Nigel Short wishes Gerry Walsh 'Merry Xmas & Begone!'

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Matthew Turner
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Re: Nigel Short wishes Gerry Walsh 'Merry Xmas & Begone!'

Post by Matthew Turner » Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:01 pm

It would be nice to see the Major Open regain some of it's status, I remember for instance Ravikumar playing when he was a 2400 IM. However, at the moment we have to be realistic, last year's British lost £7k and 'Major Open' players have to be funnelled into the British Championships just to make ends meet. Stewart's attempts to clarify the qualification rules are very helpful (the previous situation where people were only told they could play a couple of weeks before the event was perverse). The 4NCL qualifying route is probably also a very good idea, although I agree it will probably require some fine tuning. However, I suspect these changes will result in a very similar group of players qualifying for the British, simply because the financial situation demands that a large number of players pay the Championships entry fees.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Nigel Short wishes Gerry Walsh 'Merry Xmas & Begone!'

Post by Stewart Reuben » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:31 pm

The only venue set for the British is 2009. It is an ever-increasing problem.
The British in London in 2012 at the same time as the Olympic Games would proably cost £200,000 with a separate 12 player RR. Last time the players were asked about London, they voted resoundingly against it, including voting against having The Times as the sponsor (they had stipulated a London venue) . There was no particular spread relating to age in the voting.
Paul is very welcome to find a sponsor for the British RR. If he can come up with one fantastic. I find the first problem is getting across the table from a potential sponsor, it is not the format of any particular event. That can be tailor-made to meet the requirements of the sponsor. Currently sponsors are very hard to find.
Brighton would be fine. But we cannot afford the venue we had in 1980 and 1984. 1997 the event was held in Hove, but the floor is too squeaky and that rules it out.
Eastbourne is definitely possible, but they want some money.
We are investigating Canterbury. I very much want the event in the South East in 2010 as it has not been here since 1997.
Edinburgh is the perfect location from my viewpoint, but we always have to pay for the venue.

The event was held in a non-seaside town, Liverpool, in 2008.
From speaking to people, what they broadly want is: a venue they can reach on foot from wherever they are staying. Somewhere they can potter around in the half days they are not playing. Not too expensive.
I did once offer to go through all the venues the British has visited in the last 50 years if that was what readers of this forum wanted. But nobody asked me to do that.

David Shepher's idea of a lower rating (grading) limit for the Major Open was the way it used to be.

Who would want to support an event in which a large number of children play? Well, how about Grieveson, Grant; Smith & Williamson; Lloyds Bank and almost any company wanting to target young , intelligent people? A sponsor has withdrawn from the FIDE GP because Magnus Carlssen withdrew.

Many of you have totally overlooked that the event is highly successful and has been since 1904. Tamper too much at your peril. That does not mean it cannot be improved.
Stewart Reuben

Paul McKeown
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Re: Nigel Short wishes Gerry Walsh 'Merry Xmas & Begone!'

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:46 pm

Dear Stewart,

I hear what you're saying. I suppose that I would start by asking, in confidence, people in the chess world in the British Isles who have senior roles in business and finance, as to where the most likely sources of sponsorship might be found. I am aware, though, that that has no doubt been tried before, and that I'm in eminent danger of teaching granny to suck eggs.

I'll try to find time at some stage to put together a proper posting on the subject, but at the moment I seem to have a dozen things on the go at once.

Regards,
Paul.

Neill Cooper
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Re: Nigel Short wishes Gerry Walsh 'Merry Xmas & Begone!'

Post by Neill Cooper » Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:33 am

[Carl, this was a glitch, can you remove this post? Thanks]
Last edited by Neill Cooper on Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

Neill Cooper
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Re: Nigel Short wishes Gerry Walsh 'Merry Xmas & Begone!'

Post by Neill Cooper » Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:43 am

Paul McKeown wrote:In a determined bid to make myself unpopular, could I kick against the pricks and suggest that the presence of large numbers of kids in the championship, actually helps reinforce the Clapham Omnibus view that chess isn't something that grown ups should take seriously?
Who wre 'the large number' of kids? I thought Yang Fan and Felix were the only U16s
I think many strong teenagers prefer to play in adult tournaments (hence the scrapping of the U21/U18 at the British).

There was an interesting reversal in this year's London Junior CC - where most of the players in the U21/U18 were over 21!

Neill Cooper
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Re: Nigel Short wishes Gerry Walsh 'Merry Xmas & Begone!'

Post by Neill Cooper » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:17 am

Matthew Turner wrote:It would be nice to see the Major Open regain some of it's status, I remember for instance Ravikumar playing when he was a 2400 IM.
When I played in the Major Open at Brighton in 1977 I think there was no-one over 200, which was why I could be leading it at one stage.
It did not attract overseas players. So it has not always been a significant event.

Richard James
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Re: Nigel Short wishes Gerry Walsh 'Merry Xmas & Begone!'

Post by Richard James » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:41 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:In a determined bid to make myself unpopular, could I kick against the pricks and suggest that the presence of large numbers of kids in the championship, actually helps reinforce the Clapham Omnibus view that chess isn't something that grown ups should take seriously?
There are far fewer kids in the British Championship than 10-20 years ago, although still a few outstanding individual players. In this period there has been a significant decline in the overall standard of junior chess in this country. However, I take the point of your comment.

I have some views on the reasons for this, which I will outline elsewhere, possibly in a new thread.

Richard James
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Re: Nigel Short wishes Gerry Walsh 'Merry Xmas & Begone!'

Post by Richard James » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:49 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:The moment chess loses its mystique, its power as a metaphor for intellectual endeavour on the frontier between the human and the divine, then it loses its draw for sponsors. Who after all would want to be associated with nerdy juvenilia?
Well said, Paul. And running school chess clubs convinced me that, by promoting and encouraging competitive chess for 7-year-old kids that is exactly what we're doing.

Jonathan Rowson makes a very similar point:

"Perhaps we shouldn't try too hard to market the game as a popular pursuit. Those who love chess tend to love it deeply precisely because of its depth. Much of the game's charm is lost if we simplify or dilute it, and this may not be a price worth paying for making chess more popular."

(Source: Summerscale, A & C, Interview with a grandmaster p134 (Everyman Chess 2001))

Paul Buswell
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Re: Nigel Short wishes Gerry Walsh 'Merry Xmas & Begone!'

Post by Paul Buswell » Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:49 am

Are there any further developments on working - within ECF procedures - to oust Mr Walsh? As I have stated in previous private correspondence, I am willing to assist with donkey work and from my (slightly out of date) knowledge of ECF procedures - but where is the candidate to replace him?

PB

John Upham
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Re: Nigel Short wishes Gerry Walsh 'Merry Xmas & Begone!'

Post by John Upham » Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:28 pm

Paul,

Do you think it better to wait for the October AGM (no doubt it will accidentaly clash with 4NCL yet again) or go for the April meeting or, call for an EGM?

I was hoping that the two Ws would have had the decency to go before the AGM, which was obviously naive (but principled)!
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Paul Buswell
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Re: Nigel Short wishes Gerry Walsh 'Merry Xmas & Begone!'

Post by Paul Buswell » Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:05 pm

John:

I qualify this by saying it is a hasty response and, if he is reading this, I invite John Philpott to comment on factual matters.

I lean towards an EGM though I do not actually know how many people are needed to call it - it's a Companies Act figure. It would leave ECF management to decide time and place but economy would suggest immediately before or after the April Council.

You can't use the April Council for your purpose. A non-financial item can only go on that Agenda if either President or CEO specifically consent - unlikely. (I think I drafted that rule).

You could do some mischief at the April meeting by sending in notice of a resolution such as: "This Council directs its officers that no monies of the Federation shall be spent (or accrued for) in 2009/10 on any expense of sending any representative to FIDE meetings" - you get the idea.

I suppose a nuclear option would be to canvass for a Game Fee of say 10p, with the silent understanding that an EGM would reverse it after certain resignations, but that would have a hugely deleterious if not permanently disastrous effect on desirable actuvities.

The above should give you a few ideas. Failing which it's October. But I say again, is there a candidate?

PB

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