Future of EPSCA Schools Competition

National developments, strategies and ideas.
Paul McKeown
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Future of EPSCA Schools Competition

Post by Paul McKeown » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:22 pm

I was unable to attend the EPSCA AGM, due to connection issues.

However, I understand it was an "interesting" affair, with Julian Clissold, outgoing chair, holding a vote on hiving off the profitable part of EPSCA, the Schools tournament, to a consortium of Sarah Longson and Alex Holowczak. Apparently this was voted down, with Holowczak not voting, but then Clissold held another vote, Holowczak voting to a horrified chorus of "Declare your interest!". This second vote was then tied, despite numerous recounts. I guess that they don't know how to do a Zoom vote, or better still use MS Teams, which has the facility to hold a legally acceptable vote. It would seem that various procedural devices are now being attempted to drive this through on the quiet, whilst Covid-19 makes communication difficult.

Edit: Typo corrected.
Last edited by Paul McKeown on Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Future of EPSCA Schools Competition

Post by Paul McKeown » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:22 pm

Anyone know more?

RobWillmoth
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Re: Future of EPSCA Schools Competition

Post by RobWillmoth » Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:41 am

Hi Paul

I became aware of the as well. I have to say I am quite shocked how this came about. A better process would have been to advertise and allow people who have been connected with a epsca to put in bids to run the event online this year. There are many of us including yourself who would no doubt have bid for this as we have been putting numerous teams in this event for many years and have good knowledge of all stages of the event having been at all stages including the Finals for the last few years.

It seems quite underhand how his process has been
Managed In that an outside organisation was allowed the chance to take this over. We are quite fortunate that Barnet junior chess got wind of this and put In a a bid as well to at least make it slightly more fair.

Also the vote process from what I have heard including a number of people who work for ukcc . I simply don’t understand why they were allowed to vote as clearly there views would be biased.

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Re: Future of EPSCA Schools Competition

Post by John Upham » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:22 am

I attended this meeting as Secretary of the Hampshire Junior Chess Association (HJCA).

One of the matters that attracted me to the meeting was acting as witness to what happened at the 2019 AGM compared with what was "recorded" in the minutes by EPSCA Secretary Nigel Dennis.

Specifically this was in regard to attempts by Nigel Dennis (under the remit of Nigel's Junior Chess Club) to remove large swathes of Berkshire from the player catchment area of Berkshire Junior Chess Association (BJCA) and reallocate it to Nigel's club. In a mysterious way what was agreed at the 2019 meeting failed to be recorded in the initial version of minutes only made available long before the 2020 AGM.

(Many years ago a previous Surrey Border League Secretary would wait almost a year before issuing the minutes for it to become obvious he had written what he wanted to be recorded compared with what was agreed. He was famous for doing this.)

I understand that it has been agreed the Nigel will rewrite the 2019 minutes to reflect what was agreed at the 2019 AGM.

Following that there was a rather "difficult" voting process that extended for a great deal of time to decide which body should organise EPSCAs online offerings for the 2021 season. Julian Clissold (Chairman) tried his best but eventually the process descended into farce.

One of the (lighter) highlights of the meeting was listening to Peter Purland's attempt to speak and vote. We could all hear Peter and Glynis attempting to sort technical difficulties PP was having with Zoom.

Anyway, it was clear to me at least that the votes referred to upthread were unsatisfactory.

After four hours of excitement I had to leave the meeting to start a private coaching session with one of my students.

I've yet to see the updated minutes of the 2019 AGM or the minutes of the 2020 AGM.
I predict that the 2020 Minutes will not be made available for some months.

I did suggest that the Zoom meeting be recorded. It is unknown if that happened.
Last edited by John Upham on Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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John Reyes
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Re: Future of EPSCA Schools Competition

Post by John Reyes » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:55 am

John Upham wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:22 am
I attended this meeting as Secretary of the Hampshire Junior Chess Association (HJCA).

One of the matters that attracted me to the meeting was acting as witness to what happened at the 2019 AGM compared with what was "recorded" in the minutes by EPSCA Secretary Nigel Dennis.

Specifically this was in regard to attempts by Nigel Dennis (under the remit of Nigel's Junior Chess Club) to remove large swathes of Berkshire from the player catchment area of Berkshire Junior Chess Association (BJCA) and reallocate it to Nigel's club. In a mysterious way what was agreed at the 2019 meeting failed to be recorded in the initial version of minutes only made available long before the 2020 AGM.

(Many years ago a previous Surrey Border League Secretary would wait almost a year before issuing the minutes for it to become obvious he had written what he wanted to be recorded compared with what was agreed. He was famous for doing this.)

I understand that it has been agreed the Nigel will rewrite the 2019 minutes to reflect what was agreed at the 2019 AGM.

Following that there was a rather "difficult" voting process that extended for a great deal of time to decide which body should organise EPSCAs online offerings for the 2021 season. Julian Clissold (Chairman) tried his best but eventually the process descended into farce.

One of the (lighter) highlights of the meeting was listening to Peter Purland's attempt to speak and vote. We could all hear Peter and Glynis attempting to sort technical difficulties PP was having with Zoom.

Anyway, it was clear to me at least that the votes referred to upthread were unsatisfactory.

After four hours of excitement I had to leave the meeting to start a private coaching session with one of my students.

I've yet to see the updated minutes of the 2019 AGM or the minutes of the 2020 AGM.

I did suggest that the Zoom meeting be recorded. It is unknown if that happened.
all zoom licences are recorded.
Any postings on here represent my personal views only

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Re: Future of EPSCA Schools Competition

Post by John Upham » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:58 am

John Reyes wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:55 am
all zoom licences are recorded.
The recording of meetings has nothing to with licenses. The host of a zoom meeting has the option to record that meeting either to media connected to the hosting device or to the cloud.

I host zoom meetings for Camberley Chess Club and some meetings I record and some I don't.
Last edited by John Upham on Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Future of EPSCA Schools Competition

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:05 am

RobWillmoth wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:41 am
A better process would have been to advertise and allow people who have been connected with a epsca to put in bids to run the event online this year. There are many of us including yourself who would no doubt have bid for this as we have been putting numerous teams in this event for many years and have good knowledge of all stages of the event having been at all stages including the Finals for the last few years.
I would have been happy to run the tournament, whilst keeping it under the democratic control of the EPSCA Council (essentially the participating
organisations and those who have slogged away at the EPSCA coal-face for years, and in some cases for decades). I would have been happy to run all or part of the tournament, in collaboration with others. I would have been happy to see the competition run by other, capable. EPSCA people, for whom the intention was to keep the event within the EPSCA tent.

You would have been happy to run the tournament, either alone, or in collaboration. Angela Eyton and Tony Niccoli would have been happy to run the tournament, either alone, or in collaboration. The same could have been said of dozens of those involved with EPSCA.

(It has been reported to me that Clissold said in a later private meeting that he doesn't believe EPSCA should be running Schools events anyway, as he believes that the ECF should be running them.)
RobWillmoth wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:41 am
It seems quite underhand how his process has been
Managed In that an outside organisation was allowed the chance to take this over. We are quite fortunate that Barnet junior chess got wind of this and put In a a bid as well to at least make it slightly more fair.
I don't recall anyone picking up the phone, and saying, "Paul, you've run many successful teams in various EPSCA competitions and run many successful events on behalf of EPSCA over many years, would you be interested in running it, or helping run it this year and in the future?" Or indeed anything of the sort, such as "Would you like the UKCC or the ECF to take over?" The whole process has been on the quiet, yet has clearly has been planned for a long time.
RobWillmoth wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:41 am

Also the vote process from what I have heard including a number of people who work for ukcc . I simply don’t understand why they were allowed to vote as clearly there views would be biased.
I wonder who voted for the enclosure of England's common land? I don't suppose it was those in the position to make gobs of wedge from it?

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Re: Future of EPSCA Schools Competition

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:06 am

John Reyes wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:55 am

all zoom licences are recorded.
Zoom meetings are only recorded if they are configured as such, or someone presses a button labelled, "Record".

Paul McKeown
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Re: Future of EPSCA Schools Competition

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:07 am

I was a little surprised that Alex H. was still attending EPSCA's AGM, as I recall him flouncing off the Exec a couple of years ago.

John Reyes
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Re: Future of EPSCA Schools Competition

Post by John Reyes » Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:55 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:06 am
John Reyes wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:55 am

all zoom licences are recorded.
Zoom meetings are only recorded if they are configured as such, or someone presses a button labelled, "Record".
Thanks I got a zoom license and I thought it automatically record
Any postings on here represent my personal views only

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Re: Future of EPSCA Schools Competition

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:29 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:05 am


(It has been reported to me that Clissold said in a later private meeting that he doesn't believe EPSCA should be running Schools events anyway, as he believes that the ECF should be running them.)
Doesn't the ECF already run the National Schools which they inherited from The Times when they ceased to sponsor it? They also run a junior team event that is effectively for schools only.
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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Future of EPSCA Schools Competition

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue Oct 13, 2020 4:42 pm

"Doesn't the ECF already run the National Schools which they inherited from The Times when they ceased to sponsor it? They also run a junior team event that is effectively for schools only."

Yes - this is one of the problems. There are many people running junior events on an independent basis, which is fine, but sometimes people claim these events are something they are not. e.g. someone wins a UK Chess Challenge event and says they are a British Junior Champion, or someone runs a team event and players say they are playing for England (when they are not). It is not surprising that parents, players etc. get confused over what is "official" and what isn't.

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Re: Future of EPSCA Schools Competition

Post by Wadih Khoury » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:30 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 4:42 pm
It is not surprising that parents, players etc. get confused over what is "official" and what isn't.
Since my son started chess, I have met a great community, from kids to very senior players, from organisers, coaches, taxi parents, volunteers. All positive and supportive, willing and wanting to help the sport (yes it's a sport, whatever the government's here believe) and encourage juniors to have fun and improve.

But I never expected the bit in quote.

It is so confusing when you start and google for answers to understand where the truth is. In fact, many parents and juniors fall to "alternative facts". If you don't have the luck of meeting someone to explain things to you, it is easy to be steered on the wrong path
The amount of lies, or at best of carefully crafted sentences that are lawyer bullet proof is honestly staggering.
It is genuinely the one thing that upset, or even angered me in the world of UK chess. I don't get the amount of deception involved (and betrayal of the juniors who genuinely believe they achieved something they did not).

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Re: Future of EPSCA Schools Competition

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:46 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:29 pm
Doesn't the ECF already run the National Schools which they inherited from The Times when they ceased to sponsor it? They also run a junior team event that is effectively for schools only.
The ECF National Schools is an event for secondary schools, https://www.englishchess.org.uk/NSCC/. It is not an equivalent to anything that is run by EPSCA - English Primary Schools Chess Association.

There is an ECF U11 Schools Championship. See https://www.englishchess.org.uk/NSCC/u11-2019-20/.

The ECF U11 Schools championship is participated in mostly by a small number of grammar schools and private schools. It was established a few years ago as a "Me Too" by the ECF in opposition to the much larger and much more significant EPSCA National Primary Schools Chess Championship at U11.

There is no ECF equivalent at all to the EPSCA NPSCC U9 that I am aware of.

The significant primary schools team championships are those run by EPSCA. Those run by the ECF could be dropped, they would hardly be missed.

To be clear I have organised or arbited zonals for several years in:
  • the EPSCA NPSCC U11 - at Twickenham Prep School (as arbiter and equipper on behalf of David Malam, former headteacher), at King's House School (as arbiter and equipper for Claire Summerscale), at Orleans Park School (as organiser and arbiter on behalf of Richmond Juniors)
  • the EPSCA NPSCC U9- at Twickenham Prep School (as arbiter on behalf of David Malam), at King's House School (as arbiter and equipper for Claire Summerscale), at Orleans Park School (as organiser and arbiter on behalf of Richmond Juniors
  • the ECF NSCC U11 - at Twickenham Prep School (as arbiter on behalf of David Malam)
Moreover, I have run several school teams which have participated in various stages of all three.

Seriously, the ECF event is a nothing to pay any note of.

Edit: typos corrected.
Last edited by Paul McKeown on Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Future of EPSCA Schools Competition

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:51 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 4:42 pm
There are many people running junior events on an independent basis, which is fine, but sometimes people claim these events are something they are not. e.g. someone wins a UK Chess Challenge event and says they are a British Junior Champion, or someone runs a team event and players say they are playing for England (when they are not). It is not surprising that parents, players etc. get confused over what is "official" and what isn't.
Well, the winner of the UKCC at any age group is likely to be the very best of their year. It is a very serious tournament in the Giga and Terafinal stages, and as junior organiser, I take reports of success in these events more seriously than results in the equivalent British Championship age group, until U16 and U18. I also take results in the London Junior more seriously than the equivalent age group in the British Championship age group until U16.

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