Membership Renewal

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:30 pm

Michael Farthing wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:15 am
Do you mean Nigel Davies' plan? About the time he transferred to Wales.
Indeed - his suggestion as to how things should be done.

I actually agreed with much of what Nigel Davies said. What I didn't like was his stinging contempt for the `ragbag of amateurs` who give up their time to run the events a close blood relative of his clearly enjoyed playing in.
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Gareth T Ellis
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Gareth T Ellis » Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:46 pm

Re: Membership Renewal
Post by John Swain » Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:17 pm

The following appeal has appeared on chess24.com

https://chess24.com/en/read/news/englis ... ur-of-need
Mr Truran said:

"Like many sports and leisure organisations we have taken an enormous hit over the past six months, and we need members’ help to continue providing online and over the board services now and in the future.

Despite members’ best efforts so far, around 55 per cent of members have not renewed yet.

We will face serious financial difficulties and potential damage to our infrastructure if the current crisis extends too far into 2021 without sufficient membership income to sustain a cost base that we have already stripped back as far as we feel able."
Why haven't the ECF applied nor are they planning to for a CBIL- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, but are looking to the PIFs for any extra funding?
If the message was to try scaring members into renewing it won't work as basically all, most members get or think they get is a grade, which is of no use to them until otb chess restarts.

As membership is going to be reduced in 2021/22 until enough players feel safe enough to renew & play, it's better to establish a longer term solution than raiding the funds that provide annual support to various chess activities, weakening it's ability to continue doing that .

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:56 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:30 pm
What I didn't like was his stinging contempt for the `ragbag of amateurs` who give up their time to run the events a close blood relative of his clearly enjoyed playing in.
This is one of the posts at the time.

https://chessimprover.com/why-i-switched-to-wales/

It was in 2015 around the time of the Foley v Holowczak spat over the Home Director position.

viewtopic.php?t=7839&start=45#p167389

Paul Cooksey
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:03 pm

Gareth T Ellis wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:46 pm
If the message was to try scaring members into renewing it won't work as basically all, most members get or think they get is a grade, which is of no use to them until otb chess restarts.

As membership is going to be reduced in 2021/22 until enough players feel safe enough to renew & play, it's better to establish a longer term solution than raiding the funds that provide annual support to various chess activities, weakening it's ability to continue doing that .
I'm always a bit critical of the ECF's tone. In the circumstances where they could say "nearly half of members have shown fantastic support, we are hoping more will, so we can..." they have gone with "half of you swine still haven't subscribed...". Well a bit politer admittedly, but still definitely carrot rather than stick.

Actually, if 50% is where it ends up, I do think that is fantastic support from ECF members who know they are effectively making a donation. I imagine other organisations will do much worse.

If the ECF expects membership to bounce back, it could be cheaper as well as better to bridge the gap rather than change twice. So although I think Gareth's premise the ECF should look to the long term makes sense, I don't have enough information to take a strong view on what that requires.

Nick Grey
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Nick Grey » Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:20 pm

I feel sorry for Rob when so much bad history used to ’help’ with the current crisis. 6 or 7 hours for the meeting?

John Reyes
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by John Reyes » Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:57 pm

Gareth T Ellis wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:46 pm
Re: Membership Renewal
Post by John Swain » Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:17 pm

The following appeal has appeared on chess24.com

https://chess24.com/en/read/news/englis ... ur-of-need
Mr Truran said:

"Like many sports and leisure organisations we have taken an enormous hit over the past six months, and we need members’ help to continue providing online and over the board services now and in the future.

Despite members’ best efforts so far, around 55 per cent of members have not renewed yet.

We will face serious financial difficulties and potential damage to our infrastructure if the current crisis extends too far into 2021 without sufficient membership income to sustain a cost base that we have already stripped back as far as we feel able."
Why haven't the ECF applied nor are they planning to for a CBIL- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, but are looking to the PIFs for any extra funding?
If the message was to try scaring members into renewing it won't work as basically all, most members get or think they get is a grade, which is of no use to them until otb chess restarts.

As membership is going to be reduced in 2021/22 until enough players feel safe enough to renew & play, it's better to establish a longer term solution than raiding the funds that provide annual support to various chess activities, weakening it's ability to continue doing that .
what is the CBIL? does anyone in the forum know about this and does the ECF finance director or income one know about this?
Any postings on here represent my personal views only

Ian Thompson
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Ian Thompson » Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:58 pm

Nick Grey wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:57 pm
So is it equal 1/8 th liability or 100/100 with ECF?
Liability for what? All the 2007 BICC agreement says is that the ECF has the right to organise a British Championship event and declare the winners as British Champions. There's nothing in the agreement requiring it to organise anything if it doesn't want to.

Mick Norris
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Mick Norris » Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:36 pm

Has the ECF got a contract with Torquay? If yes then there's a liability even if the event is not organised
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Gareth T Ellis
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Gareth T Ellis » Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:39 pm

what is the CBIL? does anyone in the forum know about this and does the ECF finance director or income one know about this?
Yes they know, I checked before posting on here.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-t ... oan-scheme

The deadline to apply has been increased to 30th November and the maximum duration from 6 to 10 years, making it easy to budget for.

John, it's a government backed scheme to help businesses get finance to make sure they can survive the impact of covid.
Although the business is liable to repay 100% of the loan the government guarantees 80% of the loan to the lender, unlike the Bounce Back Loan that was limited to £50k and took ten mins to apply for with funds paid out usually next day or at least within a couple depending upon bank, this is for alot more, so can take a while to apply for but worth it.

Interest rates range from 1.8% to 2.5% for businesses that I'm aware of (going via their usual bank) with nothing to pay for the first year.
As the PIFs must be earning more than this it seems odd to deplete reserves when a better option is available.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Chris Goodall » Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:33 am

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:14 pm
Aren't rules 2, 3 and 4 redundant if the budget is £0?
Yes.
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:36 pm
Nick Ivell wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:29 pm
I ask myself who the 0.5 pro was in 1970. Raymond Keene, perhaps? Was he only half a player?
I imagine he means Bob Wade, who was undoubtedly a chess professional, but as coach and writer as much as player.
Yes.
John Reyes wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:25 pm
1) Really ............................................ you talk about keen Amateurs, but if you look at other Federations, you need to adapted. people think so much in the past and look at what malcolm has done in his time. we need a national team, however you talk about keen amateurs, but how many top keen amateurs (let say players over 220 plus) do we have in the uk and how many would be good enough to be select and who is the next adams????
2) you see on the last budget that he did under spend and has brought in sponsorship.
3) do you know how much each player get paid and also what go behind the scenes
4) have you read this https://www.englishchess.org.uk/international
5) Players need coaches (you see that at darts, and tennis)

many years ago, i would have agreed with you, however when you look at what Malcolm has done, do you wanted English chess to envolve?
look at henman, then Murray, but who is after murray? sometimes you need to look towards the future and you need funding to get the right system in place.

i know you have a view, but speak to malcolm pein and your option will maybe change.

look at darts and what happen with the BDO/PDC spilt and where is the bdo and where is the PDC??
Addressing a few of your points in no particular order:

Evolving and looking towards the future - no-one can argue with that. Why, if we're looking towards the future, did we go into the last Olympiad with Michael Adams on board 1? That's like Southgate calling up Wayne Rooney because he's England's record goalscorer.

In the long term, results are predicted by ratings. Give a million pounds to a 2700, and he won't play like a 2800. But if you're giving money to GMs in the expectation that they'll perform roughly in line with their ratings, then England are going to finish 10th-20th. (Higher if some of the top players in the world don't bother with the tournament. A bronze medal in a tournament where Russia can win gold with Andreikin on board 1, is a participation trophy.)

You can spend an awful lot of money proving that, yes, the FIDE rating system is fairly accurate. What would be nice, and what I think you're talking about when you're saying "get the funding in place", is turning money into improvements in our players' ratings. But the reality of elite chess now, is that you aren't going to move the needle unless you create salaried players, who can afford to devote all of their chess time to studying. Not coaching, not writing, not blitzing on lichess and not annihilating weekenders to pay the bills. You can wait for a Carlsen or a Vachier-Lagrave (IM by 13, GM by 15) to be born in your country through sheer luck, but you can't buy one.

Who is after Murray? Or in chess terms, who is going to be the next English player to make the Candidates? The only one of the top 10 whose 5-year rating is sloping upwards is Sadler, and he has better things to do. Is Adams is going to find another 50 rating points from somewhere at age 49? Hence, 8-year rule.

How many English players would be good enough for the Olympiad - far more than you think. Blackthorne Russia were a below-average team in 4NCL Division 1b; they would be an above-average team at the Olympiad.

Yes, players need coaches, the problem is if those coaches are adding value not by the greatness of their coaching but by how much of an obstacle they can insert between the parents and the England teams. They say to the parents, hire me, I can get your kid into the England team. And they say to the England selectors, hire me, I can get you the good kids. We should be clearer where the line between coach and agent is. Otherwise kids get stuck with the coaches who are best at getting them into the England setup, rather than the coaches who are best at coaching.

I'm a bit uneasy at the suggestion, from several people, that once you've had the Malcolm Pein treatment you see everything clearly. That sounds more televangelist than International Director. If Malcolm Pein has a fundamentally good argument, someone other than Malcolm Pein ought to be able to summarise it and have it still sound like a good argument.
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:28 pm
It seems to be a peculiarly English attitude that we don't mind grandmasters making money from chess but we're damned if we'll pay. Only in England do we treat our top players with such contempt that we effectively tell them they are not worth our money and if they don't like it they can find another job. Ironically, if a Grandmaster washes up in our local area we then expect them to turn out for our club and/ or support with junior coaching and do it for the love because we think they owe us something.

An even worse irony is that some nations would happily meet the going rate of our top players and switching national allegiance is easy enough. If we ended up with a situation where we turned up at the Olympiad with a team of flush IMs while our top players represented other countries we would look pretty silly.
I disagree with all of that. I do mind grandmasters making money from chess - or more accurately, I mind grandmasters taking more money out of chess in fees than they put in in audience revenue, and expecting the grassroots to cover the shortfall. The average audience for a York City FC home match is 2,500, all of whom have paid for tickets, and that isn't enough to hire a professional squad of players. The average audience for a Nicholas Pert Olympiad game is 10, none of whom have paid for tickets.

If your club's top player decides he's going to charge an appearance fee of £50 per game, do you feel obliged to pay up lest he move to the club down the road, or do you treat your top player with such contempt that you effectively tell him he's not worth your money?
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. ECF Grader for Durham and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:31 am

Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:33 am

Evolving and looking towards the future - no-one can argue with that. Why, if we're looking towards the future, did we go into the last Olympiad with Michael Adams on board 1? That's like Southgate calling up Wayne Rooney because he's England's record goalscorer.
That's not really comparing like with like. Adams remains England's number one player while Rooney has had to give way to a new wave of talent.

You do have a point that there is a balance to be struck between the nominal `strongest possible team now` and a possible team of the future and if we had a wave of young talent snapping at the heels of the current top ten that would be a valid argument. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, we don't.
Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:33 am

I'm a bit uneasy at the suggestion, from several people, that once you've had the Malcolm Pein treatment you see everything clearly. That sounds more televangelist than International Director. If Malcolm Pein has a fundamentally good argument, someone other than Malcolm Pein ought to be able to summarise it and have it still sound like a good argument.
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:28 pm
It seems to be a peculiarly English attitude that we don't mind grandmasters making money from chess but we're damned if we'll pay. Only in England do we treat our top players with such contempt that we effectively tell them they are not worth our money and if they don't like it they can find another job. Ironically, if a Grandmaster washes up in our local area we then expect them to turn out for our club and/ or support with junior coaching and do it for the love because we think they owe us something.

An even worse irony is that some nations would happily meet the going rate of our top players and switching national allegiance is easy enough. If we ended up with a situation where we turned up at the Olympiad with a team of flush IMs while our top players represented other countries we would look pretty silly.
I disagree with all of that. I do mind grandmasters making money from chess - or more accurately, I mind grandmasters taking more money out of chess in fees than they put in in audience revenue, and expecting the grassroots to cover the shortfall. The average audience for a York City FC home match is 2,500, all of whom have paid for tickets, and that isn't enough to hire a professional squad of players. The average audience for a Nicholas Pert Olympiad game is 10, none of whom have paid for tickets.

If your club's top player decides he's going to charge an appearance fee of £50 per game, do you feel obliged to pay up lest he move to the club down the road, or do you treat your top player with such contempt that you effectively tell him he's not worth your money?
Again I actually agree with you, up to a point. Grassroots players shouldn't be subsidising professional chess and the inverse is also true; professional chess should not be subsidised by grassroots players. In a perfect world there should be strong corporate sponsorship (and government backing but we know the obstacles there) for the top level teams and the national championship. And the simple truth is that when it comes to seeking sponsorship and investment for English chess there is nobody with a better track record than Malcolm Pein. Indeed, he is almost the only person with any such record.
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Paul Cooksey
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Paul Cooksey » Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:28 am

Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:33 am
Paul Cooksey wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:14 pm
Aren't rules 2, 3 and 4 redundant if the budget is £0?
Yes.
Good to hear. I look forward to Chris lobbying people to become members if the budget is zero this year.

I know the composition of the England team is an interesting topic. But I think discussing it distracts from the fallacy that Chris is promoting, that the consequences of an ECF funding crisis will be primarily felt by professional players. This is just wrong. The numbers prove it.

If you want to be cynical about the ECF you can say it is a way of organisers taxing players to fund their "pet projects", as Roger sometimes describes them. I think a bit less clear, since the pet projects are sometimes quite useful. But you can see from the Nigel Davies blogs that the organisers are not doing it to make professionals happy.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Chris Goodall » Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:54 am

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:28 am
Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:33 am
Paul Cooksey wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:14 pm
Aren't rules 2, 3 and 4 redundant if the budget is £0?
Yes.
Good to hear. I look forward to Chris lobbying people to become members if the budget is zero this year.
I wouldn't lobby players to become members this year. That was the first thing I said.
Paul Cooksey wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:14 pm
I know the composition of the England team is an interesting topic. But I think discussing it distracts from the fallacy that Chris is promoting, that the consequences of an ECF funding crisis will be primarily felt by professional players. This is just wrong. The numbers prove it.
Not a fallacy. The largest discretionary spend is on International teams. If the ECF is bloody-minded enough to cut essential spend in order to protect discretionary spend, it deserves financial ruin.
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:31 am
Again I actually agree with you, up to a point. Grassroots players shouldn't be subsidising professional chess and the inverse is also true; professional chess should not be subsidised by grassroots players. In a perfect world there should be strong corporate sponsorship (and government backing but we know the obstacles there) for the top level teams and the national championship. And the simple truth is that when it comes to seeking sponsorship and investment for English chess there is nobody with a better track record than Malcolm Pein. Indeed, he is almost the only person with any such record.
How do you suppose we get from the current world, where grassroots players are subsidising professional chess, to a perfect world where they aren't? There is only one logical answer to that: somewhere along the line, we have to remove the subsidy. So tell me what event is going to trigger the removal of the subsidy?

Remove it after we've just performed above expectations in a tournament, and we're punishing our players for succeeding. Remove it after we've just performed below expectations, and we're giving up; Leonard Barden will have our guts for garters.

Remove it when our players are striving for the world elite, and we're shutting off the pipeline - giving our youngsters nothing to aspire to. Remove it when they've already got there, and we're treating our elite players with contempt.

So in the absence of any right time to remove the subsidy, the right time is when we've had a squeeze on our ability to pay it, which is now.

Being in a situation where paying a subsidy is the only way to "unlock" a briefcase full of commercial partner cash, doesn't make the subsidy a good deal. Say my wife spent £300 on an amazing toaster because it was 70% OFF! "But if it should have been £1,000, the shop's basically given us £700 towards it, so we've made £400 profit!" Uh, no. We had £300 and now we have a toaster.

Of course, we chess players are too clever to fall for a 70% OFF! sticker on a toaster. Why do we fall for the same sticker on a Grandmaster?

(Liz, I know you're not the kind to spend £300 on a toaster. Only on fancy felt-tip pens.)
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. ECF Grader for Durham and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

Paul Cooksey
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Paul Cooksey » Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:10 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:54 am
Paul Cooksey wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:28 am
Good to hear. I look forward to Chris lobbying people to become members if the budget is zero this year.
I wouldn't lobby players to become members this year. That was the first thing I said.
Indeed, but I though you might change your mind when you realised that your reason to not renew - subsidising professional players - was no longer relevant.
Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:54 am
Paul Cooksey wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:14 pm
I know the composition of the England team is an interesting topic. But I think discussing it distracts from the fallacy that Chris is promoting, that the consequences of an ECF funding crisis will be primarily felt by professional players. This is just wrong. The numbers prove it.
Not a fallacy. The largest discretionary spend is on International teams. If the ECF is bloody-minded enough to cut essential spend in order to protect discretionary spend, it deserves financial ruin.
You can't really define discretionary spend as things you don't agree with. But even if we allow that, it rather undermines the position this is the main problem with the ECF.

But my point is you are discouraging people from subscribing to the ECF because you don't want to subsidise professional teams in the year when the professional teams are unlikely to be able to play so wont be subsidized anyway.

Frankly, setting the international budget at 0, or less than 43k and setting restrictions on who is eligible for selection, are sensible ideas. Not ones I'd currently support, but things we could reasonably discuss. But arguing this is an opportunity to force the ECF to make a long term change to these policies by reducing its membership income now seems to me just wrong. I don't see the causality between doing the thing you propose to do and getting the outcome you want.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Chris Goodall » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:38 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:10 pm
You can't really define discretionary spend as things you don't agree with. But even if we allow that, it rather undermines the position this is the main problem with the ECF.

But my point is you are discouraging people from subscribing to the ECF because you don't want to subsidise professional teams in the year when the professional teams are unlikely to be able to play so wont be subsidized anyway.

Frankly, setting the international budget at 0, or less than 43k and setting restrictions on who is eligible for selection, are sensible ideas. Not ones I'd currently support, but things we could reasonably discuss. But arguing this is an opportunity to force the ECF to make a long term change to these policies by reducing its membership income now seems to me just wrong. I don't see the causality between doing the thing you propose to do and getting the outcome you want.
You're telling us the impact of the funding crisis won't be felt primarily by professional players.

Why not?

If you expect the ECF to cut International funding to £0 before it cuts anything else, then yes, the impact will be felt primarily by "professional" players.

If you expect the ECF to sacrifice other things in order to maintain an International budget of >£0: what are these other things, that you consider less essential than International?

This isn't the ECF's forum; we don't have to be impressed by the ECF hinting darkly at "operational problems".
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. ECF Grader for Durham and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

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