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MINUTES OF COUNCIL MEETING

Prudential Building, Glasgow
Sunday 9 February 2003


ATTENDEES

J Glendinning (Chairman), D Bryson, G Clarke,
S Collins, R Heathwood (Secretary), A McFarlane,
L R McKenzie, J Montgomery, F Petrie,
A Plato, K Stewart, D Wilson.

APOLOGIES

Apologies had been received from the following: -

D Bogle A Maxwell A Minnican J McAdam
I Mackintosh D Smith R Tweedie L Wilson


PREVIOUS MEETING

The minutes of the previous Council Meeting, 19 October, were approved.

Under matters arising, Council noted: -

" A welcome letter to new members had been supplied to the Membership Director. The letter extended the offer to purchase a grading list at a reduced price. Enclosed with the letter, new members would receive a membership card and a free copy of the Chess Scotland magazine.
" Following an approach by the President to the suppliers, the introductory one-year free offer of the use of the ChessBase PlayChess game server had been extended for a further year (to August 2004).
" Steps had been taken to improve consultation with members. The survey form issued to the players at the Oban Congress had produced a good response. Wider consultation was now being arranged through the magazine. Users of the PlayChess had also been canvassed for their views on the product.


FINANCE

The Treasurer reported that income and expenditure in the current year (three months still to run to 31 May) was satisfactory. It was disappointing to note from income trends that chess playing activity continued to decline. Income from magazine sales and the 100 club were showing an improvement. The international chess budget was showing an under spend because of the cancellation of one event and lower than expected costs in another.

Council approved the Directors' recommendation of a budget for the coming financial year and associated membership charges. The biggest increase was in the public liability insurance charge for congresses. This reflected an industry wide increase in premiums for this class of insurance.

A discussion on communication activity concluded with the decisions that (A) contact should be made with clubs and congresses to publicise the risks of non-insurance and (B) schools should be approached to encourage membership of Chess Scotland. The directors responsible for collating the planned communications would be Home Chess, Finance and Executive; the President would approve any drafts prior to issue.

Council agreed that the Treasurer should write to all those in one category of Life Membership to invite them to donate further support to Chess Scotland by paying for receipt of the magazine.


MEMBERSHIP DATABASE

Council noted the progress being made to enhance the database and, in particular, the inclusion of school chess. The database would be a useful tool in a number of ways, including targeting improved communication between Chess Scotland and school chess. F Petrie and B Marshall offered to assist in further analysis of the database to assist in the promotion of chess.


SCHOOLS AND JUNIOR CHESS

1. NORTH AYRSHIRE -
TEACHERS' CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (CPD)
Discussions between the President and Lesley Owens of North Ayrshire had identified the opportunity to use the CPD funding to provide an opportunity for teachers to learn how to play chess and the practicalities of running a school chess club. These discussions had been widened to include other CS people and the details of a ten-week course commencing on 12 March had been agreed. Now that a firm agreement to proceed had been obtained, the way was clear to publicise the initiative. Wording for the CS website was being finalised.

The intention was that the initial course would be followed up with a further two courses in different locations within North Ayrshire.

2. CS STRATEGY FOR EXPANDING CHESS PLAYING IN SCHOOLS
The CS strategy would then be to build upon the success of the North Ayrshire initiative by extending the course (or something similar) out to other local authorities.

Another possible strand for the future would be to include teaching of chess in the course at Teachers' Training Colleges.

3. CS INITIATIVES TO IMPROVE CLUB MEMBERSHIP
Arresting the decline in schools chess playing should then work through to increased support of club and congress chess. CS would try to identify ways in which the transition from school chess to club chess could be assisted.

A Plato would contact the Boys Brigade to explore their involvement in chess and to ensure that the boys were aware of how to take forward their interest into the world of chess clubs and congresses.


INTERNATIONAL CHESS

Council endorsed the Directors' view that the European Team Championship was now superseding the Glorney and Faber Cup tournaments. The eight-year cycle of hosting Glorney and Faber (each country hosting the event in rotation) meant that the existing structure should be preserved until 2005, thereafter, in the unlikely event that Glorney and Faber continued, Scotland would withdraw and, instead, participate in the European Team championships. One result of this policy was that playing opportunities for talented juniors would be improved.


HOME CHESS

1. Scottish and British Championships
Arrangements for both the Scottish and British Championships were well in hand. Both would be played in Edinburgh in 2003. Discussions were ongoing to firm up on venues for the Scottish Championships over the next three years.

2. Registration
The proposal was submitted to Council that all chess playing events should be registered with CS. A discussion of the appropriate notice period was inconclusive.

3. Rationalisation of Competitions
In view of the dwindling support for the Spens Cup, proposals would be submitted to participant clubs and others to rationalise the Spens Cup, the Richardson Cup and the National League. A firm decision on any change would reflect participants' wishes.


CS PROMOTION OF CHESS PLAYING

Initial contact with AOL Time Warner about the possibility of using the Harry Potter images of chess playing had been less than encouraging, nevertheless, further approaches would be made to seek to capitalise on the publicity established by the books and films in order to use the images, for example, in creating a poster/s.



GRADING SOFTWARE

Council noted that Alex Bisset was doing a splendid job in building the new programme. Its main advantages were: -

" A much more user-friendly input for local graders
" On-line access for CS members to monitor grading change during the year.

There was no intention to provide the on-line grading look-up facility beyond the CS membership. It should remain an exclusive feature of CS membership.


TECHNICAL

The Arbiters' Committee would be meeting in March to review a number of issues including recent rule changes introduced by FIDE.


CS PRIORITIES

The consultation exercise already conducted at Oban and now being extended out to all CS magazine readers was, inter alia, asking members to comment by way of agreement, or not, with the proposition that "CS top priority is therefore to encourage more chess to be played in schools, either face to face or through the Internet". There was strong feeling within Council that the limited resource available to implement any initiatives should be recognised by having a clear focus in terms of priority.


DIRECTORS' ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The summary of roles and responsibilities would be published on the CS website as soon as possible after Council endorsement had been obtained. Council were asked to respond to the Chairman within a week either approving or suggesting amendments to the version already approved by the Directors. The roles and responsibilities document would then be published.


AOB

Council were very please to extend their congratulations to IM John Shaw in achieving his first GM norm at Gibraltar.


AGM

The arrangements for the AGM would be reviewed.



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Chess Scotland 2002