A Vision for the Future

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Andrew Farthing
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A Vision for the Future

Post by Andrew Farthing » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:45 pm

Carl Hibbard wrote:As usual the SCCU reporting is excellent, see here:-

http://www.sccu.ndo.co.uk/bcf.htm
I agree. The SCCU report helps to correct a few inaccuracies that I spotted earlier in this thread, and it's a pretty good summary as far as I can tell.

For obvious reasons, I have a particular interest in item (9): "Andrew Farthing, the new Strategic Planning Officer, would be responsible for the production of the Annual Business Plan, the Annual Achievement Report, and the Long Term Strategic Plan. He felt that the current Strategic Plan did not really set out a clear long term vision for the ECF and he would be talking to current and former Directors about what they felt the ECF would be seeking to achieve."

One of the points I made was that it wasn't clear to me from reading the current Long-Term Strategic Plan, exactly what the ECF's vision was for the desired future of English chess. (And please note - I said that it wasn't clear from the document; I am not saying that the vision isn't clear to others, just that it doesn't come across from the document.) I was given licence to speak to Board members so that I could understand how they would like English chess to look in (say) 5 and 10 years' time. I was also invited to speak to former directors.

It will not be my role to define the ECF vision and strategy, but I do have a responsibility to help the Board to define what they are trying to achieve and to evaluate the possible ways of getting there. My job is then to express this thinking as clearly as possible in the ECF's strategic planning documents. It would help me to have as many views as possible about how English chess and the ECF should develop, because this helps me to challenge the key parties to come up with the clearest possible vision.

I therefore invite contributors to this forum to offer their own thoughts on what they would like to see in terms of English chess in 10 years' time. This is not about personalities, nor is it about specific actions; it's about long-term goals, such as "a chess club in every school", "an English championship featuring at least 90% of the top 20 players" or "ongoing annual growth in graded players of 5%". These are just examples, not necessarily recommendations!

Constructive ideas only please. A strategic vision has to be something positive if it is to inspire action.

Andrew Farthing

Peter Turner
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Re: The Long Term Plan

Post by Peter Turner » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:14 pm

Hi Andrew

Very refreshing to get a post like this from a Board Member. First thought in all future planning you have just demonstrated - improve lines of communication with the membership and the general public.

Andrew Farthing
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Re: The Long Term Plan

Post by Andrew Farthing » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:24 pm

I think that this topic is misnamed. Before there can be a long term plan, we need to define the vision for the desired future. I'd prefer to call it "A Vision for the Future" or perhaps "What do we want for English chess?"

Carl - Are you able to rename the thread please?

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: The Long Term Plan

Post by Carl Hibbard » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:03 pm

Andrew Farthing wrote:I think that this topic is misnamed. Before there can be a long term plan, we need to define the vision for the desired future. I'd prefer to call it "A Vision for the Future" or perhaps "What do we want for English chess?"

Carl - Are you able to rename the thread please?
No problems - that has been done :)

The number one priority for me would be better communication with members
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

Michele Clack
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Re: A Vision for the Future

Post by Michele Clack » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:11 pm

I would like to see the ECF working towards the following:

Every child to have the chance to play chess and improve to the standard they are capable of.

Every adult who joins a chess club to have the same.


To do this there needs to be access to coaching at the approporiate level much more widely available as well as playing opportunites.

I would also like to see this happening whilst keeping chess affordable for people on limited incomes.

I suspect this is pretty much impossible but you did ask for suggestions!

Mike Gunn
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Re: A Vision for the Future

Post by Mike Gunn » Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:50 am

Part of my vision is that every school in England should receive 10 free chess sets.

Sean Hewitt

Re: A Vision for the Future

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:28 pm

Mike Gunn wrote:Part of my vision is that every school in England should receive 10 free chess sets.
Mike, that's a dream rather than a vision. The means no longer exist (if they ever did) to make it reality.

Paul McKeown
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Re: A Vision for the Future

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:11 pm

Mike Gunn wrote:Part of my vision is that every school in England should receive 10 free chess sets.
The thread's about "A Vision for the Future", not "A Vision of What Might Have Been".

Put it away, mate, it's gone. No point hankering after what might have been. And anyway, it's not really the sets that are important - it's enthusing children and providing them with the necessary coaching resources.

Further discussion of CSfS belongs in the CSfS forum.

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Ben Purton
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Re: A Vision for the Future

Post by Ben Purton » Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:18 pm

My vision is Sambuca Sharks not getting relegated this season....A more attainable goal than chess sets for schools but nearly impossible.
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.

Mick Norris
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Re: A Vision for the Future

Post by Mick Norris » Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:25 pm

Andrew

You might want to have a look at this
http://www.ebu.co.uk/publications/Offic ... cument.pdf
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Andrew Farthing
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Re: A Vision for the Future

Post by Andrew Farthing » Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:17 pm

Thanks for the link, Mick - very interesting.

Thanks also to everyone else who's replied so far (although I did get a bit of a sinking feeling when the free sets issue cropped up). Please keep the ideas coming.

William Metcalfe
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Re: A Vision for the Future

Post by William Metcalfe » Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:07 pm

We need not just better communication but open comunication between the ECF and its members and players.

We really do need somesort of decent grand prix circuit again it the only thing that the average player gets of the ECF

We need better links between schools and chess clubs and counties

We need to find a way for gms ims strong players to give local simuls and training sessions

We need to find something to replace gamefee its expensive to collect thats if the ecf acually do collect all the gamefee due to it
I am speaking here for myself and not the NCCU which i am now president of

Michele Clack
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Re: A Vision for the Future

Post by Michele Clack » Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:14 pm

I've read the EBU document in the link posted by Mick. With a bit of tweaking this system could be adapted to chess in a way so as to keep everyone happy. I particularly like the one off affiliation fee of £5. Since our club has a half price offer for new members joining in the year this would not be too difficult for our treasurer (hubby) to collect. If affiliation fees were per team administered by the leagues he would have little more work than at present (which is plenty -the treasurer has a tough job in any organisation and it is often hard to recruit a new one). I see several advantages:

A) Every club player is then a member, this answers the point about potential sponsors wanting to see a lot of people active in chess before being interested.
B) Membership is much easier to administer. No reminders, much less cash handling, fewer changes to the database each year. This would cut down considerably on staff costs as it would not be necessary to have a full time subscription secretary.
C) A clear list of benefits to clubs and their members. I particularly like the webhosting as our club would love to have a more flexible website ( we use communigate at present - good coverage but very hard to update and we have an enormous web address) and no one has the expertise to sort this out.
D) Counties could have a lot more control over where the money is spent which would be good and the NCCU would I suspect prefer that.
E) Funding for non club activities like encouraging juniors and internationals etc. could be kept separate from club activities with any contribution from general funds being endorsed by all members. This way people have a sense of ownership and are likely to be more generous.
F)Those people who like to be direct members at present so as to contribute to chess in general particularly junior and senior international chess could still make an extra contribution if a separate fund was set up for these purposes able to take individual donations. Has the ECF got charitable status? If so these contributions would be charitable donations and likely to be eligible for tax rebate.

Could we please give all this serious consideration?

William Metcalfe
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Re: A Vision for the Future

Post by William Metcalfe » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:19 pm

We have had membership in the north for the last 4 years and i think most would agree it has worked well.League fees have come down club fees have come down congress organisers prefere it,club championship games get graded.So in total more chess gets played more players get graded the ECF has a bigger membership and gets its proper money not some game fee estimate.So for me all sides win
I am speaking here for myself and not the NCCU which i am now president of

Paul Stimpson
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Re: A Vision for the Future

Post by Paul Stimpson » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:21 pm

William
We need to find something to replace gamefee its expensive to collect thats if the ecf acually do collect all the gamefee due to it
I dissagree, I think Game Fee is great. It looks like the EBU is going down this route as well.

I agree it is expensive and like Sean Hewitt said in other posts it is treated like a Tax and seems to increase year on year. This should not be so.

If it is difficult to calculate and difficult to collect then these issues could be fixed quite easily. These are only faults in the implementation of Game Fee, not of Game Fee itself.

I remember when Direct Membership was first rolled out at the British at Easbourne, it was lauded as the great new thing for British Chess, it never got much take up. Direct Membership then offered all of the incentives it offers now, however these are obviously not what the average player really needs.

I am not against a membership scheme per se, but you would need to come up with a lot of added value to make it a real success. Looking at the state of the ECF and English Chess in general it's difficult to see what you could really come up with?

It's that Chicken and Egg problem again, you need money to create added value to a membership scheme, but you need a huge take up in membership to generate money.

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