Director of Home Chess

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
User avatar
IM Jack Rudd
Posts: 3731
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:13 am
Location: Bideford

Director of Home Chess

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:01 pm

Alex Holowczak is standing down, in no small part thanks to an excess of other commitments.

David Gilbert
Posts: 714
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:03 am

Re: Director of Home Chess

Post by David Gilbert » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:09 pm

Good luck and best wishes Alex in whatever you’re going to do next. People do appreciate your hard work and the sacrifices you have made for chess. You’ll be much missed but I hope you’ll continue to be involved in some capacity. Chess can hardly afford to lose young(ish!) organisers like you.
Last edited by David Gilbert on Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

Brian Towers
Posts: 1136
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:23 pm

Re: Director of Home Chess

Post by Brian Towers » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:11 pm

It's a shame. The man has done a herculean job of dragging the ECF, kicking and screaming, from somewhere round about the 1950's into the 21st century. Presumably he thinks the task is complete. I hope he is right.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

Andrew Zigmond
Posts: 1566
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: Director of Home Chess

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:40 pm

On this occasion there is no need to go into flowery and overwrought praise. The simple question is, `How the hell does somebody follow that?`
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Roger Lancaster
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:44 pm

Re: Director of Home Chess

Post by Roger Lancaster » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:42 am

A sad loss to the ECF - Alex has done much excellent work.

John Reyes
Posts: 262
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:51 pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Director of Home Chess

Post by John Reyes » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:17 am

the big question is who is better then alex to do the job?

I know I have question some of his thinking, but the end of the day, he is trying to do what is best for chess!

he has try and fix the County Championship and I hate to say this, but the event is great in the south, but in the north, it is just always Yorkshire and Lancashire, who always play each other, and in my area, we would put more teams in, if we can play in the NCCU, instead of travelling every time for a away match.
Any postings on here represent my personal views only

NickFaulks
Posts: 4458
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Director of Home Chess

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:58 am

John Reyes wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:17 am
and in my area, we would put more teams in, if we can play in the NCCU, instead of travelling every time for a away match.
A Home Director who is able to sort out that problem might be put to better use fixing the Middle East.

David Sedgwick
Posts: 3113
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: Director of Home Chess

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:15 pm

In addition to serving as the ECF Director of Home Chess for the last five years, Alex was the Controller of the Counties Championships for the two years prior to that. During that period, and even before, I have not infrequently been a critic of his.

For the avoidance of doubt, I would like to say that I believe that Alex has at all times acted in what he perceived to be in the best interests of the ECF. I am sure that he will bring the same approach to other organisations now and in the future.

Alex is very highly regarded within FIDE. His membership of the Technical Administrative Panel for the forthcoming Olympiad has been discussed on this Forum, but many readers may not have realised how significant an appointment that was.

I am extremely hopeful that he will receive at least one further important role in FIDE before the year is out.

I have seen too many chess organisers allow themselves to become overburdened, to the detriment not only of those whom they seek to serve, but, also and more importantly, of themselves. I am pleased that Alex has not fallen into this trap.

Brian Towers
Posts: 1136
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:23 pm

Re: Director of Home Chess

Post by Brian Towers » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:58 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:15 pm
I am extremely hopeful that he will receive at least one further important role in FIDE before the year is out.
But yesterday was the final day for submission of tickets for the forthcoming presidential elections?
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

David Sedgwick
Posts: 3113
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: Director of Home Chess

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:17 pm

Brian Towers wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:58 pm
David Sedgwick wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:15 pm
I am extremely hopeful that he will receive at least one further important role in FIDE before the year is out.
But yesterday was the final day for submission of tickets for the forthcoming presidential elections?
:lol:

The deadline is actually 1500 UK time today, so Alex still has 43 minutes.

TimWall
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:23 pm

Online County & Club matches

Post by TimWall » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:36 pm

Re. County Championships and National Club Championships, I believe a possible way to save these competitions is to investigate the idea of online matches. If it was possible 50 years ago to play 7-hour telephone matches, it should be within our capabilities to organise matches via the very efficient online playing sites.
Such matches could take place if both teams agreed, and would involve each team gathering in a venue where there was a decent internet connection - and an independent ‘referee’ to ensure fair play. The result could be that County and Club Championships actually survive and prosper, while saving travelling time and reducing costs.
Any thoughts, people of the forum?

Roger Lancaster
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:44 pm

Re: Director of Home Chess

Post by Roger Lancaster » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:54 pm

Well, Tim, yes, although I think that disregards the elephant in the room - why are so many keen weekend players happy to turn out for teams at 4NCL but not for teams in the county championships or national club? (But, if continuing this off topic issue, perhaps done better elsewhere).

TimWall
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:23 pm

Re: Director of Home Chess

Post by TimWall » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:45 pm

The cost of playing in the 4NCL is a very real issue for many people. From the North East corner of England, playing for a team in Division 1 or 2 that has no soonsorship means that only the relatively well-off can consider it.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 17313
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Director of Home Chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:00 pm

TimWall wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:45 pm
From the North East corner of England, playing for a team in Division 1 or 2 that has no soonsorship means that only the relatively well-off can consider it.
Is there interest in playing weekend chess in the North East? A local solution, perhaps a four way competition between North Yorkshire, Cleveland, Durham and Northumberland would seem plausible but hasn't happened. Elsewhere in the country, there are local competitions between Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire and between Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Hampshire. Travel distances and strength disparities become minimised as far as possible in these smaller 4 county setups.

Andrew Zigmond
Posts: 1566
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: Director of Home Chess

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:52 pm

Picking up on a few points raised; the question of a telephone match did come up during my stint as controller (I won't disclose the counties concerned). Alex's view was that a telephone match would be anachronistic in the 2010s but an internet match would be viable. It's definitely an idea worth considering although in 2018 you can go quite a bit beyond the traditional club and county format in online chess. The downside; perhaps more for club rather than county (although it is a factor) is that what you save on the transport you lose due to an extra venue and arbiter being required.

In any case many people do not consider the county championships in need of `saving`.

Regarding Roger's post, chess players in the North do seem to gravitate more towards congress than team chess. There are many congresses in the South as well but I find it telling that four of the `big six` (Blackpool, Doncaster, South Lakes and Scarborough) are in the North. Of the counties Roger names I can't speak for three of them but North Yorkshire is not a county union in its own right and the two largest clubs within it currently run seven teams between them in the weekend Yorkshire League (I'm chairman of one).
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Post Reply