Director of Women's Chess

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:12 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:19 am
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:05 pm
At the same time I coach ten lads aged between 12-14 locally (girls are very welcome but I've yet to have any interest) and the absence of age appropriate events open to them is shocking. So if there was money available from the ECF for chess development I'd like to think that males were not excluded.
I may have misunderstood, but why does the ECF need to spend money on that?

I organise maybe 4 or 5 junior tournaments around Warwickshire each year. They're just 5-round graded Rapidplays over an afternoon, £10 entry fee. Why couldn't Yorkshire do that? The limiting factors initially were: (1) Finding someone who wanted to put the effort in to organise them (2) Online entry/website, setting up a system for people to enter online, and (3) Finding schools who are in the business of renting out their facilities to external bookings with available space.

The tournaments break even, and help to subsidise the rest of the county's junior activity (e.g. entry fees for things like Junior 4NCL and the EPSCA events).

Yorkshire could easily do the same sort of thing if it could find a way of overcoming (1), (2) and (3) above.
You could argue that Casual Chess could do the same; organise a few tournaments and use the surplus to go some way to funding other activities.

I have long been of the opinion that the ECF should use any surplus to create a fund from which individuals could apply for grants to promote chess activity. We touched on this on the Casual Chess Cafe thread but such grants should be used to increase the player base and not (the example I gave on that thread) so the Bogborough rapidplay can have a bigger prize fund for their anniversary event.
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Julie Denning
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Julie Denning » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:42 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:12 am
I have long been of the opinion that the ECF should use any surplus to create a fund from which individuals could apply for grants to promote chess activity.
This essentially is the purpose of The Chess Trust. At the moment its funds are limited to the Richard Haddrell bequest which is dedicated to junior chess activities, but there was intended to be an item on the recent Finance Council agenda to transfer PIF money. This was withdrawn, but for administrative rather than principle reasons and is likely to return at some point in the future.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Stewart Reuben » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:10 pm

The BCF used to have a fund available to encourage new initiatives in congress chess. I was in charge of it. When money was tight, I suggested it being dropped because all the new ideas were coming from me - not other people. It wasn't fulfilling its purpose. It has never been reintroduced.
FIDE also used to have such an annual fund. Again I was in charge and people did apply for the money, England even got some, although requests came worldwide. It died when the Organisers' Committee was disbanded.

The ECF should have such a fund. Also it could use its weight of income and capital to act as a guarantor for new initiatives. But the problems would probably be the same as before.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:49 pm

Let us assume for a moment that "women's chess" is a thing that requires a Director. It would seem logical that a female Director should be sought, but not essential. Surely, if there is a post, you want the best candidate? I can't be bothered to look it up, but I assume the Director responsible for "Junior Chess" is not a junior?

And when will ECF address the issue of "trans" players?

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JustinHorton
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:52 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:49 pm
Let us assume for a moment that "women's chess" is a thing that requires a Director. It would seem logical that a female Director should be sought, but not essential. Surely, if there is a post, you want the best candidate? I can't be bothered to look it up, but I assume the Director responsible for "Junior Chess" is not a junior?
You really think that's an appropriate comparison?
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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:35 pm

I've only seen one incident in British chess so far where any sort of ruling was needed on the subject of trans players - the 4NCL ruled that a trans woman counts as a woman for the purposes of their one-player-of-each-sex rule. I'd be happy to see the ECF taking that ruling as a precedent.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:15 pm

"You really think that's an appropriate comparison?"

I'm just asking a question.

"I've only seen one incident in British chess so far where any sort of ruling was needed on the subject of trans players - the 4NCL ruled that a trans woman counts as a woman for the purposes of their one-player-of-each-sex rule. I'd be happy to see the ECF taking that ruling as a precedent."

Sounds reasonable.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:59 am

Hok Yin Stephen Chiu wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:59 am
I wonder if anyone is aware of whether the identities of the other two candidates is public information, and more pertinently the nature of their manifestos/applications? I suspect that would make for good reading.
At least nobody at the ECF has yet said, “Actually we hadn’t noticed that Chris Fegan wasn’t a woman. That shows the appointment was entirely unbiased”. That’s progress of sorts, I suppose.

FWIW, my guess is that few if any at the ECF necessarily regard the appointment as the best of all possible worlds. Equally, it seems to me that it’s entirely possible I might feel the appointment of a man to the post was quite reasonable in the circumstances that the ECF actually face at the moment.

It’s a pity - to say the least - that nobody seems to have thought, “hmmm this might look a little bad so perhaps we should adopt a proactive strategy in explaining the reasons behind it.”

Or, to put it another way, it would have been better if it was not necessary to raise the questions you very reasonable ask.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:21 pm

"It’s a pity - to say the least - that nobody seems to have thought, “hmmm this might look a little bad so perhaps we should adopt a proactive strategy in explaining the reasons behind it.” "

Well, yes. A friend of mine was appointed to a very senior post in the company for which she worked, and the Press Release commented that this was the first time a woman or an Asian person had been appointed to the post. She was unhappy as it suggested that was why she got the job.

Brian Towers
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Brian Towers » Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:55 pm

Hok Yin Stephen Chiu wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:59 am
"that was quite woke of the ECF!" [If you urban dictionary it, you may find some appropriate definitions].
You seem to be living in the past.

"Woke" is so mainstream that even the staid BBC has a definition for you.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

Nick Grey
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Nick Grey » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:07 pm

As long as the best candidate for the job has been selected that is fine by me.
There is a long thread on this and that may be one of the things that is wrong with English Chess.

I remember the commotion at my school when the first female teacher ever (400 years) was appointed.

we recognise diversity but we do not really need quotas or positive discrimination. other than what organisers and clubs are doing in trying to encourge
a more diverse membershio than we currently have in English Chess.

Best wishes to Chris.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by JustinHorton » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:20 pm

Nick Grey wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:07 pm

we recognise diversity but we do not really need quotas or positive discrimination
Yeah that's the important thing obviously Nick
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"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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NickFaulks
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:56 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:15 pm
"I've only seen one incident in British chess so far where any sort of ruling was needed on the subject of trans players - the 4NCL ruled that a trans woman counts as a woman for the purposes of their one-player-of-each-sex rule. I'd be happy to see the ECF taking that ruling as a precedent."

Sounds reasonable.
It does sound reasonable and, more importantly, it may be the only position that is legally defensible, but I have my doubts.

I do not fully understand why girls who are keen chess players tend to be at least 200 rating points weaker than their male counterparts. Having taught juniors in separate and mixed groups for many years I have some ideas, but nowadays they risk falling into the category of incorrect thought.

Be that as it may, I wonder whether it is fair for people to accept the benefits attached to being a female chess player if they have not had to overcome these obstacles.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:37 pm

I want to pick up on a few points here in more detail when time permits but in the meantime I'll drop a quick question.

I'm all for increasing the number of female chess players but are overall player numbers in this country so healthy that we can afford to turn away men and (in particular) boys?
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:45 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:37 pm
I'm all for increasing the number of female chess players but are overall player numbers in this country so healthy that we can afford to turn away men and (in particular) boys?
The answer that is quite obviously "no". The number of ECF members is static at around the 10,000 mark and the number of active players at around 15,000.

Even to keep the numbers static requires a lot of new players to replace those lost. In practice it's a matter of 8 year olds replacing 12 year olds. A benchmark test is to search the grading list for players with an ECF age of 17. The international nature of British universities is picking up a few players 18+. Again that's likely to be transient. The international nature of the top public schools also picks up players aged 13+.

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