An Open Letter to CJ De Mooi

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Andrew Farthing
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Re: An Open Letter to CJ De Mooi

Post by Andrew Farthing » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:01 pm

PeterTurland wrote:I hesitate before writing this, hence do not write it.
Wise words - you're probably right.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: An Open Letter to CJ De Mooi

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:05 pm

Andrew Farthing wrote:
Alex McFarlane wrote:Are you now willing to confirm, as you have implied from your statement, that Mr De Mooi did make homophobic accusations against the officials involved, albeit in the heat of the moment. If so, as I have said it is understandable, but his lack of an apology in person to those maligned is inexcusable under those circumstances.
If I have misinterpreted your statement please be good enough to state so to clarify the matter.
On a pedantic point, this is the second time you've alleged that CJ made "homophobic accusations". I'm sure that you don't mean this. You must mean "accusations of homophobia".

On the more substantive point, I am certainly not willing to confirm it and I don't accept that I implied it. I didn't comment on what he said at all. Please don't try to put words into my mouth.
Andrew

I am sure that, as you say, you haven't commented on what CJ said at all.

In much the same way that you haven't commented on CJ's failure to apologise directly to Alex or Lara, nor on his relationship with Keene and nor on what seems, by CJ's conduct, to be an acquiescence with Keene's comments even a week or more after the event. By the same token, the original excuse for not commenting on whether the ECF Board condemned Keene's article, and his tweets posted some considerrable time later, was that it was proper to wait for the PCC decision first (something I questioned to no avail at the time) - but of course the decision arrived eleven days ago and still there is no statement.

If this issue-dodging continues for much longer ... well, you can guess the rest. Do you really want your own reputation to be tied to that of CJ?

Alex McFarlane
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Re: An Open Letter to CJ De Mooi

Post by Alex McFarlane » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:07 pm

Andrew,
I would accept a private answer to the question that I put about collective responsibility.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: An Open Letter to CJ De Mooi

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:22 pm

There is quite a bit I want to reply to here, so here goes.

First of all I would like to thank Andrew Farthing for writing in such detail and for shedding a bit more light on the matter. Obviously I was the one behind the `personal attack` as well as several digs earlier in the thread about your presence at Scarborough. I have earlier apologised for the attack and I now also retract my earlier comments and apologise for them. I should perhaps have approached you at Scarborough and resolved it face to face. The only thing I would say in my own defence is that I believe very passionately in the work Alex and Lara do (and will hopefully continue to do) and this whole controversy has aroused my passions. But I repeat my apology and will happily continue to do so.

I don't want to add to further speculation but is it possible that CJ had been subject to homophobic insults over the T shirt earlier in the day which prompted Lara's raising of legitimate concerns to be the final straw. If this is the case it puts a lot of what subsequently happened in perspective.

This debate has become a case of CJ and Raymond Keene on one side, Alex and Lara on the other with the board stuck in the middle. If there is a wider issue about homophobia in chess in general surely all those individuals are on the same side? If CJ wishes to take a stand in the media over homophobia in the chess community then I think 99% of the people on this thread would support him. In Ernie Lazenby's seperate thread I made the statement that chess is largely played by an older, more conservative generation and there is a lot of bigotry which possibly deters gay chessplayers from participating fully.

However Alex and Lara have suffered at the hands of liberal public opinion (Lara was subject to abusive emails). CJ has to take some responsibility for this and all they have asked is for his his help in setting the record straight. I also repeat my earlier comment that Raymond Keene is not some crank on the internet, he is a well respected author, journalist and media figure. His Twitter piece was written after the fact and contained what amounted to slanders which he refused to retract. I maintain that the board should have taken a stronger line in trying to persuade Raymond Keene to retract and apologise for these comments, something which is still very much within his power. All Alex and Lara have asked for is for the board to be slightly more vocal in their support.

Finally, the ECF is moving forward for the first time in many years and Andrew Farthing is the man responsible for a lot of this. Alex and Lara are invaluable volunteers and organisers, CJ is an excellent figurehead for our game and even Raymond Keene has done much of value in his career. Chess needs all of these people working together, not against each other.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: An Open Letter to CJ De Mooi

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:00 pm

Warren Kingston wrote:I feel a few people here are in between a rock and a hard place, which is very unfortunate.
That seems to be the case. For people who don't have very strong views about defending victims effectively against injustice, the dilemmas must be very difficult indeed.

chrisobee
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Re: An Open Letter to CJ De Mooi

Post by chrisobee » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:33 pm

After trawling through 9 pages and 126 posts am I right in thinking the conclusion is that there is no conclusion :?
I have been playing chess for 40 years, I can honestly say I have never been aware of any kind of discrimination. Of course some people are racist, homophobic or otherwise prejudiced and so it would be naive in the extreme to believe incidents of racism, homophobia had never occurred. However, I don't believe there was ever any intention on the part of Lara Barnes or anyone else to cause offence to CJ De Mooi. What is clear to me is that Mr De Mooi is a self-promoting, egotist who is generally interested in one thing and that is himself. I say this partly having met him a number of times at Golders Green chess tournaments but also from his TV appearances where he comes across as a thoroughly disagreeable person and as such a very poor choice as ECF President. His lack of input does, I believe, tell it's own story but I am also very disappointed that Adam Raoof ( who I actively supported when he was seeking to be elected as Director of Home Chess) seems willing to act as his glove puppet. I don't say that lightly as I have known Adam for about 20 years and he is an extremely pleasant person who IS suited for a role within the ECF. Indeed he would be an infinitely better choice as ECF President than the very person he speaks for !
I cannot see any conclusion to this other than CJ De Mooi doing the right thing for once and resigning, to not do so will only prolong this matter ad infinitum.

Chris O'Bee
"Men who for truth and honour's sake
Stand fast and suffer long.
Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly...
They build a nation's pillars deep
And lift them to the sky. " Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: An Open Letter to CJ De Mooi

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:36 pm

Ernie - Keene has very few contacts in the chess world today. Most people have rumbled him by now. Most of his time seems to be spent with non-chess players who just believe/assume that Keene has a status worth speaking of in English chess. The 2013 sponsorship is more likely down to one of Malcolm's contacts, or perhaps the existing sponsor.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: An Open Letter to CJ De Mooi

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:18 am

Ernie Lazenby wrote:I read somewhere in this thread that CJ had tweeted the night before saying he intended to wear the T shirt. That's a premeditated action ie he knew what he was doing, why say it if not to help publicity.It is relevant.
Twitter seems to delete histories after a while, but it was certainly there. The intent to wear the same T-shirt that he wore as a spectator in round 11 was published to the world.

Was it being deliberately provocative? Not deliberately to the arbiting team perhaps, but maybe to potential prize winners or their parents. It would be difficult for prize winners, as proved by the reaction, to object to being photographed, without being accused of thoughtcrime.

Alex McFarlane
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Re: An Open Letter to CJ De Mooi

Post by Alex McFarlane » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:36 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:It would be difficult for prize winners, as proved by the reaction, to object to being photographed, without being accused of thoughtcrime.
You won't be too surprised to know that I made that very point to Andrew Farthing when discussing our 'actions' in reply to his suggestion that if nothing had happened then people could have simply objected to a photo being taken. He did seem to take that point on board.

I have not had a reply to my request for a private answer to my question regarding collective responibility. I will let you know if I do, though obviously not necessarily of his answer.

chrisobee
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Re: An Open Letter to CJ De Mooi

Post by chrisobee » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:08 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Ernie Lazenby wrote:I read somewhere in this thread that CJ had tweeted the night before saying he intended to wear the T shirt. That's a premeditated action ie he knew what he was doing, why say it if not to help publicity.It is relevant.
Twitter seems to delete histories after a while, but it was certainly there. The intent to wear the same T-shirt that he wore as a spectator in round 11 was published to the world.

Was it being deliberately provocative? Not deliberately to the arbiting team perhaps, but maybe to potential prize winners or their parents. It would be difficult for prize winners, as proved by the reaction, to object to being photographed, without being accused of thoughtcrime.

No, that tweet and others are still there ..

cjdemooi CJ de Mooi
I've offered my resignation to the ECF and I think I'll give up and go to sleep too. Thank you for some lovely words and see you tomorrow x
6 Aug

cjdemooi CJ de Mooi
This was me yesterday and today. I've given an interview to the Sunday Times and have support from players and sponsors yfrog.com/h2cljwbj


cjdemooi CJ de Mooi
I'll make an official statement when play is over. I stress this was not an ECF board (the members here were supportive) or venue decision
6 Aug


cjdemooi CJ de Mooi
I've worn this t-shirt regularly. There's no dress code so do what you want - I thought chess was supposed to be educational and inclusive!
6 Aug


cjdemooi CJ de Mooi
I've just been barred from presenting the British Chess Championships prizes because I was wearing a @stonewalluk t-shirt! Disgusting!
6 Aug

cjdemooi CJ de Mooi
Tomorrow I'm presenting the prizes at the Darwin Strategic British Chess Championships and I'll be proud to wear my @stonewalluk t-shirt!
5 Aug


I note shortly after this a poll on whether to accept his resignation was held on here, the result, I believe, was 38 people voted not to accept his resignation and 11 believing it should be accepted. I wonder to myself if any of the 38 have since changed their minds ? I did also see at least one person stating it was felt the positive aspects of having CJ De Mooi as ECF President outweighed the negative aspects.
My mind is actually quite boggled to think it should be accepted that anyone representing the ECF as President should carry with them "negative aspects" !!
This really is a sorry state of affairs and one can only hope the situation is resolved quickly now and chess players can go back to concentrate on playing chess, developing chess etc; a strange idea though it may seem.
"Men who for truth and honour's sake
Stand fast and suffer long.
Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly...
They build a nation's pillars deep
And lift them to the sky. " Ralph Waldo Emerson

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: An Open Letter to CJ De Mooi

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:17 am

chrisobee wrote: My mind is actually quite boggled to think it should be accepted that anyone representing the ECF as President should carry with them "negative aspects" !!
All people carry with them positive and negative aspects. If you're going to elect or appoint people to posts, you have to realize this and account for it.

Paul Buswell
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Re: An Open Letter to CJ De Mooi

Post by Paul Buswell » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:20 am

Andrew Farthing wrote:[I'm sorry that you feel that I have no right to express my personal opinions, even when I clearly signpost them as such. In that's the case, I shall have to stop posting.
Andrew:

I think you should stop posting your personal opinions on this matter. I think it serves no purpose as positions have become entrenched and I see no likelihood of movement from the key players: nothing you say in your personal capacity will make one iota of difference, in my view. You are making a rod for your own back and it is not worth it. Moreover, the demands of the internet for immediate response are insatiable, and there are better things to do in life.

But do please continue posting officially, as I find your posts informative and objective.

PB

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: An Open Letter to CJ De Mooi

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:58 am

This issue is keeping me awake.

It is keeping me awake because I don't really know what to think about it. And it just came to me tonight why that is: it's because I don't think I know how to think about it.

Those of you who know me reasonably well will know I have Asperger's Sydrome, an autistic spectrum disorder. This impacts on my life in a number of ways; its most crucial aspect to this case is that my "theory of mind" - innate ability to see things through the eyes of others - is somewhat lacking. Not as lacking as it might be - I've managed to develop it over the years - but not what you might expect from a neurotypical person.

And this case is a case in point. I think I can fathom - and in most cases share - the motives everyone had for acting as they did with regard to this affair. But I don't think I can get from there to the way everything has panned out, and I'm feeling worried and frustrated. I'm worried and frustrated because people I like and respect are at loggerheads with each other, and because I feel responsible for sorting it all out and I don't know how.

I'm going back to bed.

Mike Gunn
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Re: An Open Letter to CJ De Mooi

Post by Mike Gunn » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:46 am

>>>Finally, the ECF is moving forward for the first time in many years and Andrew Farthing is the man responsible for a lot of this. Alex and Lara are invaluable volunteers and organisers, CJ is an excellent figurehead for our game and even Raymond Keene has done much of value in his career. Chess needs all of these people working together, not against each other.<<<

I wish to endorse these excellent sentiments from Andrew Z.

I would like to make one other point: disputes of this kind are rarely sorted by arguing on internet fora (or anywhere else for that matter). Let's suppose the ECF did send a letter to Ray Keene, or issue a press releasing condemning him ... does anyone seriously think it would lead to a speedy resolution of the affair? Of course it wouldn't. We would just prolong the arguments and move it to another sphere.

From my point of view the ECF has acted in the interests of all parties by arranging the original statements and sticking at that. It is really not in anyone's best interests to re-open the affair and subject what happened on August 6th to further forensic examination. Nobody is going to benefit from that, in my opinion. It really is time to move on and leave this!

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: An Open Letter to CJ De Mooi

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:51 am

"It really is time to move on and leave this!"

I understand the sentiment, but Alex was one of a group who defamed me in the mid 90s and there is still no sign of an apology. His dispute is a grey area anyway, but he has only been waiting 3 months or so...
"Kevin was the arbiter and was very patient. " Nick Grey

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