Chess clubs by size

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
John Foley
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Chess clubs by size

Post by John Foley » Tue May 04, 2021 1:22 pm

Can someone construct a list of chess clubs ordered by size?

Some constraints:
a) the members should have played a rated game for the club at least once within the last three years
b) for bona fide members of more than one club, count them as (a) full members or (b) pro-rata members
c) include online and over the board players
d) exclude junior only clubs
e) only clubs in England
f) the members should still be alive

Outputs:
i) club name and number of members as calculated above
ii) strength index (number of members x average rating per member)

J T Melsom
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Re: Chess clubs by size

Post by J T Melsom » Tue May 04, 2021 1:54 pm

This would certainly be useful information and would better inform debate. It would also be useful to understand the typical facilities of clubs and what activities they offer members beyond match chess. But I don't think this work should be done for nothing if others are then to derive pecuniary benefit.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Chess clubs by size

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue May 04, 2021 2:08 pm

John Foley wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 1:22 pm
Can someone construct a list of chess clubs ordered by size?

Some constraints:
a) the members should have played a rated game for the club at least once within the last three years
b) for bona fide members of more than one club, count them as (a) full members or (b) pro-rata members
c) include online and over the board players
d) exclude junior only clubs
e) only clubs in England
f) the members should still be alive

Outputs:
i) club name and number of members as calculated above
ii) strength index (number of members x average rating per member)
That does tend to be useful, yes :)
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Roger Lancaster
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Re: Chess clubs by size

Post by Roger Lancaster » Thu May 06, 2021 12:42 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 2:08 pm
John Foley wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 1:22 pm
Can someone construct a list of chess clubs ordered by size?

Some constraints:
a) the members should have played a rated game for the club at least once within the last three years
b) for bona fide members of more than one club, count them as (a) full members or (b) pro-rata members
c) include online and over the board players
d) exclude junior only clubs
e) only clubs in England
f) the members should still be alive

Outputs:
i) club name and number of members as calculated above
ii) strength index (number of members x average rating per member)
That does tend to be useful, yes :)
I'm not necessarily against this but can someone explain this "useful" word? I can see that it provides information about the world of chess but is this information purely for its own sake or does it have some potential value ? If the latter, can anyone be more specific ?

dejan_lekic
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Re: Chess clubs by size

Post by dejan_lekic » Thu May 06, 2021 6:01 pm

Year or so ago I wrote a parser of ECF data in Python that populates a MariaDB database. Unfortunately server that was running it is now down, and I do not have a copy of the database... The moment server is again up and running I will collect the data you need and attach here.

John Upham
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Re: Chess clubs by size

Post by John Upham » Thu May 06, 2021 6:10 pm

dejan_lekic wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 6:01 pm
Year or so ago I wrote a parser of ECF data in Python that populates a MariaDB database. Unfortunately server that was running it is now down, and I do not have a copy of the database... The moment server is again up and running I will collect the data you need and attach here.

What was your source of ECF data?

I presume it was the Master List before availability was denied by those who know best.
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John Foley
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Re: Chess clubs by size

Post by John Foley » Fri May 07, 2021 3:52 pm

Clubs are the backbone of chess giving the noble game a social infrastructure and a nurturing environment for would-be players. However clubs have suffered, and are suffering under, Covid restrictions. Subscriptions to ECF have declined as players have not been able to play regularly over the board - many clubs have lost their venue and many chess players will not be returning. In these circumstances, we can expect management at the federation level would seek to understand the key metrics regarding the health and viability of chess clubs. We should pay particular attention to the larger clubs because any cracks in their structure may precede a wider malaise. I realise that clubs are not directly recognised in the federation governance structure but the grassroots still count.

dejan_lekic
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Re: Chess clubs by size

Post by dejan_lekic » Fri May 07, 2021 4:05 pm

John Upham wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 6:10 pm
What was your source of ECF data?

I presume it was the Master List before availability was denied by those who know best.
The monthly grades files (in CSV format) that are still available on the old ecfgrading.org.uk site. Last file was published 28.08.2020.

John Upham
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Re: Chess clubs by size

Post by John Upham » Fri May 07, 2021 5:07 pm

dejan_lekic wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 4:05 pm
John Upham wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 6:10 pm
What was your source of ECF data?

I presume it was the Master List before availability was denied by those who know best.
The monthly grades files (in CSV format) that are still available on the old ecfgrading.org.uk site. Last file was published 28.08.2020.
The monthly grades files is a significantly smaller data set than the Master List is it not?
Last edited by John Upham on Sat May 08, 2021 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Angus French
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Re: Chess clubs by size

Post by Angus French » Fri May 07, 2021 7:51 pm

dejan_lekic wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 4:05 pm
John Upham wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 6:10 pm
What was your source of ECF data?

I presume it was the Master List before availability was denied by those who know best.
The monthly grades files (in CSV format) that are still available on the old ecfgrading.org.uk site. Last file was published 28.08.2020.
Er...
- they're not monthly, they're January, July and August (with the August file being a corrected version of the July file), for the years 2014 to 2020
- the links are currently giving 404 errors
- data was for OTB results only
- the files were cut-down versions of the master lists provided to local results officers, listing only players with a current grade and not providing a breakdown by game result to show which teams / clubs (if any) were represented.

Angus French
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Re: Chess clubs by size

Post by Angus French » Fri May 07, 2021 7:59 pm

John Foley wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 3:52 pm
Clubs are the backbone of chess giving the noble game a social infrastructure and a nurturing environment for would-be players. However clubs have suffered, and are suffering under, Covid restrictions. Subscriptions to ECF have declined as players have not been able to play regularly over the board - many clubs have lost their venue and many chess players will not be returning. In these circumstances, we can expect management at the federation level would seek to understand the key metrics regarding the health and viability of chess clubs. We should pay particular attention to the larger clubs because any cracks in their structure may precede a wider malaise. I realise that clubs are not directly recognised in the federation governance structure but the grassroots still count.
I agree with this. Clubs are crucial part of the competitive chess-playing infrastructure but are barely supported by the ECF.

NickFaulks
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Re: Chess clubs by size

Post by NickFaulks » Fri May 07, 2021 8:25 pm

Angus French wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 7:59 pm
Clubs are crucial part of the competitive chess-playing infrastructure but are barely supported by the ECF.
What support would you like?
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Angus French
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Re: Chess clubs by size

Post by Angus French » Fri May 07, 2021 9:28 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 8:25 pm
Angus French wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 7:59 pm
Clubs are crucial part of the competitive chess-playing infrastructure but are barely supported by the ECF.
What support would you like?
First, the support currently provided that I’m aware of is:
- a club directory on the ECF website to help players find clubs
- arranging of insurance
- Club of the year awards

What I’d like to see:
- The appointment of an officer with responsibility for club engagement
- Construction of an email directory of club contacts to provide a means for engagement with clubs and, beyond that, with players who aren’t ECF members or supporters (it's maybe a little off track but one thing I’d like the ECF to do is to survey players to ask them how they perceive the ECF and what they want out of the ECF)
- Regular communication with clubs, e.g. with a quarterly newsletter
- Provision of advice and materials to assist with facets of club management including how to construct a club website, how to publicise a club locally, how to appeal to and support new players, how to find sponsorship, how to find a good venue...

Richard Bates
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Re: Chess clubs by size

Post by Richard Bates » Fri May 07, 2021 11:42 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 12:42 pm
Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 2:08 pm
John Foley wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 1:22 pm
Can someone construct a list of chess clubs ordered by size?

Some constraints:
a) the members should have played a rated game for the club at least once within the last three years
b) for bona fide members of more than one club, count them as (a) full members or (b) pro-rata members
c) include online and over the board players
d) exclude junior only clubs
e) only clubs in England
f) the members should still be alive

Outputs:
i) club name and number of members as calculated above
ii) strength index (number of members x average rating per member)
That does tend to be useful, yes :)
I'm not necessarily against this but can someone explain this "useful" word? I can see that it provides information about the world of chess but is this information purely for its own sake or does it have some potential value ? If the latter, can anyone be more specific ?
You've missed the bolded bit in the quote.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Chess clubs by size

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sat May 08, 2021 7:12 am

Richard Bates wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 11:42 pm
You've missed the bolded bit in the quote.
Well, yes, I'll grant you that it's always useful knowing who's alive and who's dead. But that doesn't seem to be the main purpose of any exercise such as that proposed.

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