Council Papers are out

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John Reyes
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Council Papers are out

Post by John Reyes » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:22 pm

Any postings on here represent my personal views only

Angus French
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Angus French » Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:58 pm

The Board's Report to the AGM says:
Board of Directors Report, All Directorates section, top of page 5 wrote:Appointed a new Development Officer to work with the Board to grow chess at all levels across the country...
Does anyone know anything about this, such as who has been appointed and when the appointment was made?

Brian Towers
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Brian Towers » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:56 pm

Angus French wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:58 pm
The Board's Report to the AGM says:
Board of Directors Report, All Directorates section, top of page 5 wrote:Appointed a new Development Officer to work with the Board to grow chess at all levels across the country...
Does anyone know anything about this, such as who has been appointed and when the appointment was made?
There was talk a year or so ago of Tim Wall getting the job, but then he didn't. I think he did publish a paper on his proposals. Did he get the job in the end?
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Chris Goodall » Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:01 am

Brian Towers wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:56 pm
Angus French wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:58 pm
The Board's Report to the AGM says:
Board of Directors Report, All Directorates section, top of page 5 wrote:Appointed a new Development Officer to work with the Board to grow chess at all levels across the country...
Does anyone know anything about this, such as who has been appointed and when the appointment was made?
There was talk a year or so ago of Tim Wall getting the job, but then he didn't. I think he did publish a paper on his proposals. Did he get the job in the end?
I'm crossing my fingers that the ECF have seen sense and appointed no-one, because from an economic point of view the idea is barking mad. It's the Witchfinder Effect - when you have a witchfinder who can't pay their bills unless they find a steady stream of witches to burn, then they will eventually accuse everyone in the village of witchcraft. When you have a Development Officer who can't pay their bills unless they find a steady stream of incompetent local officials to re-educate, they will eventually accuse every local official of incompetence. No professional Development Officer has ever declared himself satisfied with the job that amateurs have been doing in his absence, just as no witchfinder has ever found a village free of witches.

This I find particularly poisonous:

As a vital step towards creating a much-needed layer of new local organisers, the Development Officer should run and facilitate the organisation of Chess Organiser Training Days, from which attendees could gain a Chess Organiser qualification from the ECF. The training of new organisers is essential to avoid the collapse of clubs and local organisations when a key person retires or moves to a different area.

I can think of no policy more destructive to local organisations than the ECF announcing that, henceforth, "how to organise chess" is proprietary knowledge that will be revealed to a select group, in person, for a fee. Assuming that there is some great secret to running a local chess league (and having run one for five years, there's really nothing that I couldn't fit onto a side of A4) then surely to God, we owe it to local organisers to make it publicly available for the sum of £0.00 so it's not a secret any more? If the finer workings of the Berger tables absolutely must be explained by a human talking through a PowerPoint presentation, then let them do it once, video the damn thing, and put it on YouTube.

I predict that for every hour of effort you get out of a Development Officer, you will lose ten hours of effort from existing volunteers.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:11 am

Chris Goodall wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:01 am
If the finer workings of the Berger tables absolutely must be explained by a human talking through a PowerPoint presentation, then let them do it once, video the damn thing, and put it on YouTube.
Berger tables aren't especially difficult and a boon to scheduling league fixtures. You have to be aware of the trick of awarding the bye to the highest pairing number when there's an odd number of participants.

The AGM papers, in particular the Director's report suggest that the ECF has appointed a development officer. The mystery remains as to why the appointment remains secret.

The other "secret" is how many "supporters", the ECF has managed to collect money off.

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Adam Raoof
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Adam Raoof » Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:25 am

It's your money paying for this appointment - why not ask the Directors?

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:51 am

"I'm crossing my fingers that the ECF have seen sense and appointed no-one, because from an economic point of view the idea is barking mad."

I think it's the modern way. where I worked, we were struggling to keep up to date with the work, through lack of laboratory staff, and had a team meeting where the boss proudly announced that someone new had been recruited. Hooray, we thought, until the boss said the new person would try to find out why there was a backlog of work... And for the money spent on that person, we could have got two people to work in the lab.

I am sure somebody has already written a simple guide on how to encourage players to join a club and how to run one. It should be easy to disseminate the information.

We also know the problems, people have less spare time available to play chess, and more are playing on the internet, because you can play when you want, not when the club meets. OK, ban long hours and shift working, ban coursework/homework at schools, turn the internet off one weekday evening a week, and problem solved.

J T Melsom
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by J T Melsom » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:36 am

'Berger tables aren't especially difficult and a boon to scheduling league fixtures. You have to be aware of the trick of awarding the bye to the highest pairing number when there's an odd number of participants.'

Why? What are you trying to avoid? I used the pairings as the base for drawing up the league fixtures for many years but have no idea what the trick is about.

Angus French
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Angus French » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:42 am

On the appointment of a Development Officer: I am told that two candidates were interviewed a couple of weeks ago. So maybe an appointment is (at last) imminent if it hasn't already been made (but not yet announced).

On funding of the Development Officer position: The draft minutes of the 2019 Finance Council meeting state: "[David Eustace, Director of Finance] clarified that the request in respect of the Development Officer will be for £10k from the Chess Trust (to fund a basic salary) with expenses and bonus to be funded from increased membership fees.".

The membership list for 24 September has 12 ECF SUPPORTERs.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:46 am

J T Melsom wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:36 am
Why? What are you trying to avoid? I used the pairings as the base for drawing up the league fixtures for many years but have no idea what the trick is about.
With an odd number of teams in a single round competition, you want to equalise homes and aways. To reliably achieve this, always assign " bye" to the highest number.

J T Melsom
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by J T Melsom » Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:00 am

Ah - I suspected that but having generally paired for double rounds wasn't sure if that was what you were hinting at.

Mick Norris
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:43 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:46 am
J T Melsom wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:36 am
Why? What are you trying to avoid? I used the pairings as the base for drawing up the league fixtures for many years but have no idea what the trick is about.
With an odd number of teams in a single round competition, you want to equalise homes and aways. To reliably achieve this, always assign " bye" to the highest number.
So, by highest number, you mean that in a 9 team league, you assign the bye as team number 10?
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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Chris Goodall
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Chris Goodall » Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:08 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:46 am
With an odd number of teams in a single round competition, you want to equalise homes and aways. To reliably achieve this, always assign " bye" to the highest number.
Or if there's a team that plays all their matches at a neutral venue, you should give them the highest number, so all the other teams have an equal number of homes and aways plus one trip to this neutral venue. Therefore, move heaven and earth to avoid putting the neutral-venue team in a division with an odd number of teams.

We should start a Chess Organiser Wiki. (I love the wiki model, can you tell?) To collect all the information put out by the Development Officer and publish it for free, thus removing the need for a Development Officer.
Angus French wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:42 am
the request in respect of the Development Officer will be for £10k from the Chess Trust (to fund a basic salary) with expenses and bonus to be funded from increased membership fees.[/i]".
Your club is going to enter two teams this year, okay?
Er, what? But we have only one captain and one driver and two spare players.
Yes, but the eligibility rules allow you to be flexible and share players between the two teams.
It's a ridiculous idea, the only people at the club willing to play twice the number of games are the top guys who are tied to the A team. We'd just default boards every match we played, and people would have wasted journeys.
Look, I need you to be a bit more positive about this. It's for the good of chess.
How? How is flogging the same three guys to death in a league where they're going to lose most of their games and lose interest good for chess?
Because I am literally paid per ECF member, so forcing all of your guys to be bronze members means I can fly business class to the Olympiad.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:28 pm

Mick Norris wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:43 am
So, by highest number, you mean that in a 9 team league, you assign the bye as team number 10?
Yes.

As Berks League controller, part of the job is to build a list of fixtures and date ranges for attendees at a fixture meeting to put dates to paper. This is done using a spreadsheet powered by the Berger tables.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Council Papers are out

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:38 pm

Chris Goodall (quoting hypothetical development officer) wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:08 pm
Because I am literally paid per ECF member,
The ECF's financing model means it likely gets more revenue from 40 people playing 5 graded games each, than from 100 people playing 2 games.

Talking of development, what's the headcount for "ECF Supporters" and if as suspected it's a complete flop, when would it be discontinued? That said, perhaps there's a case for a revival of a limited form of family membership. A non chess playing parent becomes a member and that entitles the child or children to play free of any membership or non-membership fees.

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