Should the ECF try to organise more chess?

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.

Should the ECF organise more chess?

Poll ended at Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:34 pm

Yes
12
46%
No
14
54%
 
Total votes: 26

David Sedgwick
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Re: Should the ECF try to organise more chess?

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:10 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:40 am
Are the current office staff non players? The name of the best known office member is taken twice in the database and the most likely candidate has a respectable enough grade of 163.
That person is a namesake of the ECF employee. The latter doesn't play chess.

The other current employee has a grade of 116. (His son, until recently a strong junior, has a grade of 187.)

There have certainly been periods when no-one in the Office played chess.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Should the ECF try to organise more chess?

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:29 am

David Sedgwick wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:10 am
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:40 am
Are the current office staff non players? The name of the best known office member is taken twice in the database and the most likely candidate has a respectable enough grade of 163.
That person is a namesake of the ECF employee. The latter doesn't play chess.

The other current employee has a grade of 116. (His son, until recently a strong junior, has a grade of 187.)

There have certainly been periods when no-one in the Office played chess.
Thank you for that clarification. There have of course been non players on the board at times.
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Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Should the ECF try to organise more chess?

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:12 am

Hok Yin Stephen Chiu wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:55 am

People are willing to pay more for other hobbies, yes. Let's take ice skating, one is willing to pay a fair bit more than chess because ice rinks require a lot of people and expensive equipment to maintain. The idea that chess is on par with other regular sports is romantic, but not particularly grounded in actual reality!
I would push back on this slightly. Chess is generally more attractive when played in a decent venue rather than a fleapit and if you want a decent venue then you have to be prepared to pay for it. Some players may not be bothered about conditions but in theory Manchester United and Arsenal (for example) could play the FA Cup final in a park with jumpers for goalposts.
Hok Yin Stephen Chiu wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:55 am

I was very suspicious of the idea of a Development Officer when it was suggested. As if English Chess could be turned around, by any one individual being paid £5,000 with bonus (£x per 100 new members?).. It was totally ludicrous that this individual would be able to take credit, and get a bonus, for any increase in membership, when ultimately it would be down to the hard work of local leagues and congresses, and junior organisations that bring new people into chess.. [This would be considered bonkers in industry/engineering; however this stuff obviously happens, but it's the thin end of wedge to bad management practice.]
I agree that the Development Officer couldn't be expected to do everything himself but s/he could co-ordinate local initiatives, share best practice and provide resources and infrastructure. One of the biggest handicaps the UK chess scene has is that it is very difficult for adult beginners to find their way into the game.
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Paul Cooksey
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Re: Should the ECF try to organise more chess?

Post by Paul Cooksey » Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:21 am

Thanks to everyone who has voted so far. The initial voting surprises me. I thought I would see a large vote in favour of No, since this forum represents a lot of the people whose toes would be stepped on.
IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:07 pm
Interesting question. I suppose you could ask another question: "what chess do we think should be provided that isn't currently being provided by outside operators, and would it be a good idea for the ECF to provide it?".
Yes, it would be good to hear peoples opinions. My own thoughts were similar to Roger's - FIDE rated weekend tournaments. Partly because we are unimaginatively suggesting some thing done more in the past But also because the lack of FIDE rated chess is often stated as a gap.

I had not though of the ECF running online chess as Joey suggests. I can see some drawbacks, but good to collect ideas.

Mick Norris
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Re: Should the ECF try to organise more chess?

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:57 am

I voted yes, especially in the online arena e.g. I'd like to see the online County Championships continue even if the OTB version resumes when safe to do so; this way some counties on the geographical extremes can get more value from the ECF, which may encourage more ECF membership

I don't think the ECF should step into areas that are well served e.g. the 4NCL has a good online league and congresses

I'd like to see an online English Seniors event too
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

NickFaulks
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Re: Should the ECF try to organise more chess?

Post by NickFaulks » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:03 am

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:21 am
I thought I would see a large vote in favour of No
You didn't ask the twin question, "Would you be willing to pay for it?".

The idea of the ECF having its own online platform, where it could apply its own rules and not suffer infection from the various problems in the outside world, is quite appealing. I expect it would be expensive.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Matthew Turner
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Re: Should the ECF try to organise more chess?

Post by Matthew Turner » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:24 am

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:21 am
Thanks to everyone who has voted so far. The initial voting surprises me. I thought I would see a large vote in favour of No, since this forum represents a lot of the people whose toes would be stepped on.
IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:07 pm
Interesting question. I suppose you could ask another question: "what chess do we think should be provided that isn't currently being provided by outside operators, and would it be a good idea for the ECF to provide it?".
Yes, it would be good to hear peoples opinions. My own thoughts were similar to Roger's - FIDE rated weekend tournaments. Partly because we are unimaginatively suggesting some thing done more in the past But also because the lack of FIDE rated chess is often stated as a gap.

I had not though of the ECF running online chess as Joey suggests. I can see some drawbacks, but good to collect ideas.
The problem is that you get used to what exists and it is difficult to think outside the box, so here are some ideas that might turn out to be complete disasters

A four nations international with Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England U21s
An online universities challenge with the final four progressing in to big event in a nice venue
Forming a partnership with the Association of Conservative Clubs and encouraging local organisers to use their premises for weekend events
Doing interviews and running biographies of junior players on the ECF website and then taking them to potential sponsors

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Should the ECF try to organise more chess?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:52 am

NickFaulks wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:03 am
The idea of the ECF having its own online platform, where it could apply its own rules and not suffer infection from the various problems in the outside world, is quite appealing. I expect it would be expensive.
Whatever happened to FIDE Arena? That seemed to just set itself up as a rival for individual casual play to ICC, chess.com, lichess etc. instead of exploiting what seems to be a gap in the market, namely provision of hosting services to third party organisers.

NickFaulks
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Re: Should the ECF try to organise more chess?

Post by NickFaulks » Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:10 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:52 am
Whatever happened to FIDE Arena?
Unfortunately, FIDE Arena is nothing to do with FIDE. It appears that one of the final acts of the last administration was to give away all rights.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Nick Grey
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Re: Should the ECF try to organise more chess?

Post by Nick Grey » Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:01 am

I think that the key point is being able to run the British OTB in 2021. If we cannot then we may lose members not online.

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Paul Robert Jackson
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Re: Should the ECF try to organise more chess?

Post by Paul Robert Jackson » Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:24 am

Nick Grey wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:01 am
I think that the key point is being able to run the British OTB in 2021. If we cannot then we may lose members not online.
Looking at the current situation in the UK
.......I will be very surprised if the British OTB in 2021 takes place as planned.
Optimistically, re-scheduled for later in the year may be a possibility.
Paul Robert Jackson

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Should the ECF try to organise more chess?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:24 am

Paul Robert Jackson wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:24 am
Optimistically, re-scheduled for later in the year may be a possibility.
The usual expectation is that the British takes place during the school holiday period. If this year is anything to go by and restrictions or even just "advice" continue to prevent large chess events from taking place, a likelihood is that restrictions will be eased over the summer and reapplied in the autumn.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Should the ECF try to organise more chess?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:06 pm

I think the ECF should mainly be an umbrella organization, and not interfere too much. It should try to run national championships and select teams to represent England, and to have a general oversight of chess activity, offering advice where requested and necessary. Having official ECF arbiters and coaches etc is sensible, as long as conflicts of interest are avoided.

Mick Norris
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Re: Should the ECF try to organise more chess?

Post by Mick Norris » Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:11 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:24 am
Paul Robert Jackson wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:24 am
Optimistically, re-scheduled for later in the year may be a possibility.
The usual expectation is that the British takes place during the school holiday period. If this year is anything to go by and restrictions or even just "advice" continue to prevent large chess events from taking place, a likelihood is that restrictions will be eased over the summer and reapplied in the autumn.
You can't budget on that basis though, so it depends what the contract between the ECF and Torquay says about cancellation or postponement and whether there is any valid insurance in place
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Joseph Conlon
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Re: Should the ECF try to organise more chess?

Post by Joseph Conlon » Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:27 pm

Personal opinion: if there is one thing the ECF should ensure takes place, it is OTB British championship events in 2021.|

The format doesn't have to be a large seaside venue in which all events occur over a week/fortnight and likewise large Swisses are not a requirement (there was a time when the main championship was an all-play-all). If junior (or main) events need separated groups of size < N qualifying into one final group of size < N then that is what is needed.

But with 9 months to plan there should be a format that can be found to make a national championship work.

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