ECF Vacancies

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Vacancies

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:19 am

Mike Truran wrote:Still, to the ECF's credit it did eventually give the 4NCL game fee exemption in return for us enforcing compulsory membership.
By my analysis, it was the 4NCL that blinked in that confrontation. For a player only taking part in the 4NCL, even 11* Game Fee was cheaper than compulsory ECF membership. As we now know, it wasn't a FIDE requirement that national federations were obliged to set up individual membership schemes as a condition of FIDE rating, notwithstanding the ECF's and the BCF's claims to the contrary.

LawrenceCooper
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Re: ECF Vacancies

Post by LawrenceCooper » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:59 am

Mike Truran wrote:
Eventually the 4NCL backed down, but not before it had put its international rating through the WCU and had the BCF threatening to set up a rival league.
I don't recall the BCF threatening to set up a rival league at the time (well, not directly to us at any rate - they may well have had those debates in private).
I do. I received several phone calls asking if my team (Midland Monarchs) would consider joining it.

Mike Truran
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Re: ECF Vacancies

Post by Mike Truran » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:15 am

By my analysis, it was the 4NCL that blinked in that confrontation. For a player only taking part in the 4NCL, even 11* Game Fee was cheaper than compulsory ECF membership. As we now know, it wasn't a FIDE requirement that national federations were obliged to set up individual membership schemes as a condition of FIDE rating, notwithstanding the ECF's and the BCF's claims to the contrary.
Short of going back to the Welsh or Scottish federations, we had little choice in the matter as the ECF essentially gave us an ultimatum. There was no attempt at negotiation or persuasion on their part - it was a case of "do this, or you can forget about us FIDE rating your event". I well remember the director in question delivering the message to me with ill-disguised glee.
I do. I received several phone calls asking if my team (Midland Monarchs) would consider joining it.
The ECF of course declined to mention to the 4NCL that they were doing this, but nothing would have surprised me about their behaviour at the time - particularly in the case of one or two of the directors. I leave it to others to decide whether the ECF's behaviour has changed over the course of time.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Vacancies

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:46 am

Mike Truran wrote: The ECF of course declined to mention to the 4NCL that they were doing this,
If we're still talking about the 1995-96 season, it was common knowledge. Contemporary BCM reports mention it. That would have been the third 4NCL season.

In 1994-95, the teams in finishing order had been

Midland Monarchs, Slough, Wood Green, Witney, North West Eagles, BCM, Barbican, Invicta Knights, Covent Garden, South Wales Dragons, Na Fianna and Bristol.

For the following season, Richmond, Hertford, Guildford and Newcastle came in as new teams, Covent Garden became Croydon but Invicta and Barbican were missing, presumed waiting for the BCF league.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: ECF Vacancies

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:52 am

I'm not the first person to make the observation that everything positive in British chess that has happened in recent years (the 4NCL, the London Chess Classic to name but two) have happened independantly of the ECF (or BCF back in the day). However the ECF always seems to be there with petty quibbles and pedantry with the aim of scuppering everything.

What's worrying is that the ECF never seems to learn. Keep rating and fee structures simple and get people playing chess.
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Sean Hewitt
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Re: ECF Vacancies

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:58 am

I may respond to some of Adam's other 'inaccuracies' later but for now all I shall say is that the following is a complete lie:-
Adam Raoof wrote:The IRO questioned this practice with the organiser, asking him to explain the logic behind the decison. The organiser objected and referred it to me, together with the instruction to sack the IRO.
And I quote the emails below to prove it.
From: Howard Grist wrote:
Sent: 23 February 2012 00:05
To: 'Sean Hewitt'
Subject: RE: e2e4 Brighton International : 15-19 February 2012 - FIDE rating files

Sean,

Before I process these, can you please explain the logic whereby adding a ‘filler’ game to an all-play-all makes it a swiss event as is the case with Challengers B?

Howard
and my reply
From: Sean Hewitt wrote: Sent: 23 February 2012 13:49
To: Howard Grist
Cc: Adam Raoof; Alex Holowczak
Subject: RE: e2e4 Brighton International : 15-19 February 2012 - FIDE rating files

Howard,
Because when we have players without games we try to encourage them to play chess. In this case, we did so successfully.
As FIDE have previously explained to you, any event where the players do not play every other player is rated as a swiss (even when it is not played as a swiss). That is the case here.
I would appreciate it if you ensured that you do not miss the submission deadline for the March list.
Regards
Sean
I then wrote separately to Adam
From: Sean Hewitt wrote:
Sent: 23 February 2012 13:53
To: Adam Raoof
Cc: Alex Holowczak
Subject: IRO

Adam
I think we need to discuss the IRO. The current incumbent constantly seeks to make life difficult to the point where one wonders if it is worth continuing running rated events.
I am sure he could be replaced easily with someone more interested in encouraging chess to be played.
Sean

Mike Truran
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Re: ECF Vacancies

Post by Mike Truran » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:31 am

If we're still talking about the 1995-96 season, it was common knowledge. Contemporary BCM reports mention it. That would have been the third 4NCL season.
That's right - they did try it in 1995-96. Whether they tried it again in 2006 though I don't know. Perhaps by then the 4NCL was so well established that they didn't think it worth the attempt.

LawrenceCooper
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Re: ECF Vacancies

Post by LawrenceCooper » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:51 am

Mike Truran wrote:
If we're still talking about the 1995-96 season, it was common knowledge. Contemporary BCM reports mention it. That would have been the third 4NCL season.
That's right - they did try it in 1995-96. Whether they tried it again in 2006 though I don't know. Perhaps by then the 4NCL was so well established that they didn't think it worth the attempt.
My comment refered to the mid 90s. I'm not aware of anything in more recent times and 2006 would be around the time I was captaining Hilsmark Kingfisher.

Paul Cooksey

Re: ECF Vacancies

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:24 am

I'm cross. When I stated I thought the ECF should comment on this matter, I was not intending to encourage a continuation of the dispute.

I don't know if what follows is factually correct, and I apologise if it is a bit bit patronising to those involved to draft it, but I wanted to illustrate the sort of statement I thought the ECF ought to make when things go wrong. Also I'm cross.
The ECF, ideally the Home Director, NEVER wrote:I am sorry to report that Howard Grist, the ECF International Ratings Officer (IRO), recently offered his resignation. I reluctantly accepted this on (whenever), and started recruitment for his former role. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Howard for the work he did for the ECF in the role of IRO.

Prior to the IRO's resignation a dispute had arisen between him and Sean Hewitt, the organiser of the e2e4 events. The IRO considered that the way e2e4 presented the results of their Brighton 2012 event would be considered by FIDE evasion of fees due. In response, the organiser of the e2e4 events submitted an EGM requisition calling for the removal of the IRO from his post, and the transfer of the IROs responsibilities to the International Directorship.

FIDE confirmed to us that e2e4s approach was acceptable at this time, although stated that they consider this a loophole which they intend to close immediately. Based on FIDE's response, and in the interests of the players in the e2e4 event, and I asked the IRO to submit the results prepared by e2e4. Unfortunately the IRO considered that, as a matter of principle, he could not submit the results and offered his resignation. Following my acceptance of the IROs resignation, the EGM requisition was withdrawn.

I deeply regret the resignation of the IRO, a long time servant of the ECF. I also regret the inconvenience and distress caused to the organiser of e2e4. The e2e4 series of events have rapidly become amongst the most successful and prestigious international events run in England, and both I and the ECF hope to support e2e4 in further successes.
I don't think it is an option for the ECF to ignore things that go wrong. To allow their critics compare this issue to the deep dispute over the 4NCL, and present the ECF as opposed to English chess, seems reckless. The ECF has a Director of Marketing, I feel he ought to be taking a more active role in communications.

I mentioned I'm cross, right?

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: ECF Vacancies

Post by Carl Hibbard » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:43 am

Paul Cooksey wrote:The ECF has a Director of Marketing, I feel he ought to be taking a more active role in communications.
Seen anything from that director at all? no neither have I :roll:
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

John Upham
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Re: ECF Vacancies

Post by John Upham » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:49 am

I suggest a bout of ChessBoxing involving Sean and Howard with Tim W. as referee.

Do we have a venue and will it be a rated?

Has HG stepped down merely as IRO?

I assume he is carrying on as a member of the grading team?
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Jonathan Rogers
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Re: ECF Vacancies

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:15 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mike Truran wrote: The ECF of course declined to mention to the 4NCL that they were doing this,
If we're still talking about the 1995-96 season, it was common knowledge. Contemporary BCM reports mention it. That would have been the third 4NCL season.

In 1994-95, the teams in finishing order had been

Midland Monarchs, Slough, Wood Green, Witney, North West Eagles, BCM, Barbican, Invicta Knights, Covent Garden, South Wales Dragons, Na Fianna and Bristol.

For the following season, Richmond, Hertford, Guildford and Newcastle came in as new teams, Covent Garden became Croydon but Invicta and Barbican were missing, presumed waiting for the BCF league.
This was in the days of Barbican as a London based Club (now long since disbanded), which entered the 4NCL among other events; as opposed to Barbican 4NCL, formed in 1999 for the main purpose of playing 4NCL, and very much still going.

I mention that to clarify that I was not in charge in 1995, and can only say that my understanding at the time - which may not have been complete - is that Barbican withdrew from the 4NCL in 1995/6 because Gary Kenworthy could not afford to captain it let alone pay any expenses. He thought he had hammered out a deal with Hertford whereby the top Barbican players would still get games. Hertford seemed to have a different understanding. Thus I was the highest graded player on the list (at 221) but never once asked to play. Hmmm.

I would be surprised if Invicta withdrew in anticipation of the BCF doing anything (a) because it was the BCF and (b) why withdraw in the meantime? I imagine that, like Barbican, they had not come close in 1994/5, and wanted to regroup, if only financially. In those days, let's not forget, the circus moved from town to town, constantly changing rules and astonishingly (in 1995/6) even the number of rounds, mid-season: so it was possible to become a little dispirited. From 1996 onwards though, the Board was more obviously in control of things. I think that BCM had it right at the time when noting that 4NCL had teething problems but was nonetheless successful because the fundamentals were right (it certainly had it right when suggesting that the BCF takeover was going nowhere).

Certainly everyone was talking about a BCF takeover in 1995/6, and Simon Brown, then International Director, was open about trying to find a sponsor. As it turned out, the BCF was just one or two years away from losing its own sponsor for the National Club.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: ECF Vacancies

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:30 am

"Certainly everyone was talking about a BCF takeover in 1995/6, and Simon Brown, then International Director, was open about trying to find a sponsor. As it turned out, the BCF was just one or two years away from losing its own sponsor for the National Club."

I seem to recall that not only were BCF saying they would run a rival league, but they would schedule it for the same dates as the 4NCL...
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John McKenna
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Re: ECF Vacancies

Post by John McKenna » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:12 am

Your recollection is correct. See 'ECF V 4NCL' in 'Chess History' for the details.
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John Upham
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Re: ECF Vacancies

Post by John Upham » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:37 am

Do we know who is in the frame to accept the mantle of IRO? Anyone stepping forward?
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