ECF loses case

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby Roger de Coverly » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:18 pm

John McKenna wrote:Don't lose sight of the fact that ECF is a company limited by *guarantee* and despite the word Federation in its title, it's clearly not a grassroots democratic organisation.


Being limited by guarantee means there are no shareholders. So there are no owners in the sense of members of a Company limited by shares. This means there isn't directly a body who have oversight of the directors other than one defined by the Articles of Association of the Company. In the case of the ECF, that body is the Council, made up of representatives of bodies, whether incorporated or otherwise who have joined the ECF. These bodies are required to have someone sign the white form on their behalf to become voting guarantors. Representatives of individuals do have minimal voting rights, around 5% of the total. otherwise voting rights are determined broadly by the amount of chess organised. Other Companies limited by guarantee would have a different structure. They are numerous, in the public sector as well. For example Network Rail and the Financial Services Authority.

The ECF Council has been given the power to elect directors and the approval of the annual accounts. It was pointed out that Company law requires at the very least, legal action to be disclosed to the Auditors, in order that a decision not to mention it in the accounts can be validated. That, to me, anyway, implies that Council does have a "right to know" about legal action taken in the name of the ECF, as collectively, it is responsible by signing off the Accounts.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby Roger de Coverly » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:34 pm

Matthew Turner wrote:However, the primary purpose of this court case is to restrict funds for chess in developing nations. Didn't anybody realise that this should be contrary to the raison d'etre for any chess organisation?


The current FIDE President and his associates retain their position by being in a position to offer inducements in exchange for support from smaller Federations, their Presidents and Delegates. Also it's never totally clear where the President's expenditure ends and FIDE's begins. So an attack on the President's ability to induce becomes an attack on FIDE's funding.

A couple of thoughts on the VP issue and the Statutes

It has been something of a modus operandi that the President attempts to bring a defeated candidate into the FIDE team in some manner. This could be regarded either as a reconciliation or an attempt to divert future challenge. The same with Karpov, where the announcement of VPs was delayed in order to offer one to Karpov.#

On the draft Statutes or the White & Case paper about them, it is suggested that a candidate for office needs to have been a member of a federation for at least a year. Given that a number of Federations don't have individual membership schemes and are not being required to introduce them, should the point be made that member in this context needs a broad meaning which would need to be interpreted in the national context of competition eligibility and financing?

David Sedgwick
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby David Sedgwick » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:38 pm


John McKenna
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby John McKenna » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:50 pm

Thanks to Roger for taking time out to explain and give the details above.
It will be ironic if - as intended - the 'no cost' legal activities related to the ECF's flag-of-convenience action against FIDE never appear in the ECF accounts (perhaps making it more of a formality as to whether to inform the auditors or not) and yet those monies relating to sponsorship for the British Ch. in 2011 went through, despite the way in which they were utilised. Now you see it (the money) now you don't.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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Peter D Williams
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby Peter D Williams » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:52 pm

Angus McDonald wrote:You can go round the country and see the same thing.

Certainly in England and Scotland. I havn't been to events in Ireland and Wales yet.

but you'll see the same thing. Parents sitting in a corner somewhere waiting patiently while their youngsters are trying their best to do well at the board. We bring them into Chess believing they have talent and hoping that they will fulfill their potential. We believe Chess is good for them and want them to do well in a fair competition. Along the way we all make mistakes, be it organisers, players, parents and children but we all want Chess and our children to succeed.

We know that at events parents are meant to be seen but not heard. We should know we spend scores of hours doing it.

At least allow us to have some say on a Chess forum

Remember, we want Chess to be successful because we believe our children are talented at it!!


I agree Angus and your right parents are meant to be seen but not heard well that is what some chess organisers would like.
Well done to Ian in his last chess event Peter and i where watching him move up the boards.
when you are successful many losers bark at you.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:06 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:Yazici is back:

http://www.fide.com/component/content/a ... ident.html

and he's up to his usual tricks again:

http://www.europechess.net/index.php?op ... d=2:slides


<sigh> I have no reason to doubt whether the original offer to resign was genuine or not, but it does make you wonder. I notice that Chessbase don't seem to have reported on the original offer of resignation. Maybe they realised it might not be accepted.

Andrew Farthing
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby Andrew Farthing » Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:21 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:Yazici is back:

http://www.fide.com/component/content/a ... ident.html

and he's up to his usual tricks again:

http://www.europechess.net/index.php?op ... d=2:slides

The irony of the Turkish Chess Federation's decision to appeal the decision in the action they took out in CAS against the European Chess Union, given Ali Yazici's "principled" stand against those who took legal action against FIDE when he declined the arbiter nominations is striking. One almost has to admire the man's nerve.

Angus McDonald
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby Angus McDonald » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:34 pm

I agree Angus and your right parents are meant to be seen but not heard well that is what some chess organisers would like.
Well done to Ian in his last chess event Peter and i where watching him move up the boards.


Ditto, Peter,

Love seeing how well Peter Junior is doing!

Also other juniors. Even Matthew G who mugged Ian cutely with some good endgame play at Gatwick. :-)

Meanwhile imagine what some of the money spent on the court case put behind some of England's top juniors might bring as a return to Chess in the future. Sorry! Couldnt' resist :-)

Matthew Turner
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby Matthew Turner » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:43 pm

The Turkish Chess Federation is taking the ECU to Court on an issue that directly affects the TCF and Turkish chess players. The primary purpose of this action is to allow the TCF to organise high levels events in Turkey.
The ECF has taken legal action against FIDE on an issue which doesn't remotely affect the ECF or English chess players. The primary purpose of this action is to limit the funds for chess in developing nations.
You have to admire the nerve of Andrew Farthing in trying to compare the two cases.

David Sedgwick
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby David Sedgwick » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:34 pm

Matthew Turner wrote:The Turkish Chess Federation is taking the ECU to Court on an issue that directly affects the TCF and Turkish chess players. The primary purpose of this action is to allow the TCF to organise high levels events in Turkey.
The ECF has taken legal action against FIDE on an issue which doesn't remotely affect the ECF or English chess players. The primary purpose of this action is to limit the funds for chess in developing nations.
You have to admire the nerve of Andrew Farthing in trying to compare the two cases.

The ECU Board set a reasonable deadline for applications to host the events in question. The Turkish Chess Federation's bids were out of time. So the ECU Board accepted perfectly suitable bids from elsewhere.

It's very disruptive and demoralising for chess organisers if their decisions are constantly subject to legal challenge. However, people have the right to go to the CAS if they wish. What they don't have the right to do, in my opinion, is victimise individuals from the Federations which take such action.

It's not only arbiters who are suffering from Yazici's approach to "high level events in Turkey". At a previous event, conditions were such that Jovanka Houska was one of a number of players who signed a letter or protest.

For her temerity, she has been banned from the Turkish League competition currently in progress.

Martin Regan

Re: ECF loses case

Postby Martin Regan » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:14 pm

J Rogers wrote:

I can hardly credit that a former CEO thinks there was no need to tell members about a high profile legal action taken in their name (but funded by another as a political tactic) and that members signed up to this when their (largely unaccountable) delegates very narrowly voted in Nigel Short as FIDE Delegate!


I could take you to task about the phrase high-profile - in fact it had no profile at all which is what you are complaining about - but in fact I agree with the thrust of what you write.

I am completely against the structure of the ECF as it stands, but I am also against creating an imagined structure and then seeking behavior patterns that fit within it. The board did not need to inform Council, that is the structure we now have. Until you change that structure you can hardly blame volunteers for working within it.

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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby JustinHorton » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:18 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:The ECF Council has been given the power to elect directors and the approval of the annual accounts. It was pointed out that Company law requires at the very least, legal action to be disclosed to the Auditors, in order that a decision not to mention it in the accounts can be validated. That, to me, anyway, implies that Council does have a "right to know" about legal action taken in the name of the ECF, as collectively, it is responsible by signing off the Accounts.


It is also sensible that Council should be told, since that way people would not get the impression that things that matter have been kept from them. It's not necessarily a legalistic question. It's a good practice question.
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Paul Cooksey

Re: ECF loses case

Postby Paul Cooksey » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:15 am

I agree with Justin on this point, although I can see why Martin found it necessary to talk about the letter of the law rather than what would be best practice.

I see the letter of the law as relevant if we are talking about a crisis, and whether people should resign. Best practice is relevant when we are discussing if a good job has been done, and whether people should be re-elected. Discussing best practice might even give us the opportunity to have a constructive discussion on what the ECF could do better.

We rarely have a constructive discussion about the ECF on this forum though. This is the reason I was critical of Krishna’s posts. In taking a routine matter out of proportion, and making personal criticisms of the people’s integrity and motives, we lose the possibility of any reasonable debate on ECF policy.

I have to criticise Peter too. I doubt anyone is trying to shout Krishna down because she is a woman. I am certainly not. Nor do I want to prevent parents having their say. Really, both allegations are profoundly insulting to a person who cares about chess. I am disagreeing with Krishna because I think she is wrong on this issue.

I don’t really accept that this is an issue on which everyone can simply have their say, without thinking of the consequences. One of the major issues facing the ECF is the constant criticism of the board. Occasional criticism when mistakes are made is fine. But suggesting everyone is incompetent, a liar, or both, is foolish. Having to deal with this toxic atmosphere has cost us a talented CEO.

Finishing on a glib note, maybe we get the communication we deserve. If we treated the ECF board with some respect, maybe they would feel able to come out of their bunker and reciprocate.


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