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Minutes of Telepost Chess Club AGM held 13/8/18 at Telepost

Present: John Bashall, Dennis Bonner(DB), John Casewell(JC), Matthew Clark(MC), Peter Crean(PC), Trevor Everall, Nick Holmes(NH), Steve Kempsell(SK), Graham Shepherd(GS),Steve Wilson (SW), Shane Sweeney(SS), Keith Tabner(KT), John Westhead(JW)

Also present as prospective new members: Geoff Coram, Guy Holmes

Apologies: Martin Ayres, David Neale, Charles Micallef

Agenda items:

1 Minutes of the AGM of 17/7/17 were approved.

2 A team summary – MC reported that the A team had a pretty good season overall in the face of very strong opposition, especially from Oswestry and Newport. The team finished third in division one. There were some limits on availability and MC expressed his gratitude to players from lower divisions who had played up. Nigel had a particularly good season. The Rapidplay A team fared not so well, just managing to avoid relegation. However, in the Team Rapidplay, Telepost won the event, aided by Trevor Brotherton and ex Telepost stalwart Richard Bryant. In the Cox Trophy the team had a good win against Wellington but lost in the semis to eventual winners Newport. With Trevor B joining the team on board two next season, we have a squad who can challenge for more silverware.

3 B team summary – PC reported that for once the B team were concerned to avoid relegation rather than avoid promotion! Again, thanks were given to players who played up after the loss of two regular players early in the season. In all, 10 players were used, and the team finished fourth. S K is taking over the captaincy next season.

4 C team summary – DB reported a reasonable season, with the team finishing third in the third division. However, we have subsequently heard that the C team are to be promoted to division two, following Church Stretton requesting to drop to division three,

and Telford B declining promotion (in both cases because of lack of player availability).

5 D team summary – JC thanked Martin Ayres for taking over the captaincy after JC was forced to miss the majority of the season following his knee operation, though he played two league matches literally at home, at his house. Martin sent in a report. The D team finished two points behind the C team, benefitting from appearances by Josh Cockburn at the start of the season and Kate towards the end. Shane and Steve made 12 appearances each. The high points were beating Telepost C at home and Newport C away and the low point was the infamous “Waller” match at Oswestry, where Shane had to put up with some undue gamesmanship. Martin enjoyed being captain for the year and is sure SW will make a very good replacement.

6 B team Rapidplay summary – NH reported that the team had been largely minnows against giants, with our regular players graded around 90-100 against players 140 and above. We were fine on board four, but we had four board four players! A star appearance from PC garnered our only win and we finished an unsurprising last. However, we put up a full team for all matches and next season is looking more promising with two strong players enlisted to the cause ,see Point 14 below.

7 Shrewsbury Town Championships, Cox and Minor Cups, Telepost Championships – KT outlined the format of these competitions for the benefit of new/prospective members. The Town championships in 2017 were won by Trevor Brotherton (with SK and SS taking the U140 and U100 titles). This year's competition is well under way and due to finish in September. Keith reported that a highlight of the season is the live internet broadcast of the Cox and Minor Cup finals played at Wrekin Housing Trust and his disappointment that the Minor Cup final remained unplayed after Church Stretton were forced to default. The Cox was won by Newport, the Minor by Shrewsbury. The Telepost championship saw a fine performance by John Westhead, with 4.5 out of 5, who was presented with the winner's trophy by KT. All members were encouraged to enter the competition this season. (Five matches played under Swiss system, September to Aprilish.)

8 National Club Championships – DB reported on a remarkable performance by Telepost at the Telford Park Inn hotel, with the A team coming second against very strong opposition,in their Category,supported by Nigel,Phil,MC and John Bashall. The B team, with an average grade of around 100, winning the under 125 category,supported by GS,SW,SS and DB.The trophies were displayed and MC commented that we should aim to defend these national trophies in the coming season,which was agreed by the meeting.

9 Club members at congresses – DB reported that a number of Telepost members had attended congresses at venues including Blackpool, Llandudno, Shropshire, London and others. A number of prizes had been won and, most recently, Nigel had secured a superb draw against grandmaster Mark Hebden at the Midlands Club congress.

10 Shropshire Minor Individual – NH reported that the inaugural season of the seven-round Swiss competition for Shropshire players had been very successful and well run. DB, NH and JW had entered from Telepost and others were encouraged to sign up this coming season.

11 Shropshire Individual – the long-standing senior version of the Minor was won by Nick Rutter, with Nigel second.

12 Treasurer's report – JW presented the accounts. Although there was a slight deficit for the year due to unexpected trophy costs, the overall situation remains healthy and JW saw no reason to increase the £5 club fee unless an exceptional expenditure was envisaged. The meeting agreed with this and JW was deluged with fivers. All members are asked to pay JW, either directly or through their team captain or the secretary. Captains are asked to check that all players are ECF members. Telepost Club fees are paid direct to the club.

13 Club website – JC has taken over the noticeboard element of this. It was agreed that it was not necessary for a report on each match since the results are available on the Shropshire website but any matches of particular incident or excitement should be reported to JC, preferably in Word format, for inclusion on the site. JC is also preparing a history of the club from 2003 onwards, following on from the articles provided by founder member Bill Clarke and Keith Tabner. KT suggested it would be useful to have a diary on the noticeboard and he and JC will meet to set this up. There was some discussion of a Telepost Facebook page but this was not felt to be necessary. DB thanked JC for taking on this task during what had been a very difficult year for JC.

14 Teams for 2018/19 season – a Captains' meeting was held recently to discuss the number and make-up of teams for next season. Although it had been hoped to enter five teams it was concluded that realistically this was not possible without considerable stress and an unenviable task for a captain of the fifth team. Using the grades available at the meeting, the following teams were determined (nominated players shown (n)):
A – Nigel Ferrington (n), Trevor Brotherton (n), Phil Zabrocki (n), Matthew Clark (n, captain), John Bashall B – Peter Crean (n), Steve Kempsell (n, captain), Keith Tabner (n), John Westhead (n), Charles Micallef
C – Paul Officer (n), Andy Lewis (n), Nick Holmes (n), Dennis Bonner (n, captain), AN Others – Vinnie only wishes to play as reserve.
G S has sought clarification from the league controller as to his position as he will be playing for Church Stretton in division three. The Controller has said that GS will be allowed to play for our B and C team up to 3 times during the season. David Hodge,ex Church Stretton, may be available occasionally in January 2019 and hopefully Kate can play a number of games. B and C can also draw on the D team pool below. D – SW is captain with a pool of players including JC, SS, Dean Pinnington, David Neale, Martin Ayres. No nominations needed for this team.
Rapidplay A is strengthened by the return of Trevor Brotherton. MC remains captain. Paul Officer will captain Rapidplay B, with J B joining the team as well.

15 Election of officers – Keith Tabner, President, proposed SW, seconded SS. Dennis Bonner Secretary, proposed JC, seconded SW, John Westhead Treasurer, proposed MC, seconded KT.

16 Discussion points:
1. Shropshire AGM – MC reported on the AGM, minutes of which are on the Shropshire Chess website. Main changes are a clarification as to what constitutes a junior team (new rule states there must be three juniors, but an adult substitution can be made on three occasions per season) and a change to the time control to be used – where digital clocks are available the new time is one hour 25 mins, with 10 seconds increment per move. (Moves still don't have to be recorded after the clock first goes under 5 minutes.) This change was carried by one vote at the AGM, and GS pointed out that it would not have been carried if some people had not had to leave early. Some discussion of how many clocks will be needed. Agreed it should be all or nothing – ie all boards in a match to use the same time control. KT said best not to invest in new equipment until the rule beds in, in case it is changed back. We will need to work out how to programme our clocks for this.
PC asked whether matter of declined promotion was put forward. Telepost didn't make a formal proposal at the meeting, but it was discussed at some length, with the league controller arguing declined promotion should be allowed in exceptional circumstances. KT commented that a precedent had been set with the non promotion of Church Stretton and Telford B for next season.
PC suggested a flow chart clarification of elements of the rules on players/teams. MC, who is now general secretary for the league, and KT, who looks after aspects of the website, to look at this alongside sorting out the publication of the new rules.
2. MC proposed a mentoring system where experienced players will work with new members and lower graded players. This was generally agreed to be a good idea and MC will email details and ask for interested mentors and mentees.
3. Equipment – DB proposed Steve Wilson as Equipment Secretary to review and keep tabs on equipment. KT seconded.
4. Pre-season friendly against Shrewsbury to be held Mon 20 Aug. Shrewsbury are bringing up to 8 players, all Telepost players welcome. Match is played to league rules but not graded.
5. Rapidplay Swiss, five rounds of 15 minutes per player, to be held on 3 September – please let the organiser,SW, know if you'd like to play. Just for fun!
6. AOB: JC reported that he and Dean Pinnington would once again be running a chess club at Condover school. He also suggested that we might have a presence at the "try a new sport "event held at Attingham in May – MC suggested that this be raised again nearer the time.
NH proposed a vote of thanks to Peter Crean, as he stepped down from 30 years of being a team captain. All agreed.
The meeting closed at 9.20pm.
Nick Holmes 14/08/2018