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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:04 pm 
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Into the fray. I've been monitoring the commentariat and I'm happy to answer all questions myself, no holds barred. I expect to be held to what I say here; so should you.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:16 pm 
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That's a surprise!! Welcome to the Forum. Were you contented or disappointed with the part Agon played in the London Candidates?

(I regarded the event as a great success and attended more than once but was disappointed by the lack of attendance by the chess public of England in general and London in particular.)

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Last edited by John McKenna on Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:18 pm 
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Location: Evesham
I am expecting a certain level of politeness here!

Direct questions however...

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Carl Hibbard


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:25 pm 
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While Mr. Paulson thinks about that I would also like to ask if he has read Martin Regan's email of 2008 -

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=5870

and if he thinks he can succeed where Martin and his team tried hard to change the ECF but eventually had to admit defeat?

(I must go now but will come back later when I get home.)

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To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:40 pm 
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You're brave, I'll give you that!

Do you agree with Nigel Short that it is important to oppose Kirsan as President of FIDE in 2014, and if so, who do you think should replace him?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:43 pm 
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Location: Harrogate
I have a couple of questions;

Choosing my words carefully some members of council may choose to stick with Roger Edwards as the safer option. If that proves Council's choice would you still be willing to work with the ECF where necessary - it might be a prelude to a successful run at a later date?

One of the reasons CJ de Mooi's presidency failed was his attitude to volunteers and grassroots players - leaving aside the T shirt incident there was a feeling that he and Mr Keene had not been particularly respectful to the volunteer team during the event. There is generally a divide in this country between the professionals and the grassroots. How will you avoid the mistakes of the past and bridge this gap?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:44 pm 
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Location: Horsham, Sussex
Hello Andrew,

A couple of questions arising from your election address:

1) Why is the relationship with FIDE so important? My perception (which could be wrong) is that most of the membership of the ECF is very little interested in FIDE - so why should international issues be a priority over, let's say, sorting out the Yorkshire issue (I don't disagree with the idea of engagement as such - just the prioritisation)? How would you persuade the membership of this?

1a) as a sub-point, I didn't really understand the Africa / India bit - could you explain a little more?

2) Could you expand on what you mean by a "new business model" and how the ECF as a governing body might inter-act with commercial interests, other tournament organisers etc.. what would be your first steps here?

Thanks.

PS - I was joking about Yorkshire - that's an insoluble question. :roll:


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:47 pm 
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Prior to your campaign for President, where and when have you ever expressed any interest at all in English domestic chess?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 11:23 pm
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Can we just check that there are some basic ID checks in place, so Carl can confirm we are dealing with the man himself, not some wind-up merchant who has just registered an account?

Thanks,

Paul


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:20 pm 
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John McKenna wrote:
That's a surprise!! Welcome to the Forum. Were you contented or dissappointed with the part Agon played in the London Candidates?

(I regarded the event as a great success and attended more than once but was disappointed by the lack of attendance by the chess public of England in general and London in particular.)


As is usually the case, there were things that I was happy with (even proud of) and things that could have been much better (that I was indeed embarrassed by). And, as usually is the case, I can probably provide an even more damning criticism of the event's shortcomings (from an insider’s point of view) than outsiders could. Of course, complementarily, there are other elements of the event that can better be criticised by those who have been living and breathing top level chess events all their lives.

First, the great drama, the great success of an event is due to the players. At the same time, a great event is not just due to greatness in individual games, but also the chance of the sequence and the thread of the narrative and occasionally the character of the games. In this case, the drama hinged on Ivanchuk, as Malvolio and Sir Toby Belch are the hinge characters in Twelfth Night, not the various lovers. Here, I simply set the stage and great actors strode and stumbled across it. Chance was with me.

I was relatively satisfied by the size and quality of the audience. Their visible excitement in the playing hall and in the commentary room has been reported as being unmatched in modern memory. There could have been more people, more young people, more women, more racial diversity. But, we are just beginning to try for this; despite protestations to the contrary, such chess events are generally designed to attract only the most sturdy and committed fans. And, sadly, we fell very short in promoting the event in advance which would have resulted I am sure in our being sold out from day one.

The 2013 London Candidates was the first sporting event of any kind in history (I am told) where the audience was provided with ‘second screens’ upon which they could experience the live event augmented by an immersive digital experience. Of course, the version one that we presented was primitive and creaky (we had little more than 8 weeks to code it), but it presented real innovations and promise of much more. Above all, it was a ‘proof of concept’ which we are now going to be developing further. But there were moments when the moves weren’t registering in real time that made me want to crawl under a table.

We introduced a new standard chess set which was accepted by all the players as a modern interpretation of the Staunton design system. An online version, the digital icons, were beautiful but not at all practical (red being difficult to make out on low resolution screens and the queen and the rook being quite difficult to differentiate!) and came in for significant criticism. They are being improved.

The quality of the commentary from Nigel Short, Malcolm Pein, Lawrence Trent and Robert Fontaine, with lots of audience participation especially from Jon Speelman was constantly entertaining and generated the all-time record online audience for a chess event. The overall design, choice of venue, graphical design, Closing Ceremony at No 11 Downing Street … these were all designed to ennoble the event. And they succeeded in contributing the the largest amount of mainstream media chess coverage in the UK since 1993 and 1972.

There were problems of organization and communication which led to uncertainty and confusion. The budget had to be cut due to underperformance in meeting sponsorship targets: many things we had planned we simply couldn’t do as we didn’t have the money. But, as my first major chess event in the public eye, I could at least let out a sigh of relief when it was all over and climb out from under the table.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:32 pm 
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Jonathan Rogers wrote:
You're brave, I'll give you that!

Do you agree with Nigel Short that it is important to oppose Kirsan as President of FIDE in 2014, and if so, who do you think should replace him?


Nigel Short is not the only person who feels this way. There are many things that Kirsan can be criticised for (and thanked for); he has had a long rein. It is probably time for him to go. I think that term limits are very important in any organisation or government. This is a principle that transcends ideology. But, I don't at the moment see an alternative. Just because Kasparov (who presumably will be standing against Ilyumzhinov) was a great chess player doesn't mean that he should run FIDE (Bobby Fischer for President?); there are those who thrive in opposition but shrivel in government. Kasparov is a divider rather than a leader; he is a bully not a personage. Therefore, I am in a quandary. I don't have an answer to the second party of your question.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:34 pm 
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John McKenna wrote:
While Mr. Paulson thinks about that I would also like to ask if he has read Martin Regan's email of 2008 -

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=5870

and if he thinks he can succeed where Martin and his team tried hard to change the ECF but eventually had to admit defeat?

(I must go now but will come back later when I get home.)


This question is too difficult.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:36 pm 
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Andrew Zigmond wrote:
I have a couple of questions;

Choosing my words carefully some members of council may choose to stick with Roger Edwards as the safer option. If that proves Council's choice would you still be willing to work with the ECF where necessary - it might be a prelude to a successful run at a later date?

One of the reasons CJ de Mooi's presidency failed was his attitude to volunteers and grassroots players - leaving aside the T shirt incident there was a feeling that he and Mr Keene had not been particularly respectful to the volunteer team during the event. There is generally a divide in this country between the professionals and the grassroots. How will you avoid the mistakes of the past and bridge this gap?


I have met several times with Roger Edwards. He has my full support if he is elected. And, I have asked him to continue working with me if I am elected. I think that the choice is stark: both of us provide clear strengths and weaknesses. Up to the ECF (sort of) to choose.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:44 pm 
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Andrew Paulson wrote:
Jonathan Rogers wrote:
You're brave, I'll give you that!

Do you agree with Nigel Short that it is important to oppose Kirsan as President of FIDE in 2014, and if so, who do you think should replace him?


Nigel Short is not the only person who feels this way. There are many things that Kirsan can be criticised for (and thanked for); he has had a long rein. It is probably time for him to go. I think that term limits are very important in any organisation or government. This is a principle that transcends ideology. But, I don't at the moment see an alternative. Just because Kasparov (who presumably will be standing against Ilyumzhinov) was a great chess player doesn't mean that he should run FIDE (Bobby Fischer for President?); there are those who thrive in opposition but shrivel in government. Kasparov is a divider rather than a leader; he is a bully not a personage. Therefore, I am in a quandary. I don't have an answer to the second party of your question.


"So it is probably time for him to go" but you "don't at the moment see an alternative". Hmmmm.

Clearly you differ from Nigel on Kasparov's candidacy; does this also mean that you might campaign for a Kirsan re-election in 2014? How would you reply to those who might bluntly say "well of course he will support Kirsan - if it were not for Kirsan's personal blessing, the chess world would never have heard of AGON?"


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:46 pm 
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Andrew Zigmond wrote:
I have a couple of questions;

One of the reasons CJ de Mooi's presidency failed was his attitude to volunteers and grassroots players - leaving aside the T shirt incident there was a feeling that he and Mr Keene had not been particularly respectful to the volunteer team during the event. There is generally a divide in this country between the professionals and the grassroots. How will you avoid the mistakes of the past and bridge this gap?


As brilliant and knowledgeable as is Ray Keene, as interesting and witty as may be CJ de Mooi, the ECF must have been under the collective influence of LSD to allow that situation to come to pass. The ECF is not just made up of a diverse class and geographical constituency, but also a diverse constituency of chess interests and passions. They must all be tended to, none to the exclusion of another. Getting the balance right requires wisdom and judgement (and perhaps some rules) ... not brilliance and wit.


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