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CHESS SCOTLAND - 2002 ANNUAL REPORTS

 

Report by Ken Stewart (Technical Director)

(numbers in brackets refer to the list of plans for 2001-02)

The new Chess Scotland Rules Book containing the revised Laws and rules was published in October 2001 (1). A copy was sent to all organisers and arbiters, together with an Organisers' Update (3). The book is expected to have a four year life before revision.

Two courses for the training of prospective arbiters are currently planned. A course is planned to be held in Stirling on Monday evenings in September/October. I expect to lead this course. Another course, in two sections, is being undertaken by Gerald Lobley for those in the Aberdeen area. He is leading this course, currently in progress, and I expect to be able to be present to take one of the meetings. My thanks go to Gerald for his efforts in this direction. Those who wish to do so will be able to take the examination for arbiters at the end of either course. I should welcome hearing from anyone else interested in the Stirling course (2).

The Arbiters' Committee met in February. They discussed various matters of interest to arbiters (4) and reviewed the list of qualified arbiters in the light of ?activity questionnaires' completed by arbiters (6). Fortunately, the committee was not called upon to resolve any dispute (5).

Comments have been passed on to FIDE, in some cases via Geurt Gijssen or Stewart Reuben, on matters such as (a) revision of a Rapidplay Law without consultation, (b) "taking the King" in Blitz games, (c) proposals for an International Organiser title which, while aimed at improving standards, might make it more difficult for Scotland to hold title norm events, (d) time limits (7,8).


12 OBJECTIVES 2002-03

1) To arrange a course for the training of arbiters at any location where sufficient demand is identified.
2) To advise arbiters and organisers regarding the application of the Laws, Swiss pairings, etc.
3) To review the operation of matters of interest to arbiters and propose changes as appropriate.
4) To make decisions regarding any dispute which may arise in the conduct of events under the control of Chess Scotland.
5) To monitor arbiter activity in Scotland. To maintain a list of qualified arbiters and encourage others to obtain or improve level of qualification.
6) To monitor and comment on FIDE decisions and policies regarding the Laws and tournament practice.
7) To communicate with FIDE regarding matters affecting arbiters.

 

Report by Douglas Bryson (Grading Director)

13 WEBSITE - SCOTTISHCHESS.COM

Date Host Hits
Jun.2002 2231 6152
May.2002 4336 11781
Apr.2002 3550 10426
Mar.2002 3331 9116
Feb.2002 2791 7333

These are the statistics for visits to Scottishchess.com from February 2002 to mid-June 2002.

The first major overhaul to the look of the website since May 1999 took place in January 2002. We are currently looking into a possible further upgrade by purchasing a professional makeover of several key pages.
Web enhances quality of CS work: For the last five years Scotland has been one of the few federations in the world where it was possible to view an itemised game by game listing of all processed grading results. This provides a good check on the accuracy of grading work since players can immediately bring errors to the attention of the CS grading team.

Similarly in May we started publishing an update of membership data on the website. These are simple ideas which enhance the quality of CS work in that the relevant CS official gets the potential assistance of all players in Scotland.

One of the most popular areas of the site has been the CS Noticeboard. In the last few months the noticeboard has gone from moribund to "lively." The content has been unusual, with many off-topic musings. Active censorship is not imposed however and is not currently required by the content of messages.

Site content has been enhanced by several people who have supplied photographs - notably John Henderson, Mike Shepherd, Sam Collins etc Game downloads are also popular, in particular Alistair Maxwell has been particularly industrious as has new contributor Steve Brown.

Grading:
Grading continues as normal with all data from the main tournaments processed in full as at mid June. The next grading list is on schedule for publication in early August.

The work of the area graders can be viewed on the website with a name check for the collator of each set of data at the start of all grading reports.

Alexander Bisset of Aberdeen has been developing a Windows version of the grading program. The aim is to provide a more user-friendly program for area-graders. It is not clear yet when the new program will be operational.

There is a minor problem with some congresses when they take phone entries. If a player says they are ungraded and not a member of a chess club please record which town they are from rather than submit them as a newcomer with no further information - town of residence makes it much easier to identify players.

 

Report by 'Mac' McKenzie (Finance Director)


Our application for a government grant for the year 2002-03 was accepted but we did not secure the total funding requested - it was nearly £900 less. As agreed at the February Council meeting this meant the budget required to be amended to include an increase in grading fees for the new season to make up some of the shortfall. The balance of the shortfall coming from reductions in International, Home Chess, Youth Club and Correspondence Chess planned expenditure.

This year, for the first time, the Scottish Office required an End of Year Report to be submitted prior to the normal accounts submission. This report was sent at the end of last month and there has been no response yet to this, adverse or otherwise.

Borders are an affiliated league with fees fully paid.

As agreed at the previous Council meeting the Public Liability insurance cover for events was increased from £1 million to £5 million and Chess Scotland junior events are now being included on the insurance policy.

It is disturbing that while most Chess Scotland event organisers are very good in supplying financial information of their event there are a few that are very slow and because of this there are no financial details for some Chess Scotland junior events that took place earlier this year. This can give a misleading impression in the overall accounts.

The Accounts for the year ending 30th April 2002, with the exception of the Scottish Congress, have still to be completed due to problems in finalising the SJCA accounts. It is hoped that these problems will be overcome shortly but it is possible that there will be no final accounts available for the Annual General Meeting. However, I can report one area of income that is showing a significant increase, due to the generosity of many individuals and organisations, and that is 'Donations', with a sum which amounts to more than £700. There will, however, be an overall deficit for the year but until I obtain the SJCA figures it is unclear exactly how much this will be.

Last year's Scottish Congress also benefited from an increase in donations and finished with a surplus of £276, which now means the Accumulated Fund stands at £1545.

 

Report by Fiona Petrie (Promotions Director)

ITEM 1 Defining chess in the 21st Century

Chess has to take on a new role in order to attract people to it; the appeal of "over the board" (OTB) has dwindled with the 'new' types of chess around - primarily email/internet, but also correspondence, etc. in order to increase the uptake of chess in scotland we need to change our objectives and focus more on these alternative types, working with the groups such as SCCA to increase membership. Once people start to play these types of chess then they can be directed to the benefits of club membership and OTB chess.

I would suggest that we should consider updating the constitution to incorporate all areas of chess activity. My suggestions for changes, specific to promoting chess could include: To promote club, regional & international matches throughout Scotland, including junior and adult invitation events.

- To encourage local uptake through 'open days' on a regular basis, throughout Scotland.
- To work fully with associated chess groups such as SCCA to improve awareness of chess to all.
- To make chess fully accessible to all people throughout Scotland via clubs and/or Internet.


ITEM 2 Encouraging a wider take up of chess/prepare advertising

It is crucial to encourage the uptake of chess in young adults to allow us to increase membership. There are a few key methods of addressing this.

1. Liase with schools direct to ensure all S4-S6 pupils know details of local clubs/events for when they leave school.
2. Arrange to attend college/university 'fresher' week to publicise local clubs/events for new students and leave posters/leaflets with contact numbers-including website/email details.

3. A wider approach for each area - Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, North, South etc. would incorporate liasing with local 'free' papers and community radio stations (e.g. Clyde 1) to publicise open nights/ local tournaments/ special events - like British Championship/Scottish etc. To follow this up I would need to have a delegated person in each area to provide club/paper/radio details and perhaps agree to be a point of contact, but I am willing to then do the work of contacting and publishing as necessary.

It would be good to prepare a 'bank' of appropriate advertising material (posters/leaflets/intro letters etc) that could be accessed easily by anyone who needs it, possibly with Chess Scotland logo incorporated so everyone is working to the same standard

Is it easy to borrow the logo from the website to allow this or is there some other way to proceed - IT experts can perhaps help here.

ITEM 3 Supporting open nights

I think it is important that all clubs consider having an open night at the start of the new season, and that we try to publicise these as much as possible- using methods proposed above. In addition I think it would be good if Chess Scotland could recommend a standard way that these nights should be conducted so that there is continuity for people who may go to more than one club before choosing which, if any to join.

It would be useful if a Chess Scotland representative could be present to give further advice to new people, and I am happy to do this for as many as I can manage in the Glasgow/ West Scotland areas

Might I suggest that it be intimated to all club secretaries that if they intend holding such an open evening they forward details to myself/JG and others in plenty time to allow the nights to be published fully on the website and through other mediums already discussed.

It is perhaps too late to do this for the new session this autumn but I would like to suggest that this be given a key priority for the next year. Perhaps in the meantime we could suggest that club secretaries be contacted over the holiday to see how many would be able to arrange an open night for this coming session and I could try to set wheels in motion over the summer.

There are other avenues that can be explored but at present these are the easiest, cheapest (but not free),and quickest to take up in order to have some feedback in the autumn.

 

Report by Alex McFarlane (Home Chess Director)

On the domestic front there has been a lot happening as a look at the list of tournament winners will indicate. In addition to these events there was also a weekend congress, support events at the Scottish Championships and a series of one day events for secondary and primary pupils.

To run so many events requires a considerable number of volunteer workers and Chess Scotland expresses its thanks to the organisers and arbiters of these events without whose efforts the chess scene would be a far less active place.

Whilst I think the first year of Chess Scotland has been reasonably successful there is clearly no room for complacency. With this in mind a survey was carried out during the season and a meeting of organisers held. This review lead to a change in structure for the Aberdeen congress - the two day format being successful in that instance. It has also lead to proposals for a couple of new junior events. Both the Glasgow and Edinburgh congresses are working with Chess Scotland to include the successful 'novice' events into their already popular events. This has the dual benefits of making youngsters aware of the wider chess scene and of freeing up dates on an already crowded calendar.


One area which will receive consideration during the coming season will be team events. This is one area where Chess Scotland has not been as successful as I would hope. For example, the Richardson Cup (the Scottish Club Team Championship) attracts the top players but the numbers taking part in this and its sister competitions (Spens and Campbell) are small and decreasing whilst the National League has a good number of teams but seems to be avoided by most of the top players.

Another area of concern is sponsorship. We have been fortunate in ChessBase sponsoring the Grand Prix and a number of sources including the lottery with its Awards For All scheme, the Bank of Scotland and a number of local companies and individuals supporting the Scottish Championships.

Chess Scotland Tournament Winners

Individual
Scottish Champion: Jonathan Rowson

East of Scotland Champion: Ed Spencer

West of Scotland Champion: Steve Mannion

Scottish Senior Champion: Bob Clapham

MacIsaac: Eddie Davis

Nancy Elder (C'ship Club Champions): Obay Ali

Boys' Champion 2001: Duncan Grassie, Joe Redpath

Girls' Champion 2001: Natalie Donohue

Boys'Champion 2002: Joe Redpath, Daniel McGowan, Christopher McDonald, Andrew Green

Girls' Champion 2002: Kathleen Rutherford

Primary Individual Champion: Andrew Green

Age Champions
U18 Donald Paul Matheson
U16 Malcolm Lennox
U15 Gavin Reid
U14 Edmund Davis
U13 Denesh Sri
U12 Stuart Leslie
U11 Blair Hawthorne
U10 Ian MacGregor
U9 Conal MacGregor
U8 Rhian Hughes
U7 Callum Roberts
U6 Eleanor Boyd

Scottish Allegro Champ: Steve Mannion

Scottish Blitz Champion: Colin McNab

Scottish Lightning Champ: Graeme Kafka

CS Rapidplay: Graeme Kafka, Alan Grant

CS No-Wait: Ivan Stokes

CS Summer Allegro: Colin McNab

P5 & Under Tournament: Conal MacGregor

Girls' Allegro:
Secondary: Lynsey Shovlin

Prim 6/7: Natalie Donohue

Prim 5 & Under: Rhian Hughes

Team
Richardson: Polytechnic

Spens: Shettleston

Campbell Rosebowl: Holy Cross

Secondary Schools' Championship: Greenwood (Irvine)

Primary Team Championship: Robert Gordon's (Aberdeen)

Girls' Team: Quarryhill (Aberdeen)

National League: Edinburgh

Grand Prix
Candidates: Alan Grant
Challengers: David Gillespie
Major: William Clinton
Minor: George Webb
Junior: Joe Redpath


Report by Rod Tweedie (Schools Project Director)

It is with considerable disappointment I have to submit a basically negative report for Council and the AGM.

Following a number of meetings with Jeff Sedgley, Support Officer (Education), Paisley Partnership and with a considerable amount of my own time and effort a Social Inclusion Partnership (SIP) application for funding for a pilot project in North Paisley was submitted. The proposal was for a start date of August 2002 with funding in the region of £22k for the period August 2002 - March 2003 and £33k for the following two years. The outline provided by Dods Forrest and David Leslie for their project in Aberdeen was used as the model as this had merit in comparative monitoring and evaluation and possible linkages between the projects.

Unfortunately, the decision of the approval group on the application was that they were unable to support the project at this time. Regrettably, our application coincided with a restructuring of the SIP finances from a single budget heading to cover all priority measures to several budget headings with a separate budget for each heading e.g. environment, education, housing, crime etc. The result of this was that the continuation priority projects were approved and all other project submissions then had to compete for a reduced pot. The education heading was heavily over-subscribed and the feedback that I received was that our application although considered meritorious, was also considered to be perhaps too innovative and experimental in its approach. The approval group therefore adopted a very cautious approach in considering the project submissions with approval going to a number of 'safe' projects. All of the 'non-traditional' projects did not receive funding.

Jeff Sedgley and David Mitchell of the Paisley Partnership still believe the project to be worth pursuing and they have suggested we work with them in exploring other avenues of funding e.g. New Opportunities Funding which is usually more in favour of innovative and experimental projects.

As stated in my earlier reports, I still see the Chess in Schools project as a vehicle for the promotion and development of chess: And continue to share the view of David Leslie in Aberdeen that the key to the successful development of Chess in Schools is to produce a coherent strategy to introduce chess into schools with short, medium and long- term aims. I still see the primary objective as being to secure sufficient financial support from two or three educational authorities to appoint a development officer within their areas to take the lead role in this development work. Unfortunately, there has been a considerable amount of changes and restructuring occurring within the SIP groups and realistically it is unlikely that the SIP approval groups will support an application at this present juncture. However, once the 'dust has settled' following the re-organisations and the key people settle in to their new roles I believe that future submissions will be received more favourably.

Due to extremely heavy business and domestic pressures I have been unable to give the project much time over the last few months. This situation is unlikely to improve over the next two to three months and I have already advised the Chess Scotland president Mr. John Glendinning, that if the Council believe that the project would be better served by appointing another person who can devote more time and effort, that I would be prepared to stand down and continue to work with that person.

On a slightly more positive note, Robert Kelso of Cumbernauld Chess Club has contacted me and offered his assistance to facilitate approaches into North Lanarkshire Council. South Lanarkshire Council are also currently undergoing restructuring but initial signs remain reasonably positive, again I believe that a settling down period will be required before submission of funding applications.
The situation in Glasgow schools now appears to be at its most positive for some time with the establishment of the Glasgow Schools Chess Group with several 'new' and 'old' faces actively involved.

I still remain convinced that the Chess in Schools project should be regarded as a long-term project and that progress will be slow initially, but that once one pilot is established and operational, we will be able to sell the concept into other areas more easily.

David Leslie's continuing success in Aberdeen with several hundred primary children participating in his chess programme, with it now widening to include trans-national linkages is an exemplar to us all and provides me with a great deal of encouragement in pursuing similar pilots.

 

Report by Alan Minnican (International Director)


Junior International Calendar 2002

January U14/U12 Match v Wales
July Glorney / Faber Cups - (Wales)
September Tri Nations - (Wales)
September European Youth - (Spain)
November World Youth - (Greece)


Adult International Calendar 2002

October Olympiad - (Slovenia)


Junior International Calendar 2002

· U14 / U12 Match v Wales - January 2002

A number of issues have arisen regarding the organisation of this match which took place in Wales in January 2002. The main issue surrounded the selection process and this was discussed at the International Committee meeting in April. In future the proposed selection procedure will include the following:

1. Current grading information
2. Results against peers
3. Assessment of standard of play by observation

To observe juniors at tournaments and be able to deduce their standard of play requires time, patience, a level of chess skill and a fair degree of impartiality. When selecting the team for this year's Tri Nations the above procedure was followed and I would like to thank a number of observers for their input which was discussed at the final selection committee.

In order to alleviate the problem of comparing young juniors who play locally rather than nationally, the committee would like to see 4 selection tournaments built in to the calendar year. These may not necessarily be new tournaments but existing tournaments targeted for selection purposes.

· Glorney / Faber Cups - July 2002

The teams have been selected for this year's tournament in Swansea. The Glorney team is Colin Hall, Christopher MacDonald, Daniel MacGowan, Joe Redpath and Steven Tweedie. The Faber team is Louise MacNab and Kathleen Rutherford.

After discussions with the Welsh organisers the decision was taken to send two girls rather than three due to the ages of those involved.

The other countries taking part are:- England, Ireland, Wales, Belgium, Holland and the Czech Republic.

The manager of the team will be Graeme Nolan. My thanks to Graeme and to John Shaw for their continued support in managing the junior teams and providing their time and knowledge in training the teams at international events.


· Tri Nations - September 2002

The Tri Nations was scheduled for June 2002 and a team was selected. However, the Welsh organisers have postponed the event until further notice. Originally the tournament was re-scheduled for September 2002 but we have received no further correspondence. I apologise to those selected.

· European Youth - September / October 2002

The teams have been selected for this event which will be held in Peniscola, Spain.
Scotland will be represented at U12, U14, U16 and U18.

· World Youth - November / December 2002

The event will be held in Heraklion, Greece. The players have not yet been selected.


Adult International Calendar 2002

The teams have been selected for the forthcoming Olympiad in Bled, Slovenia:

Women : Helen Milligan, Carey Milligan, Heather Lang, Louise MacNab

Men : Jonathon Rowson, Paul Motwani, John Shaw, Colin McNab, Steve Mannion, Douglas Bryson.

 

Report from Andrew MacQueen

P5 & Under 2001/2002 Round Up.

5 heats this year at

Airdrie : 25 players (+3 on last year)
Paisley : 43 players (+ 7)
Aberdeen : 41 players (-5)
Nairn : 23 players (+18)
Blairgowrie : 12 players (-22)

A total of 141, 1 less than last year, but including the 11 at Irvine that is now 10 up on last year. Would have been a lot higher if the snow had stayed away at Blairgowrie!

The heat winners were Rhian Hughes (Paisley 'A' and Airdrie); Fraser McKay (Paisley 'B'); Conal MacGregor (Nairn); Jamie Hookham (Irvine); Ruairidh Milne (Aberdeen) and Jack Milne (Blairgowrie).


P5 & Under Final
Only 1 reserve was required for the final, but with 2 invitees not appearing on the day itself that left a final of 30 pupils. Over 20 different schools were represented, with the dominating ones being West Kilbride (5 players);

26 players had gradings (or temporary gradings).
The top 6 trophies went to 5 different schools,

Close competition all the way, with the 2nd top and 3rd top graded players meeting in the last round to decide 1st and 2nd places.

The final result was:
1st. Conal MacGregor, Millbank, 5 / 5
2nd. Rhian Hughes, South Morningside, 4 / 5
3rd. Marc Woods, Millbank, 4 / 5
4th. Andrew Rutherford, James Gillespies, 4 / 5
5th. Own Hughes, South Morningside, 4 / 5
6th. Craig Petrie, Tinto, 3.5 / 5

Tie breaks and indeed 2nd tie breaks had to be used for places 2 to 5. Top 6 received trophies, the others received a commemorative boxed medal.


Other players scoring 50% or more are:

3 points : David Sutherland (Merrylee); Jamie Hookham (Langbank); Kristian Roberts (Banchory); Andrew Shaw (Banchory); Ruairidh Milne (Mile End); Gordon Buchan (Mile End); Connor Woods (St Edwards);
2.5 points : Benjamin Filmer, St Mary's; Cameron McLean (West Kilbride);

Other players :
Fraser McKay (West Kilbride); Michael Miller (West Kilbride); Robert Hay (Tulloch); Louise MacDonald (Auchtergaven); Michael Wills (Insch); Robert Montgomery (West Kilbride); Stuart Montgomery (West Kilbride); Adam Morrison (Newmachar); Jack Milne (Tulloch); David Nisbet (Crosshouse); James Stephen (Auchter Ellon); Eleanor Moncur (Golspie); Joshua McGeechan (St Brides); Jamie Malkin (Loudon Montgomery); David Brunger (Merrylee).

The recording of games was on par with last year's efforts, although it was disappointing that in the top game in the last round, that decided the champion, neither player recorded.

Helpers:
On the day itself, Willie Rutherford and Jeremy Hughes both helped out in running the competition, help that very gratefully recevied!



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Chess Scotland 2002