Lincolnshire Chess Association

General Meeting

Minutes of General Meeting held 2pm, 10 September 2011 at Church House, Louth

Attending: Nigel Birtwistle, David Carew, Mike Colebrook, Robert Dale, Denis Georgiou, Rod Giddings, John Grasham, Pete Holman, Ben Mason, Peter Sherlock, Jim Stearn

Apologies: Paul Chaplin, Keith Noons, Francis Bowers, Allan Marshall, David Lees, Frank Robinson

1. Minutes of 2010 AGM

John read the minutes of the 2010 AGM and these were voted as an accurate record of the 2010 meeting. It was decided to email the minutes of the previous AGM a week before the subsequent AGM to save the secretary’s voice.

2. Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

3. Secretary's report (John Grasham)

It is with great sadness I report the death of four of the counties players over the last few months. Tom Jarvis was an active member of the Scunthorpe Chess Club for many years. He was 91. Tom Archer was instrumental in setting up Louth Chess Club in 1981. He was 85. Wally Harding played at Louth for a few years after his retirement to the area. He was 78. Bryan Smith was a regular for Grantham’s second division team for a number of years. He was 52.

Louth’s annual Alf Newman Memorial Quickplay was a success again this year with a very competitive tournament of 24 players, all having a reasonable chance of a prize. However Louth’s Harry Russell was not to be denied winning all of his games and picking up both the Alf Newman and Nottingham shields. Second place went to Ayman Hammam of Lincoln and third place was shared between Paul Cumbers and Nigel Birtwistle. The grading prizes were won by Dave Bull of Lincoln in the under 150 section and Mike Liddle of Scunthorpe in the under 120 section.

This years County Championships saw a turnout of 21 players and with last years winner Chris Dorrington not taking part there was an open field. The title went to Paul Cumbers who won all of his matches, with Daniel Wells second and Samuel Milson third. The Quilter Trophy was won by Amy Milson, partly due to her impressive win over Denis Georgiou. Thanks again go to controller Kevin McCarthy and Herman Kok who provided the venue. Also at the same event GM Gawain Jones provided a simultaneous display and won 23 of his 27 games, drawing the other four.

The George Renison Memorial Jamboree was hosted by Louth this year. Six teams of four and two teams of three battled it out for the coveted trophy which was won by Lincoln on 11½/16. The event was notable by the return of Mike Colebrook to chess after a year out, he was presented with a commemorative trophy for his services to Lincolnshire Chess.

New this year is the Chess Club in Stamford, secretary David Lees sends his apologies but asks me to mention that it is open every Tuesday at 7:30pm at the Cellar Bar at Stamford Arts Centre on St Mary’s Street. They are not entering a league team this season but may do so in the future.

Also on the 25th October there will be a simultaneous display and talk by the President of the ECF, CJ de Mooi and GM Nigel Short, there will be a sub-committee meeting about this after the AGM.

4. League Secretary's report (John Grasham)

Division 1 was won by Lincoln by five points with six wins out of six and Grimsby ‘D’ won Division 2 North with five wins and a draw out of six, their only blemish coming against last years champions Louth in their final match.

The closest league was Division 2 South where Louth led the way after winning their first three matches but a defeat against Spalding left them needing a draw against defending champions Grantham in their final match which they lost 3-1 handing Grantham the title.

I would like to mention that while all captains reported results to me quickly after matches were played, some neglected to tell me when matches were postponed. Please in future can team captains report to the league secretary if a match is postponed and also when a rearranged date is agreed. Thank you.

5. Treasurer's report (Peter Sherlock)

As the accounts stand at this present time the county have made a loss over the year of £318.01. The bulk of this loss is the £200 deposit paid to CJ De Mooi for the Simultaneous Event next month. Hopefully, this will be repaid to the county out of the proceeds although, given recent correspondence, this may not be the case.

It has also been agreed with John Grasham that a further £58 will be paid as a deposit for the Simultaneous venue and this will appear in next year’s accounts.

Also, this year we had to pay David Coates £124 to set up a new web-site although this is for 3 years and the trophy and certificate given to Mike Colebrook is a one off payment.

On the income side the subscriptions have, in theory, raised an additional £50 with Barton-on-Humber joining the league although the income is the same as last year as Grantham have not paid their subs.

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 of £26.86.

Even though we have made a loss the county finances are in a reasonable position and I am happy to propose that the subsriptions of £60 for Division 1 teams and £50 for Division 2 teams remain unchanged.

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

Jo Hutchinson did not attend the AGM and provided no report.

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

Four U18 tournaments were held this year, the last as part of the County Championships. Numbers may appear healthy but we are very dependant on King’s School Grantham who entered almost half the players in all four tournaments. Although 48 different players took part many only come once and realise they are well out of their depth. Very few apart from the Kings players, get any serious regular chess; without this they will not improve. Special mention goes to Sean Guggiari from Barton Chess Club who emerged from the shadows of Hannah Dale and Samuel and Amy Milson to win both Lincoln events this year. Jim Stearn noted that he achieved 4 A* and 1 A in his A Levels and is going to Cambridge University.

Next year there are plans for four under 18 tournaments. They will be in November run by Phill Beckett in Grantham, March run by Paul Chaplin in Grimsby, April run by John Grasham in Louth and July run by Robert Dale alongside the county championships in Lincoln.

Lincolnshire now has 8 Under 18s graded 90 or above.

We were again unable to raise a team for the ECF U13/U18 Championships which were held this year at Eton College. Attempts were made to arrange a match with Nottinghamshire, but ended in acrimony! Phill Beckett is looking at alternatives for next year.

Samuel and Amy Milson continue to play in 4NCL and many congresses. They also entered the weekend tournament at the British Chess Championships. Both played at the UK Chess Challenge Terafinal.

I had hoped to stand down at this meeting, but no-one has responded to my appeals for a replacement! I am willing to continue for one more year.

Denis Georgiou gave thanks for all the hard work put in by Robert Dale.

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

Another successful year was recorded for the county’s open team. An unbeaten 4/4 gave the county the MCCU Championship for the second year running. A close match against Leicestershire was followed by a default win against Shropshire and comfortable wins against Derbyshire and Worcestershire. This left the team facing a match against Norfolk in the national quarter finals again winning 10.5 to 5.5. The semi final against Hertfordshire was a much closer game and despite being on top throughout the match was lost by one point. Thanks go out to all players especially Alastair Summers and Peter Sherlock who played at the last minute against Derbyshire after other players were beset by plumbing problems. With a bit more luck next year Lincolnshire can win the minor counties competition.

9. Under 120 Team match captain's report (John Grasham)

I am pleased to announce that Lincolnshire will be fielding a team in the U120 Section of the County Championships next year. There are 12 players on a team and 3 or 4 of these will be provided by King’s School Grantham. I am hopeful of getting as many players as possible interested in playing for the team and would consider going through the whole season without defaulting a board to be a success.

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 Barton-on-Humber, Louth & Grimsby.

From this coming season grades will be issued on a twice yearly basis – in August as before for results up to the end of May and in February for results up to the end of December. I shall therefore be submitting results in line with this.

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 4th (out of 7) with 2½ points. The trophy was shared by Trevor Brotherton of Shropshire and Keith McLaughlin of Leicestershire on 5 points. This season’s event, again with 7 players, has just started.

13. ECF Delegate's report (Peter Sherlock)

I attended both the October and April meetings in London and Birmingham.

The year has been dominated by the subject of Finance. Last year I reported that the DCMS had threatened a phased withdrawal of the £60,000 per year grant. In fact the financial situation in the country had prompted the DCMS to withdraw the grant completely with immediate effect.

Andrew Farthing, the Chief Executive, has issued a proposal that the current game fee/voluntary membership scheme be replaced by a compulsary membership scheme with the game fee being dropped. After receiving objections by myself and others that these changes would disadvantage minor counties like Lincolnshire he issued a further proposal of a tiered membership scheme. In essence this would be £12 per year for those playing only club/league matches (bronze members), £18 for silver members who wish to also play in congresses and £24 for gold members who wish to also play in FIDE rated events.

These proposals are to be discussed and voted upon at the forthcoming ECF AGM in October where, I understand, a 75% majority is required before any changes are accepted. If not accepted then the existing system will continue but with a large increase in the game fee.

The new proposals, if accepted, will mean that club members will pay the membership fee direct to the ECF – probably online – but clubs will still be required to pay a subscription to the County. The expenditure of the county – as seen in my treasurer’s report – shows that game related items – ECF Levy, MCCU Levy, Net Internal Game Fee and County Championship Game Fee comes to £351 about one third of the total outlay so a reduction in the subs could be possible – I suggest we discuss this next year should the need arise.

In other matters the meeting agreed to bring in the calculation and issue of grades twice yearly although, for the purposes of leagues, congresses etc grading limits the grades issued in August will be valid for the whole season. The February grades are mainly concerned with previously ungraded players.

14. MCCU Delegate's report (Peter Sherlock)

The MCCU now holds only 1 meeting per year – this being the AGM which was held at Lichfield 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.

As mentioned in my ECF Delegate report the finances of the ECF were discussed but it was decided to await the ECF AGM in October before making any decisions.

The exercise I was involved in to recalculate the levy points allocated to each county was done but no action was taken. The reason for this is that there was disagreement about which county some clubs were in – eg Grantham and Spalding in Lincolnshire and several clubs in the Birmingham/Warwickshire area.

David Levens has taken over as Director of Junior Chess and is keen to set up a Midland Counties junior coaching network so, hopefully, Robert and Joanne can expect to receive some positive input on this subject.

15. Election of Officers for 2011 - 2012 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 120 Team Captain John Grasham
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 2011-2012

Jamboree Hosts - Grimsby June or July
County Championships - Lincoln in July
Louth Quickplay - May or June to avoid clashing with bank holidays
County AGM - 8/9/12

17. Any Proposals

  1. Should it be one person one vote or one club one vote in matters arising. – It was decided to leave it at one person one vote.
  2. Should there be a restriction on grading order in League matches, i.e. no player may play on a higher board than another player graded 10 or more points higher than them. - Passed
  3. Start times for league matches should be determined at the AGM and any changes to these will have to be agreed by both captains. - Passed
  4. If a captain wishes to request a postponement of a fixture he should attempt to contact the League Secretary in the first instance. The postponement can only go ahead if the League Secretary is satisfied with the reason for the postponement. If the League Secretary is unavailable then the opposing captain should be contacted. If, in these circumstances, the fixture is postponed but the League Secretary is subsequently not satisfied with the reason for the postponement then the team requesting the postponement shall forfeit the fixture. – Passed with amendments.

It was decided that League Secretary John Grasham would have the power to reorganise the League rules in accordance with the changes voted on at the AGM.

18. Any Other Business

Mike Colebrook has been awarded the President’s Award for Services to Chess and will be presented with the award at the simultaneous display on the 25th October by CJ de Mooi.

19. Trophy Presentation

Denis Georgiou presented the trophies to last seasons winners.

The meeting was closed at 3.45pm.