Lincolnshire Chess Association

General Meeting

Minutes of General Meeting held 2pm, 8 September 2012 at Church House, Louth

Attending: John Grasham, Peter Sherlock, Denis Georgiou, David Carew, Francis Bowers, Mike Colebrook, Paul Chaplin

Apologies: Nigel Birtwistle, Rod Giddings, David Lees, Keith Noons, Robert Dale, Ben Mason, Jo Hutchinson

1. Minutes of 2011 AGM

The minutes of the 2011 AGM were circulated to attendees before the meeting and these were voted as an accurate record of the 2011 meeting.

2. Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

3. Secretary's Report (John Grasham)

The main event in Lincolnshire over the past 12 months was supposed to be the simultaneous display by Nigel Short and talk by CJ de Mooi, however this had to be cancelled as there was not enough interest among local players. There was a cost involved to the county which will be detailed in the accounts.

This years County Championships saw a turnout of 22 players and saw last years winner Paul Cumbers fight it out with Claudio Mangione for the title. Claudio won all his matches and the trophy to leave Paul in third place with Samuel Milson in second. The Quilter Trophy was won by Russell Ludlow. Thanks again go to controller Kevin McCarthy and Herman Kok who provided the venue.

Louth’s annual Alf Newman Memorial Quickplay was very well attended this year with 35 entrants. This was due to a large number of junior players attending. Louth’s Harry Russell was attempting to defend his title, which he did jointly with Joe Kilshaw. Third place was taken by Samuel Milson. The Under 155 grading prize was shared by Mike Kelly, Eric Lindberg and Allan Marshall. The Under 115 grading prize was shared by John Grasham, Ian Scott, Neil Milson and Bill Bazley. Charles Ayton won the Nottingham Shield and Max Vasey won the junior prize.

The George Renison Memorial Jamboree was hosted by Grimsby this year. Eight teams from Grimsby, Louth and Lincoln attended with Louth A pipping Grimsby A by half a point for the coveted trophy. The junior prize was won by Louth’s Cameron Marnoch with 2/4.

Message from David Lees: Stamford Chess Club is now in its second year of existence. We continue to meet in the Cellar Bar of Stamford Arts Centre each Tuesday but now at the new time of 7pm (previously 7.30pm). This is to make the club more attractive to younger members, of whom there are several. Apart from a three week break in summer, and two weeks at Christmas and Easter, the club meets all year round. For 2011-12 the club has so far attracted 11 paid members and we expect to have 15 paid up members by mid-autumn. Average attendances range from 6 – 10 players. Following a bid for moneys from Stamford Town Council the club received in May nearly £180 to support its activities. This money has been used to buy 15 chess sets and, together with club subscription moneys, digital clocks have been bought too. The club continues to support the development of primary school chess within Stamford with members running local school chess clubs and using club equipment for this purpose too. Stamford Chess Club continues to promote itself as a teaching club and partly for this reason will not be applying to join the Lincolnshire League this year. However, we note the new membership prices and would like in time to welcome chess clubs from nearby towns for friendly games.

Message from Keith Noons: At Barton’s AGM the active players all agreed to sign up to Bronze Membership and the proposal for Lincolnshire to cut Div 2 fees to £30 was welcomed.

4. League Secretary's Report (John Grasham)

I believe the new rule structure that was put in place at the start of last season was a success and recommend that it remains unchanged for next season.

Division 1 was won by Lincoln for the fifth successive year however Louth pushed them close. One win each when the teams met left Louth needing a 4-1 win against Grimsby in the final match to secure the title however a 4-1 defeat left them second. Grimsby ‘D’ again won Division 2 North with five wins and a draw out of six and what was shaping up to be a very tight league after the first three matches were drawn, Lincoln eventually ran away with Division 2 South.

Please can I point team captains to rules 1 (e) (iii) If (a player) has no ECF or FIDE grade it will be down to the team captain to notify the league secretary before the match and it will be at the league secretary’s discretion whether they will be eligible and rule 2 (a) The Home Team Captain should also forward results to the League Secretary within one week of the fixture being played as both were violated during the course of last season.

5. Treasurer's Report (Peter Sherlock)

I am pleased to report that the county made a small profit of £7.95. This is despite the one off payment of £58.29 for the simultaneous venue.

We ran two teams this season which also meant an increase in the MCCU levy as well as venue expenses although I am please that Nigel Birtwistle and John Grasham kept these to a minimum.

All subscriptions were paid including Grantham who also paid up for the previous season.

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 £41.85.

This season sees the introduction of the ECF Direct membership scheme and the demise of the Game Fee. Based on this season’s accounts I have drawn up a forecast for next season excluding game fee related items and one off payment but also included the proposal to reduce the subscription rates for Division 1 and Division 2 teams from £60 and £50 to £40 and £30. This shows that the income would be £490.32 and the expenditure £460.99 providing a surplus of just under £30.

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

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

It was said at the meeting that it was important to encourage under 11s to play chess but this had to be done in schools and have a dedicated member of staff for this. There was no impetus from any of the members present to take up this brief. However it was mentioned that Lisle Marsden School was an oasis in this area and that North Somercotes and Grimoldby Primary Schools used to be very active until key members of staff left.

7. Under 18 Secretary's Report (Robert Dale, read by John Grasham)

Four U18 tournaments were held, in different parts of the county:

Date Location Organiser No of players Winner
Nov 2011 Grantham Phill Beckett 15 players Ernestas Jackevic
Mar 2012 Grimsby Paul Chaplin 18 players Max Vasey
Apr 2012 Louth John Grasham 19 players Charles Baird
July 2012 Lincoln Robert Dale 21 players Joe Hamson

Rotating tournaments around the county lightens the load on me, and allows local players to compete who might otherwise not have done so because of the distance. However, players from the far south have a long way to go to Grimsby, and players from the far north have a long way to go to Grantham, with the result that only two (Neelay Sant and Cameron Marnoch) played in all four tournaments. Altogether, 42 players took part, from 17 schools: 1 Y13, 5 Y12, 4 Y11, 7 Y10, 8 Y9, 7 Y8, 9 Y7, and 1 Y5. 39 male, 3 female, 14 players came from Kings Grantham.

In addition, there was the UK Chess Challenge; the Megafinal was held this year at Lincoln Minster School, which attracted 49 in the U12 to U18 sections.

Our top rated juniors remain Sam and Amy Milson (graded 185 and 134). Sam and Amy (understandably) do not play in local junior events, but are very active both in league chess and in other tournaments. Amy came 9th in the UK Chess Challenge Terafinal, and Sam won one of the Challenger sections. Apart from Sam and Amy, our top juniors are: Ernestas Jackevic (127), Adam Robinson (121), Ben Walkley (105), Max Vasey (104), Neelay Sant (102), and James Kelly (100).

For the first time for several years, we were able to enter teams in the ECF U13/U18 Championships at Eton College in June. With Sam and Amy unavailable, we were heavily outgraded by most other counties, but we had an enjoyable day! We came 14th out of 15 (not last!) in the 12 board U18 with 4 points out of 24, and 10th out of 15 in the 6 board U13 Minor, with 8 out of a possible 18 points. Kings Grantham kindly provided a free minibus for this, whilst donations covered the petrol for an extra car from the north; several parents drove independently.

Several juniors have played in the county U120 team, and for their local clubs – though in general, we do not see many of our juniors going along to adult chess clubs.

The four tournaments were all self-financing. I paid the ECF entry fees (£50) and the grading fees (£58.81) out of the Lincoln surplus, plus accumulated funds. I now have just £15.23 in hand.

In 2012/13, we propose to hold tournaments in the same 4 locations, and enter the ECF U13/U18 again. To cover new game fees and Eton travel, the £5 entry fee may have to go up to £6.

New ideas being considered:

  1. A North Lincolnshire v East Yorkshire match, to be arranged by Paul Chaplin
  2. Possible something similar in the south, organised by Phill Beckett?
  3. Possibly a “crossover” tournament for Years 5-8, to ease players into U18 chess?
  4. A training event? At present, only Kings Grantham provides any training.
  5. ECF are trying to revive inter –schools chess; I do not know the strength of secondary school chess clubs (apart from Kings, I suspect there are only informal chess clubs), but will forward this information to see if there is any interest.

I am willing to continue in a co-ordinating role – though if anyone has the time / energy / vision / enthusiasm to take on a more pro-active role, I will gladly hand over to them!

Robert Dale, Phill Beckett, Paul Chaplin and John Grasham were all thanked for their input into junior chess over the past year.

Paul Chaplin also mentioned he would like to start a schools jamboree for 4 team players in North Lincolnshire and he had made contact with David Mills of Beverley Chess Club with regards to a North Lincolnshire v East Yorkshire match. It was noted that David Mills would be playing for Barton next season.

8. Open Team Match Captain's Report (Nigel Birtwistle, read by John Grasham)

I approached the new season full of optimism having seen the team gain in both strength and confidence during the previous two years of my tenure as Lincolnshire captain. I was hopeful that we would once again qualify for the knockout stages of the Minor Counties Competition and be able to reach the final, as we had suffered narrow defeats to teams from the SCCU in our two previous semi-final appearances. We started our campaign on 15th October at home to Derbyshire at the Lindum Atrium at North Hykeham. Lincolnshire were strong favourites as they out rated the visitors on all boards and this was reflected in a 10.5-5.5 victory. However the crowded schedule meant that our next match against Greater Manchester was just a fortnight later so there was no time to rest on our laurels. I expected a tough encounter when we travelled up to Sheffield but our opposition had several players missing and we ran out 10-6 winners. In December we travelled to play Leicestershire but were unlucky to lose 8.5-7.5.This was the first defeat that Lincolnshire had suffered in the MCCU group stages under my captaincy, thus bringing our unbeaten run to an end after 10 matches. I asked the team for a big response after this defeat and it came in our next match at the end of January with a massive 14-2 victory over Shropshire. Victory in our final group match by 10.5-5.5 against Worcestershire meant that Lincolnshire finished in second place in the MCCU group stages after having been group winners in the previous two seasons. The draw for the knockout stages paired us against Essex in the quarter finals. Both captains pulled out all the stops and fielded strong teams which were right on the brink of the U-180 grading limit. However our run of poor luck against teams from the SCCU continued with an agonising 8.5-7.5 defeat. The match was only decided at the very last game which saw Essex eventually hold the draw and deny Lincolnshire a win on board count. So the season finished on a disappointing note, but once again the team showed great commitment and this was the third season in a row that we did not default a board. Lincolnshire are now proving to be very tenacious opposition and a difficult side to beat when the grading average is U-180. I am proud to captain such a hardworking, enthusiastic bunch of players and I am willing to stand again as captain for the 2012-2013 season if asked to do so.

9. Under 120 Team Match Captain's Report (John Grasham)

After talking with Phill Beckett at the county championships last year, he said he would like the opportunity for some of his students to play long playing matches and I wanted weaker players to have the opportunity to represent the county, something that had been lacking since Peter Sherlock’s under 140 county team folded. I decided that I would captain a team in the Under-120 section for the forthcoming season. I realised that the team never had a realistic chance of getting to the national stages and considered that not defaulting a board would be a measure of success.

In our first game against Staffordshire Bulldogs we started 2-0 up after our opponent’s defaulted two boards and a series of draws and a win for yours truly left us with a chance of an unlikely draw with one match still remaining. However we could not get the required win and lost 7-5. Two heavy 9.5-2.5 defeats to Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire followed so I changed the balance of the team for the last two matches with one or two extra adult players. Things were still looking ominous in our match against Staffordshire Terriers however we won our last two matches to maintain respectability with an 8-4 defeat. With only one match remaining and that against last year’s national champions, Warwickshire, it was looking as if we would end the season with no points. However wins for Mark Bradshaw, Charles Moss, Ian Scott, Frank Birkbeck and James Kelly coupled with draws for Will Grummitt and Tom Claxton left us 6-5 ahead with one match remaining. Only needing a draw, it was down to the captain to bring home the win for the team which he duly did to give Lincolnshire an unlikely 7-5 win.

I would like to thank everyone who played for the team this year, especially those who provided transport and look forward to captaining the team again and welcoming both new and returning players for next season. I am also pleased to say we did not default a board!

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 and Grimsby

Results were submitted in December and June in line with the twice yearly grading lists.

11. Newsletter Editor's Report (Peter Sherlock)

The County Newsletter was published at the end of July after the County Championships.

12. Correspondence Secretary's Report (Peter Sherlock)

I came 3rd (out of 7) with 3 points. The trophy was won by Keith McLaughlin of Leicestershire on a maximum of 6 points. This season’s event has not yet started and Cyril Johnson has offered to run an email only event although this is also yet to start.

13. ECF Delegate's Report (Peter Sherlock)

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

The meetings were again dominated by the new direct membership scheme. The proposals put forward by the Chief Executive Andrew Farthing were accepted and the new scheme came into effect on 1st September 2012.

The introduction of a tiered membership scheme of Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum proved to be the deciding factor. There were proposals involving penalties for less than 85% take up but these were rejected. The scheme is not compulsory but there will be a game fee chargeable for games put forward for grading involving non-members.

Details are included in the discussion paper sent to clubs earlier in the year.

On other matters there was considerable debate at both meetings about CJ de Mooi, the ECF President, who apparently display an inappropriate T shirt at the British Championship in Sheffield last year.

14. MCCU Delegate's Report (Peter Sherlock)

John Grasham and I attended the MCCU AGM held at Syston in June.

The main talking point both during and after the meeting was what should be done about the Midland Counties Championship. Currently there is no MCCU specific event as such but there are several events organised by individual counties some of which are Grand Prix events. The debate centred about what form a resurrected MCCU event should take, if any, and who would be eligible to enter. I have not entered the debate as Lincolnshire does not hold a Grand Prix event.

In finance the MCCU has a healthy surplus and last year the counties were rebated with the levy being reduced from £10 per point to £4. This year it was raised to £7.

There was a report submitted by the Director of Junior Chess, David Levens of Nottinghamshire, in which he was critical of other counties, Lincolnshire in particular, for non involvement in his proposals for a MCCU wide junior coaching scheme. The meeting took exception to the tone of his report and decided to reject it.

I submitted my report as Director of Grading stating that I had successfully submitted the results of the MCCU county matches. These were submitted in December and April in time for the January and August grading lists.

Ray Collett from Worcestershire who maintains the MCCU web-site was praised for his efforts. He has offered to look at setting up a game-viewer on the site.

The ECF membership scheme was debated. It was agreed that non-members could play for county teams but the counties concerned would be expected to pay the subsequent game fee. The membership scheme comes into effect on 1st September 2012 although membership fees can be paid at any time between then and August 2013.

In the area of election/re-election of officers John Grasham put his name forward to be the MCCU secretary – very brave on John’s part – and I was re-elected as Director of Grading.

Finally, Cyril Johnson has offered to run an email correspondence chess event.

It was noted that David Levens had attempted to apologise to Keith Palmer by email for the tone of his report however this email was also insulting towards Keith.

15. Election of Officers For 2012 - 2013 Season

President: Denis Georgiou
Vice-President: David Carew
Life Member: Mike Colebrook
Honorary Secretary: John Grasham
League Secretary: John Grasham
Honorary Treasurer: Peter Sherlock
Under 11 Co-ordinator: Jo Hutchinson
Under 18 Co-ordinator: Robert Dale
Open Team Match Captain: Nigel Birtwistle
Under 120 Team Match Captain: John Grasham
Grading Officer: Peter Sherlock
Newsletter Editor: Peter Sherlock
Correspondence Secretary: Peter Sherlock
ECF Delegates: Peter Sherlock, Francis Bowers (reserve)
MCCU Delegates: Peter Sherlock, John Grasham (reserve)
Webmaster: David Coates

16. Programme for 2012 - 2013

Jamboree Hosts Lincoln – 18/5/13 – either at Lincoln Chess Club or the Atrium
County Championships Lincoln – 13-14/7/13
Louth Quickplay 8/6/13
County AGM 14/9/13

17. Any Proposals

  1. Any player wishing to play in the Lincolnshire League should be encouraged to become at least a bronze member of the ECF by August 31st following the season although this is not compulsory. Clubs must pay the game fee for any of their players playing in the league who do not join the ECF. Game fee must also be paid for internal games forwarded for grading involving non members.
    Passed unanimously.
  2. Club subscriptions to be reduced from £60 to £40 in Division 1 and from £50 to £30 in Division 2.
    Passed unanimously.
  3. Any club who has not paid it's league fees before the date of the AGM will be warned as to it's future conduct by the LCA and minuted in the official minutes of the AGM. Any club who has not paid it's league fees for two years shall be banned from entering the Lincolnshire League until such time as they have paid all monies outstanding to the LCA.
    Passed by six votes to one with the amendment that it be for all monies owed to the LCA.

18. Any Other Business

Hannah Dale is now happily married (last Friday) and on honeymoon in Mauritius. And yes, she and Roger did play chess on their wedding day – we have a photo of them playing on a giant chess set at Lincoln Castle, a Grunfeld Defence, game abandoned because of more pressing duties! She hopes to reappear on the chess scene eventually as Hannah Ball (Hong Kong) – she and Roger move there at the end of this month. She will be the No 1 female player in Hong Kong (in fact the only FIDE rated female!)

19. Trophy Presentation

Denis Georgiou presented the trophies to last seasons winners. The Division 2 North and South Trophies will be presented at a later date.

The meeting was closed at 3.30pm.