5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Roger de Coverly
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:25 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:58 pm
If Traci Whitfield had won re-election and then resigned, with the board subsequently appointing Alex then it might have been a stitch up. But that didn't happen.
It's being alleged that the decision to resign was announced with insufficient warning so that only those with advance notice of the resignation could seize the opportunity to put their name forward. That contrasts with the Home Director position where Alex H had indicated his intention to stand down with enough notice for two candidates to put their names forward. It was however something of a surprise when having appeared to indicate he was standing down as an ECF director, he promptly stood for election again.

I suppose cooperation with the UK Chess Challenge is better than the Basman era where at times there seemed to be open hostility . That said, the ECF's role as a "regulator" should mean that it keeps a relative distance from commercial operations.

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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:08 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:58 pm

What exactly is the `stitch up` here? The junior directorate was up for election and anybody wishing to do the job was free to be nominated. While challenges to incumbents are relatively rare they have happened and are not always acrimonious; Julie Denning was challenged as NED the last time her term expired not because the other candidate had anything against her but because they felt they could bring something else to the job. Alex could have challenged Traci Whitfield had he wanted to, Traci could have withdrawn her candidature at any point.

If Traci Whitfield had won re-election and then resigned, with the board subsequently appointing Alex then it might have been a stitch up. But that didn't happen.

I should not have used the term stitch-up and I have removed it from my post.

(Edit: In the cold light of day, I see that I had actually made a second post, not amended the first. I have now rectified this.)

The issue is that people may not wish to challenge an incumbent, but may be willing to consider standing for a vacant Directorship.

If most are unaware that an incumbent will not be seeking re-election until after nomination have closed, the few in the know have an apparent advantage.

"Apparent" is the operative word. In my opinion Alex H has been placed in a difficult position through no fault of his own.

Mike Truran and I have been communicating privately about this. That being so, I won't be making any further comment.
Last edited by David Sedgwick on Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

Andrew Martin
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Andrew Martin » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:30 am

Below an email that I sent to everyone involved with the Academy in October 2018, including the CEO, Malcolm, Traci, Christelle, all the tremendous coaches etc.

I said those things because I genuinely believed them and I think they were true.

What just happened?


All,


We are coming to the end of our first three-year cycle and the ECF Academy is thriving. We have a tremendous staff of coaches, great organisation and so it is no wonder that more and more parents and kids want to get involved in this process.


I would like to sincerely thank each and every one of you for your important contribution. The bottom line is that we all want to do our best for the kids and that is the thought to take forward into year four.


All the best, Andrew Martin

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Charlie Storey
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Charlie Storey » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:45 am

I was extremely surprised to learn that some of our top students had been taken from the ECF FIDE Academy, more so that the Head of the Academy had not been consulted. It seemed to me that there are some powers in the ECF that do not value the 30 plus years of International Experience that our ECF Head of Academy has. This seemed to be the beginning of a lot of secrecy. It also seemed to me Traci Whitfield and Andrew Martin had helped create a successful and vibrant academy and it was being torn apart without any consultation from those that had made it successful. The treatment of Andy and Traci has been very poor as I have witnessed them be deliberately sidelined on many issues when it was absolutely clear their input would have been for the better of UK junior chess.
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Charlie Storey » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:30 pm

I have decided to be part of a new FIDE Academy which will run the way that this one was successful. It will be partnered with Chessbase and have its own UK selection criteria. The rules for representing England will be laid out before August and published at www.ChessFunClubs.com

I wish ECF all the best with their endeavours, but my new FIDE Academy will be fully transparent and will offer value for money with no surcharge for parents when their kids represent England via our FIDE Academy. All kids accepted in the Academy will have the opportunity to represent Engalnd in Junior International events. With world class experienced Chessbase Author Coaches to guide them. I guess this is better than whingeing about it. Lets just create an even better FIDE Academy!
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Charlie Storey » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:33 pm

If anyone would like to sponsor our new FIDE Academy please contact me privately.

Charliestorey@chessFUNclubs.com

Lets build it together with a very open playing for England selection criteria as outlined in my bid for the ECF Academy.
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:37 pm

Charlie Storey wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:30 pm
All kids accepted in the Academy will have the opportunity to represent England in Junior International events.
I thought the ECF tried to assert monopoly rights on who could represent England, aided by FIDE and the ECU only offering participation invitations to Federations.

There was a row about this back in the days when Phil Ehr was CEO. Was this resolved in favour of there being an open season on entries?

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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Charlie Storey » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:19 am

Pleased to see they have reinstated Andrew Martin as Head of the Academy.
I will be Head of a new ECF FIDE Academy and I think it is good we have a little competion as it drives up standards.

I will be in charge of recruiting HIghly qualified Master Coaches and I have clear insight who are the best. I will also have a clear selection policy as to who will represent England and Great Britain. Our policy will not be to charge parents an additional fee for our many International Tournaments and twin exchange tournaments. We already have in position a number of twin exchanges planned for Turkey, Dubai and Malta. We have an extremely powerful team in position with the Worlds greatest Chess Trainer GM Adrian Mihailcicisin in short English junior chess is in good hands again.
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by John Upham » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:36 pm

Charlie Storey wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:19 am
I will be Head of a new ECF FIDE Academy
WIll this new ECF FIDE Academy be endorsed and supported by the ECF ?
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Roger Lancaster » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:12 pm

I'm somewhat confused as to what is being implied in this thread. The casual reader might reach the conclusion that Traci Whitfield stood down at very short notice in order to facilitate Alex Holowczak becoming junior director so that, by virtue of his position, Alex H was effectively able to hand the ECF Academy over to Alex and Sarah Longson which was an undesirable result. Nothing is impossible but, assuming I'm right in believing that everyone mentioned in my last sentence will strenuously deny anything of the sort, I'd like a bit of hard evidence before giving this too much credence.

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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by John Upham » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:15 pm

The ECF have issued a press release on this matter :

https://www.englishchess.org.uk/ecf-academy-statement/
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Charlie Storey » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:17 pm

Hi John,

Excellent question.

I am sure the ECF will want my vast experience and qualifications as some one who has tutored many National Champions. Having another FIDE Academy operating will help raise standards for players and coaches and give more opportunities for talented students to represent England.
Of couse I am one of the few only teacher trained Masters in the UK and the only one that is also a FIDE Trainer. I am sure the ECF will find this very useful for leading the Coaches in another FIDE Academy on these shores.
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Charlie Storey » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:25 pm

Today is an important day for me I won the Northumberland Zollner Championship.

http://chess-results.com/tnr379725.aspx ... art=2&rd=7

What was special for me was not winning it but becoming joint winner with my most famous student James Moreby.

After working with James from age of 10 to 12 he became the most rapid increase of a Fide Rating for an England student ever. He got to 2242 Fide.

Sadly I had to cease teaching him due to Teacher training in London and a poor Skype connection and he went backwards for a while on his rating.

I am pleased to see he has won his first Open and to share it with him has made this the sweetest of my 168 Open victories as I prefer to be known as a Chess Teacher and Trainer rather than a player.

He will have a special role in my New FIDE Academy explaing to aspiring juniors how to reach 2242 in 3 years before your 13th birthday within UK culture.

Well done James Moreby...Northumberlands youngest ever County Champion. The boy who sacrificed video games for chess.
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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Sarah Longson » Wed May 01, 2019 9:55 am

John Upham wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:15 pm
The ECF have issued a press release on this matter :

https://www.englishchess.org.uk/ecf-academy-statement/
You got there before me John!

Our team worked hard on the bid and we're delighted to be working with the ECF on this project.

We're looking forward to sharing further details with parents and junior organisers and coaches in due course.

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Re: 5 Questions about the ECF Academy Tender that need answers

Post by Angus French » Wed May 01, 2019 1:59 pm

John Upham wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:15 pm
The ECF have issued a press release on this matter : https://www.englishchess.org.uk/ecf-academy-statement/
A few comments on the statement...
ECF Academy Statement wrote:1. As regards the bid process to run the ECF Academy after 2019, the ECF’s Chairman of Governance Robert Stern has confirmed that he has reviewed the bid process and is satisfied that it was run in a correct and impartial manner that was fully in compliance with Regulation No. 1 (“The Bids Regulations”);
I don't think it's the role of the Governance Committee to review per se decisions made by the ECF. Rather, I think it's the job of the Governance Committee to ensure the federation's articles, processes, procedures etc. are fit for purpose. (I have a guide on governance provided by the Sports and Recreation Alliance which says "Governance is not the management of the day-to-day operations of the organisation — it is the framework of strategy, risk management, controls and processes"). I wonder: does the Governance Committee think Regulation No. 1 is fit for purpose? See also this thread.
ECF Academy Statement wrote:4. Regulation No. 1 forbids the disclosure of reasons for accepting/rejecting bids, and also requires that details of individual bids remain confidential to the ECF;
ECF Regulation No. 1 wrote:6. Once a decision is taken, the responsible Director has the duty to advise all those bidding of the decision reached. No reasons shall be given.
7. In accordance with normal commercial practice, bidding details remain confidential to the Federation. Copies of the Bid invitation, the successful bid itself and any other relevant documentation shall be retained by the ECF Office.
I don't know about this. I can understand that certain information ought not to be disclosed but I'd also like to be assured that the best decision was made and that everything that needed to be considered was. The ECF is a membership organisation, not a commercial enterprise, and ought, I think, to be more open.

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