Hi Mick, all…
Firstly, well done to all involved in getting yesterdays National Quarter Finals matches organised and completed..
And well done to Tim for looking after the County U160 team this past two years…not an easy task.
On another day, I suspect things could have been different. But the result isn`t everything….although `success breads success`, and silverware can definately add shine.
I think we need to convey the full message of the County chess offering to our local players and clubs…
Its about the day out, the camaraderie, the chess/social banter…and the travel, plus the actual match itself.
Key to the whole thing is an enjoyable day out…escape from the daily drudge..etc. You also get to play at a more relaxed rate than normal league chess.
There is nothing quite like the match atmosphere at these 16 board matches..and it should be noted that this competition(s) provides some very good chess playing opportunities for players of all standards in this area.. Important for player development at all levels, and important in fulfilling Manchester’s role in providing good chessing for our local chess community.
Yesterday, Alan Beresford was telling me that Manchester used to play 100 board matches at times… during a journey that was greatly enriched by various unscheduled scenic detours through the Cheshire countryside. Not to mention getting foxed by the Birmingham road jungle. Fortunately, I had Peter King on board to take charge of navigation, decoding my cryptic instructions, spotting key clues on signposts, so we arrived safely in good time. We were also slowed by the Birmingham M6 congestion, on the way to Spaghetti Junction.
Those fortunate enough to go by David Keirmans express high speed service arrived more quickly, I believe.
As to Micks question….below, about possible additional county teams……
I`d agree, but I definitely think we/Manchester should go for an U120 team….and not a U140 team.
I say this, because our other teams need the space to take on a wide range of players e.g., the U160 team yesterday had players graded down to circa ECF 110, and the First team had some players who were U160.
So, this overlap is very useful..
Its not easy to actually raise teams, and county captains really have to battle to complete team lists..specially at the National Counties stages at this time of year, when player availability is more difficult…the summer weather, the FA Cup Final, Juniors on exam duty, players who are getting tired after a long seasons league chess, and other family/social commitments, can prove a challenging obstacle. Having two county matches on the same day adds to the problems for team captains…
So, its vital that Manchester gets plenty of support from across our clubs. These events are all about providing good chess playing opportunities for local players in this area…roughly within a 25 mile radius of Manchester…
I hope our captains continue to get good support from our local players and clubs. Our main neutral venue at Newcastle_U_Lyme Bridge club provides a very good central location to play our matches against other Midlands Counties in the early season, and provides decent refreshments and playing conditions.
I hope players enjoy the summer break, and any of the many congress events going on in the meantime…including the Bolton team Jamboree chess event, later this month .
In the meantime..I`ll just add two points….volunteers are vital to our chess bodies/clubs, and AGM season is fast approaching, so I`d urge support from all players.
Help is always available, so a willing pair of hands is key.
Secondly, a message to local clubs…organise club competitions for novice/beginner players, and advertize these on websites and local press. Clubs really do need an influx of new blood, and really need to encourage new membership at the grass roots..
Good chessing to all..
Dave P Ad hoc publicity