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Updated 13.8.00
SCCU NEWS


HERTFORDSHIRE v SOUTHERN COUNTIES CHESS UNION
A 50-board commemorative match, to be played on Saturday 30th September at Hertford County Hall
This match marks the start of the Hertfordshire Centenary Year. Players of all standards from the SCCU are invited to play against Hertfordshire.
  • Play two games, one as White the other as Black
  • Time limit for each game: each player must make all his moves in 60 minutes
  • Coffee and tea will be available before the first game
  • A finger buffet will be provided between the first and second game
  • The bar will be open for the duration of the event
  • Excellent playing conditions
  • Plenty of car parking space at venue
  • A bulletin of games will be sent to participants after the event
  • The match will start at 2pm and end at 7pm.
  • If you are interested in taking part, please contact Chris Majer without delay! (18 Longmead, Woolmer Green, Knebworth, Herts, SG3 6JH, 01438-812781 CEMAJER@aol.com)


    SCCU ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
    took place on Saturday 1st July 2000 at the Exmouth Arms, Starcross St, London NW1. Fourteen attended. (Same as last year. The quorum's 12, and the first few minutes of this year's meeting were one short of that.) Our report of the meeting refers, here and there, to papers that had been circulated in advance. The complete papers are available for download: click here. Zipped rtf, 13K.
    (1) Grading. Howard Grist, Union Grading Secretary, reminded the meeting that it had been a difficult year for the BCF. Deadlines had been missed. No worried noises had emanated from the BCF about this year's August list, but he could not feel confident that it would be on time.
         It was pretty obvious that the job of Game Fee and Grading was too much for one man, and the BCF had decided to put a Grading job - details not yet specified - out to tender. It was understood that the Director was unlikely to tender. If no acceptable tender emerged, the Federation would have to employ extra Office staff.
         It was not very clear where things stood on Game Fee. The Director had collected a very high proportion of the outstanding fees inherited, or not inherited, from his predecessor. But no one present was sure how things were going this year.
         [Note 6.7.00. See the Director's Report to the June Management Board.]
         The SCCU Angle. Council decided, as last year, that we would not do an SCCU list. Demand seemed to be limited. Counties could always do their own lists by arrangement with the BCF, as some already did. We would also drop the practice of selling BCF lists. The profit on these was very small, and hardly worth the expense of time.
    (2) County Matches. David Smith, County Match Controller, had little to add to his report circulated in advance. However, he noted with satisfaction that the Union had got four teams to the BCF Finals and walked away with three trophies. Congratulations to Herts, Essex and Surrey. It was also noted that the Essex U175 team, which for once had not reached the Final, had over the years notched up a remarkable 29 matches without defeat before losing to Yorkshire in this year's semi-final. Your Webmaster has lost count of the number of BCF titles they've won in the process.
         Richard Davey, Surrey U100 captain, had suggested mementos of some sort for the losing Finalists (see his letter 26.6.00 in Open Forum). Everyone supported this, and the Union will pursue it with the BCF.
    (3) Juniors. Nigel Dennis, the retiring Junior Organiser, had submitted a report which he did not wish to add to. Discussion turned almost entirely on Trophies.
         Team Trophies. We had a Trophy for the SCCU U18 (Open) Jamboree, but none currently in use for other team competitions. Nigel had brought along the old Fleming (Memorial) Board, long ago awarded for the "Metropolitan" U18 competition but no longer in use. It had County names engraved on it, so was obviously suitable for a team tournament. It was agreed to assign this trophy forthwith to the SCCU U14/U90 competition. A stumbling block was the fact that John Philpott had previously offered to donate a trophy for this event. It was circumvented: read on.
         Individual Trophies. The old U18 Trophy, as reported on this site long ago, was last presented, "in poor condition", to Demis Hassapis (as he then was) in 1989. He had been invited to keep it. The U14 was won in the same year by Miroslav Houska, but it is doubtful whether he received it. At all events, Council accepted that these trophies were effectively lost to the Union. John Philpott generously agreed to transfer his Trophy offer from the U14/90 to the U18 Individual, and we shall have a new U18 Trophy from 2000-2001.
    (4) SCCU Equipment. Fred Manning reported that we still had something like 40 sets and boards, and 46 clocks. The number of hand-setters was not known, but no one believed it was anything like 92. The equipment is quite well used, mostly for junior events. No charge is made for its use.
    (5) SCCU Accounts 1999-2000. The audited Accounts (nearly identical to what's on your download) were approved. They showed a deficit of 363 for the year, compared with a budgeted deficit of 830. As we've said before, budgeted deficits in the SCCU have been known to turn out as surpluses. We have 3634 left before we're bankrupt.
    (6) Budget 2000-2001. Council agreed a deficit budget of 850, with no changes in charges. Someone asked why the Bulletin surplus of 1999-2000 (153) was being budgeted down to 100. "Because it's a bloody miracle we made 153 last year." The value of the Bulletin as a permanent archive is obvious, but it's a constant source of wonderment that so many people go on buying it when it's all been on the Website already. Chess players are more far-seeing, or more web-innocent, than you'd think.
    (7) Election of Officers went much as you'd expect. For details, see Who's Who?. The big gap is Junior Organiser. We're still looking around, and offers won't be ignored.
    (8) SCCU County Match Rules
    (The Rules Section has now been updated to reflect the changes made.)
         (a) Rule 11 (penalties for defaults). The new 11(c) was passed easily, and the new 11(d) proposing financial penalties wasn't even seconded.
         (b) Rule 12 (tie-breaks). Both proposals were passed.
         (c) Not a Rule, but still. The Executive sought Counties' views on regional splits for 2001-2. This arose, in the first place, out of Berkshire's unwillingness to travel to distant venues. They're not in, for the coming season. The Executive got no answers, but was mandated to go away and study the feasibility of it. If it appeared, after consultation, that a particular scheme suited the Counties, there's nothing in the rules to prevent the Executive from introducing it for 2001-2 without coming back to Council.
    (9) Counties U18 Championship. Our habit of holding the SCCU U18 Jamborees in March made it difficult for the BCF to hold their National one in term time. Oxon thought this a problem. It was agreed to go for a term-time date in December or January for the SCCU event, to give the BCF the option of a term-time date if they wanted one. For all we know, the other Unions prefer holidays. It is not known that they hold regional qualifiers. It was further agreed that we should ask the BCF to allow anyone at all to play in the BCF Finals, never mind regional qualifiers.
    (10) BCF Management Structure. The MB proposals are in the BCF Page 17.6.00. No one liked them. It seemed to be a way of reducing the Unions to impotence, and/or abolishing all controls over what the MB did. Someone said it looked like a "bum rush", but your Webmaster didn't know what it meant. Council agreed to oppose the BCF's proposals strenuously.
    (11) BCF Membership. You will know, from the same BCF Report, that the BCF is thinking about a new "universal" Membership structure. One thing that might happen is withholding grades for non-members. Someone observed that a local league could always publish its own private grading list. It's been done.
         There's sense in a universal membership scheme. You're on shaky ground with a government, or a sponsor, if they ask how many members you've got and you say "about 1000", and tiddlywinks is claiming 3000. (1000 is the number of Direct Members.) Other national federations would be able to give much more sensible answers.
         If we had a "proper" Membership scheme, Members on 1 game a year would subsidise Members on 96. Except, you don't have to abolish Game Fee. We're in muddy waters.
         Council's View. There was a straw poll. Answer was Yes, we'll go for a proper membership scheme. Two or three voted against. At least what's coming up at the BCF's September meeting is only preliminary.

    The meeting closed at 6.05 pm.


    SCCU EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
    met on Saturday 1st July 2000, not immediately after the AGM because there was a cricket match on TV in the bar. Two members of Council went away because they weren't on the Executive, and the remaining twelve did routine things.
         Fred Manning was co-opted, and confirmed in his job of Curator of Equipment. The Executive appointed the Rules & Appeals Sub-Committee, and representatives to the BCF and LCA. Names are in Who's Who?.
         It also fixed the date of the next meeting as Friday 8th September. (Nobody wanted to switch Executive meetings to Saturdays.) The Executive always fixes its other dates at the September meeting.


    SCCU FIXTURES 2000-2001: OPEN (PROVISIONAL)
    9.6.00

    Oct

      7

    BuO  EH  SxK  SyM

    Jan

    20

    BuSx  CK  OH  ME  

     

    14

       

    27

     
     

    21

    HSx  KSy  OE  CBu Feb

      3

    EBu  KO  SyC  HM

     

    28

     

     

    10

     
    Nov

      4

    BuH  KE  SxSy  MC  

    17

    CSx  HK  OSy  MBu

     

    11

     

     

    24

    HC
     

    18

    BuK  ESy  MSx  CO Mar

      3

     

     

    25

     

     

    10

    EC  SyH  SxO  KM

    Dec

      2

    SxE  OM  SyBu

     

    17

     

    David Smith, County Match Controller, writes:
    Please note that following the withdrawal of Berkshire there are only nine teams in the Open Championship, as a result of which, in order to equalise the number of home and away matches, it has not been possible to reverse last season's fixtures in every case. Teams affected are Herts, who will travel to Bucks, and Surrey who will be away to Sussex for the second year running. These arrangements do, however, ensure that every team has an equal number of home and away fixtures in the 2000-2001 season.
         I shall be writing to all County Secretaries in July inviting their entries for the grading-limited divisions. The closing date for entries is 15th August 2000.


    SCCU EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
    Report 14.5.00, with an update 17.5.00
    The Executive met on Friday 13th May 2000 at the Exmouth Arms. The cat wasn't there, but 12 other members were. Main items:
    (1) U180 Jamboree. It has not been possible to find an end-of-season date, and we're now looking at September.
    (2) Herts Centenary Match. We're also looking at September for this. No firm date yet; venue negotiations proceed. It was agreed to allocate 100 in the 2000-1 budget.
    (3) Money. The draft Accounts 1999-2000 showed a deficit of 325 (830 budgeted, but we've been known to make profits on deficit budgets). No increases in fees are proposed.
    (4) Grading Lists. The Executive briefly discussed whether to publish an SCCU list next year. But the Grading Secretary, who has undertaken to help out at the BCF end, is unlikely to have time to do it.
         It has been suggested to the BCF that giving everyone a CD may not have been a great idea. It's not clear which way BCF thinking tends at the moment. The CD is not the only possible explanation for reduced sales. Lateness and price may have come into it.
    (5) SCCU County Matches 2000-1.
         (a) Berks are withdrawing from the Open division next year because of travel difficulties. This will mean no Berks presence at all in the adult county matches, unless one of their other teams comes in unexpectedly from the Chilterns. Discussion turned to regional splits, and opinion was divided. It could hardly be done in the coming season anyway, not with the Open fixture list due at the end of this month, but we would ask Council its wishes for 2001-2. Any views?
         (b) Defaults. Only one person favoured financial penalties, and nobody seemed to like penalty points. An idea had come out of Essex which did find favour. If you default an away match, you get an away match next season. And another the year after, to restore the correct sequence. Something along these lines will be put to Council. It was not suggested that teams defaulting home matches should get another home match.
         It was thought that even a played match should count as defaulted if your team list has less than half as many players as your opponents'. This probably never happens, but it might if it was a way of escaping the away-next-year penalty. Team list, the Executive thought, not people actually present. You're allowed to have a car break down on the way. (No match captain would put people on a team list in the knowledge that they weren't coming.)
         No penalty is proposed for individual game defaults. Someone observed that notifying defaults in advance laid you open to cheating on your opponents' part, if they weren't required (as they aren't) to have people physically present to win those games. But the current practice seems to be common sense.
         Are we going far enough? Should we be doing something about teams that frequently turn up several players short? Any views?
         (c) Number of players. A delegate, whose players tend to live close together, suggested teams of 15 rather than 16 because it's three car-loads instead of four. Depends on the cars and the players, we'd have thought. But no one else liked the idea.
    (6) Juniors.
         (a) Nigel Dennis said he would not be available as Junior Organiser next year, because his own county would almost certainly not be taking part in the team competitions. His reasons are in the next paragraph.
         (b) BCF Finals. Nigel thought these needed urgent attention. In particular, the definition of a Minor County was far too broad. It gave "real" minor Counties hardly any chance of qualifying. The Executive wondered if there was any objection to abolishing the qualifying events and just letting anyone play in the "Final". The BCF Junior Director was thought to be open to new ideas.
         (c) SCCU U18 Jamborees. Even if the qualifiers were abolished, we'd still want to run our own Championships. The Oxon delegate raised a point he'd often raised before. They should be before Christmas, allowing the BCF to hold the Finals - or "Finals" as the case might be - in March and term time. It was agreed to ask Council's views on the timing of the SCCU Jamborees.
         (d) SCCU U14/U90 Championship. Nigel thought we could expand this by inviting Hampshire in. The feeling was that we should certainly allow Hants in if they applied for SCCU affiliation. (You could probably justify a half-price Non-County affiliation. In fact you'd have to, or change the General Rules, because Hampshire's not listed as a possible Member County.)
         It was observed, but we're not sure if there was a consensus, that the U14/90 Finals should not be on the same day as the U18 Jamborees.
         (e) SCCU Junior Individual titles. It was agreed to award the same titles again next year. Correction, it was agreed to award the titles that were supposed to be awarded this year. U18, U14, U11 and U9, Open and Girls in each case, and a girl can win both. There will be cash prizes. We would decide later which congresses would be asked to host the Championships.
         (f) Junior Individual trophies. There are none, that we know of, though there must have been six or eight at various times in the past. Should we buy some? People were doubtful about buying more trophies to lose. It was agreed instead to give keepsake trophies, or medals. [And hope there aren't too many shared titles?]
         (g) BCET Nominations. The Union has nominated two schools for Educational Trust awards. We're not saying who they are until they've got the awards.
    (7) SCCU Individual Championship 2000-1 and BCQ places 2001. The Championship (and a qualifying place) would go to the Surrey Congress, and the two other qualifying places to Hitchin (first weekend in December) and Southend.
    (8) SCCU County Match Rules. Council will be asked to approve an amendment to 12(b)(3). This is to correct an anomaly that came to light this year.
    (9) Officers for 2000-1. Everybody seemed to be available again, except for the Junior Organiser. That one needs urgent attention. There's still no suggestion for Deputy President (the cat has not responded to invitations), and we once again decided not to worry about it for the moment.
    (10) UK Chess Challenge. The Coulsdon Fellowship raised a problem they had had this year. Note that some of the details in the next two paragraphs are taken from Coulsdon's account, and have not been verified with the UKCC's organiser.
         The UKCC is run autonomously by Mike Basman. It is a junior individual event, with qualification via Swiss tournaments run in the players' schools in the spring term. There are no known rules about what constitutes a "school". To the best of our knowledge, entry forms are sent only to schools. However, some non-school clubs run qualifying Swisses. We know of two, and they may be the only two1. One is the Coulsdon Fellowship. The other is a club, known as St Marks School of Chess, which was specially set up by MJB a couple of years ago to cater for the pupils of one particular Surrey school whose chess club had been closed following internal disputes. (MJB himself became involved in a dispute with the school, on a matter not directly related to the UKCC.)
         At the start of this season there was communication between MJB and the Coulsdon club regarding pupils of this school and their eligibility to play in the Coulsdon qualifier. There appears to have been misunderstanding at this point. At the end of the qualifying Swisses MJB disqualified two of Coulsdon's nominees on the ground that they were pupils of the school and eligible to qualify only via the St Marks club. One of the two children was subsequently invited by MJB to play in a special late qualifying event at St Marks. The other was not.
         Coulsdon felt that children were being made the victims of an old dispute. After unavailing protests, they now asked the Union to take it up. It was clear that we had no official standing in the matter. However, the President undertook to make such contacts as he could in an effort of conciliation.
         1 Lester Millin (17.5.00) tells us they're not. There are several, and he cites Cowley and Bottesford.


    SCCU EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
    The Executive met on Friday 10th March 2000 at the Exmouth Arms, London NW1 - a new venue, but a pub naturally, just round the corner from Euston station. 12 attended, including the pub cat which provided most of the entertainment. Main items:
    (1) Money. We'll report this, because it was simple enough for your Webmaster to understand. All Counties are now up to date with affiliation and entry fees. Also Game Fee, which the Union collects on the BCF's behalf. Nothing was said about the Non-County Members. We guess the Maidstone Congress won't be renewing their membership, since there isn't a Maidstone Congress any more.
    (2) Grading. Howard Grist, Grading Secretary, reported that the long-awaited correction list was expected in a week or so. Except that, apparently, it won't now be a correction list. It will be the whole thing re-worked, including events originally omitted in the "August" list. Allegedly the only events now missing are Aintree, Hillingdon, and the Thames Valley League. (Note that it will not be updated with 1999-2000 results. Nothing is there that shouldn't have been in the August list in the first place.) How the new list will be distributed is unclear.
       [rjh: Isn't this getting a bit silly? Corrections are one thing... Let's always have two August lists in future, one published in August and another one half way through the season, an extra six months out of date, when (nearly) all the results that ought to have been in are in.]
       The BCF had said that the SCCU List was no longer published. Rather misleading, since all we'd decided was not to do one this year. There had been inquiries from would-be purchasers, and it was still possible we'd do one next year if we thought the demand was there. The BCF's decision to give everyone a CD had, perhaps, been a mistake.
    (3) County Matches: defaults. Defaulted games and matches have been numerous this season. The Executive revisited the problem, and may well come up with proposals at the AGM.
       We have already sought ideas through the site, and two have emerged. One is a game-point penalty for individual defaults, in addition to loss of the game. The other is sanctions, with financial teeth, for teams or counties that wish to enter after misbehaving in the previous season. (You might, for example, require a deposit, returnable at the end of the season if the misbehaviour is not repeated.) Thoughts, anyone?
    (4) County Matches: proposed new rules. That's BCF rules, not SCCU ones. They come from the National Director, who is expected to put them to the April Council meeting. See the Rules section for full details. Note that the changes, with one exception, apply only to the BCF stage. We are not obliged to copy them at Union level.
       (a) Minor Counties: penalty for overgrading. It was felt that the proposal (1 game-point penalty for every 2 points over) was about right and we would support it. The Director's proposal had been seen in a later version (1 point per 5 over) which we would not support.
       An important question, not addressed by the proposal, was whether players who failed to turn up would count towards the average. We would raise the point, and propose that absentees do count.
       Another question was whether a team is actually allowed to exceed the limit on purpose, and accept the penalty as a handicap. Or is the penalty just for teams that offend by accident? An accident might mean lousy arithmetic, or getting someone's grade wrong. Depending on the answer to the previous paragraph, it might also mean going over the limit because your bottom board doesn't turn up. It is perfectly clear, to this website at any rate, that you're not allowed to exceed the limit on purpose. The rules say so. However, one or two people have taken it the other way and it will be important to get clarification.
       (b) Number of boards. We would not support the proposal to make the (minimum) number of boards 12 in all divisions except the Open. (One SCCU Open captain was said to have remarked that it should be 12 in the Open and 16 everywhere else.)
       (c) Multiple teams. The Director proposed new rules, arising from Cambridgeshire's participation at U150 and U125 in two different Unions this year. A county with two teams in a division, in two different Unions, would, under his proposals, be eligible to qualify only through its chosen "qualifying" Union. The chosen Union would be specified at the start of the season. In addition, the teams would have to be kept distinct: nobody could play for both.
       It seemed to the Executive that the Director was combining two things which ought to be alternatives. Once a county has nominated its chosen Union, establishing that Team B can't qualify, there's no need to keep the teams distinct. Team B are only playing friendlies, after all. Alternatively, at the county's choice, it should remain possible for either or both teams to qualify; and then they do have to keep them distinct.
       We would propose amendments along these lines.
       (d) Qualification to represent a County. This is the one that applies at the Union stage. The Director proposed to relax the club-membership qualification: it would apply after six months rather than two years as at present. The Executive saw no objection to this.
       (e) Mobile phones "and other electronic communication devices". The Director proposed a new rule saying they had to be switched off in the playing area. The Executive, uncertain whether he had disturbance or illicit advice in mind, saw no merit in the proposal either way since both are banned already. The proposal had, in fact, disappeared in a later circular from the Director. We would oppose it if it came back.
       (f) Board count, and replays. This proposal had come to the Director from Cambridgeshire. The Director, who opposed it, would nevertheless put it to Council. Cambs proposed replays in the National stage rather than going to board count. The Executive opposed it for the same obvious reasons as the Director.
    (4) Juniors. The Junior Organiser was unavoidably absent. The Executive looked at his proposals for BCET Nominations, and investigations continue. But we never publish the names of SCCU nominees until the awards are confirmed.
       SCCU junior titles. It was confirmed that if the U18 Open title at Southend happens to be won by a girl, she will take also the Girls title. (There is no Open U9 title. At Maidenhead, the titles are Boys and Girls. We're confused as well. There is a county that has three junior titles at various age levels. Open, and Boys, and Girls.)
    (5) SCCU U180 Jamboree. This is not yet arranged. A possible venue has been suggested, if we can find a suitable date.
    (6) SCCU Trophies. It has been (more or less) established that the Stevenson Trophy, which has been in someone's attic for years, is historically the Runners-up trophy for the Open division. It will be restored to service. (It appears that the lost Stevenson Memorial Trophy, long awarded in spirit and its absence as a runners-up trophy, was never the runners-up trophy at all. You'd have to visit the Trophies page for the details, but be warned they're confusing.)
       The Executive will consider the purchase of some Junior individual trophies. It may also be possible to redeploy the Fleming Board, an old Junior team trophy no longer in use.
    (7) Big matches. The Executive agreed, in principle, to support the big North of the Thames v South of the Thames match mooted for September 2001 (see Paul McKeown 17.1.00 in Open Forum). It also proposed a Herts Centenary match, along the lines of the 1998 Essex one, for (maybe) September 2000.
    (8) Friends of Chess. It was agreed that the Union should become a Patron of the Friends of Chess. This means a donation of 40 a year.
    (9) Deputy President. There's still no candidate. Everyone said, as they had last time, that they'd have a think.
    (10) Meetings. A delegate, absent because his train journey on a Friday night is impracticable, had asked the Executive to consider meeting on Saturdays in future. It considered it, briefly, and didn't like it. This would no doubt be looked at again, after the AGM when we had a new Executive Committee.


    SCCU EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
    The Executive met on Friday 3rd September 1999 at the Marquis of Clanricarde. 10 attended. Main items:
    (1) Deputy President. No, we haven't got one yet. The Executive mused idly on methods of choosing Deputy Presidents. Presidents, in effect. We haven't always had a term limited to two years. It used to be one, and the Counties took it in turns. What a way to run a Union. The President, and Executive, would cast around for ideas.
    (2) Millennium Festival Awards. The Executive noted these special awards, with Lottery connections, for local events and activities taking place before the end of 2000. Applications (no contact details available, sorry) close July 2000. Awards would be in the range 500 - 5000, and they are targeted at "local" organisations having an annual income of less than 15000. This could easily be a chess club or County Association. If you have ideas for something new - not just propping up an old event - this may be worth investigating. [For more information 23.9.99, see Notices.]
    (3) Arbiters Courses in the SCCU. This came up, but it is covered on the BCF page.
    (4) BCF Presidents Awards. The Executive noted that two SCCU people, John Leake and Albert Philpott, were to receive awards at the September meeting. Albert Philpott, whom we must admit we'd never come across, is a Reading veteran and has no known connection with John Philpott of Essex.
    (5) Grading. This had to come up. Howard Grist, who had volunteered as Grading Secretary shortly after the AGM, said he would be prepared to market an SCCU List after all. There did seem to be some demand, no doubt because of the high price of the BCF List. It was thought, on the whole, that it would be a doubtful proposition (and the AGM had decided against it). So no SCCU List this year.
         The BCF List, five weeks late now, was with the printer and should be out about the end of next week. A simple version had been around for a few days, and people said it contained errors. (Some details on the BCF page.) We would respect the BCF List for eligibility purposes, except for evident and demonstrable mistakes.
    (6) SCCU County Matches. David Smith, Controller, said he had been pleased to get 32 entries this year: one more than last. He had been less pleased when it came down to 31 again, shortly before the meeting, as Oxon withdrew their U125 team. (LRM apologised for Oxon's inefficiency.)
         Cambs, in the SCCU U150 and U125 sections for the first time ever, were thought to have entered the same divisions in the EACU as well. This was surprising, because two teams in the same division have to be kept distinct. It appeared that the national Controller thought otherwise in this case, though his belief seemed to have no basis in the rules.
         Deadlines. The AGM had asked us to have a look at penalties, perhaps with a view to possible rule changes next year. We should consider this in a later meeting. The Controller did not feel able to impose sanctions this year, but intended to chase offenders much more vigorously.
         Minor Counties. It was noted, in response to an inquiry, that Middx are a Minor County this year. Rule is, you're Minor if you haven't played in the National stage of the Counties Championship in either of the two previous seasons. The SCCU Controller said he would make the rule clear to match captains.
         Defaults. We did not know the answer to match or game defaults. The Webmaster was asked to put out an appeal. So, WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT DEFAULTS? Does your County have any good ideas? Do you have any good ideas? Get in touch.
    (7) Juniors. Under 14/U90. Nigel Dennis, Junior Organiser, had written to the MCCU suggesting a match between our Champions and a comparable MCCU side. The MCCU had said they would discuss this, but we had heard no more.
         BCET School Awards. We had heard nothing about our two nominations, and the papers for the September BCF Council meeting merely said "details later". The president might take this up with David Jarrett.
         Trophies. There was news of one of the phantom trophies from the eighties. Demis Hassabis, U18 Champion 1989 and the last U18 Champion before the ten-year break, recollected having received a trophy which he had been invited to keep. It was in poor condition. He could probably find it if we wanted it back; alternatively he offered a 50 donation for a new one. The Executive felt that we could hardly ask for the trophy, or indeed a donation, after all this time. But NWD would ask if he could describe the trophy, for archive purposes, and tell us what names were engraved on it. [More in the Trophies page, if you're interested.]
         SCCU Junior titles 1999-2000. It was agreed to offer titles at U18, U14, U11 and U9 levels, Open and Girls in each case. The U18 titles would be offered to the Southend Congress, and the U14 and U11 to the London Junior. The U9 would go with the Maidenhead Junior Congress. A prize fund of 200 was agreed, even if it took NWD over his budget. We had not, after all, been overspending on juniors in recent years.
    (8) BCF Matters. The Executive thought about a few things, in readiness for the forthcoming September meetings.
         (a) BCF Website. We would raise this, as nothing much seemed to have happened since the Management Director took over responsibility.
         (b) Club of the Year. Noting that no worthy candidate had come forward this year, we would ask if the Director had plans to revitalise the Award.
         (c) Certificate of Merit. It was thought that the scheme was being revamped, but we would ask what progress had been made.
         (d) Money. There didn't seem to be a lot to say about this, except that fundamental changes were wanted.
         (e) Grading. Has to be raised, and it is thought that the BCF favour a thorough review. A particular problem is that the programs for billing people for Game Fee are not yet in place, with the result that lots of (unsent) bills are unpaid and it's hard to determine voting rights. By and large, voting rights are being taken as those operative at the last (April 1999) Council meeting.
    (9) British Championship Qualifiers 2000. We still had one place to settle. The Surrey Congress was going ahead, at Easter and Carshalton High School for Girls, with the Coulsdon Chess Fellowship in charge. It was agreed that this seemed good enough for a BCQ place, and the third place was awarded to the Surrey Congress.
         The Herts rep said they wouldn't mind a BCQ place 2001 for the Hitchin Congress (December 2000). The Maidstone Congress rep said there would be no Maidstone next year, which reduced the competition somewhat. He was not sure whether Maidstone would come back later. The Executive would consider the 2001 places at its March 2000 meeting.
    (10) Counties Rapidplay Championship 2000. No SCCU County seemed especially keen to host this, but it seemed we could have 2001 instead if we preferred. Herts might be interested. We would tell Cyril Johnson we'd go for 2001.
    (11) BCF Working Groups. Or "working groups", or something. The BCF invited involvement in two things:
         (a) A Direct Membership Committee. If we've got it right, John Poole (Officer i/c Direct Membership) wanted a Committee with a chairman appointed by Council. Instead, the chairman was to be appointed by the Management Director and John Poole had resigned. No one at the Executive meeting said anything about volunteering.
         (b) Chess in Prisons. This was not so much a Working Group, or a Committee, as an appeal for initiatives from the Unions. It was understood that the Coulsdon CF had expressed an interest.
    (12) The Millennium again. Someone, in all seriousness as far as you could tell, suggested a 500-board celebratory event.
    (13) Berks Officers. The Berks rep said his County had currently no President and no secretary. Correspondence would have to go to him. He's in Who's who.
    (14) Friends of Chess. John Philpott (also in Who's who) said he is now secretary of the Friends of Chess.
    (15) Future meetings. Executive: Fridays 10th March and 12th May 2000. AGM: Saturday 1st July.



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