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Re: "SavetheUKCC" petition

Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:58 pm
by John McKenna
Sorry about that, Mick. I've corrected it.

Bad editing on a jumpy connection - I should have been more careful. Often the case in my case - in my life, and chess.

Re: "SavetheUKCC" petition

Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:44 pm
by JustinHorton
You could also try fixing those italics, though I confess that having looked at the tags you've used, I can't understand why that's happening.

Re: "SavetheUKCC" petition

Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:51 pm
by IM Jack Rudd
JustinHorton wrote:You could also try fixing those italics, though I confess that having looked at the tags you've used, I can't understand why that's happening.
It was happening because he'd intertwined italics and quote tags, and the coding got confused. I put the italic opening tag inside the quote opening tag, and that's fixed it.

Re: "SavetheUKCC" petition

Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:46 pm
by Mick Norris
John McKenna wrote:Sorry about that, Mick. I've corrected it.

Bad editing on a jumpy connection - I should have been more careful. Often the case in my case - in my life, and chess.
John

No problem, I was reading it while at the hospital waiting to visit my Dad and meet a Consultant, and was very irritated

We have now had some very good news, so I am no longer irritated :D

Re: "SavetheUKCC" petition

Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:33 pm
by John McKenna
Mick, thanks for your reply. I can understand your irritation at my sloppy posting. I will try to be more careful. Very pleased to hear that you received that good news. John :D

Re: "SavetheUKCC" petition

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:07 am
by Richard James
Anyone who knows me well will be aware that I'm not the biggest fan of the UK Chess Challenge in its current form.

I recently came across an interview with Boris Gelfand which included the following:
Now almost everyone is focused on an immediate result – largely because there are too many championships and tournaments for children. Trainers teach the youngsters traps and psychological ploys, but not the essentials. The main task of a trainer is to instil a love and interest in chess.
Here's my take on the issue, with thanks to Boris Gelfand for his views. More next week.

Re: "SavetheUKCC" petition

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:59 am
by Leonard Barden
I have a rather different view on the matter to Richard and to Gelfand, for which see my Guardian article below. On the main point that junior and especially primary school chess is far too geared to weak players, of course I agree.

Besides the UKCC, the ECF and EPSCA also play their negative role with too many age group championships and too many sub-standard players in international events.

It would be much better if the ECF made its priority fielding the strongest possible teams for the major competitions, the Euro U18 (where we did not have our optimum team) and the U16 Olympiad (which we did not enter) and for training our very best primary and prep school talents for maximum performances in the Euro and world U8s and U10s which (as my article shows) are now the critical early battlegrounds for future elite GMs.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/ ... mputer-aid

Re: "SavetheUKCC" petition

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:02 am
by JustinHorton
Wei Yi left home to live with his chess coach at seven
Can't say I'm an enormous admirer of this kind of thing

Re: "SavetheUKCC" petition

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:17 am
by Michael Flatt
With regards to GM Boris Gelfand's comments on Junior Chess, I think that taking such a small snippet from the interview is a little misleading. I take his comments to be an appreciation of his trainer when a Junior rather than a condemnation of the organisation of Junior Chess in the UK. A longer extract might put things into better context.
Extract from Interview with GM Boris Gelfand wrote:That’s how Eduard Zelkind appeared in my life. Your first trainer is very important, since he does the groundwork. Now almost everyone is focused on an immediate result – largely because there are too many championships and tournaments for children. Trainers teach the youngsters traps and psychological ploys, but not the essentials. The main task of a trainer is to instil a love and interest in chess. There’s also another extreme, when a trip to a World Championship is treated simply like a free visit abroad. Those two extremes should be avoided: on the one hand by motivation, while on the other by not applying psychological pressure.
There must be something fundamentally sound about the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge since it has thrived for twenty years and become the biggest Junior event in the UK.

Re: "SavetheUKCC" petition

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:33 am
by Mick Norris
Michael Flatt wrote:There must be something fundamentally sound about the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge since it has thrived for twenty years and become the biggest Junior event in the UK.
During that time, how many children have kept playing chess through secondary school, and gone on to play chess in their twenties?

Not that it is as important IMO, but how many GMs have we produced who played in the UKCC?

Is there a better way of doing it? If yes, why do we want to keep doing it the same way, rather than change?

Richard & Leonard may disagree about exactly what should be done, but neither suggest the current approach is working

I'd submit they know more than you or I

Re: "SavetheUKCC" petition

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:39 am
by Richard James
Leonard Barden wrote:I have a rather different view on the matter to Richard and to Gelfand, for which see my Guardian article below. On the main point that junior and especially primary school chess is far too geared to weak players, of course I agree.
I have a rather different view from Gelfand as well, as explained in the article.
Leonard Barden wrote:Besides the UKCC, the ECF and EPSCA also play their negative role with too many age group championships and too many sub-standard players in international events.
I agree with this. You might want to start, though, by looking at the French Junior Championships. It is divided into 14 categories by age and gender. A total of 10000 players entered the qualifications (I believe through junior chess clubs, which, in much of Europe, are part of adult clubs) and 1300 qualified for the finals. Compare that with the British Junior Championships and weep.
Leonard Barden wrote:It would be much better if the ECF made its priority fielding the strongest possible teams for the major competitions, the Euro U18 (where we did not have our optimum team) and the U16 Olympiad (which we did not enter) and for training our very best primary and prep school talents for maximum performances in the Euro and world U8s and U10s which (as my article shows) are now the critical early battlegrounds for future elite GMs.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/ ... mputer-aid

I agree that we should be doing more for our elite players. But it's not so easy to fit this in with academic demands. The kids who are very strong at an early age tend to be those who are also academically outstanding, so they will usually decide to concentrate on their studies and either cut down on their chess or stop playing completely.

Where Leonard and I might disagree, or at least agree that we're looking at things from different perspectives, is that my view is that the main purpose of junior chess is to give children and young people a lifelong passion for the game - regardless of what level they play at. We should be producing hobby players who will spend money on the game, not just elite players who will want to be paid for playing the game. Without the hobby players there will be no market for elite players.

Re: "SavetheUKCC" petition

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:39 am
by Richard James
JustinHorton wrote:
Wei Yi left home to live with his chess coach at seven
Can't say I'm an enormous admirer of this kind of thing
Of course I agree entirely, for all sorts of reasons.

Re: "SavetheUKCC" petition

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:43 am
by Gary Kenworthy
The main things
1/ Mike broke the law of the land at the time. The petition is worthless. He now has nothing to sell. These problems are not new. as per re-posting of Phil Ehr - ... "ligitation history with HMRC indicating a recurring tax issue. It is about lessons learnt now, so that genuine stalwarts do find themselves in such similar dreadful holes.
2. The validation of existing organisational and event structures, with education and advice, so that immediate remediation action is taken, along with the vetting of all such structures going over various thresholds, especially tax.
3. The structure and of the continuity of, the future leveraging of, the Strategy, objectives and direction of chess in this country. The balance of chess for all, versus the elite structures, administration, coaches and resultant high quality students. this last thread should be anew thread. We have lost too much sponsorship due to a lack of focus, preferring to lump together miscellany, bad news and taint our reputation. -- New thread please.!
rgds (FM) Gary Kenworthy. (sorry I posted to the wrong main thread first -- Chess/ Sport.

Re: "SavetheUKCC" petition

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:55 am
by Michael Farthing
Mick Norris wrote: I'd submit they know more than you or I
That, of course is a good reason for (thought about) criticisms of them to be posted here. Through such means (hopefully generating replies from them) wider understanding can be achieved. A wonderful feature of this forum is that utter nobodies graded at 124 (or below) may rub shoulders with the G & G. Long may that remain the case!

A related question for them might be why we should seek to generate more grandmasters? I can see some good reasons not to - it costs a lot of money and there are a lot of disappointed youngsters that will inevitably fall by the wayside and those that succeed will spend most of their time at overseas tournaments and the benefit to the UK playing population is limited largely to distant adoration. I'd rather our efforts were directed at getting a high volume of playing youngsters - even if they fade from view later they are still left with a life-long available game that they may come back to, may play casually and which they will view with affection.

Re: "SavetheUKCC" petition

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:59 am
by Richard James
Mick Norris wrote:
Michael Flatt wrote:There must be something fundamentally sound about the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge since it has thrived for twenty years and become the biggest Junior event in the UK.
During that time, how many children have kept playing chess through secondary school, and gone on to play chess in their twenties?

Not that it is as important IMO, but how many GMs have we produced who played in the UKCC?

Is there a better way of doing it? If yes, why do we want to keep doing it the same way, rather than change?

Richard & Leonard may disagree about exactly what should be done, but neither suggest the current approach is working

I'd submit they know more than you or I
Quite, and I'm speaking from 50 years of following junior chess pretty intently. Leonard, of course, has been following junior chess for a lot longer than me! There must be something fundamentally unsound about the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge since there are so few teenagers and young adults playing chess.

Yes, it's superficially attractive because the kids get really enthusiastic about winning their gold spots and fluffy mascots, which is why it's been so successful over the past 20 years, but this happens at the expense of kids developing a long-term interest in chess. The concept of linking up all schools doing chess is great. The final stages are great. The event has produced quite a few very strong players over the past 20 years, but it hasn't produced thousands of average club players.

This isn't just the fault of the UKCC, EPSCA or the ECF, though. Another problem, which I've also written about recently, is that adult club chess, by the nature of when and where clubs meet, is just not suitable for children.

I'd also add, and I'll write more about this next week, that there's been extensive academic research over more than 30 years on the subject of rewards.
Alfie Kohn wrote: At least two dozen studies have shown that people expecting to receive a reward for completing a task (or for doing it successfully) simply do not perform as well as those who expect nothing (Kohn, 1993). This effect is robust for young children, older children, and adults; for males and females; for rewards of all kinds; and for tasks ranging from memorizing facts to designing collages to solving problems. In general, the more cognitive sophistication and open-ended thinking that is required for a task, the worse people tend to do when they have been led to perform that task for a reward.
Source: http://www.alfiekohn.org/article/risks-rewards/