Chess for schools website

Discussions regarding the 70,000 Free Chess Sets for Schools in England.
andrew martin

Chess for schools website

Post by andrew martin » Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:32 pm

I've just been taking a look at the website : http://www.chessforschools.co.uk

Who was the designer and who responsible for the content on it ?

Aside from anything else it really is ridiculous that the picture of the new chess sets has the board the wrong way round.

Apparently a 'chess for schools academy' has been set up. Can you tell me a bit more about this please ? Presumably they are playing the new rules with the Queen and King on the wrong squares.

There seems to be a charge being levied on schools between £ 35 and £ 60. For what ? Who will be receiving this money ? As this is the first I've heard of it ,presumably as the ECF Manager of Coaching I am being kept out of the loop.

Some prompt answers are necessary. I hope that the answers will alleviate my concerns.

Andrew

andrew martin

Re: Chess for schools website

Post by andrew martin » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:54 am

I dont understand why these questions are not being answered. There were no delays before.

Bill Wilson

Re: Chess for schools website

Post by Bill Wilson » Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:18 pm

andrew martin wrote:I've just been taking a look at the website : http://www.chessforschools.co.uk

Who was the designer and who responsible for the content on it ?

Aside from anything else it really is ridiculous that the picture of the new chess sets has the board the wrong way round.
From reading the content it looks like someone working for the generous Holloid Plastics.

I know that chess players are conditioned to fully examine any gifted knights or other sacrifices, but is such a public dissection of this horse's mouth appropriate?

I think any potential sponsors would be horrified to realise they may have their motives questioned, work insulted, and contribution criticised in such a visible manner.

[Edit:

I missed this, but it says clearly on the homepage,

responsible for the content is

Fergus Christie
Sales Director
Holloid Plastics ]

Paul Stimpson
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Re: Chess for schools website

Post by Paul Stimpson » Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:03 pm

We need to be grateful for any help we get in terms of widening the game of chess, however I have to agree with Andrew that it appears from this website that the official governing body for chess in England cannot set up a chess board correctly!

I know there are similar jokes regarding the FA at the top when it comes to England Team Managers and their appointment etc but this really is regrettable.

The main worry here is that it appears the ECF are not keeping a close eye on this project and providing the required support.

I am also concerned that the manager for coaching and junior chess development is not more closely involved.

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Re: Chess for schools website

Post by Steve Henderson » Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:21 pm

I agree totally with Andrew, I can't believe they have not briefed him on this?!

We shall await the answers to Andrews questions.

fergus christie
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Re: Chess for schools website

Post by fergus christie » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:05 pm

Hi Andrew

Everyone in the project is operating "pro bono" - the website was designed and hosted free of charge by Room11 Design - the content is an amalram of content from various sources - but my name is on the bottom of it and therefore as the saying has it, the buck stops here.

I've had requests for various ammendments to the site and these will all be enacted this week-end - Gerry Walsh and Peter Wilson of ECF and Charles Wood of the Renaisance Academy have been most helpful in correcting wayward data!?

Re: the incorrect board: The photograph shows the first development set made - unfortunately my Technical Director doesn't play chess (a heathen I know...) and it was his picture... I am now knee-deep in production chess sets so will upload correct images that also demonstrate just how good these sets are. (Nothing like blowing one's own trumpet!!!). Just as the website is an evolving work so is the set - under advice the board is now ivory and green rather than the "harder on the eyes" black and white...

Next month we will have the first 20 tonnes of sets rolling off our lines and hopefully the hard work that Gerry, Peter and Charles have invested in this project will begin to pay off.

We've always seen this as a long term program and have been delighted to give something back to a society that quite often sees plastics as a bit of a necessary evil. I stand by my comments on the website that Holloid want to be associated with a project that will make a lasting increase in the amount of chess played in English schools.

I don't really understand some of the negativity that has been attached to this project as the main contributors are all working, supplying materials, services or finance without any reward other than a bit of good PR and the participation in a worthy cause.

I've been impressed with the attitude of the ECF staff I've worked with (originally we'd considered making travel chess sets to make our point - Peter Wilson was the man who persuaded us to go for full size competition gear!) and hope that this association can continue such that in 2010 we can look back on the 250,000 sets we've gifted and celebrate how this project galvanised the junior game.

Regards

Fergus

Fergus Christie
Sales Director
Holloid Plastics Limited

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Chess for schools website

Post by Carl Hibbard » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:27 pm

It would help if the question regarding the nominal charge could be clarified?

Andrew has a point on that one
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

andrew martin

Re: Chess for schools website

Post by andrew martin » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:33 pm

I am very grateful to Holloid Plastics for their generosity in providing these chess sets.I think the designs are excellent and the thinking behind the project very worthwhile. The project was marketed as free chess sets for all schools and as such,will make a tremendous contribution to chess in this country as and when the supply of the sets is carried out. THANK YOU. I am sure the ECF officials you have mentioned have been putting an enormous amount of hard work in.

Once the chess sets are in the schools,we then have a golden opportunity to introduce properly trained coaches working from a syllabus approved and designed by the Federation into the schools to help the children. We will also have the chance to raise some much-needed revenue for ECF junior chess to help the better young players even further and in time to help our professional players by providing employment. The ECF will also be able to assist coaching academies and junior clubs all over the country with advice as to the correct way to go about coaching in schools. Its a fact that most English Grandmasters live abroad,because there is very little money in chess in the UK, so we will be looking to offer employment for them, so that they may use their expertise with the children. Down the road we can get chess recognised as a sport which it is in other European countries.

That is what the ECF is all about and that is what we will try to do, to capitalize on this magnificent gesture from Holloid Plastics. Those are the things I am fighting for along with my colleagues working for the ECF.

I hope that clarifies my position;which has no negativity attached to it, just a desire to do the right thing.


Andrew

David Levens
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Re: Chess for schools website

Post by David Levens » Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:42 pm

I agree with pretty much everything said by Andrew Martin and others, but remain very grateful for the generosity of Holloid Plastics! However, while this is a magnificent gesture, which should benefit English chess hugely, I wonder where all the coaches are coming from? Andrew talks about providing work for GMs`and the use of trained coaches. I don't know of any TRAINED coaches. The ECF, unlike other sporting bodies, does not have a scheme to train coaches?! All of us working as coaches train ourselves and just get on with it! Re GMs: there is no eveidence that they, or any other titled players can coach juniors, especially under 11s, say, any better or as well as, others. Teaching is a quite different skill to playing. [GMs and other titled players would be best used coaching our top class juniors and others who have reached a grading equivalent of say 150/160]. Other "sports" are well aware of this. In athletics even being an Olympic Gold medallist won't qualify you as a coach. This is more or less the same in soccer, rugby, cricket and tennis. Moreover, with very few exceptions, the best coaches in these sports are rarely, if ever, people who were at the very top as players!! If we want chess to be classified as "sport" it's about time we followed their lead!

David Levens

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Nigel Wright
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Re: Chess for schools website

Post by Nigel Wright » Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:49 am

I thought the charge schools have to pay is for insurance so that the coaches and schools are covered etc. if anything goes wrong. I'm not sure though, as even though there has been a lot of dicussion about this project, I still don't exactly know much about what is going off...
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I'm not as think as you drunk I am.

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Re: Chess for schools website

Post by fergus christie » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:57 am

All

First ammendment to the site took place over the week-end - all suggestions and comments gratefully received!!

I've sent 10 of the production sign-off sets to the ECF so hopefully we can populate the site with some pictures of the sets in use to better demonstrate their size and quality.

See my post elsewhere for an update on the project timing

regards

Fergus

Fergus Christie
Sales Director
Holloid Plastics

fchristie@holloid-plastics.co.uk

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Chess for schools website

Post by Carl Hibbard » Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:25 pm

Nigel Wright wrote:I thought the charge schools have to pay is for insurance so that the coaches and schools are covered etc. if anything goes wrong. I'm not sure though, as even though there has been a lot of dicussion about this project, I still don't exactly know much about what is going off...
The nominal charge question of Andrew's is still outstanding but it does seem to have been quietly dropped off the web site?
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

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Charles W. Wood
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Re: Chess for schools website

Post by Charles W. Wood » Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:09 pm

Carl Hibbard wrote:
Nigel Wright wrote:I thought the charge schools have to pay is for insurance so that the coaches and schools are covered etc. if anything goes wrong. I'm not sure though, as even though there has been a lot of dicussion about this project, I still don't exactly know much about what is going off...
The nominal charge question of Andrew's is still outstanding but it does seem to have been quietly dropped off the web site?
There was nothing quietly about it. But anyway, I can't comment too much because this isn't my remit. This is really odd, because the issue of any charge was to do with the distribution of information packs to the schools, that money would have gone to the ECF. The project moved on and the charge was no longer needed. So the web site was only just out of date. Mountain/Molehill. :roll:
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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Chess for schools website

Post by Carl Hibbard » Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:13 am

Thanks for clarifying and clearing that one up
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

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Charles W. Wood
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Re: Chess for schools website

Post by Charles W. Wood » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:13 pm

Carl Hibbard wrote:Thanks for clarifying and clearing that one up
I think its best to point out at this point that everything in this project is built for one purpose, to help junior chess in England and to aid the evening, city, county leagues too. Sometimes things fall by the wayside because our eyes are looking elsewhere at situations that need addressing now. Everyone in this project is only a phone call away from anyone and we are all happy to answer any questions.

I am amazed though, talking to 2 chess players the other day one pipes up "I think the information on the ECF Official Forum is great" his best friend says "What Forum". Nobody will know about this project unless we guide them to where the information is. There is more information here than anywhere else apart from the ECF Board itself. Tell them to look, join in and post questions.

Ironicly some of the answers needed for the project moving forward have been answered here before we needed to address them. Keep it coming, it helps. :D
Charles W. Wood
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