I'm pleased this idea is receiving some serious attention.
Point 1 - Master Points System
Fair point. My tuppenworth would be that if a player has qualifying performances and wished these to contribute to a Master Points Title, then fair enough. Referring to the ECF website's Master Points page, http://www.englishchess.org.uk/events/bcfawards/masterpoints.htm
, I would guess that the following two titles would be affected:
(d) County Master: A player must achieve a standard-play A grade of at least 160 on an ECF official grading list.
(e) Regional Master: A player must achieve a standard play A grade of at least 180 in two successive seasons on ECF official grading lists.
The A grade would translate into one which was not marked by a * or a +, indicating fewer than 30 games. Still earlier lists, which did not include these indications, generally required a minimum of 30 games, only including a few players with fewer than 30 games whose exceptional performances otherwise merited inclusion.
For the Regional Master title, might I also be so bold as to suggest that anyone who, under previous BCF schemes, had earned the Candidate Expert (CX) title (or higher) would be entitled to renew that title as the current Regional Master title - the qualification is broadly equivalent in value.
Of course, that would all be subject to meeting the other necessary criteria, such as being a member of the ECF, paying the requisite fee, et cetera.
I don't see any particular harm in this, and do see it as a possible modest contributor to ECF revenues.
[A Related Point
Might I finally be so bold as to suggest that the old British Master title might also be considered for re-introduction; the idea of dropping it was that players of the required standard could easily obtain FIDE titles. However, I could name a few BM's who never obtained the FM or IM title; perhaps they were too old, or perhaps they just never played in FIDE rated events. Even today, there are club and county stalwarts with grades in excess of 200, who rarely if ever play in FIDE rated events. As it was the BM title - set at the old standard - would be much higher in value than FIDE's current IM title (just remove the old qualification that the IM title automatically qualifed for BM) and one could perhaps give something to aim at for some of England's IM's, who, perhaps not able to qualify for the GM title, might have a shot at an ECF BM title. Again, a possible modest contributor to the bottom line. I salute those few who did obtain the BM title. I suspect (though don't have the evidence in front of me) that fewer BM titles were ever issued than there are current British holders of the GM title. The one complication I could see is that some co-ordination might be necessary with the Scottish and Welsh Federations, as at some point in the 1970's (don't know for how long) the BM title was independently awarded, but mutually recognised.
Obviously the historical grading list can be introduced without consideration of this item.]
Point 2 - 1987 - 93
Did grading lists issued in that period have "top of lists" printed in them somewhere? If not, does anyone still have electronic media containing union and national lists for this period? Even cassette tape, 5.25 inch floppy?
Point 3 - Data Protection
I have ploughed on with project, putting the data into an Excel spreadsheet. Along the way, I have added DOB and DOD, where known (from Gaige), for those I am sure are with us no more. I assume that that including DOB and DOD for those that have expired is "history" and does not contravene data protection regulations, would that be correct?
Point 4 - What I've Done So Far
I have ploughed on with project, putting the data into an Excel spreadsheet. The lists covered so far are the two initial "historical" lists issued in 1954, the 1954, 1955 and 1956 lists. That works out at about 500 names.
I have listed players by family name and first names, or initials only when I don't know the first names. I have included nicknames and the names people were commonly known by at various times, "e.g. Miss E Tranmer", rather than Eileen Tranmer as she more likely be known as today.
Each year's grade is accompanied by a flag "B" for BCF national list, "S" for SCCU, etc. and the club is given, if indicated in the list.
Where those players have existing ECF Grading References, I have included those.
I have included titles awarded and date awarded too. Currently I have matched players from that period with later IM, WIM, BM and FM titles, but eventually players who come along at later years will include GM, WGM, WFM, CM, BX, CX, ICCF and problem titles. I guess I should also include civil awards (OBE, CBE, etc., where those were for services to chess) and BCF/ECF Presidents Awards and relevant FIDE distinctions, but that is something for a later phase.
Basically, I think it is useful (and meet recognition) to have a proper record of the ECF's most influential players. Obviously, it is not a project for a weekend, it will take some months. If anyone wanted to start at the other end (1993) and work backwards, that would certainly help. If the ECF were to decide not to want this, I would do it anyway, but for private use.
Can you think of anything else that should be included, or some points that I should bear in mind?
Speaking of recognition of past achievements, I can't find anywhere on the ECF website lists of BCF/ECF County Champions, National Club Champions, etc. Is that right, or am I just Googlestupid?