The Gazette - August 2021

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

There have been two committee meetings and an AGM since my last Words from the Whitehouse article. Even so this will be relatively brief, as much of what the committee and the relevant sub-committees have been discussing has already been acted on (e.g. changes to the way TESSLa events are run).

Constitutional changes: The constitution was amended at the AGM; Junior Development Officer is now a committee post and accounts will be published after they have been approved and certified by a professional accountant rather than after approval at an AGM. This last change enables us to complete our return to the Charity Commission earlier. Accounts will, however, still be presented at the AGM and it will of course still be possible to raise any concerns or questions.

Tournaments: We decided that even when we were able to get back to playing over-the-board chess, we would still run online tournaments, though they might not run for quite as long as the first few have.

There has been some discussion as to whether games in these online tournaments should be graded. It was felt games ought to be graded in some way if only because it might impact the ranking of someone who then played in mainstream online tournaments, and in fact we were invited to have them included in the ECF’s new online grading system. We declined the offer and don’t want to discourage those who would only play if games were ungraded. We’d welcome members’ views.

We decided to ask those we thought likely to attend the Autumn Tournament whether they would be prepared to travel and play in the event that covid-related rules allowed the event to go ahead. We had to do this to be able to cancel in time and so avoid paying the full balance on the hotel booking if members said they would not attend. The result of the survey and the lifting of covid-related restrictions mean we have felt able to confirm the booking and so the tournament will go ahead as a face-to-face event

Those thinking of playing in any mainstream tournaments that start up again will not be excluded from a grant from the congress support scheme due to the inability to participate in over-the-board chess caused by the pandemic.

Equipment: Recently FIDE decided to make the new DGT clock their officially approved clock for use in tournaments they ran. We have begun a process of getting a version of the clock which has audio output, the DGT Echo, reviewed by a few members. We will then put together a simple set of instructions on how to get started with the clock.

We do have some funds ringfenced for equipment and we will have to start spending these funds soon. We are thinking of purchasing some magnetic sets from Italy and some DGT Echos. We’ve also decided to offset the cost of the DGT Echo by £60. This subsidy will only be available to those purchasing their first clock, and if you decide to buy one from an alternative supplier, you should pay for the clock in full and then claim the refund from us.

A significant anniversary: Next year will be our 90th anniversary. We’ll be giving some thought to how best to mark this significant milestone. Again, members’ views would be welcome.

Guy Whitehouse.