Yorkshire Chess News






Manchester Admitted to Northern Counties Chess Union


A somewhat belated NCCU AGM, which is normally held in June, was held by Zoom on 08/10/2022.  This would normally pass by without creating too much excitement, but anybody involved in inter-county matches will be interested to know that the Manchester Chess Federation, playing as “Greater Manchester”, was admitted into membership of the Northern Counties Chess Union.


This is likely to reduce Lancashire’s ability to raise teams, which in itself is of course not good.  The North’s decision to embrace the new “counties” created in 1974, in a way which did not occur in other parts of the country, was probably going to end up doing damage somewhere, eventually.  With non-engagement in inter-county team chess from four of the existing Northern Counties, it was felt that this provided a better strategic route for long‑term rebuilding of inter‑county chess in the NCCU.  Whether this can happen is far from clear, but otherwise things did not look like getting better.


One advantage for Manchester moving from the MCCU to the NCCU would be that in the MCCU there has in recent years been no Open section in their inter-county team competitions.  The argument that GM teams would have less distance to travel is not very strong; it was argued that Manchester is pretty well equidistant from NCCU counties and MCCU counties, though careful scrutiny suggest Northern counties are somewhat nearer.  The fact that Manchester is clearly physically in traditional Northern territory carried more weight.


The outcome of the Greater Manchester vote was never going to please everybody.


There was a change to the constitution proposed to pave the way for the vote on admission of Greater Manchester.  For a change to be made to the Constitution, the proposed change must be passed by at least two-thirds of the votes cast.  Voting was 8 for and 4 against, and there was one abstention.  After the meeting, a claim was made that the abstention should count as a vote cast, and that therefore the proposal had failed!  An abstention is of course a choice not to cast a vote.  That is what “abstention” means; it means the person withholds their vote and does not cast it either way; it involves to a vote not cast!  This is universal standard procedure at meetings using this system, though other voting systems exist.