Questions without answers

Discussions regarding the 70,000 Free Chess Sets for Schools in England.
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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Questions without answers

Post by Carl Hibbard » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:10 pm

Ben Purton wrote:The JR fund is great, it helped Sarah, My girlfriend play some tournaments this summer. Her Reports in one of the right move magazines. Its really nice that John is still remembered.

Ben
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Carl Hibbard

Neill Cooper
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Re: Questions without answers

Post by Neill Cooper » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:40 pm

Matthew Turner wrote: Andy and I feel that the ECF have a moral obligation to deliver these sets.
But does the President share this feeling? Would he have any qualms about just closing the whole project down?

My suggestion for a positive way forwards is that we get the clubs involved.

First we should prune down what is offered - only 6 sets and boards which hopefully can be supplied at a cost of £40. If a school club is successful enough to regularly get more than 12 attendees then perhaps they can buy a few themselves (or possible ask for more)

Next we prune the schools. Do we need to supply schools which already play chess and have sets? Should we focus on secondary schools as we have thriving primary school chess in many places? And it is secondary schools that are more likely to give club members. [But conversely in many cases people going to school chess club could well be taunted as neeks.]

Then we see if local clubs are willing to 'sponsor' a school [for a one-off cost £40]. They could then deliver the chess sets to the schools, give advice and possibly support. Someone from the club might be able to become a paid chess trainer at the school. The link between schools and clubs is forced to occur. Some clubs might be willing to offer multiple sponsorship (e.g. my club might offer to sponsor 5 schools).

Personally I cannot think that the ECF could raise the £250,000. I do not they would get lottery funding fpor a project already announced as up and running. I think it would be inappropriate to use the JR funds just to fulfill some rash promises made by the ECF.

Obviously we would not want to start from where we are, but even with a fresh start we would not promise to supply free sets to all schools. Any offer would be part of a bigger package wich would require some commitment from the school (e.g. to man the chess club for 2 years), and also be part of a bigger picture (e.g. local club involvment).

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Questions without answers

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:06 am

Some good points from Neill there. I'm happy to get Barnstaple involved with some sort of scheme like that. How many of the 9000 signed-up schools are in Barnstaple's catchment area?

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Ben Purton
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Re: Questions without answers

Post by Ben Purton » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:30 am

Again, how think no one ever says this, but UK Chess challange , alottttttt of revenue there... surely some sort of linkage there, a national tournament, is the clearest answer, in a tourn which makes alot of money.

Ben
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Ben Purton
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Re: Questions without answers

Post by Ben Purton » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:38 am

One of my funniest memories is when me and one of my best mates "Codman"(Ollie Coddington), were sat when like 14-15 playing in challangers bit of tera's and we got like some book prize, and cod sat there and worked out the revenues and subtracted away all the possible costs. He turned to me and said "This book could cost £300 a piece , and theyd still be loving the profit, cheeky gits". I think the tournament is amazing in terms of concept, but it does make a large profit, its not one of these heavily reinvested type events. Its my view that why dont the regions(counties etc), for one year, because I think one years profit would almost fund the sets!!!.


Does anyone(Neil), any junior organiser run a megafinal. My mum use to , but I was wondering does anyone know the figures etc,the entry went up I heard. So how much goes in and out etc. I think each megafinal buying 60 sets or whatever. And donating to 1-2 schools in there area. Might be a good idea.

Im sure you see me as naive, but if you ever sat at the events, the term "cash cow" always comes to mind 8)

Anyway Peace guys , I need to go to bed soon once NFL finishes

Ben
I love sleep, I need 8 hours a day and about 10 at night - Bill Hicks
I would die happy if I beat Wood Green in the Eastman Cup final - Richmond LL captain.
Hating the Yankees since 2002. Hating the Jets since 2001.

Nick Thomas
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Re: Questions without answers

Post by Nick Thomas » Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:07 am

Mmm Ben.

Your proposal might supply 2 or 3 thousand sets which is a start but hardly the solution. More to the point you're spending other people's money in your head which is usually a bad idea... :?

Tim Spanton
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Re: Questions without answers

Post by Tim Spanton » Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:10 am

Carl Hibbard wrote:
Tim Spanton wrote:I can't see why people think the ECF has a duty to supply these sets.

*The ECF was promised the sets by a company that apparently was happy to repeat its promise to MPs.

*The ECF invited schools to apply for the sets. They had to do this to ensure there really was a demand, and to discover the scale of the demand. It would have been embarrassing and wasteful if sets for 25,000 schools had been produced in advance but only 5,000 schools applied.

*The sets are almost certainly not going to be forthcoming but the fault for this does not lie with the ECF. Sure, this failure will not help the ECF, but the ECF is not to blame.
What can you suggest saying to the Schools who are still applying via the ECF web site then?
Fair point. For that, the ECF is at fault

John Philpott

Re: Questions without answers

Post by John Philpott » Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:02 pm

The following statement has now appeared on the ECF home page
Chess For Schools Update
I spoke with Julian Van Wyngaarden (MD of Holloid Plastics) yesterday (20 Nov). The replacement moulds have arrived in the UK but are yet to clear Customs. The moulds will need to be tested, after which Holloid intend to do a limited trial run of a few hundred boards and sets. This will take 2-3 weeks at which point Holloid will be able to produce a detailed production plan and a further statement will be made.
Chris Majer ECF Chief Executive

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Ben Purton
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Re: Questions without answers

Post by Ben Purton » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:12 pm

Other people? being the people who make a massive profit out of an event, which people forget intially began as a charity event...

Ben
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I would die happy if I beat Wood Green in the Eastman Cup final - Richmond LL captain.
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Paul McKeown
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Re: Questions without answers

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:24 pm

John Philpott wrote:The following statement has now appeared on the ECF home page
Chess For Schools Update
I spoke with Julian Van Wyngaarden (MD of Holloid Plastics) yesterday (20 Nov). The replacement moulds have arrived in the UK but are yet to clear Customs. The moulds will need to be tested, after which Holloid intend to do a limited trial run of a few hundred boards and sets. This will take 2-3 weeks at which point Holloid will be able to produce a detailed production plan and a further statement will be made.
Chris Majer ECF Chief Executive
Hmmm. This is interesting. It is also part of what Gerry Walsh told me, when I spoke to him on the telephone, and asked me not to divulge. Now that this much has been made public, no confidence is broken by saying this. GW gave 11 November as the date that the casts would clear customs. I was slightly sceptical and, when Andy Martin resigned, I assumed it was, at best, naive optimism. We shall have to see what happens - there are no promises here from Holloid after all - a detailed production plan and a further statement could mean absolutely anything. Cross your fingers everyone.

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David Shepherd
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Re: Questions without answers

Post by David Shepherd » Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:57 pm

I wonder how the cost breakdown works for the sets. I have a feeling that the machine tools are relatively expensive, but once produced the unit cost per set may be fairly low.

Has anybody considered whether optional additional sets could be offered at a small profit to provide Holloid with a Revenue Stream which may help to focus minds (thus for example they could offer additional sets to schools or local chess clubs at somewhere between the market rate and the cost to produce).

What are the future plans of Holloid - could for example they produce cheap sets that could be purchased by other chess federations for similar projects.

I suspect that if a way could be found of generating revenue for Holloid then the project may suddenly move forward.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Questions without answers

Post by Carl Hibbard » Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:52 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:This just indicates why I got fed up with the whole debate. This is somewhat different from the situation that caused Andrew Martin to resign following his phone call to Holloid. Very different to what Fergus said as well.
You are (of course...) quite right Ernie since without further comment from those involved its watch this space time
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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Questions without answers

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:22 pm

"The replacement moulds have arrived in the UK but are yet to clear Customs."

Oh dear - I have heard this one before. This of course may be true, but it is a standard excuse (like "the cheque is in the post"). Someone tried that on with my late father when he was awaiting some imported camera equipment. He demanded the name of the port and the Officer, so he could chase it up. He told the startled shopkeeper that as he worked for Customs he should be able to speed things up. At this point, the shopkeeper felt compelled to tell the truth....

Customs have better things to do than hold up moulds, I would have thought.

I am sure Chris made the statement in good faith.
"Kevin was the arbiter and was very patient. " Nick Grey

andrew martin

Re: Questions without answers

Post by andrew martin » Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:36 pm

Well, the clock is ticking on the last statement which was made a week ago. In
a week, maybe 10 days time, we have been promised a trial run of sets and then a detailed production plan.

I'm looking forward to seeing that plan and then helping to get the sets moving into schools. So are many others, I think.

Andrew

Mick Norris
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Re: Questions without answers

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:27 am

New on the ECF website -

In order to be able to plan the production of Chess For Schools it is necessary to know the size of the production run. To that end applications for participation in the scheme will not be accepted after Friday 5th December 2008.
Chris Majer, ECF Chief Executive
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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