Welsh Chess Union: Annual General Meeting 2007.
Date / Time: Thursday 7th June 2007 at 7:30pm.
Venue: The Vale Hotel, nr Llantrisant.
Chairman: Geoffrey Tyrrell (President)
1. Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from:
Leighton Williams (Executive Director), Jon Gilbert, and Diana & Mark Adams.
The meeting sent best wishes to Leighton for a speedy recovery from his current stay in hospital.
2. Minutes of the 2006 AGM
The minutes were accepted subject to one amendment – item 4(1)(b) to read “All references to the ‘Director of Women’s Chess’ be replaced by references to ‘Director of Ladies Chess’ ”.
3. Officers’ Reports
Reports were accepted from the following:
a) Director of Finance
Howard Williams presented the accounts which had been audited by the auditor, Anthony Baker. The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) discretionary grant had been renewed, but application for the current (07-08) year would be made after exploring the prospects of arranging a meeting with/clarifying the process for securing a decision from the new Minister (Carwyn Jones AM).
The general notes to the accounts explained the factors which caused expenditure to be exceptionally low. For example, because WCU accepted the Foreign Office advice against participation, no costs were incurred for the junior tournament held in Belarus.
Questions were taken from the floor. Hugh Price congratulated officers on donating their honoraria and asked whether funds held in the bank were earning interest. He was assured they were. He raised further issues about benefits of charitable status for chess and of the potential effect on WAG grant if chess (as a mind sport) achieved the same status as sports in Wales.
Howard Williams undertook to draw attention to the disparity between chess and sports in pursuing with WAG the application for grant in 07-08. In his view, if at some point chess in the UK became accepted as a sport and in consequence the Sports Council for Wales (SCW) took on responsibility for funding chess in Wales, the WAG grant would cease (though he would expect the funds to be transferred from WAG to the SCW). He was aware of the case being argued for chess to become part of the Welsh Baccalaureate syllabus and drew attention to the booklet produced by WCU on “Organising Chess in Schools”, available in English and Welsh editions.
He responded to a question from John Thornton about justification for spending the WAG grant on juniors by referring to the last Welsh Assembly Government’s policy of investing in areas of deprivation and in community development which was reflected in grant conditions. If SCW became responsible for funding chess, they might adopt different criteria or set different conditions for spending monies awarded.
b) Director of International Chess
David Sully provided a report. The Chairman explained the issues involved in progressing the IM title award for James Cobb.
c) Grading Officer
Richard E Jones advised that the anticipated increase in individual members from North Wales joining the WCU had not occurred. The new WCU grading list had yet to be produced. In one case, he had effected a change of player registration from Holland to Wales. No rapidplay grading list was produced because no data had been sent to Kevin Staveley.
d) Director of Publicity
No report was made (but members were referred to the e-newsletter issued and could let Kevin Thomas have their e-mail addresses in order to receive it).
e) Director of Junior Chess
Ian Eustis presented his report. Gwynfor Rees asked about the process for selection of juniors for international events. Geoffrey Tyrrell readily acknowledged that much had gone awry with the procedure for convening a meeting of the Selection Committee to approve the Junior Committee’s proposed selection and he apologised for those deficiencies, including the failure to inform Gwynfor Rees of the date eventually agreed for the meeting of the Selection Committee.
Questions were also raised about the selection of juniors for the World Championships. Richard E Jones pointed to the need for juniors to submit their results in order to be considered for selection. He reported that only 3 juniors had done so. It was agreed that, in his next notification to juniors, Ian Eustis should include a reminder about this requirement in relation to international selection.
The matter of CRB checks for junior organisers was discussed. It was agreed that this subject be placed on the agenda of the new Management Board for consideration.
Hugh Price referred to the British Land Chess Challenge and stated that congratulations were due to the children who participated. He asked whether press publicity could be arranged. Discussion ensued about how to identify schools in Wales whose pupils participated in the tournament. Richard E Jones explained the entry process for the UK Chess Challenge. Howard Williams added that Local Education Authorities in Wales had been seen sent copies of the WCU booklet on Organising Chess in Schools (paid for with WAG grant) with the request that they circulate it to schools in their areas, but WCU did not know if that had happened – nor whether any action resulted in individual schools who received it.
f) Director of Planning and Development
In Kevin Thomas’s absence, no report was made.
g) Chairman of Selectors
The Chairman of Selectors, Leighton Williams, was not able to submit a report due to illness.
h) Director of Home Chess
Glyn Sinnett provided a report of the results of the various competitions held this year, and asked that any contributions to the yearbook should be sent to him by the end of June, including new e-mail addresses where appropriate.
Mike Kearn broached the question of providing in the Welsh KO Cup Rules that away teams should have white on odd colours but that did not find favour. Beryl Hughes pointed out that some teams in KO Cup competitions might play only one match if they had a first round bye. The tone of the discussion that followed was that no change was necessary but it was agreed that the Management Board would give this matter further thought.
June Evans said that the award of the U1800 Cup - it being the Frank Hatto Memorial Trophy – should have been better highlighted and that a significant publicity opportunity had therefore been lost.
Geoffrey Tyrrell expressed particular thanks to the Vale Hotel for its sponsorship of the 2007 Welsh Championships and to Wilf Arnold, Richard Jones and Glyn Sinnett for all the hard work they had put in.
i) Director of Ladies’ Chess
The Chairman read out the Director’s report and added that Diana Adams did not wish to stand for re-appointment. He fulsomely thanked her for her contribution to WCU.
The Chairman extended grateful thanks to other officers for the reports they had presented and to all for their efforts during the year.
4. Election of Officers
The following officers were elected unopposed:
a) President: Geoffrey Tyrrell
b) Vice President: T. Llewelyn Jones
c) Geoffrey Tyrrell, as Chairman, then asked the meeting to consider next the position of Chairman of Selectors. He will be suggesting to the incoming Management Board that (i) the Chairman of Selectors should be a member of the Board and (ii) a formal amendment to the constitution to that effect be brought to the 2008 AGM. He reported that Leighton Williams did not wish to continue as Executive Director but would be prepared to continue as Chairman of Selectors. Leighton Williams was elected as Chairman of Selectors and it was agreed that he should consider nominating a person to act as his deputy.
d) Executive Director: Wilf Arnold
e) Deputy Executive Director: Kevin Thomas
f) Finance Director: Howard Williams
g) Director of Home Chess: Glyn Sinnett
h) Director of Junior Chess: Ian Eustis
i) Director of International Chess: Gwynfor Rees
j) Director of Publicity: Richard Livermore
k) Grading Officer: Richard E Jones
l) Director of Development: David Sully
m) Director of Ladies Chess: [THE POST WAS UNFILLED - Management Board authorised to consider and make an appointment.]
n) FIDE Delegate: David James
o) Chief Arbiter: Peter Purland
p) Rapid Play Grading Officer: Kevin Staveley
Mr. Anthony Baker was elected as auditor.
Honoraria were voted to the Executive and Home Directors (?130 each) and to the Year Book Editor, Grading Officer, Finance Director, Junior Director and International Director (?60 each).
8. Any Other Business
- Appointment of Honorary Member – the meeting approved a proposal made by June Evans (Upper Killay) and elected Kevin Staveley an honorary member.
- Publicity – the meeting agreed to Wilf Arnold’s proposal that the incoming Director of Publicity (Richard Livermore) should co-ordinate publicity with regional publicity officers and the local press.
- Patrons – the meeting agreed that, at the earliest opportunity, Richard Livermore should clarify whether the current patrons (Sian Lloyd and Lembit Opik MP) wished to remain patrons.
- Junior Certificates of Excellence – John Thornton referred to the existence of this award scheme run by the English Chess Federation (ECF) and explained that he has devised a Wales syllabus which the Junior Committee favoured adopting. Discussion revealed lack of awareness of the ECF scheme in some areas of Wales and a variety of views on procedure to be followed to achieve awards. It was agreed that the Executive Director (Wilf Arnold) should convene a group to decide the scope, content and ‘badging’ of an award scheme to run in Wales.
The meeting closed at 9:15pm.