Summary of the second Chess Scotland Council meeting; held in the College Club, University of Glasgow, on Sunday 10 February 2002
President & Strategy Director (Chairperson)
L. R. (Mac) McKenzie
Home Chess Director
Schools Project Director
Membership Services Director
George Clarke (Stirling)
David Stewart, ELCA
Iain Mackintosh, SCCA
John Montgomery, Ayrshire Chess Association
Ashby McGowan, Hillpark Chess Club
Alastair Maxwell (Cathcart)
Alan Minnican (International Director)
Bill Marshall (Edinburgh)
Liz Boyd (Individual)
1 Introduction and welcome
John Glendinning took the Chair, opening the meeting at 14:10 and welcoming everyone present.
2 Approval of minutes
2.1 SJCA Council meeting of 24 June 2001
This minute was approved, without objection.
The Executive Director shall write to the former Membership Secretary of the SJCA to confirm that his duties have been discharged. Action: BB.
2.2 SCA Council meeting of 9 July 2001
This minute was approved, with no objections.
2.3 Chess Scotland Council meeting of 19 August 2001
The minute of the first Chess Scotland Council meeting was unanimously approved.
3 Resignations and Appointments
3.1 Promotions Director
Fiona Petrie was appointed as Promotions Director. (Proposed: John Glendinning, Seconded: Iain Mackintosh).
3.2 Individual Representative – aged 18 or under
No one has come forward to fill this post.
3.3 Affiliate Representative – School Club
14 replies were received from approx. 120 letters sent to known school chess clubs. Two people have indicated possible interest in this post, and the President will hold informal discussions with them over the coming weeks. Action: JG.
3.4 Publications Director
Gavin Saxton has indicated his desire to vacate this post within the next 2-3 months. The Executive Director shall seek suitable nominations to fill this post. Advertising for this post shall be placed on www.ScottishChess.com and in Scottish Chess Magazine. The Publications Director and Editor roles may need to be split. Anyone potentially interested is encouraged to approach Bill Boyd for an informal discussion (firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel. 01569 731458). Action: BB.
3.5 Director without portfolio
Hugh Flockhart, in recognition of his role in attracting the 2003 British Championships to Scotland, was appointed as Director.
3.6 Working groups
Norrie Mathie has resigned from the International group for personal reasons. The President thanked Norrie and Maureen Mathie, in their absence, for all their hard work over the years in supporting, organising and encouraging junior chess activities, and asked the Executive Director to write expressing the thanks of the Council. Action: BB.
4 Merger update and Key priorities
The reports of the President (see Appendix 1.4) and Membership Services Director (Appendix 1.5) were circulated and discussed.
· The SJCA bank accounts have not yet been closed, due in part to some open expense claims. The Finance Director shall ensure the SJCA accounts are finalised by the end of March 2002. Action: MAC.
· The President reflected the views of all present in thanking Douglas Bryson for effecting the recent ‘facelift’ to the Chess Scotland website, www.ScottishChess.com.
Priorities for the coming months include:
Improving our performance in implementing the objectives of Chess Scotland by focussing on key initiatives, including:
- Chess in Schools project and related activities;
- The relationship of Chess Scotland to Affiliate members;
- Exploring use of the Internet as a medium for playing chess;
- Further work on the content of the website;
- Development of promotional activities.
The President noted that a related priority was to attract new organisers – prepared to dedicate time – to help with the activities of Chess Scotland.
5 Chess in schools project
The reports of the Schools Project Director (see Appendix 1.1) and David Leslie, ‘New Opportunities Fund’ Chess Development Worker (see Appendix 1.2) were circulated and discussed. The following points were noted:
· Rod Tweedie congratulated David Leslie, in his absence, on the success of his project in Aberdeen.
· A bid for Social Inclusion (SIP) funding has been prepared for a pilot project in North Paisley based partly on the outline model adopted by David Leslie in Aberdeen. If successful, this will fund a Development Officer for Chess for three years. Feedback on the application is expected by the end of March.
· Rod Tweedie intends setting up a sub-group to co-ordinate further pilots in West Scotland. Action: RT.
· Further SIP funding applications will be submitted over the coming months. Once these initial pilots have progressed, the Scottish Executive will be approached with a view to obtaining further funding at a national level. Action: RT.
· There were fewer than 100 responses from the approx. 4000 ‘Chess in Schools’ 6-page leaflets circulated in September.
Allan Plato noted that teachers have direct access to small amounts of funding through the ‘Devolved Management Responsibility’ budget of individual schools, and asked if we were targeting trainee teachers. Rod Tweedie agreed to ascertain if advice on extra-curricular activities – such as setting up a school club – are included as part of the teacher training course in colleges. Action: RT.
Ashby McGowan of Hillpark (School) Chess Club, asked if Chess Scotland was aware of the ‘Coaching for Coaches’ funding available to teachers. He also noted that there is an end-of-term local schools chess tournament held in the Assembly Hall at Hill Park Secondary School annually. Rod Tweedie agreed to discuss these points further with Ashby following the meeting. Action: RT.
6 The Internet
The report of the Grading Director (see Appendix 1.3) was circulated and discussed. The following points were noted:
- In January 2002 approx. 250 web site pages were accessed by over 100 individuals;
- The site content continues to improve, although more work is needed in this area e.g. increasing information available to organisers;
- A new section is to be added to the web site highlighting ‘Junior-friendly’ clubs.
- Bill Boyd and Douglas Bryson will explore the possibilities open to Chess Scotland for endorsing an ‘Internet Chess’ site. Action: BB.
- John Glendinning and Alex MacFarlane will explore the possibility of holding a pilot competitive event using the Internet. Action: AM.
7 Strengthening links with Affiliate Members
Following discussion by the Strategy Group, Iain Mackintosh has agreed to document the relationships between Clubs, Leagues, Congresses/Tournaments and Chess Scotland. The Strategy Group shall review the current affiliate membership structure and related promotional activities of Chess Scotland to better serve these groups. Action: IM.
The following points were discussed:
· Chess Scotland should work to position the officials of local Leagues as initial contact-points for potential new players rather than individual Clubs;
· Local organisers are in the best position to determine suitable advertising for individual Clubs, but Chess Scotland can help by advising on ‘best practice’ successfully used elsewhere.
8 Promotions and Marketing
The initial scope of the newly formed Promotions Group was circulated (see Appendix 1.6). Fiona Petrie, the newly appointed Promotions Director, led an open discussion around the remit and priorities for this new group:
- Defining the ‘Chess proposition’ for the 21st Century;
- Defining activities to promote the ‘Chess proposition’ thereby;
- Encouraging wider general take-up;
- Improving the retention rate of school-leavers;
- Improving the retention rate of members;
- Preparing general advertising for use on a local level;
- Supporting Club open nights;
The Promotions Group will concentrate on post-school age chess players. Action: FP.
Members are: Fiona Petrie (Promotions Director); Kevin Shaw; Peter McNab; Donald Grassie; John Henderson.
9 Home and International Chess Review
The reports of the Home Chess Director (see Appendix 1.8) Technical Director (Appendix 1.7) and International Director (Appendix 1.9) were circulated. The following points were discussed and agreed:
- There have been a number of clashes with the published Calendar of Events. Organisers should check with the Home Chess Director before setting a date for their event;
- Council agreed to move the 2003 Scottish Championship to Easter to accommodate the British Championships, conditional on the British Championships coming to Scotland, and advice to this effect received by end April 2002. Action: HF;
- Hugh Flockhart is attempting to obtain a grant of approx. £10,000 to support both the Scottish and British Championships in the same venue for 2003.
- Chess Scotland shall not be committed to under-writing the British Championships;
The Junior Auditor had been asked to raise a number of questions relating to the recent junior international match against Wales. The Directors present answered each point raised, and the International Director shall formally respond on his return from Cappelle la Grande. Action: AM. In summary:
- The competitors were not provided with team jerseys as in previous years;
- No sponsorship was raised to cover the cost of jerseys this year;
- The cost of the trip was considerably more expensive than in previous years;
- Changes to the ‘Family Railcard’ rules added to the costs;
- Competitors had to travel from further afield than last year;
- The basis of selection;
- The match was only finally confirmed in early January, leaving no time to convene a formal selection committee;
- No-one from the International Group accompanied the competitors;
- Alex MacFarlane, Home Chess Director, accompanied the group as in previous years;
- Norrie and Maureen Mathie had unexpectedly resigned.
10 Finance Directors report and Budget to 30 April 2003
The report of the Finance Director (see Appendix 1.10) and proposed budget were circulated.
The members present agreed to increase Public Liability insurance cover to £5,000,000 at an estimated additional cost of £200 per annum. Action: MAC.
The President and Finance Director were granted discretion to vary the overall budget without recourse to Council should the anticipated Grant be less than £10,000. Should the Grant be less than £9,000, the budget will be re-submitted to Council for approval. Action: MAC.
After review and discussion, the following changes to the proposed budget for 2002-2003 were approved:
- Large Club (affiliated League) affiliation fee £25.00;
- Large Club (non-affiliated League) affiliation fee £39.00;
- Large Club (no League) affiliation fee £30.00;
- Small Club (8 or fewer members) affiliation fee £16.00;
- Junior Club affiliation fee £11.00;
- General Services, insurance expenditure £1,450.00.
The revised budget was proposed for adoption by L. R. McKenzie, seconded by S. Collins, with no objections.
11 Child protection policy
After a brief discussion, the proposed Policy on Dealing with Children was adopted (see Appendix 2). Allan Plato noted that the tone of the Policy was inconsistent, and the Executive Director agreed to review it before the next Council meeting. Action: BB.
12 A. O. B.
- Anyone with archive material relating to the SCA or SJCA should contact Sam Collins.
- The President thanked Liz Boyd for her help in organising much of the paperwork for the Council meeting;
- The Executive Director, on behalf of all present, thanked the President for organising coffee for the meeting.
There being no further motions the meeting was closed by the Chair at 17:25.
1.1 SCHOOLS PROJECT – DIRECTOR’S REPORT
As stated in my outline for the business plan for Chess Scotland, I primarily see the Chess in Schools project as a vehicle for the promotion and development of chess. In this respect I 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.
As also stated I see the primary objective as being to secure sufficient support from two or three educational authorities to appoint a development officer within their areas to take the lead role in this development work.
Despite extremely heavy work pressures I have made contact with key players for Social Inclusion Funding (SIP) funding sources in Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire. I have had meetings with Jeff Sedgley, Support Officer (Education), Paisley Partnership and we are currently preparing a SIP application for funding for a pilot project in North Paisley. We are proposing 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 year. I am using the outline provided by Dods Forrest and David Leslie for their project in Aberdeen as the model as this has merits in comparative monitoring and evaluation and possible linkages between the projects. A decision on the application is likely late February / early March.
I have had two meetings with Tracy Blake of South Lanarkshire Council and she and her manager are arranging for me to meet the SIP manager for the area. This is still very much at the discussion stage, but I am hopeful that we will be able to develop another pilot based upon the Hamilton/Blantyre SIP area schools.
I have considered forming a project sub-group to prepare a project outline proposal with budget costings and key objectives, however I am aware that the SIP applications require a fair degree of experience and expertise and I believe that I would be best working on this on my own at present.
I still believe that pushing for further pilots in North Lanarkshire, Glasgow and Ayrshire is the correct way to expand and while I have spoken briefly to Joe McAdam, Mike Hanley and Stephen Taylor and I would be keen to involve all three of these people in a project sub-group. I would also welcome input from anyone with the relevant type of contacts within these areas to help facilitate further approaches.
As I also stated in the business plan outline this should be seen as a long-term project with no quick fix to addressing the problems that currently blight Chess in Scotland. Progress will be slow initially, but I believe that once one pilot is established and operational that we will be able to sell the concept into other areas. The success that David Leslie has quickly achieved in Aberdeen with over 340 primary children participating in his chess sessions is a clear example of what can be achieved.
I would further advise that for financial budgeting, we must recognise that the majority of the limited budget that Chess Scotland has available for promotion of chess in schools should be retained for generic promotion and marketing to all areas. I will be attempting to make the chess in schools project pilots self financing via external sources and hopefully these will be incorporated into mainstream education provision.
1.2 ‘NEW OPPORTUNITIES FUND’ CHESS DEVELOPMENT WORKER POST
Progress report on The New Opportunities Funded chess development project, Feb 2002
I am sorry that I could not be with you today to report to in person, and answer questions on the exciting new opportunities before us.
Numerous like-minded ‘activists’ connected with the (former) SJCA and SCA, and latterly Chess Scotland, have strived for a long time now to obtain support for chess development, exploring all possibilities of obtaining public and/or private funding.
There has not always been unanimity of thought as to the best way forward for chess in Scotland, and even now some differences of emphasis remain. However, we do know that it is not a level playing field out there, where the great god, football, reigns supreme in terms of commercial sponsorship, and the arts are given huge grants of public money, sometimes to the detriment of many other good causes. There can be no doubt that for a successful Chess Scotland to evolve, it is imperative that 1) we must have publicly funded financial support, and 2) we must introduce children to chess at the earliest possible moment.
For the most part, because of the geographical location of Aberdeen, I have been working independently from other regions in my efforts to raise standards, increase numbers, and gain support for chess. To this end I have come into contact with many people who agree with us that chess is good for youngsters.
One such person is Dod Forrest, senior community officer in Mastrick, Aberdeen. Dod drafted bids for grants in 1999 and 2000, in which he nominated me as the person who would run any successful project bid. Despite the passage of seemingly endless periods of time, Dod never gave up hope that we would be successful, and made numerous follow up enquiries. His persistence finally paid off in August 2001, when the NOF bid was approved.
John Glendinning, and others, have put some kind words in print, giving me credit for the breakthrough in presenting a successful bid. I’d like to point out that without the drafts, loyalty, and quiet background support and patience of Dod Forrest, the bid might never have been successful.
Additionally, I’d like to place on record my thanks to Projects Coordinator Kate Kasprowicz for her confidence in approving the bid, as one of eight projects she felt merited support. I understand that Kate took a considerable gamble in the face of some very sceptical comments and expressions of disapproval. I’m delighted to report that her confidence has not been misplaced, as the chess project is currently her most successful of all.
This project, the first of its kind in Scotland, will be a milestone for our nations junior chess development programme. If others (Rod Tweedie in particular) can make bids, pointing to the ongoing success of an existing project, this would surely act as a lever in opening new doors.
I am all too aware that a great responsibility lies with me, and the outcomes of this project. I do not believe that moderate success will be enough to satisfy some doubters, and have set standards accordingly.
I will not fail.
This is an edited version of a report presented at a meeting of project leaders on Friday 1st Feb. 2001.
The aims of the NOF Chess Development Project are as follows: - 1) to teach children to play chess 2) to set up after school and evening chess clubs for children 3) to encourage parents to participate, and help run the clubs 4) to monitor the extent to which children benefit from chess training 5) to include chess in the school curriculum.
When preparations of strategies and timetables were at an advanced stage, letters of introduction were sent to head teachers in the Northfield Associated (Primary) Schools Group, inviting them to take part in the chess development project. Subsequently, all seven primary schools declared an interest. P4 pupils are taught to play chess during school hours, after school clubs are open to all pupils who play chess (I now run five after school clubs, Monday-Friday, 3.15pm –4.45pm, plus three evening clubs unconnected with the project).
At the earliest practical stage, interested P5-P7 non-players will be given lessons at lunchtime.
Currently, there are more than 320 pupils engaged in the project on a weekly basis.
Chess has had a positive effect on many youngsters. Even in the early stages of this project, numerous children have been identified as showing signs of benefiting from chess, adding to the growing dossier of evidence that chess does indeed help children in many different ways. Class teachers, and head teachers, have noted significant improvement in some pupils since in-school chess tuition began.
The project has had a very encouraging start. There is enthusiastic support from teachers, with an excellent atmosphere prevailing during lessons, as pupils thoroughly enjoy learning chess. All pupils have been given home study packs comprising of a ring binder containing colourful notes. In addition, classroom computers are to have chess programmes installed. Students will develop at their own pace, while being encouraged to involve family members in the learning process. Every pupil, who masters the basics of chess, is to be presented with a national certificate, signed and endorsed by Scotland’s Chess Grandmasters.
A regular newsletter is to be produced, acting as a further form of communication between the seven schools. Weekly progress reports on P4 in-class tuition are being kept, as well as individual attendance records for after school chess clubs.
NOF Projects supremo, Kate Kasprowicz (Co-Director for Children and Communities), managed to obtain a workshop slot in the Scottish Study Support Network National Conference in Perth on December 7th 2001. Perhaps as a vote of confidence, she chose the chess project in preference to the other seven in her remit. Kate and I felt we had put together a very interesting display, and the presentation was, indeed, well received by delegates. There was very positive feedback on the workshop, some describing it as ‘inspiring’.
The next stage is to run tournaments for P4 pupils who have completed their beginner’s course, for P5-P7 novices, and, given the number of girls involved, girl’s tournaments. I then hope to identify enthusiastic students and/or emerging talent, and offer them places at Quarryhill Junior Chess Club, who are currently responsible for almost half the Scottish Junior U12/U14 teams.
In May, around 60 of the pupils involved in the project will be treated to a session with GM Paul Motwani at a prestigious Aberdeen venue.
As new ideas are added to the pre-planned strategy of the project, there are exciting months ahead.
I look forward with great confidence in the project.
This report has been compiled for CHESS SCOTLAND by David Leslie, NOF Chess Development Worker.
1.3 GRADING DIRECTORS REPORT
Website: www.scottishchess.com. The first major overhaul to the look of the website since May 1999 took place in January 2002. A new editing program Dreamweaver made the task considerably easier than the previous program HotMetal. One leading chessplayer who runs an internet company quoted a price of £500 for a front page revamp of CS but perhaps this was a price intended to deliberately discourage as a tacit way of declining the task.
The key factor leading to the transformation was the download of a new template which could be adapted for CS content. An internet search for something like “free web templates” should generate several sites offering free downloads to assist anyone developing a new style for your own site. When time permits the front page “look” can be extended to the other main sub-category areas – grading-junior-downloads etc
The 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 industrious as has new contributor Steve Brown.
There is now 31MB of data on the website. One of the facilities of Dreamweaver is to check link validity and search and replaces sitewide (useful if someone changes an email address) – HM also had this feature but the new program is considerably easier. The enormous volume of data means that the webmaster cannot keep track of every line of text on every page of the site. Reports of errors and desired amendments are welcomed.
Grading: Grading continues as normal with all data from the main tournaments processed in full as at mid January. 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 Bissett has made a start on developing a Windows version of the grading program but this is a very time consuming task and it is not clear when this will be finalised. Meanwhile the current program continues to perform more than adequately.
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.
1.4 PRESIDENTS REPORT (IN HIS CAPACITY AS STRATEGY DIRECTOR)
The strategy group will be meeting on the morning of the Council Meeting, the first suitable date for a meeting which we have managed to find.
We will be discussing our key priorities with a view to confirming or otherwise that these are:
Chess in schools - The first aspect is the longer term projects such as that currently in place in Aberdeen and run by David Leslie. Chess Scotland supported David with information on work in inner city schools in other cities (principally New York). Rod Tweedie is actively working to widen the approach to other parts of Scotland. This is viewed as a key objective by the Scottish Executive Education Department. We will have a written update from David Leslie on 10 February, and Rod covers progress elsewhere in his report.
The second aspect is the short term aim to encourage more immediate chess activity. We need to learn from the success of the British Land Challenge which enables many people to take part by playing heats within a school. One possibility is setting up an inter schools Internet based competition, ideally with a pilot this season. The association with computers has the potential to make chess appear more cool, though there is always the risk that people do not progress to playing human opponents. The pilot depends on progress on the Chess Scotland website.
Promotions - Reinventing chess. How do you encourage people who have moved away from chess in favour of other leisure activities back? How do we publicise Chess Scotland to the active chess community and encourage greater use of the Chess Scotland website? These two questions will be addressed by the new Promotions Group lead by Fiona Petrie.
Reinvigorate the Web Site to make it more attractive and better able to be pushed to potential sponsors and advertisers. Also enable chess to be played through the website, linking in to the potential schools tournament. Douglas Bryson has already enhanced the look of the home page, and he and Douglas are pursuing the wider issues.
Home Chess Review - Alex McFarlane has been canvassing views on what changes should be made to the chess calendar and activities, both to make them more attractive generally and to be consistent with the approach of encouraging greater youth activity.
1.5 MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORS REPORT
The membership database has been an ongoing thing with various points being ironed out as we go along but is making steady progress and is almost complete. A couple of utilities have still to be added in order to alleviate a couple of problems that may arise from deleting records.
The issuing of membership cards is still in the development stages but should be able to issue new cards quite soon.
1.6 PROMOTIONS GROUP
The Promotions Group has finally been established and have come up with some possible ideas for consideration, although given the shortage of time combined with other commitments they are not as full an outline as we would hope.
The question of defining our product is, I think going to be the most difficult to address as we have to ensure it is properly identified to appeal to the largest number of people, and also make it appealing enough to get people away from computer games etc. This could maybe be considered through the use of e-mail chess initially?
There are also two different types of people we wish to aim our promotions at: The ex-players and members of Chess Clubs, who have left, need a different approach than the unknown people we are trying to attract into Chess for the first time.
The first group are possibly the easier to target as they may still be contactable if their details are still on record, or through a questionnaire on the web site.
The other group are the main focus of the Promotions Group but are also the more difficult as they are unknown. We need to adopt a different approach to encourage new people to play, and hopefully to join both local clubs and Chess Scotland.
In this respect two ideas occurred:
1. Would it be worthwhile contacting the local free newspapers in different areas with a view to running a special report, even once a month, about the local clubs in the area, competitions etc., this could be an easy way to reach a wide population with a minimum outlay?
2. When I was browsing the web I noticed that BT has a ‘best of the Web’ section, which includes the best Chess Websites. Would we be able to get a link created to those sites to perhaps increase our number of ‘hits’ and increase awareness of our existence to non-Chess players, who otherwise may not have contacts?
These ideas give a brief idea of the way we as a group are thinking initially. All other suggestions will be welcomed.
1.7 TECHNICAL DIRECTORS REPORT
The new Chess Scotland Rules Book was produced in October and circulated to all organisers, arbiters and Council members. Anyone omitted should contact the Technical Director. The plan continues to be to publish such a booklet every four years in conjunction with FIDE's revision of the Laws of Chess. Meanwhile, a few minor amendments to the Swiss pairing rules are required. These will be publicised after the next meeting of the Arbiters' Committee scheduled for 6 February. I should like to hold a course for prospective arbiters in the west some time soon, but I have at present only two possible candidates (and none from any other area) so encouragement by Council members to any suitable candidates would be welcome.
1.8 HOME CHESS – DIRECTORS REPORT
To report fully would require a crystal ball. There is a meeting of organisers immediately before the Council Meeting at which some proposals for the future will be discussed. It is therefore difficult to give a full report at this time.
However, I can report that all the events organised in the past by the SCA and the SJCA have already or will be held this season as well as one or two new ones. All organisers involved have to be thanked for this.
The Richardson, Spens and Campbell are underway. It is hoped that the Robertson Cup (for teams of females) can be held at the same time as the finals of these events. Contact Ken Stewart for further details.
The entry to these events is disappointing. The entry to the National League is numerically far better, but perhaps the strength of player is not as high as this event merits. Restructuring of all team events is under consideration.
The entry to the Primary Team Championship is reasonable but the Secondary event has suffered a downturn this year. This may not have been helped by problems in distributing a circular to all schools.
The economic climate has caused problems in securing the financial support necessary to run the Scottish Championships. This year’s events will take place in the Stirling area but arrangements have not progressed as far as would have been liked by this time. George Clarke has put in a tremendous amount of work on this. It is to be hoped that it will now start to bear fruit.
Chess Scotland organised a rapidplay with a minimal entry fee and no prize-money. The event was reasonably successful and is likely to continue. The possibility of running a full congress along similar lines will be discussed.
A survey was conducted at several events asking players what they wanted. Arbiters and Organisers did very well out of this. The current congress structure was widely accepted though 33% (mainly lower/middle graded players) would welcome three rounds on a Saturday. Many players would welcome the chance to obtain/maintain FIDE (International) ratings.
Staging the British in Edinburgh in 2003 was widely supported, though moving the Scottish to Easter that year had a mixed reception. Regardless of when the Scottish will take place it seems likely that there will be some decrease in entry.
1.9 INTERNATIONAL DIRECTORS REPORT
International Group. The resignations, for personal reasons, of Norrie and Maureen Mathie has been a great loss to the group, their organisational and administrative skills will be sorely missed.
European Championships – Leon, November 2001. Scotland was represented by both a Men’s and a Ladies team at the recent Championships in Spain. The seven players and team captain financed the entire trip themselves and performed admirably. The leaders of both teams, John Shaw and Helen Milligan returned excellent scores against strong opposition. Thanks to all involved.
World Youth Championships – Oropesa Del Mar, October / November 2001. Four Scots took part in the event held at this popular venue in Spain. Each performed well with Steven Tweedie obtaining a plus score in the U14s and an international rating of over 2100. As with all the junior events, the participation of the players would not be possible without the participation of the accompanying parents – again thanks to all concerned.
U12 & U14 Match v Wales Bridgend, January 2002. The match was played over twenty-four boards with twelve players in each category. Before travelling to Wales for the match, we have had to take the decision that any future matches against Wales cannot take place under the current format. Organising the match over 3 days (2 travelling, 1 playing) and the financial burden placed on the budget was simply too great. The match is an excellent way of maintaining interest in chess for players in these age categories but this must be weighed against the expense and the quality of opposition. Potential alternatives are being discussed.
1.10 FINANCE DIRECTOR - Interim Financial Report for the period end 20. 01.2002
The financial transition from operating accounts for two organisations to that of one has, on the whole, been fairly smooth so far despite some problems with the banks. Although the SJCA has still to complete their accounts for the period up to the merger they have transferred the sum of £4000 to Chess Scotland and the balance will be transferred once they have completed all their transactions. All funds of the SCA, approx £12,200 have also been transferred into Chess Scotland Accounts.
Our overall expenditure for the period to date is within the budget parameters with the only areas exceeding expectations being insurance and the junior championships. The insurance cover offered to congresses and clubs is excellent value as there has been quite a substantial increase in the premium. Some areas are well below budget expectations possibly due to delays in implementing planned expenditure. The agreed grants have been paid to the Scottish Correspondence Chess Association and the Scottish Chess & Draughts Association for the Deaf.
All of our grant and most of the affiliation fees and subscriptions due have now been received. Based on this information I would anticipate that both affiliation and subscription income for the year will be slightly down. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to attract any advertisers into our magazine so there is no income from this source. Grading income is ongoing and I would expect this to be slightly higher this year with the return of some congresses although a number of events are showing a reduced entry. A number of cheques received recently have not been honoured but fortunately we had sufficient funds in the account to cover our commitments. Not only do rejected cheques incur a bank administration charge but it could be very embarrassing for the Association if there wasn’t enough in the account to cover our commitments.
The Scottish Championships, which were organised by a team led by Donald Grassie in Aberdeen, did manage to end with a small surplus despite some initial worries. One of the main reasons for the surplus was the sponsorship obtained which amounted to just under £4000.
In October, as required by the terms of the grant, a progress report for the first six months was submitted to the Scottish Office. They are showing a keen interest on how we are progressing with the “Chess in Schools” project and requested further information on this and this was forwarded to them. Towards the end of last year we submitted our application for an increased government grant for the year 2002-03. It is likely to be March before we learn if our application has been successful and know exactly the amount we shall receive.
2 CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
Whilst the primary function of CHESS SCOTLAND is to promote chess, it is important that this is carried out within an environment that regards the welfare of any child involved as its prime concern. For this reason the following guidelines have been adopted as CHESS SCOTLAND policy.
Where trips are organised it is advisable to have adults of both sexes accompanying the party. Anyone over the age of 16 counts as an adult in this country. However, before counting such people as adults for this purpose, regard should be given to the nature of the trip and the maturity of the young adult.
As children tend to be 'playful' on long journeys it is advisable to have an adult, other than the driver, on the minibus if this is the form of transport used.
Where an overnight stay is involved it is advisable to have adults of both sexes present. This is imperative when younger children are involved. This should be done even if the group consists only of boys as youngsters tend to relate better to women.
It is inadvisable that training be offered, particularly to younger children, on a one to one basis if this involves being alone with the child. Where training is taking place it is advisable to have a parent present. At the very least it should take place in a room which can be observed easily by others.
If you are waiting alone with a child who has to be collected by a responsible adult, it is advisable that this is done in a public place.
If taking children home, e.g. from a chess match, serious consideration should be given to arranging a pickup point for the party. If this cannot be done conveniently then consideration should be given to the order in which children are dropped off e.g. plan the route to minimise your time alone with a child; try to keep to busy roads; etc.
If a parent has any concerns about a CHESS SCOTLAND Official, the organisation would appreciate if this concern could be passed on to it. Such information should be given to the Executive Director, or the President if this is not possible. Similarly, other CHESS SCOTLAND officials have a duty to pass on any such concerns to these officials.
It is the duty of the CHESS SCOTLAND Executive to examine all volunteer workers. Where it is felt advisable, volunteers should be asked to undergo a police check and provide documentary evidence that they have no criminal record involving children (current or spent). Where this is done the search fee will be paid by CHESS SCOTLAND.
All volunteers working with children will be asked to sign a form giving:
· their full name, current and recent addresses
· details of any other involvement in dealing with children
· details of any conviction for criminal offences against children, including any 'spent' convictions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
It shall be the duty of the Executive to take appropriate means to check this information. It would not be inappropriate to ask a new volunteer to provide details of TWO referees who may then be approached by the Executive. When writing to a referee, CHESS SCOTLAND will state explicitly that the potential volunteer is being considered for a position which involves voluntary work with young children and/or young people, and seeks views on their suitability for such work. If the reference provided is vague or ambiguous this could be a coded message from the referee and that referee should be contacted in person or by telephone to discuss the matter further.
Such checks are not to be taken as a guarantee of integrity and all other safeguards will still apply.
Any Official who has an allegation of abuse to children made against him or her whilst in office should inform the Executive Director (or President). In some circumstances it may be advisable for the person to 'step down' whilst the allegations are being investigated. Under no circumstances will such an action be seen as admitting any guilt but should be seen as a way of distancing the organisation from controversy.
Known abusers will be banned from involvement in all CHESS SCOTLAND positions and events. Where it is established that there is a greater than normal risk of a person abusing children, such a person shall be similarly banned.
Where there are irrefutable grounds for concern about an adult, CHESS SCOTLAND will contact other appropriate organisers to express such concern. It will then be up to such Organisers to take whatever action is considered appropriate.
Where a situation exists where parents express concern about the presence of an individual, CHESS SCOTLAND may find it advisable to warn other Organisers of a potential disturbance at their event. In this case CHESS SCOTLAND should not volunteer any information which cannot be proved, nor should it imply that any offence has been committed. Again, it should be left up to the organiser concerned to decide what action, should be taken.
Another course of action would be for such parents to be informed that these events are outwith CHESS SCOTLAND control and that the parents, themselves, could contact the organisers to express their concerns, if they feel that this is appropriate. Names and addresses of organisers are available from the 'Calendar of Events' which is readily available to anyone.
CHESS SCOTLAND recommends that any child with concerns should immediately speak to its accompanying adult or other responsible person. An alternative to informing parents would be to confide in a school teacher or contact Childline.
An adult to whom an allegation is made must act on the information given. This could mean seeking professional help from Social Services or the police. The adult should not keep the information to him/herself nor promise the child that such information will be restricted to the two of them.