ECF Awards 2017

The ECF Awards Committee has made the following choices for awards in 2017 —

President’s Awards for Services to Chess – Bryan Bainbridge (Bishop Auckland), Malcolm Pein (London), Steve Rumsby (Banbury)

Club of the Year – Halesowen Chess Club, West Midlands

Small Club of the Year – Maldon Chess Club, Essex

Congress of the Year – Calderdale Chess Congress, Yorkshire

Website of the Year – Downend and Fishponds Chess Club, Bristol [read the submission here]

Magazine of the Year – The Gazette – the magazine of the Braille Chess Association

Club of the Year Award
We had six nominations for this award though two were for purely junior clubs.  All were given serious consideration, though it was suggested to the two junior clubs that they might do better to apply through their unions for a BCET Schools Award. 
All the nominations were of a very high standard, but a clear Majority of the Committee came out in favour of Halesowen Chess Club.

Small Club of the Year Award
Three Small clubs were nominated.  The outstanding winners were Maldon Chess Club.  The awards committee were impressed that such a small club (only 10 regular members) was not merely able to field three teams in the North Essex League but also able to win it!

Congress of the Year Award
Only two congresses were nominated this year.  The Calderdale Congress wins the award this time.  Organiser, Noel Boustred, had discovered a niche market for a different sort of congress. He noticed that in most of the big congresses the strong Open Sections with big prizes are financed by the entry fees for the Minor Sections.  As well as Calderdale he runs annual tournaments at Whitby and Harrogate.  These events, run on a shoestring, don’t have Open sections and big prizes, but are cheap, cheerful events for players with maximum grade of 170 and with the modest minor players mainly in mind.  That he has been able to keep these congresses going for so many years shows that he is meeting a popular demand.

Website of the Year Award
There were four nominations here.  The website of Downend & Fishpond Chess Club in Bristol wins this time.  See appendix 2 for their encomium or better still visit their website.

President’s Award for Services to Chess
This award attracted eleven nominations this year and all were of a very high standard.  It was very difficult for the committee to reduce this number to the required 3 and it is hoped that the supporters of those that don’t get the award this time will propose them again in years to come.
The awards this year go to Bryan Bainbridge, Malcolm Pein and Steve Rumsby, who between them have given over 100 years of service to the chess community.
Bryan Bainbridge from Bishop Auckland is the current President of the NCCU and has represented County Durham on the ECF council.  He has served the DCCA in almost every office at one time or another over the past 50 years, in particular running the Durham County League and website for much of that time.
Malcolm Pein’s contribution to English Chess is well known.  He is CEO of Chess in Schools and Communities, has been largely involved in the organisation of the London Chess Classic and is currently the ECF’s Delegate to FIDE and International Director.  On top of all that he is also an IM, writes the ‘Daily Telegraph’ Chess Column, and edits Chess Magazine.  
Steve Rumsby wins his award for much the same reasons as Bryan’s above.  He has been Chairman of the Banbury Chess Club for the past 30 years always playing a full part in the club and captaining one of its teams.  He is both league fixtures secretary and webmaster for the Leamington Chess League and currently captains the successful Oxfordshire U150 side.

Magazine of the Year
This award was reinstated this year to accommodate a request that we give the award to the Braille Chess Association Gazette.  The magazine, a quarterly, for members of the BCA, is available in normal print, large print, Braille, as an e-mail attachment and in audio.  We are pleased to make this award.

— Paul Bielby, Chairman ECF Awards Committee