Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Hertfordshire Chess Association held on Friday 11th July 2008 at The Free Church Hall, Church Road, Welwyn Garden City starting at 7.30pm. Present Tim Thurstan (President) (TT), (in the chair), Anthony Burrows (AB), Ian Mutton, Graham Williams (Letchworth & Hitchin) Jeremy Fraser-Mitchell (JFM), Ian Cross (IC), David Bower, John Leake (JL) (St Albans), Antony Hall (Watford) (AH), Malcolm Harding (Barnet Elizabethans) (MH), Paul Kenning, Nigel Kerby (NK) (Bishop's Stortford), Steve Law (SL), Barrie Saunders (BS), Ken Roullier (Hemel Hempstead) Mike Price (MP), Len Jones (LJ) Stevenage Peter Rice (Royston) Paul Byway (Hertford) Mark Beadle (Hoddesdon) Kidge Elder (KE), Mir Wali(MW), David Willsher, Matthew Read (Welwyn Hatfield Chess Forum) Martin Walker (unattached) (MW), Stephen Dicks (SD)(Little Heath & Brookmans Park) 1. Apologies for absence were received from Ray Claret, Lee Harrison, Chris Majer, Keith Woodhouse, Jeremy Taffel, Jon Barnes, Mike Boyce, 2. Approval of Minutes of last AGM held on 5th July 2007.Proposed by MP, seconded by JL and passed nem con. 3. Matters arising from the minutes; none. 4. Reports League Secretary (Steve Law): Steve circulated his report. Capel, Burn and Bunce Cups: Corinne Mountford was absent and no report had been circulated. Next season’s competition would take place at Ware Arts Centre, Ware, on the 11th and 12th October 2008. This had been moved from the original dates of the 4th and 5th October to avoid a clash with the 4NCL.This season’s winners were:- Capel Paul Byway Burn Cup Barry Morris Bunce Cup James Abrams Russell, Sharp and under 125 and 100 knockout competitions: In the absence of Lee Harrison TT presented Lee’s report. The competition had run smoothly with roughly the same level of entries as in the previous season. The Russell had been won by Hertford who beat Watford in the final, the Sharp (under 150) by St Albans who beat Hemel Hempstead and the under 125 by Stevenage who beat St Albans. The under 100 had been won by Hemel Hempstead who won on board count against Rothamsted. TT reminded the meeting that Lee had made it clear that the coming season would be his last in post and therefore a replacement was needed. Championship Match Captain: JFM reported that Hertfordshire lost their opening match away to Sussex. A win against Middlesex and a draw with Kent (who, having dominated the tournament for many years, this season ended up with the wooden spoon!) followed, and at this stage Hertfordshire appeared likely to take their usual place in the Minor Counties knockout stages. Instead, wins against Essex and Surrey meant that for the first time ever, Hertfordshire were the SCCU champions! Mementoes were awarded to all who had represented Hertfordshire in the Open competition this season. Regrettably, this was to be the team's last success, as they lost 8.5-7.5 at home in the semi-final of the knockout stages to Middlesex. Peter Rice was presented with a county tie and the Flear Trophy having scored 5/5. Phil Maguire also qualified for a tie. Under 150 Match Captain: MP circulated a written report. The season started in unpromising fashion with a loss to Essex. Wins followed against Surrey, Kent, Sussex and Middlesex, resulting in 2nd place in the SCCU Division and qualification for the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals, Warwickshire were defeated by 9-7 in Birmingham; in the semi-finals, neighbours Cambridgeshire were beaten by 9.5-6.5. In the final, Hertfordshire were defeated 10-6 by a very strong Yorkshire side, which meant that for the second consecutive season the team reached the ECF finals despite losing their first match. Mike thanked the many who had contributed, including several who had played at very short notice. The Tom Wright trophy was won by Paul Kenning, who scored 7/8. David Bower, Mir Wali, Paul Kenning and Anthony Burrows all qualified for a county tie. Under 125 Match Captain: KW had sent a written report. Mir Wali, Graham Howard and Ian Cross had all qualified for a county tie. KW had previously indicated that he would be standing down and SD had agreed to take on the post. Under 100 Match Captain: Kidge Elder provided a detailed written report. The meeting felt that it was clear that the success of the team in its first season was in large measure due to the supply of doughnuts. KE was warmly congratulated. A county tie was presented to KE. County ties were also won by Gary Ruddick, Ian Riddoch, Neil Rashbrook, Andrew MacLaren, Barrie Saunders and Graham Williams. Correspondence Chess Conductor: Graham Williams reported that in the Ward-Higgs Trophy 2006-07 Division 1, Hertfordshire had scored 9 points out of 22 and avoided relegation. In the same competition for 2007-08, the same team had so far scored 7½ points with 2 games remaining - whether or not they would avoid relegation was still in the balance. The three Eight of Hearts teams had all scored roughly 50% in the BCCL. Website Editor (Chris Cook): Not present; no report. County Grader: SL reported that all games had been graded. Adjudications Secretary (Brian Judkins): Not present but SL reported on his behalf that there had been 7 or 8 adjudications and that in one or two cases the decision was questionable. Chief Arbiter: TT had nothing to report. Congress Organiser; JFM reported that the congress had taken place at the Meridian School in Royston for the second year running. The 2008 congress would take place on the last weekend in November. This was now the third longest-running weekend congress in the country. Grand Prix Organiser; SL reported that the winners were: The Open section was won by Paul Kemp The Under 150 section was won by Ian Mutton The Under 125 section was won by Keith Woodhouse The Under 100 section was won by Barrie Saunders. TT pointed that BS had scored more points than everyone else regardless of grade. The Potters Bar Congress would be included in the Grand Prix next season. Trophies Secretary: Mark Topham was not present and there was no report. Old Puller Cup; MH reported that this had taken place at the end of May. The Open section (and thus the Old Puller Cup itself) was won by Royston, for the second year running; the other sections were won by Lower Red Lion and Letchworth & Hitchin. He was considering holding it at the end of April next season. 5. Treasurer’s Report, Budget and fees for next season. MH circulated the unaudited accounts and answered various questions. He reported that the Game fee payable to the ECF will increase in the forthcoming season (2008/9) from 46p to 48p per player per game. Several trophies had been valued for insurance purposes:- Capel Cup £2,750 (includes cost of re-engraving) Burn Cup £895 Sharp trophy £1,850 MH proposed and it was duly passed that league entry fees should be the same in each division at £35 per team. There was discussion regarding the level of County match board fees and eventually resolved that the match fee would be increased to £4 per player per match, chargeable at all home county matches throughout the season, irrespective of whether they were in the league or national knockout stages. JFM pointed out that as the Open and Under 150 home fixtures were often on the same day, it would clearly save money to hold them at the same venue. 6. Presentation of Trophies. The following trophies were presented:- KO trophies winner Russell - Hertford (not available) Sharp Trophy - St Albans (taken by IC) Under 125 KO Trophy - Stevenage (taken by LJ) Under 100 KO Trophy - Hemel Hempstead (taken by KR) NB. One of the handles of the Under 100 KO trophy had become detached; KR offered to have this attended to when having the cup engraved with the names of the 2006/7 and 2007/8 winners. League trophies winner Division 1 - Royston 1 (not available) Division 2 Montague-Jones b&s- St Albans 1 (taken by JFM) Division 3 - Watford 3; not returned by Hertford 3 Division 4 Woodland b&s - Bishops Stortford 2 (taken by NK) Division 5 Gateley Cup - Stevenage 3 (taken by LJ) Division 6 Davis b&s - WHCF 3 (taken by DW) Division 7 Leyns Cup - Stevenage 4 (taken by MP) 7. SCCU and ECF matters SCCU: TT reported that the Association’s Congress would yet again have a British Championship place to award and would also host the SCCU Individual Championship. A new county championship for players graded under 75 would be piloted next season. ECF: Many ECF board members have resigned recently. The means of qualifying for the knockout stages of the various sections of the county championship may soon change. AB mentioned the chess academies planned in order to encourage chess in schools and that the ECF planned to borrow money from the John Robinson Trust to fund these; the meeting supported the Chess sets for Schools project in principle and KE and NK offered to help in the distribution. NB. TT forgot to report that CM had been made an Honorary Life Vice President of the ECF. 8. Election of Officers President: TT was proposed by JFM and seconded by MP and re- elected nem con. The Honorary Vice presidents, namely Henry R Hurd, FB Roberts, Bryan A Fewell, John R Denton, John A Leake the Vice-Presidents namely Alan Brewis, Anthony Burrows, Ray Claret, John Cook, David Crowden, Bill D'Costa, Bob Forst, Jeremy Fraser-Mitchell, Malcolm S Harding, Keith Hemingway, Graham Howard, Brian Judkins, Roger Kearns, Gary Kenworthy, Quasi Latif, Norman Lavers, Stephen Law, Chris Lean, Eric Leyns, Phil Maguire, Chris E Majer, Peter May, Phil Newstead, David W Parrott, John Rhodes, Alan Riley, James C Robertson, John Simmons, Oliver Stobart, Tim M Thurstan, Tom Tomkins, M Mohamed Wali, Dane Young, D Ross Brennan, Martin G Walker, Ian M Mutton and the following officers Secretary: Malcolm Harding Treasurer: John Leake League Secretary/County Grader: Stephen Law Capel, Burn and Bunce Cups: Corinne Mountford Russell, Sharp, under 125 & 100 KO competitions: Lee Harrison Championship Match Captain: Jeremy Fraser-Mitchell Under 150 Match Captain: Mike Price Under 125 Match Captain: Stephen Dicks Correspondence Chess Conductor: Graham Williams Website Editor: Chris Cook Adjudications Secretary: Brian Judkins Chief Arbiter: Tim Thurstan Grand Prix Organiser; Stephen Law Trophies Secretary: Mark Topham Congress Organiser: Jeremy Fraser-Mitchell Fixtures Secretary: Stephen Dicks were proposed en bloc by AB seconded by MW and elected nem con. Junior Secretary: AB agreed to see if Lorin D’Costa would be willing to take this post on. Old Puller Cup. As MH was taking on various other responsibilities it was felt that somebody else should be found to organise this. David Hobden was proposed, but would have to be approached to see if he was willing. 9. Any other business (A) TT proposed (seconded by IC) the following changes to the Association Rules:- 1. The Association shall be called the Hertfordshire Chess Association and shall be non-profit making. The object of the Association is to foster chess in the county. The Association shall function as a unit of the Southern Counties Chess Union within the British English Chess Federation. 5. The Annual General Meeting shall be held in June or July and shall appoint a President, General Secretary, Treasurer and such other officers as may be required. All officers shall retire annually, and shall be eligible for re- election at the Annual General Meeting. Notice of any motion to be submitted to the Annual General Meeting shall be forwarded to the General Secretary by 1st May April. The President, or the Chairman of the meeting, has authority to accept motions submitted after 1st April May. 14. The winners of the Capel, and Burn and Bunce Competitions and the President shall be entitled to a County Tie; also a winner of at least three games, without intervening loss, either in over-the-board or in correspondence competitions whilst representing the Association of the Chiltern League, the SCCU or the BCF. The first tie only shall be presented free. Those entitled should apply to the Treasurer. Replacement ties may be purchased from the Treasurer at an economic price. 15. The County Tie may also be presented at the Annual General Meeting on the recommendation of the Executive Committee for meritorious achievement in over-the- board play, or for services to the Association. It shall be the duty of the President to make proposals to the Executive Committee for this purpose. 16. The player in the county first team with the best performance shall hold the Flear Trophy for one year. The Flear Trophy shall be awarded annually for the best performance by a player in the county first team. The player in the county second team with the best performance shall hold the Tom Wright Trophy for one year. 1 The best performance shall be achieved by the player scoring the greatest number of points for the team and in the event of a tie, the trophy shall be awarded to the player with the lower numbered board average. NO-SMOKING POLICY 1. The Association can only concern itself with playing conditions for matches organised by (or under the auspices of) the Hertfordshire Chess Association. This covers Congresses, County League and Knock-out matches, and Individual Tournaments (Capel and Burn events). There is a ban on smoking at the board at all such events. And adding the following note:- Note regarding rules 14 and 15 The county tie The Association may either in General Meeting or by its Executive Committee decide to offer some other award in place of or in addition to a tie. MW/BS proposed an amendment to change the semi colon after the words “to a county tie” to a full stop but this was defeated by 6 votes to 4. The substantive motion was then carried nem con. (B) Jon Spencer had informed the meeting that Max Ashley had been a member of Bishops Stortford Chess Club since 1958. The meeting decided to award him a county tie. TT thanked all the HCA officers for their efforts. The meeting ended at 22.11.