No news is bad news

Discussions regarding the 70,000 Free Chess Sets for Schools in England.
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Paul McKeown
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:19 pm

Matthew - sadly I tend to agree with you - a strange post from MR.

I think though that something on the order of 20 thousand sets would be manageable, simply using the evacuation of Dunkirk model (there would be enough volunteers). And such an exercise could be repeated a few times in a year before exhaustion/boredom/FA Cup Final were to set in amongst the volunteers.

If Holloid or Fergus could do that, then we should be grateful. And Fergus has made some sort of promise on this forum recently. So what we need is clarity regarding Holloid's intentions. And that has to come via Gerry Walsh and/or Peter Wilson.

I have spoken to GW twice recently on the telephone (out of the blue - I wouldn't know him from Adam - but I wanted to find out what on Earth is going on and wasn't prepared to take via via as a reliable source). GW made certain revelations to me - but swore me to secrecy - so I feel bound to keep his confidence until it should become clear that his information was untrustworthy. I do hope that will not transpire, but if does, this forum will certainly be the first to know (I recorded both conversations). In which case I would certainly recommend that someone with standing amongst the chess community in England (or another British chess federation if the ECF were obstructive...) were to speak to Fergus.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by Carl Hibbard » Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:17 pm

There is so much information floating around in the background and off the record that it's getting silly

If someone made a statement it would help :lol:
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JustinHorton
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:56 am

Carl - quite

There's a real problem here with nobody really knowing who to believe. No doubt in such a situation anything anybody says will be contradicted by somebody else, but at least once people say "this specifically is what happened and this specifically is what is happening now" then we have something to work on.

For that reason I find Martin's posting useful - at least it says "this is what I say happened". If anybody else wants to say "no, it isn't, Martin" or "that's not my understanding" then all well and good, but at least we know what facts and claims are in dispute, rather than, as now, having no idea at all.
Last edited by JustinHorton on Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JustinHorton
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:01 am

Incidentally, when writing my piece I read through this particular part of the forum - not all of it, but most of it. And one thing that really leapt out at me was when somebody (can't remember who, now) wrote that the project wasn't mentioned on the Holloid website. That was a real bolt-upright moment.
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Carl Hibbard
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by Carl Hibbard » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:03 am

JustinHorton wrote:Carl - quite

There's a real problem here with nobody really knowing who to believe. No doubt in such a situation anything anybody says will be contradcited by somebody else, but at least once people say "this specifically is what happened and this specifically is what is happening now" then we have something to work on.

For that reason I find Martin's posting useful - at least it says "this is what I say happened". If anybody else wants to say "no, it isn't, Martin" or "that's not my understanding" then all well and good, but at least we know what facts and claims are in dispute, rather than, as now, having no idea at all.
It's quite clear that GW and PW jumping the gun is 50% of the problem - the rest is up for debate
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JustinHorton
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:10 am

I dunno Carl, I reckon the fact that there ain't no sets may constitute over 50% of the problem...
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Carl Hibbard
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by Carl Hibbard » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:20 am

JustinHorton wrote:I dunno Carl, I reckon the fact that there ain't no sets may constitute over 50% of the problem...
Well it is now yes but the ECF should have waited for at least some decent size production to occur before scaling the publicity to the size they did

Now you need a minimum of 9000 x 10 sets justs to keep schools happy based on ECF figures that is

It is still a project cloaked in secrecy
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JustinHorton
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:25 am

I'm not sure it's cloaked in secrecy so much as lost in the mist....
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Paul Buswell
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by Paul Buswell » Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:17 am

I found Martin Regan's posting credible and helpful. I do wish he had stayed longer as ECF CEO - I think it behoved him to take his issues to ECF Council.

It seems to me that blame for the present fiasco lies fairly and squarely with those who went public with the plan when neither contract nor infrastructure were in place. Anything else since is just icing on that cake.

And the present lack of any semblance of leadership or PR recovery is a shambles. The President must go.

But it will not improve unless someone out there is willing to stand against him in a practical organised way using the existing governance mechanisms. It is palpably obvious that he will not go of his own volition. When someone does come forward to oppose him I want to be amongst the first to chip in to the fighting fund for the printing and mail outs.

In the meantime each reader of this forum should at least be going on record to their league or county or DM rep to express no support for the President.

Or of course he can be removed upstairs. I am curious to hear from Chris Majer or John Philpott on the reasons that the President, rather than CEO, appears to be in charge of such a serious operational matter.

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Re: No news is bad news

Post by Nick Thomas » Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:46 am

JustinHorton wrote:Carl - quite

There's a real problem here with nobody really knowing who to believe. No doubt in such a situation anything anybody says will be contradicted by somebody else, but at least once people say "this specifically is what happened and this specifically is what is happening now" then we have something to work on.

For that reason I find Martin's posting useful - at least it says "this is what I say happened". If anybody else wants to say "no, it isn't, Martin" or "that's not my understanding" then all well and good, but at least we know what facts and claims are in dispute, rather than, as now, having no idea at all.
Whilst having some sympathy with Matt Turners recent post, I completely agree with Justin here.

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Re: No news is bad news

Post by Matthew Turner » Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:13 am

Of course I am in no position to dispute Martin Regan's facts. However, it seems to me that he is trying to justify his position of 'appointing' Gerry to oversee the Chess for Schools/free sets initiative and proceeding without getting a contract in place. Both positions seem completely untenable.

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Re: No news is bad news

Post by TomChivers » Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:41 am

I have to say I haven't followed the ins and outs of all this too closely ---- not least because there are already enough juniors around who can massacre me, and if successful this project would only produce more of them!

However, if the project does indeed totally fail, I'm not clear why it's such a big deal. A shame for chess, yes. Embarrassing for the ECF it had such a fanfare, yes. But beyond that ---- I'm not really sure it matters much.

What am I missing?

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JustinHorton
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:48 am

It's a good question but it's conceivable that it may be difficult for the ECF to do anything else significant in the near future because anybody with whom the ECF seeks to work will feel the organisation lacks credibility. If you screw up a project (or if a project of yours screws up, if you prefer) sometimes it's just the project itself which is affected - but sometimes it's future projects too.
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Paul Stimpson
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Re: No news is bad news

Post by Paul Stimpson » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:06 pm

Er Paul, why would you think that? Perhaps read the article again...
Justin,

I said it was OK it just seemed a little soft on the ECF that was all, my opinion only of course!

Given the recent post from Martin (that I also found quite strange but a welcome addition to the facts) it appears we may be entering a phase of posturing.
First of all Chess in Schools is far from dead – though it has to be acknowledged that it is having some breathing difficulties.
Yes the package to the schools is going ahead a DVD has been produced, little use to Schools without sets though.
It became clear that to progress we needed someone who had a chance of delivering at least a limited logistics plan.
This presumably was the Charles Wood appointment. Though his remit seemed to go further than just logisitics.

andrew martin

Re: No news is bad news

Post by andrew martin » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:21 pm

Can I assure everyone that I am working night and day to get this project delivered, with sets, in full, to minimum all the schools that have applied. One way or another. So are many others.

Right now we are waiting on Gerry Walsh to make an announcement or a joint announcement about what happens with Holloid. I have urged until I am sick of urging of the importance to get out this statement. I have given my view as to what should be done, overall.

Gerry is in Dresden at the Olympiad.

Yesterday, I received about 30 new applications from schools for the free sets, today more . This is happening because the advert on the front of the ECF site continues to remain unchanged.

I have nothing to say to these schools apart from to apologise for the delay until clarification from Holloid is received

That is the position.

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