Membership Renewal

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

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:55 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:54 am

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.
I already answered that. We support Malcolm Pein (and other members of the board) in finding secure sponsorship that puts us on a stronger financial footing. This doesn't just benefit our elite players as that would give opportunities for investment in grassroots chess.

I would also respectfully point out that the removal of the `subsidy` is a matter for the wider ECF membership and not just for you. Even if we had OMOV somebody would have to gather enough signatures for a substantive motion and get it passed.
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Angus French
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Angus French » Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:49 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:55 pm
We support Malcolm Pein (and other members of the board) in finding secure sponsorship that puts us on a stronger financial footing. This doesn't just benefit our elite players as that would give opportunities for investment in grassroots chess.
Since Malcolm became Director of International Chess the amount received in sponsorship and donations has been exceeded by the increase in expenditure. The amount the ECF contributes to international chess has increased from around £25K a year to around £45K a year. Ultimately it's the members who pay for the increase.
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:55 pm
I would also respectfully point out that the removal of the `subsidy` is a matter for the wider ECF membership and not just for you. Even if we had OMOV somebody would have to gather enough signatures for a substantive motion and get it passed.
Of course, people are liberty to vote with their feet.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Chris Goodall » Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:57 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:55 pm
Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:54 am

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.
I already answered that. We support Malcolm Pein (and other members of the board) in finding secure sponsorship that puts us on a stronger financial footing. This doesn't just benefit our elite players as that would give opportunities for investment in grassroots chess.
Sponsors giving money to grandmasters creates opportunities for sponsors to give money to grassroots chess? Are you sure? I would have thought that, if I eat more of the cake, I would have less of the cake to give to you. Does trickle-down economics work better in chess than in real life?

Besides, that's not really an answer to "when can we stop giving £45k a year to International". Are you saying that we should reduce that £45k by £1 for every £1 that Malcolm manages to find with our support? Such that, when sponsorship has increased by £45k, the contribution from the members will have reduced to £0? (A sort of Financial Fair Play for chess - the total spend on national teams would effectively be capped, and only the proportions under the cap would change.)
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:55 pm
I would also respectfully point out that the removal of the `subsidy` is a matter for the wider ECF membership and not just for you. Even if we had OMOV somebody would have to gather enough signatures for a substantive motion and get it passed.
If folks are convinced by what I say, it won't just be me. If they aren't convinced, nothing will happen.
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 5:35 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:57 pm
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:55 pm
Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:54 am

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.
I already answered that. We support Malcolm Pein (and other members of the board) in finding secure sponsorship that puts us on a stronger financial footing. This doesn't just benefit our elite players as that would give opportunities for investment in grassroots chess.
Sponsors giving money to grandmasters creates opportunities for sponsors to give money to grassroots chess? Are you sure? I would have thought that, if I eat more of the cake, I would have less of the cake to give to you. Does trickle-down economics work better in chess than in real life?

Besides, that's not really an answer to "when can we stop giving £45k a year to International". Are you saying that we should reduce that £45k by £1 for every £1 that Malcolm manages to find with our support? Such that, when sponsorship has increased by £45k, the contribution from the members will have reduced to £0? (A sort of Financial Fair Play for chess - the total spend on national teams would effectively be capped, and only the proportions under the cap would change.)
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:55 pm
I would also respectfully point out that the removal of the `subsidy` is a matter for the wider ECF membership and not just for you. Even if we had OMOV somebody would have to gather enough signatures for a substantive motion and get it passed.
If folks are convinced by what I say, it won't just be me. If they aren't convinced, nothing will happen.
The three most popular adult events in the chess calendar are the British Chess Championship, the London Chess Classic (all Malcolm's work of course) and the 4NCL. You could potentially throw in Gibraltar as well. The appeal of these events for many players is the chance to play in the same room as elite players (and mingle with them afterwards). Below that participation tends to level down through the larger congresses (Blackpool, Scarborough, South Lakes - some titled player participation) to your bread and butter stars barred events. The pattern is fairly obvious.

The two biggest drivers of chess participation in the UK since the war were Fischer vs Spassky (not just limited to the UK) and Short vs Kasparov.

I'm sure you will beg to differ strongly but grassroots chess is not subservient to elite chess. The two feed and complement each other.
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Ian Thompson
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Ian Thompson » Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:56 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:57 pm
Sponsors giving money to grandmasters creates opportunities for sponsors to give money to grassroots chess? Are you sure? I would have thought that, if I eat more of the cake, I would have less of the cake to give to you.
Most sponsors probably aren't giving all of their cake to chess. The aim is to encourage them to give more of their cake to chess and less to some other activity.

Paul Cooksey
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Paul Cooksey » Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:17 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:38 pm
This isn't the ECF's forum; we don't have to be impressed by the ECF hinting darkly at "operational problems".
Do you really not understand that the ECF spends most of its money on administration not on professional players? I hate having to say that we are talking about the possibility of people we know being made redundant on a forum they probably read.

I will be surprised if international spend from membership income is anything other than £0 this year, the only event that was available was an online event which was sponsored.

I thought some of the answers to questions Angus was asking Malcolm should not be in the public domain. But I do think the commitment to a clear budget was a useful outcome. What that budget should be in future years a very valid discussion.

But again, whether you think David and Gawain are spongers who should get a proper job, or world class players you are happy to see represent England is not really relevant to the question "should I make a donation to the ECF if I can afford it?"

John Reyes
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by John Reyes » Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:24 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:17 pm
Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:38 pm
This isn't the ECF's forum; we don't have to be impressed by the ECF hinting darkly at "operational problems".
Do you really not understand that the ECF spends most of its money on administration not on professional players? I hate having to say that we are talking about the possibility of people we know being made redundant on a forum they probably read.

I will be surprised if international spend from membership income is anything other than £0 this year, the only event that was available was an online event which was sponsored.

I thought some of the answers to questions Angus was asking Malcolm should not be in the public domain. But I do think the commitment to a clear budget was a useful outcome. What that budget should be in future years a very valid discussion.

But again, whether you think David and Gawain are spongers who should get a proper job, or world class players you are happy to see represent England is not really relevant to the question "should I make a donation to the ECF if I can afford it?"
Chris don't see that admin staff will lose their jobs and they have bills etc to cover themselves,

Would you want them to work for free?
Any postings on here represent my personal views only

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Chris Goodall » Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:43 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:35 pm
The three most popular adult events in the chess calendar are the British Chess Championship, the London Chess Classic (all Malcolm's work of course) and the 4NCL. You could potentially throw in Gibraltar as well. The appeal of these events for many players is the chance to play in the same room as elite players (and mingle with them afterwards). Below that participation tends to level down through the larger congresses (Blackpool, Scarborough, South Lakes - some titled player participation) to your bread and butter stars barred events. The pattern is fairly obvious.

The two biggest drivers of chess participation in the UK since the war were Fischer vs Spassky (not just limited to the UK) and Short vs Kasparov.

I'm sure you will beg to differ strongly but grassroots chess is not subservient to elite chess. The two feed and complement each other.
You're talking in extreme generalities. Are you saying that if the ECF stop paying Michael Adams to play top board in Olympiads, he will take such umbrage that he will thereafter refuse to mingle with the common people at the 4NCL, which has nothing to do with the ECF?

That English chess would benefit from another Short vs. Kasparov, is all the more reason to stop funding the players whose rating graph indicates they aren't even going to make the Candidates' tournament. What actually is the point? Show me a single player who took up chess because England reversed into 5th place in Batumi, having played only one of the top 4.

If English-born players end up representing other countries, there will be Negative Nancys who feel this is a betrayal of our essential Englishness. Personally, I would be delighted to have more than 4 English players to cheer on. Why not dream big - see if we can get a foreign team composed entirely of English-born players? Two Olympiad entries for the price of one!
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. ECF Grader for Durham and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

Nick Ivell
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Nick Ivell » Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:51 pm

Does anyone think that David and Gawain are spongers?

I hope not!

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:52 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:43 pm
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:35 pm
The three most popular adult events in the chess calendar are the British Chess Championship, the London Chess Classic (all Malcolm's work of course) and the 4NCL. You could potentially throw in Gibraltar as well. The appeal of these events for many players is the chance to play in the same room as elite players (and mingle with them afterwards). Below that participation tends to level down through the larger congresses (Blackpool, Scarborough, South Lakes - some titled player participation) to your bread and butter stars barred events. The pattern is fairly obvious.

The two biggest drivers of chess participation in the UK since the war were Fischer vs Spassky (not just limited to the UK) and Short vs Kasparov.

I'm sure you will beg to differ strongly but grassroots chess is not subservient to elite chess. The two feed and complement each other.
You're talking in extreme generalities. Are you saying that if the ECF stop paying Michael Adams to play top board in Olympiads, he will take such umbrage that he will thereafter refuse to mingle with the common people at the 4NCL, which has nothing to do with the ECF?

That English chess would benefit from another Short vs. Kasparov, is all the more reason to stop funding the players whose rating graph indicates they aren't even going to make the Candidates' tournament. What actually is the point? Show me a single player who took up chess because England reversed into 5th place in Batumi, having played only one of the top 4.

If English-born players end up representing other countries, there will be Negative Nancys who feel this is a betrayal of our essential Englishness. Personally, I would be delighted to have more than 4 English players to cheer on. Why not dream big - see if we can get a foreign team composed entirely of English-born players? Two Olympiad entries for the price of one!
My first paragraph was a direct answer to your question as to how investment in elite chess impacts on the grassroots.

Michael Adams or any other chess professional will go where the money is. Obviously I can't speak for him (or any other elite player) but I doubt he would take umbrage and decline paid work elsewhere.
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Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:54 pm

Nick Ivell wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:51 pm
Does anyone think that David and Gawain are spongers?

I hope not!
Some people do unfortunately, or at least assume that if you are a chess Grandmaster you must be loaded. It's often the same school of people who think that the English Chess Federation must be run by people earning six figure salaries.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:54 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:17 pm
I will be surprised if international spend from membership income is anything other than £0 this year, the only event that was available was an online event which was sponsored.
Regarding the 2020-21 financial year which started on 1st September 2020, the Olympiad postponed from last year is scheduled for August 2021. That's within the current year if it takes place. There should have been a saving in 2019-20 through not having to finance the Olympiad in August 2020. Have there been accruals so some money is already set aside?

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:57 pm

A Wales team of Nigel Davies, James Cobb, Carl Strugnell and Tim Kett sounds like quite a decent line-up. I'm sure there are others.

Angus French
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Angus French » Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:13 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:54 pm
Paul Cooksey wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:17 pm
I will be surprised if international spend from membership income is anything other than £0 this year, the only event that was available was an online event which was sponsored.
Regarding the 2020-21 financial year which started on 1st September 2020, the Olympiad postponed from last year is scheduled for August 2021. That's within the current year if it takes place. There should have been a saving in 2019-20 through not having to finance the Olympiad in August 2020. Have there been accruals so some money is already set aside?
I think the figures for the August 2020 Olympiad were always against the 2020/21 financial year.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:26 pm

Angus French wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:13 pm
I think the figures for the August 2020 Olympiad were always against the 2020/21 financial year.
That strikes me as odd, given that that the 2020/21 financial year would not start until 1st September 2020. Having the Olympiad move round the calendar does create some difficulty in establishing which years of membership income should finance it should that be necessary.

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