Is this interesting

Discussions regarding the 70,000 Free Chess Sets for Schools in England.
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Adam Raoof
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Re: Is this interesting

Postby Adam Raoof » Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:39 pm

Peter Turner wrote:Good afternoon Charles & Richard

Hope you are both well and enjoying some good weather - glorious here in Somerset 8) We know that over the last couple of years much work has been done to adjust the junior grades to fit a mathematical model. I assume it is now possible to draw a graph to show the expected average grade for a junior at any particular age. I have suggested in the past that a youngster should be able to join the ECF and immediately, as a benefit of becoming a member, be given their 'appropriate grade'. Within a year those who are better than the average will have a higher grade, those worse than av................ etc. It must be most disheartening for a youngster keen to play chess only to find that it could take at least a year to get their first grade. It's like telling a youngster joining a junior football club that he can join but will not be able to wear a team shirt until next season or the one after that.
The situation Charles finds himself in illustrates the nonsense in the current situation in getting your first grade and at a time when ECF finances are somewhat stretched then to cut off this potential source of income does not make sense to me. I think it would be relatively easy to sell ECF memberships if a grade when with it - or of course I could have got it completey wrong :roll:


Please see the thread about having a slowplay grading list twice a year ;-)

Is it then too simplistic to give every new player with no grade a nominal figure to kick them off?

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Charles W. Wood
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Re: Is this interesting

Postby Charles W. Wood » Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:51 pm

Hi Peter

The weather is quite nice today. Strange for this time of year for us. LOL. Everything you have said hits the nail on the head, but coupling that with the damage left over from the CfS scheme. My reputation was shot after years of coaching and organising events, and spending more time on CfS than the Renaissance Academy left the business on a weak footing, and dedicating so many hours to one ECF project which as many know that cost me my marriage. Most of the graded support was "borrowed" from surrounding coaches and they pulled their players back. So we had to start from scratch with a hand full of ungraded players and build on from that point. Now we have loads of undergraded players, loads of coaching staff, loads of support, loads of money and now a very long and hard plan to introduce grading over the whole of our students. Might I add that this is with the very direct help of Jon Griffith, Harrogate Chess Club and Shipley Chess Club.

Peter your very right in the fact an average grade to start from would help us speed this process up so much. The grading list for the work we've done over the last few months will come out Aug-Sept 2011. The amount that will never see that list is unthinkable.
Charles W. Wood
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Alex Holowczak
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Re: Is this interesting

Postby Alex Holowczak » Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:51 pm

Adam Raoof wrote:Is it then too simplistic to give every new player with no grade a nominal figure to kick them off?


Who issues the nominal figure, and how do you ensure it is "accurate"?

Ian Thompson
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Re: Is this interesting

Postby Ian Thompson » Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:59 pm

Peter Turner wrote:I have suggested in the past that a youngster should be able to join the ECF and immediately, as a benefit of becoming a member, be given their 'appropriate grade'. Within a year those who are better than the average will have a higher grade, those worse than av................ etc.

Wouldn't they know that they had been given an average estimate based on their age? So their first question is likely to be "How good am I really?", which they won't know until they have a "proper" grade. If the answer is below average, what is the risk of them giving up (compared to them not being explicitly told they are below average, as things are at the moment)?

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Charles W. Wood
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Re: Is this interesting

Postby Charles W. Wood » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:01 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Adam Raoof wrote:Is it then too simplistic to give every new player with no grade a nominal figure to kick them off?


Who issues the nominal figure, and how do you ensure it is "accurate"?


Who cares, I just want some help. The way I've got it now is long and will take 12 months to get the grades needed. I will happily work within any rules laid out at the moment the rules are I need to get graded players to play ungraded ones to get them a grade in 12 months. During this process I will make each of the players an ECF member, upping the membership and the balance of graded players to membership.

This isn't a grading debate, and i don't need any hypothetical answers. Just real ones.
Charles W. Wood
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Richard Haddrell

Re: Is this interesting

Postby Richard Haddrell » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:10 pm

Charles W. Wood wrote:Out of that 1360 how many people actually got grades and how many were new players?
Charles,

This conversation seems to have taken a new direction since you asked, but I’ll try to answer the question. I think you’re underestimating the number of graded players you had. Out of 96 juniors who played in Renaissance Academy events 2008-9, 43 play in other events as well and most of those had published grades to start with, often at quite a high level.

So you had 53 Renaissance-only “beginners”. They got a fair number of graded opponents to work on, and ended up with 32 published grades of their own. The highest was 102.

They haven’t got them now. Those were 2009 grades, and Renaissance-only players will have no 2010 grades because they’ve played no graded games in 2009-10.

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Charles W. Wood
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Re: Is this interesting

Postby Charles W. Wood » Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:20 pm

Richard Haddrell wrote:
Charles W. Wood wrote:Out of that 1360 how many people actually got grades and how many were new players?
Charles,

This conversation seems to have taken a new direction since you asked, but I’ll try to answer the question. I think you’re underestimating the number of graded players you had. Out of 96 juniors who played in Renaissance Academy events 2008-9, 43 play in other events as well and most of those had published grades to start with, often at quite a high level.

So you had 53 Renaissance-only “beginners”. They got a fair number of graded opponents to work on, and ended up with 32 published grades of their own. The highest was 102.

They haven’t got them now. Those were 2009 grades, and Renaissance-only players will have no 2010 grades because they’ve played no graded games in 2009-10.


Hi Richard

I was quite busy at that point and missed just about the whole list. My figures are a bit paper based at the minute, remembering I was devorcing Donna at the time. But any how, 20 went by the way side due to natrual moving schools, moving away (and 10 of the most disheartened went due to us making a team for one of the Districts teams which was just turned down, a very heavy loss) and 2 where pulled away from us by other coaches. Leaving 12 (we had 13 but we'll go with your figures as your probably right) which wasn't enough in that pool of players to maintain costs as we paid for 100% of the grade being done that year and didn't get 21 of them graded at all.

Over all it started costing us players as they were promised grades and they didn't turn up and we paid them back the graded part of the entrance fee. All part of a learning curve, all pay and no support. This time we'll do it through Yorkshire and pay ECF membership to get the grades for those who got them or as now, for those who played graded players.
Charles W. Wood
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JamesMurphy
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Re: Is this interesting

Postby JamesMurphy » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:49 am

Charles,

Congratulations on all your achievements in Bradford. Graded or not it's a remarkable thing to accomplish getting any investment especially in these troubled financial times.

I'm wondering if it would be possible to copy your model in other parts of the UK. Somewhere like Manchester could greatly benefit from what you've begun... Many children I'm sure can benefit greatly from the discipline that chess provides. I did!
http://www.jmblogger.com - My blog, chess, film and life
http://www.chorltonchess.com - the Home of Chorlton Chess Club

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Charles W. Wood
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Re: Is this interesting

Postby Charles W. Wood » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:12 am

Hi James.

Thanks for the congrats. As for investment I have found that because ECM gives us a level playing field with all sports and passtimes its quite easy to pull funding away from Football, Rugby, Cricket, Darts etc. This means that even though the country is going through difficult times the mass benefits of chess means the funding panels put chess quite high on the funding lists.

We are copying this in loads of places. Sadly the work we've done over in Manchester has been short and very quick. Due to the situation between MCF and LCA we don't like to develop things too far in an area that could make it look like we are taking sides. To be honest though we don't tend to contact the local chess associations when we are working in an area. That way we don't get involved in all the politics and the mass apathy.

We have some great projects in London, the Home counties, and most of the industrial cities. But they are all at development stages. We learnt very quickly that approaching the local leagues in the early stages is more destructive than helpful. So now the plan is to develop players over 4 years, create super players then bridge the gap to existing clubs to fill the spaces only filled by that very popular player D.E. Fault and/or build entire divisions and hand them over as a completed unit. By which time the Renaissance Academy will have well established schools/PRUs/BUs/Agencies/community projects they will be coaching in, running at least 5 tournaments (per year) in a good vanue, building the whole project around our Btec Certification Programme and finally, but most importantly, building TRAMS for the rising stars.

Also I guess that with the amazing 3C's being in that neck of the woods and we get on very very well, we would only consider a project if it was in partnership with them.
Charles W. Wood
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