Minutes February 2020


Minutes of the Chess Edinburgh Council Meeting held at the Edinburgh Chess Club, 1 Alva Street, Edinburgh on Thursday 20 February 2020 at 19.30.

Present: David Stewart (Chairman), David Watson, Calum McGillivray, Jim Wallace, Eddie Gillespie, Martin Robinson, Maurice Kelly, Jim O Neil Crawford Macnab and Bill Marshall with Stewart Good and Jenny Wilson (representing Lothian Junior Chess).

1. Apologies for Absence: David Archibald.

2. Minutes of Last Meeting

The Minutes of the previous meeting, held on 22nd November 2019, were approved: proposed by Jim Wallace, and seconded by Eddie Gillespie.

3. Matters Arising

The adoption of the Chess Scotland Child Safety Policy which Jim O Neil is to action is ongoing.

4. Edinburgh Chess League

1. David Stewart is still to get the records of the previous winners from Martin Robinson in order to complete the engraving of the Division 1 Trophy.

2. Jim O Neil reported that Wandering Dragons are now playing their home matches at Pilrig Bowling Club.

3. Calum McGillivray reported that he League has been operating smoothly with only two teams defaulting completely.

4. Appeal:
A League game between John Ross of Sandy Bells and Richard Carter of Wandering
Dragons had led to a disagreement over the result.
The situation was that after John had made a move, Richard extended his hand to offer his
resignation, which John accepted. At that point spectators from Wandering Dragons shouted
out, that John’s last move had been an illegal move. Wandering Dragons then argued that the
game should continue with John making a new move and Richard receiving an extra 2
minutes on his clock. However, John refused and the result was recorded as a win for him..
Wandering Dragons then appealed to League Secretary Calum McGillivray but he rejected it.
Wandering Dragons then appealed to the Council
Calum and Jim O’Neil (representing Wandering Dragons) made their respective case and
answered questions. They then left the room and after further discussion the Council voted to
reject the appeal by 9 votes to nil, with one abstention.

5. Edinburgh Allegro Chess League

1. This has been running smoothly with only one evening remaining.

2. There have been a few individual game defaults

6. Lothians Allegro Congress

1. This took place on Sunday 12th January 2020 at Bainfield Bowling Club with Martin Robinson as the Tournament Director.

2. It was again a success with 119 players; the highest for a number of years and it made a provisional profit of £451 compared with approximately £250 in 2019. Minor repairs have to be made to some of the trophies.

3. There was an issue with poor lighting for some of the top boards but Martin resolved this after Round 1.
Access is another minor problem as the Bowling Club want the front door to remain closed and we may have to provide a doorman. They were also very unhappy if fire doors were opened to reduce the heat.

4. Next year’s event will be on 19th January at the same venue.

7. Summer Cup/Plate

The Summer Plate Final between Edinburgh West and Edinburgh has still to be arranged,

8. Edinburgh Congress

Following on from the last Council meeting when it was agreed to go ahead with the Congress on 3rd – 5th April, David Stewart, the Congress Director, took the decision early in the new year to cancel the event. He did this because:
• the venue had been booked by another organisation,
• there was a shortage of arbiters,
• costs had increased significantly
• The absence of an Entries Secretary.

Jim O’Neil had discussed these issues with David and offered his assistance in resolving some of these problems and as a result:
• The venue became available on our required dates after all.
• John McNicol agreed to be the Chief arbiter and to recruit a team of four.
• He had been able to get the venue for a lower price than originally quoted although still several hundred pounds higher than last year.
• He has contacted Wilsons regarding furniture.

He then re-advertised the Congress in Chess Scotland and elsewhere and set up a system of online entry with payment by PayPal because he thought it was these issues that had prompted David’s actions.

David Stewart was very unhappy that his decision as Congress Director had been reversed by one person without any authority from the Council. He stated that in his opinion there was not enough time to organise everything and that the Congress would be a disaster, losing over £2000
He then proposed that the Congress be cancelled.

Jim O’Neil said that his projection showed a loss of £1,000 and that all of the main jobs had already been done.

After some more discussion David and Jim left the room. There followed a lengthy discussion chaired by Jim Wallace.
Some of the main points made were:

• Continuity is an important factor and it would be difficult to restart the Congress if it was cancelled.
• David’s extensive experience as a Congress Director contrasting with Jim’s total lack of experience.
• There are £11,000 in the Congress bank account which are there to promote chess and could therefore be used to cover losses.
• That, while Jim had said that he was trying to help David, he had not gone about it in the proper way and had undermined David.

It was thought that Jim had committed the Council to significant expense without any consultation or approval, this was not in fact the case.
Council then voted by 8 – 2 to continue with the congress this year on the proviso that the full team of arbiters is confirmed within two weeks. Jim and David re-entered the room and were informed of the vote. The Council also stated that it was unhappy with the way things had been done and the lack of communication by all concerned.

Jim again stated that his motivated had always been to help David and asked him to continue as congress Director but David declined. It was agreed that the sub-committee (Martin Robinson, Dave Watson, Jenny Wilson, Chihon Ley and Jim O’Neil) which had been set up to help David after the last congress be used by Jim to consult on issues that arise.

1. Martin Robinson agreed to be the Congress Director on the basis that his involvement would be largely on the days of the congress.
2. It was agreed that a paper copy of the entry form be produced by Calum McGillivray and Martin Robinson in time for distribution at the approaching Scottish League event.
3. It was agreed that GMs and IMs will receive free entry and that FMs will receive a 50% reduction.
4. Bill Marshall agreed to update the Chess Edinburgh web-site concerning the Congress.
5. The proposal of a Chess Festival was not discussed.

9. Lothians Championship

Calum McGillivray reported that
1. The event is now in the third round and that it has been progressing smoothly.
2. There are still some entry fees to be collected because of problems with the bank account.

10. Schools

1. Jenny Wilson reported that:
• The recent tournament had attracted 170+ players.
• There is an individual tournament for Primary and Secondary pupils on 7th March.
• The Mega Final will be held on March 29th and she appealed for help.
• A Giga Final tournament will be held on June 7th.

2. Treasurer Stewart Good reported that he is still having problems getting access to the bank accounts.

11. Website

Bill Marshall
1. Reported that the Domain name has been renewed.
2. Explained that it is not possible to have a backup administrator, as only one contact name is permitted.

12 President’s Report

David Stewart reported that:
1. He and Bill Marshall will be attending a meeting at the Edinburgh Chess Club on 22nd March to discuss plans for the bi-centenary of the club in 2022.
2. Although there is uncertainty over the long term future of the café which hosts Chess in the Park, it will run again this year from 2-5pm on Sundays and Thursdays from 2nd April to the end of October. The café owner continues to be very supportive.

13. Treasurer’s Report

Jim O Neil reported that:
1. He is still unable to get access to our bank accounts. He has received £150 compensation from the bank and hopes that it will be resolved soon.

2. The £20 deposits of the ten teams that defaulted board last season in the Allegro League have not all been collected. Each of the ten teams that defaulted a board last season in the Allegro League the £20 deposits have not all been collected.

16. AOCB
No matters were raised under AOCB.

17. Date of Next Meeting

Thursday 23rd April 2020 at 7.30pm at the Edinburgh Chess Club.
Calum McGillivray to book.

The date for the AGM was fixed for 21st May at Slateford Bowling Club.

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