Chess Scotland - Och aye! They've nae got a bean

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David Robertson
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Chess Scotland - Och aye! They've nae got a bean

Post by David Robertson » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:22 pm

From the Times today (Scotland section)

Cuts force national chess body to change its game plan
Marc Horne; November 2 2018, 12:01am,
The Times

It caused a global sensation when the champions of East and West went head to head at the height of the Cold War. But now the game of chess is struggling to secure its future in Scotland after its state subsidy was scrapped. It has thrived north of the border for centuries but devotees fear it is now wrongly regarded as an elitist and exclusively middle-class pursuit.

Chess Scotland (CS), the game’s governing body, has between 5,000 and 6,000 members and more than 40 affiliated clubs, but has been forced to make cuts after the Scottish government withdrew its annual grant a few years ago. It means players representing the country on the international stage are having to pay for their own travel, accommodation and registration fees.

In countries including Armenia, France, Norway, Russia and Spain, chess is taught in schools and governing bodies are given generous subsidies. By contrast, CS’s financial difficulties are laid out in its annual report which will be presented to members in Glasgow tomorrow. It reads: “It has been a difficult year for everyone involved as there hasn’t been the resources we’ve had in the past with the grant from the government to provide the support for our international teams, the Scottish Championship and other events which may have been subsidised. All of the directors and the overall majority involved throughout Scotland in . . . running chess in the country have been . . . supportive of the tough decisions that have had to be made.”

For more than two decades CS received an annual grant of £10,600, which was cut to £3,500 before being removed. The report states: “While we fully intend to continue to operate within our own, self-generated means for the foreseeable future we will also be making strenuous efforts in the next 12 to 18 months to promote our case for government support and to explore any other avenues of external support that we may be able to tap into.”

Scotland was represented by men’s and women’s teams at the recent Chess Olympiad in Georgia. Its competitors had to pay their own costs. Jim Webster, president of CS, said: “It is ridiculous that people who are representing their country at major international events are now having to pay for the privilege . . . In other countries chess . . . gets support and financial backing, but it is not taken seriously in Scotland. We’ve had to make a lot of cuts, but where do we go now?”

Andrew Green, 27, who founded the Edinburgh Chess Academy, said perceptions that the game was elitist were misplaced: “In Edinburgh alone we have more than 500 children playing chess every week. They come from all different backgrounds. However, it is all done with the help of private sponsors.”

A Scottish government spokeswoman said: “We have previously provided funding to Chess Scotland and would fully consider any future application for funding.”

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JustinHorton
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Re: Chess Scotland - Och aye! They've nae got a bean

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:26 pm

In countries including... Spain, chess is taught in schools
I wouldn't mind knowing what he means by that
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

NickFaulks
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Re: Chess Scotland - Och aye! They've nae got a bean

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:10 pm

Scotland was represented by men’s and women’s teams at the recent Chess Olympiad in Georgia. Its competitors had to pay their own costs.
Not all readers may have realised that full board and lodging were provided free, plus a significant contribution towards travel costs.
We’ve had to make a lot of cuts, but where do we go now?”
What's wrong with the ECF solution of simply getting as much as they want through membership fees? They surely haven't fallen into the beginner's trap of asking their members what they think about that.

Andy McCulloch
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Re: Chess Scotland - Och aye! They've nae got a bean

Post by Andy McCulloch » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:14 pm

Membership numbers quoted are too high by a factor of ten.

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