ECF: One member, One Vote

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

Post by David Robertson » Sun Oct 26, 2008 3:26 pm

Michele Clack wrote:A lot of clubs in the area are struggling. If you want club chess to survive please think very carefully before you start heaping extra costs onto club players. Obviously some people could afford more but many people could not
Variations in the willingness or capacity of players to pay more for ECF membership is the reason why I have argued at length elsewhere (see relevant threads on the Atticus forum since 2006) for membership linked to grade linked to tiered fees linked to OMOV.

In brief: accept there are, say, three categories of membership - social, serious, and (semi-)pro - and charge fees to each category, say, £10, £40, £100. Then allocated OMOV entitlements to each category. Any player is eligible to join a higher fee category if the OMOV rights are attractive to them. Basic OMOV rights might be a vote in President & CEO national elections; and votes to elect delegates to Council or similar. The highest level OMOV might involve votes on strategic plan, annual budget, ECF policy as appropriate. This model recognises that many players wish to be simply 'social players', while requiring greater responsibility and commitment from 'serious' players. Some thought might be given to applying appropriate grade criteria to definitions of membership category.

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Paul McKeown
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Paul McKeown » Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:31 pm

Ben Purton said:
"Internet chess is better".

Look, Mr. Purton, I've had to endure some intolerably long rambling discursions spewed forth from the drunken mouse that apparently has taken your keyboard hostage for the past week or fortnight or so. However, as I could make neither head nor tail of what on Earth that mouse was droning on about, nor was there any likelihood of such understanding, short possibly of the temporary insanity of an LSD trip or the like, and given the unlikely chance that anyone else could understand that mouse's drivellings, it really didn't matter.

However, you have now come forward with a short post, which is capable of comprehension.

Unfortunately, it is just completely false or so it seems to me, that I really feel I must protest.

Internet chess is simply not worth a pitcher of warm spit.

I would imagine that 90% or more of the people reading this forum would agree with me on that one.

If you don't like playing chess in clubs, then fine, play on the Internet. Just don't project your thoughts on the rest of us.

FYI: I'm currently a member of two clubs, both are thriving. One probably has more members than it ever has had, a large number of those in the range 150 - 200. The other currently has more members playing more games in more team in more leagues than at any time since the 1970's. And those members (50+) include 5 over the grade of 200 and a further 5 of 190 or more.

Indeed, I would ask what benefits does Internet chess have above playing in a club?

I can think of several, but all of them are solipsistic or anti-social.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:23 pm

Really, Mr McKeown, that is totally uncalled for. Ben, a very active young over the board player and a staunch match captain, expresses a viewpoint with which you disagree and you just vent spleen. His postings are not required viewing and thus you have not had to endure anything from him.
I venture to suggest a pitcher of my warm spit would be of considerable relative value, though I must admit I have never thought to collect it. Would I have to keep it warm, or should it be warmed up after collection? Can I offer it on ebay?

How about playing chess on the Internet is cheaper and more convenient than playing in some draughty school hall on chairs designed for young children? It is still chess, it has its place and we should encourage it, just as we encourage club, county and 4NCL, congress and international chess. Also correspondence, problem solving and composition and other activities, such as collecting chess books or sets. Chess is a mansion with many rooms. Not all appeal to me personally, but they all have their place in the grand scheme of things. It is true that Internet chess damages the promotion of over the board play to some extent. But that is the nature of changing technology.

Stewart Reuben

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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:51 pm

There are all sorts of discussions to be had about the relative advanatages of internet and OTB chess but I am far from sure that the greater social skills of those who play alone on the internet, compared to those who actually go and meet their opponents, are among them.

That would be one thing. However, Ben, if you want to make cracks about List 99 I have to tell you you're a long way out of order. It's not only offensive, it's inappropriate.
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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:53 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:Chess is a mansion with many rooms.
Ah, thank God, I actually got that one. I'm completely baffled by the "fright'd" reference, but that one I do know.
"Do you play chess?"
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David Robertson
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by David Robertson » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:50 pm

Dear, dear me! Evidence, if more were ever needed, of declining literary, if not educational, standards :roll:

Hint:

The King rises
What, frighted with false fire?
Give me some light. Away!

Who is the King? Why does he rise? Who is the nephew, interested to note that he does; and why?

David

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Ben Purton
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Ben Purton » Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:47 am

Paul

I could understand the critisism of my "list 99" comment from another poster, perhaps I was a bit over the top with that. However I dont really understand this "mouse" analogy you use.
By what your saying, your firstly being critical of my postings on such things as one member one vote and womens chess etc. If you care to disagree with this please specify which topic instead of simply saying "long drival".

There are some clubs that thrive especially in London, but the majority of clubs have taken a hit due to internet chess. If your goal is to have blitz games which can try your openings, the internet chess club records your games. I think the main advantage of such site's as Playchess & The ICC are the fact you can go on when you feel like it , not just one night a week between the hours of say 7-10pm.

I can think of clubs which have been around alot which have "faltered", my own local club when a kid, Slough, use to play in two cups & 3 leagues(berkshire, bucks+ Thames valley) , they collapsed effectively. I think they take part in some Bucks stuff only.

Pinner, the club who dominated the TV league years ago. Are now no more in the Thames Valley, they have some form of junior setup still I believe.

Even a club you know well, Hayes, are struggling to get teams out over 7 boards.

I think Club's are good for matches, in your example you use matches. But actual clubnights to me are a thing which will continue to decline over the future. Clubs are more "teams" than clubs these days.

Before the growth of ICC and Internet chess in general, club nights played an essential role in promoting a players game. I just do not feel that the advantage of playing at a club one night a week can possibly be of more benefit than 7 nights of Internet chess if you so choose. There is no reason you cannot do both of course. But if you had to do one or the other could you seriously say that Internet Chess is less benefit than the "clubnight"?.

Do 90% of this forum believe that to be true?


"If you don't like playing chess in clubs, then fine, play on the Internet. Just don't project your thoughts on the rest of us."


Paul, this is a forum, thoughts im afraid tend to be projected on them, thats the idea.


I appreciate you like club chess over internet chess and it has a role in chess still. I was simply expressing I think this role is decreasing.


I think the main arguement against "Internet chess is simply not worth a pitcher of warm spit.". Do you know how many of the worlds top players play online? Also I assume most of you are following and watching the world championship game, 10 years ago you would have had to wait for the next day for column in a newspaper. Of course excluding Nigel Short on our TV. But sadly this is something which hasnt occured since.

For players who like to watch GM games, you cannot find that in local clubs easily. You can watch it at the 4NCL and that makes this an amazing event, however online your almost guranteed 24/7 to be able to watch GM's play live.


Regards

Ben
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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:01 am

Unlike the chap in Changing Places, I have actually read (and seen) Hamlet. Never studied it closely enough, though, obviously. (I did learn to speak the "To be or not to be" soliloquy in forty-five seconds for a party trick at a leaving do once, mind.)

Ben, to some degree (and your postings are very hard to follow in places) you're conflating watching chess on the internet with playing it. Personlly, I don't find playing on the Net of much value: of course the world's top players do it, because they need to play daily to keep in tactical trim, just as a top snooker or darts player needs to practivce every day if at all posssible. Its value to the less-serious player may be a little less.

I think we all know the internet chess has hit clubs to some extent: however, it may also be a place where many people play who may later be attracted to club chess where they can actually play with real people. One of S&B's current captains came to the club that way.

Trends exist: however, it's always tempting to think they mean the "death" of older ways of doing things. Sometimes they do, more often it just means the old ways have to think a bit and adapt a bit.
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Neill Cooper
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Neill Cooper » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:07 am

Paul McKeown wrote:Internet chess is simply not worth a pitcher of warm spit.
I disagree. Some love it, some hate it, many enjoy the odd game - e.g. trying out a new opening.
We have had 6th form pupils join the school team having learnt to enjoy chess on the internet (I think on Yahoo!).
They were graded between 50 and 100 at the time.

We should stop seeing internet chess as being against club chess, but see how it can support it, as Justin made clear.

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Ben Purton
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Ben Purton » Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:46 am

"I think we all know the internet chess has hit clubs to some extent: however, it may also be a place where many people play who may later be attracted to club chess where they can actually play with real people"

This is why I said matches, International Events(4NCL , Hastings et al) will always have a place. I just think Internet is a better place to study. As for it being less use to a weaker player? How so? A player relativly could improve just as much in say a U100 as 180 could in an Open. I dont think strength has anything to do with going to a club , if anything the Internet is so diverse with strength that it gives you total gurantee youll get a good game.

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.

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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:47 am

I certainly think that internet chess has value - as does club / over the board play. Whilst the argument seems to be which is better / thriving, I believe they compliment each other.

From a personal perspective I use it to try new openings, try tactical ideas etc. In other words, purely for training. I have the freedom to do this wherever and whenever I want, and always against an opponent of appropriate strength.

From my clubs perspective, internet chess has also had benefits. We have grown rapidly over the last few years thanks to a website and a bit of advertsing. Most of the players that we have recruited have been new to competitive over the board chess. However, the majority of players had been playing on the internet, and it was this experience which encouraged them to make the step into club chess.

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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:01 pm

Personally I find that the main problem internet player express about club chess (cash aside) is that they think it'll be full of really strong players who'll thrash them every game! I assure them this is not so....

As for less use to a weaker player...I guess I'm sceptical as to the training value of blitz chess for most players. Playing real people at proper time limits - now that's a learning experience.

(Not that I ever seem to learn anything, mind...)
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Ben Purton
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Ben Purton » Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:09 pm

Well its far more diverse than simple blitz games, 1) you can play standard play , there are standard leagues etc. The coaching , lectures and GM games make it amazing.

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.
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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by Simon Spivack » Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:28 pm

Stewart commendably supports Ben by mentioning his team captaincy: however, it should not be overlooked that Paul himself has contributed tremendously at club and county level; perhaps not as long as I have, for Paul would have had to have begun at the age of nine to match me; and, certainly, he can't challenge Stewart's longevity when it comes to chess organisation, for Paul would have had to have been active pre-birth. :-)

It is unfortunate that many have responded as if Paul had cried havoc and unleashed the dogs of war, he has made some pertinent comments, not all of which I propose to address. Indeed, perhaps, Carl might consider moving the club verses Internet debate to another forum, for I'm not convinced it should be discussed under ECF matters. Not that I have ever stood for a rigid adherence to convention. OTB verses the Internet always brings to my mind the Windoze-Linucks (sic) wars, they go on and on, yelling at the unconverted with no change in attitude in prospect. Perhaps John Upham should set up a poll, although I fear the choice of voting medium dictates the outcome? ;-)
Ben Purton wrote:
I could understand the critisism of my "list 99" comment from another poster, perhaps I was a bit over the top with that.
Chess has always had its share of oddballs, not only was the choice of language "over the top", it was also wildly inaccurate. The boom was unambiguously a consequence of the Fischer-Spassky match of 1972. It is a pity that nothing has come near it subsequently. When I was a club secretary, my attitude was that the club should accept anyone, unless their behaviour was impossible. For instance I know of one adult at a tournament who behaved aggressively towards a young child, so aggressively that the boy was reduced to tears. Had this been a one-off, I'd have been all in favour of letting him in, but all the evidence was the other way. Happily this individual applied to join a different club instead, who unwisely allowed him to join; it occasioned no astonishment to me to learn that this same individual lifted up a clock and hurled it at the secretary of that club, breaking the timepiece. Does one ban, the blind, the deaf, the autistic? I hope not.

I once had a conversation with a poet (dare one write poetess any more? :-) ) in which I mentioned chess's oddball image to her. I suggested that more women might help counter this public perception. She not only rejected this viewpoint, she refuted it; for she pointed out that poetry has an oddball image too, and there are plenty of women who like poetry. A better perspective is that this country has a long anti-intellectual tradition. We all know that chess players come from diverse backgrounds, but Joe Public does not, nor will he ever be sufficiently interested to be bothered.

As Claire Summerscale knows what I look like, and reads these forums, :-) I shall hastily explain my attitude to women in chess. To me they make for a much better atmosphere, they also constitute half the country's population, it is a pity that more cannot be cajoled into playing: yes, sexism has something to do with it, it must also be intimidating to turn up at a venue with wall-to-wall men; yet games like football are even more sexist, without putting women off. Only a misogynist could object to more women. Should disproportionate resources be allocated to women's chess? On a purely numerical basis, no; for one can obtain more bang for chess's limited buck by targeting juniors of both sexes: but giving a marginal preference to women's chess over men's? why not? I am not arguing for prizes for women to be higher, prizes should be a function of how well a player has done in a contest.
Ben Purton wrote: However I dont really understand this "mouse" analogy you use.
By what your saying, your firstly being critical of my postings on such things as one member one vote and womens chess etc. If you care to disagree with this please specify which topic instead of simply saying "long drival".
Firstly, to show there is no ill will, one question you asked previously in this forum was who was your London League representative? for years and years it was Alan Martin, not to be confused with the highly capable Andrew Martin. Unless things have changed recently, it is still Alan.

Now for something you won't like so much, in my defence I'll quote a precedent; le Tondu endeavoured to have complaints looked at, if he thought they were justified, he did something about them. I hope you can approach what is written below with a similar attitude.

What you write above encapsulates some of Paul's objections, at least so far as I understand them. I do not believe that Paul wrote, literally: "long drival". It is misspelt, and Paul does not make many spelling errors, you do. I'm not going to say, learn to spell, if one has been badly taught at school, it is a difficult problem to overcome. However, assuming you have administrative privileges on the computer you use to post here, you could download the Firefox browser: it can be obtained from http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/products/ . Having downloaded the installer and scanned it for viruses, you should install it, then look to adding a *British* English dictionary from https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browse/type:3 . Other browsers also have spelling facilities, I'm sure someone can point you in the right direction should you prefer not to use Firefox. Assuming you are using Firefox, every time you edit a post that you intend to submit here, spelling errors will be underlined in red: to correct them, right click with your mouse and select the appropriate alternative, if available. Unfortunately, this will not save you from burying sentiment in sediment, but it's a start. It should only add a minute, at most, to your editing time, assuming you can touch type.

There are other errors in what you write above, for instance: "However I dont .."; however, I won't press too hard here, one step at a time. I am not arguing for error free posts, this is impractical, indeed impossible; but better is desirable. It is desirable as it shows that the writer cares about what he writes, language is a means of thinking; clarity enables others to get your drift; certainly some writers prefer more complicated structures, but careful reading, plus a dictionary, should ordinarily be sufficient. How can one assume that a message has been understood if it has been conveyed in a non-standard way?
Ben Purton wrote:
I think Club's are good for matches, in your example you use matches. But actual clubnights to me are a thing which will continue to decline over the future. Clubs are more "teams" than clubs these days.
It has always been the case that club nights have been dominated by team matches for many clubs. The first club I belonged to was Islington; that had an active club night on Fridays, sans matches, but few of the stronger players put in an appearance. There are still clubs with a non-team ethos on certain evenings.
Ben Purton wrote: Before the growth of ICC and Internet chess in general, club nights played an essential role in promoting a players game.
Not true. Many players improved by playing competitive games, not necessarily at clubs, and self-study; plus, in a few instances, tuition. I can't think of a single player, say above 220 ECF, who would credit his advancement to a talking shop of weak players. Certainly Fischer in New York benefited from a club night, but he was talking to strong players; whether this, in the final analysis, adding to his playing strength, I have no idea. This is not to disparage a weak player, a relative term anyway; however, someone graded below 120, say, is unlikely to have something playing-wise of value to say to a player of 190, say, which is unknown to the latter. Some of the best organisers I have met do not have a high grade, there is no correlation between chess grade and ability in other areas, at least none I have seen. A chess player with a high grade has shown he is good at chess, nothing more. I welcome the participation of players of all strengths, we all admire the game.
Ben Purton wrote: For players who like to watch GM games, you cannot find that in local clubs easily.
In London we are spoilt, just log onto the London League website to see when Athenaeum and Wood Green first teams are playing. :-)

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Re: ECF: One member, One Vote

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:40 am

A 215 who goes to Barnstaple chess club nearly every week writes: the opinions and knowledge of players graded under 120 can be surprisingly valuable. It's widely accepted that one of the best ways to learn about a subject is to try to teach it to someone else; I believe the reason for this is that by trying to find a way to get the concepts across, you often learn something about them yourself, which you hadn't realized before because they'd become almost instinctive.

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