April 2016 Council meeting

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Gerry_Jepps
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Re: April 2016 Council meeting

Post by Gerry_Jepps » Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:39 pm

Graham Ives wrote:
Is there any documentation describing what functionality this software is required to deliver, how it is to be used, how it is to be maintained, and what the selection process is? Basically, any documentation that can be used by members, such as myself, to help decide whether we think this would be £10k well spent or whether we think it's an idea that should be binned?
Try looking at Score Checker on the Somerset web-site http://www.somersetchess.org. I believe this is the preferred system (Alex H has confirmed this is not privileged information). My understanding is that the £2k pa includes enhancements at both the LMS and ECF ends to streamline grading data submission (already fairly slick) and subsequent data processing by the ECF. Anything that eases the graders load and the load on the ECF guy who processes the data seems to me to be worthwhile irrespective of whether we go to monthly grading. And £2K pa is not exactly a huge sum.

When I originally saw the ECF tender document I feared the worst, but have now changed my opinion. Partly because the choice is a proven system and partly because the cost is much less than I feared it would be.

Bob Kane
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Re: April 2016 Council meeting

Post by Bob Kane » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:29 pm

I tried looking no sign of score checker .

the Current grader ( Richard Haddrell ) gets £500 per month to provide the service .

Gerry_Jepps
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Re: April 2016 Council meeting

Post by Gerry_Jepps » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:37 pm

Bob Kane wrote:
I tried looking no sign of score checker .

the Current grader ( Richard Haddrell ) gets £500 per month to provide the service .
Try clicking on Somerset League (under News Headlines) - but here is a direct link anyway http://sc.popmalc.org.uk/somerset.

Richard has to field an enormous number of emails. Direct web submission eliminates emails and hence would presumably ease his task if implemented appropriately..

Graham Ives
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Re: April 2016 Council meeting

Post by Graham Ives » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:45 pm

Gerry_Jepps wrote: Try looking at Score Checker on the Somerset web-site http://www.somersetchess.org. I believe this is the preferred system (Alex H has confirmed this is not privileged information). .
There's obviously been a lot of work that has gone into this, and voluntary I imagine, so full respect to the developers. However, I think the system used in Shropshire deserves comparison:- http://www.shropshirechess.org/graham_t ... tables.php. (Note that this the test site using a test database hence the clunky menu and a purple background - but feel free to play.) The Live site is here: - http://www.shropshirechess.org/Chess%20 ... tables.php - please don't mess with that, or anything that isn't purple!

Any comments welcome.

The Shropshire system has been in place for 6 years. I (personally - I should not speak for Shropshire offcialdom here, though I might hope they would agree.) would be very disappointed if the ECF planned to IMPOSE a single central solution on all Leagues, forcing everyone to give up their existing systems. With links available at the ECF end (which I have previously asked for...) it would be easy for sites developed by other Leagues, including Shropshire, to dump their game results directly into an ECF database. The Shropshire database already produces the lists that are then sent to ECF as an Excel spreadsheet!
http://www.shropshirechess.org/Chess%20 ... layers.php
http://www.shropshirechess.org/Chess%20 ... _games.php
It would be a trivial task to change that into a direct update of an ECF database, if ECF provided the links.
Gerry_Jepps wrote: My understanding is that the £2k pa includes enhancements at both the LMS and ECF ends to streamline grading data submission (already fairly slick) and subsequent data processing by the ECF. Anything that eases the graders load and the load on the ECF guy who processes the data seems to me to be worthwhile irrespective of whether we go to monthly grading. And £2K pa is not exactly a huge sum..
Agreed. It might well be the case though that Leagues that already have their own systems would be very happy to dump the data directly to the ECF from their own systems, without having to change to new League Management software that perhaps doesn't suit them.... And maybe they would be happy to do so at ZERO cost.

I'm not trying to argue the merits of one system over the other. I'm arguing against the imposition of a single system if, as I fear, that is what ECF intends. If it's not, then that reassurance would be most welcome!

Angus French
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Re: April 2016 Council meeting

Post by Angus French » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:58 pm

Graham Ives wrote:... I'm arguing against the imposition of a single system if, as I fear, that is what ECF intends. If it's not, then that reassurance would be most welcome!
It's not what the ECF intends. The proposed LMS would be for leagues which have either no software or less functional software. You may like to see the discussion here.

Bob Kane
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Re: April 2016 Council meeting

Post by Bob Kane » Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:01 pm

thanks for additional link .. in my opinion this is not ideal from the user POV .. why is it can go on Amazon and get a life history !

Bob Kane
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Re: April 2016 Council meeting

Post by Bob Kane » Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:15 pm

Thats Easy.. if they dont want the full elected term then they spend a weekend in a mountainside nexus campout tent managed by you .
This will open the chakras of the mind
or they will jump into the abyss
Last edited by Carl Hibbard on Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Moderated name as unsure who.

Graham Ives
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Re: April 2016 Council meeting

Post by Graham Ives » Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:19 pm

Angus French wrote: It's not what the ECF intends. The proposed LMS would be for leagues which have either no software or less functional software. You may like to see the discussion here.
Many thanks. I've been away from the forum for quite some time and had missed this whole subject, unfortunately.

It was actually your recent email to members, re. the Council meeting, that prompted me to have a look again!

Roger de Coverly
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Re: April 2016 Council meeting

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:23 pm

Graham Ives wrote: It would be a trivial task to change that into a direct update of an ECF database, if ECF provided the links.
There are a number of League Management systems out there, all of which do very similar things. That's hardly surprising as there can only be so many ways of running a chess league. The weakest link on many of them is automatic provision of grading data to the ECF. Those developed by local graders are probably the better integrated. The BCF/ECF has moved beyond "put a diskette in the post" to "send a file by email", but presumably there are more effective solutions available. Would these not require change to the ECF central systems?

Perhaps the wrong question is being asked. Should it not be put to leagues as to whether they would feel able to send monthly data to the ECF, assuming the ECF made it slightly easier to submit and validate such data?

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: April 2016 Council meeting

Post by Carl Hibbard » Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:24 pm

The use of Drupal in one of the proposals would concern me a little.
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

Graham Ives
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Re: April 2016 Council meeting

Post by Graham Ives » Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:33 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Graham Ives wrote: It would be a trivial task to change that into a direct update of an ECF database, if ECF provided the links.
..... Would these not require change to the ECF central systems?
Yes, but those changes have to happen anyway if ECF is going to offer it's own League Management software with the intention of gathering results data directly from that system. I look forward to someone in ECF telling me how I can connect to their database, so that the Shropshire results data can be placed there directly.
Roger de Coverly wrote: Perhaps the wrong question is being asked. Should it not be put to leagues as to whether they would feel able to send monthly data to the ECF, assuming the ECF made it slightly easier to submit and validate such data?
Still the wrong question... Why "monthly"? Much easier for the result submission process in the League Management software to send the result as soon as it is submitted. No need for a monthly batch submission process at all. ECF can process it monthly if that's the preference. In principle though, it could be processed immediately.........

Roger de Coverly
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Re: April 2016 Council meeting

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:10 pm

Graham Ives wrote: Much easier for the result submission process in the League Management software to send the result as soon as it is submitted.
If you think about how the 4NCL system operates, you would enable the board pairings to be displayed before games start and then fill in the results as they happen.

Instant result reporting is probably the approach to take, it could even potentially cope with a club tournament management system which was a piece of paper in the cupboard. That also describes a need for inputs to be "mobile" compatible.

Graham Ives
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Re: April 2016 Council meeting

Post by Graham Ives » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:26 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote: Instant result reporting is probably the approach to take, it could even potentially cope with a club tournament management system which was a piece of paper in the cupboard. That also describes a need for inputs to be "mobile" compatible.
Agreed. Have a look at http://www.shropshirechess.org/graham_t ... recard.php and try submitting a result (it's a test db so no problem.) The way it already works is that as soon as the user enters the result,the page validates it. If it's OK, an email containing all the match details is sent immediately to the Shropshire League Controller, the database gets updated, and the impact of the results on the overall competition table is shown. The result submission page can be sent from any device with an internet connection and a browser.

It would be easy to add a step in there that updated an ECF "Resultss" database as well, and I would love to be able to do that (and to have read-only access to the Grading database as well, to make things easier). So, immediate reporting to ECF, who could process it immediately themselves into revised grades for the players involved, or could let a month's worth (or whatever) of the results accumulate in the "Results" database and then process them as a batch.

Nick Grey
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Re: April 2016 Council meeting

Post by Nick Grey » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:55 pm

If no offer of free LMS even if a league has one then why should leagues vote for it?

As a volunteer why should I consider giving up more time for something which ought to be easy for those that use it.

The internet connection & browser is a mystery to 1/6th of the nominated inputters in Thames Valley League - so some clubs may have to review who is responsible for ensuring their results are reported in promptly & correctly. I suspect much the same in other leagues.

Isn't the price of implementation part of the proposal for the extortionate increase in our membership fees?

The grading team do a fantastic job with the antiquated system they have - some automated & controls in error correction no doubt being considered.

Mike Truran
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Re: April 2016 Council meeting

Post by Mike Truran » Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:40 am

the extortionate increase in our membership fees
Really?

Slightly more than the price of a pint of beer spread over three years?

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