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Nejca annual General Meeting Ferryhill Community Centre 17th June 2014


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NEJCA Annual General Meeting

Ferryhill Community Centre

17th June 2014
Present: Gerald Lobley, Arlene Grant, Keith Eagles, Mahir Abdullayev, Nihad Abdulla, Eugenio Gheorghe, Graeme Greig, Lala Gandilova


Agenda item:


  1. Apologies: David Leslie, Duncan Lyall, Richard Jennings.



  1. Minutes of 2013 AGM: Accepted unanimously by those present.




  1. President’s Report Season 2013-14.

Last year I mentioned that we were probably at our limit and should not increase our number of tournaments. This was a promise broken in December when we were offered the opportunity to host the Scottish Girls Championship. This was an invitation that was impossible to refuse for several reasons and we took advantage of the offer from Lathallan School to use that venue for the event. With some very favourable weather, plus a couple of anonymous donations and input from a couple of local strong female players who acted as coaches the whole event went well with 26 entries. Beyond that we ran our usual 7 individual events, plus the Primary team tournament and supported the North MegaFinal organised by Paula Eagles. So 10 competitions all told. In addition there was a training day organised by Adam Bremner in August. This increased activity coincided with reduced availability of some helpers and probably over-strained our resources. Some reduction is necessary this coming season and perhaps looking to end either at the end of April or very beginning of May.

Junior attendances ranged from 23 at Inverness to 62 at the Keith Hoban, but our numbers were down to 6 teams for the Evening Express Trophy. The overall average per event was 38, this slightly up from the 35 last year, with an average of 6 girls per event. We need to encourage more of the fairer sex to take up chess! As last year a large proportion of our entrants come from Albyn School. The hoped for resurgence along Deeside did not materialise but there may have been communication problems. The Secondary events also gained numbers and it was good to see a return of players from Lathallan, retention of entrants from Albyn as they progressed from Primary plus new ones from Torry. There is also the possibility of more coming from Robert Gordon's College.

The Keith Hoban tournament attracted 5 junior internationalists and remains our flagship event. The Albyn Trophy events were also well supported. Inverness remains 'fragile' and will probably need nurturing.

Several individuals achieved notable success this year, Euan Gray collected the Scottish Young Player of the Year award while Callum Smith was chosen as a relay baton holder for the Commonwealth Games because of his contribution to chess. In the CFK Finals North Juniors gained runners-up places in all 3 events, Tariq Pasha, Johnathan McKay and Pranav Maganti. Well done to all of them. It is also worth noting that the Bon Accord team that won the Richardson Cup this year contained 4 players who had been through the NEJCA tournament system.

Arlene will discuss our finances shortly but we did decide to run the Scottish Girls at a loss, as this represented a way to increase our profile within the Scottish Junior chess scene. Accompanying this was our affiliation to the parent body - Chess Scotland. This was negotiated as a cost-neutral exercise but entitled us to a vote on the Chess Scotland Council and the Home Junior Board. The later includes representatives from all interested junior organisations in Scotland and has had one Skype meeting so far. These various activities accompanied by the success of our youngsters has certainly helped raise our profile.

Finally I would like to thank all of you for the various contributions during the past season. Some of you provide major support while other, for various reasons, others have a more limited input but all these help, I can assure you. Several members took on new tasks so we have more potential arbiters and a couple of mothers tried their hand at performing the round draws. Other members have preferred to take on the coaching role. This is a good start but we need to extent this further so that all skills are covered should absences occur. Overall though we have had a good season, appreciated within the region but also no respected across Scotland. You can all feel proud of your various inputs and I wish to thank you one and all.





  1. Treasurer’s Report: Arlene Grant presented the audited accounts for the year ended 31st March 2014.

2013-14 has been another financially excellent year for the Association, resulting in a surplus of £865.47 and a closing bank position of £4,374.64.

Sponsorship and donations have played a major part in the success this year, generating an income of £1,823.30. This figure is made up of corporate sponsorship, individual donations and profits from the teas and coffees at our various events. Our committee member with responsibility for fund-raising, Eugenio Gheorghe, has had fantastic success in persuading local companies to part with their cash and our thanks go to Dales Marine, Pirie and McCann, Seaward Marine, CDS Marine, Telemar and Hays Hydraulics for their generosity this season. Our individual benefactors wish to remain anonymous and we are most grateful to them for their support. Some contributions have been used for specific events e.g. providing the buffet lunch at the Scottish Girls’ Championships and others have been added to general funds.

Our entry fees for the season have covered the costs of the trophies, always a major source of expenditure. We have again benefitted from free venues, provided by Albyn School, Lathallan School and The Chieftain Hotel and our thanks go to them for allowing us to use their premises.

Other sources of expenditure have been new clocks, venue hire, grading fees and the affiliation fee for Chess Scotland. A donation of £50 was made to MacMillan nurses following the sad death of our committee member, Robert Rough, in September 2013.

We always tell participants and their parents that we provide the cheapest junior chess in Scotland. We had to increase our fees slightly at the end of last season and these currently stand at £4 for the first child, £2 for second and subsequent children and £12 for the teams event. By keeping fees low we can ensure that no child should be unable to participate for financial reasons.

Given the successful season we have had and the healthy balance at bank I now propose that entry fees for 2014-15 should remain unchanged.

Finally I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in securing sponsorship for NEJCA, in cash or kind. Thanks to your efforts the Association is in a strong position moving forward into 2014-15.


  1. Elections Of Office Bearers: There were no contested elections and the following positions were filled:

President – Gerald Lobley

Treasurer – Arlene Grant

The Committee thanked Sheila Emery for her many years of service as Match Secretary following her decision to step down from this role. As a past president Sheila was automatically re-elected to the Committee and agreed to continue as a committee member. GL proposed Paula Eagles as the new Match Secretary and this was accepted unanimously by those present. All other Committee members were re-elected; they are Keith Eagles, Martin Kelly, Eric Davidson, Graeme Greig, Laurie Tinto, Lisa MacLennan, Mahir Abdullayev, Nihad Abdullazada, Maryann McDonald, Sean Milton, Vasif Ramazanov. Three new Committee members were elected; Duncan Lyall, Richard Jennings and John Shovlin. [note added; during the 2014-15 season Steve Sawaryn was co-opted as a member of the Committee]



  1. Appointment of Auditor. AG proposed that Geoff Helme should continue to audit the Association’s accounts. This was accepted unanimously.




  1. Tournament Strategy 2014-15. The committee considered the tournament strategy for the new season. Agreed that we should run the Scottish Girls Championship on behalf of Chess Scotland for a second year. The timing of specific events was considered and it was agreed to drop the Chess for Kicks event, which had been held at the end of April during season 2013-14. Banchory Town Hall had very limited availability for 2014 so it was agreed to look at making an early booking for November 2015.



Specific Tournament Details with provisional dates:

  1. Deeside Banchory 27th or 28th September -GL to book

  2. Aberdeen Chess for Kicks - Mastrick – either Saturday 8th or 15th November – GL to confirm

  3. Albyn Championship – December 7th 2014.

  4. Stonehaven – January 31st CFK event with Junior/Adult allegro. GL to liaise with SE.

  5. Keith Hoban tournament, Aberdeen. Provisionally 28th Feb or 7th March. PE to confirm.

  6. Scottish Girls’ Championship- 14th or 15th March at Lathallan School.

  7. Inverness CFK and Allegro – Saturday 28th March. GL to confirm with LM

  8. EE Primary Teams, Saturday May 9th, Mastrick. GL to confirm

The UK Chess Challenge will be held on Sunday May 3rd at Albyn School.




  1. Training Strategy: SM unable to attend meeting and this item deferred until later Committee meeting.




  1. Registration for PVG Scheme: As part of our affiliation to Chess Scotland, CS as an intermediary body will carry out screening for people who perform a function for them. There are 3 categories; Controller, Coach or Chaperone. It was proposed and agreed that as many Committee members as wished should go through the PVG clearance process.




  1. Chess Scotland – Home Junior Board Feedback: At the last CS AGM a motion was proposed that moves should be made to bring junior organisations together. This motion was carried and a working party was set up. The junior home board was reformed and all junior organisations were invited. All bar one have accepted. The Board has made several recommendations:

  • Any organisation not affiliated to Chess Scotland must pay grading fees for its junior games.

  • Only affiliated organisations will have their full calendar of events published on Chess Scotland’s website.

Lothians were interested in organising inter-regional match, perhaps via electronic means.

At the moment there is no representative from the Highlands and Islands on the Junior Home Board and NEJCA has been asked to represent that area in addition to the north-east.


12. AOCB: There was a discussion about coaching of young chess hopefuls. NEJCA does not run any course for beginners upwards although various Committee members do volunteer work in schools or with individuals. GL would approach Bon Accord about expanding their junior coaching programme run by Eric Davidson and Richard Jennings.
Meeting closed at 9.15pm.


















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