Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.

Is the ECF doing a good job?

Poll ended at Wed May 31, 2017 9:42 pm

Yes
23
53%
No
20
47%
 
Total votes: 43

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun May 28, 2017 7:22 pm

NickFaulks wrote: Like other crazy ideas that emerged from the 2008 Congress, it was never going to happen and it didn't happen.
Various official FIDE events were blighted by the zero time default rule for a number of years following.

It's been certainly been my experience with the ECF and the BCF before that that those proposing dodgy ideas will take silence as acceptance. It's almost certain that had zero default times made it into the Laws of Chess, that they would have been widely disregarded. Would FIDE have had the courage to suspend Federations refusing to enforce it? But why would FIDE start the fight in the first place?

The mobile phone rule has in practice been diluted down to its essentials, namely that phones and for that matter other useful gadgets should be out of use for the entire duration of the game.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Michael Farthing » Sun May 28, 2017 7:27 pm

But I'd have to face all those white roses...
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harrylamb
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by harrylamb » Sun May 28, 2017 7:45 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:Ahem. You're not that far from Yorkshire, Michael. The long established Bradford Congress takes place in September, normally on the third weekend. The 4NCL are bringing an event to Doncaster following previous September events in Wakefield and Bolton.
Hold On Andrew. I have had enough problems in my lifetime with a certain chess organisation trying to steal Bolton from Greater Manchester without Yorkshire now putting a bid in also.

Seriously though you weaken your point and strengthen mine by mentioning congresses that do not exist any more (Wakefield, Bolton)

In the month of September there are five weekend tournaments in England and Wales. In June there are nine (June is the earliest month for a valid comparison because of the clash with the British in July and August.) These figures in my opinion clearly show that bureaucracy of the membership scheme is reducing weekend chess in September
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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sun May 28, 2017 7:48 pm

harrylamb wrote:In the month of September there are five weekend tournaments in England and Wales. In June there are nine (June is the earliest month for a valid comparison because of the clash with the British in July and August.) These figures in my opinion clearly show that bureaucracy of the membership scheme is reducing weekend chess in September
They don't show anything of the sort. That's far too small a sample size to draw conclusions from.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Michael Farthing » Sun May 28, 2017 8:01 pm

Just to be picky it's a population size, not a sample size :?
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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sun May 28, 2017 8:08 pm

Michael Farthing wrote:Just to be picky it's a population size, not a sample size :?
You are quite right. The point stands, though.

harrylamb
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by harrylamb » Sun May 28, 2017 8:21 pm

Mmm I have given you what is clearly labelled as my opinion. What is your opinion that the minimum population size should be?
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NickFaulks
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by NickFaulks » Sun May 28, 2017 8:22 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote: It's almost certain that had zero default times made it into the Laws of Chess, that they would have been widely disregarded.
Tournaments played in contravention of the rules would not have been accepted for rating. The best way to get a stupid rule reversed is to enforce it rigorously.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun May 28, 2017 9:04 pm

harrylamb wrote:
Andrew Zigmond wrote:Ahem. You're not that far from Yorkshire, Michael. The long established Bradford Congress takes place in September, normally on the third weekend. The 4NCL are bringing an event to Doncaster following previous September events in Wakefield and Bolton.
Hold On Andrew. I have had enough problems in my lifetime with a certain chess organisation trying to steal Bolton from Greater Manchester without Yorkshire now putting a bid in also.

Seriously though you weaken your point and strengthen mine by mentioning congresses that do not exist any more (Wakefield, Bolton)

In the month of September there are five weekend tournaments in England and Wales. In June there are nine (June is the earliest month for a valid comparison because of the clash with the British in July and August.) These figures in my opinion clearly show that bureaucracy of the membership scheme is reducing weekend chess in September
I appreciate that some of my post was poorly worded. My point was that the 4NCL have held a Northern congress in September for the past two years and will do so again this year. 2017 will be Doncaster, 2016 was Wakefield and 2015 was Bolton; being a 4NCL event it moves around wherever Mike can cut a deal with a hotel but it is in essence the same event.

Michael's post seemed to imply that there were no congresses in September. I've just pointed out that Northern chess players are spoilt for choice (and thus don't need to look further afield). Paignton also falls in September and is a hugely popular event.

Dare I suggest that you might expect more activity in June, when the academic year is running down, than September when anybody who is in full time education or works within it will be busy with other things. Of course, not every chess player is involved with academia but a sizable minority are.
Last edited by Andrew Zigmond on Sun May 28, 2017 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Alex Holowczak
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun May 28, 2017 10:13 pm

Alex McFarlane wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:Yes, I'm very happy to take entries to Scarborough if paid commensurately with the amount of work involved.
Thank you Alex. But didn't you claim there was little work involved? I'm quite happy, from my own pocket, to pay you 10 times the amount that the volunteers I named are getting. I'll even allow you to name your own multiplication factor. :wink:
Let's compromise. The current people will continue to do the entries but you can do the querying of membership levels on their behalf. At your own assessment level of the work involved I will buy you a small bottle of coke to compensate you.
I've got a system that I can run an entry spreadsheet through and it will check membership levels for me, without me having to do any manual legwork. If I wasn't taking the entries, I'd need to convert your entry collection system into my spreadsheet. I had to do this for the UK Chess Challenge Megafinals, which was non-trivial. I expect that would take far more work than chasing up people with the wrong membership category. So I think it's a job I would have to do either in full, or not at all.

I don't think I assessed the level of work involved. I said that I didn't find it to be a "nightmare". I don't think I've ever woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat at the thought of checking whether or not someone is an ECF member.

In any case, I think my point was that I don't have the problem with MOs for my events around here. And a reasonable number of local organisations have them. Why do I not have the problem, but you do? What are we doing differently, as event organisers, if anything?
Alex McFarlane wrote:I would need to check but I think Scarborough has about 3-5 entries each year who didn't realise their membership was not at the right level. These are mainly (totally?) in the lower sections where Scarborough does probably attract a significantly higher number of such cases by its nature.
Pro rata, that's probably just as many as I get for any other event I organise.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun May 28, 2017 10:23 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote: Why do I not have the problem, but you do?
Scarborough is a national event, attracting entries from all over the country. I don't think a standard membership year works particularly well for Congresses, because of the difficulties it imposes on Congresses organised in September and October. You could and perhaps should scrap local MOs. That way there's only one list held by the ECF Office.

Outside of Yorkshire and the long standing Paignton event, September Congresses are conspicuous by their absence. Instead they all take place in October and clash.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun May 28, 2017 10:26 pm

harrylamb wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:Yes, I'm very happy to take entries to Scarborough if paid commensurately with the amount of work involved.
If I was being paid commensurately with the amount of work involved for the Manchester Congress I too would be "very happy" I would also be considerably richer than I am now. But I am not. I am a volunteer.
I am a volunteer, but volunteers can still get reimbursement. By "paid commensurately" I meant in the context similar to the amount of money I receive for doing similar work for other events. I wasn't exactly talking Barbados retirement money...

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun May 28, 2017 10:33 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Outside of Yorkshire and the long standing Paignton event, September Congresses are conspicuous by their absence. Instead they all take place in October and clash.
A well known phrase concerning the female parent of invention springs to mind here ...
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Alex McFarlane
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Alex McFarlane » Mon May 29, 2017 9:19 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:I am a volunteer, but volunteers can still get reimbursement. By "paid commensurately" I meant in the context similar to the amount of money I receive for doing similar work for other events. I wasn't exactly talking Barbados retirement money...
Oh dear - check this with HMRC. It is legitimate expenses or minimum wage (upwards).
Alex Holowczak wrote:I've got a system that I can run an entry spreadsheet through and it will check membership levels for me, without me having to do any manual legwork
Totally missing the point. At Scarborough many people have paid an ECF membership but the ECF has not yet received it. If you have developed software which can cope with that situation perhaps you could refine it to check football results.
Another point you are missing is that for your events they are spread out over a period of time. With Scarborough there is a very short time frame.
For you chasing non-members might be 15 minutes a day over a six week period. At Scarborough this is several hours per day over a few days as the entries flood in in the last week to 10 days.
At events later in the year (including 4NCL Congresses) we have taken memberships and passed them on. This is also done at Scarborough but the problem is not being able to know for sure if a person has renewed.
This year at Scarborough there was a player who has been a Platinum member for a very large number of years. We accepted his word that he renewed (he thought he had). If the records were up to date then we would have been able to remind him and avoid what turned out to be a time consuming matter involving emails to the office and finally a phone call there as well. In terms of man hours involved the £7 requested would have been exceeded in wages.

I agree with membership but the current system is not fit for purpose. How will it cope with the new FIDE rating system coming into effect in July where games rather than whole tournaments can be rated? Will 2200+ players have to be Gold members or will Silver be enough? Will non-ENG players have to pay the game fee if over 2200? What will the membership requirements be if a league wants to be rated?
[It will be possible to rate an Open with a 3 hour playing session but games involving 2200+ players will be ignored.]

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Poll: Is the ECF doing a good job?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon May 29, 2017 9:37 am

Alex McFarlane wrote: [It will be possible to rate an Open with a 3 hour playing session but games involving 2200+ players will be ignored.]
It's a totally alien concept that you deliberately don't rate a player's best performance or protect players from the effect of poor performance. I would not expect any take up of this idea in English chess.

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