Archive: Minutes of 2005/6 AGM

Minutes of the AGM of the Mid-Sussex Chess League held in the Function Room of the Royal Oak Hotel, Lewes on Tuesday 23rd May 2006


Those present were:

   RJ   Johnson (Secretary and Holt)   MJ Reddie (Eastbourne)

   DP   Grant (Match Recorder and Crowborough)   JG   Herbert (Eastbourne)

    M   Broom (Chairman and Lewes)  MF   Tanner (Eastbourne)

     D Stevenson (Treasurer and Eastbourne)    M   Attree (East Grinstead)

     D   Collard (The Args)     B   Cafferty (Hastings)

     G   James (Brighton)     D   Holloway (Horsham)

   RD   Hirsch (Crawley)     R Waddingham (Horsham)

      J   Graham (Crawley)          J Cannon (Horsham

     G   Salmon (Crowborough      B   Maufe (Lewes)

     P   Bayliss (Crowborough)   RJ   Almond (Hastings)        

     F Kwiatkowski (Haywards Heath)      J   Sharp (Hastings)

   DJ   Langridge (St Francis Hospital)     C   Jones (Worthing)

     N  Hawkins (Haywards Heath)      J   Tuck (Crowborough)

    M   Costley (Lewes)      D   Roberts (Lewes)

     P   Kington (Horsham)     A Chesworth (Lewes)



1.            Opening Remarks and Apologies for Absence


            The Chairman, Mark Broom, welcomed everyone to the meeting. Apologies for absence were received from Paul Selby (Holt), David Fryer (Webmaster and East Grinstead), Julie Denning (Sussex Grader and Horsham; returning from the Channel Islands had prevented her attendance), and Ian Comley (Horsham). A minute’s silence was held for Paul Watson of The Holt who died on 7th November.



2.            Minutes of 2005 AGM


The minutes of the 2005 AGM were agreed as being a true record of that meeting. There were no matters arising.


3.            Secretary’s Report and Matters Arising


The season, possibly for the first time ever, did not commence with the traditional Champions (Hastings) versus The Rest match. This was largely due to the lack of enthusiasm on the part of the rest. Perhaps it is time to call an end to this fixture. A discussion point in AOB perhaps.




Many of you will have noticed that the fixtures were less than ideal this year, with big gaps between a team’s matches followed by matches coming in rapid succession. A result of me being pushed for time I’m afraid. There were a number of rescheduled matches and I have had enough feedback to suggest that the first week in the year, when the Hastings Congress is in progress, needs to be free of matches. Still, we have completed the season and that is what matters. Unfortunately we have had 3 teams withdraw from the league this season. Hassocks, my old club, folded before the start of the season. Holt second team, my new club, folded early on in the season, followed by Knoll Knights, the club that I almost joined. I can only imagine the look of trepidation that will appear on people’s faces should I enter their club premises next season expressing a desire to join their club. Aldrington failed to finish to complete their programme of matches defaulting two of them. We wait to see if they can form a team next season.


Disputes and interesting incidents


There is only one issue that I wish to talk about this year, and that is winding the clock back 15 minutes for the next time control. If you realise that the amount of time that you have left is greater than the time left until the end of the playing session, and you have no wish to play any more moves, don't just sit there staring at the board pretending to think about your next move - either play on or tell your opponent that you have no intention of playing another move. That is just courtesy; no-one can force anyone to play at a rate greater than the specified time control, so there’s no need to feel guilty because you played at a very fast rate earlier in the session.


This is my final year as league secretary. Once I’ve finished the minutes of this meeting that will be it. I hope that someone will take over for the sake of the league. I will of course be more than happy to have a proper hand-over. As I said on the web-site there are only 2 really busy periods – you need ideally to have a weekend free in mid-September to produce the fixtures and you need a little time around the AGM to ensure that you produce the secretary’s report and minutes.

4.            Treasurer’s Report and Matters Arising


The Treasurer presented the meeting with a set of accounts. In view of additional expenses incurred during the previous season (e.g. the expenditure on David Roberts gift) Doug suggested the following fees for the 2006/7 season: £27 for division 1; £21 for divisions 2 and 3; £23 for division 4; no change for the Knock Out Competition (£5). 


Questions were asked why the higher rate for division 4 to which Doug explained that this was down to the amount of games played in that divisions in the previous season. Given that division 4 is currently the same size as divisions 2 and 3, Mark Broom suggested that the fees for divisions 2,3 and 4 should be a uniform £22. This was accepted.


5.         Match Recorder’s Report and Matters Arising


The Match Recorder reported that the first division had a very exciting finish with Crowborough 1 denying Brighton 1 the title by beating them in the last game of the season despite being a player short. Hastings retained their title. Hastings 2 won promotion to Division 1 – their third consecutive promotion. Mark Attree pointed out that East Grinstead could end up with 3 teams in the 4th division, but the Secretary assured him that he expected that this would be avoided. Don explained that the match East Grinstead 4 v Horsham 4 was 2½-2½ due to Horsham 4 using a player who had lost his 4th team status. Crowborough won the KO beating Lewes 3½-2½ in the final despite the significant grading advantage enjoyed by Lewes.


7.            Presentation of Trophies


The Chairman handed trophies to the league’s divisional team winners and to the individual’s with the best scores in each of the divisions. Hastings 1 received the Mowatt Cup (division 1 champions), Hastings 2 the Gregory Cup (division 2 winners), Crowborough 3 the Division 3 Cup, and Horsham 4 the Division 4 Cup. Mel Young of Hastings won the overall Best Player Tankard with a 100% score, and picked up the division 2 tankard. The tankard for division 1 was won by John Sugden (Hastings), division 3 by David Curtis (Haywards Heath), and division 4 by Julie Denning (Horsham).



8.            Election of Officers


            The following officers were re-elected unanimously:


            Chairman                                              Mark Broom (despite offering to resign!)

Match Recorder            /KO Cup organiser            Don Grant

Web Master                                     David Fryer

            Secretary                                             vacant following the resignation of Richard Johnson

            Treasurer                                             Doug Stevenson                    

            Auditor                                                  John Herbert (replacing Paul Selby who resigned)



9.         County Secretary’s report


Whilst their was no official report, Bernard Cafferty reported that Paul Watson’s job as County Secretary will be covered by Robert Williams, and that Marc Bryant has resigned from his role of representing Mid-Sussex. The ECF and Southern Counties Website can be looked at for more information, including the roles of Douglas Opie and Peter Kemp.


10.            Adjudication Secretary’s report and matters arising


Bernard Cafferty, on behalf of the adjudication secretary, informed the meeting that just 7 positions had been sent in, one of which had led to a successful appeal.


11.            Champions versus the Rest


Hastings would be happy to hold a Champions versus the Rest match before the start of the next season and it will be up to the new secretary to arrange the ‘Rest’ team.


12.        Any Other Business


Rule changes:


13.2.1: Best Match Average Tankard – The individual who, during the season, has the best percentage in all League matches [excluding additional matches], having played in at least seven such matches. Any games played between eligible and ineligible players are treated as defaults for the purposes of Best Match Average calculation. If two or more players have equal best percentages, then, the trophy shall be shared.


The above rule should be changed to bring it into line with 13.2.2:


Change “having played in at least seven such matches” to “having played in at least three-quarters of their team's matches”.


            Proposed by the Secretary


The Secretary explained that this would enable the spirit of the rule to be applied without having a complex rule written down. He expects that if a player plays, e.g., 4 games out of 8 for the second team and 3 out of 8 for the first team that this would qualify as ¾ of the required games. ¾ should be based on the number of games that the team the player is nominated for is scheduled to play e.g. 4/8 for the second team plus 2/11 for the first team should count as ¾.


This was seconded by Jonathan Tuck, and voted nem com.




8.1: Before play begins:  Immediately before a match, team captains shall: (1) exchange names of team players; (2) toss for colours, the winner's team taking either White or Black on the odd-numbered boards


Change “toss for colours, the winner's team taking either White or Black on the odd-numbered boards” to “the away team has white on odd boards in all matches”.


Note that this will require deletions (anything in italics) to the following rules


8.2.1 The home team should be ready to play by 7.30pm. An away team whose members are all present shall be entitled to insist that the match commences at or after 7.30 pm, even if the home team is incomplete, and may accordingly toss for colours with any member of the home club and start the clocks thereafter.

8.2.2 The away team should be ready to play by 7.45pm. The home team shall be entitled to insist that the match commences at or after 7.45pm.

8.2.3 If no member of a team is present by 7.45pm, then the non-attending team shall be deemed to have lost the toss.


             Proposed by Hastings


Bernard Cafferty argued eloquently in favour of the motion, citing that we were about the only league in the country that didn’t practise this to avoid teams having a surplus of “whites”. He dismissed the objection that this would result in advanced preparation against known opponents as “part of chess”. Dennis Collard stated that uncertainty in terms of what colour you were going to get is all part of the fun.

John Cannon reported that his (large) club, Horsham had voted 11-2 against the motion with one abstention.

Mark Broom staunchly spoke against the motion citing preparation, fiddling (e.g. always make sure that George gets black), if you are board 1 and can only play at home that means you only have the black pieces, and by extension, if the rest of the team is always the same, people always end up with the same colour.


Doug Stevenson noting that this was a first division wish suggested that the proposal should be amended for the first division only.

Mark Broom suggested that we should first have a vote to see whether we should treat division 1 differently from the rest. This vote was carried 13-12.

Doug’s amendment was now voted on and this was defeated 10-11.

For protocol the amendment applied to divisions 2 through 4 was voted on and this was defeated 4-14.


There followed an exchange about the value/inconvenience of playing on Fridays. There is little that can be done about this except for the secretary to be aware of it, and if possible, schedule those teams who don’t like playing on Friday’s to play Friday teams at home, whilst ensuring that this does not distort the home/away ratio for any team.


The chairman duly declared the meeting over at 9.40 p.m. to which there was an enthusiastic thank you expressed to the departing secretary for his years in the role.