Minutes of Rushden Chess Club AGM held at Rushden Bowls Club on Monday August 13 th 2012 @20:00 Present:
Alan Lewis (Chairman), Nik Puryer (Secretary, Treasurer), Dennis Riley (Hon. Pres.), David Maddams, Jeff Owen, Derrick Sims, James Wicks, Peter Hann, Bob Ellam, Matt Gorton. (10) Apologies for absence were received by NP from Paul Edwards & Peter Curtis (Acc. Countersignatory).
Chairman's Opening Remarks: AL welcomed all present, especially the new members, introduced the club officers and opened the meeting at 20:00. Agenda: 1. & 2. - Minutes & Matters Arising: The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted without challenge as a true record and signed by AL and NP. DS asked if visits to Pathfields Lodge continued and if there were any further problems. NP replied that he continued weekly visits to James at Pathfields and that problems had ceased after the person concerned had died. The missing sets had then been found and retained by the Lodge as the club sets had already been replaced. BE's comment that the digital clocks had been a good purchase was agreed by all and NP confirmed to the members that a delivery error had provided the club with clocks £5 more expensive than those ordered, which was generally agreed to be a good thing. 3. - Chairman's Report: AL described the situation 12 months ago with the members wondering how secure we would be at the Windmill Club (not very) and the shock of everything happening at once with the closure of the Windmill and the club's speedy relocation to Rushden Town Bowling Club (RTBC), for which he expressed magnanimous gratitude and appreciation on behalf of the club to NP and DM for their laudable efforts. JO suggested the recording and applauding of thanks which was unanimously and enthusiastically agreed while NP and DM humbly hunkered down and wiped away the tears. AL continued that he hoped all would agree that we now had a much better standard venue and that the club had received much praise and frequent envious compliments from visiting clubs and attendees at the AGM who wished they had a venue like ours. AL concluded that although the upheaval had seen the loss of some members we had also gained new ones and the club was in a healthy position, for which he again expressed thanks to the members for their supportive efforts. 4.1 - Treasurer's Report: NP briefly explained the items on the report noting that the £100+ drop in funds was mainly due to the digital clock purchase & league fees, but that membership was healthy and that apart from the eternally elusive and highly desired club equipment storage furniture the only other expected forthcoming costs were shield engraving, a handful of game grading fees and hopefully some clock winders. There weren't any questions and the report, pre-signed by NP and PC, was unanimously accpeted as a model of fiscal probity from which corrupt chancellors and greedmongering capitalist pigs could learn a great deal. 4.2 - Secretary's Report: NP attempted in vain to convey in an ordered, succinct and comprehensible manner all that had happened in a very busy and demanding year, including his inexpressible gratitude to all members for their support of the club and it's new venue, and in particular to DM and BE for their constant willingness and availability for team driving duties as well as to all members for their help with enabling JW to use the club on a regaular basis. NP gave a detailed review of his activity and efforts throughout the year including: the process of securing RTBC as a home venue and building a good relationship with our hosts; the progress of social club membership to RTBC; the ongoing maintenance and improvement of the club website; the donation to the club of an ornamental set; liaison with a number of organisations and clubs regarding chess business and the general quest for information, co-operation and improvement at all levels; the successful entry of JW into county competitions; the progress/problems and status of club tournaments; upkeep of contact with lapsed or health-absent members; the quest for replacement clock winders; early attempts for a county EGM to resolve problems; poor match venue conditions at club venues in Northampton; the latest grading list release and errors therein; and the bittersweet experience of collecting and collating (chasing) information to compile reports in trying to achieve worthwhile local media coverage whereby the Chronicle & Echo, the Evening Telegraph and county association members proved mostly to be a waste of time but the Rushden & Higham Reporter (RHR) had given us marvellous support and dream coverage. JW asked if he could get the RHR but it was believed to be outisde their delivery area. NP mentioned the possibility of a pdf email list or other online source of availability, which also interested PH and DS, and promised to investigate. (cont.) …
NP continued to cover what he described as a farcically embarrassing County AGM and his now year-long battle with a lack of co-operation and communication, compounded by ignorance and apathy, which he felt was disappointing to be polite, injurious to county chess and its players and an obstacle to progress and improvement. NP identified those he considered (ir-)responsible and referred again to their poor attitude and disrespectful behaviour at the mismanaged and collapsed AGM - in particular the rule changes stemming from the KO final and the objectionable match conditions at one particular club whose representative refused to engage at the meeting when challenged. AL added in agreement to these remarks concerning the amount of time spent dealing with matters which should have been raised in AOB and the awkward interference by newly-passed rules interfering with our team formation, as well as the difficulty of interpreting and following the rule changes. DM asked if there would be any change for lower ranked players moving up a team and AL clarified no but the nominations would be different. No questions were proffered from those still awake and a hurricane sigh of relief refreshed the room as NP thanked everyone for their patient attention. 5.1 - Captain's Report: A-Team: At the unexpected close of NP's eternal rambling DM leapt joyously to his feet and said that the A-team had had its most successful season for many years, for once involved in a mid-table and not a relegation battle, which included a draw v Chess Mates A, wins against Kettering and Chess Mates B, and coming within a whisker of forcing a replay with Peterborough in the KO S-Final. DM noted best personal performances from NP and Bd1 Rajan Ganger, who had wins against Alan Brown and Andrei Timoshenko, thanked AL and BE for their driving help and said he was looking forward to similar or better in the coming season. 5.2 - Captain's Report: B-Team AL reminded us that back at the Windmill a B-Team had seemed a good idea before we lost players through the clubs closure, but that new and returning players had changed the outlook from simply aiming to field a team to giving league opportunities to as many players as possible, which as things eased saw 11 players representing the club in the B-Team and a full side fielded for every match. AL continued that the team outperformed expectations and with 3 matches left had every chance to overhaul the leaders and snatch the Championship, but that their hopes were dashed by a last-gasp(ish) flooring from Northampton B. Still, a terrific season finishing third and beating each team at least once. 6. - Election of Officers: Both AL and NP confirmed their willingness to continue if desired: Chairman: = Alan Lewis - Prop. PH, 2nd JO carried unanimously. Secretary: = Nik Puryer - Prop. BE, 2nd JO carried unanimously. Treasurer: = Nik Puryer - Prop. BE, 2nd JO carried unanimously. Webmaster: = Nik Puryer - Prop. NP, 2nd NP carried unilaterally. ClubCompCont: = Nik Puryer - Prop. NP, 2nd NP carried unilaterally. 7. - ECF Membership: AL referred members to the information sheet which he had prepared, printed and distributed to the meeting. He informed members of the 'fairly big' change in the funding of the ECF, summarised the old and new systems, and the consequence of a new game fee of £2 for non-members for which it was unclear who was liable. He added that without game fee costs the level of league fees was unknown, presumably nothing, but that the issue had not been resolved at the County AGM. DS suggested that ECF membership be included in our annual club fee and AL raised the point of players not wanting a grading. NP commented that he was unhappy with blanket forced membership as there may be some who wish to attend regularly, not play competitive chess and thus would not require a grading, adding that he had raised this issue on a chess forum and although the ECF responded negatively that it was for the club to run its own business and submit for grading whatever results they chose, thus allowing a non-grade player to enter the club champs in exceptional circumstances, a sentiment with which DR agreed. JW asked what ECF level would be best for him. AL said that Bronze would cover JW's activities and the question was whether or not the ECF fee should be separate from the club fee which he though it should. DM commented that it was surely more straightforward for individuals to do their own, with the club (NP) providing any necessary help. NP said that no way hozay were any of these sloppy hammmerhands going near his computer and that of course he would try to help where possible. DS asked what had been the predominant response from chess players and NP related from his monitoring of chess forums (man, what a guy!) that it was mostly individual registration and that very few Member Organisation's (MOs) had signed Framework Agreements in order to submit bulk lists. DM asked about the ECF membership 'year' (NP – fixed, Sep 1st – Aug 31st ) and expressed concern about new members being faced with 3 levels of membership, i.e. RCC, ECF & RTBC. DS proposed that ECF fees be included in the club fee. (cont.) ...
(cont …) BE suggested that all serious/full members should have to join the ECF. The discussion ended with the following proposal: “A condition of membership of Rushden Chess Club is membership of the ECF.” Prop. DS 2nd BE +8 -2 =0. Carried. MG remarked that he and his brother Jonny Lees were impressed with the awesome, uber-professional and net-widefamous club website which had attracted them both to the club and thanked everyone for their friendly welcome. 8. - Membership Fees: AL started with his own feeling that with the venue move, new ECF fees and the social bowling club membership we had already asked enough of the members and suggested that club fees be waived off into the sunset for a year, especially as there were not any large outlays expected. BE agreed and added that any surprise needs could be supplied as they arose. DS remarked on the need to set a fee for new members and AL expressed a preference for new members not paying anything in the first year considering the RTBC and ECF fees. DS asked what authority the County Ass. had to levy fees for the coming year/season - AL replied none because it wasn't voted on or resolved at the County AGM. DR suggested that we should continue to charge an annual fee to cope with expenses such as the required equipment storage, but there was a general feeling towards meeting any such costs as they arose, resulting in the following propositions: “Rushden Chess Club membership fee waived for new members in their first year.” Prop. DR 2nd BE carried unan. “Rushden Chess Club membership fee waived for current members for the coming year.” Prop. JO 2nd AL carried unan. 9. - Silver King/KO Competitions: It was rapidly agreed to continue submitting 2 teams in each competition. 10. - Team Captains: Both AL and DM confirmed their willingness to continue as B & A-Team Cptns respectively: A-Team Captain = David Madman - Prop. DR 2nd PH +8 -0 =1. B-Team Captain = Alan Lewis - Prop. JO 2nd DR +8 -0 =1. 11. - In-House Competitions: NP referred to the ongoing status of club tourneys, player absences and defaults and suggested, considering how long it had taken to progress with our current tourneys, that it would be helpful if we could change the main standard tourney from a wound-wobbin to a 7 round swiss. DM suggested 2 groups of roughly equal measure and AL expressed a preference for minor/major sections so that lower strength players would have a realistic chance of success. NP suggested continuing the discussion on a weekly basis at the club. AL remarked that with split sections B-Team players could play their section when the A-Teamers had a match and vice-versa. NP proposed to take the ideas home and give them a shave, bath and massage with ongoing discussion on club evenings, which was agreed. 12. - A.O.B. There were not any matters raised in any other business. 13. - Date of Next Meeting: With our new home venue hosting a major bowling tournament (The Tipler Trophy) on the 1st Monday of each August it was agreed that we would do as we had done this year and seek an away friendly on that date whilst moving our annual club meeting to the 2nd Monday of August 2013 (12th) and each year thereafter. Signed:
Chairman: - Alan Lewis
Secretary/Treasurer - Nik Puryer