Northamptonshire Chess Association AGMs

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Frank Kamau
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Northamptonshire Chess Association AGMs

Post by Frank Kamau » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:33 pm

Sorry to be ranting like this on the ECF forum but why have we got to the absurd situation where AGMs and EGM are being held in camera In Northamptonshire? I only happened to know because someone mentioned in passing that there is one next Monday, when I visited my local chess club on the way home from the gym someone mentioned something about proposals being emailed around.

Sounds totally absurd. There is a county website available at http://www.norchess.lloydbunday.co.uk/ and AGMs should be advertised and any motions/agendas known by chess players. Someone needs to wake up and smell the coffee.
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Joey Stewart
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Re: Northamptonshire Chess Association AGMs

Post by Joey Stewart » Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:13 am

I think it happens that way with many AGM's - those who need to know will always find out, and the rest of the league live in ignorance of the issues being decided on their behalf.

It has made me wonder whether doing some sort of online voting system might be an interesting experiment to get more people involved with the issues related but, maybe I am being cynical, I suspect a large majority of chess players only really care as far as there being a set and board for them to play on each week.
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Re: Northamptonshire Chess Association AGMs

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:34 pm

"It has made me wonder whether doing some sort of online voting system might be an interesting experiment to get more people involved with the issues related but, maybe I am being cynical, I suspect a large majority of chess players only really care as far as there being a set and board for them to play on each week."

Having attended a lot of these meetings, the people there don't always understand the issues, so if they are not there, it might be even more confusing!

The Civil Service League has moved to a system where Committee members don't have a vote, only the clubs do. Strangely, even fewer people want to join the Committee. Admittedly, some committee members joined just to vote for things their clubs wanted.

Meanwhile Surrey has a system where any "Board member" (aka committee member) can propose a motion for discussion at an AGM, but TWO clubs have to propose a motion for it to be discussed. I rather felt this was trying to discourage clubs from proposing rule changes and this was proved right, when my club and another proposed some rule changes, and the first reaction was for three of the "Board" to contact me and ask how the two clubs had got together to discuss the changes.
Voting used to be "one member one vote" and is now one per club, plus one per team entered in the league (even if that the team does not actually play - on one occasion, a team withdrew pre-season and retained its vote, another team replaced it but didn't get a vote because they were CCF, sorry, because they had not entered at the correct time, even though they were being helpful). The voting system sounds fairly sensible, but has had the effect of reducing attendances at meetings, so they are barely quorate.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Northamptonshire Chess Association AGMs

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:55 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote: The voting system sounds fairly sensible, but has had the effect of reducing attendances at meetings, so they are barely quorate.
I believe the Surrey chess association is a Company limited by Guarantee. The consequence of this is that you have to allow proxies by virtue of Company law. So if the rules say that a club with four teams has five votes, it retains these even if only one person turns up from the club. Does this encourage proxy hunters like the ECF structure, so no-one need attend?

In the unincorporated world of most chess associations you can have the club plus team voting structure, but only if enough bodies turn up to exercise the votes.

I believe Surrey is still adjudication and adjournment land, so committees are presumably always looking over their shoulders against the possibility of a club organised voting coup overturning these ancient rituals.

Frank Kamau
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Re: Northamptonshire Chess Association AGMs

Post by Frank Kamau » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:17 pm

Joey Stewart wrote:I think it happens that way with many AGM's - those who need to know will always find out, and the rest of the league live in ignorance of the issues being decided on their behalf.

It has made me wonder whether doing some sort of online voting system might be an interesting experiment to get more people involved with the issues related but, maybe I am being cynical, I suspect a large majority of chess players only really care as far as there being a set and board for them to play on each week.
Sounds like chess is in a very bad shape then if this sort of thing is the norm rather than the exception. Where is the accountability and transparency? If you look at mainstream sports one can find details of AGMs etc. One would suspect many chess associations would fail MOT tests if any were conducted.

Are the ECF or its member associations recognised by Sport England as I wonder how the tests of governance etc would have been passed.
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Re: Northamptonshire Chess Association AGMs

Post by Ian Thompson » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:30 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:I believe Surrey is still adjudication and adjournment land, so committees are presumably always looking over their shoulders against the possibility of a club organised voting coup overturning these ancient rituals.
... whilst not forgetting to keep an eye out for any attempt to abolish the rule which says "Where digital clocks are offered, either player may insist on the use of an analogue clock." I should think. :roll:

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Re: Northamptonshire Chess Association AGMs

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:43 pm

Frank Kamau wrote: Are the ECF or its member associations recognised by Sport England as I wonder how the tests of governance etc would have been passed.
I believe the ECF is recognised by various bodies as the governing body of chess in England. Beyond that, chess is not a sport by legal definition of an Act of Parliament from 1938, so Sport England have no jurisdiction. For that matter local chess organisations are independent of the ECF which has no say in how they are run. Rather it's the other way round, that local chess organisations decide how the ECF is run by virtue of forming most of the ECF's voting membership.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Northamptonshire Chess Association AGMs

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:12 am

"I believe the Surrey chess association is a Company limited by Guarantee. The consequence of this is that you have to allow proxies by virtue of Company law."

They have now belatedly introduced this. I think some of the "Board" wanted the CLG just so they could pretend they were directors of a proper company, but they gradually realised that there were drawbacks, like being forced to follow proper procedures to some extent.

"I believe Surrey is still adjudication and adjournment land, so committees are presumably always looking over their shoulders against the possibility of a club organised voting coup overturning these ancient rituals."

Years ago, QP finishes were rejected again and the then President (i.e Chairman) said that he was not prepared to have QP finishes discussed again for two years. Dan Rosen and I pointed out firmly that the point of an Annual General Meeting was that if these things were proposed properly, they had to be discussed. QP is an option in the league, and I managed to get them to accept compulsory QP in the KO event, mainly as the then League Secretary was so inept, it was taking seven months to get adjudications done. This was part of a master plan to introduce QP by stealth, but I have rather lost interest now. Matches between the top clubs in division 1 are frequently all QP now.

"... whilst not forgetting to keep an eye out for any attempt to abolish the rule which says "Where digital clocks are offered, either player may insist on the use of an analogue clock." I should think."

Yes, people were very upset when those dreadful troublemakers at CCF started using digital clocks. More clubs use them now, but I suspect it is easier to leave the rule there even after every club uses digital clocks.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Northamptonshire Chess Association AGMs

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:00 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote: "... whilst not forgetting to keep an eye out for any attempt to abolish the rule which says "Where digital clocks are offered, either player may insist on the use of an analogue clock." I should think."
League rules might say that the time rate is x moves in y minutes with z minutes added when both players are satisfied the time control has been reached. If the digital clock cannot be programmed to follow the league rule as written, I think it reasonable to refuse the use of it. To support digital clocks, you have to rewrite the rule to say that when using digital clocks, x moves have to be played in y minutes and z minutes are added when the y minutes expire. But if there's an alternative option of playing all moves in (y+z) minutes, the luxury of knowing your time remaining at every move outweighs the drawbacks of potentially running out of time earlier in the game.

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Re: Northamptonshire Chess Association AGMs

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:59 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:League rules might say that the time rate is x moves in y minutes with z minutes added when both players are satisfied the time control has been reached.
In my experience of players objecting to use of digital clocks in league chess, your concern is not one that is shared. The concern is that they've never seen them before. They're far too busy revolting about having to use them to give any thought to the implications of their use.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Northamptonshire Chess Association AGMs

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:17 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:[ The concern is that they've never seen them before.
That's a reasonable concern too, particularly when they find out that time controls don't work the way they are used to. The Spectrum series of Congresses were early adopters, probably because TCS had marketing rights. In one of my earliest games with these clocks in a Spectrum event, back in the 1990s , my opponent continued playing in a lost position because he thought my time was about to expire. It was, but it was at around move 50 and the extra 15 minutes had yet to be added.

It's one of those statistics the ECF ought to know, but never publish, particularly by region, is how many league players never play in Congresses. It's in Congresses that novelties like playing a game to a finish and using digital clocks, with increments even, are encountered, leading to a greater acceptance for league play.

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Re: Northamptonshire Chess Association AGMs

Post by Ian Thompson » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:08 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Ian Thompson wrote: "... whilst not forgetting to keep an eye out for any attempt to abolish the rule which says "Where digital clocks are offered, either player may insist on the use of an analogue clock." I should think."
League rules might say that the time rate is x moves in y minutes with z minutes added when both players are satisfied the time control has been reached. If the digital clock cannot be programmed to follow the league rule as written, I think it reasonable to refuse the use of it. To support digital clocks, you have to rewrite the rule to say that when using digital clocks, x moves have to be played in y minutes and z minutes are added when the y minutes expire. But if there's an alternative option of playing all moves in (y+z) minutes, the luxury of knowing your time remaining at every move outweighs the drawbacks of potentially running out of time earlier in the game.
If this bothers anyone other than you, isn't the solution simple? You stop the digital clock and adjust it to suit the next time control, very much like you have to stop an analogue clock and adjust it to suit the next time control.

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Re: Northamptonshire Chess Association AGMs

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:17 pm

So. Northamptonshire's AGM. Is there a motion on that about digital clocks?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Northamptonshire Chess Association AGMs

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:14 am

Ian Thompson wrote: If this bothers anyone other than you, isn't the solution simple? You stop the digital clock and adjust it to suit the next time control, very much like you have to stop an analogue clock and adjust it to suit the next time control.
There's a local club who set their digital clocks to G/90 notwithstanding the default league rule of 30/75 + 15. For my own game, I've abandoned objecting to this, as when I did so, all they did was reset it to G/75 which meant it disrupted the game for several minutes while the extra 15 was added. Resetting digital clocks is usually much more time consuming than analogue clocks.

30/75 + 15 on a digital clock can be extremely dangerous. Particularly if you reach the first time control with plenty of time, it's relatively easy to miss the addition of the extra 15 minutes. As a match captain, you aren't really supposed to remind players that their assumption they have an extra 15 minutes is incorrect even if they are about to serenely lose on time.

If the clocks at this year's British are programmed the same way as at North Shields, perhaps I should see if I can match a target of 60 moves in under 130 minutes, so that the clock is incorrect not just for one time control in reserve, but for two. It requires an opponent to play at that sort of speed as well.

I'm not sure I know the details or even want to know the details, but a schism in a well known North West club can at least in part be traced back to a dispute about the acceptability of a digital clock.

Mick Norris
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Re: Northamptonshire Chess Association AGMs

Post by Mick Norris » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:03 am

Frank Kamau wrote:Sorry to be ranting like this on the ECF forum but why have we got to the absurd situation where AGMs and EGM are being held in camera In Northamptonshire? I only happened to know because someone mentioned in passing that there is one next Monday, when I visited my local chess club on the way home from the gym someone mentioned something about proposals being emailed around.

Sounds totally absurd. There is a county website available at http://www.norchess.lloydbunday.co.uk/ and AGMs should be advertised and any motions/agendas known by chess players. Someone needs to wake up and smell the coffee.
There is always a simple solution, move to Manchester :wink:
http://www.manchesterchessfederation.co.uk/page2.html

Alternatively, you could volunteer your services to assist the Northamptonshire association, allowing them to be more efficient
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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