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Event Calendar 2017-18





Report by Steve Mann, 15/10/2017


The English Chess Federation’s Annual General Meeting
of its Council, was held at the
Thistle City Barbican Hotel, 120 Central Street, Clerkenwell, London EC1V 8DS
on Saturday 14th October, starting at 1.30pm, and finishing around 5.30 p.m.

(Papers available at http://www.englishchess.org.uk/about/ecf-council-and-board/)


The AGM is where potentially contentious elections take place, while the April Finance Meeting is where the acrimonious squabbling over money takes place.


This AGM, which I attended carrying the votes or proxy votes of the YCA (3), Doncaster Congress (1), Leeds CA (2) and the English Federation for Correspondence Chess(1), the latter a first for me, was uneventful by recent standards.  A few noteworthy points are as follows:



All posts where an election was taking place resulted in re-election of the incumbent.

Only one post was actually being contested by another party.


Calderdale Congress is “Congress of the Year”.

Congratulations to Noel Boostred.  (See below.)


The Board is looking at more-frequent grading lists

and whether, in that case, an ELO‑style approach to calculation would be more appropriate.


The structure of the County Championship is to be looked at,

with non-participating counties being asked why they don’t participate, and so on.


The matter of eligibility to represent a given county was raised but not pursued.

(This was not a matter over which Yorkshire had any concerns.)


A further point of interest was the statement in the Board’s Report that in had been engaged in “developing stronger links with the Yorkshire Chess Association and leagues.”  I didn’t ask for elaboration, but I suspect this means one or two ECF Directors have spoken individually to one or two YCA officials, while the Hull & DCA have opted for ECF grading of its league.  It may refer also to the 2017 British Rapidplay being held in Ilkley and the 2018 British Championships are being held in Hull.


Although the papers are sent out by e-mail well in advance of the meeting (22/09/2017), attendance forms (which serve also for appointing a proxy) are often left to the last minute, leaving the ECF office staff with a load of work to cram in before the meeting itself: collation and printing of voting lists and proxy lists, and voting papers and cards particular to each attender of the meeting, supplying numbers to caterers, and so on.


Congress of the Year


Only two congresses were nominated for the “Congress of the Year” award, and the selection by the Awards Committee of Noel Boostred’s Calderdale Congress was perhaps based on its unusual nature.  The comments on the ECF website (http://www.englishchess.org.uk/ecf-awards-2017-3/) are as follows:


“Organiser, Noel Boustred, had discovered a niche market for a different sort of congress.  He noticed that in most of the big congresses the strong Open Sections with big prizes are financed by the entry fees for the Minor Sections.  As well as Calderdale he runs annual tournaments at Whitby and Harrogate.  These events, run on a shoestring, don’t have Open sections and big prizes, but are cheap, cheerful events for players with maximum grade of 170 and with the modest minor players mainly in mind.  That he has been able to keep these congresses going for so many years shows that he is meeting a popular demand.”


This doesn’t mention that the events tend to run at a loss, being kept going by popular demand rather than pecuniary considerations.


I recall Noel mentioned at the recent Harrogate Congress that for the success of the Calderdale congress he owed much to Nigel Hepworth’s assistance, but one senses the award was as much as anything for the whole set of Calderdale, Harrogate and Whitby as a “brand”.


Noel is a civil servant resident in Wallsend, Tyne & Wear (or Northumberland as far as chess is concerned), so why his congress-organising is set in Yorkshire is difficult to explain.