Update on Project?

Discussions regarding the 70,000 Free Chess Sets for Schools in England.
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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Update on Project?

Postby Carl Hibbard » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:39 am

Still no information from the meeting on the 24th (despite asking...) so does anyone have information they can share?
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Carl Hibbard

Matthew Turner
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Re: Update on Project?

Postby Matthew Turner » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:22 am

It looks like we have to wait for nominations to close on Wednesday 9th Sept. If Chris Majer decides not to stand for re-election then the (strong) indication is that the project has failed/is failing.

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John Upham
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Re: Update on Project?

Postby John Upham » Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:12 pm

Dear Sir/Madam,

First of all, let me take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of Holloid Plastics and the ECF for registering your school’s interest in the nationwide Chess for Schools initiative.

We have had an overwhelming response and I am pleased to inform you that over 8,000 schools are now involved, making this the largest chess-related initiative ever undertaken in England.

I am also delighted to report that the first 35 schools have now received their chess sets. Each of these schools attended one of the three pilot launches we carried out in June and July, where we tested both the product and the logistics involved in this large scale project.

The sets themselves were very well received, by staff and pupils alike. But we were not happy with our proposed method of distribution.

Distributing to 8,000 schools all across England is a major logistics exercise and we have been researching various different methods. Our preferred method at this stage is to utilise LEAs, as we believe they have a distribution network already set up. We will distribute our chess boxes to each LEA in turn and they will deliver a chess box to each of its schools that has signed up.

If you would like to get in touch regarding distribution methods, please contact me via email.

We appreciate that some schools have been waiting to receive their chess sets for some time. If you wish to get hold of your sets immediately, you can make an appointment to pick them up from either our factory in Basingstoke or the ECF offices in East Sussex. To make a pick-up appointment, please get in touch via email, shown below.


Thank you once again for your interest in the Chess for Schools project. Please rest assured we are working hard to ensure this initiative becomes the success we know it can be.


Yours faithfully,

Caroline Morris,
Chess for Schools Project Manager,
Holloid Plastics

Email: caroline@holloid-plastics.co.uk


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David Sedgwick
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Re: Update on Project?

Postby David Sedgwick » Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:02 pm

John, thank you for this information.

Holloid Plastics wrote:I am also delighted to report that the first 35 schools have now received their chess sets. Each of these schools attended one of the three pilot launches we carried out in June and July, where we tested both the product and the logistics involved in this large scale project.


Holloid Plastics wrote:We appreciate that some schools have been waiting to receive their chess sets for some time. If you wish to get hold of your sets immediately, you can make an appointment to pick them up from either our factory in Basingstoke or the ECF offices in East Sussex. To make a pick-up appointment, please get in touch via email, shown below.

We have it on the authority of Chris Majer that Holloid haven't actually manufactured any sets beyond the first batch of 500.

350 of these sets have been distributed as above. That leaves 150, enough for 15 schools.

So if 16 schools each seek to make an appointment to collect their sets from the ECF Office, haven't Holloid just landed the ECF with a bit of a problem?

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Update on Project?

Postby Carl Hibbard » Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:12 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:This entire saga will go down in Chess history asthe biggest lash up ever, thankfully one of those responsible is leaving.

Ernie, I believe the "sponsorship" is for the bigger roll-out to all schools beyond the 8,000 which is supposed to be a done deal

So there are 80,000 free sets available - the rest require sponsorship

That is my take for what it's worth :(
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Carl Hibbard

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Update on Project?

Postby Kevin Thurlow » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:37 am

"I am also delighted to report that the first 35 schools have now received their chess sets. Each of these schools attended one of the three pilot launches we carried out in June and July, where we tested both the product and the logistics involved in this large scale project. "

Is that true? Did all the schools (or a representative thereof) attend?
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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Update on Project?

Postby Carl Hibbard » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:06 am

David Sedgwick wrote:We have it on the authority of Chris Majer that Holloid haven't actually manufactured any sets beyond the first batch of 500.

The biggest issue I have with this whole project is that those famous 500 sets where manufactured in the time of Fergus Christie around the end of July 2008, he left in August...

We have got no further since then really :roll:
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Matthew Turner
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Re: Update on Project?

Postby Matthew Turner » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:25 am

Chris Majer's statement confirmed what we knew (or at the very least suspected). I believe that it is fairly clear that Holloid will not be manufacturing any further sets without outside support. What I find remarkable though is the idea that Holloid have bought 100,000 boards. This slightly changes perceptions. It is either just a lie, or it indicates that at one time they believed the manufacture of 100,000 sets was very likely - I wonder why?

Matthew Turner
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Re: Update on Project?

Postby Matthew Turner » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:36 am

David Sedgwick wrote,

"We have it on the authority of Chris Majer that Holloid haven't actually manufactured any sets beyond the first batch of 500.

350 of these sets have been distributed as above. That leaves 150, enough for 15 schools.

So if 16 schools each seek to make an appointment to collect their sets from the ECF Office, haven't Holloid just landed the ECF with a bit of a problem?"

Yes, this is interesting. I can only think that they are expecting less than 15 will be bothered to go to Hastings and that interested Schools around Basingstoke have already got their sets from one of the launches. If 16 Schools do want to pick up their free sets, then I can only think that Cynthia would have to go into the hard sell of the support package to bring in some money to buy sets from Chess & Bridge.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Update on Project?

Postby Carl Hibbard » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:38 am

Matthew Turner wrote:Yes, this is interesting. I can only think that they are expecting less than 15 will be bothered to go to Hastings and that interested Schools around Basingstoke have already got their sets from one of the launches. If 16 Schools do want to pick up their free sets, then I can only think that Cynthia would have to go into the hard sell of the support package to bring in some money to buy sets from Chess & Bridge.

Anyone know what is happening with the support package?

John, any sign of your CoM software yet?
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Carl Hibbard

Richard James
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Re: Update on Project?

Postby Richard James » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:10 am

Carl Hibbard wrote:Anyone know what is happening with the support package?


I was asked to write a book as part of the support package. About seven months ago I received a contract from the ECF. I replied, in part, as follows:

Dear Chris (Majer) and Andrew (Martin)

I am in receipt of the contract for Chess in the Classroom.

I have a few issues with it:

…

2. I have a problem with the title. The understanding I had with
Robert Richmond was that the book would be aimed at children, not at
schools, and that schools would be encouraged to buy multiple copies,
one for each child learning chess, just as happens with course books
in other subjects at school. I am concerned that the title 'Chess in
the Classroom' will suggest to schools that it is a teachers' manual
and that they only need one copy.

3. I have a problem with Item 6: ECF's RIGHTS. This states "The ECF will
own the copyright of the software and supporting documentation
produced under this contract and will receive source code." Firstly,
it's a book - there is no software or documentation apart from a WORD
document. Secondly, I would much prefer to keep the copyright to
myself. The book is designed to tie in very closely with the first
stage of the new version of chessKIDS academy which is currently
under development and which, with any luck, will be released this
summer. Ideally, I would like the book to have a publisher who would
guarantee distribution in shops and on the Internet via online
bookstores to ensure maximum sales. Would the ECF be able to do this?
At present it seems to me that I am likely to make more money by
having the book published elsewhere, especially as there is, despite
recent reassurances, still much scepticism about whether or not the
Chess for Schools scheme will be successful. (Because of my involvement
in the project I have refrained from commenting publicly on this.)

…

I have now completed the main part of the manuscript, although I
would still like to write an introduction which might be fairly
substantial.

I hope the issues above can be resolved.


With best wishes


Richard James


I immediately received a sympathetic reply from Andrew, who also prompted Chris to address my concerns.

Since then I have heard absolutely nothing. Why am I not surprised?

Angus French
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Re: Update on Project?

Postby Angus French » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:54 am

Chris Majer’s CfS report for the upcoming ECF AGM is available here.

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John Upham
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Re: Update on Project?

Postby John Upham » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:14 am

The boards are roll-up and the intention is for the schools to modify them by attaching them to a base.


Is HP seriously expecting schools to do this?

I like the name of the word document also : ...pileBottom.doc :lol:

Maybe the meeting will run out of time before it can be discussed?

Holloid Plastics have not as yet manufactured any further sets beyond the first batch of 500.


This directly contradicts what I have been told by Caroline Morris who tells me that sets were made during August and September and production will be stored at a facility in Banbury. Maybe Chris should talk with Caroline so that they are in agreement?
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Matthew Turner
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Re: Update on Project?

Postby Matthew Turner » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:29 am

John Upham wrote
"Is HP seriously expecting schools to do this?" (about attaching the board to a base)

I believe that you are missing the subtlety of this. I think HP is wanting sponsors to do this, because the base could say "This board was provided due to the generosity of MegaCorp"
This is a good idea (in my opinion), but it is not the original project (as I understood it).

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Update on Project?

Postby Carl Hibbard » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:46 am

John Upham wrote:This directly contradicts what I have been told by Caroline Morris who tells me that sets were made during August and September and production will be stored at a facility in Banbury. Maybe Chris should talk with Caroline so that they are in agreement?

Rather major news to be honest if it is correct!
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Carl Hibbard


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