Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

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Adam Raoof
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Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Adam Raoof » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:59 pm

There will be an official update for the website written by John Paines, and then the abridged report of the meeting will go on the ECF site in due course. These are my very brief comments. I won't go into further details here about topics not in my Directorate as it should really be down to the Directors concerned to elaborate. I am happy to answer questions about anything, but can probably talk more sensibly about anything related to Home Chess.

Thanks to Mike Truran and Barcelo for their hospitality; the Board agreed that we should meet as often as practical alongside the 4NCL. I would be happy, in that event, to be on the panel the next day for the Captain's meeting to answer questions. Having the meeting at the 4NCL was a huge plus; it meant that assorted personalities popped in when there was a break in their arbiting duties / playing commitments and contributed to specific discussions; David Welch, Ray Ryan-Foster (International Ratings Officer), Andrew Martin, Ben Edgell. Present were John Wickham, Adam Raoof, John Paines, Andrew Farthing, Chris Majer, Gareth Caller, Lawrence Cooper. Thanks to all of them for giving their time.

The meeting started 11am, and finished at 6pm with a half-hour break for lunch. This is the second epic Board meeting I have been to, and my feeling is that they are simply too long by about two hours. [Some would say by about six hours.] It means in practice that some important items at the end of the agenda don't get the attention from me they might otherwise get if my brain were still able to function.

Most importantly we had a briefing from our new Finance Director, Gareth Caller, on the current financial position of the ECF (healthy), and later in the meeting he talked us through what he expects from all Directors in order to implement his budgeting and financial monitoring plans. His appointment is the most significant development, and means that not only did we save the DCMS grant, but that we now have an active Finance Director who will ensure we are on a good footing for the future.

When David Welch was able to be present, we discussed plans for and and the Board approved the budget for the 2010 British Championships in Canterbury and ways in which we could promote the event more effectively.

Then Andrew Martin joined the meeting and we talked about Certificate of Merit, and the trials currently being undertaken in schools.

There was some discussion about general principles about eligibility for and selection for international events at senior and junior levels.

The Directors present gave an update to the meeting about developments, and as my Directorate has quite a long list of responsibilities my update took a while! Here is a summary.

Jack Rudd was appointed National Controller for the Counties Championships. The web page had been updated with his contact details and the Union contacts had been asked for their nominations in order to do the draw before the end of the month. A set of up-to-date rules were to be posted this week.

A good candidate for Officer responsible for Chess in Prisons had been found and, subject to CRB clearance, would be appointed soon.

A report from Gerry Walsh about Chess for the Disabled was tabled. I mentioned plans to hold a tournament for the disabled in Dorset in November 2010 which have almost been finalised.

Alex Holowczak had organised the first British Universities' Chess Association Championships for 27/28 February in Oxford. I offered my congratulations to Alex and to Mike Truran for arranging the venue, and encouraged everyone to look at http://www.buca.org.uk for details of the event.

There had been no response to various emails regarding chess for Senior Citizens to interested parties. I invite anyone with an interest in this subject to email me.

I put forward a proposal to put out to tender various Counties events that are currently in need of some energetic promotion; rapidplay and handicap events and any other ideas. One organiser and one Union were currently considering the various options.

I proposed organising the first ECF Championships on a play-by-email site like http://www.letsplaychess.com / http://www.chessworld.net and was encouraged to follow this through.

The Grand Prix rules had been rewritten and simplified to incorporate more events. Sponsorship was being actively sought for an enhanced Grand Prix and plans were in hand to add a new Open section.

I pointed out that the list of ECF Officials on our own website was out of date, and encouraged other Directors to check the areas that they were responsible for and report the errors and omissions to the Office for correction.

The Board approved plans to adopt officially and add links to the ECF Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/English-C ... 0811323641) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/ecfchess) pages. The Board discussed my proposal to re-establish a link to the EC Forum to the ECF website, but this would require the approval of Council. We took a straw poll and the decision went against the idea of presenting the proposal before Council in April. If all the Directors had been present I think it would have made no difference. I will bring it up again! Of course, someone else could propose it to Council?

The possibility of an ECF Organiser title, to be tested online and backed by practical experience, was mooted.

The Board approved my paper on switching the production of the grading list to Print on Demand from August.

A range of methods by which we could enhance the Direct Membership scheme by Grading enhancements were discussed and a firm preference was established for a system by which DMs would be provided with the ability to log in to the grading database and access their own game-by-game grading calculations (currently the Grading Printout) and other information online.

There was a lot more besides, but I am still recovering!
Last edited by Adam Raoof on Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Carl Hibbard » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:11 pm

Adam Raoof wrote:The Board discussed my proposal to add a link to the EC Forum to the ECF website, but this proposal was rejected by a vote. If all the Directors had been present I think it would have made no difference. I will bring it up again!
Not really a surprise that one!

I intend on greatly increasing our search engine presence so whatever people look for under English Chess actually ends up here :)
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

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Adam Raoof
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Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Adam Raoof » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:22 pm

Carl Hibbard wrote:
Adam Raoof wrote:The Board discussed my proposal to add a link to the EC Forum to the ECF website, but this proposal was rejected by a vote. If all the Directors had been present I think it would have made no difference. I will bring it up again!
Not really a surprise that one!

I intend on greatly increasing our search engine presence so whatever people look for under English Chess actually ends up here :)
At the meeting I pointed out that this already happens ;-)

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Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:57 pm

Adam Raoof wrote: A good candidate for Officer responsible for Chess in Prisons had been found and, subject to CRB clearance, would be appointed soon.
Oh, the irony...

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:10 pm

Perhaps this is offialdom's recognition that there are plenty of vulnerable and mentally disordered persons in prison ...

Sean Hewitt

Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:12 pm

Carl Hibbard wrote: I intend on greatly increasing our search engine presence so whatever people look for under English Chess actually ends up here :)
According to my webstats www.e2e4.org.uk gets twice as many referrals from this forum as from the ECF website.

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Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Carl Hibbard » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:20 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:
Carl Hibbard wrote: I intend on greatly increasing our search engine presence so whatever people look for under English Chess actually ends up here :)
According to my webstats http://www.e2e4.org.uk gets twice as many referrals from this forum as from the ECF website.
Cool, now if we just get everybody to link their sites back to here :)
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Carl Hibbard

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Adam Raoof
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Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Adam Raoof » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:21 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:Perhaps this is offialdom's recognition that there are plenty of vulnerable and mentally disordered persons in prison ...
There are indeed, and we have a moral and legal obligation to ensure that they are given the very best care by properly vetted individuals who have their best interests at heart.

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Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:26 pm

Carl Hibbard wrote: Cool, now if we just get everybody to link their sites back to here :)
http://www.buca.org.uk/links

(I put the Scottish one too to keep them happy.)

If anyone wants me to add links for their stuff, just let me know.
Sean Hewitt wrote:According to my webstats http://www.e2e4.org.uk gets twice as many referrals from this forum as from the ECF website.
BUCA gets quite a lot from the ECF website, but that's because it's on the main page at the moment. I get most referrals from the 4NCL website.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Carl Hibbard » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:13 pm

Adam Raoof wrote:Then Andrew Martin joined the meeting and we talked about Certificate of Merit, and the trials currently being undertaken in schools.
Adam, there is no mention of Chess for Schools in your post - should there be??
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Michele Clack
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Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Michele Clack » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:57 pm

The Board discussed my proposal to re-establish a link to the EC Forum to the ECF website, but this would require the approval of Council. We took a straw poll and the decision went against the idea of presenting the proposal before Council in April. If all the Directors had been present I think it would have made no difference. I will bring it up again! Of course, someone else could propose it to Council?
They wouldn't even propose that this was discussed? I find this shocking. What an insult to the people who run the forum. I look forward to reading the full report of the meeting and hope that there is a full and frank explanation of their reasons for this.

Who would be entitled to propose that this issue be considered by council?

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Carl Hibbard » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:01 pm

michele clack wrote:They wouldn't even propose that this was discussed? I find this shocking. What an insult to the people who run the forum. I look forward to reading the full report of the meeting and hope that there is a full and frank explanation of their reasons for this.
I see Adam changed his report then (I missed this...) however it makes little difference - the ECF want this forum closed as their preference let alone a link to be established again :oops:
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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Carl Hibbard » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:05 pm

michele clack wrote:I look forward to reading the full report of the meeting and hope that there is a full and frank explanation of their reasons for this.
The level of detail you are looking for will not be provided sorry - just a summation nothing more...
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Carl Hibbard

John Philpott

Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by John Philpott » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:18 pm

Michelle Clack asked
Who would be entitled to propose that this issue be considered by council?
This needs to be proposed by "the requisitionists" as defined by Article 1 - the representative member of a Union, two representative members of Counties, two direct members representatives etc. etc. However, there is an additional hurdle to be overcome to get this on the agenda for the Finance Council meeting in April (as opposed to the AGM). Since this item would not relate to the financial affairs of the ECF, the consent of either the President or the Chief Executive is necessary for it to appear on the agenda.

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Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by John Upham » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:20 pm

michele clack wrote:
They wouldn't even propose that this was discussed? I find this shocking.
It would appear that the forum needs to organise a further cull of the remaining dead wood on the board : I was hoping we had elimated the most obvious candidates at the last AGM.

Time to start preparing for the October AGM.

Having seen who else attended the board meeting (other than the board itself : I observed via a window and used my latent lip reading skills to good effect!) I can guess those who brought pressure to bear to make this outstandingly cretinous decision.

Maybe they have not heard of the famous quotation of Micheal Corleone :
My father taught me many things here - he taught me in this room. He taught me - keep your friends close but your enemies closer.
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