April Council meeting 2019

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Nick Grey
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Nick Grey » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:45 pm

payments to individuals ought not be disclosed.

ask yourselves what you are doing for grass roots / social chess?

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:55 pm

Nick Grey wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:45 pm
payments to individuals ought not be disclosed.

ask yourselves what you are doing for grass roots / social chess?
I've spent this evening working with a group of young players aged between 11-16. By coincidence it was today we had a visit from the co-ordinator of a local youth charity we may be able to become part of; her feedback was very positive.

I've kept my club's C team going despite the fact that weekend work has meant that I've only been able to play once. This means that juniors and improving adults have an opportunity to play in the Yorkshire league they wouldn't otherwise have.

Shift work makes it very difficult but I've built a reasonable network of friends and acquaintances with an interest in chess. Now all I need to do is bring them together.

Ran a couple of Yorkshire inter club junior jamborees. I also organised Harrogate's first dedicated tournament open to secondary school players for twenty years.

Not much to shout about I know and certainly not on the same level as Malcolm Pein and Mike Truran who do more for English chess in an average week that I and most others manage in a decade. I only wish I could do more.
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Angus French
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Angus French » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:08 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:34 pm
I agree that not much has come of the development paper so far, possibly because council elected the `wrong` candidate as director of home chess (the inverted commas are because I respect Adrian Elwin but Tim Wall was Malcolm's candidate and would probably have worked with him to push the development agenda more).
Recent Board meeting minutes provide some information. It looks like the delay is due to: a) reconsideration of what "package" is to be offered for the Development Officer role; and b) some difficulty in obtaining funding from the Chess Trust. A question is: who would the Development Officer report to? Possibly not the Home Director.
Minutes of the 23 November 2018 Board meeting wrote: 17. Role of an ECF Development Officer (MP - paper already circulated)
Malcolm outlined the key points from the paper and supporting note. Malcolm said that it was critical to reach out to the millions of casual players who do not currently engage with the ECF,.and it would be important to make ECF membership more attractive as a basis for increasing membership take-up and to support the work of a Development Officer. There was some discussion of the remuneration for the role, with amendments suggested to the package to include a base fee, with a bonus opportunity based on achieved KPIs including membership revenue increases and sponsorship obtained.

Actions were agreed for Mike to produce a draft job advertisement and circulate it to the Board, and also to ensure that David was involved in finalising the remuneration arrangements before publication.
Minutes of the 11 January 2019 Board meeting wrote: 7. Finance Report (DE)
...
PIF Transfer - With regard to the transfer of the Permanent Invested Fund to the Chess Trust, DE drew attendees’ attention to the following motion contained in his report:
“The Board authorises the transfer of the PIF No 1 Fund to the Chess Trust. This will be supervised and managed by a subcommittee of the Board comprising Mike Truran, Stephen Woodhouse and David Eustace. The subcommittee will continue to update the Board on progress and any matters that it needs to consider”.

MP and SW said that they would like the ongoing debate about the relationship between the ECF and the Chess Trust and how trustees should be appointed in the context of that relationship to be finalised before the full balance of funds was transferred to the Chess Trust.

An action was agreed for SW to email the Board setting out his proposals on how best to address the above points.

It was noted that the ECF has already written to the Chess Trust asking for financial support for the proposed Development Officer role.

MP proposed a motion that an initial transfer of £20k be made from the PIF to the Chess Trust for the sole purpose of funding the Development Manager proposal for the time being.

The motion was passed by a majority vote.
Minutes of the 15 February 2019 Board meeting wrote: 17. PIF Chess Trust Funds Transfer
...
The following proposal was established and tabled after some discussion.
PIF funds should be transferred to the Chess Trust as currently constituted. The transfer should be made in phases as follows:
• An immediate transfer of £70k (including £20k for the Development Officer) to be made as soon as possible;
• A review of the transfer after a year, and no later than June 2020, to determine the timing of the future payments
The proposal was agreed unanimously.
So far as I can see, there's nothing in the Finance Director's report to Council about the Development Officer role. This worries me some as:
a) we're almost six months on from when Council gave approval for the role and no real progress seems to have been made;
b) the terms for the role, which Council approved, appear as though they may have changed; and
c) a Development Officer is presumably going to be needed to achieve the membership number increases on which the 2019/20 and subsequent budgets rely. EDIT: This is incorrect. Membership number increases achieved through the efforts of the Development Officer would, according to the Challenges for English Chess paper, be in addition to those currently projected.

Hok Yin Stephen Chiu
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Hok Yin Stephen Chiu » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:18 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:06 pm
I still have not decided what I think about the proposal
Tentatively, I am with Paul; in particular, the bit about Budgets based on membership fees in line with inflation every year, seem reasonable.

So, on one hand the proposal of £30,000 reflects a long term increase across the last 10+ year in line with inflation, on the other, I would like the cap to also increase in line with inflation (RPI). Only danger of caps is that people, if given a cap, will try to spend as close to the cap as possible, so perhaps, it might not altogether constrain wanton spending, but the proposers could justifiably argue that it would at least reduce excessive waste (e.g. £135 jackets.. a swiss manager license is about the same price! It is nice to know where the memberships of eight bronze members go!)

Anyway, this divide line will largely rest on those who advocate "we shouldn't do chess on the cheap", and those who believe otherwise.

I represent a small local league, (along with the largest university chess society with 160+ members). Across the board (in particular, among university students), increasing ECF and Student Union fees are seen as a barrier to participation. It is disheartening that we work tooth and nail to keep society membership at £3 for the last 15+ years, in fact our league fees are fairly capped (I don't believe it has increased in the last 5+ years), but ECF bronze and silver membership fees will markedly jump up by 25% and 28% respectively over the next 2 years.

I may be fighting on a hill where nobody else is, but perhaps if Council members had agreed to merging Bronze and Silver to £20 a few councils ago, then the Board would not have been brave enough to introduce 25/28% membership fee increases over the next two years. Anyway, now we are in further danger, for this trend to continue.

I fear in the era where for the first time, Warwick University has run more online tournaments than over-the-board tournaments for its members this season, I wonder whether continued above-inflation ECF spending and corresponding above-inflation ECF membership fee increases, will entrench this phenomenon.

(Contrary to Malcolm's comments on Page 5 of the last ECF AGM minutes, running (and playing in) online blitz, rapid, or standplay tournaments on lichess is actually free... https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-cont ... r-2018.pdf)
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Andrew Zigmond
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:27 pm

Hok Yin Stephen Chiu wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:18 pm

So, on one hand the proposal of £30,000 reflects a long term increase across the last 10+ year in line with inflation, on the other, I would like the cap to also increase in line with inflation (RPI). Only danger of caps is that people, if given a cap, will try to spend as close to the cap as possible, so perhaps, it might not altogether constrain wanton spending, but the proposers could justifiably argue that it would at least reduce excessive waste (e.g. £135 jackets.. a swiss manager license is about the same price! It is nice to know where the memberships of eight bronze members go!)
Like you I considered the jackets an insult to the membership until a) I discovered that competing teams were obliged to have bespoke jackets (stupid as that is) and b) more importantly, the cost of these was met privately and the ECF members didn't pay.
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NickFaulks
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:20 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:27 pm
Like you I considered the jackets an insult to the membership until a) I discovered that competing teams were obliged to have bespoke jackets
They were not.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:31 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:20 pm
They were not.
According to
http://www.chessdom.com/43rd-chess-olym ... i-georgia/
The dress code will apply: Teams are requested to wear uniforms with two options: either trouser suits or blazers with trousers/skirts with federation logo on jackets or track suits with country clearly shown on the front or back of the uniform
But it does say "requested" rather than "required".

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:34 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:20 pm
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:27 pm
Like you I considered the jackets an insult to the membership until a) I discovered that competing teams were obliged to have bespoke jackets
They were not.
I stand corrected. I distinctly remember reading somewhere that they were but can't trace the source.
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NickFaulks
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by NickFaulks » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:06 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:31 pm
But it does say "requested" rather than "required".
Several federations confirmed that the specific dress code was optional. In the wake of the Kovalyov affair, they just didn't want players looking like derelicts.

This does not mean that it will not become compulsory. The views of the new administration have not been made public.

Ian Thompson
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Ian Thompson » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:28 am

NickFaulks wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:06 am
In the wake of the Kovalyov affair, they just didn't want players looking like derelicts.
In that case the code was a failure. At the very least they should have required trousers/skirts to match the jackets.

Incidentally, Azmaiparashvili turned up one day at a tournament I played in in February and made the ceremonial first move on board 1. His dress code was jeans and tee-shirt, or something similar.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:43 am

"Incidentally, Azmaiparashvili turned up one day at a tournament I played in in February and made the ceremonial first move on board 1. His dress code was jeans and tee-shirt, or something similar."

Not good enough for an official.

Did he then retract the move and play something else?

John McKenna
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by John McKenna » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:32 am

The difference is that Kovalyov offended the code at Azmai's prestige 2017 FIDE World Cup event in Tbilisi.

The offender was accused of dressing like a drifter rather than a 'derelict'.

And, aren't takebacks allowed for ceremonial initial moves?
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Alex Holowczak
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:08 am

NickFaulks wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:06 am
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:31 pm
But it does say "requested" rather than "required".
Several federations confirmed that the specific dress code was optional. In the wake of the Kovalyov affair, they just didn't want players looking like derelicts.

This does not mean that it will not become compulsory. The views of the new administration have not been made public.
I think there was a timing issue. From memory, the ECF were well-organised and after kicking up a fuss about the regulations, prepared an order before finding out that it was optional.

Under the old administration, it was going to be compulsory from 2020.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:07 pm

I think the more important point is that the jackets were paid for by a private donation and not from membership income. I agree with Hok on many things but in this case his assertion appears to be wrong.
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David Sedgwick
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:42 pm

Here, once again, is the link to the photograph of the England team at the World Team Championships, wearing their ECF jackets and displaying their Silver Medals and their certificates:

https://www.chess.com/news/view/england ... ampionship.

I don't feel insulted by the photograph. I feel a sense of pride

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