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September 2014
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RIP Ronald F Harman

Ronald F Harman was born 30 December 1938 and died 10 September 2014. This was in a nursing home and was not unexpected. He had been in very poor health for some years.
Ron spent some of his early years in Southport during the Second World War and also spent some years there when an adult. Other than that, he always lived in London.
Ron loved chess. He, and his great friend Ron Banwell, first joined Wood Green Chess Club. Dissatisfied with the rather moribund organisation in those days, they switched to Islington & North London Club in the 1950s. That club was also in the doldrums, but immediately started to improve. With the two Rons involved it quickly moved the the Second Division of the London League. In 1963 they gained promotion to the First Division and immediately won the league. For some years afterwards Islington remained the pre-eminent chess club in Britain. Eventually Ron Harman went to work for King & King which was run, as now, by Syd Kalinsky. This caused him to change his allegiance to Syd’s club, Cavendish. There he remained for many years, holding various posts in the still-thriving organisation.

Read on — RIP Ronald F Harman

ECF Secondary School Rapidplay Chess Tournament

Sunday 14th September 2014, Eton College, Berks …

Eton College hosted the third annual Secondary School Rapidplay Chess Tournament in their magnificent school hall. 227 players made up 38 teams representing 29 schools from fourteen counties, from Lincolnshire to Somerset, Warwickshire to Kent. Over 500 games rapidplay games were played across the five rounds.

Schools featured include past winners Haberdashers’ Askes and Hampton Schools, National Schools Champions Reading School and past national champions Millfield School. Along with some very strong teams, there were many others of a range of strengths seeking to do their best. Whilst the top players were graded over 200, the median grade was closer to 100.

Play went remarkably smoothly with any issues being quickly resolved by arbiters Chris and Matthew Howell. The draw for each round and scores were clear for all to see on an enormous screen at the end of the hall.

The scoring system was based on games points (so every game counted towards the total) rather than match points. This proved popular with the weaker teams who found that their scores were increasing even when they were losing matches. Also the Swiss system lead to many close matches – half the results being 4–2 or closer, even though the first round matches were all more one sided than this.

The average team grading implied that it should be a close contest between the top three teams from Haberdashers’ Askes (ECF 175), Reading School (170) and Hampton (168). However round 3 was pivotal as Haberdashers’ convincingly beat Reading. Haberdasher’s duly went on to win all their matches to amass 27 out of a maximum of 30 game points to win the event. RGS Guildford came second with 22 game points and Hampton and reading joint 3rd with 21 points.

We are very grateful to Eton College for providing their facilities free of charge

prizegiving overview1
[click either image for a larger version]

It was a privilege to have British Chess Champion Jonathan Hawkins present the trophies to Haberdashers’ Askes’, whose captain was British U18 Champion Ravi Haria.

Read on — ECF Secondary School Rapidplay Chess Tournament

Independent Constitutional and Governance Review Commission

The ECF Board appointed Gareth Pearce, former chairman of Smith & Williamson, to chair an independent working party to review the ECF’s Articles of Association and other aspects of ECF governance.  The Board agreed to appoint other members of the Constitutional Review Commission whom Mr Pearce nominates, in addition to Roger Emerson, former partner of Coopers & Lybrand, whom the Board appointed to assist.  The Sport and Recreation Alliance, which serves governing bodies of sport and recreation in Great Britain, agreed to assist Mr Pearce recruit one or more working party members with the relevant experience in other national governing bodies.

See the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s article here | Your comments are welcome on the ECF Forum here
The ECF Council will be invited to note and comment at the upcoming AGM.

Constitutional Review Commission Terms of Reference – PDF

RIP Heinz Herschmann

Sadly Heinz Herschmann passed away on September 9th, of natural causes in his home, aged 90. He was a keen player and had been a member of the Chess Federation for a long time. He used to attend many chess tournaments across the UK …

- Matthew Herschmann (Heinz’ son)

Yang-Fan Zhou at Sunny Beach

Yang-FanCongratulations to Yang-Fan Zhou who finished equal first in the Sunny Beach Open in Bulgaria held from 6th-14th September 2014. His round 9 game was especially entertaining –
Final standings –