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 Post subject: Re: ECF Office
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 8:14 am 
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John Townsend wrote
"The office and staff are, presumably, major elements in the way their money will be spent, but they do not seem to benefit much from the office beyond grading"

The Office has no role in grading, this is all outsourced to Richard Haddrell (and others?)


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Office
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 12:16 pm 
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Stewart said:

Quote:
I am not sure what you mean when you say, 'aren't they getting a raw deal?


By "they" I meant the "ordinary chess players at the grass roots level", which I referred to in my post. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear.

If the Office plays no part in grading, as Matthew indicated, then it seems to make my question even more pertinent.

John


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Office
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 12:24 pm 
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John Townsend wrote:
By "they" I meant the "ordinary chess players at the grass roots level", which I referred to in my post. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear.

Such players will be asked to be Bronze members at £13 per year - £12 if they join up online. Is that a raw deal?

If it is, how much is such membership worth?


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Office
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 9:47 am 
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Sean asks how much is such membership worth, but it is difficult to answer that without knowing how "ordinary chess players at the grass roots level" benefit from the E.C.F. Office. What do they get for their money? My impression remains that local chess is not enhanced by the Office.

John


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Office
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 9:51 am 
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John Townsend wrote:
local chess


What do you consider "local chess" to be?

What are its essential qualities?

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 Post subject: Re: ECF Office
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 10:15 am 
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John Townsend wrote:
Sean asks how much is such membership worth, but it is difficult to answer that without knowing how "ordinary chess players at the grass roots level" benefit from the E.C.F. Office. What do they get for their money? My impression remains that local chess is not enhanced by the Office.


As a club secretary for Hendon I get referrals from the ECF Office. We have played in the National Club Championships, and I have played in the County Championships, both ECF events. As a tournament organiser I get publicity for my events through the ECF Calendar. The ECF provides someone to coordinate the grading services, and provides a national service that ensures that grading is reliable and published regularly.

At the very least the Office provides continuity, without which many core activities, voluntary and paid, would not take place.

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 Post subject: Re: ECF Office
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 10:17 am 
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John Townsend wrote:
Sean asks how much is such membership worth, but it is difficult to answer that without knowing how "ordinary chess players at the grass roots level" benefit from the E.C.F. Office. What do they get for their money? My impression remains that local chess is not enhanced by the Office.

John

The question "How do ordinary chess players at the grass roots level benefit from the E.C.F. Office. What do they get for their money?" isn't relevant as that's about how the ECF spends it's money. They may spend it wisely, or they may spend it foolishly, but that's not what I'm asking. It would be like trying to evaluate how Tesco's spends it's money when deciding whether 4 pints of milk for £1 is good value or not.

My question (at Bronze level) is, how much is being allowed to play an unlimited number of games league and county chess, getting an ECF grade calculated and published online worth to the average player?


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Office
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 10:26 am 
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Sean Hewitt wrote:
My question (at Bronze level) is, how much is being allowed to play an unlimited number of games league and county chess, getting an ECF grade calculated and published online worth to the average player?


If you have neither the time nor the inclination to play an unlimited number of league and county games, then having the right to do so has no value. Being charged for this right is a price increase.

Some county organisations look for the right to have a finite number of games graded at a cost known at the start of the season. This has been withdrawn unless they take steps to remove non-members from participation or grading.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Office
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 12:32 pm 
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Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote:
My question (at Bronze level) is, how much is being allowed to play an unlimited number of games league and county chess, getting an ECF grade calculated and published online worth to the average player?


If you have neither the time nor the inclination to play an unlimited number of league and county games, then having the right to do so has no value. Being charged for this right is a price increase.

Some county organisations look for the right to have a finite number of games graded at a cost known at the start of the season. This has been withdrawn unless they take steps to remove non-members from participation or grading.

We're all aware of the history. The fact that it's a price increase is misleading because that was going to happen anyway - the DCMS grant being withdrawn meant that players had to pay more, whether that was through membership, game fee or something else. You conveniently forget that point.

Your argument was put to council and supported by less than 30% of the voters. That's democracy for you. As a well know T shirt wearer might say, 'Get over it'! :lol:

For what it's worth I get the sense that very very few people think that £13 a year is a deal breaker, no matter how few games they play. I do get the sense though that some counties have been better than others in terms of telling players of the forthcoming changes.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Office
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 12:43 pm 
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Some correspondents are on the wrong track. You can play solely local league and club chess; not play tournament chess; be uninterested in your own grading; be uninterested in correct board order and still it is in your own best interests to support development of chess. That is because otherwise your local club will die out without fresh blood. Then with whom will you play? Your selfish gene should cause you to make a contribution.
International chess leads players to have greater interest in the game.
Junior chess supplies much of that fresh blood. They are interested in the many international opportunities offered.
Grading encourages more people to play and play more.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Office
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 1:13 pm 
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Sean Hewitt wrote:
The fact that it's a price increase is misleading because that was going to happen anyway - the DCMS grant being withdrawn meant that players had to pay more, whether that was through membership, game fee or something else. You conveniently forget that point.


You do realise that existing Direct members get a price cut, provided that county associations and leagues pass on their direct Game Fee savings. So the argument that "club" and junior players need to pay more because of the loss of DCMS grant has a hole in it. They also have to pay more because the most committed players are being asked to pay less.

Sean Hewitt wrote:
I do get the sense though that some counties have been better than others in terms of telling players of the forthcoming changes


Would these be the same counties that wouldn't discuss the proposals last year because they weren't finalised? I'm not even sure it's up to counties to tell players about membership. It's the ECF looking for members, it should do its own marketing. I don't know whether county secretaries have received anything from the ECF presenting the new scheme, club secretaries haven't, nor have existing Direct Members. I know there's material on the ECF website and in ChessMoves, but that's as far as it goes.

Sean Hewitt wrote:
For what it's worth I get the sense that very very few people think that £13 a year is a deal breaker, no matter how few games they play.
That may be true, but then why was £2.50 per head for a five round event such a hardship?

It's not going to stay at that though, is it? As the ECF's primary money raiser, it has to pick up all the revenue shortfalls and expenditure increases. There was much wailing, particularly from the North of England, some years back when Game Fee had to go up by around 20%. Had per head costing then been in place, exactly the same would have happened to the per head fee. The relationship between Bronze and Gold started out in effect at £ 10 to £ 15, and it's now £ 13 to £ 28.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Office
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 1:21 pm 
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Stewart Reuben wrote:
That is because otherwise your local club will die out without fresh blood.


That isn't disputed. Whether having local rules which bar or discourage non-members from participation is another question entirely and a path the ECF is now encouraging with its demands for compulsory or universal membership. Other sports, such as table tennis, won't let you play unless you are a member. Even more so, they will bar you, if you take part in an unauthorised league.

The ECF has already had to back down on extending mass membership to novice Junior events.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Office
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 2:56 pm 
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Roger de Coverly wrote:
Would these be the same counties that wouldn't discuss the proposals last year because they weren't finalised?

I don't know which counties did or did not discuss the proposals last year. We certainly did discuss them in Stockport. Even though the details were not finalised the general principles were well known. To be clear, the players I was referring to mostly seem to be based in Bucks.
Roger de Coverly wrote:
The ECF has already had to back down on extending mass membership to novice Junior events.

The ECF did not have to change it's mind on junior membership but it did chose to do so - albeit by a fairly thin majority. I think that was a mistake (and I voted against it) but unlike some others on the forum, I accepted the democratic process and the fact that I was in the minority and moved on to trying to make the process work agreed by the majority work.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Office
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 7:23 pm 
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Roger >I'm not even sure it's up to counties to tell players about membership.<

I am absolutely sure that the communication mainly breaks down union > county > player. And the union can be bypassed as counties are represented directly. That has been an endemic problem for the federation ever since I can remember.

With required direct membership, that will of course need to change. One of the reasons I recommended direct membership in 1985 was so that then the BCF would be able to communicate direct with the players who chose to be members.

At the 4NCL there was a table full of entry forms for different events. The total cost must run into thousands of pounds. The USCF has had required membership for about 60 years. Mostly they don't bother with these forms. It will be possible to save virtually all that money.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Office
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 7:35 pm 
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Stewart Reuben wrote:
It will be possible to save virtually all that money (by not printing forms).


That's nothing to do with membership, internet access can do that for you and has the advantage that you reach those who are not members, whether in England or outside.

I'm not sure whether the 1972 Islington still holds the record for the largest ever weekend Congress, but it didn't rely on BCF membership for its numbers.


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