Why are junior organisers against ECF membership?

National developments, strategies and ideas.
Krishna Shiatis
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Re: Why are junior organisers against ECF membership?

Post by Krishna Shiatis » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:17 am

Sean Hewitt wrote:I'm sorry if you find it offensive that I suggest we look at the track record of those people that some would choose to describe as experts. Maybe they are indeed experts, but wouldn't it be better to check? If they are, we should listen to them. If they're not then perhaps we should attach less weight to their views and possibly think about doing something different.
I am pleased Sean that you are organising something in the background regarding junior chess and hope that it brings Neill back into the fold.

I am reading the comments from many involved in junior chess as well as from Neill and many seem to be in agreement. They disagree with you. They have reiterated that they are pro membership.

Whilst they may not be 'experts' - you can not just dismiss their points of view. You do this whenever someone disagrees with you and when they agree, then they are suddenly 'experts'.

There are two things here which are very relevant.

The first is that Neill has resigned and we do not want him to go. Something has to be done to bring him back to the table asap.

The second is that there are quite a few people trying to get their heads around these new proposals and how exactly it will impact on them. It is hard for the junior organisers to get together in the manner suggested by Sean and even if they did and gave him their opinion - they would not be 'experts' so what is the point anyway?

The best way is for the Junior Director to speak to as many as he can because he already does and also because all things 'junior' must surely be in his remit. Then the board should meet and discuss his findings and find a mutually acceptable solution.

From a personal point of view, I would like to see as many children participating as possible with no barriers to entry. I would like to see all games graded by a standard national process (not individual counties running their own systems) and also an appropriate fee/membership system introduced gently and carefully which will not mean that if junior organisers impose it that they will lose lots of kids/put kids off from entering chess competitions.

I think that if anyone is brave enough to come and express themselves on this forum, then their views should not be dismissed. They may or may not be experts, but their opinions do count.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Why are junior organisers against ECF membership?

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:27 am

Krishna Shiatis wrote:I think that if anyone is brave enough to come and express themselves on this forum, then their views should not be dismissed. They may or may not be experts, but their opinions do count.
I agree with this absolutely. Have a quick re-read of what I said
Sean Hewitt wrote:If they are [experts], we should listen to them. If they're not then perhaps we should attach less weight to their views and possibly think about doing something different.
and you'll see that I said we should "perhaps attach less weight" to the views of non-experts. I did not say that we should dismiss their views.

Krishna Shiatis
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Re: Why are junior organisers against ECF membership?

Post by Krishna Shiatis » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:47 am

Sean Hewitt wrote: you'll see that I said we should "perhaps attach less weight" to the views of non-experts. I did not say that we should dismiss their views.
I see your words that you have written here and I see the comments you have made on the relevant threads and it does seem to me that you are dismissing their views - is that not why Neill has resigned?

Don't get me wrong Sean - I can see that your heart is in the right place, but it is the same for Neill, Angus, Andrew Z, Andrew V and the many many others who have commented - they also want what is best.

Maybe an alternative which is more of a compromise might be the solution? Have you spoken to Neill since and asked him how we can keep him?

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Why are junior organisers against ECF membership?

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:25 pm

Krishna, you admitted that you hadn't read the lengthy thread that started this. Just so you're aware of the background; the board voted that all competitors in Neil's events had to be ECF members if he wanted it to be graded and Neill resigned in protest. The vote was not unaminous (four votes to three) - Sean has admitted he voted for it, however we don't know the break up of the rest of the board. Sean has come on here in a personal capacity to justify the decision and talk around the bigger picture; however junior chess does not come within his remit and he's not the director who Neill reports directly too. My point is that Sean has played a big part in this debate on an unofficial forum, however his role behind the scenes is relatively minor.
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LawrenceCooper
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Re: Why are junior organisers against ECF membership?

Post by LawrenceCooper » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:30 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:Krishna, you admitted that you hadn't read the lengthy thread that started this. Just so you're aware of the background; the board voted that all competitors in Neil's events had to be ECF members if he wanted it to be graded and Neill resigned in protest. The vote was not unaminous (four votes to three) - Sean has admitted he voted for it, however we don't know the break up of the rest of the board. Sean has come on here in a personal capacity to justify the decision and talk around the bigger picture; however junior chess does not come within his remit and he's not the director who Neill reports directly too. My point is that Sean has played a big part in this debate on an unofficial forum, however his role behind the scenes is relatively minor.
Was the motion really limited to Neil's tournaments? :shock:

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Why are junior organisers against ECF membership?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:35 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:My point is that Sean has played a big part in this debate on an unofficial forum, however his role behind the scenes is relatively minor.
I wouldn't be so sure. As acting Director of Membership ( and Marketing), the ECF's rules on membership come into his field of view. Indeed he prepared a paper for the Council meeting outlining exemptions that already existed and asked for Council to approve them. Adding the Junior exemptions to this paper would have been simple enough, had the ECF Board not taken a decision to abolish them without publishing that fact widely before the Council meeting.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Why are junior organisers against ECF membership?

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:36 pm

LawrenceCooper wrote:
Andrew Zigmond wrote:Krishna, you admitted that you hadn't read the lengthy thread that started this. Just so you're aware of the background; the board voted that all competitors in Neill's events had to be ECF members if he wanted it to be graded and Neill resigned in protest. The vote was not unaminous (four votes to three) - Sean has admitted he voted for it, however we don't know the break up of the rest of the board. Sean has come on here in a personal capacity to justify the decision and talk around the bigger picture; however junior chess does not come within his remit and he's not the director who Neill reports directly too. My point is that Sean has played a big part in this debate on an unofficial forum, however his role behind the scenes is relatively minor.
Was the motion really limited to Neil's tournaments? :shock:
No it wasn't, apologies for the poor wording. However it was Neill's events that appear to have been the first affected.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Why are junior organisers against ECF membership?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:39 pm

LawrenceCooper wrote: Was the motion really limited to Neil's tournaments?
In practice yes, because as Secondary Schools manager, it was perceived as important that events should be graded and also that, if possible, should offer free entry to the schools taking part.

(edit) The National Schools as well of course, since whoever is running that will have to explain to potential entrants the requirements the ECF are imposing on players eligible to take part and presumably forfeit boards if any non-members are detected taking part. (/edit)
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Why are junior organisers against ECF membership?

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:42 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Andrew Zigmond wrote:My point is that Sean has played a big part in this debate on an unofficial forum, however his role behind the scenes is relatively minor.
I wouldn't be so sure. As acting Director of Membership ( and Marketing), the ECF's rules on membership come into his field of view. Indeed he prepared a paper for the Council meeting outlining exemptions that already existed and asked for Council to approve them. Adding the Junior exemptions to this paper would have been simple enough, had the ECF Board not taken a decision to abolish them without publishing that fact widely before the Council meeting.
I don't think the board could have envisaged that Neill (who was doing a lot of work enthusiastically on the ECF's behalf) would have resigned as a result; they might have been a bit more cautious if they had (or then again they might not - we're getting into the realms of speculation). My point is that it's not Sean's personal responsibility to negotiate a compromise here which is what Krishna seemed to be suggesting.
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Sean Hewitt
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Re: Why are junior organisers against ECF membership?

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:47 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:Krishna, you admitted that you hadn't read the lengthy thread that started this. Just so you're aware of the background; the board voted that all competitors in Neil's events had to be ECF members if he wanted it to be graded and Neill resigned in protest.
That's not true. The Board actually passed a motion "That people playing in events organised and graded by the ECF must be ECF members".
Andrew Zigmond wrote:The vote was not unaminous (four votes to three) - Sean has admitted he voted for it, however we don't know the break up of the rest of the board. Sean has come on here in a personal capacity to justify the decision and talk around the bigger picture; .
I wouldn't say I 'admitted' to voting for it. I did vote in favour of the motion though. I think it logical that the ECF, as a membership organisation, require participants in events which it directly controls to be members.
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Andrew Zigmond wrote:My point is that Sean has played a big part in this debate on an unofficial forum, however his role behind the scenes is relatively minor.
I wouldn't be so sure. As acting Director of Membership ( and Marketing), the ECF's rules on membership come into his field of view.
The minutes can be downloaded from the ECF website and read for yourself, but what actually happened was
Board Meeting 17th March wrote:AH reported that Home Chess was insisting on ECF membership for all events. PE confirmed that all Junior individual events required ECF membership.
Motion: “That people playing in events organised and graded by the ECF must be ECF members.” Vote: In favour 4; Against 3

An amendment to the motion to exempt school team tournaments was not accepted. The new guid-ance takes effect immediately; however the National Schools Championships currently underway will be graded in the traditional way without requiring membership. The new guidance applies to next year's National Schools Championships and all future ECF-organised graded school team events.
I listened to the arguments and voted in favour of the motion. As acting DoMM, it would have been odd not to. I've put some ideas to the junior team which seem to have been well received and I hope to make significant progress on this soon. If successful, this will see further growth in the membership scheme.

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