CHESS December 2008 - Pein's editorial

Discussions regarding the 70,000 Free Chess Sets for Schools in England.
Peter Turner
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Re: CHESS December 2008 - Pein's editorial

Post by Peter Turner » Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:48 pm

Ernie thinks we need another meeting if the ECF are to finance Holloid. John Philpot is better placed than me to advise but given that council authorised the board to borrow £100,000 to finance the project I would have thought that the ECF could use that loan facility without the need for another EGM
The criteria for the Trust is primarily to advance chess education and supervision for those under the age of twenty one. It also includes students attending schools, universities and other educational establishments in England.

The Council of the British Chess Federation agreed to establish a Charitable Trust on the basis that the capital of the Trust should be maintained. The Trustees are Gerry Walsh, David Welch, Cynthia Gurney and David Anderton.
Please refer to the above for terms of reference for the JRT. I think it is possible that should the £100,000 be made available and unfortunately does not achieve income to fully repay the 'loan' + interest then individuals involved would be personally responsible!! I'm pleased not to be a member of the Board at the moment.

Sean Hewitt

Re: CHESS December 2008 - Pein's editorial

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:26 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote: Its clear Holloid want money, cash up front, before proceeding any further.
Is it? For an ex-policeman, you seem very prone to believing everything that you want to believe. All that I have seen is a chess journal's editorial which may or may not be factually correct and / or complete. Even that does not say that they want the money up front.
Ernie Lazenby wrote: Sean thats 'spin' .... Supplying cash to repair a tool makes the sets 'not free'. Free means given in entirety at no cost whatsoever.
This is certainly not spin. If the cash is used to purchase the tools, then the sets would continue to be produced free of charge as before, plus the ECF may then have the means to produce further sets in future.
Ernie Lazenby wrote: Cost of materials has been mentioned..
By whom Ernie? Certainly not by anyone connected with the project, that's for sure.

Obviously on the forum we dont have all of the information that Holloid / ECF have. Carl's view that we should not give any money to Holloid is a perfectly reasonable position to take under the circumstances. Investigating whether the project can be delievered at a cost is another reasonable option. I am sure that if Holloid wanted £10 to finalise the deal everyone on this forum would agree the ECF should spend the money. If it were £10m we would all agree that they shouldn't. Therefore the only question that needs to be answered is not "should we give Holloid money" but "How much money do Holloid need". Then the appropriate judgement can be made, all things considered.

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JustinHorton
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Re: CHESS December 2008 - Pein's editorial

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:50 pm

Outgoing CEO Martin Regan first found about this scheme on the ECF website.

This isn't quite right, is it?

I agree with some of what Malcom says but I'm not sure he's got all his facts right and I too think he's a bit too kind to Holloid.

Still, he's not puffing RDKOBE this month....
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

Sean Hewitt

Re: CHESS December 2008 - Pein's editorial

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:46 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:Sean. Read Malcolms editorial. Cost of raw materials has been mentioned.
Ernie, I have but my eyesight is clearly not as good as yours. I still cannot see the cost of the raw materials being mentioned as an issue anywhere in the article. Maybe you could give us the quote?

I suspect you may be getting confused by Malcolm saying "I got the clear impression he (Wyngaarden) requires some assistance before he is prepared to invest more time, money and raw materials" which is firstly Malcolms opinion rather than fact and secondly makes clear that it would Holloid investing in the raw materials.

But this is all semantics. You seem, perhaps for personal reasons, to be grasping at any chance to do the project down. Last week you said you would stay out of the debate when the ECF made its update announcement because suddenly the muck you had tried to spread ended up squarely in your own face. You may ultimately be right in your suspicions but you don't currently have enough evidence to draw sensible conclusions. Of course, neither do I (nor anyone else on here I suspect) and for that reason we have to wait and see what happens. We may not like the position the ECF is in but it is where it is, and it needs to make the best of it.

Matthew Turner
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Re: CHESS December 2008 - Pein's editorial

Post by Matthew Turner » Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:03 am

I haven't been on the forum recently and havren't read all the post on this topic, but this is what occurs to me.
1. I don't think money will be required for raw materials, because I suspect they are being supplied for free - it is question of waste disposal
2. Holloid requires money for (re)tooling
3. The ECF should give no money to Holloid whether it be £10 or £10m. Once you give money to Holloid then they have you over a barrel. THey could quite easily say we need £10 for this and then we need just another £100 for this, then just another £1000 for this and then just another £10000 for this. Then it is a case of sorry we're bust get to the end of the line of creditors.

Clearly, we have a very tricky situation, but it seems to me that things are being dragged out, giving them time to get worse (Andy Martin say more schools are applying all the time). It really is time for the ECF to say the Holloid thing is over, we need to move on.

andrew martin

Re: CHESS December 2008 - Pein's editorial

Post by andrew martin » Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:43 am

I can confirm that whilst in post I was receiving lots and lots of new applications from schools and enquiries from schools who had already applied about where the sets were. I found it totally embarrassing.

I really hope the ECF has closed the application process just for their own sake, something I tried to do on my first day until the situation clarified, or that Holloid can get the sets rolling very soon indeed.


What are the alternatives now? There are only a few options left as far as I can see.


1) Stick with Holloid, hope for the best and see what happens. How long will it take to produce 90,000 sets this way, let alone 250,000 ? Nevertheless, this is a possibility.

2) Buy the sets at the cheapest possible price and hope to recoup income from various projects like the schools pack etc.

3) Scrap the whole thing and move on.

Someone in the ECF is going to have to show some serious leadership and make the right choice. There can be no wringing of hands.

David Robertson
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Re: CHESS December 2008 - Pein's editorial

Post by David Robertson » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:14 am

But there needs to be some wringing of necks

David
Atticus CC

andrew martin

Re: CHESS December 2008 - Pein's editorial

Post by andrew martin » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:31 am

I feel the decision as to what happens next hinges on this:

Do you think the ECF has a moral obligation to supply the sets to the schools after all the announcements that have been made?

I thought, yes, as quickly as possible and by whatever means possible.

I am willing to be convinced that I was/am wrong.

Waiting for Holloid; isn't that a play by Beckett?

Steve Henderson
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Re: CHESS December 2008 - Pein's editorial

Post by Steve Henderson » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:43 am

IMHO, Holloid have to make a clear and concise statement as to what they are going to do, this statement should be signed by Holloid’s MD, only then will we know what Holloid’s true position is.

I know we have had ECF CEO say that he has spoken to Holloid and a message is on the ECF web site, which covers the conversation, however I feel this is not good enough. This is not a signed statement by Holloid and differs from another post on this forum that has since been edited.

I hope the ECF President, ECF CEO and or Peter Wilson ask for a written & signed statement ASAP to clarify Holloid’s position.

Are Holloid going to produce 250,000 FREE chess sets – YES or NO?

Was it Holloid who promised the free sets or was it Fergus Christie who at the time worked for Holloid?

http://www.englishchess.org.uk/national ... _house.htm

on this page it says Fergus Christie promised

“The third speaker was Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe who was presented with the first pieces of our promised 250,000 chess sets by Fergus Christie.”

No mention of Holloid there?

For me the whole thing is mess, lets hope something positive is forth coming in the next few weeks, I mean, surly Holloid can say whether they will honour the 250,000 free chess sets or not! They seem to be buying time, 5-6 weeks for a new tool from China, now 2-3 weeks with tools in customs, it all seems a little sus to me (hope I am wrong), however it does not look very good at this moment in time.

TomChivers
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Re: CHESS December 2008 - Pein's editorial

Post by TomChivers » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:46 am

andrew martin wrote: What are the alternatives now? There are only a few options left as far as I can see.


1) Stick with Holloid, hope for the best and see what happens. How long will it take to produce 90,000 sets this way, let alone 250,000 ? Nevertheless, this is a possibility.

2) Buy the sets at the cheapest possible price and hope to recoup income from various projects like the schools pack etc.

3) Scrap the whole thing and move on.
Perhaps we could have a poll on this . . . what the forum thinks the ECF *should* do out of the three.

Maybe two polls in fact . . . the other, what the forum thinks the ECF *will* do out of the three.

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JustinHorton
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Re: CHESS December 2008 - Pein's editorial

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:56 am

Steve Henderson wrote:IMHO, Holloid have to make a clear and concise statement as to what they are going to do, this statement should be signed by Holloid’s MD, only then will we know what Holloid’s true position is.
I'd like to see this too....
Steve Henderson wrote:as it Holloid who promised the free sets or was it Fergus Christie who at the time worked for Holloid?
...and I'm keen to know the answer to this one, as well.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

andrew martin

Re: CHESS December 2008 - Pein's editorial

Post by andrew martin » Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:36 pm

Oh, I just noticed the ECF is still advertising for applications from schools; still on the front page....Will the clangers never stop?

Really, this is almost a cause for despair.

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David Shepherd
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Re: CHESS December 2008 - Pein's editorial

Post by David Shepherd » Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:03 pm

Only almost?

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: CHESS December 2008 - Pein's editorial

Post by Carl Hibbard » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:35 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:Sadly I find that action disturbing, there may be compelling reasons why that message has been edited but it really does demonstrate that any information , from whatever source should not be taken on face value; in this respect I am guilty and are many others.
Only one line was removed by Andrew and it was a line saying that "he would make no further comment on his resignation" or no further statement etc.

He removed that single line after making additional comments

That was the only change
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

andrew martin

Re: CHESS December 2008 - Pein's editorial

Post by andrew martin » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:50 pm

I'll be quite upfront about the reasons I resigned.

I got divorced about 18 months ago and since then my life has been really difficult emotionally. I have had problems coping.

I came into this project with every intention of sticking it out and trying to get the sets into schools.

I found myself getting angrier and angrier about the situation and made up my mind that I didnt need that stress on top of what I was already experiencing. ECF Board members will tell you how agitated I was getting. Maybe some of my anger was unjustified; after all the ECF went into this affair with every intention of getting the sets into schools. Yet it could all have been handled so much better.

In the end it all seemed very confusing; different people were all saying different things; there were lots of hidden agendas, nothing was straightforward and everything I was trying to do as Director seemed to be getting blocked or ignored. I thought I been handed a brief which was impossible to deliver.

In the end you only have so much energy. I felt and feel my energy is much better spent elsewhere; after all I make living from chess and with 4 kids and two mortgages to pay, I just couldn't give the time that was needed unpaid to this complicated project.

Andrew

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