ECF membership & clubs' internal games.

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Paul Buswell
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ECF membership & clubs' internal games.

Post by Paul Buswell » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:12 am

Are any clubs having difficulties with the application of the ECF Game Fee to bona fide internal results? My feeling is that it is a deterrent to new players dipping their toe in the waters of competitive chess within the friendly confines of their club; players who may well play no other competitive chess in their early days and whose club sub you don't want to increase by £13 in view of their likely negligible activity outside the club.

A modest sum - 25p, 50p per result maybe - to recognise actual ECF costs can be justified to such beginners, but £2 a go...

This is already proving a bone of contention within the Hastings & St. Leonards Club, even though by sheer luck we have a couple of years grace.

PB

Sean Hewitt
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Re: ECF membership & clubs' internal games.

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:40 am

Paul Buswell wrote:Are any clubs having difficulties with the application of the ECF Game Fee to bona fide internal results? My feeling is that it is a deterrent to new players dipping their toe in the waters of competitive chess within the friendly confines of their club; players who may well play no other competitive chess in their early days and whose club sub you don't want to increase by £13 in view of their likely negligible activity outside the club.
No one in our club has begrudged the extra £1 per month that membership has cost them.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF membership & clubs' internal games.

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:20 am

Sean Hewitt wrote: No one in our club has begrudged the extra £1 per month that membership has cost them.
If they are only members for a month, it's £ 13 a month.

The ECF Council don't really care about marginal players, the £ 2 per game was a concession which at least some of the ECF Directors would like to remove.

Bill Porter
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Re: ECF membership & clubs' internal games.

Post by Bill Porter » Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:18 am

Sean Hewitt wrote:
Paul Buswell wrote:Are any clubs having difficulties with the application of the ECF Game Fee to bona fide internal results? My feeling is that it is a deterrent to new players dipping their toe in the waters of competitive chess within the friendly confines of their club; players who may well play no other competitive chess in their early days and whose club sub you don't want to increase by £13 in view of their likely negligible activity outside the club.
No one in our club has begrudged the extra £1 per month that membership has cost them.
This seems the most appropriate place to respond to your question in Membership scheme- a question.
If your club members are paying an extra £1 per month then they play no graded chess.
If they play more than about 24 games/year then they are paying less.
Of course the club used to pay game fee on their behalf but the money still had to be found from somewhere.
Most clubs which have not yet been Darwinized have some players who almost never play competitive chess but are willing to play the occasional club championship or league game to make up the numbers.
This was not only convenient for the club but showed these players they were valued and important members.
The probability of such players becoming involved in competitive chess is now much smaller as most of them would be reluctant to pay £12 for one game of chess.
( I know of some players who in past years have played a single graded game. )
The compulsory membership scheme has changed graded chess from a normal club activity to an optional paid for extra.
The success of the scheme unfortunately cannot be really checked until after the end of the membership year.
At the extreme I doubt many people will join in August.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF membership & clubs' internal games.

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:35 am

Bill Porter wrote: The probability of such players becoming involved in competitive chess is now much smaller as most of them would be reluctant to pay £12 for one game of chess.
This is an absolutely key point which also applies to Congresses, in particular Junior events. It's one that the membership enthusiasts just will not accept.

In order to get support to 70%, they were forced to offer
(a) £ 12/13 Bronze membership for league only players instead of the £ 18 originally proposed
(b) £ 6 pay to play for non members in non international Congresses
(c) a charge of £ 2 per game instead of £ 12/£ 13 for one off league play.

How long these concessions survive remains to be seen.

The latter has been thwarted to a considerable extent by leagues and clubs introducing compulsory ECF membership rules. Needless to say, the ECF hasn't revisited its budget assumptions for Game Fee income in the light of this.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF membership & clubs' internal games.

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:41 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote: If the club is trying to attract such members and wants to allow them to play some games before hitting them with the £12 ECF membership option, I think it needs to make some provision.
I'd guess £50 would be enough for all but the most sucessful recruiters of new members. That is 25 longplay games for casual members, excludng anyone who is persuaded to join the ECF before the end of the season, because they will not be liable. The existing members would need to accept they are putting in a pound or two to try to attract new members. But in the context of the cost of club membership fees, I'd hope that would be acceptable to most clubs.
It's by no means ideal, but it does work as a compromise of sorts. It's predicated on two things though
(a) if you include league play, that the local league allows it
(b) that the ECF continue it. There's been no amplification, even when challenged, but some of the ECF's documents talk darkly of the £ 2 per game idea being a temporary measure.

Depending on how a club structures internal games, it can always use a rule set which says that a game where one of the players isn't an ECF member won't be submitted for grading. This is easier to do where the event is structured as an all play all, ladder or a challenge system, rather than a Swiss.

Paul Buswell
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Re: ECF membership & clubs' internal games.

Post by Paul Buswell » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:32 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote: Depending on how a club structures internal games, it can always use a rule set which says that a game where one of the players isn't an ECF member won't be submitted for grading. This is easier to do where the event is structured as an all play all, ladder or a challenge system, rather than a Swiss.
My thanks to those who have responded with various points.

I do seek clarification please over Roger's point above - I can go and trawl the ECF site, but someone here may have a quicker answer. It has been my understanding that grading a tournament was all or nothing, all results or none, so that the suggested 'rule set' cannot apply,

PB

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF membership & clubs' internal games.

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:41 pm

Paul Buswell wrote: It has been my understanding that grading a tournament was all or nothing, all results or none, so that the suggested 'rule set' cannot apply,
What the ECF doesn't know about, the ECF cannot prevent. So you remove all the results played by non-members before sending any results to the grader. Admittedly that's more difficult if you run internal events as a Swiss. Alternatively a series of graded friendlies takes place when graded players meet and they are the results submitted.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: ECF membership & clubs' internal games.

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:00 pm

Bill Porter wrote:If your club members are paying an extra £1 per month then they play no graded chess.
Wrong - they play quite a bit.
Bill Porter wrote:Most clubs which have not yet been Darwinized have some players who almost never play competitive chess but are willing to play the occasional club championship or league game to make up the numbers. This was not only convenient for the club but showed these players they were valued and important members. The probability of such players becoming involved in competitive chess is now much smaller as most of them would be reluctant to pay £12 for one game of chess.
What utter twaddle. Assuming for the moment that your premise is correct that such players exist as "exist as members in most clubs" then they have presumably paid a membership fee that did not put them off joining. That aside, such players do not need to "pay £12 for one game of chess"; they pay £2 - precisely £1.42 more than they did last season.
Bill Porter wrote:The compulsory membership scheme has changed graded chess from a normal club activity to an optional paid for extra.
More twaddle. It the membership scheme has change graded internal events from something offered by a small minority of clubs (in my experience, because of the additional cost of grading) to something that can be offered by most clubs to most players for free.
Bill Porter wrote:The success of the scheme unfortunately cannot be really checked until after the end of the membership year.
Agreed. Which is why Roger Edwards stated desire to re-examine it now is bonkers.
Bill Porter wrote:At the extreme I doubt many people will join in August.
Agreed. That's because there aren't many leagues that start in August, are there? :oops:

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF membership & clubs' internal games.

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:25 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote: What utter twaddle. Assuming for the moment that your premise is correct that such players exist as "exist as members in most clubs" then they have presumably paid a membership fee that did not put them off joining. That aside, such players do not need to "pay £12 for one game of chess"; they pay £2 - precisely £1.42 more than they did last season.
If you are talking internal games, wasn't the Game Fee something like a third of the normal amount? So we are talking 19p or 20p a game increasing to £ 2, so a tenfold increase.

That assumes of course that the residual Game Fee system is permanent, whilst ECF documents talk of it being temporary to be replaced over time (unspecified) by a scheme of 100% membership.

There's obviously a variety of chess clubs in the UK. There are some which exist not exclusively because they play external matches, but because they provide a social meeting place to play over the board chess. Hastings, I would imagine from Paul B's description, is one such example. The ECF used to offer Hastings a little publicised deal, Vice Presidency status, which enabled them to run unlimited in house events for unlimited local membership in exchange for a fixed corporate membership price. This deal, now having been withdrawn, Hastings members who don't play outside the club are asking what the financial consequences are for them and the club. The answer is easy if unpalatable, which is that the ECF's membership scheme requires them to pay more for their chess. By contrast the Gold members in the Hastings club will see a reduction of their costs if the Hastings club decides to pass on savings in League entry costs.

There's another South East club also a Vice President with significant internal events. That's CCF, but we haven't heard of their plans other than a rumour they were intending to remove junior events from ECF grading.

Bill Porter
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Re: ECF membership & clubs' internal games.

Post by Bill Porter » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:47 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:
Bill Porter wrote:If your club members are paying an extra £1 per month then they play no graded chess.
Wrong - they play quite a bit.
As you would have noticed if you'd read that post, I was simply pointing out a logical error in your statement.
Instead you flatly contradict my statement and edit out my reference to your logical error.
I'll put it more simply, with more detail:
( I am assuming other costs have not changed. )
If your club's players on average played more than about 24 games each last year, then more than £12 of each player's club subscription went to pay for grading.
This year they are paying a club subscription reduced by more than £12 and they pay £12 of that saving to the ECF.
The club subscription would only remain constant if no one at your club played any graded games last year.
Only In that situation could you say "No one in our club has begrudged the extra £1 per month that membership has cost them."
(Well, I suppose you could try saying the reduction in subs for ECF grading has no connection with members' willingness to pay the ECF a flat fee instead.)

As you may realise, actually responding to that part of your post took rather longer than it did for you to write it.
Sean Hewitt wrote:I don't think you've addressed the question of why you consider the ECF membership scheme is a "suicidal moneymaking scheme". I am genuinely interested in why you think that is the case.
I haven't detected any genuine interest from you in what I say so I'll confine myself to refuting the rest of your post as effectively as you did mine.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: ECF membership & clubs' internal games.

Post by Sean Hewitt » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:03 am

Bill Porter wrote:The club subscription would only remain constant if no one at your club played any graded games last year.
The logical error (as you put it) is yours, my dear chap. Our club subscription have remained constant, despite the fact (as I have shown) that players in our club did play graded games.
Bill Porter wrote:Only In that situation could you say "No one in our club has begrudged the extra £1 per month that membership has cost them.".
Nope. Wrong again. I say it in the situation where our subs have remained the same, whilst in addition everyone has joined the ECF at their own cost.
Bill Porter wrote:As you may realise, actually responding to that part of your post took rather longer than it did for you to write it.
It's a pity that you didn't get your facts right at the whilst doing so then :-)
Bill Porter wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote:I don't think you've addressed the question of why you consider the ECF membership scheme is a "suicidal moneymaking scheme". I am genuinely interested in why you think that is the case.
I haven't detected any genuine interest from you in what I say so I'll confine myself to refuting the rest of your post as effectively as you did mine.
Ah, the time old resort of the person who has lost the debate. Unable to put a cogent argument, they choose not to put one at all and sidestep the tricky question with the claim "you wouldn't be interested anyway". I genuinely did not understand why you said whay you said. However, I think I do now.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF membership & clubs' internal games.

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:06 am

Sean Hewitt wrote: Nope. Wrong again. I say it in the situation where our subs have remained the same, whilst in addition everyone has joined the ECF at their own cost.
This rather demonstrates the point, denied by several or many membership advocates, that the ECF's scheme in particular and possibly MOs in general increased costs to "average" club players.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: ECF membership & clubs' internal games.

Post by Sean Hewitt » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:14 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:This rather demonstrates the point, denied by several or many membership advocates, that the ECF's scheme in particular and possibly MOs in general increased costs to "average" club players.
Despite your assertions to the contrary, this is not denied by anyone as far as I'm aware. The point that you conveniently forget to mention is that the ECF lost its government grant. Costs to players were always going to increase whether we had membership or whether we had game fee.

However, the bigger fact in my clubs fees this year was the decision to purchase some digital clocks.

Bill Porter
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Re: ECF membership & clubs' internal games.

Post by Bill Porter » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:24 am

Bill Porter wrote:( I am assuming other costs have not changed. )
I was not aware your club had taken the opportunity to ( in effect ) increase its subscription by the amount it was saving in game fee hence I made the above explicit assumption.
Sean Hewitt wrote:No one in our club has begrudged the extra £1 per month that membership has cost them.
More seriously, I accepted the above statement as true without seeking a more reliable source.
I assume the correct version is "No one in our club has begrudged the extra £1 per month that the backdoor increase in club subscriptions has cost them."
If I have been misled by other incorrect statements by yourself, please let me know in your usual courteous fashion.
Last edited by Bill Porter on Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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