ECF Junior Selection Policy -- annual consultation

National developments, strategies and ideas.
Phil Ehr
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:14 am

ECF Junior Selection Policy -- annual consultation

Post by Phil Ehr » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:35 pm

Juniors are expecting the main features to remain the same, particularly the target grades and tournament performances that qualify as ‘junior selection norms’ for the major championships. As an aid to the next Junior Director, and as continuation of the public consultation these past two years, the questions raised are:
(1) whether the priority is right: to build a cadre of mutually supporting juniors who are internationally competitive and continue to play as adults;
(2) whether ECF-organised coaching for the World & European Youth & Schools should continue to be mandatory;
(3) whether all players should bear an equal share of all coaching costs;
(4) whether the target ratio of four players to one coach is too expensive;
(5) whether a large number of players in the developmental championships have undermined the lustre of representing England;
(6) whether the ‘invited players’ in the major championships (one per section) should continue to be determined by the highest rating;
(7) the timeline for assembling players and coaches, and the resulting period for focused preparation;
(8) whether a self-forming developmental team is appropriate for the World Youth Under 16 Olympiad; and
(9) what the appropriate qualification award should be for the British Junior Champions.
For ease of reference, the 2013 junior selection policy is here: http://englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/play ... on-policy/
Thanks.

Jonathan Rogers
Posts: 3868
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:26 pm

Re: ECF Junior Selection Policy -- annual consultation

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:18 pm

I think that as regards (3) the costs must be borne evenly; you will have no end of troubles in situ otherwise. In an ideal world you would deal with the situation of the talented and deserving child with relatively poor parents not be forgoing a coaching charge and thereby asking other parents to pay more, but by finding some kind soul who is prepared to give a grant for participation to anyone who is genuinely selected on merit and whose parents can show some proof that their income is lower than £40,000 a year (or whatever).

Krishna Shiatis
Posts: 667
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:08 pm

Re: ECF Junior Selection Policy -- annual consultation

Post by Krishna Shiatis » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:52 pm

Thank you to Phil for consulting.

As always, it is super that you do talk to parents/chess officials and ask for opinions. In answer to your questions:

1) Definitely yes
2) Definitely no - it is driving the costs way too high. Give parents a choice and those that want the coaching can take it up sharing the costs equally and those that do not can choose not to take it up.
3) Only those partaking and yes they should bear costs equally.
4) Abstain
5) Not at all - if anything the lustre has been more affected by the excessive costs - significantly increased by the coaching fees. Having spoken to several Kent junior parents who qualified for the Worlds and Europeans, they all cited the cost as the factor which made them decide otherwise. The lustre in terms of 'kudos' is as it always has been - it is an honour to represent England and just because there are more children, this does not diminish the honour.
6) Depends as to whether the highest rating is an accurate reflection of playing strength. It usually is, but sometimes there are exceptions.
7) Timeline as it stands seems fine. Not sure how to make it better.
8 Abstain
9) Sufficient to make it an attractive option and encourage lots of juniors to participate. For the older age groups, many of the top juniors will have moved into the Open and Major Open. So it is not necessarily about attracting the top juniors for those age groups - more about encouraging continued participation. In the younger age groups (those where they are not yet the correct standard for the Open or Major Open) it is important to encourage the best to attend so that there is at least one tournament in the year where they can come together and compete for a prestigious and relevant prize.

User avatar
Peter D Williams
Posts: 839
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:15 pm
Location: Hampshire

Re: ECF Junior Selection Policy -- annual consultation

Post by Peter D Williams » Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:33 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:I think that as regards (3) the costs must be borne evenly; you will have no end of troubles in situ otherwise. In an ideal world you would deal with the situation of the talented and deserving child with relatively poor parents not be forgoing a coaching charge and thereby asking other parents to pay more, but by finding some kind soul who is prepared to give a grant for participation to anyone who is genuinely selected on merit and whose parents can show some proof that their income is lower than £40,000 a year (or whatever).
I would think a lot of parents would find forking out for the Europeans or Worlds to not be easy i don't think its just poor parents who would struggle with the cost of these events.As for showing proof of income would people really be willing to reveal their income to some one who would then pass judgment on it.If we had been in that position with Peter when he was picked twice to play in the Europeans i would have just not allowed him to go.If a junior is picked to play for England and his parents can not afford the ECF should help but with out it being like applying for a rebate on your council tax.Some one showed one of those forms very long it was with many many questions it put the person off from applying for the rebate :wink:
when you are successful many losers bark at you.

Sean Hewitt
Posts: 2190
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:18 pm
Contact:

Re: ECF Junior Selection Policy -- annual consultation

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:31 pm

Phil Ehr wrote: (2) whether ECF-organised coaching for the World & European Youth & Schools should continue to be mandatory;
To answer this question, it would be helpful to understand why ECF coaching is mandatory now.

User avatar
Peter D Williams
Posts: 839
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:15 pm
Location: Hampshire

Re: ECF Junior Selection Policy -- annual consultation

Post by Peter D Williams » Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:34 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote: To answer this question, it would be helpful to understand why ECF coaching is mandatory now.
You can refuse to have the coaching at the Europeans or Worlds if you or your child feels it will be of no benefit to them.We did at Montenegro and half way though the Croatia event. We informed the head of delegation why we did not need coaching and the Coach was fine about it as it allowed him to spend more time on other juniors.Most people would of course want the coaching. and many of the juniors got a lot from the chess coaching one or two players had never had coaching from an IM or GM. The reason we did not want the coaching was because we had spent some time before we went to the events with a coach who knew Peter style of play and what he was aiming for at the 2 events and we had arranged if necessary to be able to contact him via Skype/ email/ phone.
I had no idea at the time that the cost of the trip included coaching costs.
when you are successful many losers bark at you.

J T Melsom
Posts: 570
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: ECF Junior Selection Policy -- annual consultation

Post by J T Melsom » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:06 pm

I am reluctant to criticise consultation by an ECF officer albeit one in his final days in that specific post. It is also good to keep things under review. I do wonder however if the timing is appropriate and whether an annual consultation is simply lip service. And if you are going to consult then perhaps some of the terms of reference/basis of consultation might be changed if only to freshen things up. That might include the use of ratings as part of the selection criteria, but also wider considerations such as any problems of geographical bias in the selection process. It would also be useful to understand whether the existing system is biased towards the private education sector. The ECF can hardly be expected to create a level playing field in this regard, but neither should it be reinforcing that advantage. What proportion of those at the recent tournaments were educated in the state sector? I'd like to see this as a key indicator of junior policy.

Krishna Shiatis
Posts: 667
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:08 pm

Re: ECF Junior Selection Policy -- annual consultation

Post by Krishna Shiatis » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:16 pm

J T Melsom wrote:.... It would also be useful to understand whether the existing system is biased towards the private education sector. The ECF can hardly be expected to create a level playing field in this regard, but neither should it be reinforcing that advantage. What proportion of those at the recent tournaments were educated in the state sector? I'd like to see this as a key indicator of junior policy.
From where I am (geographically) there is a keen bias at grassroots towards the private sector. I am trying to redress the balance and am teaching chess to some 130+ children in the state sector.

Most of our Kent County children are privately educated - though that does not make them any better at chess necessarily, there are just more of them.

I am not sure what can be done necessarily at a national level other than to bring down the costs of these International Competitions.

The coaching is excellent, but as mentioned by Peter Williams above, not always necessary. If a child has prepped and has a full repertoire, Rybka/ up-to-date Megadatabase, coach on standby at home for internet/phone exchanges and a helpful chess parent then they may not need anything else.

If there are kids like this for whom removing the burden of these costs means that they can attend (having qualified by the rules) then the policy needs to be reviewed to help them to attend.

I think that the Europeans and the Worlds are excellent for the impact that they have on the kids. Rohan came back last year from the Europeans (9 full and fun days of chess) and in his first tournament back, he beat an IM. He did not have a coach on standby or anything, just us. The very high costs this year have meant that Rohan could not attend.

It costs the ECF nothing to change this policy and changing it would allow greater participation. This remains one of the last barriers in English Junior Chess and I hope that the next JD will do something about it.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18101
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: ECF Junior Selection Policy -- annual consultation

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:29 pm

Krishna Shiatis wrote: I am not sure what can be done necessarily at a national level other than to bring down the costs of these International Competitions.
There's a relatively limited number of Federations who bid for these events. Whilst it's necessary with the numbers to locate them in Conference Centre style resort complexes, the disparity between the price at which the hotels will sell accommodation and food to such a large booking and the price they can charge to attendees is such that the organising Federation can live off the profits, staying at the organiser's nominated hotels being a condition of entry. That is if it sees the proceeds, there being references to dubious financial engineering in reports on the recently concluded one in Montenegro.

Richard James
Posts: 956
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:34 pm
Location: Twickenham
Contact:

Re: ECF Junior Selection Policy -- annual consultation

Post by Richard James » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:40 pm

http://www.chessdom.com/scandal-in-mont ... t-sakotic/

Posted without comment. Those of you with experience of events of this nature might like to reply.

J T Melsom
Posts: 570
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: ECF Junior Selection Policy -- annual consultation

Post by J T Melsom » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:43 pm

Krishna

Thank you. I wasn't suggesting that private school pupils shouldn't be selected or encouraged in their chess, rather that it would be nice if the ECF were able over time to point to a better mix of participants. I still recall sitting in SCCU meetings where dates for events were set with due regard to public school holidays. In truth this just reflected the reality of where the participants were studying, but it seemed to be the wrong starting point.

Paul Sanders
Posts: 189
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:36 pm

Re: ECF Junior Selection Policy -- annual consultation

Post by Paul Sanders » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:45 pm

Krishna Shiatis wrote:If there are kids like this for whom removing the burden of these costs means that they can attend (having qualified by the rules) then the policy needs to be reviewed to help them to attend.
A better alternative than withdrawing the mentoring and support would be to add "raise money to support junior participation in international events" as one of the most important functions of the Junior Directorate, whether that is from persuading ECF members that they should contribute, or by sponsorship or even entrepreneurial activity.

User avatar
Peter D Williams
Posts: 839
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:15 pm
Location: Hampshire

Re: ECF Junior Selection Policy -- annual consultation

Post by Peter D Williams » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:08 pm

Paul Sanders wrote:
A better alternative than withdrawing the mentoring and support would be to add "raise money to support junior participation in international events" as one of the most important functions of the Junior Directorate, whether that is from persuading ECF members that they should contribute, or by sponsorship or even entrepreneurial activity.
I doubt you be able to persuade enough Adult members of the ECF to contribute towards funding to send juniors to play in international events.Quite a lot of Adult players are not bothered about juniors chess players and would rather have their subs spent elsewhere.I do hope i am wrong and the Adult member of the ECF agree to have more money spent on juniors :wink:
Sponsorship will not raise enough money if any nor will entrepreneurial activity but of course every bit helps.

Funding is a problem as it cost a lot of money to send a child to the Europeans or Worlds and does stop some junior chess players from taking part.Krishna said the high costs made it not possible for Rohan to take part this year and would stop us as we wish to put our resources into putting Peter though his A levels and University.
when you are successful many losers bark at you.

Paul Sanders
Posts: 189
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:36 pm

Re: ECF Junior Selection Policy -- annual consultation

Post by Paul Sanders » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:21 pm

Only a few adults might contribute, but surely there is no harm in making it easy for them, by for instance having a voluntary option when they renew their memberships, and starting an official ECF Junior Support fund, ring-fenced of course.

If you ask and everybody says no you end up learning something valuable. If you don't ask you get nothing and learn nothing.

User avatar
Peter D Williams
Posts: 839
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:15 pm
Location: Hampshire

Re: ECF Junior Selection Policy -- annual consultation

Post by Peter D Williams » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:34 pm

Paul Sanders wrote:Only a few adults might contribute, but surely there is no harm in making it easy for them, by for instance having a voluntary option when they renew their memberships, and starting an official ECF Junior Support fund, ring-fenced of course.

If you ask and everybody says no you end up learning something valuable. If you don't ask you get nothing and learn nothing.
No harm in asking but very few adults players would agree to spend more of their subs on juniors hope i am wrong and loads of ECF adult members now agree to spend the subs on the juniors.

You can already donate towards juniors chess via the ECF web site at the junior page under contact and support then click on financial donations i wonder how much has been raised over the last year does any one know?
when you are successful many losers bark at you.

Post Reply