My recollection slightly differs, I believe I said that I wasn't too sure about it and didn't want to over-promise/commit to anything at that stage but can understand why you thought I was saying no, though that wasn't the case. It was the end of a long day so perhaps I didn't express myself as I'd like, however I do recall strongly stating my willingness for a role to a couple of others on the day, who I will name later if appropriate.
I only wish that was true about Durham! As an aside I had been pushing for internal qualifiers for years but was voted down, anyway the society president said before Christmas that it was 90% likely I wouldn't be picked because on the basis of my grade I was circa the 15th best player and we were only sending three teams. As it turned out a load of people dropped out and I was in relatively good form so made the team on that basis.
Again I re-iterate my apology about Durham's change of circumstances, and needless to say I thank you and your colleagues for organizing BUCA so efficiently!
Andrew and Mick:
I could talk happily for hours on end about this! 2020/NUCC was founded because we were surprised how few inter-university events there are across the year. This is in no way a slight on Alex or BUCA, it is a fantastic tournament (which I've played at four times) but it only takes place once a year. If you look at other sports/activities at university levels the events are much more frequent.
2020 lifted off because it got young people playing together at university locations that were convenient and only lasts for one day on a weekend. Many players there are at my level, rusty but enthusiastic. They do not care about whether the games are graded or not. This enables us to attract many people because the entry fee prices are so low at only £5 per player (it was originally £2.50 or £1 at the first ever event). We also get some outstanding players coming along too with grades 200+ , I can only think of a handful of people who decided not to play for their university because it wasn't graded.
The majority of major tournaments in the UK as far as I can see have high entry fees relative for students partly because of the grading fee (and students are reluctant to become ECF members for various reasons) and are over a weekend/few days requiring staying in a hotel in an unfamiliar location. People like me do not have the time and resources to commit, and even if 'we' did we are not at the ability to win prizes and don't know many people at these tournaments.
I'm not bragging but 2020 does this rather well, so much so that teams enter again even if they've already qualified for the Grand Final, and at the Grand Final itself you can see that there are some fine players that the ECF has no record of who travel great distances to go there so it is possible http://2020chess.com/superfinal.html
Short term non-graded events are problematic as the ECF can't 'make' money off it which they need to diligently spend on important issues, however I would argue that in the long term it will bring people in and pay great dividends. Its a balancing process of course, but its great to get the conversation flowing!
I think for a start the ECF should officially approach every university that does not have a Chess society and make a proposal: That one (kind!) volunteer will attend their fresher's fair and collect lists of names and run/set up the first session and take things from there. I've already successfully done it with St. Mary's and Southbank (out of my own pocket) but others are reluctant because I appear like a 'one man band' and not in an official capacity. Worst case they say no, but it is absolutely unacceptable in my mind for a university not to have a Chess club. This is an example of radical thinking that I could offer at board level.
The difficulty with this forum is that its impossible to go into full details unless one takes a ridiculous amount of time, and the AGM is challenging as there is no debate just five minutes to make your case and most people have already decided how they are voting before it takes place.
So with that in mind...
This Thursday evening at 8pm I will be running a 'Question Time' Chess special broadcast live on Facebook!!!
If anyone would like to submit anything either comment on here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
, and I will put the link on here shortly. I will also be expanding on the issues that have already been raised concerning why I would be a suitable non executive director candidate