Lincolnshire Chess Association

General Meeting

Minutes of General Meeting held 2pm, 14 September 2013 at Church House, Louth

Attending: Denis Georgiou, Peter Sherlock, John Grasham, Ben Mason, Andrew Watson, David Carew, Frank Robinson, Dave Mills, Mike Dew

Apologies: David Lees, Keith Noons, Francis Bowers, Robert Dale, Nigel Birtwistle, Jo Hutchinson, Paul Chaplin

1. Minutes of 2012 AGM

The minutes of the 2012 AGM were circulated to attendees before the meeting and these were voted as an accurate record of the 2012 meeting.

2. Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

3. Secretary's Report (John Grasham)

There have been two new chess clubs set up in the county over the past year. These new clubs are at Immingham and Horncastle. I have heard very little of the progress of the Immingham Club but the Horncastle Club has nine regular members and will be entering the Lincolnshire League in the coming season.

This year’s County Championships saw a turnout of 24 players, last year’s champion and top seed Claudio Mangione was the man to beat but as no-one could manage it he retained his title. Daniel Wells was able to get a draw against Claudio and he jointly shared second place with Samuel Milson, Ayman Hammam, Harry Russell and Keith Palmer. The Quilter Trophy was shared between Chris Holt and Paul Fischer. Thanks go to Peter Sherlock in his first year as controller and Herman Kok who provided the venue.

Louth’s annual Alf Newman Memorial Quickplay had a record attendance of 37 entrants this year. This was thanks to Horncastle Chess Club providing a large contingent and a lot of new and returning faces. Louth’s Sam Milson was the outright winner with 5.5 out of 6. Second place was shared by Nigel Birtwistle, Francis Bowers (after managing to fight his way out of the toilet) and Keith Noons who belied his grade of 116 to beat some of the top players in the county. The under 105 grading prize was won by Raven Kelly-Browne and Ian Scott won the Nottingham Shield. The junior prize was shared between Cameron Marnoch and Ian’s son David.

The George Renison Memorial Jamboree was hosted by Lincoln this year. Seven teams from six different clubs attended with the trophy being shared after an incredibly tight finish. Grimsby’s Pete Holman had to settle for a draw in the last match to finish against Mike Dew which meant that Louth A had enough points to share the trophy.

Message from David Lees: Stamford Chess Club continues to meet at the Cellar Bar in the Arts Centre of Stamford every Tuesday at 7pm. We have 10 paid up members so far this financial year and expect to have a couple more after the summer break. The club restarts first week in September. Our committee consists of Eric Gibbon, James Blair (replacing Alan Mallon) and I. We had a stall at the June Stamford Festival to promote the club and attracted considerable interest with this. Three junior members of the club represent their school at county and national competitions on a regular basis.

Louth Chess Club won the National Club Championship (Minor) this season beating Fenton Chess Club in the final. Wins for John Grasham and David Scott and draws for Ian Scott and Gary Scott gave Louth a 3-1 win.

John Grasham was thanked for his work as secretary during the season.

4. League Secretary's Report (John Grasham)

Division 1 was won by Lincoln for the sixth successive year and Division 2 North was also won by Lincoln. Division 2 South however was the closest finish imaginable and with only two games to go mathematically all four teams could win the league. Lincoln had first chance to claim the title needing a win against Louth for the trophy but a win for Louth would leave them in the box seat. However a 2-2 draw in this match let Spalding back into the equation. They needed to win at Louth in the final match to claim the title at Lincoln’s expense. A tight game was evenly poised at 1.5-1.5 with Spalding captain Frank Robinson in a complicated middlegame with namesake Adam. Frank went on to win and thus claim the title for Spalding. I am delighted to announce that two new teams will be joining the league next season, Horncastle in Division 2 South and Louth Juniors are returning to Division 2 North.

Team captains should be aware of rule 2 (a) The Home Team Captain should also forward results to the League Secretary within one week of the fixture being played as this was violated during the course of last season.

5. Treasurer's Report (Peter Sherlock)

I am very pleased to report that the County made a large surplus of £318.34.

The main reason for this was the unexpected surplus of £341 made at the County Championships earlier this year when I volunteered to take over the running over the event when Kevin McCarthy was unavailable. Of the £341 surplus £250 can be put down to the sponsorship of £200 from Jackson Builders and £50 from Wright Vigar. Thanks go Herman Kok who organised the sponsorship as well as providing the venue at the Lindum Group Atrium free of charge.

Taking the County Championship out of the equation there would have been a deficit of about £23 compared with a predicted surplus of £30 calculated in my forecast last year. This was mainly due to the higher than predicted expenses for the Open Team of £184 and an increased cost of trophies and repairs but offset by the lower than expected MCCU levy. A donation was also made out of the Special Fund towards the entry fee for the ECF Junior Championships which was also not budgeted for.

Given the healthy balance at the bank I see no reason to increase subscriptions at this time, although we need to ensure that we do not incur unnecessary expenditure in the coming year.

Peter Sherlock was thanked for his efforts as Treasurer for the previous year.

6. Under 11 Secretary's Report (Jo Hutchinson, read by John Grasham)

Jo Hutchinson has sent me the following email which reads:

Do to the lack of involvement with the Under 11's I think it appropriate that I withdraw from the post.

I am also unable to attend the AGM as I am away that weekend.

John Grasham reported that Keith Palmer did the vast majority of work with regards to under 11 chess in the county and that he ran a full programme including a training event at Kirkby-on-Bain on October 5th. David Lees was also trying to start up an under 11 league in Stamford.

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

This will be my final U18 report. Now that Hannah has moved abroad, and I am no longer involved in school chess, I feel it is time to step down. Since my first U18 tournament, in October 2006, there have been 26 tournaments; I have run 18 of them. We began with just 10 players in 2006; we reached a peak in Feb 2008 with 30. It is now generally about 20. Altogether 35 different players took part this year.

This year’s tournaments have been as follows:

Date Venue Players Winner
Nov 2012 Grantham 15 Amy Milson
Mar 2013 Grimsby 20 James Kelly
Apr 2013 Louth 19 Amy Milson
Jul 2013 Lincoln 17 Callum Foard

Since 2010/11, these tournaments have rotated around the four venues, with Phill Becket, Paul Chaplin, and John Grasham organising the Grantham, Grimsby and Louth tournaments – to whom, many thanks.

We entered teams in the U18 and U13 Minor sections of the ECF Championships at Haberdasher’s Aske’s Boys’ School in Elstree in June. This was always likely to be a difficult tournament for us. With Amy unavailable, our top player, James Kelly, was graded 93; his opponent were graded 209 and 223! Predictably we came last (13th) in the U18 with just 3½ points, and 15th out of 18 with 6 points, in the U13. But at least we entered, which the other 30 of England’s 48 counties did not.

The UK Chess Challenge Megafinal again took place at Lincoln Minster School. Five U18’s went on to compete in the Northern Gigafinal; just one, Amy, survived to the Terafinal, coming 38th out of 58.

Other suggested events did not materialise.

U18 funds have been reduced to zero: Cash b/f £ 15.23
Surplus from tournaments £ 37.84
Grading -£ 28.00
Contribution to Postage -£ 25.07
Cash c/f £ Nil

I hope that it will be possible to continue the U18 tournaments. I have a database of regular competitors, which (with the players’ permission) I can pass on to the organisers.

Comparing Lincolnshire with other counties, we are better than many, in that we do have regular U18 events – but far behind some other counties, which are regularly producing large numbers of strong players. The key difference probably lies in the schools. With the notable exception of the King’s School, Grantham, very few secondary schools in Lincolnshire have active chess clubs. Unless players are keen enough to join an adult club, or travel large distances to congresses, they are without regular practice, and unlikely to improve. Training sessions might help, but cannot solve the problem in isolation. Internet chess also helps; I wonder if some of our U18’s could be encouraged to link up over the internet? Ideally, local players would make contact with schools and help revive the chess clubs there – but realistically few have the time or gifts to do this. I certainly found it very difficult at Lincoln Minster School.

Please keep me informed about future developments: I remain interested, even if no longer involved.

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

Lincolnshire again enjoyed a successful season in the MCCU stages of the Minor Counties Competition and qualified for the National Stages of the competition. Unfortunately, as has been the case in three out of the previous four seasons, we came up against strong opposition from the SCCU and were defeated at the semi-final stage by the eventual winners Essex.

We opened our campaign at Great Sharnford, Leicestershire in early October with a 12½-3½ victory over Worcestershire. The following month we travelled to Sheffield to play Greater Manchester. This match was a much tighter affair but Lincolnshire eventually prevailed by a 9-7 score line. We had the luxury of a home match before Christmas against old rivals Leicestershire. Once again, thanks to the generosity of Herman Kok, the match venue was the excellent Atrium Building at North Hykeham. Leicestershire showed their intent by fielding GM Mark Hebden on top board but it didn’t matter as the Lincolnshire team rose to the occasion, emerging victors by 9-7. Another win at Clay Cross in February against Derbyshire by 11½-4½ confirmed our position as MCCU Minor Counties Champions. We had to wait a considerable time before our next match in May when we defeated Gloucestershire 10½-5½ at Birmingham in the national quarter final. This set up a semi-final in June against Essex at Sawtry, Cambridgeshire. The match was a very close one with many games going right down to the wire. However for the first time this season Lincolnshire tasted defeat losing by a 9½ -6½ score line.

I would like to thank all of the players who played in the matches this season for their efforts. Most of the Lincolnshire Chess Clubs were represented and there was a large amount of travelling involved for all of the players, especially those who continue to represent the team despite no longer residing in the county. My job as Captain has been made easier due to the commitment shown by this group of players and I am once again willing to stand for the post of captain in 2013-14 if asked to do so.

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

Unfortunately Lincolnshire got off to a poor start to their Under 120 campaign this year with a 9.5 to 2.5 loss to Worcestershire but managed to get off the mark in our next game with a 6-6 draw against Nottinghamshire. We were then comprehensively beaten by Warwickshire by 9.5 to 2.5 but incredibly could still qualify for the national stages with a win in our final game. This was not to be as we suffered an 8-4 defeat to Staffordshire.

I would like to make a special mention to Neelay Sant with 2/3, Adam Wardlow with 1.5/2 and Haydn Godfrey with 1.5/3 and the captain was the player of the season with 3/4.

I would again 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.

10. Grading Officer's Report (Peter Sherlock)

Results were forwarded for grading for Lincolnshire League, County Championship, Under 18 Rapidplay Events, Jamboree, Scunthorpe and District League and internal club results for Barton on Humber, Horncastle, Louth, Grimsby and Scunthorpe.

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 Championship.

12. Correspondence Secretary's Report (Peter Sherlock)

There was no correspondence event organised at MCCU level. Cyril Johnson offered to organise an e-mail only event but with only four entries, including myself, this did not take off.

After canvassing interest across the County I have entered a team of eight into the Ward Higgs Sinclair National Web based event for teams of eight with the team being David Coates, Harry Russell, Russell Ludlow, Herman Kok, myself, Mike Dew, James Irwin and Paul Fischer.

13. ECF Delegate's Report (Peter Sherlock)

I attended both the October and April meetings in Birmingham.

The October meeting was a bit of a shambles. The Finance Director had stood down due to ill health and no accounts were presented to the meeting. The Chief Executive, Andrew Farthing and architect of the membership changes also stood down with the position remaining vacant. The criticism received by C J de Mooi over his behaviour at the British Championships in Sheffield had prompted him to stand down as well.

By the April meeting things had settled down. Chris Mattos has been appointed Finance Director and he and John Philpott the ECF Secretary had sorted out the finances. The good uptake in the ECF membership team meant that the ECF were financially stable so that when it came to the debate over the budget for the coming year no increases in membership fees or game fee levels were felt necessary.

The next thing on the horizon is to make the ECF into a charity which will enable it to claim tax back from the Government via the Gift Aid Scheme. To do this the ECF will have to split in to two with Chess England becoming a separate body to cover professional Chess leaving the ECF to look after the amateur game.

14. MCCU Delegate's Report (Peter Sherlock)

John Grasham and I attended the MCCU AGM held in Lichfield in June. John as Secretary was due to take minutes but as we were involved in an accident on the way we arrived 40 minutes late. Julie Johnson took the minutes until then.

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. My report added that 23 out of 527 players had not joined the ECF including 9 from Lincolnshire. John Grasham has forwarded the £2 game fee on behalf of these players who had all played at under 120 level.

Ray Collett from Worcestershire maintains the MCCU website was praised for his efforts. He has offered to look at setting up a game viewer on the site. When we arrived, the meeting was debating the situation where Sean Hewitt had criticised the MCCU for not recording the results of e2e4 events – even those outside the area. The result was that no e2e4 event results were recorded. Ray was complemented for his actions.

The ECF membership was covered in Andrew Farthing’s report as ECF delegate. The general consensus was that the take up of membership has been better than even Andrew had hoped for and was settling in ok.

When it came to the re-election of officers, Cyril Johnson (Chairman) and Julie Johnson (CEO) and events controller stood down due to ill health and work commitments. Andrew Farthing put his name forward and was elected as chairman and Ray Dolan from Staffordshire put his name forward as CEO and was duly elected. There were no takers for Events Director or County Championship controller. The MCCU Board were tasked with making an appointment ASAP as County Captains and delegates needed to be contacted by the end of July.

The meeting unanimously agreed that both Cyril and Julie become life Vice Presidents. This was also given to Neil Graham from Nottinghamshire who is also a past CEO of the MCCU. Cyril did say that Syston will continue to be available for half way matches if required.

After the meeting Ray Dolan asked me if I would take over the role of County Controller which I agreed to do. This was a baptism of fire as there was a lot of debate about the open minor section following Warwickshire’s decision to play in the Minor instead of the Open. Fortunately Nottinghamshire also entered the Minor instead of the Under 180 section. A solution presented itself as there are now eight counties in the combined Open section split into east and west zones. This is better than the alternative of Staffordshire being the only County in the Open section and seven counties in an all play all Minor section which all felt generated too many matches.

15. Election of Officers for 2013 - 2014 season

President: Denis Georgiou
Vice-President: David Carew
Life Member: Mike Colebrook, Robert Dale
Honorary Secretary: John Grasham
League Secretary: John Grasham
Honorary Treasurer: Peter Sherlock
Under 11 Co-ordinator: Not filled
Under 18 Co-ordinator: Not filled
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

The briefs of Under 11 Co-ordinator and Under 18 Co-ordinator were not filled through nobody being willing to put their name forward. With regards to the Under 11 Co-ordinator it was decided to approach Keith Palmer to take the brief as he is heavily involved in junior chess throughout the county and has held the role before. With the Under 18s it was noted that there were seven events in Lincolnshire last season. These were four under 18 individual events at Louth, Grantham, Grimsby and Lincoln, a team event at Grantham, the UK Chess Challenge Megafinal at Lincoln and the ECF Under 18 Championships which Lincolnshire entered. Five of these events were not organized by Robert Dale so will continue to be run by the same person as last season. Peter Sherlock has agreed to take over the Under 18 tournament at Lincoln and run it in conjunction with the County Championships. It is noted however that a captain for the ECF Under 18 Championships is still to be sought. Three people who were not at the meeting were discussed as potentially interested in this area. Bob Crawshaw from Barton has recently retired and would like to be more involved in junior chess but his understanding of technology, remote location and not knowing the players involved may prove problematic. Phill Beckett is a teacher at King’s in Grantham and runs other tournaments but has other commitments and has turned down the role before. Ian Scott would like to be more involved with junior chess and has a son who has moved into senior school this year but work commitments mean he cannot commit to anything long term at the current time. Mike Dew will speak to Bob Crawshaw and John Grasham will speak to Phill Beckett and Ian Scott about whether they would be interested in contributing more in this area.

16. Programme for 2013 - 2014

Jamboree Hosts Grimsby – late June
County Championships Lincoln - July
Louth Quickplay Louth – early June
County AGM 13/9/14

17. Any Proposals

The Quilter Trophy was won by Paul Fischer & Chris Holt. I have had this engraved with just enough room for the latest addition but it is now full. The trophy is quite heavy and also we are finding it increasingly difficult finding players who have not won it before. I shall bring the trophy to the meeting.

I would like to suggest, and have discussed at the meeting, that the county purchase a new Quilter trophy. The rules for winning the trophy should remain the same i.e. Under 160 grade but the slate is wiped clean as regards previous winners.

It was decided after a proposal from David Mills that we would keep the current Quilter Trophy and add an extra layer to the bottom so that more plaques could be added. The qualifying rules would be kept the same.

18. Any Other Business

It was decided to make Robert Dale a Life Member of the LCA for his long years of services to under 18 chess. This was approved unanimously.

The Lincolnshire League rules were amended to make the deadline for matches to be played the 31st May rather than 30th April.

It was discussed whether in the future it would be possible to merge Division 2 North and South. This was not popular as teams in the south would face longer trips and teams in the centre would lose out on the number of matches played.

It was discussed about the possibility of a challenge match between the two Division 2 Champions. If they were from different clubs it would be down to them to arrange it if they were agreeable to the idea.

Dave Mills proposed the idea of an East Yorkshire v North Lincolnshire challenge match. The meeting was in favour of this if it could be arranged. Dave Mills to organize.

19. Trophy Presentation

Denis Georgiou presented the Division 1 and Division 2 North Trophies to Peter Sherlock (Lincoln) and the Division 2 South Trophy to Frank Robinson (Spalding).

The meeting was closed at 3.35pm