GOING FOR GOLD

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
David Gilbert
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GOING FOR GOLD

Post by David Gilbert » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:32 pm

I imagine the ECF Board and its staff are presently sunk into their comfy leather armchairs, sucking on their pipes and polishing their spectacles, musing about the apparent smooth take-off of the membership scheme. The new membership year doesn’t come into effect for another week, yet 1,260 people have so far helped get the scheme off the ground,

Many of these are new. My own Club now has 23 ECF members from a base of 4 at the end of last season. One of the Leagues we play in has moved from barely a dozen members at the end of last season to 61 last Thursday. So far more people have chosen Gold membership than the Silver or Bronze options. Of course, these are early days and the balance is likely to shift once the main Membership Organizations come in, but interesting that so many people are going for Gold, and that includes 135 Juniors against a predicted annual intake of 71 according to the Revised Budget papers for 2012/13.

Michele Clack
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Re: GOING FOR GOLD

Post by Michele Clack » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:26 pm

Looking at the ECF website the new membership list seems to hold 4585 names. What I can't seem to find is the number of people with a live grade.

Angus French
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Re: GOING FOR GOLD

Post by Angus French » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:35 pm

From the current list, I make it that 1,299 memberships have been taken out under the new scheme. Below are the counts for each membership category. I’m assuming that the categories which reference an expiry date in their description are for new scheme memberships.
MembershipCounts120825.png
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It appears that 24 players (identified by their Grading Reference) have two entries in the list. In most cases it looks as though new scheme memberships have been taken out where related old scheme memberships are about to expire.

Bill Porter
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Re: GOING FOR GOLD

Post by Bill Porter » Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:28 pm

Club players have to play more than twenty games a year under the new membership system to avoid an increase in payment to the ECF compared to last year.
( 20 games @ 58p each is £11.60 )
and
Roger de Coverly wrote:What you get for the £ 12 is less than you used to. You no longer have access to Congresses or FIDE rated events without paying extra.
As I only played 24 rated games last year and rarely play in more than one congress a year I am seriously thinking of taking a year ( or more ) off from graded chess.
As a bonus, I would be slightly reducing the legitimacy of certain controversial activities undertaken by the federation in the only way open to most potential ECF members.
I wonder if the low take up of bronze membership reflects a similar attitude among other players.

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Rob Thompson
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Re: GOING FOR GOLD

Post by Rob Thompson » Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:41 pm

Bill Porter wrote: I wonder if the low take up of bronze membership reflects a similar attitude among other players.
I suspect it's more because most leagues haven't started yet.
True glory lies in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read.

Paul Buswell
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Re: GOING FOR GOLD

Post by Paul Buswell » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:10 am

Rob Thompson wrote:
Bill Porter wrote: I wonder if the low take up of bronze membership reflects a similar attitude among other players.
I suspect it's more because most leagues haven't started yet.
And because of the facility to backdate Bronze Membership.

The Kent League is likely to take a £10 per team deposit against Game Fee liability and then collect any balances at the end of the season. Mid-Sussex League has decided to collect in arrears, frequency to be decided. That takes any urgency out of the matter for my Club and quite a few of its individual players.

Within my own Club (Hastings & St. Leonards) we have decided not to include ECF Membership in our subs as there are players who just don't need it; although ECF non-members will be asked at some stage to pay ECF Game Fee for their League matches. As we have players who only ever play League chess (not even the Hastings Congress), it makes sense for them to wait and see if they get seven League games before deciding which is cheaper, Game Fee @ £2 or Membership @ £13.

So it's the backdating... I myself am not an ECF Member and as yet see no economic advantage to joining until I enter my first Congress, which may not be until Hastings at Xmas.

I agree that the situations above have the risk to Leagues and to my Club of bad debts, but that's another discussion.

PB

Roger de Coverly
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Re: GOING FOR GOLD

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:03 am

Paul Buswell wrote:. Mid-Sussex League has decided to collect in arrears, frequency to be decided. That takes any urgency out of the matter for my Club and quite a few of its individual players.
The county associations of Bucks, Berks and the Surrey Border League have decided on much the same approach. The estimated Game Fee payment in December 2012 is likely to be £ nil or £ nominal. Just because games have been played by players not members doesn't mean that they won't reach six or seven games by the end of the season, or even August 2013. Collecting arrears from clubs in September or October 2013 ties in quite neatly with collecting club entry fees for the 2012-13 season.

I'm not sure I should be saying this, but the formatting of the membership code rings alarm bells for me, as does the fact that the format of this code has changed over the last week. I suppose it's the sign of a flexible system that the "make it up as you go alone" method of system development can be applied.

David Gilbert
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Re: GOING FOR GOLD

Post by David Gilbert » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:07 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Paul Buswell wrote:. Mid-Sussex League has decided to collect in arrears, frequency to be decided. That takes any urgency out of the matter for my Club and quite a few of its individual players.
The county associations of Bucks, Berks and the Surrey Border League have decided on much the same approach. The estimated Game Fee payment in December 2012 is likely to be £ nil or £ nominal. Just because games have been played by players not members doesn't mean that they won't reach six or seven games by the end of the season, or even August 2013. Collecting arrears from clubs in September or October 2013 ties in quite neatly with collecting club entry fees for the 2012-13 season.
This is of course one approach, but individual Leagues and Clubs are handling it differently and some traditionally cautious League and Club Treasurers are taking an opposite view.

Club Treasurers are concerned that dozens of League games will be played by non-ECF members on a wait-and-see basis, with no guarantee they’ll join-up by the end of the season, or be around to pay up their £2 per game arrears. League Treasurers want protection against being left with hefty game fee bills and Clubs who find they are unable to meet their commitments in retrospect.

So to reduce these risks some Club Treasurers are incorporating the cost of ECF membership into annual subscriptions, while others are insisting that anyone who appears in a League match must have already joined, or a third way that requires non-members to cough up £2 on the day of the match, on pain of pain. The London League Treasurer decided that Clubs must make a £10 deposit to the League for each non-ECF member who has played in a League match by the end of November 2012, and Clubs will no doubt want to avoid such a drain on their funds.

Dragoljub Sudar
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Re: GOING FOR GOLD

Post by Dragoljub Sudar » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:25 pm

Why doesn't the spreadsheet show the player's club anymore? It did last week.
It makes it difficult to tell how many people from my club have become members.

Angus French
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Re: GOING FOR GOLD

Post by Angus French » Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:51 pm

Dragoljub Sudar wrote:Why doesn't the spreadsheet show the player's club anymore? It did last week.
It makes it difficult to tell how many people from my club have become members.
Club names would be useful [edit]and have now been reinstated[/edit]. Other observations:
1. Some values are prefixed with a space character - e.g. Grading Ref values.
2. Many Due Dates fall not on the first day of a month or the last day of a month but on some other day - 6 September 2012, for example, is very popular... I wonder why 'Due Date' rather than 'Expiry Date'?
3. Some Category values appear to be a duplicate of another (see the list a few posts above).

Out of curiosity I loaded the current membership list and the revised grading list into a database and ran some queries against the data, finding:
4. 41 entries on the membership list with a surname which is different to the surname on the corresponding grading list entry. For example, 'Kevin Bennet' in the membership list is 'Kevin Bennett' in the grading list.
5. 24 entries in the membership list have a Grade Ref value which isn't in the grading list. Some of these are obvious typos while in some cases a Grade rather than a Grading Refence has been recorded.

Anyhow, it's early days.

At some later point it will be useful to institute regular data checks and cleanups. It would be useful, too, if values were validated on entry - in the online facility and in the template spreadsheet for MOs.

Here, for Dragoljub, is a list of the Gambit club members who are ECF members:
Gambit.gif
Gambit.gif (11.86 KiB) Viewed 1619 times
Note: Gambit club members were identified as those players in the grading list who are attributed to the club.

David Gilbert
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Re: GOING FOR GOLD

Post by David Gilbert » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:56 am

Fantastic detailed analysis from Angus.

There’s good news that the Club column is back and the glitches are slowly being ironed out. But the list still includes Mr Hastings & St Leonards CC, Mr Cheddleton & Leek Chess Club and Mr Coulsdon Chess Fellowship. These are hangovers from the old system with expiry dates of 24 August 2012 and will presumably disappear at the end of the month. One surprise is that the Koninklijke Bibliotheek hold Platinum membership, which may be honorary, but I don’t know for sure.

The list now shows over 1600 players registering under the new scheme, with the number of Bronze members easily passing the Golds and Silvers over the last few days. There’s a further 1600 players with expiry dates before the end of September 2012, and with various Membership Organisations still to come in it could be a busy month at the Office!

Roger de Coverly
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Re: GOING FOR GOLD

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:58 am

David Gilbert wrote: There’s a further 1600 players with expiry dates before the end of September 2012, and with various Membership Organisations still to come in it could be a busy month at the Office!
All the Bronze members with expiry dates will be through MOs and will disappear from the list until the Framework Organisers get their data submitted. As for busy months at the office, were we falsely informed that membership would bring cost savings?

David Gilbert
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Re: GOING FOR GOLD

Post by David Gilbert » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:06 am

Roger you've jumped to the plural, from "busy month", to "busy months"! There must be some cost savings there!

Paul Buswell
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Re: GOING FOR GOLD

Post by Paul Buswell » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:57 pm

David Gilbert wrote:

............ the list still includes Mr Hastings & St Leonards CC, Mr Cheddleton & Leek Chess Club and Mr Coulsdon Chess Fellowship. These are hangovers from the old system with expiry dates of 24 August 2012 and will presumably disappear at the end of the month. .......
Hastings & St. Leonards CC has a Corporate Vice-Presidency paid for in advance until August 2014. So we expect still to be on the list!

PB

John Philpott

Re: GOING FOR GOLD

Post by John Philpott » Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:21 pm

There is one unfortunate side effect of the application of the new categories to the ECF direct members representatives to Council, where there will henceforth be, in addition to the two representatives for HLVPs etc, two representatives each for platinum, gold, silver and bronze members. Four of the existing representatives for various categories have gone for gold, so there will need to be an election (quite possibly the first ever) to determine the two 2012/13 representatives for that category, while there is currently a noticeable absence of nominations for platinum, silver and bronze representatives.

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