Junior chess in latest ECF board minutes

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
LawrenceCooper
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Re: Junior chess in latest ECF board minutes

Post by LawrenceCooper » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:59 pm

NickFaulks wrote: The International Director has said the same, although he has done nothing about it.
Apart from creating the London Chess Classic and plenty of other stuff behind the scenes to potentially help other organisers.

John Hickman
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Re: Junior chess in latest ECF board minutes

Post by John Hickman » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:07 pm

LawrenceCooper wrote:
NickFaulks wrote: The International Director has said the same, although he has done nothing about it.
Apart from creating the London Chess Classic and plenty of other stuff behind the scenes to potentially help other organisers.
All right, but apart from creating the London Chess Classic and plenty of other stuff behind the scenes to potentially help other organisers, what has the International Director ever done for us?

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David Shepherd
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Re: Junior chess in latest ECF board minutes

Post by David Shepherd » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:23 pm

NickFaulks wrote:That was a deliberate decision, making a clear division between serious chess and the more knockabout versions. I don't think the world really wants yet another rating system for this gap - perhaps they could be pushed into rapid, but that would cause new problems..
I personally can't see the sense in leaving a gap in the events that are rated, what would seem more sensible to me would be to rate the games as standard, but with a lower k factor so they had less impact.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Junior chess in latest ECF board minutes

Post by David Sedgwick » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:17 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:If we wait a few more years, do you think that the FIDE Qualification Commission will notice that FIDE's proclaimed aim of seeing more events FIDE rated, in England and elsewhere, is not assisted by the provisions of the FIDE Rating Regulations?
Nick Faulks wrote:If you are referring to the 40 move rule .... , that survives only due to the strenuous lobbying efforts of the English arbiting community.
I think that you mean "the strenuous lobbying efforts of certain older members of the English arbiting community".

If we wait a few more years, they may have less influence.

Nick Grey
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Re: Junior chess in latest ECF board minutes

Post by Nick Grey » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:01 pm

Think of those organisers running U2200 tournaments so we can get if we want 3 games in one day. Or take a 1/2 point bye.
Nice mix of juniors & adults. Even suggested I'll make extra donations to put in tea/coffee fund for parents.

A lot of focus given to fide as opposed to ECF ratings which is how it has been sold to parents juniors and adults.

I wonder why having gone to the trouble of organising junior tournaments anyone would forget the grading component - which has been sold as the main requirement of ECF.

Lots of us getting older but will be nice to see a junior arbiter or two taking over from the old guard.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Junior chess in latest ECF board minutes

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:03 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Andrew Zigmond wrote:FIDE regulations can be discussed elsewhere.
No doubt we got into too much detail, but I do think that the paucity of FIDE rated events for juniors and others in England is a part of the reason why we lag so far behind our Continental neighbours in their development. The International Director has said the same, although he has done nothing about it.
I must admit to some frustration as this again misses the point. I am trying to start a dialogue about how we can create more opportunities for young players, particularly those of secondary school age, to take up the game and be able to learn in a fun environment that is suitable for them.

I shall now illustrate my point by laying it on with a trowel. Let's take a generic youngster who used to play chess but doesn't anymore. Why did he stop? Possible answers in my experience ...

He loved going to the primary school chess club but the secondary school didn't have one so he had to do something else instead.

He's 13 and went to the junior chess club once but all the others were nine year olds. He felt uncomfortable and never went back.

He and his friend went to the adult chess club. They had to play each other because nobody else would play them, then when they were talking about the game afterwards this man stormed over and yelled at them to be quiet.

The secretary of the local chess club said he'd love them to be able to join but they meet at the Dog and Duck and under 18s aren't allowed.

I don't see the relative paucity of FIDE rated events as any sort of factor at all. It might be a future hurdle once the ones above have been cleared but it is not the immediate priority.
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Nick Grey
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Re: Junior chess in latest ECF board minutes

Post by Nick Grey » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:31 pm

When I was of secondary school age we would not even have dreamed of joining an adult chess club to play chess!
My local chess club would have smoking & drinking at the board (not even sure if the premises had a licence.
At least the school may have had safeguarding checks.
Nevertheless when I eventually joined the chess club it had one junior member who then became older and better and joined another top local club.
A few years later we picked up two juniors from the estate.

Even where clubs do not have junior members we actively encourage the opposition junior members and their parents. Not lease because we recognise that they are going to take our positions in County Chess etc and in tournaments. I do take the trouble of socialising with their parents not least because they are my age, or younger. Will actively encourage them to analyse the game to help them but also help my game.

As for those organising the big events for juniors as well as adults I appreciate what they do and especially encouraging free or reduced entry for juniors and women.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Junior chess in latest ECF board minutes

Post by Roger Lancaster » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:45 pm

I think Andrew sets out very clearly the issues confronting many juniors of secondary school age. I might go rather further and say the demographic profile of many adult chess clubs is such as to make them unattractive to persons not fitting that profile - which includes not just juniors, the main subject here, but also younger men and virtually all women. Reference was made in Dave Rumens' recent obituary to Middlesex teens and twenties setting up their own club (Cedars) in the 1960s, and a parallel experience (Mushrooms) in Surrey a few years later, as these younger players felt unwelcome at established adult clubs. In this respect, although there are obviously exceptions, I'm not sure that much has changed.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Junior chess in latest ECF board minutes

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:28 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote: He loved going to the primary school chess club but the secondary school didn't have one so he had to do something else instead.
That is a major difference to how it was thirty, forty, fifty, even sixty years ago. The more academically minded secondary schools would have had a chess club and beyond around fifty years ago, primary school chess was unheard of.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Junior chess in latest ECF board minutes

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:06 pm

Sometimes the less academically minded schools, even - for some years the strongest school club in the Lancaster area was from a Sec Mod.
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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Junior chess in latest ECF board minutes

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:16 pm

"I must admit to some frustration as this again misses the point. I am trying to start a dialogue about how we can create more opportunities for young players, particularly those of secondary school age, to take up the game and be able to learn in a fun environment that is suitable for them."

1) The main thing is there is still so much coursework - they don't have time to play chess. Obviously, chess is not perceived as "cool", so that can be an issue.

2) In my day, you had to go out to get entertainment - now you use a computer or a phone, you don't have to leave the room. If you want to play chess, you play online when you feel like it.

3) At the clubs I see, I think juniors are encouraged and if ten more walked in, the clubs would be collectively delighted.

But you have to get over 1 and 2 first. There are opportunities there for those that want them. But do they want them?

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Re: Junior chess in latest ECF board minutes

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:28 pm

The sheer volume of coursework teenagers have to do today is a blocker but not one we can really do anything about, which is why I didn't include it.

It is true that anybody can get a chess app on their phone that plays to IM strength, removing one reason to join a chess club. However there is the social angle as well; as I have said before teenage boys are pack animals who enjoy doing things as a group. I think once the chess ball is rolling within schools you can generate a lot of interest; it's starting the ball rolling that is the problem.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Junior chess in latest ECF board minutes

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:09 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote: If you want to play chess, you play online when you feel like it.

But how many do? That's something which appears missing in junior training schemes, namely to encourage them to play either on their device or against their device. I can certainly recall carrying a Chad Valley or similar pocket set around with me in my early years at secondary school.

Ten years later in a chess club in the early seventies, a visiting junior challenged me to some five minute games. I pointed out that the club had a ban on its clocks being used for blitz. No problem said the lad and produced his own clock from his school bag.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Junior chess in latest ECF board minutes

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:33 am

"The sheer volume of coursework teenagers have to do today is a blocker but not one we can really do anything about, which is why I didn't include it."

But it's probably the most serious hurdle, so you cannot ignore it. I quickly discovered whilst coaching at a school that many players had so many demands on their time that it was "chess" or "football" or "various other social activities", there was no time to do everything.

Michael Flatt
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Re: Junior chess in latest ECF board minutes

Post by Michael Flatt » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:17 am

This weekend the Southern Gigafinal of the Delancey Schools UK Chess Challenge takes place in Orleans Park School, Richmond.

With the event appearing on chess-results.com it has been possible to come up with the following statistics on the entry.
u7 to u13, the boys and girls play in separate section.

Age Category, Highest Grade, Number of players(boys, girls)
U7. 74, 152 (106, 46)
u8, 139, 170 (124, 46)
u9. 131, 228 (170, 58)
u10, 152, 191 (147, 44)
u11, 174, 154 (114, 40)
u12, 159, 87 (71, 16)
u13, 195, 66 (48, 18)
u14, 202, 46
u15, 206, 34
u16, 188, 17
u17, 180, 15
u18, 167, 12

The u9 attracts the greatest number of players.
The u13, u14, u15 contain the strongest players.
At u12 (the first year of secondary school) the entry drops by around half.

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