ECF AGM 17/10/20

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Paul Cooksey
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Re: ECF AGM 17/10/20

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:49 am

David Sedgwick wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:10 pm
John Reyes wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:56 pm
interested election chat from our Fide delegate, highlight Alex H and that is good for english chess
I look forward to hearing more about those remarks.

I intend no disrespect to the distinguished arbiters of the intervening period, but Alex Holowczak is probably the highest regarded English arbiter internationally since Harry Golombek 50 to 60 years ago.
There is not very much more to say. In the context of noting that he felt ECF influence had grown at FIDE due to the good work done by English people for FIDE, Malcolm noted Alex's success. I am sure David's own words will be very welcome to Alex too.

When speaking of English influence Malcolm also noted that Nigel Short is a FIDE VP, without commenting on whether he is doing a good job. (for the avoidance of doubt, this is me deliberately confecting drama for my own amusement!)

Paul Cooksey
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Re: ECF AGM 17/10/20

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:31 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:55 pm
His constant politicking don't really endear him to an essentially conservative electorate, and it is hard not to be wary of the potential alliances that would be formed upon his election.
I don't want to be too holier than thou, everyone is politicking to some extent. I am myself in taking a public position on what degree the ECF Council should allow ECF rules to be modified by those who would gain political advantage.

Personally when I am voting on Berkshire's behalf I have a pompous internal monologue where I say "Berkshire's view on this matter is...", to help me separate my own views. For example I voted for Rob Willmoth, since I think the outcome of his election better for Berkshire better than "none of the above". Probably a thread on why I disagree with most of what he said at some point.

I mention this because although I like the idea of innovation, the specific innovations Tim listed were not particularly useful to my organisation. This might have been a general point, given the number of people replying to say they have already set up local online leagues in the thread Tim started. Had he been proposing something where I thought "that is a good idea we do not have the competence to implement ourselves" I might have voted differently.

Hok Yin Stephen Chiu
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Re: ECF AGM 17/10/20

Post by Hok Yin Stephen Chiu » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:50 am

ECF Delegate Report (Delegate for Coventry & DCL, and Leamington & DCL)

Finance Reports - The ECF seems to be doing better financially than initially projected, 45% renewals, compared to the same point as last year. I raised a question on how the ECF sought to create more value to members? The £10 Supporters Fees - in my view - whilst a reasonable thing to do, to raise money and give people online ECF grades, it did seem to be a barrier. I expressed that both Leagues that I am involved are running online events that are not ECF-graded. The requirement to pay the supporters fees is an extra barrier to online chess, especially given how most clubs struggle to encourage any chess, at all.

Elections - I voted in favour for all the candidates for all the positions with no competition, I have no particular objection to any candidate, in any case, given the pandemic, having someone there is better than nobody there! Interestingly conflict-of-interest, was raised regarding a candidate being also a Members' representative, and whether the Chair of Council should also be the Voting Registration Officer. The latter, an administrative role is basically fine. The candidate running for Director, and also being a representative, would be analogous to an MP being made a Minister, which is normally seen as fitting and normal. Outcome: All noncompetitive positions due elected.

The only competitive election, was the Home Directorship, Nigel Towers, vs Tim Wall. I know both of them personally, and in the end opted to split my votes between both candidates, as a recognition that they were both good candidates. Outcome: Nigel won.

Amendment of Online Meetings - I queried the cost of a normal meeting at a hotel with refreshments, versus Online meeting. The former was £1-£1,500 for a room, and online was £12 per month (with the License available for other ECF bodies to use). Clearly the online option was a money saver, and the fact that 67 Delegates attended suggested that the turnout was higher than in-person Council meetings. I think I jest that as much as it is fun to speak briefly with delegates in person from all across the country, that the idea of travelling to London for a 4-5 hour meeting is in the long run probably not going to change the demographic of the kind of people likely to engage with ECF Council... Outcome: Next Meeting will be on Zoom.

Surprisingly, views from some directors suggested that cost was not as much of an issue, so, there was no particular pressure to hold meetings all on zoom, suggesting even the ambition of future meetings to be both held in person, with the option of attending online.. Personally, I think in a time of tight finances, I would take a more austere approach.

Term Limits for Directors - there was a motion suggesting that Directors should be capped at 2 terms, with the option of Council inviting a sitting Director to continue if no candidates emerged. This motion from the NCCU hoped to encourage more people to get involved in the ECF, and avoid too many from sitting in perpetuity. However, there were technical issues unresolved, as the Directorship terms are not all 3 year terms, at the moment. I think I also split my votes again, to support the sentiment, but not in full support of this proposal, as presently worded. The motion fell.

Direct Member Representative
- a motion that I had missed prior to the meeting, but essentially saying you must be A Bronze member to stand as
a Bronze Rep, etc. And at the meeting, I voted against, because in my view, you could play 95% of a year's games in Leagues, play in one rapidplay, and suddenly accidentally become a Silver member. However, I recognize the worry that people could run for different membership categories that they consistently are not, but my instinct is that the membership could simply choose to vote them out, if it became a problem.

Working Group on Safe Restarting of Chess - This proposal was to set up a (voluntary?) Working Group to work along the ECF Board, to provide support and advice for clubs that seek advice, on things related to restarting, i.e. risk assessments, etc. I had not read the motion until the meeting, but my instinct was in favour, as it is not clear *who* in the ECF should a normal club reach out to, for advice on responding to the pandemic in general. A group like this could provide good signposting, to provide examples of what other clubs/leagues are doing, and collect information all in one place.

Opponents, to this, suggested potential legal issues if the group gave people the wrong advice! I suppose a correct answer to not making any mistakes is to not try something in the first place! If you don't take the exam, then you wouldn't get any questions wrong! And, indeed that motion fell.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF AGM 17/10/20

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:18 am

Hok Yin Stephen Chiu wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:50 am
The requirement to pay the supporters fees is an extra barrier to online chess, especially given how most clubs struggle to encourage any chess, at all.
Over the Board, the ECF seems to get away with demanding a per head, per year fee from all individual participants, albeit with a few exceptions. In online chess, it doesn't have a grading monopoly, nor would I think has ECF online grading enough presence to be a "must have".

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF AGM 17/10/20

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:20 am

Hok Yin Stephen Chiu wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:50 am

Direct Member Representative - a motion that I had missed prior to the meeting, but essentially saying you must be A Bronze member to stand as a Bronze Rep
...

Working Group on Safe Restarting of Chess - This proposal was to set up a (voluntary?) Working Group to work along the ECF Board, to provide support and advice for clubs that seek advice, on things related to restarting, i.e. risk assessments, etc.
Did either or both of these proposals go through?

Mick Norris
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Re: ECF AGM 17/10/20

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:29 am

The first was defeated 127 to 99, according to the proposer (who tells me the NCCU proposal lost 182 to 68)
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John Reyes
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Re: ECF AGM 17/10/20

Post by John Reyes » Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:46 am

Mick Norris wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:29 am
The first was defeated 127 to 99, according to the proposer (who tells me the NCCU proposal lost 182 to 68)
My Motion did not pass, however i will hope to come back with a amend version in the future and might asked someone to help me as 99 for and 127 against, and i will try and talk to the people who voting against and help to make sure

(you will see when the minutes do come out how reps have voted for the card votes)
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NickFaulks
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Re: ECF AGM 17/10/20

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:44 pm

John Reyes wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:46 am
and i will try and talk to the people who voting against and help to make sure
What is your counter to Paul Shepherd's argument that if Bronze members feel it is important to be represented by one of their own, they will presumably vote in that way?
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF AGM 17/10/20

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:48 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:44 pm
What is your counter to Paul Shepherd's argument that if Bronze members feel it is important to be represented by one of their own, they will presumably vote in that way?
For that matter, what about someone who is fundamentally only a Club, League and County player, but who indulges in one Congress a year or turns out once or twice a season for a 4NCL team.

David Sedgwick
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Re: ECF AGM 17/10/20

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:55 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:44 pm
What is your counter to Paul Shepherd's argument that if Bronze members feel it is important to be represented by one of their own, they will presumably vote in that way?
I am in a Platinum member. As such, I would like to be represented on the ECF Council by two Platinum members.

There were two candidates to represent Platinum members. One was a Platinum member himself, but the other was not.

I have nothing personal against the individual in question, but had I been given the opportunity, I would have voted against him for that reason. If enough other Platinum members had agreed with me, it would have been left to the Board to fill the vacancy. One presumes that in those circumstances they would only have done so when a Platinum member had volunteered.

However, I had no opportunity to cast such a vote. Indeed, as there were only two candidates, I had no opportunity to vote at all.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: ECF AGM 17/10/20

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:38 pm

I was opposed to the members representatives proposal on the grounds that it was too restrictive. Generally bronze, silver and gold relate to a certain `type` of player but some members do have to move to a higher category (I'm a case in point here as playing in the rated sections of the British is the only chess I play that necessitates gold membership). I would have supported an amendment that based eligibility on the category of membership the candidate paid for at the start of the season as opposed to the one they might hold at the time of the election.
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John Reyes
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Re: ECF AGM 17/10/20

Post by John Reyes » Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:21 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:38 pm
I was opposed to the members representatives proposal on the grounds that it was too restrictive. Generally bronze, silver and gold relate to a certain `type` of player but some members do have to move to a higher category (I'm a case in point here as playing in the rated sections of the British is the only chess I play that necessitates gold membership). I would have supported an amendment that based eligibility on the category of membership the candidate paid for at the start of the season as opposed to the one they might hold at the time of the election.
i would be happy to put that forward, if someone would have mention this to me and added an amendment and i will do at the next meeting if people was happy to support it
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John Reyes
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Re: ECF AGM 17/10/20

Post by John Reyes » Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:35 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:44 pm
John Reyes wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:46 am
and i will try and talk to the people who voting against and help to make sure
What is your counter to Paul Shepherd's argument that if Bronze members feel it is important to be represented by one of their own, they will presumably vote in that way?
i feel that andrew mention this but i always feel that if you are voted as a direct member, you voted that the membership tell you. I feel that after 6 years, i have done a good job and you can see that in the meetings and views.

I happy to stand and i hope people think not just in this forum, but other people in the chess world know i care and happy to stand up for the members.

I always contact the members and always go with the majority.

this year there was at least 5 members in each section and i feel in time, there will be other people who will stand in the future, as you should never rest on your laurels
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Mick Norris
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Re: ECF AGM 17/10/20

Post by Mick Norris » Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:33 am

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:27 pm
Towers: 168
Wall: 92
NOA: 0

all unopposed candidates elected with small numbers against, excepting Natasha Regan who had no votes against and presumably wins some sort of prize.
Do we get to see the voting breakdown? I would be interested to see who voted for Tim
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Mike Gunn
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Re: ECF AGM 17/10/20

Post by Mike Gunn » Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:52 am

No the elections are secret ballots.

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