The 2005 Annual General Meeting of the Irish Chess Union was held in The Teachers Club, Parnell Square, Dublin 1, on Sunday 4th September, 2005 at 3pm.
- Chairmans address
- Minutes of previous meeting
- Matters arising
- Secretarys report
- Treasurers report
- Reports of other officers
- Election of Executive Committee
- Motions proposed
- Appointment of auditor
- Other business
Committee members present were Eamonn Pitts (Chairman), Shannon Clements (Secretary), Gerry OConnell (Treasurer), Pat Fitzsimons (Leinster Delegate), Marion Vaughan (Munster Delegate), Vincent Bissett (Ratings Officer), James Osborne (Membership Officer), Johanna Lowry-OReilly (Junior Officer), John Healy and Kevin Burke (ICJ Editors). Apologies from Shirley Flynn (Vice-Chairperson), Ronan Duke (Connacht Delegate)
A total of 32 ordinary members attended: Ron Cummins, Alan MacDonagh, John Alfred, John Crowley, Jack Killane, , Martin Crichton, Colm Daly, Nicola Benson, William Brennan, John Maher, James Vaughan, Brian Thorpe, Paul Kiely, Mark Heidenfeld, Eamon Keogh, Ronan Sweeney, Michael Hanly, Mark McGovern, Killian Delaney, Robert Stuart, Rory Delaney, Ben Quigley, John Quigley, Stephen Moran, Peter C. Jackson, Peter Scott, Brian Grzymek, Bernadette Stokes, Gerard MacElligott, Gearoidin UiLaighleis, and Joe Ryan. One signature could not be read.
There were 3 attendees not eligible to vote.
Eamonn Pitts welcomed the members to the AGM, and read his report.
The tournament highlight of the year was the inaugural European Union Chess Championships held in Cork, which included 13 GMs and 20 IMs. Thanks were given to Michael Burniston and his team for organising the event. At the 2004 Olympiad in Spain the mens team finished 43rd winning the grading prize in there group, and the womans team finished 80th. Outstanding performances by Sam Collins and Hannah Lowry-OReilly earned them titles of IM and WFM, Hannahs being the first for an Irish woman. In the European Championship held in Sweden the mens team finished in 32nd place, no womans team took part.
The organisational highlights were the introduction of the Grand Prix event for Senior, Intermediate and Junior levels; the development of a new website, for which IM Mark Orr was thanked; and the return of the Irish Chess Journal, thanks going to editors John Healy and Kevin Burke.
Low points of the year were the withdrawal of the Ulster Chess Union from ICU affiliation and the poor performance of the Junior Committee.
The difficulties between the ICU and FM Colm Daly were briefly summarised and the reasons behind the decision of the Chairman to temporarily lift he ban on Mr Daly prior to the Irish Championships. Subsequently the ban was fully lifted by the Executive Committee on the 7th August.
The targets of the 5 year plan for chess, introduced two years ago were outlined with the current achievements noted.
Thanks and appreciation were given by the Chairman to Vincent Bissett and Shannon Clements, both standing down from the Committee, as well as to the overall time and effort given by the Committee.
Following the report criticisms of the Chairman's actions in relation to Colm Daly were voiced both on the grounds that the action taken was not sufficiently urgent to justify a decision outside a committee meeting and because the action taken led to a loss of sponsorship. The Chairman responded to these criticisms and stated that he had acted in what in his view was in the best interests of Irish chess. Other comments were broadly supportive of the Chairman's actions.
Minutes of previous AGM
The minutes of the 2004 AGM had been posted on the ICU website for the last few weeks and the Chairman asked if they could be taken as read by the members present. It was proposed to do this by Gerard MacElligott and seconded by Jack Killane.
Colm Daly asked that for the record he had not resigned from the ICU; that the reference to him being a USCF member was misleading in the context of the minutes, and that he had at no time co-operated with the disciplinary Sub-Committee.
Shannon Clements read the Secretarys report. During the last year the Committee had met six times on 17th October 2004, 5th December 2004, 23rd January 2005, 10th April 2005, 19th June 2005 and 7th August 2005.
The Executive Committee were Eamonn Pitts (Chairman), Shirley Flynn (Vice Chairperson), Shannon Clements (Secretary), Gerry OConnell (Treasurer), Johanna Lowry-OReilly (Junior Officer), Marion Vaughan (Munster Delegate), Pat Fitzsimons (Leinster Delegate), and Ronan Duke (Connacht Delegate).
The Operations Sub-Committee assisting the Executive were Vincent Bissett (Rating Officer), James Osborne (Membership Officer), Michael Crowe (Development Officer), Pat McCarrick (Public Relations Officer), Herbert Scarry (Arbitration Officer) and John Healy and Kevin Burke (Irish Chess Journal Editors). The position of Tournament Director remained vacant for the term of the committee.
The main international and national representative tournaments were summarised, including the Irish Championships, the Senior section being won by FM Colm Daly. Killian Delaney won the Intermediate and Colin Menzies the Junior. The National Club Championship was won by Phibsboro with Ennis coming second. Both teams would be playing in the European Club Cup in Italy. The Grand Prix sections were won by GM Alexander Baburin (Senior), Paul Kiely (Intermediate) and Kenny McIntyre (Junior). Thanks were given to GM Joel Benjamin for his help during the Olympiad and to Michael Burniston for the success of the Cork events. The importance of having a Tournament Director was stressed.
During the year, three players earned FIDE titles, Sam Collins (International Master) and Hannah Lowry-OReilly (Womans Fide Master) at the Olympiad, and Alex Lopez (Fide Master) at Cork. Gerry Graham also achieved FIDE Arbiter and International Arbiter norms at Cork.
The very successful development of the new ICU website, located at www.icu.ie was noted, and special thanks were given to IM Mark Orr for his great work as the webmaster in setting up and continuing the development of the many features on the site. Thanks were also given to the fellow site editors David McAlister, Vincent Bissett and Gerry Graham.
Thanks were given to the ICJ Editors Kevin Burke and John Healy, and it was hoped that printing and postage costs in the future would be reduced by using e-mail and the website for distribution.
This year the Senior Player of the Year was awarded to Gerard MacElligott.
Michael Crowe and John Alfred were thanked for their contributions to Junior Chess through their school leagues programme. John Alfred would be also introducing a rapidplay ratings system.
At the June AGM of the Ulster Chess Union, their members decided to leave the ICU and plan on seeking international recognition with FIDE and the European Chess Union as the National Chess Federation for Northern Ireland.
Regarding disciplinary action, as a result of inappropriate behaviour by IM David Howell at the Cork event, the ICU Committee banned him from any ICU run events, and will be recommending a ban on him by other tournament controllers, until the end of 2007.
The ban that had been imposed on FM Colm Daly was lifted in August, 2005.
Condolences were offered to families and friends of players that had passed away since last year, including Committee Members Ronan Duke and Herbert Scarry on the loss of their fathers.
Final thanks were given to all the members of the Committee for their work over the last year.
There was a brief discussion on the disciplinary procedures regard IM David Howell.
Gerry OConnell presented the accounts for the year (1st May 2004 to 30th April 2005) to the meeting. The income and expenditure account for the period from showed that we had an income of 18,294 and expenditure of 20,587 giving a loss of 2,293 (compared to a profit of 4,693 in the preceding period). The closing bank balance was 14,105. It was noted that funds were very low, as there were various outlays since the 30th April including the Grand Prix prizes and the Irish Championships. There would also be a provision for forthcoming events including the European Team Championships and Olympiad.
Comments were answered, and acceptance of the report was proposed by Pat Fitzsimons, and seconded by John Quigley.
Prizes for the Grand Prix were given as well as the Senior Player of the Year.
Reports of other officers
Most of the reports of the other officers had been posted on the website, and these were summarised by the officers.
Ratings Officer Vincent Bissett: There had been 3 ratings lists published during the year, corresponding to the start of the leagues, start of the year and the end of the leagues. The lists were available of the ICU and TICA websites, as well as in the ICJ. Thanks were given to everyone for the assistance in submitting tournament reports for rating.
Membership James Osborne: The total membership for the year was 906. A breakdown by category and province was given. The only category to increase from last year was the U-12s group. There was still a problem with non-paid up players being allowed to play in tournaments. Thanks were given to Vincent Bissett for his assistance.
Junior Officer Johanna Lowry OReilly: Congratulations were given to Alex Lopez on receiving an IM title at Cork. Robert Whites rapid improvement was also noted. The international matches against Wales and Sussex were mentioned. Thanks were given to Brian Thorpe.
Irish Chess Journal Editors Report John Healy and Kevin Burke: There had been 2 issues sent out during the year and the same were planned for next year. Thanks were given to all the contributors, and comments to were welcomed.
Election of Executive Committee
Eamon Keogh noted that that under 7.1d of the Constitution that written notice of an intension to stand for election needed to be received by the Secretary 7 days prior to the AGM. The Executive members that were re-standing had verbally indicated their intension at the last Committee meeting which was minuted, however this was not accepted.
There had therefore only being two valid nominations, John Alfred for Secretary and Rory Delaney for Junior Officer. John Alfred was seconded by Johanna Lowry-OReilly and Rory Delaney by Gerard MacElligott. Both candidates were accepted and elected to the respective positions. Nominations for the remaining positions were taken from the floor.
John Healy proposed Eamonn Pitts for Chairman, and was seconded by Gerard MacElligott. Eamon Keogh proposed Johanna Lowry-OReilly and was seconded by John Alfred. Johanna Lowry-OReilly declined the position, and Eamonn Pitts was elected, stating that he would not seek a further term.
Gerry McElligott proposed Shirley Flynn for Vice-Chairperson, and was seconded by Marion Vaughan. John Alfred proposed Johanna Lowry-OReilly, and was seconded by James Osborne. A ballot was held for the two candidates with Shirley Flynn receiving 28 votes to Johanna Lowry-OReillys 5.
Pat Fitzsimons proposed Gerry OConnell for Treasurer, and was seconded by Darren McCabe. There were no other nominations.
Vincent Bissett proposed John Shearan for Ratings Officer, and was seconded by Pat Fitzsimons. There were no other nominations.
Michael Crichton proposed Colm Daly for Membership Officer, and was seconded by Johanna Lowry-OReilly. There were no other nominations.
Johanna Lowry OReilly proposed John Healy and Kevin Burke as Irish Chess Journal Editors, and was seconded by Pat Fitzsimons. There were no other nominations.
Johanna Lowry OReilly proposed Herbert Scarry as Arbitration Officer, and was seconded by Gerry OConnell. There were no other nominations.
There were no nominations for Public Relations Officer, Tournament Director or Development Officer.
The new Committee members were therefore Eamonn Pitts (Chairman), Shirley Flynn (Vice-Chairperson), John Alfred (Secretary), Gerry OConnell (Treasurer), Rory Delaney (Junior Officer), John Shearan (Ratings Officer), Colm Daly (Membership Officer), John Healy & Kevin Burke (ICJ Editors), and Herbert Scarry (Arbitration Officer). Connacht had previously informed the Committee that Ron Cummins would be their delegate.
The following motions have been received:
- That the ICU shall aim to maintain one official web page with a chronological list of tournaments for the coming year, including the dates of those tournaments and basic details (e.g. venue, start time, time control, rating bands) and a contact name/link for further details. (Justin Daly) - The meeting decided that as the proposer was not present the motion could not be considered.
- That the ICU shall insist that tournament details be forwarded from organisers as soon as possible for inclusion on the web site, especially dates or provisional dates, with the aim that the full tournament calendar including leagues be available in September for the coming season. (Justin Daly) - The meeting decided that as the proposer was not present the motion could not be considered.
- An ICU registered player who does not play a rated game for 5 or more years and then returns to active play, should be given a rating 25% lower than his/her original rating. (Michael Germaine) - The meeting decided that as the proposer was not present the motion could not be considered.
- That 2 places on the mens Olympiad team are reserved for the top 2 places in future Irish Senior Championships. (Martin Crichton) - The motion was seconded by John Healy. Martin Crichton spoke on his motion, and there were various comments for and against it. There were 15 votes for and 14 against, and it was therefore passed.
- That a new Irish Junior Chess Association should be formed, affiliated to the ICU but with autonomy necessary to drive forward Junior Chess in Ireland; the fees from junior members going to the Association. (Michael Hanly) - Following the earlier EGM to change the Constitution this motion could not be taken.
- "That ratings be the sole criteria for selection for the World and European Youth Championships." (Niall Murphy) - The meeting decided that as the proposer was not present the motion could not be considered.
- "That each selection be individually approved by the Executive Committee." (Niall Murphy) - The meeting decided that as the proposer was not present the motion could not be considered.
- "That the Executive puts an appeals mechanism in place for selections." (Niall Murphy) - The meeting decided that as the proposer was not present the motion could not be considered.
Appointment of Auditor
It was recommended by the Executive that Fred Armstrong remain as auditor. This was proposed by Eamonn Pitts and seconded by Peter Scott. There were no other nominations.
There was no other business, and the Chairman thanked the members for attending and closed the meeting.
The above minutes can be downloaded as a word document for printing.