ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator

National developments, strategies and ideas.
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David Shepherd
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Re: ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator

Post by David Shepherd » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:30 am

IM Jack Rudd wrote:
David Shepherd wrote: Could someone please explain to me why the ECF are encouraging closed tournaments in this way. Particularly unfortunate if you live near county boundaries and your nearest tournament is in an adjoining county :( .
Well, I'm only familiar with one congress of this nature, so I'll use it as an example: the Bristol League Congress. This is a weekend event organized by the Bristol League for members of its clubs, as a sort of internal individual championship. That, I think, is the major idea behind that exemption: it allows counties and leagues to have internal individual championship events that require only Bronze membership, should they wish them.

(If you live near county boundaries and your nearest tournament is a Closed event in an adjoining county, it's often possible to join a club in said adjoining county and become eligible for it that way.)
I think it would be better to leave the league tournament rule as it is and in relation to the county rule say that each county may designate one junior and one senior event per year to be a county championship for which only bronze membership is required (providing all competitors are eligible to play for that county).

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:41 am

David Shepherd wrote: The board seem to have voted to make this compulsory in the events they run themselves.
There's a simple enough get out clause if they wanted to use it. Define a temporary membership that lasts for the duration of an event, or for the length of a single game if needed. Why does membership have to be for a whole year?

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David Shepherd
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Re: ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator

Post by David Shepherd » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:03 am

Well there are also other options, which remain consistent with annual membership. Such as creating a new form of membership - "school members" which would be free and entitle the school pupil to play in graded school events. As part of the membership the participant would consent (I guess with an opt out) to providing their email contact details to the ECF. The ECF could then send them emails about the benefits of membership and the services that the ECF can offer, encouraging them to take out full junior membership. Possibly a more productive approach than just having no membership and ungraded events.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:23 am

David Shepherd wrote: Possibly a more productive approach than just having no membership and ungraded events.
There are a whole family of solutions, none of which will be deployed because of ECF intransigence.

The ECF, or at least some parts of it, were trying to revive secondary school chess by offering school events with free entry. As a strategy, it was showing signs of success. If the ECF then demands that all participants should pay £ 8 to the ECF and supply personal information as a condition of being allowed to play, that isn't free entry and undermines what had been thought to be the business plan for development of junior chess.

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Rob Thompson
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Re: ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator

Post by Rob Thompson » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:29 am

I believe Sean has offered to consider on lowering the price of junior membership to something deemed more appropriate if that's what's necessary. This seems to one other option consistent with annual membership, as David is talking about. Roger, however, appears to have completely ignored this in order to mindlessly pursue his own well-established agenda.
True glory lies in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read.

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David Shepherd
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Re: ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator

Post by David Shepherd » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:51 am

Rob, I think essentially the price of junior membership is ok. The problem as I see it with many schools is that teams will divide into a spectrum of players, from those playing lots of chess who are already members to those playing in the team to make up the numbers. Membership for regular players makes sense, for those filling in it doesn't, and could even result in players not wanting to play and the team being short of members. I believe that one of the key's to success is finding the best way of encouraging those in the middle of the spectrum to jump on board. I do not think the junior fee should be cut.

At university for example we had a college system. I played for the college in a number of sports, if for example someone had suggested that I needed to pay a membership fee to play in the football team I played in I probably wouldn't have bothered. If they had suggested I needed to pay a membership fee to play in the badminton team I probably would have done so. Within reason it may not have been that important how much it was.
Last edited by David Shepherd on Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:52 am

Rob Thompson wrote: This seems to one other option consistent with annual membership, as David is talking about.
Why this obsession with annual membership?

The ECF has two objectives, sometimes in conflict.

One is to raise money to ensure its continued existence, the other is to promote chess.

I accuse the ECF or at least some parts of it of having an agenda which will make it compulsory to become an ECF annual member before playing a single game of graded chess. The decision on the National Schools clearly demonstrates that view as not just a conspiracy theory. Furthermore the obsession with enforcing membership is a desire to establish control. If you have compulsory membership, it gives the directors of a national body the power to ban individuals for participating in unauthorised events or even for being critical of their policies.

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Re: ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:57 am

David Shepherd wrote: Membership for regular players makes sense, for those filling in it doesn't, and could even result in players not wanting to play and the team being short of members.
The bottom line is that compulsory membership and team events don't mix, for the reasons outlined. The USCF has had compulsory membership from its foundation. Needless to say, leagues as we know them are rare and rated leagues even rarer.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:10 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
David Shepherd wrote: Membership for regular players makes sense, for those filling in it doesn't, and could even result in players not wanting to play and the team being short of members.
The bottom line is that compulsory membership and team events don't mix, for the reasons outlined. The USCF has had compulsory membership from its foundation. Needless to say, leagues as we know them are rare and rated leagues even rarer.
I'm not sure that leagues as we know them would be common in the USA, even if the chess funding structure there were perfect for the formation of leagues (whatever "perfect" might be). I suspect geography is against them somewhat.

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Re: ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:31 am

IM Jack Rudd wrote: I'm not sure that leagues as we know them would be common in the USA, even if the chess funding structure there were perfect for the formation of leagues (whatever "perfect" might be). I suspect geography is against them somewhat.
For parts of the USA yes. Arguably New York is sufficiently similar to London that a multitude of chess leagues might be expected to exist. I believe there is a counterpart to something like a Civil Service/London Commercial/London League hybrid, but it's not USCF rated thereby avoiding membership requirements and somewhat smaller.

Here's a link
http://cclny.comlu.com/chess/CCLNY/cclny.htm
http://cclny.comlu.com/chess/CCLNY/Regu ... aments.pdf

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Re: ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:01 am

John Swain wrote:I don't see why a junior organiser should have to enumerate his or her achievements, or receive your endorsement, before you are prepared to listen to their views.
I've answered this before. Without knowing the track record of these organisers, it's impossible to judge how much weight to give to their views, nor form an opinion as to whether they would know what is being done well and what is not. Which is not to say you don't listen to what everyone has to say; you do. In my professional capacity though, I attach more significance to advice from those who demonstrate that they are experts in their field.
John Swain wrote:There are lots of well respected junior organisers around the country, as you must know; with all the tournaments you run and players you meet, you must hear of many of their achievements.
I can genuinely say that this does not happen. No one mentions it at my tournaments but I wouldn't expect them to as we attract different types of players I suspect. That's why I'm asking here on the forum.
John Swain wrote:I don't see what you, as a senior ECF official, are trying to gain by this rather eccentric approach on the Forum of alienating junior organisers.
I'm not seeking to alienate anyone and I don't understand why you think that trying to understand the track record of achievements of the junior chess community would alienate anyone?

I'm need to understand their track record so that I can attach the appropriate weight to their views. I make fact based decisions and I'm just trying to get (unsuccessfully) at the facts! I would have thought that, given the lack of fact based decisions in the past, players would appreciate the ECF taking a more professional approach.

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Re: ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:12 am

David Shepherd wrote:Why are the ECF giving exemption from being a gold member on a one off basis for some FIDE events but seemingly unwilling to give schools at least the equivalent one off exemption - maybe again I am misunderstanding.
Quite simple. Those events made a compelling case that this small deviation from the membership scheme would significantly help them to grow their event and ECF membership. The ECF is not unwilling to give schools the equivalent exemption. The fact is that no-one (apart from me) has suggested that a similar exemption should apply to schools. That's why I keep suggesting that it would be helpful if the junior chess community could get its heads together and articulate to the ECF what their objections are.

Alex McFarlane
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Re: ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator

Post by Alex McFarlane » Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:40 am

Since Sean doesn't seem able to work this out himself.

Sean look at the grading list. Do a search for everyone under 18. Every name you find is the result of a junior organiser.
Now look at the remainder of the list. Get the total. Calculate 95% of this. You now have a number which is less than the number of adult players who benefitted from junior organisers.

If that is not sufficient ask Mike Basman to give you the numbers of entrants to his events over the years. You might have to do some subtractions to remove the other Home Nations (less than 15%?) but that will give you the results of junior organisers up and down the country.

The ECF did not ask adult organisers to get together to formulate a policy. It made proposals and reacted to the feedback. Why is the same process not being followed with the junior sector?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:09 am

Sean Hewitt wrote:Quite simple. Those events made a compelling case that this small deviation from the membership scheme would significantly help them to grow their event and ECF membership. The ECF is not unwilling to give schools the equivalent exemption.
In all the cases of the Gold membership exemption, they were existing concessions and the April council meeting was asked if they should be continued.

The exemption for schools events was also pre-existing. Council was neither asked whether they should continue or even notified that they had been withdrawn. The length of this thread does rather suggest considerable interest in this matter.

I'm pleased to note a recognition at last that not having compulsory membership allows events to grow.

I don't see how it can be stated that the ECF are willing to offer an equivalent exemption when the minutes of the March Board meeting quite explicitly state that this was discussed and rejected.

Mick Norris
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Re: ECF National Secondary Schools Co-ordinator

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:41 am

Sean Hewitt wrote:
John Swain wrote:I don't see why a junior organiser should have to enumerate his or her achievements, or receive your endorsement, before you are prepared to listen to their views.
I've answered this before. Without knowing the track record of these organisers, it's impossible to judge how much weight to give to their views, nor form an opinion as to whether they would know what is being done well and what is not. Which is not to say you don't listen to what everyone has to say; you do. In my professional capacity though, I attach more significance to advice from those who demonstrate that they are experts in their field.
Well, within your friendly local chess area, the MCF, we have the current National Schools champions, Manchester Grammar and a number of thriving junior organisations - Manchester, Oldham and Tameside

We also have CSC operating successfully in East Manchester and Bolton

Manchester Junior Chess is run by the EPSCA President

Our Open team has, unusually, half the team aged under 21 and our secondary school age Greater Manchester Junior teams have had recent success at National Level

Most of the success is down to the existence of 3Cs, who I would submit are probably the best junior chess club in England, and obviously a model for the ECF to follow

As well as producing a great many junior players, crucially some of which play at secondary school level and some as adults, they have produced GM Stephen Gordon

So, I would suggest listening to Phil Adams in particular, and to Steve Rigby and Dave Hardy, would be good
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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