Monday, March 14, 2011

Letter to the editor

From last Friday's interview with Richard James:-

ejh: What encouragement and support do you think they could receive that they presently don't?

RJ: I'm not involved in this side of things at the moment so I can't really comment very much. From some of the posts by parents on the English Chess Forum there are those who think that there should be more coaching sessions, perhaps more places available in the World and European Junior Championships, that the selection policy should be improved and so on. But all this costs money and the money probably isn't there.

As it happens a few hours after reading this I came across a letter in an old Chess Monthly:-


This is a serious letter on my part to enquire exactly who is The British Chess Federation and what is it exactly that they do for British chess generally.

My reason for asking both these questions is that as a mother of an up and coming junior - and a non-playing mother at that - I am seriously wondering why the B.C.F. do not play any part in the training of our talented youngsters and also why it seems to be left to various other people to arrange chess activities of a more visionary nature - thus providing conditions in which I feel that chess should be played.

I really hardly need mention the names of any of these people. But without them Julian's progress would certainly have not been so pronounced in the last few years. But I will name them as they deserve most of the credit for our recent successes in the international field. (That is my view anyway). They are of course - Jim Slater who seems to provide quite a bit of money required, Leonard Barden whose efforts on behalf of juniors in general seem to be pretty endless, Eddy Penn and Peter Morrish who probably know more about hard work than most of us. And Stewart Reuben. Even though the latter never eats anything I give him when he comes round to dine with us!

I was staggered to learn that the B.C.F. registration fee is only 50p. Is that really true? It hardly seems worth collecting in my opinion. Perhaps if they were a little bit more realistic in this direction they would have a little more money to promote British chess more fittingly. Also I feel that the prize money at the British Championship is pitiful. And why could not genuine discussion take place with a view to investigating the possibility of opening a Chess Centre in London. But with 50p's darting about I can see that it might be rather beyond their means.

However, I must not sound too carping. Chess has given Julian so much and I hope that he will be able to repay the game and its followers in the years to come. I just wish someone would wake the B.C.F up.

London W14

Plus ca change, I suppose, but which was the year of publication?


PJM said...

Presumably about 1975.

Jonathan B said...

Precisely right PJM. The letter was published in Chess Vol 41 # 733/34 which is November 1975.

PJM said...

What do I win?

ejh said...

A retrospective scholarship to St Paul's...

PJM said...

I think I'd rather die.

ejh said...

Unfortunately I cocked up and failed to write the planned piece Thirty Years Since My Comprehensive Knocked St Paul's Out Of The National Schools Championship. (It was in 1980 but I thought it was 1981. Until I looked it up again last week.)

ejh said...

(It finally emerged last year.)