside the AGM with written approval. The meeting did not discuss this in detail, so there was no outline of what might be proposed. No proposal has come from delegates on this, leading me to conclude that on further consideration this is not felt necessary.

The ECF Counties Controller suggested that the MCCU make some proposals to ECF Council about reverting to the old grading bands. As it had not been notified as an agenda item, it was agreed that counties would consult on this, and provide feedback. Following on from this the Controller became the Home Chess Director & made his own proposals, as did the NCCU. In the event, none of the proposals were discussed at Council due to lack of time. A teleconference was held in May involving a combination of Union Controllers or their appointed deputies. I circulated information ahead of this to both delegates & county captains & asked for views. Overall the amount of feedback I received was limited both post AGM & ahead of the teleconference.

The general feeling was that 20 a side at Open level is not desirable. There was some agreement that there was a section too many, but no agreement on which was the one that should go. Given that there are nominations from at least 2 Unions in all sections it was felt that there was no harm in continuing them all.

My understanding is that the proposals from the Home Chess Director are unlikely reappear at the ECF AGM. Whether the NCCU will retable their proposal of reverting to the old grading bands, and allowing 12 a side is unclear, as there was no NCCU representation at the teleconference.

Whilst this is my last season as controller(for the same reasons as those outlined in my report as CEO), I am more than willing to provide assistance to whoever takes over. This is not an elected post, but the new Events Director will need to consider an appointment quite urgently as invites for entries need to go out in late July, unless of course they choose to do the job themselves.

In bowing out I would like to thank all of the team captains involved over the few years I have been controller. Without their co-operation & goodwill the event could not function.

Julie D Johnson.