PRESENT (35 members)
D Wilson (chair), J Aagaard, G Anderson, L Barnes, G Bonner, H Brechin, D M Bryson, G Clarke, R Coleman, S Collins, J Dempsey, T Donohue, G Forbes, H Glen, J M Glendinning, A Goodall, S C Hamilton, A Howie, A McCulloch, A McFarlane, C MacGregor, W McIntosh, L R McKenzie, I Marks, A Maxwell, John Montgomery, A J Muir, A Officer, D Officer, C Postlethwaite, C Pritchett, J Shaw, J Thomas, P Thomas and P Woods.
The President welcomed members to the AGM and in particular the new British Champion Jacob Aagaard, who had brought the Championship Trophy along to the meeting. The British Ladies Championship trophy was also on display having been won for the fourth time by Keti Arakhamia-Grant. The meeting gave both players warm applause.
Apologies had been received from the following: - Ken Stewart, Stephen Hilton, David Oswald, Jeremy Hughes, Trevor Davies
A proxy had been received from David Oswald in favour of Robbie Coleman
The minutes of the previous AGM, 27 August 2006 , were approved. There were no matters arising.
ANNUAL REPORT and ACCOUNTS
The Annual Report had been published on the CS website; the President invited directors to add to their reports.
The President invited those who had contributed to the annual report to make any additions they wished, with the meeting asking questions on each section of the report.
The President noted that arrangements for this year's President's Awards had not yet been published. They would be published soon with closing date early October for nominations.
John Glendinning noted that he had met a commitment to organise recognition of Jonathan Rowson's triple win of the British Championship, with a simultaneous display at Glasgow 's Art Galleries combined with a presentation to the youth squad event organised by Donna Officer and a dinner in the evening. The events had been well received.
Jacob Aagaard noted that we had again sent players to Cappelle la Grande. We had also sent Alan Tait to the European Union Championships and Ivan Stokes as a nominee to the British Championships.
Alex McFarlane asked for the AGM's views on the future of the Scottish Championships. His belief was that the existing format was no longer appropriate and that we should move to an international open in 2008, with international players invited. The idea of a larger open was preferred to a collection of smaller tournaments.
There was debate over whether there should be specific events in the morning for younger players playing a faster time control. It was felt that the older juniors would correctly want to play in the open. It was also felt that sponsors might well want a strong junior presence.
The idea of piloting the idea in a smaller event first was raised but it was felt that there was enough evidence in other countries on international opens to support the format.
The meeting agreed support for the idea of an international open, with no opposition to the change. Further consideration would be given to whether there were separate events for younger juniors.
Donna Officer corrected an error in the report and confirmed that Steve Mannion will be coach for the world youth. She also noted to applause from the meeting that Scotland had won the Faber Cup tournament.
Lara Barnes asked whether Scotland had been invited to send an arbiter to the world youth championships but it was noted that this had been received too late and had not been able to be progressed.
Douglas Bryson noted that Gordon Rattray had now moved the grading system from Aberdeen Harbour servers. He was still running the software developed by Alex Bisset but was considering possible separate development. The meeting expressed its thanks to Alex for all his work in developing the system and its new facilities for members.
There was an ongoing debate on grading calculations which may give rise to changes but these would not be this season.
George Anderson referred to the Player of the Year Award and indicated that he was looking for guidance from the Management Board on whether the votes of the players listed should be published. He had not done so since the players are not asked whether they wish to be listed. He was also looking for guidance on whether the basis should change to be by a committee decision, as for the junior awards.
Robbie Coleman asked for views on whether the change for insertions advertising allegro congresses should be less than for full weekend events. It was agreed that weekend event fee should remain at £30 and allegros should be £20.
Mac McKenzie noted that the sizeable surplus this year arose partly from under spends in international, membership services and schools, and partly from a higher than normal level of donations.
Sam Collins noted the winners of the following events:
Richardson Cup – Hamilton
Spens - Glenrothes
Rosebowl – Hamilton Juniors
Donald Wilson added the following:
MacIsaac – result not known yet – final between Alistair Maxwell and Chris Macdonald
Nancy Elder – Mark Sanderson
Sam is proposing to run a combined Richardson, Spens and Rosebowl event in the coming season. Teams will be of 6 players but when the Richardson Cup finalists are determined, they will then switch to 8 boards. It was agreed that, rather than have different fees for the events, the fee would be £17 for the combined event. Clubs will also have to be CS members. The target was to have information to club secretaries by end August.
Craig Pritchett referred to a half GCSE which he had been helping an assistant school head in London develop following a commission by the exam board ASDAN. They want to pilot it in secondary schools and there is scope for Scottish schools to be involved, perhaps this academic year. It may also be feasible for clubs to get involved. Craig will publish more information on the website when available.
There was a substantive discussion on the Junior Report.
George Clarke felt that it did not contain a sufficient factbase and that its conclusions were unrealistic.
Alex McFarlane reported views that the report should have gone out to tendering.
Gerald Bonner provided further background on the SJCA Educational Trust, which he had been a trustee of since its formation in 1969. His reaction to the report initially had also been that it was cloud cuckoo land but, after listening to the scope for potential fund raising from suitable trusts, he was now fully persuaded that it should be given every opportunity to work. The composition of the trust was undergoing change with the intention of increasing to 9 trustees. He believed it was right to focus initially on Edinburgh partly because of the political agreement in principle there and partly because of the well developed chess infrastructure.
Craig Pritchett explained that CS would continue to have a role in setting strategic direction but they could not do everything and it was fundamental to work with partners to deliver the overall outcome. Those partners could include SJC, and ideally would do so. An advisory group would be needed to ensure liaison between CS and the trust. A schools development director in CS remains important to ensure Chess Scotland has the essential development of grass roots schools' chess at the centre of its thinking.
Phil Thomas suggested that there had not been time to see the full report and digest it with a view to having a proper discussion. The President agreed that it would be helpful to have a further discussion on the report and agreed that this should be set up.
Comment was also made that the SJC was not secretive. However, Craig noted that he and the consultants had been disappointed that the SJC didn't seem to be interested in contributing any view to the report. We need to move forward from where we are.
The Annual Report and Accounts were adopted.
A meeting would be arranged as soon as practicable to discuss the Junior Report in more depth.
The meeting encouraged the SJCA Educational Trust to proceed with implementation of the first aspect of the junior report by seeking financing to appoint a junior co-ordinator.
At this point the President referred to the sad news earlier that day that Karella Childs, the mother of several strong junior players, had died. He expressed the feeling of the meeting in conveying our sorrow and sympathy to friends and family.
APPOINTMENT OF OFFICE BEARERS
The President asked the Executive Director to chair the election for President. The President, Donald Wilson, was unanimously re-elected then resumed the chair.
The Honorary President J Rowson was then re-elected.
As John Glendinning did not wish to stand as a Director, the President spoke of John's many years of work for Chess Scotland and before that the Scottish Chess Association and he and the meeting expressed their warm thanks.
The following elections were then made. Where no nominations for any post had been received by the required date, the Chairman accepted nominations at the meeting.
Executive Director vacant
Finance Director L R McKenzie
Schools Development Director C W Pritchett
Home Chess Director (Open) vacant
Home Chess Director (Junior) J Hughes
Customer Services Director vacant
International Director (Open) J Grant
Two nominations were proposed at the meeting. J Grant had 15 votes, A Muir 4 votes, with 13 abstentions (some people having left the meeting by this stage)
International Director (Junior) D Officer
Acceptance of this position was on condition that adequate help be co-opted to take over a proportion of the duties.
Marketing Director vacant
Technical Director K W C Stewart
Chief Grader D Bryson
Webmaster D Bryson
Membership Secretary G Anderson
Scottish Chess Editors R Coleman and D Oswald
FIDE/ECU delegate J M Glendinning
Auditor Karen Clark CA
A McFarlane would continue to make arrangements for the Championships (as Scottish Congress Manager) and S Collins for the Richardson and Spens. Hamish Glen would run the MacIsaac and Nancy Elder tournaments. Stephen Hilton would continue as Disabilities Officer.
The following were then elected as representatives to Council:
Clubs: Edinburgh , Giffnock & Clarkston, South Morningside Primary School and Stirling .
Congresses: Wester Hailes Junior Congress and Glasgow Congress.
Individual Members: Amy Officer and Alex McFarlane, with two vacancies.
It was noted that Council had appointed Stephen Hilton as Disabilities Officer, and the appointment was confirmed.
Andrew Muir had put forward 5 proposals:
1. It was agreed that Stephen Hilton should be elected Publicity Officer
2. There was debate on the proposal that there should be no joint Scottish Champion. Andrew developed his proposal to clarify that if there were 16 or fewer players in the Championship, then the individual result or results between the players involved would determine the championship. If there were more than 16 players, then tournament performance would split the tie.
An alternative proposal from Tom Donohue was that if the Championship was an all play all then it would be decided by a play off and if it was an open it would be decided by tournament performance.
The meeting voted by 17 votes to 6 for the latter option.
3. The proposal that the old style noticeboard should be brought back either instead of or in addition to the new style board was defeated.
4 & 5. On the proposals that neither the National League nor weekend congresses should be FIDE rated, there was discussion on the competency of the motions. As far as the National League is concerned, although it was a Chess Scotland event, it had a separate AGM at which it had been decided that the first division should be FIDE rated. That meeting had not been aware of the FIDE requirement that all players should be CS members and the President speculated that the close decision (on the casting vote of the Chairman) might have been different.
There was also discussion on whether the motions might be changed to be advisory, expressing the view of the AGM to the National League and weekend congress organisers.
In the end, the following two motions were rejected:
National League should not be FIDE rated.
Weekend congresses should not be FIDE rated.
Jacob Aagaard floated the idea for later thought and consideration that we should appoint a secretary to deal with the key administrative functions and expressed the view that, for example, Donald Wilson would make a very competent secretary once his period of office as President concluded.
John Montgomery drew attention to the fact that clubs, leagues etc could now be liable to corporation tax on income from interest. It was noted, however, that where a club's CT liability was expected to be below £100 HM Revenue & Customs would regard the club as dormant.
Alex McFarlane asked that out of date contact details on BBC Ceefax should be updated.
The President noted that Chess Suppliers had been bought by Peter Woods and was active again. He proposed that the link to Amazon.com introduced in the website should be removed. This was agreed.