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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:22 pm 
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Something of a false debate, since i presume sponsorship from Rothmans would be illegal...


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:37 pm 
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Richard Bates wrote:
Something of a false debate, since i presume sponsorship from Rothmans would be illegal...


Of course, that should be our question! Could AP do a Bernie Ecclestone and lobby his friends in government to bring in an exception for chess? :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:32 pm 
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Dear Mr Paulson

I have been quickly reading both your presidency election address and the ECF rules handbook. But in comparing the two it came to me that the things that you want to do are more in line with the position of CEO rather than President.

What made you want to go for the post of president in the first place?

Also how would you:

"Acts as a focal point for the concerns of members and chess players generally; acts as an
ambassador for the ECF. Liaises with member organisations and sponsors." (ECF Rules handbook, 2013)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:45 pm 
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Many years ago the BCF decided not to consider accepting sponsorship from purveyors of tobacco products, not that any was ever offered, except for the first Gibraltar where I turned it down.
Cutty Sark, Benedictine and Joshua Tetley have sponsored English chess events. Some would be against that and one had to be careful about juniors.
Many of our sponsors were related to dealing with money. shares or insurance, such as Duncan Lawrie, Lloyds Bank, NatWest, Grieveson Grant which became Kleinwort Benson, Phillips & Drew, Legal & General, Foreign & Colonial, Smith & Williamson, Watson & Farley Williams, LV=.
But we have had Zetters Pools, London Dockland Development Corporation, Pilkington Glass, Aaronson Brothers, Leigh Industries, Terence Chapman, ICL, Evening Standard, Sunday Times, Times, Batsford, Cadogan, Praxis Systems.
It isn't supposed to be definitive. No doubt I have forgotten several. I haven't included support from councils. I haven't listed the 10 or so sub-sponsors of the GLC World Championship 1986, or the sub-sponsors of the Evening Standard congresses. I haven't mentioned the ill-fated sets and boards. But the list may help Andrew Poulson.
I am now in Riga by the way.


Last edited by Stewart Reuben on Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:16 pm 
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Stewart Reuben wrote:
Many of our sponsors were related to dealing with money. shares or insurance, such as Duncan Lawrie, Lloyds Bank, NatWest, Grieveson Grant which became Kleinwort Benson, Phillips & Drew, Smith & Williamson, Watson & Farley Williams, LV=.
But we have had Zetters Pools, London Dockland Development Corporation, Pilkington Glass, Aaronson Brothers, Leigh Industries, Terence Chapman, ICL, Evening Standard, Sunday Times, Times, Batsford, Cadogan, Praxis Systems.
...
But the list may help Andrew Poulson.

How many of these sponsors were doing it for purely commercial reasons and how many were doing it because someone in a position of influence in the organisation had an interest in chess? Andrew Paulson has stated that we should not now expect to get sponsors in the latter category.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:10 pm 
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Generally it has been a mix of reasons. Put me next to a potential sponsor and I had a potential success rate in obtaining sponsorship of about 50%. But how first could I get to speak to such a potential sponsor? A contact was needed and this generally came from within the chess community. I have no doubt Andrew P would have a higher success rate if he holds the title of President rather than Commercial Director (an awful title for this role). But CEO, as Matthew suggests, may actually be better than President for this particular purpose.
There is no doubt in my mind that some companies have made more money from sponsoring chess than they have spent. The most obvious example was Phillips & Drew.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:41 pm 
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Ian Thompson wrote:
Stewart Reuben wrote:
Many of our sponsors were related to dealing with money. shares or insurance, such as Duncan Lawrie, Lloyds Bank, NatWest, Grieveson Grant which became Kleinwort Benson, Phillips & Drew, Smith & Williamson, Watson & Farley Williams, LV=.
But we have had Zetters Pools, London Dockland Development Corporation, Pilkington Glass, Aaronson Brothers, Leigh Industries, Terence Chapman, ICL, Evening Standard, Sunday Times, Times, Batsford, Cadogan, Praxis Systems.
...
But the list may help Andrew Poulson.

How many of these sponsors were doing it for purely commercial reasons and how many were doing it because someone in a position of influence in the organisation had an interest in chess? Andrew Paulson has stated that we should not now expect to get sponsors in the latter category.


The answer for several of those listed is 'both'. As an example of which I have personal knowledge, Lloyds Bank backing coincided with chess problemist Sir Jeremy Morse becoming the bank's chairman, while the sponsorship manager had noted the high level of publicity for English junior successes, and young players were the the bank's target market. They were not disappointed, as for many years Lloyds Bank press chess mentions were double or treble all the bank's other sponsorships combined. It lasted 18 years from 1976 to 1994 until Sir Jeremy retired and a new sponsorship manager was only interested in TV exposure.
The essential point is in the 1980s-1980s period where most of the companies listed above backed chess, we had a strong very marketable product, namely the best juniors in the world and an England team No2 to the USSR, which guaranteed a decent level of public interest. We had the Master Game and TV coverage of world title matches. Miles was England's £5000 first grandmaster (Stewart fails to mention Jim Slater who led the way and encouraged others). When Short beat Korchnoi in a well publicised simul, ITN gave it a special mention on its 9pm news bulletin. Chess generally had a high status due to Fischer-Spassky.
Now it's different, and worse. You can see that in what happened with the Grand Prix leg and the candidates in London. Agon hired a PR company and was presumably itself the commercial manager, there were claims that several mega-firms would sign up as chess backers and that there would be televised highlights on Sky Arts. None of that happened, even with a young hunk all-time No1 as spearhead. Yes, there were TV appearances and broadsheet interviews for Carlsen, but the only person who really benefited from that was Magnus.
And the British chess product which was there in the 70s and 80s isn't there any more. The England team is not No2 but maybe No15, our top two GMs are in their forties, our best two young GMs struggle to reach the world top 100, and we don't have any world class juniors.
The Board and Council have been suckers for an optimistic story in the past (remember 1986, remember Holloid) so it's entirely possible that Andrew Paulson will be elected as President. Perhaps he will prove my pessimism wrong, perhaps not.
But contrary to what is stated above, I think the best and maybe only avenue for serious business backing for English chess now is from people like Ali Mortazavi and David Norwood who have made fortunes in the stock market. It's the same in the United States: The mega-firm Intel came and went in the 1990s, but now American chess is blessed with Rex Sinquefield, spiritual heir to Louis Statham of Lone Pine in the 1970s, who is not only giving money to US chess but giving it wisely.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:58 pm 
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Andrew Paulson wrote:
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.


It seems a brave man who would write "My first concrete goal is to arrange for the Government to accord to chess the status of a sport". The aim is presumably financially motivated, but that is reflected in the nature of the obstacles. Is this not an own goal on your part?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:07 pm 
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The official site for the Anand - Carlsen match has been launched.

http://chennai2013.fide.com/

No mention of Agon.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:55 am 
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Andrew Paulson wrote:
... I'm happy to answer all questions myself, no holds barred.
Andrew's candidacy might appear to some to be a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. The offer of a debate à outrance is therefore to be welcomed. It could be that, as well as hoping to win the election, he wants to disperse the untrusting mist that sometimes envelops the exotic.
Andrew Paulson wrote:
I think that to reduce the FIDE issue to pro-Kirsan or anti-Kirsan is simplistic.
That might well be the case, nonetheless, the erstwhile president of Kalmykia does seem to get his way within FIDE when he wants to. I may be in the minority, but I fail to see the urgency of bonding with him; my two-worded explanation is: Larissa Yudina.

In his election statement, Andrew wrote:
Quote:
After years of estrangement from and conflict with FIDE which has achieved nothing, the ECF should engage with FIDE and urge upon it a new tone of transparency and collegiality which will improve the commercial prospects of chess worldwide. My experience with FIDE should help us achieve this.
Can one infer that Andrew comes from FIDE with love? We've been told that Kirsan was very irritated when the ECF acted as a vehicle to sue the world body. Certainly, I can live with the ECF not acting in such a manner for the foreseeable future, but, on the other hand, I was hardly upset when we did annoy Ilyumzhinov. Some have argued that it is precisely Ilyumzhinov's baggage that has put off some sponsors, although, I'll concede, that that is simplistic.

I prefer to look at things from a different angle; if Andrew can improve chess administration and funding in England, then I can put up with being less hostile to Ilyumzhinov. After all, we live in the real world. Speaking of which, I am impressed that Andrew can arrange for the Government to accord to chess the status of a sport. This is sourced from the second paragraph in his election address under the heading Cohesion. I am with King Canute on this one, the most I'd expect is attempt to persuade the government ...; even then, I am somewhat doubtful. Lobbying powerful people may well bear fruit; however, I'd be amazed should it take the form of recognition as a sport.

So we turn to the matter of delivery. I'll hazard a guess that Andrew does not exchange New Year (Orthodox or Latin) cards with Mark Glukhovsky the editor of 64 (an influential Russian monthly, the equivalent of New In Chess; it's sponsored by RZhD - Russian railways). In the topical issue #8 (August, 2013), an editorial bore the pithy title: А БЫЛ ЛИ ПОЛСОН?, i.e. TELL ME, WAS PAULSON EVER AROUND? Putting in English one of the editor's pointed observations:
Mark Glukhovsky wrote:
A year ago an expert in the IT industry said to me that the proportion of successful and failed projects for the business man Paulson was 1 to 10. I do not claim to know whether this is a lot or a little. Yet, into which category to place projects linked with chess is not hard to understand.
Quite obviously, I don't know how accurate this assertion is. Furthermore, many of us are aware that it is not only in IT that Robert the Bruce's mantra of if at first you don't succeed; try, try again can be invaluable. Still, it might be useful should Andrew try to rip out this particular web by arguing back. For instance, how close to the truth is Glukhovsky? Indeed, should Andrew say this is unfair and grotesque, then I have no objection to the quote being excised. Although what he can do about the Russian original is something else.

Some of us recall Artyom Tarasov when he was FIDE Commerce President. He once came bearing gifts. He is now less well known in English chess than Ozymandias, the king of kings, whose works now cause none to despair. Let us hope that history does not repeat itself.

Andrew spent a long time in Russia, he is possibly best known in the West for his association with Alexander Mamut (who now owns Waterstones the booksellers). Thus, I'd certainly defer to his infinitely greater knowledge of many of the ins and outs. But I do have a question, is it possible to run a significant media operation there that is intrinsically antagonistic to the Kremlin? This is without trying to label insiders as siloviki (politicians with links to the security organs) or anything else.

Speaking of insiders, I was taken aback when Vladimir Mironovich Palikhata, who heads the Moscow Chess Federation, issued an invitation to the Mayor of London to attend the London Grand Prix, a contest that had a restricted audience. I understand that he was a friend of Ilyumzhinov's. Did Palikhata presume upon his relationship with the FIDE president? It almost appeared as though he were acting as the boss of the London show! The Russian language websites about Palikhata, who was born near Ternopil, are rather racier than anything I've seen in English. A fairly respectable article can be found here. In brief, it discusses how Palikhata obtained control of a Moscow department store, the methods employed were not those of the staid. I imagine Andrew can confirm he has no connection to Palikhata.

------
<Edit>Typo correction</Edit>

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:05 am 
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Yorkshire Chess has once again conducted exclusive interviews with both candidates for ECF President! I'm sure you'll be interested in what they have to say on a wide range of topics.

Interview with Andrew Paulson

Interview with Roger Edwards

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:19 am 
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From the Andrew Paulson interview

Quote:
Q: Why is one of your goals to make chess classified as a sport?

For the same reason that even people who don’t drive should have a drivers’ license. Chess’ classification as a sport it entitles the ECF to membership in real or virtual clubs that can bring benefits to its members. This is not a question of terminology or dogma, but rather of practical advantages that such a classification could bring.


It might be common in the USA to use a non-driving license as a form of identity card, but I would have thought a rarity in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

As for the rest of the paragraph, would someone like to attempt a translation from management speak?

It's not uncommon for chess to have had a classification as a sport. For example the Cambridge University side of the Oxford-Cambridge match get Half-Blues for their participation whilst at a more mundane level, fifty years ago, school colours were awarded for representing a school at chess as well as at Rugby, Cricket etc. The ECF is represented in the CCPR (if it hasn't changed its name). The PR stood for physical recreation.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:38 am 
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Roger de Coverly wrote:
The ECF is represented in the CCPR (if it hasn't changed its name). The PR stood for physical recreation.

It has changed its name. It's now the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

I am the current ECF Representative thereto and at this moment I should be writing my overdue report for Council rather than posting on this Forum. So I'll sign off for now.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:59 am 
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For better or for worse, the EC Forum is currently the only forum for understanding the moods and concerns of an important part of the chess community. I have been reading it assiduously in the past weeks and there is an issue that seems to me to be exercising the commentators that I’d like to address now leading up to the Elections on Saturday: my views on the next FIDE Presidential Election. I want directly to address the concerns of the many contributors to the Forum who will not be at the AGM. And, as I only will have five minutes for a presentation and questions during the election phase of tomorrow’s AGM, posting it here will free time for more pertinent questions.

FIDE vs. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

I have said that it is important to separate our position vis-a-vis the current President of FIDE and FIDE the institution/organization itself. I would recommend that as a member of FIDE the ECF engage and attempt to influence FIDE on issues that the ECF feels are important either ‘interestedly’ as they relate to English chess or ‘disinterestedly’ as they relate to matters of principle and reputation on a larger worldwide stage. Of course, the ECF could decide against this path as on any other issue.

Paulson (possible President of ECF) vs. Paulson (Owner of AGON) vs. Paulson (Private Individual)

As to the current President of FIDE, my position vis-a-vis him may be divided into three angles of view: my position were I to be elected as President of the ECF, my position as the owner of a business with FIDE as the principal counter-party, and my position as a private individual. As the President of the organization with only a symbolic voice I would reflect the views of that organization, whatever they might be, in a frank and unambiguous manner. Similarly, the FIDE Delegate with a material vote would always vote to represent his best understanding of the views of the ECF.

As a businessman via AGON, my relationship is with FIDE the permanent institution and not with its transient leader. (This is why my fear of Kasparov reviewing the contract were he to be elected President is a red herring and also why to date I have tried to be agnostic vis-a-vis FIDE politics.) The AGON contract was negotiated with FIDE with no intervention from the President. The FIDE side of the ‘interface’ which is designed to make day-to-day decisions regarding the relationship is made up of Nigel Freeman and Georgios Makropoulos.

As a private individual, I have repeatedly stated my views on the matter. I feel that it is time for Kirsan to go for many reasons. The most clear and unequivocal is that he and his apparat have been around too long and it is always good to introduce new blood into an organization. The stories of the assassination of a journalist, meetings with murderous tyrants, meetings with chess-playing aliens, have all cast disrepute onto chess and FIDE and made him easy to demonise. Fortunately, Kirsan can also lay claim to many ambassadorial achievements in spreading competitive chess and chess in schools around the world and organizational achievements in creating within FIDE an efficient bureaucratic system for dealing with complex issues affecting chess the game and chess the sport. But, I state unambiguously, its time for a change.

The only step I cannot make is a whole-hearted endorsement of Garry Kasparov at this time. There are several reasons: (a) I don’t believe he is a leader of men but rather oppositional, confrontational and ultimately a bully; (b) although his political wrath against the current FIDE administration is genuine and heartfelt, I suspect that he may be his own first priority; (c) he will stand for election using many of the same unsavory tactics as his opponent even though even by his own account, he’ll likely lose (Wouldn’t it be better to run a clean campaign with a clean ticket and lose? That’s a ticket I’d join shoulder by shoulder with Garry!); (d) by spending many millions in an attempt to win the election he will be taking money away from the pool of benevolent funding available for chess and spending it on a quixotic adventure (much as he forced $millions which otherwise would have gone to chess to be spent in the two failed lawsuits against FIDE).

Therefore, I have repeatedly stated that although my natural position would be to support abstention on principle, I will recuse myself from all discussions and voting in the Board, if I am elected, on the subject of voting in the FIDE election. (Nigel Short, the Candidate for FIDE Delegate, has made the point that in an election you vote for the best, not necessarily the good. It is a valid point, though not unarguable.) Further, I will recuse myself on any other subject that the NEDs feel presents a conflict of interest between the duties of an ECF President and an individual engaged in business around chess.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:28 pm 
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Andrew Paulson wrote:
For better or for worse, the EC Forum is currently the only forum for understanding the moods and concerns of an important part of the chess community.

This post seems to exist in more than one thread however 'for better' was the right choice.

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