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Ist March 2006, The Queen’s Head, Stokesley


The President opened proceedings by announcing the death of Jeremy Burnett, a long time member of Billingham Synthonia Chess Club and a Cleveland Chess stalwart. A minute’s silence was held.


PRESENT: David Smith (Middlesbrough), Joe Richardson (Stokesley), Dennis Sawdon (Upper Eskdale), Stuart Morgan (Guisborough), Frank Boagey, David Smith, Graham Matthews (Hartlepool), Graeme Edwards (Billingham Synthonia), Mike Creaney (CCA Grader, Billingham Synthonia), Steve Dauber (Treasurer, Elmwood), Gerry Walsh (President, Eston and Normanby), Ray Pallister (League Organiser, Middlesbrough), Steve Dauber (Treasure, Elmwood), Phil Semp (CCA Secretary, Stokesley)


APOLOGIES: Steve Henderson


MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING: The minutes of the meeting of 21st September 2005 were accepted as a true record.

*Gerry Walsh produced a verbal report of ELF membership as of its previous meeting.

*Since the previous meeting, Mike Creaney had agreed to become County Grader.

*It was agreed that The Plate be named after Jeremy Burnett

*The enforcement of the rule concerning making a move before writing it down has overwhelmingly been implemented by individuals. Also, it was reported that mobile phones have been switched off during play.



*The Northern Counties scheme has been an overwhelming success, with more than 1600 members being signed up and about £3000 going to ECF. However, it was pointed out that individuals need to sign a form agreeing to ECF membership, as well as that currently coming from Northern Counties. This is a once a lifetime activity. Failure to sign the form will result in individuals being barred from the British Championship, even if they have paid their ECF subs. It could also affect an individual’s International Grading.

*There is a problem with renewal dates. Some people joined separately at dates other than those of the Northern Membership scheme. This is yet to be resolved.

*There is an issue concerning whether or not ECF dues go through the NCCU or directly to the ECF. This will need to be discussed at the AGM in June.



* There have recently been concerns regarding the interpretation of the Rules by the Organiser. Ray said that he had interpreted these to the best of his ability, given that they were not a model of total clarity e.g. the docking of a point from Elmwood for late payment of subs. If people believe he is wrong, he would rather they say it directly to his face than use other sources such as the Cleveland website.

It was agreed that, in view of the ambiguities, it would be useful to initiate a discussion of the Rules immediately and for the officers to present a re-worked version for consideration by the AGM.

*Some emails sent to members have been batted back. It would help if any changes to email address were to be communicated to Ray and/or the Secretary.



*Minutes and agendas would be sent out electronically, where people have email addresses, and would be sent by post to those who do not.

*Re-iteration of emails being batted back.


*20 copies of the ECF Yearbook, which is about to be published, have been ordered and there will be a half page display of Cleveland League tables and Cup results.



*So far there have been no problems. It would help the Grader if Club Championship game results are sent in as they happen. The President pointed out that the more graded games there are, the more voting rights accrue to a given Association at the ECF…

* There is a problem concerning the grading of new players so far without a grade. It was agreed that a player would be given an estimated grade after playing 5 games.



Steve reported that the balance was stronger than ever, with a surplus for the season of over £3200. There were 175 affiliated members as against the previous season’s 160.



*It was agreed to nominate Ormesby Secondary School for an award. They have recruited 65 members to their chess club and have made tremendous efforts to publicise chess in the area.


*Gerry Walsh has been appointed as a Senior Arbiter in the coming Chess Olympics and will be in the running for Vice-President of the European Chess Union.

*Congratulations to Richard Hall. He is now an International Correspondence Chess Master and has qualified to play in any international tournament to be held in the next five years.

*It was reported that Middlesbrough Congress did not take place due to lack of personnel to staff it. There is to be a new Civic Centre in Middlesbrough and the Council are keen on chess events taking place there. The President has agreed, but help must be forthcoming in order for these to become a reality.