Free Chess Sets for schools

Discussions regarding the 70,000 Free Chess Sets for Schools in England.
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Charles W. Wood
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Re: Free Chess Sets for schools

Postby Charles W. Wood » Tue May 20, 2008 5:23 pm

Justin Hadi wrote:I didn't say the questions were bad, just that the expectations were off.


Correct, but it is nice to point out that good questions help projects move forward. I know I'm on here a lot, but it doesn't always means I'm there.

Does anyone at all have any ideas on how to put all the sponsors names across to schools at the same time as delivering the parcel? "Blue Sky Thinking People, Blue Sky". We have thought about Labels, Leaflets and Printed Boxes. Any ideas?
:D
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Re: Free Chess Sets for schools

Postby Paul Stimpson » Tue May 20, 2008 5:34 pm

Justin,

If you post please get your facts correct first

Ernie asked this question on the 19th May at 4.18PM

Does any school get the 10 sets upon request even if they don’t take part in the Chess for schools project?


And again at 1.07pm today

(ii) are there any pre conditions to the sets being given to the schools?


I haven't got a problem with the speed of answering but if you are on a forum and someone asks you a question repeatedly without an answer and you continue to post non related non relevant replies and you put yourself up as the person to answer questions on the forum. (see below) this is not good practice.

I can't imagine it's easy running a distribution project and answering a plethora of questions at the same time. Why don't you try it?


Please read this at the welcome screen for the project.

The ECF welcomes discussion and questions about this project. Charles Wood will be answering the majority of questions.


Let's be honest most have been avoided or clouded or both, leaving me and others rather confused.

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Re: Free Chess Sets for schools

Postby Neill Cooper » Tue May 20, 2008 5:39 pm

Charles W. Wood wrote: Does anyone at all have any ideas on how to put all the sponsors names across to schools at the same time as delivering the parcel? "Blue Sky Thinking People, Blue Sky". We have thought about Labels, Leaflets and Printed Boxes. Any ideas?


At my school when a parcel arrives it is either left under the stairs next to the office or taken straight to the addresses department. So anything on the parcel would have little effect. How about some posters, to advertise the new chess sets (and school chess club), which include the list of sponsors.

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Re: Free Chess Sets for schools

Postby Charles W. Wood » Tue May 20, 2008 5:43 pm

Neill Cooper wrote:
Charles W. Wood wrote: Does anyone at all have any ideas on how to put all the sponsors names across to schools at the same time as delivering the parcel? "Blue Sky Thinking People, Blue Sky". We have thought about Labels, Leaflets and Printed Boxes. Any ideas?


At my school when a parcel arrives it is either left under the stairs next to the office or taken straight to the addresses department. So anything on the parcel would have little effect. How about some posters, to advertise the new chess sets (and school chess club), which include the list of sponsors.


Neill, your a star. That is going to availible and done by LEAs/Agencies in most areas, but we need them sponsors names on them posters. Gap filled by that man. Missed that. :D
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Re: Free Chess Sets for schools

Postby Paul Stimpson » Tue May 20, 2008 5:45 pm

Some kind of Poster advertising the New Chess Club in School.

You could leave Blanks where the Name, Day and Time of The club should be so that they can be filled in by the School.

Just a thought

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Re: Free Chess Sets for schools

Postby Charles W. Wood » Tue May 20, 2008 6:01 pm

Paul Stimpson wrote:Justin,

If you post please get your facts correct first

Ernie asked this question on the 19th May at 4.18PM

Does any school get the 10 sets upon request even if they don’t take part in the Chess for schools project?


And again at 1.07pm today

(ii) are there any pre conditions to the sets being given to the schools?


I haven't got a problem with the speed of answering but if you are on a forum and someone asks you a question repeatedly without an answer and you continue to post non related non relevant replies and you put yourself up as the person to answer questions on the forum. (see below) this is not good practice.

I can't imagine it's easy running a distribution project and answering a plethora of questions at the same time. Why don't you try it?


Please read this at the welcome screen for the project.

The ECF welcomes discussion and questions about this project. Charles Wood will be answering the majority of questions.


Let's be honest most have been avoided or clouded or both, leaving me and others rather confused.


So I came back after working on the project to no more than 170 questions (including PM's) to answer. I did miss (hang on, miss understand one). The question on the 19th,implied more to the project than there is, and it over simplifies the relationship with the school. I have endevoured not to cloud or aviod any subject, BUT this is a national project and has all 276 shades of grey in play. So your view of clouding and avoiding is due to your Black and White thinking.

Think about the whole, schools get chess sets. If we asked each school if they wanted them the responce would be smaller than it is now. So how did we make it bigger. By contacting the LEAs on the next level up that ladder each having its own way of doing things and each having its own set of Agencies to aid schools (State mostly) in covering areas so teachers can pursue curriculum as much as possible. So the question is (slightly worded better) rom:

Does any school get the 10 sets upon request even if they don’t take part in the Chess for schools project?


to: Does any school or LEA, Governor, Agency, Parent, Chess Coach, Pupil, Caretaker etc on the schools behalf get the 10 sets upon request as long as they agree to use them for any chess purpose?

The answer is yes.
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Re: Free Chess Sets for schools

Postby Charles W. Wood » Tue May 20, 2008 6:06 pm

Paul Stimpson wrote:Some kind of Poster advertising the New Chess Club in School.

You could leave Blanks where the Name, Day and Time of The club should be so that they can be filled in by the School.

Just a thought


Councils have big marketting teams (I known my brother is in charge of one in Bradford) that will be looking at that. A Generic Poster will be the most sensible way to go. BUT there is some small extra issues, some schools will be using chess for different outcomes, like pushing the G&T's, improving the underachievers, mind development (strategic) within the maining sporting pupil base, fun time, mentoring for the 6th form to name but a few of the masses that have been put forward, but that is down to how the school individaully wants to use chess.
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Re: Free Chess Sets for schools

Postby Donna Wood » Tue May 20, 2008 6:44 pm

andrew martin wrote:When one of the best-connected people in English junior chess offers you help, you would be ill-advised to turn it down, let alone send your wife into action to defend your position.

As I've said many times before, everyone wants this project to succeed ( so nobody wants the project to fail ). But anyone who knows anything about the assembly of management teams will recognise the role of a ' plant', an awkward member of the team who is willing to ask the hard questions and make themselves unpopular to get the project properly and correctly pushed through. The team at Holloid must know that....so in the end all the assumed negativity is not that at all, merely a desire to see this wonderful idea enacted.


Andrew

I think you will find if you ask anyone who knows me, that I am not Charles' puppet!!! I am an independant, educated, self thinking person and I do not get sent by anyone let alone my husband to defend his position.

I am disgusted by both your and others comments about the work that Charles does, and whilst my opinion of you was low before, it is obvious from your comments, that you expect others to come to your defence - I only do so when I am upset or angry enough and if someone has hurt my family. I will not have others dismissing the work my husband does without the correct knowledge of the work he has completed FOR FREE!

My opinion of you now is as low as it can go, I suspect you will come back with some other pathetic post, but frankly my dear I don't give a damn!!!

Just as an aside, you state that you want the project to succeed, but your numerous comments regarding the unlikeliness of this project tells a completely different story - I suggest you read back on your posts before trying to wriggle like a worm out of the hole you have dug yourself into.

Best Wishes
Donna

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Re: Free Chess Sets for schools

Postby Donna Wood » Tue May 20, 2008 6:49 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:
Donna Southgate wrote:
andrew martin wrote:I have actually just started teaching chess at Yateley Comp John. The teachers helping me know of the Chess for Schools project and are eagerly awaiting the sets.

I advised them to buy new sets, clocks , equipment and this they have done, explaining that the delay in receiving these new sets could be quite considerable.

I'm sure Charles is doing his best,but it is quite ridiculous to put one man in charge of such a huge project. As you all know, I have had misgivings from the start about this one.

What you need to do to make this work is to get HELP Charles, from the vast number of well-meaning and highly competant junior officials dotted around the country. You need to DELEGATE.

If you don't , you are now going to be hounded, as on another thread ( quite rightly, bull**it won't do ) and no amount of posting long replies here is going to convince anyone unless those sets start rolling out soon. The good news for you and us ( the ECF) is that EVERYONE I know in the chess world wants this project to succeed, so you are going to get the assistance if you need it.

May I now suggest you contact me privately by email and we can look at it all.

I would also invite any junior organisers around the land who want to help also to get in touch : a.martin2007@yahoo.co.uk and we will take it from there.

Andrew


With all due respect Andrew, you obviously have no clue as to what is going on here!!!

Charles has an army of people helping out, me included and regularly speaks with people at the ECF office who have been a huge support. On top of that he has spoken with organisers up and down the Country ready for the role out of these chess sets. The only thing he has been working on exclusively is arranging the transportation of the sets with a number of haulage companies up and down the Country.

Unfortunately though because of the negativity of people like yourself and the way people have behaved in this forum this has proved more difficult than was necessary, causing an awful lot more work than was required. You state yourself that you have had misgivings regarding the project from the start, and this has had a snowball effect. Everyone who could find the tiniest of faults has done!!!

Maybe it's time everyone grew up a little, stopped back biting and bitching over every little thing that goes on with the ECF and get behind what they are doing, it's pathetic and incredibly childish the way that everyone is carrying on!!! The sponsors look at this site to see if the Chess for Schools project is a viable one, would you sponsor something when everyone who is supposed to be backing it is doing the opposite? I think not!

On a personal note, Charles has been doing a wonderful job for no pay and little thanks, as his now wife I feel compelled to say that I am angry and upset by the chess community as a whole who have berated him, belittled him, had no support in him and feel the best way to show this is on an open forum. If you have an issue with the Chess for Schools project and the management of that project I suggest you contact Charles directly to discuss this, then maybe he can set the record straight with the facts and put to bed any doubts you may have.

Rant over for now
A very angry
Mrs Donna Wood (nee Southgate) :|



Donna. Your loyalty to Charles is to be applauded as one would expect from a wife and Co Director of the Renaissance Acedemy Ltd.( Plus 1 other Director)
Hope he is feeling well and look forward to getting back into discusions with him.


Ernie

Thank you for your kind comments, I have been likened to a pit bull before now but I prefer to think of myself more like a lioness, I will defend my family and friends against unfair comments and accusations, and from what I have seen lately there has been an awful lot of accusations heading towards Charles without caring to get the facts. The Renaissance Academy's number is all over the internet for anyone who wishes to use it and telephone Charles for the facts.

Once again thank you
Donna

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Re: Free Chess Sets for schools

Postby Donna Wood » Tue May 20, 2008 6:54 pm

Paul Stimpson wrote:Charles,

I think you have exaggerated some of the comments slightly, Andrew certainly never said you were unable to run the project!

That aside, I think the real problem here is the coaching side of the project. I am sure Charles you are working very hard and doing a very good job with the sets and distribution side of things.

However I find it absolutely astounding that the ECF have a manger of coaching and a recognised syllabus for teaching and this seems to have been completely overlooked. Andrew was tasked with bringing the accredited coaching side of things forward and surely a project such as this should have his full involvement?

The numbers you have been quoting are causing concern among the chess coaching community and rightly so. Without the expertise around the country to help with this, the project will not fulfil its true potential (I dare not say fail! eh Charles)

Essex had a Megafinal last week and some of the entrants from schools that have chess clubs run by well meaning Teachers and helpers, thought ...

"If I give check 12 times I win"

"My teacher said I can Castle out of Checkmate"

"I checked him 50 times, it's a draw"

I could go on ....

Thankfully these occurrences weren't too common on the day.

I would be worried that the extra 500,000 juniors are likely to be of the same or similar standard and whilst more players are always welcome, the Junior organisers are going to have a lot of work undoing a lot of incorrect learning.


Paul

I think if you read over the numerous comments you will see that by stating that the project will not succeed, Andrew has implied that Charles is not able to run the project. Maybe if people had faith in him and saw what he did on a day to day basis for this project you will see that there is every chance that this project will be a success, just think 250,000 schools having access to the chess sets and that is before they start to do anything with them. Talk to Charles he has some fantastic ideas how to move this forward so these sets will be used

KR
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Re: Free Chess Sets for schools

Postby Charles W. Wood » Tue May 20, 2008 8:04 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:Everything that has been asked by myself and others is simply to try and understand how this project is set up/run and more to the point the ECF's involvment.

Charles thank you for taking time to answer the specific questions I asked.

I have a picture in mind and it was essentially painted like this;

You got an idea and went to the ECF with it. Those you spoke to recognised a good deal (i) here is someone offering to raise the profile of chess

(ii) hes offering to sponsor it through his limited company chess Academy (

iii) he has another sponsor who is willing to provide all the free sets.

Now by anyones standard that is a good deal and easy to see why the ECF accepted it. You got appointed Manager of the project and appear on the ECF webb site list of officials.


Sometime soon the project gets going after the sets are delivered ,then you hope to get some funds out of the ECF for coaching staff and if your efforts are to believed they could number dozens. At that point its not such a free deal for the ECF.

It is absolutely splendid that you through your chess company are sponsoring the project but what funds the Academy (LEA'S?)

To an outsider it can be reasonably assumed that your academy and the project, which is also your idea, are entwined.

It is easy to see why Andrew MARTIN is concerned about all this because it appears hes been kept out of the loop despite it being within his remit.

You have read many of the threads relating to the recent resignations and aware of the deep concern about the way the ECF functions, ambiquity, uncertainty and evasion only add to those concerns.

I note with some concern that you seem to have a great deal of your time on your hands to read and post on this forum. Do you currently have a proffesion/job to follow outside of chess, if you have then you must be burning the candle at both ends! Full time job, sorting the project and posting messages. Not to be envied.


I laughed out loud at that one.

It was: Holloid approached Peter Wilson/ECF early last year. In Dec 07 Peter calls me and says "we don't know how to move 250,000 full size chess sets, can you help". So I did. The only reason I was asked was because I was doing a lot of work with schools locally and I had spent ages understanding how to engage the agencies in and around schools. My Renaissance Academy was doing this on a local level, the ECF effectively ask me to put down the local project (and my full time job) to run the ECF Chess for Schools Project. At that point I had Holloid, Gerry W, Peter W and the ECF Office. So the project grew from there.

The Renaissance Academy's only requirement was to sponsor the project by donating me to run the thing. I wasn't asked to even run the Project until March-ish officially. Before that I was just doing what I thought was best but with heavy guidance from the Office, Gerry, and Peter. Thats it, I am an employee, unpayed.

So the idea was Fergus' not mine, I just approach things differently to most people. Thats why most chess players can't get their head around some of the bits I do.
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Re: Free Chess Sets for schools

Postby Charles W. Wood » Tue May 20, 2008 8:38 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:Thanks Charles you make the point for me; now you see how easy it is for people to misunderstand unless they get all the information.
Many pictures can tell different stories it depends upon the viewers perspective. I could paint several more but the point is made.


Hi Ernie

As always you are right. I see where you are going with this. Its something I believe the ECF is missing. Which is a true central point of information, that would help paint the right picture for one and all. The web site is very good but we need a point where questions and answers can flow. Here is good but we as chess players are sceptical about everything, probably because of the past errors (most of which I know nothing or care about). But thats why I'm trying really hard to stick to keeping the information flowing. Regardless of the stick.
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Re: Free Chess Sets for schools

Postby Charles W. Wood » Tue May 20, 2008 9:19 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:Thank you I am pleased I can be helpfull.

Just another small grey area to help my aged brain; in reply to my question; are there any pre conditions to the sets being given to the schools you replied 'Yes they must be used' in what context must they be used? a coaching environment? or as the schools see fit and if so, how would anyone outside the school know if the sets are being used or simpy put away never to see the light of day again after the initial flury of interest.

Just a little picce of information; Last year one of our local secondary schools was given a number of brand new sets. I delivered them to the school teacher who looked after the kids interested in playing chess. I offered my services for free any time, any day of the week but the offer was receieved with lets say luke warm enthusiasm and hes never contacted the CCA again. If hes not interested in free coaching/simils hes hardly going to want to pay!


Some schools see the chess world as difficult to get into, and very complicated. Some primary schools will only use them to entertain during wet playtimes but we do want more in line with the huge amount of government and council policy. Still learning that bit.

As for payment, some schools have a very set budget most of the time, no cash there then. So using the masses of external agencies means that we can tap into funding that is built to pay for coaching of all types. I seen juggling, plate spinning, joke telling all paid for by external agencies to the schools.
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Re: Free Chess Sets for schools

Postby Charles W. Wood » Tue May 20, 2008 10:16 pm

Heather Lang wrote:
Charles W. Wood wrote: The web site is very good but we need a point where questions and answers can flow.


Like a FAQ (frequently asked questions) section on the Chess for Schools website or ECF website? I think that if there was a section on there split into typical questions a school might ask, typical questions an established chess organiser might ask, etc, it would mean you could direct people there rather than dealing with the same question when it comes up again (and then again) on an open forum. The FAQ section could be updated as the project progresses.

Plus it's easier to take in information when it's presented in bite-sized chunks in response to questions (especially when the reader's just thought "hey, I was wondering that too!") than it is when it's presented in longish paragraphs interspersed with 'vision' or 'marketing'-style statements.


As I pointed out before, not my area or remit. But I will pass on your very sensible idea. I hope it finds its way to the web site.

Thank you.
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Justin Hadi

Re: Free Chess Sets for schools

Postby Justin Hadi » Tue May 20, 2008 10:58 pm

Paul Stimpson wrote:Justin,

If you post please get your facts correct first

Ernie asked this question on the 19th May at 4.18PM

Does any school get the 10 sets upon request even if they don’t take part in the Chess for schools project?


And again at 1.07pm today

(ii) are there any pre conditions to the sets being given to the schools?


I haven't got a problem with the speed of answering but if you are on a forum and someone asks you a question repeatedly without an answer and you continue to post non related non relevant replies and you put yourself up as the person to answer questions on the forum. (see below) this is not good practice.

I can't imagine it's easy running a distribution project and answering a plethora of questions at the same time. Why don't you try it?


Please read this at the welcome screen for the project.

The ECF welcomes discussion and questions about this project. Charles Wood will be answering the majority of questions.


Let's be honest most have been avoided or clouded or both, leaving me and others rather confused.


Paul,

I will just point out that the question you mention was answered on 10:27pm on the same day.

Charles W. Wood wrote:Beig part of the "Chess for Schols" project is two fold. 1. requesting sets 2. agreeing to use them.

Thats it.


That's pretty clear. In requesting the sets and then using them the school becomes part of the project. Unless you want to redefine the word 'use' as 'use and buy coaching from the ECF'. My facts are correct.

I do agree that the answers could be clearer, once again these issues, or at least standard questions are better dealt with off a forum, where any question - vision based or specific questions has to be dealt with and temperatures can rise. As has been suggested a FAQ page on a website, with a contact e-mail for further questions would work. This will be my last posting on this thread.

Thank you.


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