Lincolnshire Chess Association

General Meeting

Minutes of General Meeting held 2pm, 11 September 2010 at Church House, Louth

Attending: Nigel Birtwistle, Francis Bowers, Paul Cumbers, Robert Dale, Mike Dew, Denis Georgiou, John Grasham, Pete Holman, Joe Kilshaw, Ben Mason, Keith Noons, Peter Sherlock

Apologies: David Carew, Paul Chaplin, David Coates, Mike Colebrook, Chris Holt, Jo Hutchinson

1. Minutes of 2009 AGM

John read the minutes of the 2009 AGM and these were voted as an accurate record of the 2009 meeting.

2. Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

3. Secretary's report (John Grasham)

Mike Colebrook is unable to attend today’s meeting and wishes it to be known that he is standing down from his posts as LCA secretary, League Secretary and from running the website as long as suitable replacements can be found. I would like to thank Mike for all the hard work he has put into Lincolnshire Chess since first being elected as secretary in 1974.

The Louth Quickplay tournament was a great success this year, gaining a record number of entries, 36. For the second year running Ayman Hammam won the Alf Newman trophy on countback and Amy Milson’s excellent 4 ½ / 6 won her a grading prize and the Nottingham shield. Apart from a few minor hiccups the tournament went off without incident.

Also there was a drastically improved turnout for this years County Championship with 25 entrants. The two day competition was held at the Lindum Group headquaters in Lincoln and would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the efforts of Herman Kok and controller Kevin McCarthy. It was won by Chris Dorrington with a perfect five out of five. Second place was held jointly by Paul Cumbers and 16 year old Samuel Milson. The Quilter Trophy was won by David O’Neill. The junior rapidplay was also well supported and was won by Louth’s Adam Robinson with five out of five. The only disappointment was not having any Grimsby players taking part.

The George Renison Memorial Jamboree was hosted by Grimsby this year and had a bumper turnout. Ten teams of four battled it out for the coveted trophy which was won jointly by Louth and Grimsby on 13 ½ /16. Amy Milson won the junior prize with a perfect four out of four.

4. Treasurer's report (Peter Sherlock)

This year we made a small surplus of £1.31 compared with the large surplus of £186.97 made last year. Apart from Boston’s withdrawal from the league our income remained static. Our expenditure increased slightly but is not a cause for concern. One of the main increases was county team expenses. The Open team reached the national semi finals with all but one match being played at a neutral venue, with the costs being shared, £24 of the £74 was part of the MCCU levy.

The U140 team incurred £119. Of this £48 was the MCCU levy as there would have been 6 MCCU matches. However, only one match was played against Staffordshire with £31 being the share of the neutral venue. £40 was forfeited when we conceded the match to Nottinghamshire and with 4 of the matches being on neutral venues the decision to withdraw the team was taken partly with my treasurer’s hat on.

The county championships were run under the control of Pandora’s Box under the watchful eye of Kevin McCarthy and were better attended than in recent years. The county made a donation of £50 and paid the game fee £36.57.

I am happy to propose that the subscriptions of £60 for Division 1 teams and £50 for Division 2 teams remain unchanged.

5. League Secretary's report (John Grasham)

Division 1 was won comfortably by Lincoln this year with five wins out of six and finishing two points ahead of nearest rivals Grimsby.

Grantham went one better in Division 2 South and won their league by a whopping three points.

However the closest league by far was Division 2 North where Louth ‘C’ went top with only one match remaining. However, they couldn’t win the league due to their two closest rivals playing off for the title. Louth ‘B’ and Scunthorpe ‘A’ drew two apiece and Louth ‘B’ won the title on points difference ahead of the two aforementioned clubs.

6. Under 11 Secretary's report (Jo Hutchinson)

Jo Hutchinson did not attend the meeting and her report was read aloud by John Grasham.

Thank you for nominating me for the under 11 manager that I have found both rewarding and exciting.

I would like to thank Keith for being a rock and helping with travelling arrangements, emails and much more, it’s much appreciated.

The under 11’s have had a mixed year with some excellent results and very poor results within the team.

We beat Northampton in January putting us in second place behind Nottingham.

At the Inter Association Championship we stormed into 3rd position in round one but had 2 disastrous rounds straight after and fell out of the qualification zone by one place to finish a disappointing 6th.

7. Under 18 Secretary's report (Robert Dale)

Three U18 tournaments were held again this year, the last as part of the County Championships. Numbers have revived a little, owing to support from a new teacher at King’s School Grantham. I understand that there are tentative plans to hold the Lincolnshire Championships again next year at the Lindum Business Park and we will be happy to be part of that.

All our tournaments are graded. We have 6 players graded over 100.

The ECF Championships were held this year on Sunday 27th June in Surrey. This was not only impossible for me, but also for most of our players. Consequently, we did not enter a team. There was no U14 Girls tournament this year.

Samuel Milson came 2nd= in the UK Chess Challenge (out of 80,000 competitors) Amy Milson came 15th= Gregory Barber scored 2/5 in the British U140 Championships.

It was agreed that there would be another U18 tournament this year, running alongside the Louth Quickplay, and just before the UK Chess Challenge.

8. Open Team match captain's report (Nigel Birtwistle)

Nigel reported a successful year for the county team. Two wins over Worcestershire and Shropshire and a draw with Leicestershire meant Lincolnshire finished top of their section and into the national quarter finals. A convincing 11-5 win over Suffolk meant they were through to the semis and optimism was running high. However Lincolnshire lost 9.5-6.5.

He said there was a committed core of nine people who played in every game and praised players such as Grenville Wollerton and Amy Milson who had stood in at short notice to fill gaps when other players were unavailable.

Nigel hopes for another successful season next year.

9. Under 140 Team match captain's report (Peter Sherlock)

I could forsee problems when the fixture list came out as the section (replacing the Under 125s) was an all-play-all competition with all matches either away or at a neutral venue.

Our first match turned out to be our last losing 9-7 to Staffordshire. Arriving with only 15 players I informed their captain that their board 16 had no game. Don’t worry - he said – we have only 14 so unfortunately it was Paul Chaplin who missed out.

In our next match against Nottinghamshire we withdrew having only 12 players and when we had a similar number for the next match against Shropshire I decided that enough was enough.

As for the forthcoming season I took the executive decision not to enter any teams in the graded sections. Having had a good season I knew my grade would rise above 140 – in fact it is 145 – so I canvassed the county players to see if anyone was interested in running the under 140 team. Unfortunately, no-one seemed interested.

I looked at entering the under 160 competition but in the end decided not to. The reasons are two-fold. Firstly, as indicated in my MCCU delegates report, I asked if the event could be east-west zoned but when this was not forthcoming I knew that the cost would be beyond the county’s means. Secondly, looking at the grades of likely players I noticed, in fact Nigel pointed this out as well, that a significant number had seen their grades creep over the 160 mark – so if we did enter a team it would not be competitive.

I will keep the possibility of entering the U140 and/or U160 competitions under review for next season.

10. Grading Officer's report (Peter Sherlock)

Results were forwarded for grading for

Lincolnshire League
County Championship
U-18 Rapidplay events
Internal club results for Louth & Grimsby.

The new grading system seems to have bedded in OK and all results were processed correctly.

11. Newsletter Editor's report (Peter Sherlock)

The county newsletter was published at the end of July after the George Renison Jamboree.

12. Correspondence Secretary's report (Peter Sherlock)

I came 6th (out of 8) with 2 ½ points but nevertheless am soldiering on in this season’s campaign.

13. MCCU Delegate's report (Peter Sherlock)

The MCCU now holds only 1 meeting per year – this being the AGM which was held in Syston in June.

I was re-elected as the MCCU grading director. My task of collating the MCCU group stage results for grading was completed successfully.

I am also involved in an exercise to calculate how many players there are in each county in order to re-calculate the MCCU levy.

At the AGM I explained that my decision to withdraw our U140 team was partly taken because of the costs involved in the all-play-all format which included four neutral venues. I have asked if the format for both the U140 and U160 competitions be on an east and west zone format regardless of the number of teams. Where there are only three teams in a section they would play each other twice.

Since the meeting, the MCCU controller, Julie Johnson, said she would implement this if the other counties agreed. Unfortunately, there was little interest in the zonal format amongst the U160 teams so I decided to withdraw our entry.

14. ECF Delegate's report (Peter Sherlock)

I substituted for Francis in both the October and April meetings in London.

At the October AGM there was an air of gloom with the government (Department of Culture Media and Sport) threatening to withdraw the £60,000 annual grant – representing 20% of the ECF’s income. The vacant post of Finance Director did not help matters as the government felt the ECF lacked direction.

On a positive note Nigel Short was elected Director of International Chess and CJ de Mooi, familiar to Eggheads fans, was elected President of the ECF.

At the April meeting there was a complete change in mood. A new Finance Director has been found – Gareth Caller, a finance guru from Whitehall - who has formulated a Business Plan to take the ECF forward and this was in turn forwarded to the DCMS. The government grant seems assured for another year at least although the business plan includes a contingency in case the grant is withdrawn anyway.

The Chess for Schools initiative seems to have stalled with Holloid Plastics, who were manufacturing the sets free of charge, finding that increased demand for their products has meant that there is no capacity available.

Robert Dale said CJ de Mooi was “a breath of fresh air” for chess after his speech at the British Championships.

15. Election of Officers for 2010 - 2011 Season

President Denis Georgiou
Vice-President David Carew
Life Member Mike Colebrook
Honourable Secretary John Grasham
Honourable Treasurer Peter Sherlock
League Secretary John Grasham
Open Team Captain Nigel Birtwistle
Under 11 Secretary Jo Hutchinson
Under 18 Secretary Robert Dale
Correspondence Secretary Peter Sherlock
Grading Officer Peter Sherlock
Newsletter Editor Peter Sherlock
MCCU Delegates Peter Sherlock, David Carew (reserve)
ECF Delegate Peter Sherlock, Francis Bowers (reserve)

16. Programme for 2010-2011

Jamboree Hosts - Louth, John Grasham will look for venue.
County Championships - Nigel Birtwistle and Denis Georgiou to arrange
Louth Quickplay - June, John Grasham to arrange.
County AGM – 10/9/2011

17. Any Proposals

Changing the grading limit on Division Two North and South from 160 to 165.

This motion was passed by five votes to four.

Nigel Birtwistle raised the point that should it be one man one vote at the AGM or one club one vote. It was decided that this should be made into a proposal and presented at the next AGM.

18. Any Other Business

It was decided to thank Mike Colebrook for his many years of service to the LCA.

  1. Appoint him Life Member of the LCA in accordance with the Constitution of 2008.
  2. Nominate him for an ECF award for long service.
  3. Purchase a memento of service for him.
  4. Send a letter of gratitude to him.

19. Trophy Presentation

Denis Georgiou presented the trophies to last seasons winners. John Grasham accepted the trophy for Louth in David Bale’s (and the trophy’s) absence.

The meeting was closed at 4pm.