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Re: Junior Director 2018 Election

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:55 pm
by Andrew Zigmond
Michael Farthing wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:37 am
Neil, Why is the competition a "schools" competition rather than a "junior club" competition? How would you react to, say, a Scout Troop wanting to enter?
Neill can speak for himself but he and I have discussed this matter publicly and privately on several occasions. Many of the ECF's junior events are `legacy` events (such as the National Schools Championships once sponsored by the Times) that have been absorbed under the ECF banner. I have raised the point that it shuts out young players who don't have a chess club at their school; at the same time limiting it to schools prevents any attempt at a ringer culture. There are junior team events available (such as the J4NCL) and also a reasonable number of individual tournaments. From my own experience juniors tend not to want to travel that far and it shouldn't be beyond the wit of most people to organise a local junior team event (I managed it).

Re: Junior Director 2018 Election

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:09 pm
by Andrew Zigmond
Paul Cooksey wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:37 pm
I imagine Andrew was astonished that there are 36 clubs run by someone other than him or Neil.

My feeling is that school chess clubs make most sense as a long term structure. Something that new volunteers, particularly parents, can support without reinventing the wheel. Junior County chess also well established, at least in my area.

I am slightly uncomfortable with the ECF prioritising its own events rather than providing support as needed to everyone. But I would hope schools chess would be an area Alex saw as growth or at least maintain quadrant in his strategy.
Andrew noticed that Neill referred to `clubs` rather than clubs and as Michael pointed out the event is actually a schools event rather than a team event. In any event when you consider the number of secondary schools out there 37 is not a huge amount; even if you limited the pool to fee paying and selective.

From Andrew's own experience of actually trying to do things himself, secondary school chess clubs tend to be quite insular. I am aware of at least one example locally of a school that has a well attended chess club but where the teacher never answers emails from local organisers. Interestingly this is not true of primary schools that tend to be more outward looking.

Paul is right that a lot of it isn't about reinventing the wheel, although I've had to deal with too many people harking back to the 1970s for my liking. However with secondary school pupils you do need to create a bespoke environment for them and don't lump them in with screaming seven year olds on one side and morose adults with their fingers in their ears on the other. I currently have nine players who come to play and learn chess under my leadership; not a lot but it's nine more than a lot of clubs. The fact that they keep coming back (and the parents are appreciative) suggests I'm getting something right. My point is this; if this is my contribution what might somebody with a bit of capability achieve?

Re: Junior Director 2018 Election

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:28 pm
by Neill Cooper
Michael Farthing wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:37 am
Neil, Why is the competition a "schools" competition rather than a "junior club" competition? How would you react to, say, a Scout Troop wanting to enter?
Apologies for the delay in reply Michael but on Friday I was running a tournament for 70 year 7 pupils at my school and on Sunday the Eton College Rapidplay for 300 10 to 18 year olds.

You suggestion of allowing non-school groups in is equivalent to suggesting non-county organisations play in the County Championships.

Principally it is a Secondary school event (even Primary schools cannot enter) because I am the ECF Secondary Schools Co-ordinator. But also because I passionately believe in the value of secondary school chess and know how wonderful such secondary school events are for all players and teams, both weak as well as strong. An important part of that is the very severe eligibility criteria that all team have to abide by, you can only play for your school.

Re: Junior Director 2018 Election

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:49 pm
by Neill Cooper
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:09 pm
In any event when you consider the number of secondary schools out there 37 is not a huge amount; even if you limited the pool to fee paying and selective.
This was 37 schools, 300 juniors (100 of them graded over 120), playing at a single event. There were over 100 schools who entered the National Schools tournament last year and closer to 200 keen on playing some sort of inter-school chess events.
Yes, it is still a small fraction of all secondary schools. But we are slowly getting more of them fielding chess teams, that is more teenagers playing competitive chess. I focus my efforts on the area where I, as a secondary school maths teacher, can be most effective.

Re: Junior Director 2018 Election

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:36 pm
by Roger Lancaster
While there are many excellent "bespoke junior clubs", there are also examples of integrated clubs which attempt - sometimes quite successfully - to cross the age-divide. For example, the membership (between 60 and 70) of the club with which I'm involved breaks down very approximately 40% adults, 20% secondary school children, 40% primary school children. While I'm aware that some clubs can be less than welcoming to juniors, ours is far from unique as I'm aware of two other clubs within a 10-mile radius which, although predominantly adult, have a significant junior membership.

Re: Junior Director 2018 Election

Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:42 pm
by Alison Bexfield
I run a junior club in Letchworth Garden City which has two sections, the older of which caters for juniors in the 12 -19 age bracket. The older age group came about once the early club members grew older and wanted to be separate from the 8 year olds. Sometimes it is annoying that we cannot enter junior events as a team, yet I still support Neill Cooper in restricting school competitions to school teams only. In fact members at my club then become motivated to try to find other people at their schools to form teams for these events and also start school clubs themselves.

Re: Junior Director 2018 Election

Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:20 am
by Peter D Williams
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:24 pm
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:36 pm
Paul Cooksey wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:29 pm
I was surprised to see Alex standing after standing down early from the Home Director role due to other commitments.
Evidently the "other" commitments are to Junior chess organisation. It seems to be an agreed takeover, given the endorsement by the retiring director.
Alex has suggested elsewhere that it was a relatively short notice decision. Certainly I don't think anybody knew that Traci Whitfield was standing down. On that subject, if Traci is reading this I would like to record my appreciation for her service. Despite a difficult inheritance (her predecessor was bullied out of the job and her first year took place against the backdrop of serious board divisions) I think she has delivered genuine and lasting change and deserves to be remembered as one of the strongest directors of recent years
The previous incumbent was not bullied out he just refused to listen to parents of children who had concerns about how players were selected and also about sending more than one child to play for England in the same age group.He refused to discuss the issues with the parents.He refused to work with the parents to resolve the issues All he had to do was say i think you have a point and i will at least look at what your asking but he never did!

Re: Junior Director 2018 Election

Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:13 am
by Andrew Zigmond
Peter D Williams wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:20 am
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:24 pm
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:36 pm


Evidently the "other" commitments are to Junior chess organisation. It seems to be an agreed takeover, given the endorsement by the retiring director.
Alex has suggested elsewhere that it was a relatively short notice decision. Certainly I don't think anybody knew that Traci Whitfield was standing down. On that subject, if Traci is reading this I would like to record my appreciation for her service. Despite a difficult inheritance (her predecessor was bullied out of the job and her first year took place against the backdrop of serious board divisions) I think she has delivered genuine and lasting change and deserves to be remembered as one of the strongest directors of recent years
The previous incumbent was not bullied out he just refused to listen to parents of children who had concerns about how players were selected and also about sending more than one child to play for England in the same age group.He refused to discuss the issues with the parents.He refused to work with the parents to resolve the issues All he had to do was say i think you have a point and i will at least look at what your asking but he never did!
For the sake of clarity I was referring to Lawrence Cooper and his treatment at the hands of Phil Ehr and others.

Re: Junior Director 2018 Election

Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:35 am
by JustinHorton
Who's Peter talking about? I'm lost here.

Re: Junior Director 2018 Election

Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:41 am
by Roger de Coverly
JustinHorton wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:35 am
Who's Peter talking about? I'm lost here.
He's going back to the era when his son was a junior player. That's before Lawrence Cooper. Under Peter Purland and perhaps others before him, there was a policy of only sending one player in each age group tournament. I think Phil Ehr as Junior Director started to change that to a squad system. It needed a revamp to the financial costings as the first invitee was often there with expenses mostly paid by the organisers with second and subsequent players contributing to the organiser's profits.

Re: Junior Director 2018 Election

Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:08 am
by LawrenceCooper
Peter D Williams wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:20 am

The previous incumbent was not bullied out he just refused to listen to parents of children who had concerns about how players were selected and also about sending more than one child to play for England in the same age group.He refused to discuss the issues with the parents.He refused to work with the parents to resolve the issues All he had to do was say i think you have a point and i will at least look at what your asking but he never did!
That doesn't sound like me :?

Re: Junior Director 2018 Election

Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:29 am
by Peter D Williams
LawrenceCooper wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:08 am
Peter D Williams wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:20 am

The previous incumbent was not bullied out he just refused to listen to parents of children who had concerns about how players were selected and also about sending more than one child to play for England in the same age group.He refused to discuss the issues with the parents.He refused to work with the parents to resolve the issues All he had to do was say i think you have a point and i will at least look at what your asking but he never did!
That doesn't sound like me :?
No not you the one before you.I forgot you took over from him and you did a good job.

Re: Junior Director 2018 Election

Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:35 am
by LawrenceCooper
Peter D Williams wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:29 am
LawrenceCooper wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:08 am
Peter D Williams wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:20 am

The previous incumbent was not bullied out he just refused to listen to parents of children who had concerns about how players were selected and also about sending more than one child to play for England in the same age group.He refused to discuss the issues with the parents.He refused to work with the parents to resolve the issues All he had to do was say i think you have a point and i will at least look at what your asking but he never did!
That doesn't sound like me :?
No not you the one before you.I forgot you took over from him and you did a good job.
Thank you, sadly I only lasted a year after taking over when Phil Ehr stood for Chief Executive. I suspect you mean the one before him.

Re: Junior Director 2018 Election

Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:22 pm
by Kevin Thurlow
"Thank you, sadly I only lasted a year after taking over when Phil Ehr stood for Chief Executive. I suspect you mean the one before him."

I'm glad that's all sorted out! Whoever it was doesn't sound a great choice. In fairness, there is too much of it in junior chess, where a number of people are more interested in turf wars and throwing their weight around, trying to look important, rather than helping juniors play chess.

Re: Junior Director 2018 Election

Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:01 pm
by Mick Norris
Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:22 pm
In fairness, there is too much of it in junior chess, where a number of people are more interested in turf wars and throwing their weight around, trying to look important, rather than helping juniors play chess.
As opposed to in non-junior chess? :roll: That's just chess