County Championships 2011/2012

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National ControllerAlex Holowczak

48 St. Brades Close, Oldbury, Worcestershire B69 1NX | Email

The Road to the Final
Click here to enjoy a blog telling how the Yorkshire Under 160 team made the long old haul to reach the English Chess County Championship finals!

County Championships – live blog
Click here to read Ian Hunnable’s blog during the finals on 7th July 2012. He will be blogging the event live, listing the match details in all sections (six of the seven sections involving SCCU teams), and plans to post some photographic content

For a zip file of all the 2011/2012 County Championships finals games – click here
For an excellent gallery of pictures by John Shaw – click here






January grading list in the Counties Championship
The guidance is essentially to treat the January grading list as though it doesn’t exist.
Suppose you have an ungraded player in July who gets a grade in January. He will still be regarded as ungraded for the purposes of the competition, and as such he must be cleared to play in all sections bar the Open, as per the rules.
The ungraded player will be estimated in the same way as previous years. That is to say, I will go on the best information made available to me. For example, a player may have played in congresses in January and February, which will appear in the grading database. Therefore, the player’s estimated grade will be different from their January grade. It may be that the player’s January grade is the best information available, in which case that’s what will be used for the player for the purposes of the competition.

For a page pulling together the Union stage results in this competition, click here. Results will be added as and when we receive them.

The draw for the national stages of the County Championship was made at 10am on 14th January, 2012, at the Barcelo Hotel, Hinckley Island. It was made by David Welch, Adam Raoof and Alex Holowczak. In accordance with Rule E11, these matches shall be played on, or by mutual agreement before, or on the Sunday immediately following, the dates here listed:

Preliminary Round: April 28th | Quarter Finals: May 19th
Semi Finals: June 9th | Final: July 7th

The Finals will again be played at Moat Community College, Maidstone Road, Leicester, LE2 0TU
The draw for each of the sections is as follows:

Under 100     Results
Quarter Final 1 Essex Warwickshire 16 – 0 default
Quarter Final 2 Lancashire Kent 6 – 6 Kent win on board count [details]
 
Semi-final 1 Yorkshire Essex 0 – 12 default
Semi-final 2 Nottinghamshire Kent 6 – 6 Kent win on board count [details]
 
Under 100 Final Essex Kent 6 – 6 Essex win on board count [details]
 
Under 120     Results
Quarter Final 1 Hertfordshire Yorkshire 12 – 0 default
Quarter Final 2 Lancashire Worcestershire 6 – 6 Lancashire win on board count [details]
Quarter Final 3 Norfolk Warwickshire 5½ – 6½ [details]
Quarter Final 4 Staffordshire Essex 4½ – 7½ [details]
 
Semi-final 1 Hertfordshire Lancashire 7½ – 4½ [details]
Semi-final 2 Warwickshire Essex 4 – 8 [details
 
Under 120 Final Hertfordshire Essex 3½ – 8½ [details]
 
Under 140     Results
Preliminary Round Yorkshire Kent 16-0 default
 
Quarter Final 1 Lancashire Warwickshire 11½ – 4½ [details]
Quarter Final 2 Surrey Leicestershire 10 – 6 [details]
Quarter Final 3 Hampshire Hertfordshire 4½ – 11½ [details]
Quarter Final 4 Worcestershire Yorkshire 9½ – 6½ [details]
       
Semi-final 1 Lancashire Surrey 10½ – 5½ [details
Semi-final 2 Hertfordshire Worcestershire 11 – 5 [details
 
Under 140 Final Lancashire Hertfordshire 7½ – 8½ [details]
 
Under 160     Results
Preliminary Round Greater Manchester Cambridgeshire 8½ – 7½ [details]
 
Quarter Final 1 Nottinghamshire Middlesex 16 – 0 default
Quarter Final 2 Kent Yorkshire 5 – 11 [details]
Quarter Final 3 Norfolk Hertfordshire 5 – 10 [details]
Quarter Final 4 Lancashire Greater Manchester 7 – 9 [details]
 
Semi-final 1 Nottinghamshire Yorkshire 6 – 10 [details]
Semi-final 2 Hertfordshire Greater Manchester 6 – 10 [details
 
Under 160 Final Yorkshire Greater Manchester
8 – 8 Gtr Manchester win on board count [details]
 
Under 180     Results
Preliminary Round Kent Lancashire 0 – 16 default
 
Quarter Final 1 Middlesex Warwickshire 8½ – 7½ [details]
Quarter Final 2 Devon Surrey 7½ – 8½ [details]
Quarter Final 3 Yorkshire Nottinghamshire 9 – 7 [details]
Quarter Final 4 Bedfordshire Lancashire 7 – 9 [details]
 
Semi-final 1 Middlesex Surrey 9 – 7 [details
Semi-final 2 Yorkshire Lancashire 10½ – 5½ [details]
 
Under 180 Final Middlesex
Yorkshire
9 – 7 [details]
 
Minor     Results
Quarter Final 1 Gloucestershire Hertfordshire 7½ – 8½ [details]
Quarter Final 2 Suffolk Hampshire 0 – 16 default
Quarter Final 3 Essex Lincolnshire 8½ – 7½ [details]
Quarter Final 4 Leicestershire Cambridgeshire 10 – 6 [details]
 
Semi-final 1 Hertfordshire Hampshire 9 – 7 [details]
Semi-final 2 Essex Leicestershire 7 – 9 [details
 
Minor Final Hertfordshire
Leicestershire
8 – 8 Herts win on board count [details]
 
Open     Results
Preliminary Round Warwickshire Lancashire 4½ – 11½ [details]
 
Quarter Final 1 Somerset Yorkshire 8 – 8 Somerset win on board count [details]
Quarter Final 2 Staffordshire Middlesex 4½ – 11½ [details]
Quarter Final 3 Norfolk Sussex 6½ – 9½ [details]
Quarter Final 4 Surrey Lancashire 9 – 7 [details]
 
Semi-final 1 Somerset Middlesex 7½ – 8½ [details
Semi-final 2 Sussex Surrey 5 – 11 [details]
 
Open Final Middlesex Surrey 8½ – 7½ [details]

———————————-

Union Representatives –
EACU – Patrick Ribbands

ribbs@waitrose.com
| http://www.eacu.org.uk/
MCCU – Julie Johnson
105 Central Avenue Syston Leics LE7 2EG Tel: 0116 260 9012
juliedjohnson@yahoo.com
| mccuchess@yahoo.co.uk | http://www.mccu.org.uk/
NCCU – Jim Moran

jim.moran21@btinternet.com
| http://www.nccu.org.uk/
SCCU – David Smith

davidandjanesmith@ntlworld.com
| http://www.sccu.ndo.co.uk/
WECU – Phil Meade
32 Blenheim Orchard, Shurdington, Cheltenham GL51 4TG Tel: 01242-862373
philip@pjmeade.fsnet.co.uk

———————————-

ECF County Match Rules 2011/2012

Section A: The Competitions

A1. The Championships shall be established in Divisions dependent on the grades of players; Division 1 having no upper grade limit, Division 2 under 180 grade, Division 3 under 160 grade, Division 4 under 140 grade, Division 5 under 120 grade and Division 6 under 100 grade. There will also be a “Minor Counties Championship” (MCC). These championships shall be held each year under the direction of the Director of Home Chess who shall appoint a Controller for the Final Stages of each Championship.
A2. Each Championship shall be divided into two stages; the Union Qualifying Stage and the Final Stage. It is not necessary for a separate Union Qualifier to be held for the MCC.
A3. Entry fees shall be charged for these Championships; the amount to be decided by the Board from time to time. This entry fee is deemed to include any Game Fee due from the Counties who qualify for and compete in the Final Stages of each championship. Any games played at the Union Qualifying stage will be liable to Game Fee under normal rules. Entry fees are due for each team entered, at the same time as the Game Fee for the Union Qualifying stage and any county which has not paid by 31 March will not be accepted for nomination for the Final Stage.
A4. Reference in these rules to County(ies) shall construed as applying to counties admitted to membership in accordance with Arfticle 5.2 of the ECF Memorandum and Articles

Section B: Eligibility

B1. All paid up Counties are eligible to compete in these Championships, subject to the appropriate Union rules governing the Union Qualifying Stage.
B2. Grading limits shall be based on the ECF Grading List (for chess other than Rapidplay) current on 1st September in each season. Except in The Open Championship, a player who has no current published grade may play in the Final Stage only if permission has been previously obtained from the Controller. Requests for permission must be submitted to the Controller so as to arrive at least seven days before the player is to play. The team captain must, prior to making such an application to the Controller, be satisfied that the player is not of such a playing strength as to breach the limits set for the Division in question, and must submit evidence where this is available from the local grader or master list or other source. Such a player shall be declared ineligible (or no longer eligible) if the Controller is not (or has ceased to be) entirely convinced that the player’s strength is clearly below the relevant grading limits.
The Controller shall assign the player a grading for the purposes of this event only.
B3. A County may enter as many teams as it wishes in any of the 6 Divisions listed in rule no. A1 but inclusion in the Final Stage will only be by Union nomination. If a County enters more than one team in a Division, each team will be clearly identified and players are NOT interchangeable between these teams.
B4. There will be no restriction on players playing for teams in their County in different Divisions subject to the application of grading limits.
B5. A player may represent a County in one of these Championships only if they have not played in the same season for any other County in any of these Championships in either the Union Qualifying Stage or the Final Stage.
B6. The qualifications for a player to represent a County in any of these Championships shall be one of the following:-
i) Birth in that county.
ii) Five years residence in that county at any time.
iii) Two months immediate previous and present membership of a club either in or affiliated to that County.
iv) One month immediately previous and present residence in that County.
v) Present attendance as a teacher or student at a school, college or university in that County.
B7. For the purposes of these rules, a season shall begin on the day following the date on which was the Final Round of the preceding Championship and shall end on the date on which is played in the Final Round of the current Championship.
B8. A player whose qualifications were valid under the preceding rules when first playing for a County in one of these Championships shall remain qualified for that County until the conclusion of the Championship.
B9. If, during the course of a season, a County fails to pay any Game Fee or amount due to the Federation, then it shall be deemed not to have entered the Championships and the results of any matches previously played by that county in that season shall be disregarded.
B10. The penalty for playing an unqualified, over-graded or ineligible player in any match shall be the loss of such player’s game and the deduction of one penalty point for each unqualified, over-graded or ineligible player from the resulting total score made by the County in that match.

Section C: General Rules of the Competition

C1. In any match in the Final stages of these Championships, each County shall be represented by a minimum of 16 eligible players except in Division 5 under 120 grade and Division 6 under 100 grade where the minimum number of players shall be 12. In all Divisions, a higher even number of players may take part as may be mutually agreed by the match captains of the teams concerned, unless specified otherwise by the rules of the Union.
C2. Any matter affecting the arrangement of a match in one of these championships on which officials of the counties concerned cannot agree shall be referred to the Controller whose decision shall be final on all points, whether arising under these rules or otherwise.
C3. Before the time fixed for the start of play, the captains of the teams engaged shall make up their respective playing lists, putting the players in order of current playing strength, shall exchange such lists and then toss for colour. Any known defaults shall be placed on the lowest boards possible. The name of the player, their grading reference number and their grade must be included on the Result Sheet. ECF grades shall not be taken as indicating the order of current playing strength.
C4. The team whose captain wins the toss shall take white on odd numbered boards.
C5. The duration of play shall be a maximum of five hours and all games shall be played with clocks. Each player shall make not less than 40 moves in two hours and then to a conclusion with 30 minutes extra for each player for the remainder of the game. Except in the Finals, the rate of play and duration of the sudden death finish may be varied by mutual agreement between the respective match captains.
C6. At the time fixed for the start of play, the captains shall start the clocks of the players having the move. If a player be absent, a substitute can be put in up to one hour from the start of the clock, otherwise his opponent, if present, shall score the game a Win. If neither player be present nor can be substituted then the game shall be scored as lost by both players. A clock, once started, shall not be stopped or adjusted except in compliance with the Laws of Chess.
C7. One game shall be played between each pair of players. No player may play more than one board in any one match.
C8. A player may ask his/her captain if he/she may offer or accept a draw. The captain may agree, refuse or tell the player to refer to the match result sheet. In no circumstances may the captain look at any game between receiving the request and giving his/her decision.
C9. A Win shall count as one point and a Draw half a point. When a tie-break is needed to separate teams which have scored the same number of game points, the result shall be decided by the Board Count method; and if this fails to resolve the tie, the Elimination Rule shall apply until the scores are unequal. If all boards are drawn, then the match will be deemed to be won by the team which has black on board 1.
C10. There will be No Smoking in the playing arena of County Matches.
C11. Mobile phones and other electronic communication devices must be switched off or switched to silent mode. in the playing area. It is also forbidden to send or receive text messages. Anyone seeking dispensation from this rule can only seek it on the grounds of their employment and permission must be sought from the arbiter or team captains.
C12. If, during a game, the players discover a problem which they or their captains cannot resolve, an Arbiter should be consulted. Where no neutral arbiter is present in the venue, an external arbiter may be approached. The Director of Home Chess will make available a list of Arbiters who have experience of arbiting at team competitions organized by the ECF.

Section D: Union Qualifying Stage

D1. The Union Qualifying Stage shall be conducted on behalf of the Federation by the five Chess Unions and shall be run by them according to their own rules.
D2. Each union has the right to nominate two teams for the national stages in Open, U180, U160, U140, U120 and U100.
D3. Any union which has 5 or more teams completing their fixtures without defaulting a match in a union championship, has the right to nominate three entries to the national stages of that championship. The national controller may give a dispensation if the last round of fixtures could not be completed because of inclement weather.
D4. Each Union has the right to nominate two teams for the Final Stages of the Minor Counties Championship.
D5. The teams participating in or qualified for the Final Stages of the Open championship for the current season may not enter the Minor Counties Championship
D6. The Secretary, or County Match Controller, of each Union shall not later then 31st March in each year, send to the Controller the name(s) of the nominated teams of that Union in each Championship also stating that they have verified that the teams so named are willing to accept nomination. If entry fees, or other moneys, due to the Federation have not been paid the nominations will be rejected and no late substitutions allowed.

Section E: The Final Stages

E1. The Final Stages of each Championship shall be conducted by the Controller. Any decision of the controller can be appealed against by direct reference to the Director of Home Chess, in writing and made within 48 hours of that decision. Such an appeal shall be accompanied by a deposit of £20 which shall not be returned if the appeal fails. The Director of Home Chess or his representative shall then reply within a further 48 hours with his decision which is final.
E2.Should there be more than eight nominations, a preliminary round shall be played before the quarter final. If there are less than 8 nominations in total for each championship, the controller may invite extra entries from eligible teams.
E3. If a union is invited to field an extra team in a section in one year, it shall only be asked to fill a vacancy in the next season if other unions decline.
E4. When three or more teams compete at the Union Stage, no team which finishes last can take part in a Final Stage that year.
E5. Any County which fails to pay entry fees or any other moneys due under rule A3 shall, unless the Director of Home Chess decides otherwise, not be accepted for nomination to the Final Stage of that Championship in the following season.
E6. The draw for the preliminary round (if required), together with the quarter finals and semi finals, shall be made in January or February by a committee consisting of the Controller, the Director of Home Chess or his or her nominee and one other person nominated by the Board; and shall be published not more than one week after it is made. The Controller shall announce the arrangements for the draw not later than 31st December.   E7. Teams required to play in the preliminary round shall be drawn from the second or third nominees of the Unions. The home teams in the quarter finals shall be drawn from the first nominees of the Unions. The Controller has the right to adjust the quarter final draw or the preliminary rounds as he deems fit in the light of teams actually nominated by Unions and the need to fill any vacancies.
E8. The two teams nominated by a Union in a Division are to be kept apart in the draw until the semi-final round. This shall not apply in respect of any extra nominations accepted by the Controller under rule E2.
E9. Any team competing in the National stages of the championships of the Minor Counties must field a team whose average ECF grading or ELO equivalent is less than 180
E10. In any match in these Championships, each County shall be represented by a minimum of 16 eligible players except in Division 5 under 120 grade and Division 6 under 100 grade where the minimum number of players shall be 12. In all Divisions, a higher even number of players may take part as may be mutually agreed by the match captains of the teams concerned.
E11. Matches shall be played on, or by mutual agreement before, or on the Sunday immediately following, the dates here listed:
Preliminary Round – Fourth Saturday in April
Quarter Finals- Third Saturday in May
Semi-Finals – Second Saturday in June
Finals – First Saturday in July
These dates may however be varied at the discretion of the Director of Home Chess not later than 31st October in each season and shall be notified within 7 days to Union Controllers.
E12. In the Final of each Championship, the Director of Home Chess may at his discretion nominate a central venue (which must be agreed upon by the Board).  With this exception all matches shall be arranged by the Counties concerned. The county drawn away can insist on an intermediate venue, provided it is prepared to make all the arrangements and that all expenses are shared by the teams concerned. It is the responsibility of the county drawn at home to provide refreshments for the away county. Where a match is played at an intermediate venue, refreshments should be provided for both teams, expenses to be shared. Where counties fail to agree on a venue, rule C2 shall apply. Matches may be played by telephone, if mutually agreed between the Counties and if the Controller is so informed beforehand.
E13. The match captain of the team arranging the venue shall be responsible for advising the other team’s match captain in writing of the venue arrangements so they are received 7 days before the date of the match and shall also be responsible for setting up boards, sets and clocks.
E14. If either match captains insists, a neutral conductor or arbiter shall be appointed at the expense of the County making the request. Choice of neutral conductor should be by the agreement of the match captains, failing which the Controller will make the appointment.
E15. Should any County, having been nominated by its Union for the Final Stage of any of the Championships and having accepted such nomination in accordance with rule 4, default any game in a match, or any match. it shall be required to reimburse such of its opponent’s reasonable expenses which may have been incurred as the Controller may determine; and unless the Controller decides otherwise shall also pay a fine of £5 per game defaulted or £50 (fifty) per match defaulted, such fines being payable to the English Chess Federation.
E16. Results sheets for matches in the Final Stages shall be sent to the Controller by the match captains of both teams, or one sheet signed by both match captains, not later than three days after the match. If results sheets are sent in by e-mail, both captains must send in a copy. If a result sheet is not received within the due time, the Controller may impose a fine of £10 on the offending County(ies). If neither team submits a result sheet, the Controller may eliminate both teams.
E17. It is the responsibility of trophy winners to take all reasonable steps to look after the trophies and to keep them in a clean condition. The trophy winner shall have the trophy engraved and may claim the cost from the Director of Home Chess. Trophies must be returned in a secure manner to the Controller at least three weeks before the next season’s Finals Day. By prior agreement of the controller, at least one month beforehand, trophies may be returned on Final Day itself.

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