Needing to be ECF member to play in British Championships?

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Mark Cockerton
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Re: Needing to be ECF member to play in British Championships?

Post by Mark Cockerton » Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:06 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:38 pm
Mark Cockerton wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:19 am
In the handful of tournaments I have previously run I was happy to accept non-ECF members even though it was inconvient because I thought this encourages people to play OTB chess rather than online. Stipulating that people must be an ECF member to play an event makes it more prohibitive to do this. I thought this was the point of having the pay to play scheme?

As for the idea that the ECF's Annual Congress should be for ECF members. I should have thought that the vast majority of players are playing in the event because it gives them a chance to play competitive graded chess and have no great preference for playing ECF members or even any attachment to the ECF.
I was horrified that when I tried to play in the Torquay Club Internal Championships, they insisted I should be a member of Torquay Chess Club. If they want to encourage chess, why do they insist I should be a member of their club?

Or, perhaps there are the needs of the club to be factored into my line of thought?
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:38 pm
Mark Cockerton wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:19 am
In the handful of tournaments I have previously run I was happy to accept non-ECF members even though it was inconvient because I thought this encourages people to play OTB chess rather than online. Stipulating that people must be an ECF member to play an event makes it more prohibitive to do this. I thought this was the point of having the pay to play scheme?

As for the idea that the ECF's Annual Congress should be for ECF members. I should have thought that the vast majority of players are playing in the event because it gives them a chance to play competitive graded chess and have no great preference for playing ECF members or even any attachment to the ECF.
I was horrified that when I tried to play in the Torquay Club Internal Championships, they insisted I should be a member of Torquay Chess Club. If they want to encourage chess, why do they insist I should be a member of their club?

Or, perhaps there are the needs of the club to be factored into my line of thought?
Torquay Chess Club (when it existed) did not have a paid membership scheme and the costs of playing at the club were a £2 table fee on the night. Thus, anyone could enter the club championship and were welcome to do so. If the club had a paid membership scheme then it may have been fair to expect a player to be a member before playing in a club championship. However, this is because such membership costs usually cover the rent of the venue and thus you are expected to be a member to play at such clubs. In the case of the British Championships, the costs of the event are covered by the entry fee.

You also failed to address two other points I made. Firstly, exactly what is the point of the pay to play scheme if it is not to encourage people to play the game? Secondly, the vast majority of players at the British are only interested in playing competitive graded chess and are not interested in whether their opponents are in the ECF or not. In my case, I would have like to have played in the Rapidplay event. This is an open event and I am sure they are plenty of players whom would rather play a competitive game against someone with a similar grade to themselves than play someone +/- 50 points to themselves whom was an ECF member.

Mark Cockerton
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:12 pm

Re: Needing to be ECF member to play in British Championships?

Post by Mark Cockerton » Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:40 am

John Reyes wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:47 pm
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:38 pm
Mark Cockerton wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:19 am
In the handful of tournaments I have previously run I was happy to accept non-ECF members even though it was inconvient because I thought this encourages people to play OTB chess rather than online. Stipulating that people must be an ECF member to play an event makes it more prohibitive to do this. I thought this was the point of having the pay to play scheme?

As for the idea that the ECF's Annual Congress should be for ECF members. I should have thought that the vast majority of players are playing in the event because it gives them a chance to play competitive graded chess and have no great preference for playing ECF members or even any attachment to the ECF.

I was horrified that when I tried to play in the Torquay Club Internal Championships, they insisted I should be a member of Torquay Chess Club. If they want to encourage chess, why do they insist I should be a member of their club?

Or, perhaps there are the needs of the club to be factored into my line of thought?
When I pop down to Torquay, I wanted to pop down to the club in the summer,
Torquay Chess Club was already in a dire state when you expressed an interest in playing there in the summer of 2016. It is now non-existent, which is a rather sad state of affairs when the combined populations of Torquay and Paignton is 115000, and Paignton was the hometown of Gary Lane. If you want to play chess when you pop down to Torquay in the summer then your options are Brixham (8 miles away) and Teignmouth (also 8 miles away). Brixham play friendly chess and meet on Tuesdays 7 p.m. at the Conservative Club in Brixham (£1 table fee). Teignmouth play graded chess and also meet on Tuesdays 7 p.m. (it is possible to play here as a non-member during the summer and further details of the club can be found at www.teignmouthchessclub.com).

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Needing to be ECF member to play in British Championships?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:09 am

Mark Cockerton wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:06 am
Firstly, exactly what is the point of the pay to play scheme if it is not to encourage people to play the game?
It's a political compromise which avoids the ECF Directors attempting to impose a totally compulsory membership scheme. They apply the "compulsory" element to the event they organise themselves to the extent that it's within their power. What's not clear is the extent to which it applies to players who are not ENG, IRL, SCO or WLS but sufficiently resident in the UK to be eligible for British titles.

They used to claim "membership" was a FIDE requirement. That now seems to have been dropped.

But is there something wrong with chess promotion when the ECF can take its annual tournament to a town without a chess club and without plans to use the national event to promote local interest? By my count there will be three other Congresses in Torquay this calendar year, assuming the October/November tournament takes place as usual.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Needing to be ECF member to play in British Championships?

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:02 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:09 am

But is there something wrong with chess promotion when the ECF can take its annual tournament to a town without a chess club and without plans to use the national event to promote local interest? By my count there will be three other Congresses in Torquay this calendar year, assuming the October/November tournament takes place as usual.
The ECF are `taking their annual tournament` to a town that a) has a venue large enough to host the event that can be obtained economically and b) is a popular tourist destination. Last year they took it to a city who wanted to use the event to promote local interest (your words) and were strongly criticised for it. They can't win.

If local players in Torquay wanted to use the event to help revive their club they would be free to do so. It's not the ECF's job to do it for them.
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Michael Flatt
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Re: Needing to be ECF member to play in British Championships?

Post by Michael Flatt » Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:11 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:02 pm
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:09 am

But is there something wrong with chess promotion when the ECF can take its annual tournament to a town without a chess club and without plans to use the national event to promote local interest? By my count there will be three other Congresses in Torquay this calendar year, assuming the October/November tournament takes place as usual.
The ECF are `taking their annual tournament` to a town that a) has a venue large enough to host the event that can be obtained economically and b) is a popular tourist destination. Last year they took it to a city who wanted to use the event to promote local interest (your words) and were strongly criticised for it. They can't win.

If local players in Torquay wanted to use the event to help revive their club they would be free to do so. It's not the ECF's job to do it for them.
I think you do a great disservice to Hull by your implied criticism. The Hull players did a great deal to support and publicise the British Championships. Take, for instance, the Entertainment Programme that they created to run alongside the tournament.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Needing to be ECF member to play in British Championships?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:02 pm

Mark Cockerton wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:06 am
Torquay Chess Club (when it existed) did not have a paid membership scheme and the costs of playing at the club were a £2 table fee on the night. Thus, anyone could enter the club championship and were welcome to do so. If the club had a paid membership scheme then it may have been fair to expect a player to be a member before playing in a club championship. However, this is because such membership costs usually cover the rent of the venue and thus you are expected to be a member to play at such clubs. In the case of the British Championships, the costs of the event are covered by the entry fee.
So you're advising that the ECF should follow the system of a club that didn't have a membership scheme, which failed to the point where it no longer exists? :?

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Needing to be ECF member to play in British Championships?

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:01 pm

Michael Flatt wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:11 pm
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:02 pm
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:09 am

But is there something wrong with chess promotion when the ECF can take its annual tournament to a town without a chess club and without plans to use the national event to promote local interest? By my count there will be three other Congresses in Torquay this calendar year, assuming the October/November tournament takes place as usual.
The ECF are `taking their annual tournament` to a town that a) has a venue large enough to host the event that can be obtained economically and b) is a popular tourist destination. Last year they took it to a city who wanted to use the event to promote local interest (your words) and were strongly criticised for it. They can't win.

If local players in Torquay wanted to use the event to help revive their club they would be free to do so. It's not the ECF's job to do it for them.
I think you do a great disservice to Hull by your implied criticism. The Hull players did a great deal to support and publicise the British Championships. Take, for instance, the Entertainment Programme that they created to run alongside the tournament.
I'm sorry but I don't understand this post. Where is the `implied criticism`? Last year's British championship was held in my own county and several of the local players who helped make the event a huge success are friends of mine. My point was that Roger appears to be criticising the ECF for holding the championship in a town without a chess club and no attempts at using it to promote local interest whereas last year the ECF did things the other way round. The choice of Hull was bitterly resisted by some players last year and I called them out both on here and the Chess Heaven facebook page.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Paul Cooksey
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Re: Needing to be ECF member to play in British Championships?

Post by Paul Cooksey » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:12 pm

Michael Farthing wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:01 pm
I think Paul has missed a slight bit of sarcasm.
I thought pretending to take it seriously was funny. Apparently not.

I think it is fair enough for the ECF to insist on membership to enter the British. They are running it. But the analogy with joining a club makes no sense to me. The reasons to join a club are completely different to the reasons to join the ECF.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Needing to be ECF member to play in British Championships?

Post by Michael Farthing » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:11 am

Ah! Quis sarcasmiet ipsos sarcasmes? Ecco videmus.

Mark Cockerton
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Re: Needing to be ECF member to play in British Championships?

Post by Mark Cockerton » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:10 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:02 pm
Mark Cockerton wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:06 am
Torquay Chess Club (when it existed) did not have a paid membership scheme and the costs of playing at the club were a £2 table fee on the night. Thus, anyone could enter the club championship and were welcome to do so. If the club had a paid membership scheme then it may have been fair to expect a player to be a member before playing in a club championship. However, this is because such membership costs usually cover the rent of the venue and thus you are expected to be a member to play at such clubs. In the case of the British Championships, the costs of the event are covered by the entry fee.
So you're advising that the ECF should follow the system of a club that didn't have a membership scheme, which failed to the point where it no longer exists? :?
Actually, it was you whom drew comparison with club chess. I originally compared the British to other tournaments where ECF membership is not enforced.

Personally, I have had enough of this discussion. The fact is that I will be highly unlikely to play in the British because the insistence for ECF membership makes entering the event prohibitively expensive. If I want to play chess on the day of the rapidplay then I shall play online and spend £53 of my money more wisely.

Any ECF official can comfort themselves with this decision knowing that the event is for members only, despite the fact that the vast majority of players are only interested in playing competitive graded OTB chess and do not care whether they play ECF members or not (a point which no-one contradicted).

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Needing to be ECF member to play in British Championships?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:46 pm

Mark Cockerton wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:10 pm
The fact is that I will be highly unlikely to play in the British because the insistence for ECF membership makes entering the event prohibitively expensive.
The ECF is attempting to recruit a paid for development officer.

https://www.englishchess.org.uk/develop ... r-vacancy/

I suspect whoever takes on the job will find compulsory annualised ECF membership makes it an uphill struggle to promote chess to infrequent participants.

J T Melsom
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Re: Needing to be ECF member to play in British Championships?

Post by J T Melsom » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:25 pm

I am on the committee of a relatively small club, but I've never experienced this resistance to annual membership to which Roger refers. The barriers are more around the perception of what a club can offer beyond match chess and overcoming reluctance to dip one's toe in. The step up can be tricky, but it can be overcome, with the help of other club members. Of course there is a growing trend locally to only meet on match nights, which must make it difficult for newcomers to join and find an opponent on a regular basis. I understand it reduces costs but it seems unwelcoming and is most definitely something I'd regard as a last resort.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Needing to be ECF member to play in British Championships?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:06 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:25 pm
I am on the committee of a relatively small club, but I've never experienced this resistance to annual membership to which Roger refers.
I suggest you read the thread. It's a resident of Torquay or nearby who would play in a one day event at the British Championship Congress were it not so expensive. The reason it's so expensive is that the ECF demands 365 days of membership for one day of chess. That's why the ECF gives most Congresses a concession that they don't have to ask non-members for a full year's cost for one, two or three days of play.

J T Melsom
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Re: Needing to be ECF member to play in British Championships?

Post by J T Melsom » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:15 pm

I have read the thread and the various digressions thank you. Your digression gave annual membership (which you misleadingly refer to as 'compulsory') as a fundamental stumbling block to the efforts of the potential appointee to the ECF recruitment post. I disagreed with that on the basis of my experience. I agree that Mr Cockerton would experience a significant cost to participate at the ECF Congress, but then again its not especially cheap for members either, and he has inflicted some of the cost on himself by not acting in time to avoid late fees. If the ECF had more funds it might be tempted to offer discounts to its Congress for local members, but the Congress would still need to break even, and there would also I suspect be objections from those not eligible for discounts. I doubt he is in such a significant group that the Congress organisers need to change the fee structure in future years.

[ Membership is compulsory for the ECF Congress not for chess the rest of the year which is the ambit of the advertised post to which you refer]

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