Counties Chess

2010 Annual Meeting

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Page published 19 July 2010


Julie Johnson

For those who would prefer not to pour through the full papers relating to the recent AGM. the following provides a summary of the main points to come out of the meeting.


It was pleasing to see 8 out the 9 most active counties represented. Delegates who were also present in 2009 were congratulating themselves on deciding to switch the meeting from a Sunday to a Saturday, which avoided a clash between the England v Germany World Cup match. Although on later reflection, some of us probably wished we had avoided the match.


The outcome of elections was as follows -

President – Peter Gibbs re-elected unopposed
Chairman – Cyril Johnson re-elected unopposed
Chief Executive – Julie Johnson re-elected unopposed
Secretary - remains vacant
Finance Director – Andrew Leadbetter re-elected unopposed
Director for Junior Chess – no appointment *1
Director for Grading – Peter Sherlock re-elected unopposed
Director for Events – Cyril Johnson re-elected unopposed
Director for Public Relations – Ray Collett re-elected unopposed
Webmaster - Ray Collett re-elected unopposed
ECF Delegate – Andrew Leadbetter *2
Non-executives (max.2) – Andrew Farthing & John Pakenham re-elected unopposed

*1 The meeting felt that Graham Humphries' health situation had led to very limited activity in recent times. They did not feel this was likely to change. There was no nomination forthcoming. The Board was asked to search for someone to take on the post. Delegates were asked to pass details of any potential candidates on to the CEO.

*2 Julie Johnson reminded the meeting that a past AGM had decided that the CEO should be the ECF delegate. Whilst she was still willing to act in this capacity, she flagged up that as she will no longer be attending as ECF Minutes secretary, having resigned that post, her travelling costs would fall to the MCCU. It was agreed that as Andrew Leadbetter normally attends these meetings in another capacity he would fulfill the role.


The accounts show that the Union still has healthy reserves for its' size. After some discussion it was decided that the levy or affiliation fee for 2010/11 would be £10 a point. Some delegates were unaware of the make up & history of the levy. This reflects the level of chess activity in each county that was established several years ago, the smallest counties paying 1 levy point each. The Grading Director Peter Sherlock indicated that the data he receives would readily allow activity in each county to be evaluated. It was agreed that the CEO, Grading & Finance Directors would carry out a review & publish the findings.

The revised £10 a point levy is reduction on the previous £12, but an increase on the actual charges for 2009/10 when a rebate was given. This decision reflects the intention to spend more due to additional events, whilst not reducing the reserves as was budgeted for last year.


Despite the fact that we do not currently have a Junior Director in place it is hoped that junior individual championships will be held, the Events Director will take this forward. In addition a Midlands version of the ECF Team Rapidplay Handicap was planned. A Rapidplay version of the GP was suggested; the meeting felt that this should be aimed at the U150 group of players rather than the top end. In addition the feasibility of having individual performance awards for each section of the county team tournament will be looked at by the Grading & Events Directors, who will report back to the next meeting.

There was no support for the MCCU to revive its own congresses, or to award the rights to the Midland Open to a particular organizer or event. Instead it was suggested that the title could be rotated around Midland Congresses.


Site maintenance and uploading had taken time available to the Public Relations Director. Over 70 county matche results and 40 news stories had been published on-line during the year. Captains were asked to send results to the webmaster as soon as possible to facilitate a better results service for Midlands Chess. Congress organisers who had sent results were thanked and the meeting discussed whether the MCCU could help organisers receive further publicity. The publication policy was approved.


Various proposals had been made relating to the County Team rules. It was agreed that instead of home venue being the default where counties do not share a border, neutral venue would become the default. Counties can still agree to play home or away.

The latest FIDE rule regarding mobile phones was adopted, amended to include electronic devices in general and specifying that such devices can be brought into the playing area.

The controller felt that the rule regarding submission of results was poorly worded and had proposed an amendment. The meeting did not feel it wished to adopt absolute timescales and punishments, but rather to allow the controller flexibility to deal with individual circumstances. Thus whilst it was agreed that results should be submitted within 7 days, the controller will decide what action to take where this does not happen.

There was considerable discussion on the use of digital clocks. The meeting voted in favour of allowing use by agreement, but felt that some research was required regarding the use of incremental time controls. The controller & events director will undertake this work.

Other minor amendments were also agreed to clarify rather than change the rules e.g. the use of team, rather than county in recognition that some counties have 2 teams in a section.