April Council meeting 2019

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Andrew Zigmond
Posts: 1692
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:53 pm

I'll throw another thing into the mix. It is quite unfair to suggest that the Director of International Chess is not interested in grassroots chess as he seems to have played a big part in the development paper and has contributed to other grassroots activities, albeit outwith the ECF.

I am going to repeat myself because I think this point does need repeating. International chess currently has a clear strategy and business plan. Grassroots chess does not and listening exercises normally get buried in a blur of forty year old feuds and suggestions of best practice from the nineteen seventies.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Angus French
Posts: 1588
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 1:37 am
Contact:

Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Angus French » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:21 am

NickFaulks wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:52 pm
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:26 pm
If the money has come from a third party sponsor then exact details of how that money was used should be confidential. As it is not ECF members' money the argument that they have a right to know where that money is going is no longer applicable. Of course if it is money from membership income then the International Director must answer questions and be held to account.
The problem with that argument is that money is fungible, so it is not always possible to say whose contribution pays for what. Of course, when a sponsor pays all the bills, as in the recent World Teams, then everyone will be delighted and no questions are likely to be asked.
The accounts show forecast income for the World Teams at £17,800 and forecast expenditure at £21,000 giving a net spend of £3,200. Malcolm says in his KPIs report "the World Teams was 90% funded by donations".

Angus French
Posts: 1588
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 1:37 am
Contact:

Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Angus French » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:30 am

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:19 pm
It is grossly improper to tie the hands of the ECF AFTER 2019-2020. This part of that proposal MUST be opposed by everybody. They haven't even added in an allowance for inflation.
It would also mae it more difficult to raise business sponsorship and, even more difficult to obtain philanthropic support.
The proposed £30,000 figure is in line with what was spent in the nine years from 2006/7 to 2014/15 (see the supporting paper for a table and chart). The idea of keeping the contribution fixed at £30,000 for three years and then subjecting it to a review was to try to instil some stability. There would be nothing, of course, to stop greater expenditure if it’s supported by income from other sources such as sponsorship. Personally, I wouldn’t object to an amendment to the motion to allow for an inflation-rate increase each year.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 17998
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:44 am

Angus French wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:30 am
Personally, I wouldn’t object to an amendment to the motion to allow for an inflation-rate increase each year.
It's clear, is it not, that expenditure on Olympiads and Europeans has increased. What's not so clear is why. Is it increased support costs, analysts and trainers? Or is it higher fees for the players? Given that at Olympiads the players get upgrades beyond the designated FIDE requirements, have those costs increased?

Angus French
Posts: 1588
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 1:37 am
Contact:

Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Angus French » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:05 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:53 pm
It is quite unfair to suggest that the Director of International Chess is not interested in grassroots chess...
Where was that suggestion made?
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:53 pm
... as he seems to have played a big part in the development paper...
What's happened to the development paper and the appointment of a Development Officer?
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:53 pm
I am going to repeat myself because I think this point does need repeating. International chess currently has a clear strategy and business plan. Grassroots chess does not and listening exercises normally get buried in a blur of forty year old feuds and suggestions of best practice from the nineteen seventies.
I'm not sure what you're saying here: that expenditure (any expenditure?) on international chess is Ok because there's a strategy and business plan? That nothing can be done to improve support for grassroots chess because there's no strategy and that we can't have a strategy because there's no means of determining what the objectives should be?

Angus French
Posts: 1588
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 1:37 am
Contact:

Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Angus French » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:22 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:44 am
Angus French wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:30 am
Personally, I wouldn’t object to an amendment to the motion to allow for an inflation-rate increase each year.
It's clear, is it not, that expenditure on Olympiads and Europeans has increased. What's not so clear is why. Is it increased support costs, analysts and trainers? Or is it higher fees for the players? Given that at Olympiads the players get upgrades beyond the designated FIDE requirements, have those costs increased?
Malcolm provided some provisional figures (directly before last October's AGM) for the 2018 Batumi Olympiad (copy of spreadsheet here):
- Registration fees - £1,170
- Hotel single supplement + extra night for one player - £4,200
- Air tickets - £5,200
- UK travel - £500
- Fees - £30,750
TOTAL EXPENSES - £41,820.

The accounts now show total expenses forecast at £44,755.

I've asked Malcolm for an updated breakdown which shows the split between the Open and Women's team and the amount spent on player appearance fees.

Paul Cooksey
Posts: 402
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:15 pm

Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Paul Cooksey » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:37 am

Angus French wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:22 am
I've asked Malcolm for an updated breakdown which shows the split between the Open and Women's team and the amount spent on player appearance fees.
I am also interested in the split between the open and women's team.

Angus - can you explain why you think it is important player appearance fees are public? I am not sure it is important to me how the International Director splits the money between the team, just the total

Angus French
Posts: 1588
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 1:37 am
Contact:

Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Angus French » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:06 am

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:37 am
Angus - can you explain why you think it is important player appearance fees are public? I am not sure it is important to me how the International Director splits the money between the team, just the total
We know from the accounts that it cost £44,265 to send two five-player teams to the 2017 Euro Teams (expenditure was split across two accounting periods: £15,457 in 2016/17 and £28,808 in 2017/18). And we also know the forecasted cost for entering two teams for the 2018 Olympiad is £44,755. These amounts, which average out at more than £4,400 a player, seem an awful lot. So I think the natural questions to ask are: is the expenditure justified; how is it made up? And these questions are relevant to members because the bulk of the expenditure is met from ECF funds which, for the most part, come from membership income. I think members might reasonably ask: what return do we get on our investment...

Mick Norris
Posts: 7406
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:12 am
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester
Contact:

Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Mick Norris » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:49 am

Looks to me like Angus and Paul are in agreement

I'd think the figures need to be for each team separately (i.e. open and women's), then split between how much it costs to send a team (hotel, air fares etc) and how much it costs to send this particular team (i.e. total of appearance fees, we don't need to know who got what amount individually)

I'd have thought this was a good time to provide this detail, given the very good results at both the Olympiad and World Teams (previously, there was a good argument about spending more money on the Senior teams, which appeared to have a better chance of success)
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 17998
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:30 am

Angus French wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:22 am
I've asked Malcolm for an updated breakdown which shows the split between the Open and Women's team and the amount spent on player appearance fees.
Have recent teams had the support of external trainers/analysts? Would the costs of this extra support be under "fees", so the total includes more than just the participation fees for the ten players (and captains?)

User avatar
Christopher Kreuzer
Posts: 7252
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:34 am
Location: London

Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:14 pm

Agree that a bit more of a breakdown would help. Including trainer/coach fees. Hope the disparity in appearance fee totals between the men (sorry, Open) and women's team is not too much... (even giving that might divulge too much information, but it would be good to have that - and no-one has I don't think asked for individual appearance fees, which should not be disclosed). I wonder if any players waive/reduce their appearance fees? Probably not.

Angus French
Posts: 1588
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 1:37 am
Contact:

Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Angus French » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:22 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:30 am
Angus French wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:22 am
I've asked Malcolm for an updated breakdown which shows the split between the Open and Women's team and the amount spent on player appearance fees.
Have recent teams had the support of external trainers/analysts? Would the costs of this extra support be under "fees", so the total includes more than just the participation fees for the ten players (and captains?)
Malcolm's paper on international budgets has more information. Boris Avrukh provided analytical support. Also there was a training camp. John Nunn captained the Open team and I think Lorin D'Costa did the same for the Women's team.

Andrew Zigmond
Posts: 1692
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:34 pm

Angus French wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:05 am
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:53 pm
It is quite unfair to suggest that the Director of International Chess is not interested in grassroots chess...
Where was that suggestion made?
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:53 pm
... as he seems to have played a big part in the development paper...
What's happened to the development paper and the appointment of a Development Officer?
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:53 pm
I am going to repeat myself because I think this point does need repeating. International chess currently has a clear strategy and business plan. Grassroots chess does not and listening exercises normally get buried in a blur of forty year old feuds and suggestions of best practice from the nineteen seventies.
I'm not sure what you're saying here: that expenditure (any expenditure?) on international chess is Ok because there's a strategy and business plan? That nothing can be done to improve support for grassroots chess because there's no strategy and that we can't have a strategy because there's no means of determining what the objectives should be?
The suggestion has not been made as such but the central issue here is whether international chess is benefiting at the expense of the grassroots players who are funding it. I agree that not much has come of the development paper so far, possibly because council elected the `wrong` candidate as director of home chess (the inverted commas are because I respect Adrian Elwin but Tim Wall was Malcolm's candidate and would probably have worked with him to push the development agenda more). Personally I would prefer to see direct membership representatives to be chasing the development paper instead of pursuing their agenda against board members.

Your third question does rather twist the point I'm trying to make, although I suppose it depends whether the issue is the size of the international budget itself or how disproportionate it is to investment in grassroots chess. My point is that we are seeing developments in international chess because we have a capable director who knows where his directorate is now, where it needs to be and what needs to be done to get from a to b.

So following that thought through grassroots chess needs a similar strategy and a capable team to put it in place (bearing in mind that it's a big task and improvements won't happen overnight). This has been discussed before and we've had bullet points such as better venues, outreach to different demographics, junior clubs etc but we never seem to get any further than that and progressive voices are drowned out by traditionalists demanding heritage events are put first. My point is that grassroots chess could have everything international chess is getting, if only we had a strategy.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

NickFaulks
Posts: 4973
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:01 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:34 pm
My point is that grassroots chess could have everything international chess is getting, if only we had a strategy.
And a serious increase in fees, presumably.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 17998
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:10 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:01 pm
And a serious increase in fees, presumably.
The paradox is that the likely best way of developing "grass roots" chess is to charge no fees whatsoever, even perhaps offering a subsidy. The ECF would need sponsorship to make that happen.

It would appear University based rapid play events have distanced themselves from the ECF.

Post Reply