Questions without answers

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

Postby JustinHorton » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:56 am

Nick Thomas wrote:Well blow be down with a plastic injection molding thingy....still there?????? Are you sure? Do those chaps at the ECF know do you think? Last place I would have thought to look.... :wink:


What you probably missed Nick is that what you found was the original release from February, whereas what's on the ECF site is an update. I'm not sure what if anything hsa been updated, but the original link from February no longer displays.
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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Questions without answers

Postby Carl Hibbard » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:57 am

andrew martin wrote:A talented team could sort all this out and more AND deliver the Chess for Schools project.

So how?

Since the only quick way to continue the project now would be to purchase the sets?

Using the JRT for this purpose is not on so the cash has to come from somwhere?
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Carl Hibbard

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Questions without answers

Postby Carl Hibbard » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:05 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Nick Thomas wrote:Well blow be down with a plastic injection molding thingy....still there?????? Are you sure? Do those chaps at the ECF know do you think? Last place I would have thought to look.... :wink:


What you probably missed Nick is that what you found was the original release from February, whereas what's on the ECF site is an update. I'm not sure what if anything hsa been updated, but the original link from February no longer displays.

Where has the Director of Marketing gone?

By now he could have attempted to gloss over the cracks with a bit of marketing blurb - true or not isn't the point but the total silence is not the right approach :roll:
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Nick Thomas
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Re: Questions without answers

Postby Nick Thomas » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:19 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Nick Thomas wrote:Well blow be down with a plastic injection molding thingy....still there?????? Are you sure? Do those chaps at the ECF know do you think? Last place I would have thought to look.... :wink:


What you probably missed Nick is that what you found was the original release from February, whereas what's on the ECF site is an update. I'm not sure what if anything hsa been updated, but the original link from February no longer displays.


Thanks Justin but no I didn't miss any of that.........

andrew martin

Re: Questions without answers

Postby andrew martin » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:43 am

Once the ECF made the announcements, they committed themselves to the project. If the ECF pulls out for whatever reason they will then lose all face and trust.

In my opinion, they will HAVE to buy the sets if the deal with Holloid falls through to honour the committment. This is not as bad as it sounds, because money can easily be regained ( and a profit made) from various ideas already partly in place, which I am not able to discuss for reasons of confidentiality, but which I'm sure will be announced in good time, according to what happens next.

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Re: Questions without answers

Postby Mike Gunn » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:04 am

I agree. The Chess Sets for Schools project is exactly what the ECF is about (promoting chess). Let's say it would cost about £1 million to do. If we were starting from scratch we might decide to spend £1 million differently but now we are committed to this scheme in the eyes of MPs and the schools. There are many ways the money could be raised (from chess players, the government, other sponsors, the lottery, from other good/services offered to schools). Walking away now and saying "sorry, we were let down by the company" is just not an option.

Matthew Turner
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Re: Questions without answers

Postby Matthew Turner » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:25 am

This has now appeared on the ECF webpage,

Chess for Schools
Andrew Martin has resigned and questions on Chess for Schools should be referred to the Chief Executive for the time being.

so, you have made it back into history Andy!

You will see from my earlier comments that I agree with Andrew that the ECF should buy the set that they are 'committed' to. However, this is an investment that will (hopefully) bear fruits in the future. It is, in my opinion, pure fantasy to expect that it would ever be possible to make a profit on distributing FREE sets.
Schools spend money, and 10 chess sets are not that expensive in the overall scheme of things. Schools have applied for chess sets because they are FREE. If they had wanted to buy sets then they would have done so already from Chess Direct, Chess and Bridge, BCM or one of the other many chess sets suppliers.

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Re: Questions without answers

Postby John Upham » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:39 am

Matthew Turner wrote:This has now appeared on the ECF webpage,
Chess for Schools
Andrew Martin has resigned and questions on Chess for Schools should be referred to the Chief Executive for the time being.

so, you have made it back into history Andy!


I believe a request was recieved from a former Director to the Chairman of the Governance Committee suggesting that news of the new Directorship and the subsequent resignation should be published. I believe that this was the cause of the "correction".

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Re: Questions without answers

Postby Ian Kingston » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:55 am

I think there's a tendency to focus too much on simply supplying the sets. Supporting materials also need to be provided (these have occasionally been mentioned) and people (especially coaches) need to be available either to work in the schools or to show teachers how to use the teaching materials available to them.

This was obvious even when the project was first launched. If the supporting structures are not put in place, with sufficient and secure funding, the whole project will fail even if all 250,000 sets are produced and distributed. If my recollection of various posts made on this forum is correct, Charles Wood understood this and was trying to obtain support from LEAs.

Given the title of this thread, my unanswered question would be: If an alternative means of supplying the sets is found, how will the project be supported in the following years? And as a follow-up: Was there ever a plan (even a tentative one) for this, or was there just a hope that the arrival of the sets would stimulate the necessary support?

John Philpott

Re: Questions without answers

Postby John Philpott » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:03 am

John Upham wrote
I believe a request was recieved from a former Director to the Chairman of the Governance Committee suggesting that news of the new Directorship and the subsequent resignation should be published. I believe that this was the cause of the "correction".
Not so in terms of cause and effect, John. A firewall prevents me from accessing my private e-mails at work, and by the time I saw the request from the former Director, the "correction" had already occurred. The credit therefore belongs elsewhere.

Matthew Turner
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Re: Questions without answers

Postby Matthew Turner » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:04 am

Ian,
We are focusing on supplying sets, because schools have been promised free sets and that is what they want. Support notes are really not a problem. I have appended all you need to know to this post

Go to chesskids.com

It's free! so there really is no need for Charles Wood or anybody else to do costly work on a supporting pack for schools and there is also no way that the ECF will be able to get any significant revenue (in the medium term) out of the project.

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Re: Questions without answers

Postby Ian Kingston » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:40 am

I think that's the first time that chesskids.com has been mentioned in this context, so thanks for that. I still think coaches are needed as well - chesskids might be a little intimidating for a teacher who barely knows the moves. Not because the material is difficult or badly organised - it isn't - but because there's a lot of it and chess itself can be intimidating. Some teachers will need help.

Are there plans to put the 'ECF Chess for Schools' branding on the chesskids site? And since this is a national project, will pages such as the FAQ (http://chesskids.com/ckafaq04.shtml) be updated to reflect this? At the moment it's a bit Richmond-centric.

While I'm asking questions, how does this all tie in with the proposed academies? Are they part of Chess for Schools or a separate project?

andrew martin

Re: Questions without answers

Postby andrew martin » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:48 am

All of these things are very possible and I was sure I could bring the players/coaches/teachers together effectively to sort out the best possible outcome for the kids.

However, the delivery of the sets had/has to come first.

Richard James
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Re: Questions without answers

Postby Richard James » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:58 am

Matthew Turner wrote:
Go to chesskids.com



Many thanks for the plug, Matthew.

I have been watching developments on this forum with considerable interest but up to now have refrained from commenting.

I'm at school at the moment but may come back later.

Matthew Turner
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Re: Questions without answers

Postby Matthew Turner » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:10 am

Ian,
I think you should really think of it as two parallel, interrelated, projects

1. Free Chess Set for Schools

Andy and I feel that the ECF have a moral obligation to deliver these set, but I have stated that I think that this could cost in the region of quarter of a million pounds. I see this as a long term investment in junior chess with no (medium term) income to the ECF

2. Academies

These could perform a multitude of tasks ranging from, distributing sets, coaching days for the world youth squad, training days for new chess teachers, selection tournaments and many other things. There is no reason why these could not be highly profitable in the relatively short run. However, if you believe academies are the way forward (and there will certainly be obstacles to overcome) then this is true regardless of what happens with the free sets.


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