Close Season Update

Jul 23, 2012, 3:58 PM |

Well, we're part way through the close season here and I can feel the grey matter rusting up badly. Despite some light training at Daventry, it will be important to get back into the swing of things as soon as possible when the new season starts.

I really have not had the time to study as much as I wanted (or need to!) over the last few weeks and have even been doing some work at weekends since due to the bad weather, insurance claims have increased. Still, that has allowed me to also invest in a new (well secondhand, but new to me!) set of wheels.

I'm pleased to say that as a result of this, I should be able to get back to giving team mates a lift to matches. Living as I do in Northampton, it is often easier to just drop into Daventry on the way through to a match and pick people up en-route.

So, work and new transport aside, I have still been coaching at Northampton Junior Chess Club and we even met up for a club picnic the other Sunday. Much fun was had and it was great to see the kids getting on and having fun together outside of the chess club. We really do have a great bunch of kids and they're a credit to the club!

There was an LDCL committee meeting last week and several topics were discussed including membership of the ECF for players competing in the league. As the incoming grading officer for the Leamington Chess League (why did I volunteer???!!) I also undertook the "membership officer" role which seems to fit in with the grading officer duties. Again, volunteering..... why why why!!? Well, I guess without volunteers, the league wouldn't run so sometimes it's important to do a bit extra. Hopefully I can do a half decent job this year and see where we are next year. This is an important period as the ECF are changing over from "game fee" and the LDCL have decided that it will be a good idea to encourage as many people to become members as possible (which makes my life easier by the way!).

To this end, Daventry Chess Club seem to have blazed a trail here and membership of Daventry Chess Club will also include, if required, a bronze ECF membership which effectively means all club members will be able to play as many graded games as they like during the coming season.

I think after this initial transition from game fee to membership, most (possibly not all, but most) players will see the benefits and will be happy to continue as members of the ECF as long as that organisation don't try to use the membership scheme as a way to ramp up costs to players. Watch this space is my opinion but at present, I feel that a membership of a national organisation for the costs involved represents good value.

That meeting was followed soon after by the NJCC AGM last Friday which was, thankfully, a very quick affair and I was very happy to be presented with a nice gift as a way of thanks for the time I have given to the club. This was unexpected and very gratefully received - three small bottles of Glenfiddich - I am sure there will be a sampling session due at some point!

So, that's all for now really. Oh, apart from the new grades. As a grading officer, I have the inside track and I am informed that they should be out on time in the next week so for those of you with ECF grades or expecting to get your first ECF rating, keep an eye on the ECF grading database!

Stay happy and, of course, be excellent to each other!