My Story

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Andrew Zigmond
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Re: My Story

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:25 pm

I shall read the lengthy threads referred to when time and patience permit. I get the impression that Sabrina thought that everybody commenting on this thread was aware of the background - I for one wasn't.

This is a difficult thread because I don't think anybody wishes Sabrina ill and we all hope she can regain her former health and happiness. At the same time she is the one who has chosen to open this particular can of worms. IF her allegations are true then this is a grave scandal that must be investigated. IF! However I suspect that it's more likely there are a number of misunderstandings, personality clashes and takings out of context that, not helped by the toxic culture in our game, have fanned this. In which case could we not take a step back and see if even at this late stage learnings can be made?

I would say that the comments by Lawrence Cooper (one of the few contributors to this forum whose views should always be respected) concern me greatly.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Dan O'Dowd
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Location: Carlisle, Cumbria

Re: My Story

Post by Dan O'Dowd » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:14 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:However I suspect that it's more likely there are a number of misunderstandings, personality clashes and takings out of context that, not helped by the toxic culture in our game, have fanned this. In which case could we not take a step back and see if even at this late stage learnings can be made?

I would say that the comments by Lawrence Cooper (one of the few contributors to this forum whose views should always be respected) concern me greatly.
I do not speak on behalf of anyone else, so if Sabrina you are reading and you want what I am about to write to be excised if it appears to misrepresent, then just report it and I shall have no objection.

But Andrew, while you come across supportive in part of your writing it's wholly unfair and biased to in any way invalidate or undermine the content of what Sabrina says with what you write above. You are effectively trying to go over her head as though you had her experiences and were able to see the 'true' intent of all actions that led to her problems, and solve top-down: which you simply cannot. I find it astonishing as a bystander to all this that anyone should be capable of such damaging comments as these, which seem to push her concerns into the corner while wheeling out the 'good intentions' bandwagon, especially given the depth of effect it has had on her, judging from what she says.

It's posts like this that make me despair since you are clearly a nominally very level headed person, and yet you are still capable of this sort of blindness. It helps nobody to try to form conciliation on behalf of someone who clearly has no wish for it, and quite understandably so.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: My Story

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:30 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:I shall read the lengthy threads referred to when time and patience permit.
The forum thread of Sabrina's coaching initiative for the British Championship is a blow by blow contemporary witness account.

It seems to expose divisions within ECF Directors and Officers, that whilst there were some who supported the training initiative, there were others opposed to it, or at the very least were not prepared to help overcome potential obstacles.

Coaching can be a controversial area, the issue of whether coaches should be competent chess players has also been raised.

Andrew Zigmond
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Location: Harrogate

Re: My Story

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:59 am

Dan O'Dowd wrote:
Andrew Zigmond wrote:However I suspect that it's more likely there are a number of misunderstandings, personality clashes and takings out of context that, not helped by the toxic culture in our game, have fanned this. In which case could we not take a step back and see if even at this late stage learnings can be made?

I would say that the comments by Lawrence Cooper (one of the few contributors to this forum whose views should always be respected) concern me greatly.
I do not speak on behalf of anyone else, so if Sabrina you are reading and you want what I am about to write to be excised if it appears to misrepresent, then just report it and I shall have no objection.

But Andrew, while you come across supportive in part of your writing it's wholly unfair and biased to in any way invalidate or undermine the content of what Sabrina says with what you write above. You are effectively trying to go over her head as though you had her experiences and were able to see the 'true' intent of all actions that led to her problems, and solve top-down: which you simply cannot. I find it astonishing as a bystander to all this that anyone should be capable of such damaging comments as these, which seem to push her concerns into the corner while wheeling out the 'good intentions' bandwagon, especially given the depth of effect it has had on her, judging from what she says.

It's posts like this that make me despair since you are clearly a nominally very level headed person, and yet you are still capable of this sort of blindness. It helps nobody to try to form conciliation on behalf of someone who clearly has no wish for it, and quite understandably so.
Dan, you didn't quote another part of my original comment where I said this was a difficult thread. I've made the point throughout that this could be as damaging as T shirt-gate and Mureck. T shirt-gate was originally reported (I first heard about it through a facebook post made by an IM friend) that a homophobic arbiter had barred the then President - of course we now know nothing was further from the truth. Likewise the truth of Mureck is far from clear but quite a bit has been written that contradicts the version of events published in the national press. In both cases - and I think this is the critical point - how many people have ended up with a completely unwarranted stain on their character?

IF what Sabrina says is true then at least one member of the board (in my opinion and only my opinion) needs to at the very least be held accountable. That's my biggest worry.

EDIT - two typographical errors corrected
Last edited by Andrew Zigmond on Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Colin Patterson
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Re: My Story

Post by Colin Patterson » Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:09 pm

I think my biggest worry is Sabrina's health; also that she is not forced out of domestic chess. I too respect Lawrence's words; his fair mindedness always comes across on these pages, and I am left with the firm impression that some injustices have been allowed to go unchecked.

It would be brilliant if someone with some authority and conscience at the ECF would be big enough to step forward, either here or privately, and set about backing Sabrina and giving her some protection from the malicious actions of others, at least until she gets back on an even keel.

If that doesn't happen, then life is too short to make yourself ill Sabrina. Chalk this one off and maybe seek out another Federation who will no doubt be more supportive.

MalcolmHuntChess
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Re: My Story

Post by MalcolmHuntChess » Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:20 pm

I am writing on behalf of the many players, coaches and organisers around the Birmingham area who devoted a lot of time and effort toward helping Sabz to develop her game and provide opportunities for her to gain experience. She had much more assistance than higher rated boys at the same time. To see her write of her difficulties throughout her junior is a real kick in the teeth for those who sincerely believe we made life easy for her.

David Pardoe
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Re: My Story

Post by David Pardoe » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:23 am

Malcolm,
I think you`re missing the central points of what Sabrina is saying.
I`m sure she is most grateful for all the support she received as a junior player.
However, she now feels her efforts to put something back into chess by organising junior events and tournaments have been thwarted by the actions in certain quarters., if I read her comments correctly. Thats just part of the picture.
This just hints at the hostilities and potential `challenges` that can face players and organisors (who might have some new/alternative approaches and ideas). Many have experienced this in varying degrees, and often end up walking away from the `lunny set`, so to speak. It might also explain the reluctance of others to get involved with the organisations of such bodies..
BRING BACK THE BCF

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Peter D Williams
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Re: My Story

Post by Peter D Williams » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:15 pm

Alan Burke wrote:What the hell is Peter Williams on about in his above post in some kind of reply to my earlier post ? (First of all I assume that in English he means ... "How WERE you going to resolve the issues at Sheffield YOU'RE not on the board of the ECF? As far as I am aware you have no influence over the POLICIES of the ECF?)

If so I suggest he should stay in his greenhouses and not start throwing stones. Also, he should get the facts right before he decides to interfere as the issue between Chevannes and myself had nothing to do with ECF policy, it was a private disagreement which I understood to be dead and buried after we spoke privately to each other - however, it now seems that she wants to again open up the issue as it suits her as part of a "poor little me" campaign.

I cannot comment about other parts of the complaints made in the original post of this thread, but for her to resurrect our disagreement for her own benefit shows more about her character than it does of mine.

Are you an English teacher to add to the many talents you have?.

I would have thought its a bit more than a poor little me campaign you appear to show no understanding of depression which it appears Sabrina has and is suffering from? " a depressive state that I am finding difficult to get out of"

for your information read this and learn Some people still think that depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They're wrong. Depression is a real illness with real symptoms, and it's not a sign of weakness or something you can "snap out of" by "pulling yourself together".

The good news is that with the right treatment and support, most people can make a full recovery.
Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms.

They range from lasting feelings of sadness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety.

There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and complaining of various aches and pains.

The severity of the symptoms can vary. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while at its most severe depression can make you feel suicidal and that life is no longer worth living.

Yes i do enjoy my time in the greenhouse and i can report back to you that the tomato plants have grown a further 2 inches in 4 days I check back tomorrow after noon to see if you read this and have understood about depression.
when you are successful many losers bark at you.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: My Story

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:52 pm

Writing as somebody who knows only too well a) what depression is and b) what it can do to somebody it is a sad fact of life that depression does not allow somebody to make allegations that are potentially very damaging not just to some senior figures in English chess but to the game in this country itself. One thing I have hesitated to say so far but will do so now and God help me ... but IF what Sabrina says is true one member of the current board must now consider his position and I for one would back her all the way. We come back to that word again - IF.

Unless Sabrina or any current or recent ECF officials wish to comment further I would suggest that Carl considers whether this thread has gone as far as it reasonably can.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Alan Burke

Re: My Story

Post by Alan Burke » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:05 pm

I will not become involved in some side issue with Doctor Williams, except to point out that I note he didn't bother to agree or otherwise that my earlier dispute with the person concerned was nothing to do with ECF policy, which he claimed it was.

Some people might be willing to just take the word of someone that they have been subjected to unkindness which has brought on depression ; some others might have a different opinion.

John Moore
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Re: My Story

Post by John Moore » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:20 pm

Some will no doubt also take a view on your contribution, Alan.

Louise Sinclair
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Location: London

Re: My Story

Post by Louise Sinclair » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:22 pm

My Lord Archbishop, what a scold you are!
And when your man is down, how bold you are!
Of Christian charity how scant you are!
And, auld Lang swine, how full of cant you are!’
You might very well think that ; I couldn't possibly comment.
' you turn if you want. The lady's not for turning'

Louise Sinclair
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Re: My Story

Post by Louise Sinclair » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:29 pm

Depression can completely cripple a person. For years I watched it systematically destroy my mother and I knew one chess player who killed himself because of severe depression. Unfortunately modern medicine has no easy answers and it still bears a stigma with many non depressives just taking the view of pull yourself together.Depressives are also vulnerable to being smeared as unreliable and neurotic - it takes courage to be open about suffering from it.
You might very well think that ; I couldn't possibly comment.
' you turn if you want. The lady's not for turning'

John Cox
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Re: My Story

Post by John Cox » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:54 pm

Not for the first time I am driven to the conclusion that the majority of the regular posters on this forum have absolutely no grip on reality whatsoever.

If Sabrina is ill then I'm sorry for it and I hope she gets the help she needs, and that's the only sensible thing anyone could say on this thread.

Gary Cook
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Re: My Story

Post by Gary Cook » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:12 am

John Cox wrote:If Sabrina is ill then I'm sorry for it and I hope she gets the help she needs, and that's the only sensible thing anyone could say on this thread.
John

Possibly correct, but that would depend on what made her ill in the first place, if the illness was brought about by the actions of others then ignoring it will leave open the possibility of someone else be affected in the future.

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