Unanswered letter

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Carol Williams
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Unanswered letter

Post by Carol Williams » Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:03 pm

2 years on still no response - roll on the new Junior Director and I mean new in every sense of the word!

"11th February 2009

Mr P Purland
11 Warwick Drive
Wallasey
CH45 7PJ



Dear Mr Purland

World Championship Qualifying Weekend

Peter will not be playing in the above as we do not believe that the selection criteria being used by the ECF is the correct method.

It is our opinion that the selection criteria should be based on:

· Recent performance, specifically in the higher sections of Adult Tournaments
· Grades – providing they are current


It is our opinion that the selection criteria should not be based on:

· Junior Tournaments (Bobby Fischer stopped playing Junior chess when he was 13)
· Junior Grand Prix
· Qualifying events such as the one on 7th March as it is based on a performance on the day and potentially the best player could end up not being selected.

It is of particular concern to us that the ECF Junior Selection Policy presumably written by yourself states that Grades are irrelevant to this procedure! This is saying to all those who work very hard to improve their grade don’t bother. Grades are internationally recognised above any other method and they should be treated with the respect and importance they deserve.




We also believe that all efforts should be made for more than one boy and girl in each age group to represent England. Most countries send more than one player, this relieves the pressure and increases the chances of a good performance from the team. We have a good pool of junior players at the moment and it seems that we are not giving them all the opportunities they have worked for and deserve.



Yours Sincerely



Peter, Carol & Peter Williams"

Alan Burke

Re: Unanswered letter

Post by Alan Burke » Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:59 pm

I don't see why the above letter needed any reply ... it is purely someone's own opinion of the selection procedure and no doubt many, many people have their own views of such matters. If everyone wrote to the Junior Director with their views and expected a reply, he would have to constantly be writing letters back to them.

There are probably many who agree with the current procedure and also many who would disagree with the proposed system as described in the above letter. I just think that whilst parents can obviously give their views on such matters, they should ultimately leave the decision to those whose job it is to do so and not want the system to change just for their own (or their child's) benefit.

Carol Williams
Posts: 137
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:27 pm

Re: Unanswered letter

Post by Carol Williams » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:01 pm

Alan Burke wrote

“I don't see why the above letter needed any reply ... it is purely someone's own opinion of the selection procedure and no doubt many, many people have their own views of such matters. If everyone wrote to the Junior Director with their views and expected a reply, he would have to constantly be writing letters back to them.

There are probably many who agree with the current procedure and also many who would disagree with the proposed system as described in the above letter. I just think that whilst parents can obviously give their views on such matters, they should ultimately leave the decision to those whose job it is to do so and not want the system to change just for their own (or their child's) benefit.”

I disagree, surely common courtesy should command a response. Secondly surely by the very definition of “Junior Director” it implies that the role of this person is to ensure that the very best juniors represent this great nation. This cannot be achieved by a 5 round tournament over 2 days in by all accounts a sub standard venue and I quote “Please be aware that our bedrooms are extremely compact, all bedrooms have a double bed however this is up against the wall on the one side. It is advised that children under 12 shares a room with one parent on a double occupancy rate and another parent has a single occupancy room adjacent to this.
Children 12 and over will be asked to have a room to themselves adjacent to their parents.”

If you believe it can then you are the very type of person who should not be involved in the future of chess in this country.

My belief and others who are not so bold as me is that the current Junior Selection Process is flawed and has been since the present incumbent took office. It has been publicly stated by the incumbent that grades are irrelevant – try saying that to a Grand Master!

I also firmly believe that the Junior Director should respond to all communication irrelevant of whether they agree with it or not, we cannot be selective with our responses a question is a question whether you like it or not. If the Junior Director receives many letters of complaint then that shows that the path they have chosen is wrong and needs changing

If you, Alan Burke think that many agree or disagree with the selection policy implemented by the current Junior Director then I am sure that it would be very beneficial for the future of Junior Chess if you, Alan Burke were to set up a poll on the Forum to gauge the opinion of interested parties.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Unanswered letter

Post by David Sedgwick » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:32 pm

It's clear that there is no meeting of minds. Whether a formal response was necessary to confirm that is in my opinion a somewhat moot point.

I feel that we should concentrate on the substantive issues. I hope that anyone seeking election as Junior Director at the October 2011 ECF Council Meeting will make clear in his or her manifesto the broad approach to selection which he or she intends to adopt.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Unanswered letter

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:46 pm

Carol Williams wrote:If you, A Burke think that many agree or disagree with the selection policy implemented by the current Junior Director then I am sure that it would be very beneficial for the future of Junior Chess if you, A Burke were to set up a poll on the Forum to gauge the opinion of interested parties.
You should probably stop calling him a berk. :wink:

I think you need to realise the amount of e-mail traffic the Junior Director will get. Firstly he'll get all the Board e-mails - which can be numerous at times - plus all the other stuff about Junior chess. He might have as many as 20 e-mails a day to read at some points, most of which are for the policies which he is actively pursuing. He's an incredibly busy person, not just with junior chess, but with arbiting in things like Gibraltar, 4NCL, other congresses...

If you are doing that much in that many different spheres of chess, and have that many other things to do, I can't blame someone for "ignoring" an e-mail telling them how rubbish a job they're doing.

As previously explained, you should now probably go via Council to get the change you seek.

Richard Bates
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Re: Unanswered letter

Post by Richard Bates » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:22 pm

· Junior Tournaments (Bobby Fischer stopped playing Junior chess when he was 13)

If you don't want to play Junior chess then why should a junior director care if you seek qualification for a junior tournament?

Carol Williams
Posts: 137
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:27 pm

Re: Unanswered letter

Post by Carol Williams » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:33 pm

a) I did not call him a berk - you did so you stop it
b ) I do not care about the traffic - if you can't handle the fire get out of the frying pan
c) If he only gets 20 emails a day - boy is he lucky
d) Stop making excuses for the Junior Director
e) Stop giving ill imformed advise to those that are wiser and older than you
f) Grow up
g) who are you anyway?

Carol Williams
Posts: 137
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:27 pm

Re: Unanswered letter

Post by Carol Williams » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:38 pm

Richard Bates wrote:
· Junior Tournaments (Bobby Fischer stopped playing Junior chess when he was 13)

If you don't want to play Junior chess then why should a junior director care if you seek qualification for a junior tournament?

Because we are representing our Country and the selection criteria must be correct

Richard Bates
Posts: 3135
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:27 pm

Re: Unanswered letter

Post by Richard Bates » Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:18 pm

Carol Williams wrote:
Richard Bates wrote:
· Junior Tournaments (Bobby Fischer stopped playing Junior chess when he was 13)

If you don't want to play Junior chess then why should a junior director care if you seek qualification for a junior tournament?

Because we are representing our Country and the selection criteria must be correct
I would say from what i've read the arguable flaws in the selection process are twofold (and slightly contradictory which might be accounted for them being different in different age groups):

1) they act against junior improvement by demanding repeated participation in 'weak' junior events, often run concurrently with other 'adult' international events
2) they are too random (often one off, short, events) which can fail to produce worthy qualifiers (especially if the genuine strongest players are unavoidably otherwise engaged).

It seems to me that 2) is a philosophical objection but not one that justifies refusal to participate if one is available.

1) is a genuine problem but I think the effect of the argument is weakened if one does not show evidence of seeking to play in the alternative competitions - playing in events like the 4ncl should be a must, and indeed somewhere where some of our most promising juniors have shone this year.

Beyond that there is nothing wrong, in principle, with basing junior selection, at least in part, upon junior events.

Alan Burke

Re: Unanswered letter

Post by Alan Burke » Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:34 pm

Alex ... thank you for your supportive comments regarding the mis-use of my name. I have had such remarks all my life; mostly in jest, which I accept with all good grace as just a bit of fun. However, when it is used in an insulting manner just because someone dares to disagree with their point of view, it just shows up the character of that person for what they really are. Yes, we know the original author of this thread spelt my name correctly, but the overuse and the deliberately placing of the single initial prior to the surname on several occasions has made it clear of her intention.

It is probably no use in contribulting further to this thread because it seems, as with the answers to your post, listed a - g, it is a matter of either agreeing with Carol Williams or be criticised by her for not doing so.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Unanswered letter

Post by Carl Hibbard » Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:36 pm

Carol Williams wrote:I also firmly believe that the Junior Director should respond to all communication irrelevant of whether they agree with it or not, we cannot be selective with our responses a question is a question whether you like it or not.
Have to agree with that one even if nothing else, however the current Junior director does exactly what he wants sorry :oops:
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Unanswered letter

Post by Carl Hibbard » Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:37 pm

Carol Williams wrote:f) Grow up
g) Who are you anyway?
But the rest of us are also entitled to our opinions as well are we not?
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

David Sedgwick
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Location: Croydon

Re: Unanswered letter

Post by David Sedgwick » Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:19 am

Carol Williams wrote:a) I did not call him a berk - you did so you stop it
b ) I do not care about the traffic - if you can't handle the fire get out of the frying pan
c) If he only gets 20 emails a day - boy is he lucky
d) Stop making excuses for the Junior Director
e) Stop giving ill imformed advise to those that are wiser and older than you
f) Grow up
g) who are you anyway?
I'll answer the last point.

Alex Holowczak is:

a) an enthusiastic, committed and hard-working young administrator;
b) the Alternate Director of Home Chess
c) a member of the ECF Council - the very body whose members you have to convince.

David Sedgwick wrote:I feel that we should concentrate on the substantive issues.
That remains my feeling. If anyone has constructive comments to make about why and how the selection criteria should be changed, I'll be pleased to read them.

Sean Hewitt

Re: Unanswered letter

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:25 am

My view, for what it's worth, is that selection should be objective rather than subjective. Whether that be based on grade, rating, selection tournaments or performance in certain adult events is a matter for debate but what I'm sure of is that it must be better to know that if you do a certain thing you will be picked. In the old days of selection committees players did not know what they had to do to get selected.

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Ben Purton
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Re: Unanswered letter

Post by Ben Purton » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:32 am

No one is ever going to be happy with the current selection, regardless of discussion because simply someone is going to be upset with it if they miss out, full stop.

I do feel that a panel is more accurate than a qualifier event. Loz Cooper might be able to help with this, I seem to remember a few countries for the Europeans? held a qualifying tournament's which half the top players did not show up to because of conditions etc and therefore the country does not select the best players, the one tournament Idea is a poor one as anyone could have a good day.

Alternatively people say "highest rated" is this fair given a) the lack of tournaments FIDE rated in UK(especially at a junior level), the lack of consistency in the ECF grading system makes this selection flawed.

I can name numerous juniors from my era who got monster first ratings comparative to strength, "back in my day" the rating was capped at 2000 so often you had juniors getting tournaments at non qualifying ratings then one massive 9 rounder and they are 2200+.

I therefore feel that a panel, like what is used with Olympiad is the best way to compare strength. I do not see why not? Is it because annoying over eager parents pressure the panel with law-suits and such if they disagree with a decision, therefore they have to have stupid events to Quantify there Qualitative statements. The answer is most properly


To Carol Williams

f) Grow up? to Alex, is he not one of the most matured people in British Chess? He runs BUCA, has organised a European trip? Seems to be respected by most of the arbiters on his views of the rules. I don't really think "grow up" is a very valid debate.

g) Who are you? , Well to me Alex is better known than you in British Chess these days Im afraid.




Also from your letter, why the hell is higher adult tournaments a more relevant criteria in selection?

Gradings providing they are current?

Well a FIDE being active is hardly a bloody "current" grade these days.

Like for example lets take selection of Olympiad teams, Joe Bloggs rated 2620 who does not play much and is amazing at bashing 2500's V Joe Bloggs two who is 2600 but has really good results V 2650-2700 but does not score as many wins as Joe Bloggs V 2500's(And No Joe bloggs 1 and 2 are not Matt Sadler and Gawain Jones) , but the point being that for certain events a selection panel might see one a better fit than the other relative to surroundings.



So I personally think a respected panel is the best way. Players Like Harriet Hunt who is massively respected would be a good panel member.

Kind regards

Ben
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