Membership Renewal

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Nick Grey
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Nick Grey » Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:44 pm

ECF should not fund the Wales team though is a decent line-up.

On sponsorship we are doing well in what is coming into chess. No spongers in our commun ity.

Lets avoid staff losing their jobs.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Chris Goodall » Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:00 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?
But they don't spend it on "administration", that's not a thing. They spend even more on Home, Membership and International than they budget for, by having those directorates be supported by salaried office staff. They hide all that expense under "Office" to make Home, Membership and International look like better value than they actually are. If you question the wisdom of this, you get a politician's response: how dare you imply that these hard-working hard workers are not working hard?

Um, I wasn't. At least I wasn't until you told me just now that I shouldn't.
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:52 pm
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.
Except that I didn't ask about "elite chess" in the abstract, I asked about the national teams that the ECF funds, and how sponsorship money that gets hoovered up by the national teams is supposed to "create more opportunities" for those same sponsors to invest in the grassroots.
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
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.
That is a ridiculous way of framing this discussion. That GMs are far from being loaded, is exactly my point! It does not matter where you draw the line between professional and amateur - there will always be people who fancy themselves professionals but whose bank manager thinks otherwise. Shovel some more money into the pit, to take those "professionals" over the minimum wage threshold, and you'll find that for every newly solvent professional you've created, two more strong amateurs have decided to "focus on chess for a bit". If you want to call those strong amateurs "spongers" go ahead; I don't think they're spongers any more than unsuccessful entrepreneurs are spongers. 50% of everything is below average, after all.

Everyone knows the GM title is meaningless, but if you want to talk about schools of people, there is a school of people trying to keep their eyes shut to just how meaningless it is. If you are graded below 2700, and you find a source of income that isn't chess, you will not regret that decision.
Nick Grey wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 7:44 pm
ECF should not fund the Wales team though is a decent line-up.
No-one thinks we should. We're talking about the extent to which the sky will fall if we don't indulge the "professional" aspirations of strong amateur players. It won't; worst-case scenario is that England alumni conquer the world.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. ECF Grader for Durham and the NCCU.
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Paul Cooksey
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Paul Cooksey » Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:14 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:00 pm
We're talking about the extent to which the sky will fall if we don't indulge the "professional" aspirations of strong amateur players
The thread is "Membership renewal". Chris is entitled to his eccentric views on professional chess, but I find it distressing he is exaggerating the amount of money the ECF gives to professional chess because this sort of misinformation might damage the ECF. But I'm going to try ignoring it.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Chris Goodall » Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:35 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:14 pm
Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:00 pm
We're talking about the extent to which the sky will fall if we don't indulge the "professional" aspirations of strong amateur players
The thread is "Membership renewal". Chris is entitled to his eccentric views on professional chess, but I find it distressing he is exaggerating the amount of money the ECF gives to professional chess because this sort of misinformation might damage the ECF. But I'm going to try ignoring it.
Is it £45k a year plus whatever fraction of the office costs are really International costs, or is it some other amount?
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. ECF Grader for Durham and the NCCU.
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John Reyes
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by John Reyes » Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:42 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:14 pm
Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:00 pm
We're talking about the extent to which the sky will fall if we don't indulge the "professional" aspirations of strong amateur players
The thread is "Membership renewal". Chris is entitled to his eccentric views on professional chess, but I find it distressing he is exaggerating the amount of money the ECF gives to professional chess because this sort of misinformation might damage the ECF. But I'm going to try ignoring it.
Thanks Paul and i think that Chris should look at the ECF council papers in july when

Salaries, Pension and NIC Staff expenditure is the following

2017/18 £60216
2018/19 £71895
2019/20 £71946 (but this is due to Furlough i would say)

it is simple
Admin for the ECF
2017/18 £141305
2018/19 £143659
2019/20 £130523


Also I will Quote on the ECF finance report that he put in his report and you can see this here

Last Year 2019/20
The latest view of the Federation’s financial performance for 2019/20 is still much the same as
provided in July. We should make a small surplus for the year’s activities of approximately £9k
against a planned loss of £12.5k. In the management accounts the important column for last year is
the” Forecast Column for 2019/20”. Key reasons for achieving this favourable position were:
• Membership income for the year is much as expected with a few late Bronze renewals of
about £900;
• Game fee income has been prudently included as £12k as it is not expected that all
organisations will be able to pay;
• Income from Supporters seems to be lower than previously predicted, but increasing;
• Expenditure generally has been restricted to mainly supporting online events and
administration costs;
• The largest expense for the Online Olympiad was covered by sponsorship/donations
successfully raised by the International Director;
• If the outstanding Game Fee income is collected there should be a surplus for the year of
about £9k which is better than previously calculated;
• Note, if we had not received the Government grants from the Job Retention Scheme and from
the local authority of £21k there would be a deficit of about £12k.

Also if you also see on the ecf main page this
https://www.englishchess.org.uk/change- ... ice-hours/

In order to save money and take advantage of HM Government’s continuing flexible furlough scheme during the pandemic, it has been necessary to reduce the office opening hours and furlough the staff to temporary part-time working patterns whilst maintaining a suitable level of service.

From Monday 5th October, Andrew will be available from 9.30 to 12.30 Monday to Friday, and Gary will be available 9.30 to 16.30 Wednesday and Thursday. Both will be able to deal with telephone queries and emails during these revised hours. If anyone needs to contact the ECF urgently outside these hours, they should email the relevant ECF Director.
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 11:27 pm

John Reyes wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:42 pm
Paul Cooksey wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:14 pm
Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:00 pm
We're talking about the extent to which the sky will fall if we don't indulge the "professional" aspirations of strong amateur players
The thread is "Membership renewal". Chris is entitled to his eccentric views on professional chess, but I find it distressing he is exaggerating the amount of money the ECF gives to professional chess because this sort of misinformation might damage the ECF. But I'm going to try ignoring it.
Thanks Paul and i think that Chris should look at the ECF council papers in july when

Salaries, Pension and NIC Staff expenditure is the following

2017/18 £60216
2018/19 £71895
2019/20 £71946 (but this is due to Furlough i would say)

it is simple
Admin for the ECF
2017/18 £141305
2018/19 £143659
2019/20 £130523


Also I will Quote on the ECF finance report that he put in his report and you can see this here

Last Year 2019/20
The latest view of the Federation’s financial performance for 2019/20 is still much the same as
provided in July. We should make a small surplus for the year’s activities of approximately £9k
against a planned loss of £12.5k. In the management accounts the important column for last year is
the” Forecast Column for 2019/20”. Key reasons for achieving this favourable position were:
• Membership income for the year is much as expected with a few late Bronze renewals of
about £900;
• Game fee income has been prudently included as £12k as it is not expected that all
organisations will be able to pay;
• Income from Supporters seems to be lower than previously predicted, but increasing;
• Expenditure generally has been restricted to mainly supporting online events and
administration costs;
• The largest expense for the Online Olympiad was covered by sponsorship/donations
successfully raised by the International Director;
• If the outstanding Game Fee income is collected there should be a surplus for the year of
about £9k which is better than previously calculated;
• Note, if we had not received the Government grants from the Job Retention Scheme and from
the local authority of £21k there would be a deficit of about £12k.

Also if you also see on the ecf main page this
https://www.englishchess.org.uk/change- ... ice-hours/

In order to save money and take advantage of HM Government’s continuing flexible furlough scheme during the pandemic, it has been necessary to reduce the office opening hours and furlough the staff to temporary part-time working patterns whilst maintaining a suitable level of service.

From Monday 5th October, Andrew will be available from 9.30 to 12.30 Monday to Friday, and Gary will be available 9.30 to 16.30 Wednesday and Thursday. Both will be able to deal with telephone queries and emails during these revised hours. If anyone needs to contact the ECF urgently outside these hours, they should email the relevant ECF Director.
Does the ECF write off ridiculous amounts of expenditure as "admin", instead of charging it back to the directorates it was actually spent on? Yes. I have never claimed otherwise.

If the "admin" expense was charged back to the directorates it was actually spent on, would the two biggest beasts be a) International, and b) the cost of getting money out of members? Yes. I don't see anyone that has claimed otherwise.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. ECF Grader for Durham and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:39 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:27 pm
If the "admin" expense was charged back to the directorates it was actually spent on, would the two biggest beasts be a) International, and b) the cost of getting money out of members? Yes. I don't see anyone that has claimed otherwise.
(b) almost certainly, but i would not think the office spends much time on "international" matters not the teams anyway. Other likely demands on office time would be the website, the British Championship Congress, Junior matters and running ECF meetings. Technical support on grading and rating as well maybe.

The expenditure on "International" would go directly to the players or indirectly to pay for travel, food and accommodation.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Chris Goodall » Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:00 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:39 pm
Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:27 pm
If the "admin" expense was charged back to the directorates it was actually spent on, would the two biggest beasts be a) International, and b) the cost of getting money out of members? Yes. I don't see anyone that has claimed otherwise.
(b) almost certainly, but i would not think the office spends much time on "international" matters not the teams anyway. Other likely demands on office time would be the website, the British Championship Congress, Junior matters and running ECF meetings. Technical support on grading and rating as well maybe.

The expenditure on "International" would go directly to the players or indirectly to pay for travel, food and accommodation.
Ah, sorry, I wasn't clear what I meant there - I meant if you broke up "admin" and added the International portion to the budget for International. I imagine you're right, it's not a big chunk of the admin.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. ECF Grader for Durham and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

John Upham
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by John Upham » Tue Oct 06, 2020 10:01 am

Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:00 pm
Everyone knows the GM title is meaningless,
For the record, it might be useful to learn which titles you consider to be meaningful (rather than meaningless).

I'm sure there is a grey area in between but some idea of your thinking would be useful as a benchmark.

It amuses me to see a point of view that states "everyone knows" followed by a proposition : not generally used in a reasoned debate.

Do not include me in your list of "everyone". I'm sure there are many others who likewise would want to be omitted.
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David Sedgwick
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:36 pm

Mick Norris wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 6:29 pm
David Sedgwick wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:15 pm
Paul Cooksey wrote:
Sat Oct 03, 2020 6:16 pm
Does the content of the BICC agreement matter? I am trying to understand if we are discussing an administrative delay or matter of substance.
Unless and until the Agreement is published, only the privileged few who have seen it know whether the ECF are responsible for the British Championships, whether the BICC are, or whether responsibility is split between the two bodies.

In my opinion that does matter.
Hi David

Can you remind me who is on the BICC (ideally, who has signed and who has yet to do so)?

What happens if it doesn't get signed?
Hi Mick,

"Can you remind me who is on the BICC"

English Chess Federation, Chess Scotland, Welsh Chess Union, Irish Chess Union, Ulster Chess Union, Guernsey Chess Federation, Jersey Chess Federation, Isle of Man Chess Association.

(Apologies for any inaccuracies in the names.)

"(ideally, who has signed and who has yet to do so)?"

I have no idea.

The lack of signatures appears to be due to bureaucratic inertia. I have been assured that all the member organisations are happy with the content of the Agreement.

"What happens if it doesn't get signed?"

When Guernsey didn't sign for a while about twenty years ago, they were simply left out.

It is the secrecy about the content which worries me, for the reason which I set out in my post quoted above.

However, I am hopeful that things will be sorted out soon, so I'm going to leave my comments there.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Chris Goodall » Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:47 pm

John Upham wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 10:01 am
Chris Goodall wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:00 pm
Everyone knows the GM title is meaningless,
For the record, it might be useful to learn which titles you consider to be meaningful (rather than meaningless).

I'm sure there is a grey area in between but some idea of your thinking would be useful as a benchmark.

It amuses me to see a point of view that states "everyone knows" followed by a proposition : not generally used in a reasoned debate.

Do not include me in your list of "everyone". I'm sure there are many others who likewise would want to be omitted.
Oh come on. There wasn't a single GM born in 1906, 1912, 1915 or 1918; there were forty-five born in 1989, fifty in 1990 and forty-four in 1991. I'm an ordinary club player, and yet there are English GMs closer to my standard than to Carlsen's (or even Caruana's). 2700 is meaningful.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. ECF Grader for Durham and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:12 pm

Well tbh it is possible to argue a GM title still means *something*, even if its not the same as what it used to mean.

(and, believe it or not, people were loudly complaining about "title inflation" in the 1960s and even the 50s)
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:49 pm

There's also the distinction between what GM means in terms of world ranking (it used to definitely mean you were one of the world's elite, now it doesn't) and what it means in terms of absolute standard of play (which is a more difficult question to answer).

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:05 pm

Yes, a good case can be made that the *general* standard of play (at master as well as club level) has improved from Ye Olden Days.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Nick Grey
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Re: Membership Renewal

Post by Nick Grey » Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:55 pm

ok

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