The Gazette - August 2015

Edited by Julie Leonard
The views expressed in the Gazette do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the BCA, nor those of the editor.

Words from the Whitehouse

Here is a brief summary of the main points discussed at the committee meeting held on 16th May.

We’ll be exhibiting at the Sight Village event in London which takes place at the start of November and we’re putting together a set of materials to give to those who visit our stand. We’ve also decided to try and forge links between the mainstream chess scene and the RNC in Hereford and the RNIB’s Vocational College in Loughborough. For some time we’ve tried to find a way to generate regular activity and obviously some recruitment at Worcester but for various reasons this hasn’t proved possible, so we’re hoping we might have more success in Loughborough and Hereford.

Talking of involvement in the mainstream, I’m pleased to say that our participation in the National Clubs Championships was a great success. We reviewed our policy on expenses for those participating in this event and took the decision that we would fund travel and accommodation, though not separate meals, and people will be asked for a £50 contribution towards costs. We are happy to enter teams into this event on a yearly basis as long as there are those interested in participating.

Julia’s fundraising efforts continue to meet with great success; at the time of the May meeting fundraising for the year stood at £22850. We’ve decided to increase the fee we pay stewards who have not had an increase in a while; we’ll now be giving them a third of what we pay arbiters.

We reviewed our participation in certain international events and have decided we will be insisting that those who represent us at international events will submit their games for entry into the relevant database.

We had a discussion on how best to commemorate deceased members. In particular we looked at whether to put a news item announcing the death of a member on the website home page. There are a number of approaches we could take. We could feature an announcement for everyone, but some felt that this was not an appropriate use for the home page and that such matters were better covered in the gazette. Others felt we should make no such announcements on the home page, but the question then arises what about situations where we don’t feature an announcement but another website does? Does that send out a signal that we don’t care? A third approach is that we feature a home page announcement for members who are particularly prominent in the association or well known to the chess world at large, but who’s going to define who falls into that category and who doesn’t? We’re hoping we can finalise a policy at the next meeting, probably to be held in November. On a happier note, our Facebook page is shaping up nicely and we’re looking to increase the number of people tweeting for us.

We’re planning to encourage our junior members to attend more tournaments. We were all very pleased to see Efe at our recent AGM. Once a few juniors do attend, more should do so on the basis their friends are going.

Bill Armstrong sent us a report detailing increases in ECF subscription rates (£60 Platinum, £32 Gold, £22 Silver and £15 Bronze, all of the above reduced by a pound if subscriptions are made online). We also now know that the ECF representative for players with disabilities is Jack Rudd and I’ve been asked to get in touch with Jack.

Finally we reconstituted the various sub-committees. Most are unchanged, though Steve Burnell has become Chair of the Tournament Sub-committee and Norman has joined as temporary Correspondence Chess Director.

Guy Whitehouse.