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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:47 pm 
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JustinHorton wrote:
Prior to your campaign for President, where and when have you ever expressed any interest at all in English domestic chess?


No. (Other than playing chess at home!)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:53 pm 
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My first major initiative is a new business model to bring sponsorship revenue to all the ECF's interests,
projects and affiliates, and to the ECF itself. The ECF will offer a consolidated asset (ALL of English chess, here and abroad, at every level, every event, any individual) for sponsorship.


Taking the London Chess Classic as an example, how does this change the relationship between the ECF and the London Chess Classic ?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:59 pm 
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Jonathan Rogers wrote:
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?"


Nigel and I have discussed this at length. His position is that in a democracy you vote; you don't absent yourself if you are not happy with either candidate. If my opinion were determinant, I would agree. However, I think that at this point is it more important to register dissatisfaction than settle.

To your second point, Kirsan, as President of FIDE, signed the AGON/FIDE contract. However, it was negotiated by senior members of the Presidential Board in a highly combative manner over a period of nine months and then unanimously approved by the Presidential Board who conceded that it was broadly advantageous to FIDE before Kirsan signed it.

I don't think that my role as President of the ECF would be determinant in deciding how the ECF Delegate might vote any more than I think that the vote of the ECF Delegate will be determinant in who gets elected. (Nigel Short's power comes from being Nigel Short, not from being the ECF Delegate; being the ECF Delegate gets him in the room.) It would not be my prerogative as President of the ECF to undermine either the Board of the Delegate on this matter by expressing my opinion in public. As a business partner of FIDE, I have always said loudly that my loyalty is to FIDE the institution, not to its officers.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:01 pm 
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Andrew Paulson wrote:
JustinHorton wrote:
Prior to your campaign for President, where and when have you ever expressed any interest at all in English domestic chess?


No. (Other than playing chess at home!)


You are aware that the English Chess Federation is first and foremost about English domestic chess?

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"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:09 pm 
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PeterFarr wrote:
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:


1) Its important, but not 'so' important. FIDE is the main interface with International Chess both in terms of play and reputation (brand). That means ECF's stars and teams, as well as ECF's earning potential. I am interested in making chess a sustainable business and all the gears must be finely turned to make it attractive to sponsors and a mass audience.

2) As a business idea this is very easy for me to state and for you to grasp (the 'elevator pitch'). However, to drill down to the details and explain exactly how it would work is more complicated (the 'operational plan'). That's why in my 'platform' I explained that it would be up to a committee of seasoned chess hands to put together the details and tweak them and tweak them again. I'm happy to have a meeting off-line in which I describe and we discuss how I see it; in the end it will be a team effort to create something that doesn't now exist.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:21 pm 
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Roger de Coverly wrote:
Quote:
My first major initiative is a new business model to bring sponsorship revenue to all the ECF's interests,
projects and affiliates, and to the ECF itself. The ECF will offer a consolidated asset (ALL of English chess, here and abroad, at every level, every event, any individual) for sponsorship.


Taking the London Chess Classic as an example, how does this change the relationship between the ECF and the London Chess Classic ?


I think that it is absurd that Malcolm Pein is not (at least) a former President of the ECF and a current NED. This is (and has long been) one of the major chess figures in England and he is operating outside of the major chess body in England. (And he is not the only one!)

If the ECF deserved the trust of Malcolm and his team, I'm sure that they would in the natural course of things work hand in glove with one another. This re-establishment of trust will take time. The ECF should develop a set of tools which will be useful for all event organisers, that will cut their costs, expand their reach, increase their media impact, and ultimately generate revenue. Brand guidelines. Press kits. Media events. Lobbying efforts. The list goes on and on.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:28 pm 
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Andrew Paulson wrote:
However, to drill down to the details and explain exactly how it would work is more complicated (the 'operational plan').


At present the ECF just operates as a national governing body, the voting membership of which is mostly the individual representatives of the bodies that actually run chess at the practical level. These bodies are autonomous and the ECF has little or no direct control over their activities. You are asking these bodies to elect you as ECF president, some outline of how their relationship with the ECF might change would be welcomed.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:28 pm 
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JustinHorton wrote:
Andrew Paulson wrote:
JustinHorton wrote:
Prior to your campaign for President, where and when have you ever expressed any interest at all in English domestic chess?


No. (Other than playing chess at home!)


You are aware that the English Chess Federation is first and foremost about English domestic chess?


Yes. Of course, I was being defensive. This is clearly a weak point for me. The correct answer has two parts: (a) There are proxies which show that things I have experience in are relevant to the tasks at hand: managing and leading English Domestic Chess is a complex integrative task not unlike managing a large media company in a foreign language which requires expertise in many different professional domains (e.g., advertising, distribution, editorial, design, law, finance, etc.) and (b) the Board is made up of people who are preoccupied with English domestic chess and will be supporting me in areas where I am weak.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:30 pm 
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Paul Dargan wrote:
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?

As wind-up merchants go, this one seems to be particularly well-informed, nay erudite. Even if he is using a PR agency, they have been fully-briefed. I submit we have a contender.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:36 pm 
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Andrew Paulson wrote:
as interesting and witty as may be CJ de Mooi


Are you aware of the circumstances under which the interesting and witty CJ de Mooi departed his post and of the financial shenanigans in which he engaged at the 2011 British Championships in Sheffield?


In an interview with ChessVibes about the Candidates Tournament, you were asked about the disappointing attendances for the tournament and you said:

"I didn't want to have a situation where it was too crowded, where we couldn't control the public."

a. are you aware that this doesn't sound entirely convincing?
b. did you at any point before the interview say that you were hoping that attendances wouldn't be too high?

_________________
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:38 pm 
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Andrew Paulson wrote:
managing and leading English Domestic Chess is a complex integrative task not unlike managing a large media company in a foreign language


Without any knowledge or experience of the ECF, are you really in a position to make that comparison with any confidence?

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"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:46 pm 
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Roger de Coverly wrote:
Andrew Paulson wrote:
However, to drill down to the details and explain exactly how it would work is more complicated (the 'operational plan').


At present the ECF just operates as a national governing body, the voting membership of which is mostly the individual representatives of the bodies that actually run chess at the practical level. These bodies are autonomous and the ECF has little or no direct control over their activities. You are asking these bodies to elect you as ECF president, some outline of how their relationship with the ECF might change would be welcomed.


When I first got involved in chess and I happened to live in England, I asked one or two people involved in English chess what was the problem with the ECF. They told me that for one reason or another all of the revenue generating opportunities of the ECF had been alienated or neglected and dispersed. This was before Membership. In order for such an organisation to be healthy, it must have a diversified source of revenue. The ECF now has 'no direct control' over their activities, but if the ECF begins to do things that are useful or helpful for these 'bodies', then they will slowly reintegrate into the ECF.

An example of what I'd like to see emerge for chess (sooner rather than later) is the current Aegon (no relation) sponsorship of all of English tennis (except Wimbledon) for ~£5m/year under a 5-year contract. They have branding rights over tennis at every level of play. And the purveyors of tennis at every level of play participate pro rata (imagine the fisticuffs) in this windfall.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:53 pm 
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JustinHorton wrote:
Andrew Paulson wrote:
as interesting and witty as may be CJ de Mooi


Are you aware of the circumstances under which the interesting and witty CJ de Mooi departed his post and of the financial shenanigans in which he engaged at the 2011 British Championships in Sheffield?


In an interview with ChessVibes about the Candidates Tournament, you were asked about the disappointing attendances for the tournament and you said:

"I didn't want to have a situation where it was too crowded, where we couldn't control the public."

a. are you aware that this doesn't sound entirely convincing?
b. did you at any point before the interview say that you were hoping that attendances wouldn't be too high?


1) (a) Yes, I was in Istanbul when it happened. Shameful. (b) Sheffield, no.

2) As you will note, this was a rather aggressive, not to say hostile, interview by Peter Doggers (for whom I have great respect and affection). He was, in fact, in parallel, working for me at the Candidates as an employee at that time. This was early on in the event and we had not yet hit our stride. (I don't think we had fewer than 150 people per day, to be checked.) I was trying to paint the event as a success; as you know success breeds success. But you are right, it was absolutely fatuous as an answer. My only defence is that if I were to give you a list of my goals for the Candidates, high attendance would not have been in the top five. And yet, as I mentioned earlier, we broke all records in the end.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:54 pm 
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I'd just like to thank you for taking questions and for answering my two - the first at length and the second at arm's length. (Pardon my spelling in the first.) I accept that the second one, regarding Martin Regan's tenure as CEO, is difficult and that the proof of the pudding is in the eating and not in comparing a new recipe with an old one (that failed to rise completely in the end), even though they may share some similarities.

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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 9:56 pm 
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JustinHorton wrote:
Andrew Paulson wrote:
managing and leading English Domestic Chess is a complex integrative task not unlike managing a large media company in a foreign language


Without any knowledge or experience of the ECF, are you really in a position to make that comparison with any confidence?


The greatest obstacles before the ECF have nothing to do with chess.

The support I received from FIDE came precisely because everyone they had ever worked with had been a chess professional; they were convinced that therein lay their problem. On that score, I can go on for hours.....


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