15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

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Alan Walton
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Alan Walton » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:17 pm

As much as this thread has been interesting read; the original question on the absurd 1:1 exchange rate being applied hasn't been fully questioned

From my knowledge there was a possible risk of a slump in the pound if the event of no deal; but the current markets haven't been pricing this in over the past few months so why Bridge Overseas or the ECF thought they knew better to have this element in amazes me

Was this explained to parents when passing their money across, and if it didn't occur (which it didn't) were they aware that the benefit from the better exchange rate was going into the bursary fund and not being passed back to themselves; from what Tim said he and others weren't aware of this up front

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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:39 pm

What Alex posted earlier seems to me eminently reasonable, even if I feel he is being a trifle over-sensitive to criticism, but it doesn't appear to answer one key point. If one looks back at the last major junior event, the 2018 World Cadets played in November in Santiago, the lowest-scoring of our representatives scored 5/11 and the majority exceeded 50%. The Antalya selection process either followed much the same formula or it didn't. If it did, why was the overall level of results that much worse than in Santiago? Alternatively, if it didn't and the process had instead been 'improved', perhaps the 'improvement' needs rethinking. I'm completely puzzled by the performance differences - any theories?

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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Richard Bates » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:00 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:39 pm
What Alex posted earlier seems to me eminently reasonable, even if I feel he is being a trifle over-sensitive to criticism, but it doesn't appear to answer one key point. If one looks back at the last major junior event, the 2018 World Cadets played in November in Santiago, the lowest-scoring of our representatives scored 5/11 and the majority exceeded 50%. The Antalya selection process either followed much the same formula or it didn't. If it did, why was the overall level of results that much worse than in Santiago? Alternatively, if it didn't and the process had instead been 'improved', perhaps the 'improvement' needs rethinking. I'm completely puzzled by the performance differences - any theories?
Wasn’t this explained by the World/European Schools (aka Turkish/Greek national junior championships) being used as “developmental” tournaments with different selection criteria? Basically, the strongest players don’t go, but go to the World/European Cadets/Youth which are seen as the “real” top international junior competitions.

Richard Bates
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Richard Bates » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:02 pm

As for the currency issue - the suggestion of the ECF setting up a Euro ban account seems like the obvious solution, assuming there isn’t some reason why this isn’t possible.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:06 pm

Richard Bates wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:00 pm
Wasn’t this explained by the World/European Schools (aka Turkish/Greek national junior championships) being used as “developmental” tournaments with different selection criteria? Basically, the strongest players don’t go, but go to the World/European Cadets/Youth which are seen as the “real” top international junior competitions.
Yes, that point occurred to me, but the grading/rating thresholds for developmental events are that much lower than for the really tough events so, to my way of thinking, that should have had a self-cancelling effect.

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David Shepherd
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by David Shepherd » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:14 pm

If I have calculated correctly recent World Schools results were 2018 8 players average score 4.31, 2016 no Eng players, 2015 8 players average score 3.62 2017 I think 1 player average score 4.5 but maybe I missed some as I couldn't find on chess results - only here https://chessinschool.ro/results/

So overall other than giving more players the international experience the results are roughly in line with recent years.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:21 pm

Richard Bates wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:02 pm
As for the currency issue - the suggestion of the ECF setting up a Euro ban account seems like the obvious solution, assuming there isn’t some reason why this isn’t possible.
One of this year's junior events is being held in China where FIDE's outgoings will presumably be in renminbi although its incomings will be in euros. If the ECF were to load 15% for sterling/euro currency fluctuations and FIDE were to follow the same approach and load 15% for euro/renminbi fluctuations then one can see why this might appear a rip-off.

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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:54 pm

David Shepherd wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:14 pm
If I have calculated correctly recent World Schools results were 2018 8 players average score 4.31, 2016 no Eng players, 2015 8 players average score 3.62 2017 I think 1 player average score 4.5 but maybe I missed some as I couldn't find on chess results - only here https://chessinschool.ro/results/

So overall other than giving more players the international experience the results are roughly in line with recent years.
It's going back a little way but performances in the November/December 2014 World Schools were as follows. We had 12 juniors competing in 9-round events. One scored 6.5, five scored 6.0, six scored 5.5. Now, it's entirely possible that 2014 was a uniquely weak year but there's a whopping great difference between those results and the latest ones - and, indeed, some of the intervening ones as David S points out.

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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Leonard Barden » Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:25 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:54 pm


It's going back a little way but performances in the November/December 2014 World Schools were as follows. We had 12 juniors competing in 9-round events. One scored 6.5, five scored 6.0, six scored 5.5. Now, it's entirely possible that 2014 was a uniquely weak year but there's a whopping great difference between those results and the latest ones - and, indeed, some of the intervening ones as David S points out.
Lawrence Cooper was still junior director in 2014, the last year in which results were good. In 2018 four of the eight ENG were from the same family, three of them outclassed, leading on to 2019 and its large influx of very weak players.

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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:12 am

Having followed this thread it does seem that there is a selection process that is flawed and that Alex is working to change it. While I agree that we have not sent our strongest possible team there are other factors that need to be considered, not every parent can afford to pay for an expensive holiday abroad and even if they could it might be that they couldn't get time off work or had other siblings and family commitments to consider. However as David Robertson noted that many nations didn't bother to send representatives at all do we need the strongest possible team anyway?

Incidentally I do vaguely know one of the England squad at this event from seeing him at congresses and playing him at Llandudno. I have absolutely no objection to him benefiting from this opportunity.
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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:24 am

"Historically, in my view, the selection process has been anything but transparent."

True - I looked a few years ago at selection for a serious event, and was puzzled at a couple of the selections. I then noticed that the selection committee included parents of the players concerned.

On fees, a work colleague grumbled to me about the cost of sending his son to Guernsey (roughly double what I was paying). OK, the juniors had coaches etc., and presumably all travelled together so you had accompanying persons, but it seemed a bit steep.

Two of our professional coaches were furious that one junior's parents wanted to use a different coach, so the coaches planted abusive comments in chess magazines about the young boy's ability, selecting the one game he lost to one of their players, forgetting the dozen wins...

Loads of junior organizations have turf wars, not just in Surrey. UK Chess Challenge was lauded by BCF/ECF, yet rarely sent games for grading. Winners of EPSCA events were branded "British Champion".

Sorry for the digression (these are only a few highlights) - there have been lots of issues and they need to be sorted out.

But "transparency" is something that really needs to be sorted out throughout English chess.

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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:11 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:24 am
Loads of junior organizations have turf wars
Indeed they do :roll:
Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:24 am
But "transparency" is something that really needs to be sorted out throughout English chess
Indeed it does, but been transparent doesn't make you popular in my experience :roll:
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:00 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:24 am
"Historically, in my view, the selection process has been anything but transparent."
For quite some years, the policy was only to send one representative in each available category. This was often determined by results in tournaments quite different in format and move rate from the FIDE or ECU tournament they were to be sent to. It also has the obvious problem, although not seen at the time, of feast or famine. You may have several plausible players all competing for one place, or no players at all of a requisite strength.

It was Phil Ehr, I think, who made it far more open, with no restrictions placed on maximum numbers to be entered. Perhaps this also set the qualification bar too low as Lawrence Cooper alluded to that as one of his problems when he took over.

Sending squads of juniors to tournaments is nothing new. The BCF or at least an organisation bearing its name, the BCF Junior Squad was doing this from around the mid 1970s onwards. They didn't venture much beyond major weekend events and longer tournaments such as Guernsey, Isle of Man or Hastings. Taking points of visiting GMs in simuls was another popular activity.

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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:03 pm

"Sending squads of juniors to tournaments is nothing new. The BCF or at least an organisation bearing its name, the BCF Junior Squad was doing this from around the mid 1970s onwards. They didn't venture much beyond major weekend events and longer tournaments such as Guernsey, Isle of Man or Hastings. Taking points of visiting GMs in simuls was another popular activity."

Indeed, and that was a pretty good idea in principle. I recall chatting to Eric Croker before a Guernsey Open, and Tony Corfe waltzed up and said, "I have 25 juniors with me, they are not allowed to play each other." Eric's jaw hit the floor, and I managed to capture Tony and return him to the control table, so that Eric could point out that with only 100 players, and 7 rounds, this was going to be unlikely... One thing Tony did well was to tell the players they were representing their country and if they misbehaved, ALL England juniors would get the blame. How would they like it if that happened to them? So they behaved pretty well. This was in contrast to a junior organizer I am not allowed to mention here, who was confronted by a player saying, "Two of your juniors are discussing their games - that's cheating." The organizer said, "That's nothing to do with me"(!)

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Charlie Storey
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Re: 15% markup in ECF transfer fees for World Schools Ch, Turkey

Post by Charlie Storey » Wed May 08, 2019 12:39 pm

Greetings all,

I was one of the ECF contracted England Team Coaches for the Turkey trip and should offer a little insight to aid all in the quality of their opinions.👍

The Key reason that we under performed on 'Score' in Turkey was that we were playing in a very strong 'Chess Playing Nation' that has had very heavy investment in chess coaches and into its chess culture.

Normally in these events there are a number of players from the home nation that are swimming near the bottom of the tournament. In this event the Turkey locals are in fact considerably stronger than other home nations we encountered and there were fewer 'easy games' even at the bottom; relevant to other events.

I think it is important to offer International Experience for Kids to help enthuse them and see what it takes to be the best on International Level so that parents in our Great Britain culture can assess if it is appropriate to then make the sacrifices to try and become FIDE Master strength by age of 14.

Our culture prevents us from having excessively dedicated Kids to compete against the best and until they are allowed to focus and give chess more priority than school that is not going to change.

As a school teacher sacrificing your schooling to attain Chess Mastery be age 14 is what I would call foolish, however, As a professional Chess trainer; so is not following your dream if it is still alive and many Kids dream of being a titled player.

If Kids are not putting in 7,500 hours of chess effort in before their 14th birthday; with expert mentor-ship and have some reasonable talent it is not going to happen and as this is rare in our culture. Why not just create a good International playing culture where the kids can compete against the best but have the expectations laid out plainly before each event.

Seems like Great Britain culture is the winner if kids are having a very positive chess experience with realistic expectations.
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