Peter Hornsby for ECF : Tomorrow's Candidate Today!

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Peter Hornsby
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Peter Hornsby for ECF : Tomorrow's Candidate Today!

Post by Peter Hornsby » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:14 pm

**OPENING CAMPAIGN STATEMENT**

Lord Lyndon Harrison attended one of the many tournaments I organised , with the help of fellow students, known as ‘National Universities Chess Championships South’ (NUCC) to award the prizes. In a letter he described the day’s events:

‘It was a very happy occasion for the young men and women, British and Overseas, who competed in the day tournament. This was, I believe, the third tourney organised by Peter Hornsby, and his outstanding team of helpers. It featured some 16 university chess teams...it was notably very efficiently and effectively organised... [He] clearly has a flair for [running] such events. And every confidence can be placed in him. I am of course happy to elaborate on Peter’s pronounced talent to organise.’

The creation of NUCC was a culmination of years of dedicated enthusiasm for Chess and organisation. At junior level I represented Yorkshire for the under 18’s and frequently qualified for the Finals of the British Land Challenge (now known as the Delancey School Chess Challenge)

Whilst being a respectable competitor, I felt there was potential at my school for Chess to flourish where it had previously stagnated. With that in mind I helped re-found the Chess club and run the ‘Inter House Chess Championships’ which has been running successfully ever since I left, to my great delight. From there I worked in Spain in 2013 and continued in the same manner, setting up a Chess club and running the first ever competition among all the students at the local ‘Escolania’ school despite the Catalan language barrier!

This experience put me in good stead to take on the position as Chess Club President at Durham University in 2015. Working with my colleagues we set up the inaugural ‘Inter College Chess Championships’ which attracted over 50 players, smashing participation levels across all demographics which continued to grow year on year. This enabled us to field three then a record four teams at BUCA for Durham. But more importantly we doubled the average attendance we would get at our weekly sessions, along with positive engagement at our social events and attracting a sponsorship offer from the Times Chess.

Before graduating however, I was motivated to set up more student friendly chess competitions so NUCC (rebranded to 2020 Chess soon after) was launched. This offered local, accessible and inclusive tournaments which has since engaged over 500 people with tournaments taking place across the UK in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, York, Edinburgh and London with dozens of universities taking part (some of them for their first ever major tournament) as well as a handful of respected schools and clubs, all the details can be seen here: http://2020chess.com/results.html

We attracted many people who had not played Chess for years so it was very satisfying to get them back into the fold! Meanwhile 2020 Chess was accepted onto the ECF Council and was awarded a trademark helping to establish its presence in the Chess world. I didn't stop there, I've realized that there is a huge untapped potential for Chess with universities. Estimates tell us that only 25% of universities have Chess societies which I find absolutely unacceptable. Therefore this summer I contacted all the student unions to offer to attend their fresher's fairs to get people to sign up and set up the society for them myself free of charge. This is a very recent idea but has already taken off; St. Mary's University had a dozen people turn up for their first ever session which I organized from scratch and are starting to flourish, I hope this trend can continue elsewhere with the ECF's support.

The success of NUCC/2020 Chess attracted sponsorship deals which I negotiated with the British Chess Magazine, Purling London, Chess and Bridge, Chess Openings Wizard (a software company based in Ohio USA) as well as one of the largest Chess websites in the world 'The Internet Chess Club'. There were also positive publicity boosts through articles written about the competitions in the Yorkshire Post and Durham Palatinate, and they won several ‘Blueprint Enterprise Awards’ by Durham University.

These types of tournaments have great potential which is why they are expanding across the country and are open and accessible to non-students (and non-ECF members) too to that end; to make people fall in love with the game in the same way we all have. My current grading is not the highest, but I see that as a 'strength' not a weakness as I believe the ECF board could do with some diversity with more 'weaker/amateur' players as well as someone who is well connected with younger players/organisers too. According to Yougov there are 6 million people who can play chess in the UK yet only a relatively small fraction of them play regularly, this is something that I have started to change slowly but surely. For this to be possible I formulated a team of volunteers to support this end, which is a crucial asset in undertaking roles of responsibility and scrutiny.

If fortunate enough to be elected as Non-Executive Director I would continue in the same vein I always have; to increase the profile and participation of chess not just among students but the wider community as well. My track record shows that I can offer youthful boundless energy and enthusiasm to mount a fearless grassroots campaign across the UK and work tirelessly to that end. I will be accountable and approachable to everyone and take responsibility which I have never shied away from, and will bring a unique student perspective which will help execute the ECF’s strategy more effectively or scrutinize it if it needs to be. I have visited the ECF's offices in Battle to gain a greater understanding of the organisation and to meet those who so diligently run it, and I was proactive in offering to help with the set up of the upcoming AGM.

I look forward to making a real difference, hopefully in a position of responsibility in helping the ECF as Non-Executive Director with your support, and if anyone has any questions please email pbhornsby@gmail.com or post on here, I look forward to hearing from you!

Many thanks with best wishes,

Peter Hornsby

(P.S There will be a significant announcement that's going to be made very soon, so watch this space!)

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www.facebook.com/HornsbyECF
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Myself and the Mayor of York awarding the prizes at the 2020 Chess Grand Final in June 2017
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Peter Hornsby for ECF : Tomorrow's Candidate Today!

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:28 pm

Peter Hornsby wrote:According to Yougov there are 6 million people who can play chess in the UK yet only a relatively small fraction of them play regularly, this is something that I have started to change slowly but surely.
The Yougov estimate is somewhat questionable and even more misleading when extrapolated to a world total.

So what are real numbers? The number of active players, defined as playing at least one game in the ECF's grading system is around 15,000. You can add to that the headcount of additional school players only taking part in the Chess Challenge. But it would be a struggle to justify a headcount measured more than 100,000 so that's not a "relatively small" fraction but an absolutely small fraction.

Against that, some sixty years plus of "chess in schools" must have left a legacy of those who "used to play". By way of a benchmark on past numbers at universities, the 1969 and 1970 BUCA events came close to having 32 teams of 8 players, so that's an event the size of divisions 1 and 2 of the 4NCL solely populated by university representatives. It's perhaps not so surprising that in 1972 it was possible to hold a weekend Congress in London with more than 1000 entrants. The strength and weakness of British chess has been that a decent number of those playing in 1972 are still playing to this day.

Mick Norris
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Re: Peter Hornsby for ECF : Tomorrow's Candidate Today!

Post by Mick Norris » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:03 pm

Hi Peter

Same question as last year; what makes you suitable to be NED (or this year, what makes you more suitable than Julie, who has done a good job in the post as far as I can see)?
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Peter Hornsby for ECF : Tomorrow's Candidate Today!

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:34 pm

Mick Norris wrote: Same question as last year; what makes you suitable to be NED
Would it work better to appoint a "Manager of Chess Promotion" to carry out the role outlined?

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Marcus Misson
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Re: Peter Hornsby for ECF : Tomorrow's Candidate Today!

Post by Marcus Misson » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:09 pm

As the Cambridgeshire delegate, I agreed to nominate Peter for this position last year and was very pleased when he requested that I do the same this year. Although I can hardly claim to know him well, I was impressed with his work organising the 2020 Chess Championships (however, I would be interested to know what plans he has for the name in 2021!)
I recall asking a question about the game fee at the Finance meeting many years ago, and being told that 'its always been done like that' or words to that effect. I believe one of his strengths will be that for the most part he comes from outside of the existing 'system' and will not be subject to the subconscious assumptions about the existing way of doing things that some of us may have. Using the forum to advertise his decision to stand, and inevitably initiate a discussion around this, is an example of how he might do things differently. He can't say that I didn't warn him!
Roger makes the point that few people who can play actually do play. Peter has made more effort than most of us to change that, attracting 'people who had not played Chess for years.'
Roger adds that many of the people who were playing in '72 are still playing. I'm afraid you'd have to say '82 in my case and suspect when I first attended the BCF meetings as a delegate I may have been one of the youngest there. Unfortunately, that hasn't changed an awful lot in the subsequent years and I am concerned that if we don't start doing more to encourage younger people to contribute to the organisation, very soon we will find it difficult to replace those who have given so much of their time for the benefit of the rest of us.
As to Mick's question about his suitability for the role, from my experience I have learnt how important it is to get the good people in. Once you've got them, give them things to do and don't let them go! I would certainly not object if that remit were to include Chess Promotion.
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Re: Peter Hornsby for ECF : Tomorrow's Candidate Today!

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:45 pm

Marcus Misson wrote: from my experience I have learnt how important it is to get the good people in. Once you've got them, give them things to do and don't let them go!
Absolutely! The problem, and the reason why Peter's challenge is unlikely to succeed, is that NED is the worst possible entry level position, leaving aside the fact that he is attempting to dislodge an invaluable incumbent whose input would be sorely missed.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Peter Hornsby for ECF : Tomorrow's Candidate Today!

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:57 pm

Marcus Misson wrote: Roger makes the point that few people who can play actually do play.
Roger also said of a figure the candidate presented uncritically and without any apparent sense of irony,

"The Yougov estimate is somewhat questionable."


Peter seems hugely enthusiastic - which is to be applauded. Nevertheless, i tend to feel that a NED position, or any other for that matter, needs more than that.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Peter Hornsby for ECF : Tomorrow's Candidate Today!

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:07 pm

Peter, would you be able to introduce me to some of the sponsors you've talked to? I'm looking to get my International Organizer title.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Peter Hornsby for ECF : Tomorrow's Candidate Today!

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:13 pm

I agree with the thrust of many of the posts above; while the work Peter is doing within universities and younger chess players should be applauded and supported I'm not entirely sure why he is standing for a role that is largely concerned with scrutiny and oversight. It is true that a few years ago a previous NED (Sean Hewitt, an entrepreneur like Peter) provided considerable strategic direction from that position but that was the year we didn't have a CEO. Obviously the role is currently occupied by a well regarded incumbent so it differs from Peter's candidature last year when one of the NED positions was open. So it does beg the question as to why Peter is after this particular position (which has no operational budget) and whether he knows he is seeking to oust an incumbent.

I perhaps shouldn't say this but I have heard a rumour that Peter has been offered positions within the ECF and has rejected every single one of them.

That said, I think we should be taking this opportunity to learn more about Peter's work in universities and how we can engage with them at club and county level. I also think it would be good to have a young and Northern voice on the board rather than just another SCCU one (and in her SCCU role Julie did author a slightly unfair email about the county championships this year).
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Angus French
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Re: Peter Hornsby for ECF : Tomorrow's Candidate Today!

Post by Angus French » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:22 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:I perhaps shouldn't say this but I have heard a rumour that Peter has been offered positions within the ECF and has rejected every single one of them.
I thought Peter would be more suited to an executive position and said so to Mike Truran at last year's AGM. I wonder what's happened here...

Julie Denning
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Re: Peter Hornsby for ECF : Tomorrow's Candidate Today!

Post by Julie Denning » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:34 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote: (and in her SCCU role Julie did author a slightly unfair email about the county championships this year).
Andrew,

"unfair" is obviously a judgement I might wish to defend myself against, but right now I can't recall what you're referring to. Can you remind me please?

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Re: Peter Hornsby for ECF : Tomorrow's Candidate Today!

Post by Nick Grey » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:14 pm

It looks like a North v South battle coming up. There are a lot of universities and young people in the South that play chess so the question it poses the question what has he done for them that will add value to this position. There are an awful lot of universities in the south. Not sure why he wants this position having it appears not wanting others.

Seems very unfair that Andrew has commented on a county chess matter particularly regarding SCCU participation in SCCU stages and then onto National Stages.

The candidates do a lot for chess in the south and also nationally.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Peter Hornsby for ECF : Tomorrow's Candidate Today!

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:29 pm

County chess was Andrew's remit this year. He's entitled to comment on how the candidates for a post interacted with him in that role.

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Re: Peter Hornsby for ECF : Tomorrow's Candidate Today!

Post by Michael Flatt » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:19 am

IM Jack Rudd wrote:County chess was Andrew's remit this year. He's entitled to comment on how the candidates for a post interacted with him in that role.
As SCCU County Match Controller for the 2016-17 season I would like to state that I am not aware of anything that might have given rise to Andrew's comment.

The SCCU are pleased to participate in the ECF County Championships, with which it has a long association.

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Re: Peter Hornsby for ECF : Tomorrow's Candidate Today!

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:04 pm

Firstly can I apologise for the fact that circumstances have prevented me from returning to this thread until now, particularly as my post contained a comment I should have given a bit more thought to. While there was an email that raised my eyebrows slightly it was not my intention to open a can of worms or, more importantly, cause Julie (who has done an excellent job as NED, the subject of this thread) any embarrassment.

Without wanting to go into too much detail, the email exchange arose when I contacted all county union representatives setting out the slightly earlier deadline for nomination that followed changes agreed at council. This presented a practical problem for the SCCU who had set out their internal program prior to the changes. Julie had already discussed this with Alex who agreed that a discreet extension for the SCCU was reasonable; however (and not a big deal) he hadn't told me that and in any case I needed to give a consistent message to the unions. The upshot was that Julie sent a polite but slightly forthright email to Alex about the situation which I felt (and still do) should have been raised with me in the first instance. That was all.
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