Minutes Jan 2015


Note: The scheduled meeting for November 2014 was abandoned due to an unfortunate last minute combination of illness, unavailability and transport problems which left too few council members to constitute a quorum.

Chess Edinburgh Council Meeting Minutes
Held at the Edinburgh Chess Club on Thursday 29 January 2015

Contents subject to approval at the next council meeting


Bill Marshall, Calum McGillivray, David Stewart, Dave Taylor, Eddie Gillespie, Jim Wallace, Martin Robinson, Robert Crawford, Graham Kerr

1. Apologies for Absence

Jim Crawford

2. Minutes of the Last Meeting

Proposed by Jim Wallace and seconded by Martin Robinson

3. Matters Arising:

No matters brought forward, although the date of the previous meeting was changed after not having a quorum. as per our constitution.

4. Edinburgh Chess League

The League Secretary made the Council aware that Musselburgh 2 will be fined £5 for not completing the Team Squad Form before the deadline of 31 October 2015.

In addition, the League Secretary reported a request from Edinburgh University Chess Club to play their league fixtures at home due to travel issues; notably to Broxburn. Although the League Secretary considered such a request it was agreed that no special circumstances would be granted and that all travel commitments were known before the start of the new season. Clubs as a condition of their entry are expected to travel any club within the Lothian’s. Therefore the request was refused.

The League Secretary also reported issue with the Chess Scotland grading programme. These issues were raised with Chess Scotland and are being addressed by them. These issues have not affected any grades.

5. Edinburgh Allegro Chess League

It was reported that the Edinburgh Chess Allegro League is well underway with no major issues or problems. Edinburgh Chess club withdrew to make a total of ten teams. The next two rounds will be played on the 12 February 2015 and no problems are expected.

6. Lothian’s Allegro

Martin Robinson reported that the Lothian Allegro 2015 was a success and went ahead on Saturday 10 January 2015 at the Wester Hailes Education Centre. The event showed a strong attendance of 109 despite a large number of late withdrawals due to the stormy conditions. The Tournament Director believed such withdrawals were down to poor weather on the day. The introduction of the new FIDE rule - one illegal move loses the game - was discussed and lead to a small amount of decisive results. In addition, the eight live broadcast/online boards successfully operated with no problems. There were issues with sound coming from the heating system which caused some disturbances; however this was resolved when the heating was turned off temporarily.

The Tournament Director reported that a provisional booking for next year’s tournament is still yet to be made.

With regards to the budget, it was reported that the event is expected to break even or produce a small deficit. Grading fees are still outstanding and pending an invoice.

The Tournament Director made the Council aware that the tournament report is still being finalised.

The Council raised issues with regards to the Johnny Marr Memorial Plaque, which the terms of agreement stipulate must be present on the boards. The Tournament Director will follow up and inquire if this agreement was honoured.

7. Summer Cup/Plate

The Council discussed when entries will be accepted. The end of March was proposed and a date will be chosen at the next Council Meeting.

8. Edinburgh Chess Congress

The Council was pleased to learn of significant progress since the last meeting.

David Stewart reported that an agreement for the venue has been reached with St Thomas of Aquin's High School and he has since taken on the role of Congress Director. The venue is central, has parking and has wheelchair access.

The Congress Director reported that the Edinburgh Chess Congress will take place on the 17 -19 April 2015. This will avoid Easter and the local Hibernian v Heart of Midlothian football match, the previous weekend. Additional checks were also carried out as to ensure no additional clashes with any other chess events would occur.

Chess and Bridge, Jim Fisher, will once again attend and will set-up a stall. It was also reported that local Chess Author Geoff Chandler will be attending and will do a book signing.

Catering will be provided throughout the weekend from the venues own staff on the same basis as provided by George Heriot's School.

It was also reported that details of the event have been circulated online to the various chess websites and online calendars.

David Stewart reported that five experienced Arbiters will attend being Alex McFarlane, Lara Barnes, Andy Howie, David Deary and Fiona Petrie. As part of the agreement with the venue, ten free entries will be provided to encourage juniors from the school to participate in the tournament.

Entry forms will be printed by the Congress Director due to better quality and lower printing costs.
It was finally reported that the Premier event will be FIDE rated and have eight live online boards, provided by Andy Howie of Chess Scotland.

The Council expressed gratitude to the Congress Director David Stewart for his hard work and inspiration which will lead to the successful organisation of the 2015 Edinburgh Congress.

9. Lothian’s Congress

The Council were pleased to understand that the congress’ final report has been finalised by Chris Donkin. It was reported the tournament surplus was £4 largely due to increased grading fees and a hidden premises/venue charge.

Jim Crawford has expressed interest in becoming the future Tournament Director, however since he was not able to attend contact will be made to establish his intentions.

10. Primary & Secondary Schools

Dave Taylor reported the new Lothian Junior chess season has started with the first round taking place in November. It was reported with great enthusiasm that the number of entries has reached its highest for six years. New notable entries were from: Stewart Melville’s, Low Port at Linlithgow and The Nigel Short Chess Society at Fettes College. These new numbers have led to the creation of the new ‘C’ league; allowing for a more balanced league based on playing strength. The next round is due to take place on the 25 January 2015.

It was also reported that the Wester Hailes Junior Congress went ahead as planned on the 23 November 2014 with great success. The five-round Swiss tournament reportedly attracted many new competitors from a variety of new and old clubs.

The Council was also pleased to hear strong numbers of Lothian Junior Chess Council Members.

11. Guidelines for Play-off Matches

The Council agreed that the new guidelines should be available on the Chess Edinburgh website. This will be checked by President Bill Marshall to ensure they have been successfully actioned and available to view with input from David Stewart.

In addition, the Council agreed the constitution needs further explanation with regards to conflicts of interest. This is to include procedure and rules on voting.

Wording for the new proposal will be presented by Bill Marshall at the next Council Meeting.

12. New Member Clubs League Entries

The Council discussed the pre-season issue with the Pentland Juniors club, who made enquiries about joining the Chess Edinburgh league. The Council agreed that issues raised by their enquiry required a more formalised set of procedures for the future. Potential changes to the league application process were discussed in detail with requirements on playing venue, organisation, equipment and players numbers central to the debate. Additional concerns of how to protect junior members were also a concern to the Council, however no conclusions on this aspect were finalised.

It was agreed that for new clubs applying to join the league that as a pre-condition each new club will be invited to play graded friendly matches against existing member clubs to give them a chance to experience the requirements of team play and enable council to assess their suitability for acceptance. Council would help to arrange such matches and a council member would attend the matches and any advice or assistance would be offered that would help the club with their organisation.

At the beginning of the new season at the first Council Meeting in September, it would be considered whether the new club should be given an invitation to join Chess Edinburgh if they still wish to do so.

13. Appeal by Wandering Dragons

A recent dispute was raised between Badgers Brook Chess Club and Wandering Dragons Chess Club. This had been referred to the League Secretary who had given a decision on the matter.

A formal letter (via email) of complaint was received by Bill Marshall from Wandering Dragons Secretary, Elliot Sloan appealing the decision. Central to the complaint was the alleged mis-ordering of boards by Badgers Brook 1 against Wander Dragons 2 in the fixtures of November and December. The letter of complaint asked the council to consider three following proposals: (1) That the Council invite Badgers Brook to contact the Dragons to offer to re-play both matches with both teams ordered as per the published gradings. (2) The Council advise member clubs in the division affected when an application has been submitted and agreed to play in an order different from the published gradings.(3) That before the commencement of the second round of league fixtures that the Council publish more robust guidance as to the ordering of the teams.

Both club representatives were present during the Council Meeting: Robert Crawford (Wandering Dragons) and Graham Kerr (Badgers Brooks).

The Wandering Dragons representative expressed concerns as to the motives behind such ordering of boards citing a match on the 2 December 2014 where Wandering Dragons 2 were the home team. He argued that such ordering of boards required further justification as required by League Rule 3.6.

The position of the League Secretary was clarified as approval for Badgers Brooks I to change the order for the bottom two boards was granted. The League Secretary concluded that the additional changes to the board order were justified as grading differences were not large and the same board order was used consistently during subsequent league matches.

The Badgers Brook representative made their position clear. Changes to board order were adjusted according to recent form of the players concerned. In addition, the Badgers Brook representative argued that such changes were not a ‘gross misordering’ as grading differences were not substantial being that it was 35 grading points of a difference. Further debate around advising clubs about changes to board order was also discussed in addition to the wording of the board ordering guidelines.

After considering both sides of the dispute the Council put the issues raised to a vote. The League Secretary, along with the Wandering Dragons and Badgers Brooks representatives were absent during this time.

After deliberation the Council voted that the appeal had been turned down on all the points raised by a unanimous decision.

14 Website

Nothing to report.

15. President

Nothing additional to report beyond matters already discussed.

16. Treasurer

Eddie Gillespie reported a slight loss may be expected from the Lothian’s Allegro. This was estimated to be in the range of £100 but still needing confirmed. League receipts are up from the previous year; this also includes the Allegro League. Overall the Treasurer was pleased to report that financial status of the organisation is healthy.

17. AOCB

David Stewart notified the Council that he had been approached by Dunbar Chess Club about organising an event; with details still yet to be formalised. This was welcomed by the Council.

Calum McGillivray proposed a new individual Knock-out Tournament for club players. It was agreed that a written proposal would be required to take the suggestion further.

18. Date of next meeting

The date of the next meeting will be on Thursday 5 March 2015 at 7.30 pm at the Edinburgh Chess Club

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