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Chess Scotland Council Meeting

Held on Sunday March 22nd, 2009 at 1:00 pm in Glasgow (QM Union)
zipped pdf files of reports

Present: Donald Wilson (DW–Chair), Douglas Bryson (DB), Trevor Davies (TD), Chris Hampton*(CH), Steve Hilton (SH), Andy Howie (AH), Alex MacFarlane (AM), Iain MacIntosh (IM), Mac MacKenzie(MM), John Shovlin* (JS) (part), Ken Stewart (KS), Jacqui Thomas (JT), Phil Thomas (PT).

Apologies: Jacob Aagaard (JA), George Anderson (GA), George Clark (GC), Sam Collins (SC), John Dempsey (JD), Jonathan Grant (JG), Lynsey Shovlin (LS), Peter Woods (PW).
* Not a member of Council

1. Minutes of the previous Council Meeting (February 23rd, 2008)

(a) Accuracy: The motion that the "Minutes be approved" was proposed by KS and seconded by MM. The motion was passed nem. con.

(b) Matters Arising:

(i) Valuation of trophies. MM reported that the trophies had not been valued because of
the expense. The inventory of equipment was incomplete.
KS stated that he still retained possession of the Robertson Cup and the Cranston Cup.
JT informed Council that Rebecca Childs still held a large CS trophy (Girls Individual?)
last contested some three years ago at the Glasgow Congress.

(ii) Role of Fund Raiser. DW reported that he had discussed this role with Jim Webster
(Dunfermline) and had circulated a paper to CS directors in March 2008. However, there
had been no further action.

(iii) Scottish Championships 2010
It was noted that the plans (and funding) in place for the Scottish Championships (2009)
at Edinburgh surpassed, by some distance, any seen in recent years. The Home Director
(JA) and his team, particularly JD and AM, were congratulated on this achievement.
However, it was noted that JA had indicated that he wished to step down as Home
Director at the AGM. No replacement had been identified. SH suggested that the job of
Home Director was too onerous for one individual and that the job of Tournament
Director for the Scottish Championship should be separated from the other responsibilities of the job. It was noted that this could be done within the current constitution if the Scottish was delegated by the Home Director to someone else.
DW informed Council that a tournament organizer had been approached to run the 2010
Scottish: no decisions had been reached yet.

2. Fair City Complaint
JS spoke to his (and LS’s) complaints, circulated previously, and passed to Council from the 2008 AGM.
The principal allegations (primarily in relation the Fair City Congress, but also in relation to the Dalguise event and the Girls’ Championship) are that Chess Scotland or its directors:
(a) failed to advertise the tournaments in a timely fashion,
(b) scheduled competing tournaments.
A lengthy discussion followed. The following points were noted:
(i) At the 2006 Organisers’ Meeting that it was agreed that it would be desirable to improve communications so as to minimize the risks of event clashing. However, it was generally acknowledged that this was difficult to implement. However, some believed that further progress in this regard was possible.
(ii) No organizer benefited from a tournament clash.
(iii) In the absence of the relevant CS directors, Council could not properly assess the case.
(iv) No reason for discriminating against these tournaments was apparent.
(v) Some of the allegations were not specific enough to allow a judgement to be made.
(vi) CS had no effective means of dealing with such allegations. However, the proposed
Standards Committee appeared to offer a suitable vehicle for this purpose.
In his closing remarks, JS stated that he was dissatisfied with the excessive length of time taken for CS to address his complainta and its failure to deal more effectively with them. He hoped that CS would implement better procedures in future, both to avoid the problems which were the substance of his complaint and also to deal more effectively with them.

3 The Standards Committee
TD spoke to his paper (previously circulated) advocating the creation of a Standards
Committee: more specifically the creation of a task group with a remit to bring forward a detailed proposal for a Standards Committee to CS.
Council approved the setting up of a task group (nem con). TD agreed to lead the task
group and to invite two others to join him in this work. On enquiry, he listed some names which had been suggested or had volunteered for this role. He thought that the proposal could be developed within two months.

4. Reports from the Directors and Office Bearers
Reports were received from the:

President DW
Home Director JA
International Director JG
Membership Sec. GA
Grading Officer DB
Webmaster DB
Junior Board JT, PT & AH
Technical Director KS
Marketing Director PW

None of these reports (other than that of the Home Director) was generally available prior to the Council Meeting. Although detailed scrutiny and discussion of them was thereby constrained, the following points arose:

(a) Girls’ Championship.
In reply to a question, AH stated that this would take place in parallel with the West of Scotland Congress.

(b) Junior Website
It was noted that the junior website needed to be updated.

(c) Online Forum
SH, speaking on behalf of the IBCA, stated that he had been disturbed that complaints directed against certain IBCA officials at Dresden had been raised on the on-line notice-board. Although he accepted that the matter was now closed, he hoped that such complaints would be raised through proper channels in future.

(d) Email communications
It was noted that JG’s email address had been unobtainable for some time. Several directors had complained that they were receiving excessive volumes of “spam emails.

(e) Law Society Event
The reduced number of Secondary Schools competing in this event was noted: this reflected the alarmingly small numbers of improving Secondary School players in Scotland (less than 80).

(f) Marketing
PW was complimented on the quality of the marketing materials he had produced for
Congresses and other purposes.

(g) Membership Renewals
On enquiry, it was explained that the problem of membership (non-) renewal could not be
addressed by making use of direct debit facilities: these are unavailable to Treasurer
Accounts.

(h) Dormant Clubs
Among a list of apparently dormant Clubs proposed for deletion from the online register, it was noted that Dalmuir was certainly an active club.

(i) ECF Grading
It was noted that proposed changes to the ECF grading system would, next season, require a revision of the conversion formula.

(j) Up-coming Junior Events
Council was reminded that:
(i) the Invitational Primary Individual Tournament would take place at Culzean
Castle in June.
(ii) Scotland would be hosting the Glorney Cup at Strathclyde University
(July 22nd-24th).

(k) Junior Player of the Year (The Booth / Rowson awards)
JT agreed to discuss with Steve Mannion (Jnr.) whether current nomination/award procedures could be improved.

(l) FIDE rating of SNCL
It was noted that 40% of those taking part in the SNCL were not members of Chess Scotland. FIDE rating remained under constant review and also depended on FIDE regulations.

(m) Organizers’ Guidelines
It was agreed that it would be helpful (especially for new organizers) to have easier access to organizers’ guidelines online.

(n) SDDA on-line listing
This organisation, representing the deaf, had formerly been affiliated to SC but not in the last two years. It was agreed that SDDA should be de-listed from the on-line list of affiliates.

(o) FIDE Council Meeting at Dresden
It was reported that JD had been unable to vote at the FIDE Council Meeting because a proxy vote had (allegedly) not been arranged.

(p) Deletion of personal telephone number
SH requested that his personal telephone number be removed from the (BBC) teletext
directory. This request was remitted to JD for action.

(q) Sponsorship for Braille Olympiad
SH had requested £150 to defray part of his costs for representing Scotland in the Braille Olympiad in Crete in September 2008. This question had been raised at the Management Board prior to the event but had been deferred. After some discussion, Council agreed that £150 of expenses should now be reimbursed and referred the matter to MM. It was held that normally expenses should be agreed in advance but that this exception would be granted.

5. Budget & Fees
MM briefly spoke to the (circulated) Income & Expenditure Budget and the Fees
proposed for Season 2009-10. It was noted that the projected deficit (based on conservative assumptions) was in excess of £1700 on a turnover of £36,000. Some 30% of Income (amounting to £10,600) was grant aid from the Scottish Government.

Several points arose in discussion.

(a) In reply to a question regarding the £560 assigned to the Correspondence Association, it was noted that this matter had been discussed on several earlier occasions and had been agreed with Management Board. Among the arguments in favour of sponsorship of the CA was that it promoted an inclusion agenda, which was part of the Chess Scotland case for funding. The CA would be presenting a business case in January 2010 for renewal in 2010-11.

(b) It was noted that approximately 100 copies of the Grading List were distributed free of charge.

(c) The possibility of distributing e-copies of Scottish Chess to some subscribers (at
reduced cost) was mooted. Whether this would result in a net saving to Chess Scotland
was unclear.

(d) In reply to a question regarding the benefits of Club affiliation to Chess Scotland, it was stated that benefits included free grading for club events, and access to the CS Insurance Scheme. It was noted that non-affiliates enjoyed the same online benefits (advertising of club details etc) as affiliates and it was suggested that there should be greater differentiation between the two.

(e) It was noted that an affiliation fee had been re-instated in the Draft Budget for Junior Clubs. It was argued that for the reasons given in the 2008 AGM of Chess Scotland, it was inappropriate to a charge a fee to these Clubs. Moreover, it was noted that no Junior Clubs had affiliated in 2007-08 when there had been a fee. It was agreed to amend the draft Budget to re-instate a zero affiliation fee for Junior Clubs. It was further agreed to amend the budget by raising the entry fee for Junior Team events from £8 to £12.

Subject to the above-mentioned amendments, Council voted unanimously to approve the
Draft Budget and Fees for 2009-10.

6. Any other competent business
(a) Disability Officer
SH indicated that he wished to step down from the post of Disability Officer with immediate effect. It was agreed that CH would assume the duties of the post for the time being (such work being delegated by SH) until a replacement could be appointed at the AGM.

(b) Scottish Championship
On enquiry, it was confirmed that a sum of £750 had been budgeted by CS to support the
Scottish. The major sponsors were Edinburgh Council (who were providing a free venue,
the City Chambers, plus £5000 cash ) and £1000 reportedly from Quality Chess.

(c) FIDE exemption
AM noted that any plans to stage an international chess event in Scotland might have
implications for the FIDE exemption currently enjoyed by the Scottish Championship.

(d) Junior Grading
DB noted that no action had been taken yet on the resolution passed at the 2008 AGM re the minimum game time limits for grading of junior games in the ‘main’ list. This matter was still under discussion between JA and the Junior Board.

The Meeting ended at 5:45 pm.


Trevor Davies April 18th, 2009


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