ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:48 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote: Roger Edwards could do a lot worse than find a `running mate` who is willing to work alongside him as CEO. That said, am I right in thinking that if no CEO comes forward the board will appoint one? In that case there would be a logic in securing his own election first.
That's a valid point. The same could apply to International Director position who, I assume, has to work with the delegate to FIDE.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:55 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Neil Graham wrote: So this time there are no elections at all for Directorships; indeed two remain without any candidates at all (including the Chief Executive).

There are two elections for President and FIDE delegate; without being disrepectful neither is what one might describe as a working position.
To be fair, the current President and FIDE delegate are the two most controversial incumbents seeking re-election. That makes it less surprising that they should be challenged.

Roger Edwards could do a lot worse than find a `running mate` who is willing to work alongside him as CEO. That said, am I right in thinking that if no CEO comes forward the board will appoint one? In that case there would be a logic in securing his own election first.
Plus, as I suggested before, I can't see any credible CEO wanting the position until it is clear that CJ has gone. That is not to say that one will turn up even then, but that would at least be the best time to sound out any potential candidates out there.

John Philpott

Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by John Philpott » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:58 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote
That said, am I right in thinking that if no CEO comes forward the board will appoint one?
Even if a prospective CEO came forward today, the appointment would now be down to the newly-elected Board as the nomination deadline passed on Wednesday. Council can, of course, make clear its views to the Board as to the suitability or otherwise of anybody known to be interested by the date of the AGM.

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Adam Raoof
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Adam Raoof » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:02 pm

Bob Clark wrote:
Adam Raoof wrote:
I agree. I think that we can really simplify the membership scheme both for players (less categories, one would do for me), and for organisers (integrated membership and grading database, we're working on it). We also need a specific scheme for Juniors, at a base level of about £5 perhaps, or £10 to cover any junior up to the age of 16, with a membership officer dedicated to getting more junior events graded, and more juniors to join up. We already have a magazine, but it really needs to refocus post-membership as the audience will probably widen enough to attract a sponsor or two.
Adam, if this is your view of how the membership scheme should work, will you be proposing changes in your new role as Membership and Marketing Director?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you previously posted that you believe there there should be a single membership category costing around £25 per adult.
Is that still your position?
Personally, probably yes. However I agree with Richard, we have what we have, and I would think the best thing to do is to see how it goes for at least a season - my feedback is that people don't actually mind having to join the ECF, and it doesn't put them off playing events - rather it actually, dare I say, excites them with the possibilities.

They do have real practical problems understanding what the scheme involves, what level they should join at and are happier to give their club secretary money to pass on to the ECF than using PayPal to do it online.

What we have to do is on the one hand help organisers create events, so that our members can participate. On the other hand we have to fund the ECF to provide the infrastructure to create that environment. My club, Hendon, used to have very quiet nights where no matches were taking place and when three or four people would turn up and play a few casual games. I made a point of organising events on those nights, FIDE rated blitz tournaments, ECF rapidplay rated events and simuls with our stronger players such as IM Lorin d'Costa. Now forty people (out of a membership of 70) come to a club evening, sometimes paying an extra fee on top of their usual annual membership fee, and we have problems fitting them all in! We used to have two teams, now we have five, and we still can't satisfy demand for rated games.

The ECF is not so very different from my chess club, or yours. If we require (and I do believe we should require) membership for playing graded chess, then we have to deliver something in return. I have hopefully contributed something to improving the grading system by bringing Mike Bennett into the grading team to revitalise the grading database. I would really like the ECF to put some money it raises from membership back into the national Grand Prix, at least £5,000, to kick start a new prix for events requiring membership and advertising the ECF on their websites and entry forms, with a proper award cermony to be held each year at the British Championships. We need to have more rewards / awards in general.

I think that Alex Holowczak is going to revitalise the ECF Club and County Championships with his ideas, and those ideas will need financial backing, though I actually think they will pay for themselves in the long run.

We have a lot of events that just don't run each year without some support, and some that run with no support at all. If I am going to be paying to join the ECF and asking others to do the same, that has to change. We need to get more young people involved in the organisation of the game, as arbiters. We need to get all organisers using tournament management software to run events, and delivering grading quicker as a result. The two things are linked. We have to encourage all junior events to be graded nationally so that we can monitor their development, probably by offering the grading and the right to qualify for junior teams and national titles in return for junior events enforcing membership.

I don't agree with what Roger has proposed, and I don't think it has made him more likely to be elected.
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Adam Raoof
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Adam Raoof » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:18 pm

Bob Clark wrote:Thanks for the reply Adam
It will be interesting to see the new proposals that Alex comes up with, however whilst I agree that most club members are happy to join the ECF, I think it would be a serious disincentive if the cost where to rise to say £25.
No problem, Bob. Incidentally, do you belong to any membership schemes? I belong to the RSPB, English Heritage and the YHA. The ECF is cheaper than all of them, of course.
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Jonathan Rogers
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:19 pm

Adam Raoof wrote: I think that Alex Holowczak is going to revitalise the ECF Club and County Championships with his ideas
Good, although county chess looks in better shape now than it did, say, five years ago.

Unless some serious new money is found, perhaps Alex will have the courage to do something that you permanently put on hold, Adam - namely the euthanasia of the Open section in the National Club. Is it even as many as three teams who enter now, or have entries stabilised :lol: at that figure, since the idea was put to you some three or more years ago?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:21 pm

Adam Raoof wrote:
The ECF is not so very different from my chess club, or yours. .
It's a national cultural or sporting body. That is not the same as a local sports, social or cultural club, nor should you try to finance it in the same way.
Adam Raoof wrote: If we require (and I do believe we should require) membership for playing graded chess
Does this apply to chess tourists as well?

Do I have this correct? You would advocate that individuals are required to become members of the ECF before playing a single game of competitive chess.

Adam Raoof wrote: are happier to give their club secretary money to pass on to the ECF than using PayPal to do it online
That essentially was how it worked under Game Fee. Clubs collected money, paid it as entry fees to local competitions who passed it on to the ECF.

The advocates of membership wanted individuals to have a more direct relationship with the ECF. In which case the ECF should be responsible for collecting its own income. Because of the cost to clubs of fielding non-members, they will have to tell match captains to be cautious at the very least in selecting non-members for teams.

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Adam Raoof
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Adam Raoof » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:22 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:
Adam Raoof wrote: I think that Alex Holowczak is going to revitalise the ECF Club and County Championships with his ideas
Good, although county chess looks in better shape now than it did, say, five years ago.

Unless some serious new money is found, perhaps Alex will have the courage to do something that you permanently put on hold, Adam - namely the euthanasia of the Open section in the National Club. Is it even as many as three teams who enter now, or have entries stabilised :lol: at that figure, since the idea was put to you some three or more years ago?
I am morally opposed to euthanasia. I would prefer to give that event a better quality of life by.... well, that's now up to Alex.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:25 pm

Adam Raoof wrote: I belong to the RSPB, English Heritage and the YHA. The ECF is cheaper than all of them, of course.
But as pointed eighteen months ago, you do not need to become an annual member to visit an English Heritage property or stay overnight at a YHA hostel. Nor in the case of the YHA, do you get unlimited accommodation in exchange for your membership.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:44 pm

Adam Raoof wrote:
Jonathan Rogers wrote:
Adam Raoof wrote: I think that Alex Holowczak is going to revitalise the ECF Club and County Championships with his ideas
Good, although county chess looks in better shape now than it did, say, five years ago.

Unless some serious new money is found, perhaps Alex will have the courage to do something that you permanently put on hold, Adam - namely the euthanasia of the Open section in the National Club. Is it even as many as three teams who enter now, or have entries stabilised :lol: at that figure, since the idea was put to you some three or more years ago?
I am morally opposed to euthanasia. I would prefer to give that event a better quality of life by.... well, that's now up to Alex.
It's a shame because Alex is in an awkward position if he takes the logical view that if virtually no one wants to play the event, then it should be scrapped.

The reason why no one plays the event is because anyone who wants to play serious chess at that level gets as much as they want in the 4NCL. The rise of the 4NCL is the obvious reason for the decline of the comparatively archaic National Club, and as long as the 4NCL prospers there is no need for the Nat Club - the ECF is wasting money on this, because it is not catering here for a need which is not otherwise available.

Alex's problem is this - he is also a director of the 4NCL Board, so if he wanted to use this perfectly rational argument for getting rid of the Open section, some may claim that he has a conflict of interests. It would not be a strong claim, but a nuisance all the same.

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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Dragoljub Sudar » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:52 pm

Bob Clark wrote: All I can say from a league chess viewpoint is that increased ECF membership costs would be a disincentive for many of our club members who have no wish to play anything other than league chess
Yes, that's right. Although 70% of those at the AGM supported the membership scheme (I would hazard a guess that most of them were very active players, or event organisers) the majority of local league players couldn't see the point of it but felt they had no choice but to go along with it. So, rather than enthusiasm, as Adam suggests above, it was more like reluctant acceptance.

We must keep a distinction between 'domestic' chess (league, county, congress) and FIDE rated events, so should retain at least two levels of membership. Roughly half of my club play nothing but league chess, most of the rest also play for the county and at our local congress, and only a handful of us play in other congresses and/or FIDE rated events.

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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:20 pm

Richard Bates wrote:We have had a year (longer?) of people conjecturing on the effects of various models of membership scheme and none, based on their own opinions, prejudices and anecdotes. One would have hoped that now a scheme is finally up and running, that some of the debate would actually move on as we actually get to see some real factual data. It appears that this may be a forlorn hope if various new directors are just going to charge in and attempt to rehash all the old arguments based on their own pre-conceived ideas.

It should be remembered that the ECF is still in financial difficulties and whilst arguments about effects on participation etc are important (and related), the most fundamentally important factor at the moment is what is the ongoing effect on the ECF finances. And that is what should be being closely monitored with any tweaks proposed based on improving this.
I agree strongly with this, Richard.

Roger Edwards's statement thus appears to be barking up the wrong tree.

Not a fan of de Mooi, never was. Therefore I suppose "None of the above". Not that I am enfranchised.

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Adam Raoof
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Adam Raoof » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:00 pm

Dragoljub Sudar wrote:
Bob Clark wrote: All I can say from a league chess viewpoint is that increased ECF membership costs would be a disincentive for many of our club members who have no wish to play anything other than league chess
Yes, that's right. Although 70% of those at the AGM supported the membership scheme (I would hazard a guess that most of them were very active players, or event organisers) the majority of local league players couldn't see the point of it but felt they had no choice but to go along with it. So, rather than enthusiasm, as Adam suggests above, it was more like reluctant acceptance.

We must keep a distinction between 'domestic' chess (league, county, congress) and FIDE rated events, so should retain at least two levels of membership. Roughly half of my club play nothing but league chess, most of the rest also play for the county and at our local congress, and only a handful of us play in other congresses and/or FIDE rated events.
I see your point of view, and I also see Roger's. However I believe that when our club members join the ECF, they will be more inclined to get involved in more than just league chess.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:24 pm

Adam Raoof wrote:However I believe that when our club members join the ECF, they will be more inclined to get involved in more than just league chess.
Until this season when the ECF is using economic compulsion, there was little reason for London based club players to join the ECF unless they wanted to financially support the ECF or were already intending to play lots of Congresses, the 4NCL or FIDE rated Congresses. Of course those who are already members should see an economic benefit as their leagues will no longer pay Game Fee. So someone, somewhere is having to pay more to get the ECF back even to par.

If you want the views of someone who really doesn't want to be a member, try this twitter account
https://twitter.com/MarkTWIC

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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Michele Clack » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:33 pm

I'm very much in favour of membership but if you put up the basic cost of membership by merging the categories and averaging the price then you really are creating a disincentive to people taking up league chess. In those circumstances you might get a head of steam up against membership.
I'm sure when everyone is used to it the categories will work well, to tinker with them would play into the hands of the antis.

There would also be an issue of trust if the price of basic membership was put up so swiftly. The initial system with the categories might be seen as a Trojan Horse and the general perception might then be, possibly with some justification, that the ECF only cares about Congress Chess not League Chess.

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