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Updated 16.10.16

John Philpott
16.10.16. The death of the former SCCU President, John Philpott, has been announced.  Few details are known at this stage, but it is understood that John collapsed and died at home on Mersea Island.  Although he served us well in Union matters over many years, John will be remembered mostly for his tremendous service to the ECF where he remained Company Secretary, Financial Controller and Voting Register Officer - and purveyor of authority, experience and sound advice.  John wasn't so much an individual as an institution. 

Richard Haddrell Funeral Arrangements
16.10.16. The funeral arrangements for Richard Haddrell have been announced (see Richard Haddrell funeral). It is taking place on the afternoon of Thursday 3rd November at Tunbridge Wells Crematorium.

Richard Haddrell
2.10.16. The death of the SCCU Deputy President, Richard Haddrell, has been announced.  Richard passed away on 30th September following a period of deteriorating health stoically borne. 
Richard has been a tremendous servant of English chess locally, in his home County of Kent, regionally, through this Union, and nationally with the ECF Reference to the Who was Who page bears testament to the range and length of his contribution to the SCCU, of which the creation and maintenance of this website has been just one part.  Nationally, his contributions were recognised with an ECF President's Award for Services to Chess in 1994 and at the ECF AGM later this month, there is a proposal that ECF Council approve the conferring of the title of Honorary Life Vice-President of the Federation on Richard.
Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.


Saturday 25th June 2016 at The Hall School, London NW3 (scheduled for 2 pm). All Counties but one were represented, one way or another. Your Webmaster does not expect to attend meetings these days unless the walking involved is minimal, but attended this one through the good offices of the President who gave him a lift.
     There was still, however, a twenty-minute wait before the meeting bcame quorate. The quorum is 8. 10 attended in the end, including 1 observer. The meeting followed recent good practice by determining at the outset how many votes everyone had. It went 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1. In the course of the meeting we only noticed one person actually exercising his right to more than 1 vote, but then there weren't any votes close enough for it to matter.
(1) Money
     (a) Accounts 2015-16. The Treasurer was away on international service playing for an ECF Senior team, but his Accounts were present. The "audited" accounts for the year ended 30th April showed an overall surplus of 1040 (934 last year) and 6792 in the bank. These figures have to be viewed with caution, since accounting is on a cash basis and some bills are outstanding (or were on 30th April). We have also saved about 660 over the last two seasons by not insuring the Trophies, and the bank account includes something towards a Trophy Reserve (see earlier meetings). How much? Last year's AGM decided on a maximum reserve of 2000, subject to annual review and no one this year suggested reviewing it.
     Council accepted the Accounts.
     (b) Budget 2016-17. The Treasurer expected this year's finances to be broadly in line with last year's, and proposed only one change in fees: a small reduction in the U14/130 entry fee if paid promptly. So County affiliation fee 50; NCM affiliation fee half of that as prescribed by the rules, but with a 5 discount if paid by 1st December; County Championship entry fee 20 per team; U14/130 entry fee 35, with a 15 discount (was 10) if paid by 1st December.
     Council agreed these fees, but (sort of) returned to the junior budget further down.
(2) Officers' Reports
     (a) President. The President noted that we were losing two of the Union's longest-serving officers in Richard Haddrell and David Smith, who had been Secretary and County Match Controller since 1997 and 1998 respectively. This aside she noted a successful and uneventful season. David Smith would have reported, had he been present, a second assured ECF title for the SCCU following Lancashire's late (very late) concession to Kent in the U100 semi-final. The title already assured, if you'd forgotten, is the U160.
     (b) Secretary. Chris Majer, who had been lately appointed by the Executive, was away on the same international service as the Treasurer, but had sent a written report. Among other things, he had picked up from his predecessor the almost complete collection of paper Bulletins going back to 1958, and would get them professionally digitised once he had agreed a budget with the Treasurer. (Your Webmaster retains a lot of duplicate Bulletins starting from 1978, but anything older is probably unique.) Scanning will be done in batches and results can appear on this website as they are done. Chris also has, for the record, all the extant minute books going back to the second world war.
     (c) Junior Organiser. AE reported that the U14/130 Final, usually played before the AGM, was fixed for Saturday 2nd July. Kent were at home to Oxon A. They had been talking to the Treasurer about SCCU's contribution to costs. A figure of 150 had been mentioned. The meeting thought this reasonable, but would go along with anything the Treasurer agreed to.
     We were still looking for a venue for the coming season's junior Jamborees. Herts and Middx have been mentioned.
     (d) Webmaster. The Webmaster said he was behind with the ECF semi-final matches, but had made a start on the catching up. In the meantime the results were on the ECF site.
(3) Elections (and appointment).
With two exceptions the Officers were re-elected en bloc after it was established that there were no other aspirants. Chris Majer, already in place as Secretary after his appointment by the Executive, was now elected in the traditional way. Michael Flatt of Herts, the only candidate for County Match Controller, made up the complement.
     We said the Officers were re-elected en bloc, but how about Minute Secretary? Richard Haddrell always combined Minute Secretary with Secretary, but the jobs used to be separate and nothing says they can't be. Chris Majer's position on the subject was not known for sure. Council asked the Executive to appoint (co-opt?) a Minute Secretary, with voting rights, if Chris did not want the job.
     Peter Baker was re-appointed as Independent Examiner.
(4) SCCU Rules: Re-arranging match dates
Surrey CCA, who more than once this season had been afflicted with opponents seeking to change dates at short notice, proposed a new and more prescriptive 10(a) in the County Match Rules. We won't print it here: it was accepted by Council and is now in the appropriate Rules page.
     As a bonus, Council took the opportunity to remove 10(a)'s unfortunate clash with Rule 4. The ancient requirement for publication of fixture lists in May had somehow survived in 10(a) after changes in Rule 4 made it nonsensical. The item dated 15.5.16 below should never have been necessary. It won't be next year.
(5) ECF Entry fees
This one won't lie down. You will recall that we had it on the agenda of last year's ECF AGM. Our proposal was that the ECF should charge entry fees only for teams that actually qualified for the ECF stage. It was at the bottom of the agenda and got crowded out, and was not resurrected for the April meeting (where it would most likely have met the same fate). Should we raise it again at this year's AGM? One delegate, who had been hammering away at this for 17 years, proposed that we do so. His argument was principally on grounds of equity, though he felt that the SCCU was losing out under the present arrangement. The President, arguing against this, passed round a statistical analysis suggesting that, on reasonable assumptions, the SCCU would lose out even more if the rule changed; in fact the only gainers would be EACU and WECU. This was a one-year analysis only, based on 2014-15, but others present said they had looked further back and formed similar conclusions for the last five years or so. Countering this, the original speaker referred to the 100 fine currently levied on Unions for each team requested in January but not actually fielded when it came to the crunch. This was quite different from the 100 fine levied on a County which accepted nomination in March and subsequently defaulted. The Union fine was unfortunate, because it faced Unions with the choice between over-predicting in January at the risk of a fine, and under-predicting at the risk of playing less chess than they might have. It is easy to see that this will upset analysis if most Unions adopt the latter approach, as they apparently do. (The SCCU doesn't.)
     Discussion went deeper than this, and embraced practicality as well as principle, but we have delighted you long enough. It was agreed that proposing change would be at least premature, and the proposer withdrew his proposal. However, there was one point that everyone seemed to agree on. The 100 fine for Unions that guessed wrong and over-predicted. We would propose its abolition or reduction (Executive to sort out details by email).
(6) SCCU Quasquicentenary.
Quasqui who? Let's call it 125th anniversary. The Union has one in 2017. There was strong feeling that some kind of celebration would be in order. Suggested: a large-scale match between, say, SCCU North and SCCU South; and/or an SCCU team in the World or European Seniors Championship. Council set up a committee which would come up with concrete proposals at the Autumn Executive meeting.
(7) ECF/BCF Yearbooks
Your Webmaster said he had some Yearbooks going spare, mostly from the last eighteen years. Any interest? You know where he lives.

The meeting closed at 5.40 pm, and was almost seamlessly followed by the traditional

which did routine things.
(1) Appointment of BCF and ECF Reps. J Denning in both cases.
(2) Appointment of Rules and Appeals Sub-Committee. J Denning, A Fulton, RJ Haddrell, JA Philpott; plus nominees (to be notified) from Herts and Surrey. Convener J Denning.
(3) Date of Next Meeting Friday 30th September 2016 at a central London venue to be arranged (guillotine 10 pm). Some favoured moving around the Counties, but that would need consultation and weekends. No other dates were arranged.

The meeting closed at 6.22 pm.
rjh 29.6.16

County Match Controller David Smith writes:

Recent correspondence has reminded me that the SCCU County Match Controller is now charged with the task of producing a (provisional) Fixture List during May for the coming season, despite the fact that formal entries are now made for all the Divisions after the publication of the July 2016 Grading List, with a closing date for all sections of 15th August 2016. Here then (below) are these dates which take into account all known Congresses (as per the ECF Calendar), including:
     4NCL Weekends
     London Chess Classic
     Herts Congress
     Kidlington Congress
     Witney Congress

In the Under 180 Division I have made an assumption that there may be only four entries next season (Ex, Mx, Sx & Sy) following the withdrawal at the start of last season of Kent for want of a Match Captain. This situation would lead to a double round of fixtures (H & A) as per the SCCU County Match Rules.

Provisional Dates 2016/2017
Oct 08
Nov 12
Jan 07
Jan 28
Feb 25
Oct 01
Oct 29
Dec 03
Jan 21
Feb 18
Mar 11

It can be assumed that Under 160 Fixtures will again match those in the Open, and that Under 140 Fixtures will match those in the Under 180. Under 120 and 100 Fixtures may or may not follow this pattern subject to entries and venue availability.

Earlier material is in the Archive.

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