Resignation Rumours

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Mike Gunn
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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Mike Gunn » Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:06 pm

... or it could be the rule that you must have played a minimum of 9 games to get an official (published) grade.

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Charles W. Wood
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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Charles W. Wood » Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:18 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:The ECF now runs the Yorkshire grading system (to keep it inline, but I don't know the details of that agreement) its just most are non members, some are MO members and a small hand full are direct.

Well I've looked up your grade on the ECF website and it's blank even though you played 8 games. I think that indicates that your league didn't pay any game fee in 2006/7. What I'm getting at is why a league which refuses to pay something like £4 a head to the ECF would impose a rule which required payment of £20 a head in order to participate.
Sorry Roger, I'm a fully paid up £46 member and was happy to pay my own game fee if it was required. The reason I don't get a grade is because I only played 8 Games, you need to play 9 to get a grade. :oops:

That did make me laugh.

I'm not a member of the ECF for my playing, I'm a member because of the support I get, and the advice received for running the tournaments I hold 6 times a year. The Accredited Coach scheme is the big pull for me.
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Ian Kingston
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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Ian Kingston » Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:29 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:I think your debate is with your club and its treasurer. If you look into the financial details, you would probably find that your club pays league fees based on how many teams it enters and how many leagues.Certainly that's how the league pays game fee to the ECF. So the more teams, the more fees and that's pay as you play. Internal charges within clubs might be flat rate or board fee or a mixture of both. The ECF imposes no rules on this.
Yes, that's how our league fees, and hence game fees, are paid in Nottinghamshire. What you describe as 'pay as you play' applies at club level, not at individual level, unless clubs choose to charge a board fee. I don't know of any in this area that do so, but others may differ (maybe someone can chip in with an example - if it's the norm elsewhere and Nottinghamshire is an oddity then I'll withdraw my objection). Asking team captains to collect a fee from players at every match would be irritating, to say the least.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:31 pm

The reason I don't get a grade is because I only played 8 Games, you need to play 9 to get a grade.

Sure - I forgot that rule.

Nevertheless on the Yorkshire site it shows that you played 2 in 2006 and 22 in 2005 which would have given you a grade had your league paid game fee.

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Charles W. Wood
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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Charles W. Wood » Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:37 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:The reason I don't get a grade is because I only played 8 Games, you need to play 9 to get a grade.

Sure - I forgot that rule.

Nevertheless on the Yorkshire site it shows that you played 2 in 2006 and 22 in 2005 which would have given you a grade had your league paid game fee.
Back then Yorkshire ran its grading system completely independently of the ECF, so I did get a grade just a YCA one not an ECF, I must say at this point this is not something I agreed with. I like the idea of something to unify us. I would love the local league to be Game Fee'd or full membershiped or both. Sadly I have little sway in the local league or in the County League. But what I can say is I pay game fee on all 6 of my tournaments every year, and actively encourage our under 25's to become direct members of the ECF.
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Sean Hewitt

Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Sean Hewitt » Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:32 pm

Roger,

You keep quoting a membership fee of £20. Where is this figure coming from? To the best of my knowledge, no fee has been mentioned in the philosophical membership discussion by the ECF, and the MO membership fee (the best analogy I can think of) is £10.

You also talk about the casual player who plays one or two games to save the team defaulting a board. Clearly (IMO) it would be wrong to insist on membership for such a player. Which is why membership should be linked to production of a grade, rather than based on preventing people from playing.

Sean

TomChivers
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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by TomChivers » Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:54 pm

Readers of this thread may be interested in this blog post

http://streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.c ... -quit.html

and especially some of the comments on it, such as Peter Sowray's.

Further comments are always welcomed, including any from remaining ECF officials.

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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:58 pm


You keep quoting a membership fee of £20


If you look at the Streatham & Brixton blog (as mentioned by Tom Chivers), there are some comments by Peter Sowray which mention £20. Existing game fee income was about £52000 in 2007, so you'd need about 2600 more members at £20 to replace it. You would need 5200 at £10. The ex CEO was talking about charging amounts in excess of existing MOs thereby raising more money for the ECF to spend. Apart from that I made it up as an illustrative figure.

Clearly (IMO) it would be wrong to insist on membership for such a player. Which is why membership should be linked to production of a grade, rather than based on preventing people from playing.

I'd agree with you that if a universal scheme had to be introduced, then it would hopefully be watered down in the way you suggest. I don't think it works that way in the 4NCL though. You can haul a player of the streets of Sunningdale as a wild card but I think they have to join the ECF (or another National Body).

That's still a potential slow death scenario for leagues though - ECF graded members might demand a closed shop so they didn't have to face players without ratings in games that wouldn't be rated.

What would congresses do? I have an entry fee in front of me for a congress which asks £13 for the under 100 section. Would they ask a completely new player for £23 or £33?

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Carl Hibbard » Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:42 pm

TomChivers wrote:Readers of this thread may be interested in this blog post

http://streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.c ... -quit.html

and especially some of the comments on it, such as Peter Sowray's.

Further comments are always welcomed, including any from remaining ECF officials.
An interesting read from Peter that one
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

Harriet Hunt
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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Harriet Hunt » Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:15 pm

The issue as I see it is what positive suggestions did those who opposed the compulsory membership scheme have to move forward chess in this country? It's very easy to criticise and oppose others' plans. Constructive alternatives are needed though.

In reply to David Fryer and Ian Kingston, I disagree re the potential impact of English successes/role models for juniors. In 1988, the BBC followed the English team at the Thessaloniki Olympiad (where they won their 3rd successive silver medals) in the documentary 'Grandmaster Clash' presented by Stephen Fry. I was 10 at the time and relatively new to competitive chess (and not very strong). We videoed this documentary and watched it again and again, enthralled. I am sure this was connected to the fact that 6 years later I was playing in the English Olympiad team alongside many of the same players.

Anecdotal evidence, of course, but I think good role models do have an effect... the benefits may not be immediately apparent!

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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Ian Kingston » Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:38 pm

Harriet Hunt wrote:In reply to David Fryer and Ian Kingston, I disagree re the potential impact of English successes/role models for juniors.
I think you're agreeing with me actually.

I was brought into the chess world by Fischer-Spassky, like countless others. Then Karpov came along. As a teenager, I followed him and tried to play like him. Children will try to emulate a charismatic or successful figure, and that's something we need.

Sean Hewitt

Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu May 01, 2008 9:58 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
You keep quoting a membership fee of £20


If you look at the Streatham & Brixton blog (as mentioned by Tom Chivers), there are some comments by Peter Sowray which mention £20. Existing game fee income was about £52000 in 2007, so you'd need about 2600 more members at £20 to replace it. You would need 5200 at £10. The ex CEO was talking about charging amounts in excess of existing MOs thereby raising more money for the ECF to spend. Apart from that I made it up as an illustrative figure.
Thanks for that. I thought I'd missed something!!
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Clearly (IMO) it would be wrong to insist on membership for such a player. Which is why membership should be linked to production of a grade, rather than based on preventing people from playing.

I'd agree with you that if a universal scheme had to be introduced, then it would hopefully be watered down in the way you suggest. I don't think it works that way in the 4NCL though. You can haul a player of the streets of Sunningdale as a wild card but I think they have to join the ECF (or another National Body).


You are correct. This is because the ECF have mis-represented a FIDE rule that requires players to be a member of their National Federation to be included in the rating list and turned it into you have to be an ECF member to play in a FIDE rated event.

Roger de Coverly wrote:
That's still a potential slow death scenario for leagues though - ECF graded members might demand a closed shop so they didn't have to face players without ratings in games that wouldn't be rated.

What would congresses do? I have an entry fee in front of me for a congress which asks £13 for the under 100 section. Would they ask a completely new player for £23 or £33?


I dont think the ECF graded members would demand a closed shop in leagues, any more than FIDE rated players in the 4NCL refuse to play unrated players, so I dont see this as a slow death at all. And for congresses, it would be great news. The entry form you have, far from requiring £23 or £33 from you under such a scheme would simply require £10. Thats the current £13 minus the game fee you cost them by playing (six games at 48p per game).

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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Paul Stimpson » Thu May 01, 2008 10:19 am

Harriet,
The issue as I see it is what positive suggestions did those who opposed the compulsory membership scheme have to move forward chess in this country?
If I thought a compulsory membership scheme would move chess forward in England then I would be all for it!

However much of the chess that is played by the majority of players in England is run by the Counties and hardworking individuals. The ECF should be working hard to secure Sponsorship and exposure of chess in the media, this they have failed at miserably, they are the National body that represents the game after all.

I would guess that 80% of players could very well do without the ECF and if the Congresses and Leagues formed a consortium to perform grading that would be the ECF totally out in the cold.

Also we are entering really uncertain times with an economic gloom hanging over the country, is this really the time
to try and lever £20 or whatever pounds from every player? Game fee at least spreads the cost and as Roger mentioned is a variable cost for congress

Sean

I really do not believe game Fee is a chess prevention tax, I do think this is perceived by many as this because it is raised year on year and should be lower than it is. I think the Grading function if it is costing too much money (I am not sure this is true) could be out sourced to cut costs.

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Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu May 01, 2008 10:40 am

The entry form you have, far from requiring £23 or £33 from you under such a scheme would simply require £10. Thats the current £13 minus the game fee you cost them by playing (six games at 48p per game).

Ok I can accept the entry fee would be £10 instead of £13.

My point was this was how this looks to someone who is a newcomer or returnee to competition chess. The entry conditions for the tournament may state that you have to be a member of the ECF. If you aren't please enclose an extra £20 and promise to pay an extra £1 if the ECF goes bust. Also please accept that the first round is unlikely to start on time because the organiser will have to check out everyone's membership id. before allowing play to commence.

I'm suggesting that congress organisers will consider whether they want to go this way and whether they can run an event under these conditions. My guess is that they would offer a novice/unrated/non member section and confine the membership requirement to sections where the likely participants would be existing club members. So the ECF would not get any incremental membership income.

It's been discussed elsewhere whether the "English Chess Explosion" of the 70s and 80s was a despite or because of the then BCF. As a participant in a some of the London mega tournaments of the 70s, I'm fairly sure that if the BCF had a compulsory membership scheme in those days, that these events would never have got off the ground because of the extra work of signing up several hundred players.

Sean Hewitt

Re: Resignation Rumours

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu May 01, 2008 10:56 am

Paul Stimpson wrote: I really do not believe game Fee is a chess prevention tax, I do think this is perceived by many as this because it is raised year on year and should be lower than it is.
Hi Paul,

The reason that I do believe that this is a chess prevention tax is that, now we have an MO in Leicester, we have been able to run additional events (both team and individual) at no extra cost to us or the players. These events have been popular and well supported. Leicestershire players are now more active, and this co-incides with no longer having to pay game fee.

You must remember that game fee is actually paid by organisers or teams rather than individuals so the decision as to whether to pay it is not taken by them. It is taken by club secs struggling to balance their books, and congress organisers worried about their congress losses.
Paul Stimpson wrote: I think the Grading function if it is costing too much money (I am not sure this is true) could be out sourced to cut costs.
The issue is one of revenue rather than cost. Game fee is a tax on playing and grading, but the income is not used to pay for grading. Instead, it is used to fund the ECF's activities.

There are two seperate issues to be decided, and they are both ideological.

Firstly, how much should rank and file chess players collectively pay towards the ECF's activities.

Secondly, how should such payments be charged / calculated. Per player (membership) or per game (game fee). Both systems have advantages and (of course) disadvantages.

I suspect there will never be consensus on the second issue. I would therefore propose a two pronged approach that allows organisations (which may be unions / counties or others) to select whether they are a game fee or a membership organisation. We have to dispose of the hybrid systems, and give organisations a straight choice between game fee and membership I believe. But whilst I and my county favour membership, I dont believe that we should try to force other counties who prefer game fee down the membership route - any more than they should force us down the game fee route.

There would of course be plenty of detail required before a proposal could be put to council but, if people were feeling concilliatory towards each other, and were happy with the principle outlined above, I would be happy to lead a team to work on the detail.

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