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State of Scottish Chess - KevinCampbell - 26-06-2013

Just a quick thread raising some points about the state of chess in Scotland today.

A while ago I posted up a thread asking if chess in Scotland was in decline. This thread had 0 responses.

From what I can see, it does look like numbers playing chess at a club level have decreased. There will be exceptions to this with certain clubs but overall this would appear to be the case.

For Chess in Scotland: What can be done to rectify this? Or, if I'm wrong and there is not a "decline", then what can be done to increase numbers regardless?

Also what can Chess Scotland, as the national body, do to promote the game?

I seldom look at this noticeboard, but was surprised to see a couple of days ago (and today) so much infighting and argument. A lot of stuff that goes well beyond rational debate.

If I was a member of the public looking at these forums with an interest in chess, this would put me right off. It wouldn't be so bad if it was just confined amongst a small number of people who contribute on the forums (as most players will not contribute on here). The fact it goes to the heart of Chess Scotland, however, is concerning. Talk of "directors" taking legal action against other "directors", and reports not being able to submitted prior to a council meeting as they are (or could be) libellous is not acceptable.

I don't know who is right who is wrong, or even what the issues are, I don't even want to know, the point is such things are damaging to chess in Scotland.

Leave your egos at the door.

There is far to much politics involved in Scottish chess (and egos). Everyone should be working towards the same goal.

Going back to my original point; in my opinion, the biggest objective of Chess Scotland should be to promote chess in Scotland amongst adults and juniors.

Just my opinions, I would be interested to hear others thoughts on the points raised herein.


Re: State of Scottish Chess - Andrew McHarg - 26-06-2013

Pretty much totally agree with you Kevin.

I guess the decline in OTB Chess must have something to do with lots of people playing online instead of attending a club. But I think with Chess in general the numbers are strong - if you include online play in your calculations. Big Grin


Re: State of Scottish Chess - D-Oswald - 27-06-2013

Very well said Kevin. Couldn't have put it better myself.

We need more adults and juniors playing, more promising players getting titles and our top players more active - much easier said than done though!


Re: State of Scottish Chess - Andy Howie - 27-06-2013

Maybe I am in the minority but I am looking at what our current crop of 18-25 year olds are doing putting back into the game and I feel reassured that Chess Scotland has a future.

I could not agree more with Kevin and I saw evidence of some of that happening at the recent council meeting. We don't all have to get along with each other but we need to work together.

AGM will be called soon and we have quite a few unfilled posts. I would love to see people coming forward for these and give us a strong team to drive our strategy forward.

This was not been our finest year but with our first big international tournament next year, the Glorney and the olympiad we can make it a year to remember.

I want us to foster an era of working together for a common goal. That has to be our ethos!


Re: State of Scottish Chess - Andrew McHarg - 27-06-2013

What positions are coming up at the AGM Andy?


Re: State of Scottish Chess - Ian McLachlan - 29-06-2013

Kevin - given the problems your own club had this season it would appear it is experiencing 'decline', and that may well be for the same reasons that chess is in decline in Scotland generally (if that is indeed the case). If you can identify the reason for the problems your club has had that may give a starting point for finding solutions that will begin to turn things around.

I honestly doubt that the goings-on in CS are likely to make much difference to the number of people playing chess. Existing players may decide to terminate their CS membership because of it, but I doubt it would cause them to stop playing altogether. I also doubt that members of the public who might be considering taking up chess are very likely to access the forum, so the impact will probably be minimal. Despite the internal disputes I think CS has still been trying to promote chess in Scotland; whether it can continue to do so effectively remains to be seen.


Re: State of Scottish Chess - Graham Kerr - 01-07-2013

Kevin, i didn't know what all the fuss was about either, having skipped over the forum topic here, that was until i received an email last week from someone who seemed to be in some way representing the complainer. The email was pretty explicit, to the extent that i now know what is alleged to have happened and who was involved, all except for the person who the complaint was against. I suspect everyone who has entered his events will also have received the same email.

I didn't appreciate one bit the misuse of my email address for such transmissions, and have asked the sender why it was sent to me. No response. He'll get no response from me the next time he invites me to take part in any events he organises.

BTW, i'm happy to report that my club, Badgers Brook, has seen a rise in membership levels in each of the last 5 years!


Re: State of Scottish Chess - Mike Scott - 01-07-2013

I also received that one and my response was similar. I presume that was why I have not received the director's retraction of his accusations?

It highlights one of the problems any organization has of being over dependent on a small number of volunteers. Volunteers tend to bring with them a lot of enthusiasm and energy but sometimes a tendency to throw their toys out of the pram when they do not get their own way.

The problem is not that people disagree but the inability to handle such disagreements in a professional manner. The perception of the outside world is important - especially if that involves MSPs who may influence funding decisions - but it must be a major problem if the CS directors are unable to work together towards a common goal.


Re: State of Scottish Chess - Ianbrownlee - 01-07-2013

Hi Kevin
I note your concerns and agree that more can be done both national and local level, so the question is what can we do about it. I don't think any decline you see is a recent event but it has to be reversed. Tell you what I'm going to do about it, I'm going to write a report on my experiences and I'm going to make recommendations both locally and nationally. If anyone wants to read it when I'm finished then I'll send them a copy. I urge as many people as possible, members, non-members, parents and volunteers to do the same and then maybe then we can all contribute to getting Scottish Chess back on the road, bounce some ideas and get the communication going

BTW kevin can you, Derek or Jim get in contact with me regarding Bellshill


Re: State of Scottish Chess - Patrick McGovern - 02-07-2013

Graham Kerr Wrote:Kevin, i didn't know what all the fuss was about either, having skipped over the forum topic here, that was until i received an email last week from someone who seemed to be in some way representing the complainer. The email was pretty explicit, to the extent that i now know what is alleged to have happened and who was involved, all except for the person who the complaint was against. I suspect everyone who has entered his events will also have received the same email.

I didn't appreciate one bit the misuse of my email address for such transmissions, and have asked the sender why it was sent to me. No response. He'll get no response from me the next time he invites me to take part in any events he organises.

BTW, i'm happy to report that my club, Badgers Brook, has seen a rise in membership levels in each of the last 5 years!


I am extremely surprised at this post given the comments made at the Council meeting. I assumed, rather naively, that this situation had been laid to rest or at least dealt with by the parties concerned. The formation of a committee to look at the recommendations made by Linda McCusker seemed to be a logical and sensible way to try to ensure situations are avoided in the future and if they do then they can be dealt with to the satisfaction of all involved.
If any of the parties previously involved are still stirring things up then we are no further forward than we were prior to the council meeting.
There seems to be no point in any committee taking part in sensible discussions when there is still a group of people pursuing their own agenda in this matter. I wonder how many more people like Graham received the unsolicited email?
to say i'm disheartened is an understatement. Sad