Minutes of 4th AGM of Austin Friars /Carlisle Chess Club
Held on Thursday 3rd September 2015 in the clubroom.

Attended by George Glover, Ian Mackay, Dave Siddall, Drew Millar, Phil Walters, Mike Hodgkinson, John Lydon and Bill Hardwick (8).

1 Apologies;- Were received from Alan Little

2 Chairman’s Address (GG)– George Glover felt that the club was ticking over rather than thriving but remained steady over the long-term and he thanked everyone for their support.

3 Minutes of the 2014 AGM (no 3);- The minutes have been circulated and are accepted as being correct.

4 Secretary’s Report (BH) – Bill Hardwick reported;-

Firstly I would just like to say how sorry we all are at losing Bruce Wallace so suddenly. He will be greatly missed by everyone and had been with Carlisle and Austin Friars chess clubs for at least 30 years and possibly even longer. It was no surprise that so many of us attended his funeral service at Newcastleton.

In other ways It has really been a good year for the club. We fielded three teams in the Cumbria league, with the A team finishing fourth and three teams in the Whitaker Cup one of which reached the final. We also had our usual Friars and Austins teams in the South Tyne League, won this year by Haydon Bridge, much to Ian Mackay’s delight. In February we staged the Cumbria Individuals at Penrith – our turn to do this was rather overdue but we still had no other practical venue. Jason Maxwell is the new Cumbria Champion which is marvellous for him and for the club. We also made a successful application for a Council Grant which has been used to buy club equipment.

The purchase of a Demonstration Board – along with using Phil Walter’s own board, has meant that we have been able to have presentations provided for us by George Glover and Dave Siddall which were well attended and well received. Phil Walters now has a Puzzle Night lined up for us next week, which we are looking forward to. Socially, John Kelly’s Christmas Quiz night was a great success – again. I’m sure we would give it full support again if he wishes to have another go.

5 Treasurer’s Report (BH) – Bill Hardwick reported;-

You will see from the accounts that we made a surplus this year of £55.63, after recording losses of £39.77 and £13.15 in the two previous years, so that those losses have actually been recovered. It was due to the profit of £68.45 on running the County Championships, but we did also need to buy a new club Championship trophy during the year. I see from the County AGM minutes that a query was raised as to why we have retained that cash but it had always been my understanding that the club staging the event retained any profit, with any loss being covered by the county. That seems to have been accepted. We did offer to share any gain with Penrith for the use of their venue but they said that there was no need to do so.

Last year we increased our membership fees a little, in view of having suffered two consecutive losses and knowing that a new trophy was required. This year though I would recommend that our membership fees should remain unchanged at £5.00 (Juniors £2.00). This was voted on and agreed.

Cumbria Chess have kept their fees at the same rate of £6.00 (Juniors £1.00). ECF charges have risen a little though and are now;-

Bronze £15 (jnr £11.00), Silver £22.00 (jnr £16.00), Gold £32.00 (jnr £26.00)

6 Membership Secretary’s Report (BH) – Bill Hardwick reported;-

Numbers this year stand at 17 adults and 2 juniors, compared with 19 and 7 the year before. We have obviously lost Bruce and Camas will be off to York university where we all wish him well. Jason may be available to some extent but I understand that chess will not be his top priority this year. On the other hand I believe that Mike Green would like to play at least some games for us this season which is very much appreciated, as will John Kelly and of course last season George Glover took a number of months off but is now back playing again. Tom Bradford was getting more involved in chess as the season wore on and may be interested in joining Carlisle club as well as Haydon Bridge. I have been contacted by David Bogle from Selkirk who says that he would like to come to some of our club nights and Alan Hiatt met someone local through Internet chess who may wish to come along.

7 Website Organiser’s report (JK) – John Kelly wasn’t present at the meeting but had previously e.mailed me as follows;-

Nothing to report on the website, other than I can make it operational again if needs be, I just need to find a suitable place to host it. At the moment the old one can still be accessed here: http://www.cumbriachess.org.uk/carlisle/ but I don’t know how long this webspace will run for.

It is a shame that we don’t have an up and running website but not essential. Certainly, no-one else appears to be willing or able to take the job on.

8 Election of Officers :-

Chairman (GG)

Secretary (BH)

Membership Secretary (BH)

Treasurer (BH)

Tournament Organiser (vacant) – Position will not now be used as no-one has yet had the role

Website Organiser (JK)

Each of these positions was confirmed, except for Tournament Organiser which will no longer be used.

9 How many teams should we enter in the Cumbria League, the Whitaker Cup and the South Tyne League this season?

This was discussed generally and fairly quickly agreed that we should once again field three teams in the Cumbria League, three in the Whitaker Cup and our usual Austins and Friars teams in the South Tyne League. We did however acknowledge that we maysometimes be pressed to raise teams in the Cumbria League, particularly where all three of our teams are due to play on the same day. The nominated player rule has been relaxed and this will give more flexibility for team selection. Similarly, it may not always be easy to raise four players for the Austins and Friars teams but it was felt that we should be able to manage.

10 Election of Team Captains;-

“A Team” – (PR)

“B” Team – (IM)

“C” Team – (BH)

Austins – (BH)

Friars – (Phil Walters – New)

Whitaker Cup “A” Team – (John Lydon- New)

Whitaker Cup “B” Team – (IM)

Whitaker Cup “C” Team – (PW)

We were not completely certain whether or not Jason Maxwell would be able to continue as captain of the Friars team and of the Whitaker Cup “A” team but believed that he would not. New captains for those teams were therefore elected as above, on the understanding that it was provisional upon Jason standing down and he has now confirmed for me that he will need to give up these captaincies so the new roles are now confirmed.

11 Club Championship 2015;- The trophy has already been presented to this year’s winner –

Ian Mackay.

12 Proposals;

i) From Phil Walters;-

Can I suggest the club consider playing the club championship this year with each player playing each other twice, once as black and once as white. The club season seems long enough to accommodate this.

This was discussed at some length with George Glover in particular expressing reservations about the need to commit to playing perhaps twenty or more games a season in the competition. Most people were however in favour and voted 5-1 in support of the proposal. We will draft some rules which will exclude anyone who only plays a small number of games and ask that players try to complete at least most of their “first-round” games before playing anyone for a second time.

ii) From Phil Walters;-

Can the point scoring for the Club Championship be 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw?.

Again there was a difference of opinion over this issue but in the end it was carried by 6 votes to 1.

iii) From John Lydon;-

Can we hold a club Knockout competition? John suggested this only if Phil’s above proposal of a “Double Round Robin” for the Club Championship was rejected but I think it is viable to be considered in any event. His proposed format would be that in the event of a draw the lower handicap player would go on to the next round. Perhaps in the event of equal handicaps the black player would prevail? Even if 16 players entered it would be a maximum of 4 games for the finalists.

Although Phil Walters proposal number i) was in fact carried it was agreed that this proposal should nevertheless still be discussed. The discussion which took place was mainly about the competition format and whether or not a draw should allow the lower graded player to progress or not. The proposal was passed unanimously and the competition is to be in the format proposed and with a completely random draw for each round. We are fairly sure that we have an unused trophy which can be used, otherwise one can easily be bought.

iv) From Phil Walters;-

Can we discuss the use of “Fischer Timing” with electronic clocks. Basically for League matches, David Shaw as Cumbria League Controller, has said that Cumbria Chess rules do not permit this at present but, if any club wishes to try it out and then report back to him then he is happy with this. We would therefore need to propose the idea to opposition teams, if they agree then decide upon a time format and then let David Shaw know. Would we want to allow the same format in our internal club Competitions and if so, using which time-scales?

This was very much a general discussion as it was not actually a specific proposal for us to decide upon. No-one had any objection to it in principle, provided that both players or both teams agreed to it. There are endless variations of Fischer time categories and we have asked Phil to try and decide on one which can be used instead of a 90 minute game and one as an alternative to a 2-hour game. On this basis we are happy for it to be used for County matches if everyone is agreeable and possibly a match between two of our own sides may be a good place to start. There is a slight concern that for club matches in particular, the unknown time of the game could lead to late finishes but it was I think agreed that we could cross this bridge when we come to it.

13 Next AGM – Date and venue. The next meeting will be held in late August or early September in 2016, provided that a meeting is necessary.

14 Any other business – Ian Mackay explained that he had just been contacted by a Mr Tony Rawson who lives in Carlisle and has a number of chess books that he would like to donate to the club. I have spoken to him now and arranged to meet next week. He says that he used to play in the Norwich area but that was 35 years ago and he hasn’t played since.

George Glover closed the meeting and thanked everyone for attending.

Bill Hardwick