For a variety of reasons the CAA has not been functioning as effectively as it should. We failed to hold an AGM in 2014 so this is effectively a dual meeting. Finding dates and venues for the AGM is an increasing problem. Holding it at the British is less attractive than it was and holding it during a 4NCL weekend is now impossible due to no longer having a single venue. Finding a Ďfreeí weekend is almost impossible. The meeting must decide on the least bad date if the Association is continuing.
Todayís meetings will consider the way forward for the CAA. We need to make sure that arbiters and players respect the organisation and the work that it can or should do. There are some suggestions on the agenda but contributions from the floor will be welcome. On a positive note we have re-established the website and Arbiting Matters Too is appearing regularly. These are important ways of communicating with the membership and others. Indeed the website is used by arbiters worldwide and when in South Africa we met someone who viewed the site.
Since the last meeting the requirement for arbiters in England to undergo DBS (CRB) checks has been removed by the ECF as it contravened the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. In Scotland, where different Laws apply, arbiters are still required to undergo PVG checks.
The Treasurer has requested a change to the Financial year which should be considered and if accepted consideration given as to how to apply the change.
British arbiters are being invited abroad but with a lack of sponsorship it is difficult to reciprocate invitations. This is a great pity as working with foreign arbiters can give a different perspective on things. An interesting aspect is that players abroad accept the computer generated pairings even when club mates are paired together. Surprisingly 0 point byes are very common (as opposed to Ĺ point byes predominant here).
As people who know me will be aware I support the general move towards joining the rest of the world chess community in matters of FIDE rating events, being proactive in FIDE matters and on commissions, using computer pairings (mainly to save Arbiters hours of valuable time at big events, and the ease of publishing) and encouraging the training of FAs, IAs and FTs in the UK. However, I very much do not wish to follow the rest of the world in allowing the appointment of FAs and IAs based on politics and nepotism. In the UK we should be proud to continue rigorous training of Arbiters to the highest competence before awarding titles.
I have not, initially due to ill health (thankfully now passed) and through work matters and recently Alexís health problems, been able to devote any time to the Association over the last two years for which I apologise. I am not seeking re-election as Chairman for these reasons but would like to thank the committee for their continued good work on behalf of the members and wish my successor (I ¬ sincerely hope there will be one) luck for the future.
Treasurer's Report -- 2nd August 2015
Although elected as Assistant Treasurer I effectively took over as Treasurer following the CAA AGM held on 5th May 2013.¬ I received the account paperwork, such as it was, in September 2013 and began arranging the change of signatories for the account held at Barclays Bank. After many months the account was organised and ready to be used again.
I wrote to all Arbiters on the membership list and asked them to renew their subscriptions.¬ I invited those who were in arrears to pay their back subscriptions.
For those members whom I did not have emails I sent their reminders in the post.¬ For those members whose emails bounced I endeavoured to make contact by phone.
Of the 52 members who I contacted 31 replied and renewed. Three replied and said that they did not wish to renew their subscription.¬ The remainder did not reply.
We have a further 5 Arbiters who are honorary members for life. G Gijssen, G Jones, S Reuben, J Turnock and G Walsh
The accounts show an increasing balance.¬ They have a final balance as at 31st December 2014 of ¬£2239.21
A payment of £200 was made to cover the costs of one Arbiter's Course in 2014.
I apologise for not getting the accounts to Richard Jones for auditing before today's AGM.
Requests have been made recently to the committee for covering costs for another Arbiter's course, but those asking are not current members.
Should Arbiters be current members of the Association if they are requesting support from us?
If the AGM decides that there is a positive and constructive reason for the CAA to continue I am willing to continue as Treasurer, if asked.
I would like to suggest that membership fees should be paid by all those who wish to be National Arbiters and that these fees should apply January to December.
I would like to suggest that the accounts should cover a twelve month period ending in December.
Treasurer Chess Arbiters Association
28th July 2015
CHIEF ARBITERíS REPORT
Since the last meeting 3 long serving arbiters have been presented with the ECF President‚Äs Award for services to chess.¬ David Sedgwick this year and Roger Edwards and Lara Barnes in 2014.¬ It is good to see that the contribution of arbiters to the overall well-being of chess is recognised.
In addition British Arbiters have received invitations to officiate abroad. Stewart Reuben, David Sedgwick, Alex Holowczek, Lara Barnes and Alex McFarlane have all had appointments in the last year or so.¬ In addition SR, DS and AMcF have conducted FIDE Arbiter training courses in Africa.¬ AMcF is scheduled to do another later this month in Mongolia.¬ David Welch assisted by LB is doing a similar course in Preston SR and AMcF are on the FIDE Rules Commission and Andy Howie is on the Anti Cheating Commission.
The website continues to attract custom with an approximate average of unique visits per week being in the thirties. The 10th edition of Arbiting Matters Too will be out shortly after this meeting. Contributions to either or both of these are welcome.
The FIDE Laws of Chess normally are revised every 4 years with only something significant happening to cause a change in the Laws between times. The current Laws were delayed for a year due to the FIDE Presidential Board insisting on input. The Anti Cheating Commission also wanted a change last year. When this was put forward the FIDE meeting was inquorate so it could not be passed. As a result we have a recommended change, and improvement, which is not in the Laws. The revision of the Laws has started and members are invited to send me any suggested improvements that they have.