ECF: One member, One Vote

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Neill Cooper
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Neill Cooper » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:27 am

Ben

2) I think your Berks rep is Nigel Dennis. (ps He's been running junior chess for a long time - he gave a group of us from Maidenhead GS a lift to the British U18 championship in Brighton in 1972.)

4) I think that would need the ECF to spend more (Robinson?) money on youth chess.
We have about 50 GMs in UK, aged 20 to 70+ - about 1 per year. To keep this up we need 1 per school year group, so perhaps we need to identify teenage candidates. (I think at age up to 11 it is too young to say).

5) Tournaments are held where there are enthusiastic organisers/sponsors. When they go, so does the event (e.g .Isle of Man). The British Chess Championship is normally held at a holiday resort (See debate here in the lead up to Liverpool 2008).

I don't know how chess is organised in otehr countries so it is good to hear your account. How is Dutch chess funded?

Yours

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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Stewart Reuben » Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:35 am

Dear Ben,
You raise a lot points.
It is necessary to realise chess is not at all popular in England. You should compare the number of serious chessplayers in England with the numbers in Holland, not raw populations.

You are represented several ways within the ECF. The 4NCL has a vote for example. If you play in the London League, that organisation is also represented. I, as ECF Director of International Chess, also represent some of your interests.

Personally I could not care less what our voting structure is. We need good applicants for posts and competent organisers.
It is not the age of the Board which is relevant. I am the oldest. It is people who are active and able. Some are needed to have new ideas. We are not attracting fresh blood to English chess organisation. This is a very serious state of affairs.
We do not have congress organisers who are active in putting on events in the large conurbations. You are absolutely correct to say London is in a desperate state as regards this.

I don't know how you reckon Liverpool is not central and not easily reached. The British Championships are held in venues we can afford and which are also attractive to the participants. This has been impossible in Brighton since 1984 when I ran it there. We could get Hove as in 1997, but the squeakiness of the floor makes it unacceptable. Next year Torquay. The disadvantage is solely that it is not centrally located. You have overlooked the existing of Gibraltar, which is no less accessible then the Isle of Man. Of course we want both, but the IOM sponsor died. 2010 British has yet to be arranged.

The matter of importing players to strengthen our federation. David Anderton and I discussed this many years ago. We set our face against it. We did not want to have undertaken all that work, only for foreigners to take the bread out of the mouths of our players. Of course we made that decision when England was number 2 internationally (an unsustainable state.) Of course, when somebody comes such as Dagne or Felix Ynosja, then we offer them all hospitality.

We have 35 GMs registered with FIDE as England. Their age is 18 to 75. Of these 26 are at least moderately active and none is over 50. We have recently had a very strong group of new GMs. It will be some years before there are any others.

Women's chess is fairly strong in England. Our best team would be close to being a medal contender. Of course more can be done for that sector. Meri Grigoryan was recently appointed Manager of Women's chess. Any ideas you have would no doubt be welcome. Harriet Hunt and Susan Lalic were not available for Dresden because of work commitments. Similarly for Luke McShane.

Neill Cooper: the Robinson Trust money is spent on junior chess. When the trust was formed, it was agreed to spend only the sustainable income, not the capital. In July the ECF decided, if necessary, to use £100,000 of the money to support the Chess in Schools project. All this has been spelt out on the ECF website. You, or I, may not agree with the allocation of the funds, but you cannot claim the money is just being stored under the bed (although that may be the best place for it in this current economic climate).

Stewart Reuben

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Ben Purton
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Ben Purton » Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:18 pm

Hi Guys , thanks for the response, didnt realise such a long article would get such a response so thanks.

Firstly sorry for forgetting Gilbralter, Ive also heard and you can clearly see from the website this is a top event. I do think we should encourage a large junnior particapation of the top juniors. Maybe somehow offer a prize of some form of conditions(not fully inclusive) at one of the large junior events. It would be a chance to publicise the tournament at the very least, and even if it costs one foreign IM a place in the tournament , it might be worth it for English junior chess in Long run.

Secondly I think my main issue with Female chess is, well its the coaches.. I Know Susan coaches as her living I believe , so thats great, Sussex have a "role model" for womens chess. But lets take Vietnam, now the coaches there are all good coaches. Now it might appear petty to any of us, but I remember being 14/15 and getting my first coach from Berkshire properly. The most important thing for improvement is getting on and looking up to your coach. Now it might seem weird but the boys will find it easier to look up to the men than the women. Im going on the grounds of, if you exclude low budget films, not many women want to be David Beckham.

So I think if you take 40% women to these events or even 50%, You should have at least some women coaches to inspire the girls. Some of the older ones might need stronger than 2100ish(a rating we have alot of women at). However none of the U14, the most vunerable to improvement do. Im not therefore saying we need half women coaches and half men, that would be illogical given the vast majority of coaches are men. Im saying in order to improve the elite few that perhaps even if the women coaches arent 2400 strength, it would be worth taking one or two along to these events. I know Claire has women coaches at some of her events across the countries and this is indeed a start and something I feel would help. On the grounds of the U14 then would say "I want to be as good as blah blah".-In many respects this was one of the interesting ideas Ive heard(from my Female 4NCL player) about Dutch chess. - You have to admit, that excluding China, Hollands amount of GM's around my age is astronishing. L'Ami,Werle,Smeets to name 3, there are alot of IM's Like Robert Ris and theres alot of others like Woulter Spouelman who played Hastings once or twice I believe. Even women, there Olympiad team has a pool of 5-8 women for the bottom 4 boards who are 2220-2350.

Even though this has a personal sediment, Id like to see a "attempt" for a solid 5th, which isnt just importing someone, Id probaly like to see a England team win a medal of Harriet,Jov Susan+ Two young(ish) English girls. I think we have potential 2250-2300's in Sarah,Chantal,Selina & Amisha. However I dont think they are getting the real support they need to push to the next level. In fact the later 3 are slowly giving up there chess, which is something which might be discouraged if they had more support. I know your want me to define what more support is. Well Sarah played like a 190+ ECF over the summer, she was unlucky alot!! In her +120 Point list gain, she should have had alot more, there were games in worlds and 2 in Czech Republic(where I was present) and she was wasting Terry Chapman At Jessies Tournament, there were a couple more I cant remember.

How did Sarah get 120 points? Well firstly she was underated which Helps!! , But she still played @ 185-190 when rated just below 170. She paid out her own savings for Glenn Flear to help her with some stuff and put alot of personal work. But her personal work was based on Glenns work, she could only afford x hours, I believe 10 over the whole summer. If 10 hours can improve a young women by such lengths, then surely its worth putting(helping) 20-30 hours on each of the formentioned. Obviously Im biased, but where is the new 170+ women coming from in the new crop, I could possibly see some. But anyone who grew up with this "era" thought that most of those 4 would be better than there current ratings. But its not too late to take advantage of potential, but theres only 5 years or so before it starts becomming more so.

On another note, the British is not a massive concern, however Id love to play, but qualifying is quite hard to do in respect of you can get unlucky in strong opens with places with pairings etc. I was very annoyed that I didnt get a place when I won Mike Basmans tournament as this is seen as a elite junior event and most of the other respective events got one. But thats the past so who cares :) 8)

Obviously I wasnt being ageist , sorry if it came across, and what youve done for British chess is greatly admired. However as you said, people like yourself dont appear to be appearing in the new crop of people.

Going back to the olympiad, the mens team is looking in a more healthy shape and with Luke could in 3-4 years be a contender. David has the potential to be 2700 I think. We have a solid top 2 and 2 potentially very strong 3-4's . I know Gawain and David have both won £2000 Grants which is great and now both can get conditions. But I know both dont do much coaching work with another person, from what I know(I live with one who works with his housemate Tom).

If I had to strongly suggest something, it would be, Maybe help, which wouldnt cost little. Get them both to work as a duo, I think again China And Holland have something along these lines. Like Heres a small cheque for equipement(like a new database/book) , heres money to one of you for respective train fair/hotel whatever. Both could combing resources , learn off each other for a short period(long weekend-short week). Especially As Gawain is heavy tactics and I think David is an amazing amazing postional player from his complete thrashing he gave some GM's in World U20. I think this might be a relatively harmless and cheap way to really help the Olympiad. I know both are competative, however I think both respect each other as English team mates. Anyway its worth considering as the only thing I could see helping an already good English mens side. I think given Luke,Sadlers and Hodgsons lack of wanting to play. The perfect squad was selected , even the captain which is Peter Wells was a great selection as he is great at openings etc. So congrats on the mens team especially.

Referring to Mr Cooper's report on who the Berkshire Guy is, I known Nigel for over 10 years, and he is probaly the only person in Berkshire who has solidly volunteered to help the Chess here, sorry if Im excluding new people Like John from this forum, but in my era(ended 4-5 years ago). Nigel do all the hard work and my mum managed all the teams.

I do think however you need some idealists. Yes I do Play London League and Thames Valley. I only just started up in both so Dont know our respective rep's. Id hope Brian Smith is our rep for London League, but I dont know.

Anyway please advise on if the ECF could consider the idea on the womens chess aswell as the possible David/Gawain Idea.

Ben
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Ben Purton
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Ben Purton » Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:20 pm

PS: I do think the greatest thing for David's chess would be winning in Vietnam , to salt up the wounds of the final round in Turkey. So I really hope he does.
I love sleep, I need 8 hours a day and about 10 at night - Bill Hicks
I would die happy if I beat Wood Green in the Eastman Cup final - Richmond LL captain.
Hating the Yankees since 2002. Hating the Jets since 2001.

Sean Hewitt

Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Sean Hewitt » Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:01 pm

Ben Purton wrote:On another note, the British is not a massive concern, however Id love to play, but qualifying is quite hard to do in respect of you can get unlucky in strong opens with places with pairings etc. I was very annoyed that I didnt get a place when I won Mike Basmans tournament as this is seen as a elite junior event and most of the other respective events got one. But thats the past so who cares :) 8)
I'll look forward to seeing you at my events in Milton Keynes and Amersham then. Both are FIDE rated, and both have a British Champs place up for grabs.

Milton Keynes has 3 GMs and an IM entered already, so should be some decent tests for you too!

www.e2e4.org.uk

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Ben Purton
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Ben Purton » Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:03 pm

They Look good, the one in Bucks might be commutable from Sarahs. Could do with some more players, but might be interested. Depends on health for November, but the one next May hopefully ill be cool for!
I love sleep, I need 8 hours a day and about 10 at night - Bill Hicks
I would die happy if I beat Wood Green in the Eastman Cup final - Richmond LL captain.
Hating the Yankees since 2002. Hating the Jets since 2001.

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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:17 pm

I'm not entirely sure how chess is fundsed where I am (rural Spain) but I believe it's partly through local authorities who are obliged to support sport and culture, and partly through business who do them same (whether philanthropically or through legal obligation, I don't know). As a result, there's a lot more money available than there is in the UK, which goes some way to explain why there are stronger leagues and many more stronger tournaments than where you are. This, when added to the fact that chess is viewed as sport and therefore tends to receive mainstraeam sports coverage (it's even in Marca, which is the dailt sports tabloid) does tend to give Spanish chess a large financial and cultural advantage over British.

I don't say that to say that nothing can be done to improve British chess, but because it's worth knowing about these things when we're asking why other countries seem to be able to do more.
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Ben Purton
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Ben Purton » Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:28 pm

Yes my dutch player when ask where the money for chess comes from "The government" was what was mentioned. I think its the worst time to ask the government for money :)

Sean, your tourn looks good, but like How much does it cost to stay at a goodish hotel? Is it 29 pppn?

Your entries seem to be lacking in U100. Have you circulated your stuff at junior events?

Ben
I love sleep, I need 8 hours a day and about 10 at night - Bill Hicks
I would die happy if I beat Wood Green in the Eastman Cup final - Richmond LL captain.
Hating the Yankees since 2002. Hating the Jets since 2001.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Stewart Reuben » Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:47 pm

Much of Ben's perfectly reasonable comments come down to resources.
Women's chess definitely need more coaching resources, but where is the money to come from?
David Howell will be doing some work next year with a coach of appropriate standard. That will be coming from the JR Trust. But it is expensive and means other areas of junior chess will be less well-funded.
We used to have a substantial income stream from sponsorship. This is an excellent source of outside financial resources. Unfortunately this has virtually dried up in the past 15 years.
Anecdote: I was in Miami in 2002 having dinner with a British Olympic Gold Medallist in yachting. He was receiving £150,000 from the lottery for the year. I told him the English CF was getting £65,000 for the year. You mean I'm getting 2.5 times as much as all of chess? That's ridiculous.
But at least yachting is a spectator sport. Not really, he responded, you cannot know which yacht is winning.
My latest attempt to get lottery funding was unsuccessful.

Spanish support is far better than here, partly because companies are required to support regional activity. Such activity was heavily discouraged in Maggie Thatcher's time and has never recovered.

But it is not all doom and gloom. We are still well ahead relative to the 1950s and 60s. One problem is, that you need such a long knowledge of chess history, to realise this.
Stewart Reuben

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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:00 pm

"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

Sean Hewitt

Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Sean Hewitt » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:05 pm

Ben Purton wrote:Sean, your tourn looks good, but like How much does it cost to stay at a goodish hotel? Is it 29 pppn?
To stay in the hotel thats hosting the event is £29pppn b&b based on two people sharing, or £42pppn b&b if you are on your own.
Ben Purton wrote: Your entries seem to be lacking in U100. Have you circulated your stuff at junior events?
Ben
I've sent entry forms to every event held in the country since we announced the event in July. Chess players in UK always seem to enter tournaments at the last minute, which is a nightmare for the organiser. There are still 3 weeks to go to the Milton Keynes event. The event I ran in Leicester earlier this month had a similar number of entrants three weeks out and ended up with 110 entries so I'm not worried. And the MK event has much bigger prize money than Leicester, so that should help (I think).

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Ben Purton
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Ben Purton » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:13 pm

Yes but some things arent solely on funding, the womens coaches at worlds ....is simply changing the sex of some of the coaches.

Ben
I love sleep, I need 8 hours a day and about 10 at night - Bill Hicks
I would die happy if I beat Wood Green in the Eastman Cup final - Richmond LL captain.
Hating the Yankees since 2002. Hating the Jets since 2001.

Sean Hewitt

Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Sean Hewitt » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:19 pm

Ben Purton wrote:Yes but some things arent solely on funding, the womens coaches at worlds ....is simply changing the sex of some of the coaches.

Ben
Mark Hebden after a sex change? Not sure this is the solution to English Chess' problems!!

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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by William Metcalfe » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:48 pm

Ok so we all want to see improvements to the tournament structure and coaching in the ecf the big question is how is this to be funded.The ecf has given up on chess ever becomming classed as a sport so that funding is out.So that probably leaves membership would players be prepared to pay say £20 membership fees to pay for all this.And would they contemplate compulsary membership
I am speaking here for myself and not the NCCU which i am now president of

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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by William Metcalfe » Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:03 am

There is also a perseption that the country is divided on membership the north and some of the midlands are pro membership where as the south is pro game fee i would like to know how true this perception is
I am speaking here for myself and not the NCCU which i am now president of

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