Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
User avatar
JohnPaines
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:48 pm

Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by JohnPaines » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:06 pm

Simon Spivack wrote:However, John Paines was the author of his own misfortune in the thread "ECF Board meeting, Hinckley Island 16th January". He could have put his position in just two posts. He could have asked for an opinion from John Philpott as to the chairmanship.
Perhaps I should have done but I regard participating in this forum as akin to a chat in the pub. I don't perceive John Philpott - or indeed myself - as being permanently on call here to answer any questions that people may choose to ask him/me.

On a related point, it does concern me that (as it has now emerged) the Board purported to appoint me to a post of "Chairman" without having the authority from the Articles/Regulations to do so, and I suspect that it wouldn't have happened if there had been closer liaison with John Philpott. I will be writing to John and the CE about this so that similar situations can be avoided in future.
He could have admitted that he has, indeed, hardly any germane experience as either a chess organiser or player.
I don't agree that either is particularly germane. If I did, I wouldn't have accepted the appointment.
Looking at Adam Raoof's report on the meeting itself, I am not convinced that all the necessary ground was covered, despite its length.
Adam's report mostly covers ground related to his own directorship.

[Edit - I hope that isn't unfair to Adam. Which ground do you, Simon, feel wasn't covered and should have been?]
Could not more have been done by email and phone in advance?
I made the point about e-mail to the CE and other directors at the end of the meeting. I certainly think the Board should be having more discussion via e-mail.
In meetings I have attended, a lot of time has been wasted by grandstanding or repetition; or by ignoramuses, who couldn't be bothered preparing, blathering away.
I thought the quality of discussion at the meeting was very high. However the Board's current culture is to have a "conversational" meeting rather than one where people are called upon to speak by the chairman, and whilst both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, the "conversational" type of meeting will inevitably take longer.
Last edited by JohnPaines on Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
JohnPaines
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:48 pm

Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by JohnPaines » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:08 pm

Peter Rhodes wrote:Those of us who believe in democracy believe in one-person one-vote. Those of us who believe in back-room deals and power-interested cliques believe otherwise.
My experience in other organisations is that one-person one-vote is the most likely way of ensuring that the status quo prevails. I bet Nigel Short wouldn't have defeated Gerry Walsh if one-person one-vote had been in place.

Jonathan Rogers
Posts: 4004
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:26 pm

Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:31 pm

Get away! Under OMOV Short would have won without any need for a recount. Admittedly that would have been partially on account of his celebrity, so Gerry may still have prevailed over many others.

John Upham
Posts: 4422
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:29 am
Location: Cove, Hampshire, England.
Contact:

Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by John Upham » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:34 pm

JohnPaines wrote: I bet Nigel Short wouldn't have defeated Gerry Walsh if one-person one-vote had been in place.
I doubt if many persons would agree with this. It is easy to make a bet on an outcome that will never be tested and is therefore hardly worth of consideration.
As alleged Chairman this statement is somewhat less supportive of an ECF Officer than perhaps most would expect and welcome.
Last edited by John Upham on Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
Twitter: @BritishChess
Facebook: facebook.com/groups/britishchess :D

User avatar
JohnPaines
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:48 pm

Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by JohnPaines » Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:37 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:Get away! Under OMOV Short would have won without any need for a recount. Admittedly that would have been partially on account of his celebrity, so Gerry may still have prevailed over many others.
Hmmm. I've been a participant and sometimes candidate in "one person one vote" elections in another organisation for 20+ years, and my experience is that the candidate who attacks his opponent, particularly in the terms Nigel did in his election address, never wins - even if everything he says is true.

Peter Rhodes
Posts: 246
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:53 pm

Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Peter Rhodes » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:47 am

JohnPaines wrote:Hmmm. I've been a participant and sometimes candidate in "one person one vote" elections in another organisation for 20+ years, and my experience is that the candidate who attacks his opponent, particularly in the terms Nigel did in his election address, never wins - even if everything he says is true.
In your experience of what ? This is a kind of call-my-bluff isn't it. A subcommittee of the local ramblers association? What you say might well be true if that is the scope of your experience, but you've chosen to give us little information to go on.

I would love to just give your opinion the respect it rightly deserves - had it been for the fact that I find it absurd, so I'm sorry for not being able to do so.

Yes you do have a point, attacks on a candidate can damage that persons candidacy, but usually only when there is good cause. In fact I would say that unprovoked attacks can often do more harm than good and backfire ont he muck-slinger.


Speaking from my own experience, I have had the balls to stand in ballots of over 10,000 souls and allowed my policy and viewpoint to be opened up to scrutiny. I have attended hustings and "hit the campaign trail", so I'm no outsider to this process.

This was at a time when I was younger and had the energy, inclination and health to partake in such things. I firmly believe in OMOV and I would have loved to meet you on the hustings to debate such a point.

I guess our experiences shape our viewpoints, and your experience of your own election to various roles may have shaped your belief in the best way to get there.

I guess we will agree to disagree - OMOW is unlikely to happen, but I know there are alot of proponents and supporters of it I hope that number grows.
Chess Amateur.

User avatar
JohnPaines
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:48 pm

Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by JohnPaines » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:16 am

Peter Rhodes wrote:In your experience of what ? This is a kind of call-my-bluff isn't it. A subcommittee of the local ramblers association? What you say might well be true if that is the scope of your experience, but you've chosen to give us little information to go on.
OK, specifics. I've been a member of British Mensa since 1987, and ran for election to the Board on a number of occasions before succeeding in 2004. I was regarded by many people as a troublemaker and I have little doubt that several Board members thought of me in that way. After a year on the Board the majority of its members elected me as Chairman (a position akin to the Chief Executive in the ECF). Like the current role I'm filling in ECF, it wasn't a position I ever sought; I was approached to do it and I agreed to run because I felt I could help the organisation by doing so.

During all those years I've never known a person who attacked his/her opponent to win an election. I tried it myself, and it just doesn't work.
I would love to just give your opinion the respect it rightly deserves - had it been for the fact that I find it absurd, so I'm sorry for not being able to do so.

Yes you do have a point, attacks on a candidate can damage that persons candidacy, but usually only when there is good cause. In fact I would say that unprovoked attacks can often do more harm than good and backfire ont he muck-slinger.
Now I'm baffled, because the above is exactly what I am saying. Did you actually see Nigel Short's election address when he ran against the incumbent Gerry Walsh? It was the most aggressive paper I've ever seen put before Council.
I guess our experiences shape our viewpoints, and your experience of your own election to various roles may have shaped your belief in the best way to get there.

I guess we will agree to disagree - OMOW is unlikely to happen, but I know there are alot of proponents and supporters of it I hope that number grows.
Why do you assume that I don't like OPOV (I understand that there are women who play chess too)? I was just making the point that in my experience it doesn't readily bring about the wholesale change which some members of this forum seem to desire.

Phil Makepeace
Posts: 242
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:46 pm

Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Phil Makepeace » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:51 am

JohnPaines wrote:
Peter Rhodes wrote:I guess we will agree to disagree - OMOW [sic] is unlikely to happen, but I know there are alot of proponents and supporters of it I hope that number grows.
Why do you assume that I don't like OPOV (I understand that there are women who play chess too)?
I would imagine Peter's referring to One Member One Vote. Though your point still stands.

Richard Bates
Posts: 3009
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:27 pm

Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Richard Bates » Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:28 am

I suspect that assumptions about what would happen under OMOV are somewhat difficult to deduce at a time of transition from one electoral system to another. The point being that for the first election under the new system the electorate have no connection with the previous incumbents.

Once OMOV is established it may often favour the status quo, if only because the electorate have to have a change of mind/perception to cast their collective vote differently.

User avatar
JohnPaines
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:48 pm

Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by JohnPaines » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:19 am

Phil Makepeace wrote:
JohnPaines wrote:
Peter Rhodes wrote:I guess we will agree to disagree - OMOW [sic] is unlikely to happen, but I know there are alot of proponents and supporters of it I hope that number grows.
Why do you assume that I don't like OPOV (I understand that there are women who play chess too)?
I would imagine Peter's referring to One Member One Vote. Though your point still stands.
In that case I apologise.

Simon Spivack
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 4:06 pm

Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Simon Spivack » Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:14 pm

In tribute to John Paines's avatar, I shall call John and his supporters the Teddy Bears. Teddy Boys would be more accurate, but, perhaps, a tad too cruel. :-)
JohnPaines wrote: I regard participating in this forum as akin to a chat in the pub.
Please yourself. Your waxing loquacity to so little purpose would have me heading for the door.
JohnPaines wrote:I don't perceive John Philpott - or indeed myself - as being permanently on call here to answer any questions that people may choose to ask him/me.
And, of course, nowhere have I written that I expect anyone to be at the permanent beck and call of another. I suggested that you would have done better to have restricted yourself to a simple statement of the position as you understood it and then asked John Philpott for an opinion. There would have been no requirement for John Philpott to step in. Nonetheless, John Philpott often answers questions in his area of competence, so there would have been a good chance of an intervention. Indeed, he did comment.

Additionally, you are perfectly well aware, at least I hope you are, that the matter would probably have been brought up in a subsequent Council meeting. It is certainly better to sort out this kind of thing well in advance.
JohnPaines wrote:
Simon Spivack wrote: He could have admitted that he has, indeed, hardly any germane experience as either a chess organiser or player.
I don't agree that either is particularly germane. If I did, I wouldn't have accepted the appointment.
You are perfectly entitled to your bizarre view that little knowledge of a situation under discussion is advantageous when chairing a debate!
JohnPaines wrote:
Simon Spivack wrote: Looking at Adam Raoof's report on the meeting itself, I am not convinced that all the necessary ground was covered, despite its length.
Adam's report mostly covers ground related to his own directorship.

[Edit - I hope that isn't unfair to Adam. Which ground do you, Simon, feel wasn't covered and should have been?]
Well, I'm the one whose eyesight is largely ruined. Although, to help you out: I wasn't present. :lol:

When a meeting lasts this long, I have found that there is a tendency to hurry through the later items. Thus, my suspicion is that those items would not have received an adequate coverage.

In his first post in this thread, Adam mentioned that you had been deputed to write a report of this meeting. Wouldn't you do better to produce this account, rather than posturing here? If the report exists, where is it?
JohnPaines wrote: During all those years I've never known a person who attacked his/her opponent to win an election. I tried it myself, and it just doesn't work.
Evidently George W. Bush's advisers demurred. You are aware that Senator Kerry lost the 2004 US Presidential election?

There are many variables. Like Jonathan Rogers and many others, I believe that Gerry Walsh would have been trounced by Nigel Short in an OMOV election.

In a three horse race, the likely beneficiary of a fight between just two of the equine runners is the third. However, when there are just two, the judgement is finer.




When C.J. de Mooi was introduced, I was agnostic. Not knowing anything about him. I was not impressed when he wrote to The Times, rather than the Daily Telegraph, as one of his early steps upon election. This was not just because of the widely perceived baleful nature of a certain journalist, but, rather, because the Daily Telegraph has a bigger circulation (the situation for the Sunday sister papers is the reverse). However, as his period in office has extended, I have been won round. He is making an excellent stab at being President.

In the case of John Paines, the preferred choice of the Teddy Bears, I was rather more sceptical. Unfortunately, he seems to be living down to my worst fears. But then, I believe that there should be some resignations amongst the Teddy Bears, they should accept some responsibility, not just for the recent losses, but for their inaction until the DCMS grant was suspended. They should not offer themselves for re-election, they should also resign from the various unelected positions that they occupy.

User avatar
JohnPaines
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:48 pm

Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by JohnPaines » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:52 pm

Simon Spivack wrote:In tribute to John Paines's avatar, I shall call John and his supporters the Teddy Bears. Teddy Boys would be more accurate, but, perhaps, a tad too cruel. :-)
Aren't you a bit too old to believe that the world is divided into good guys and bad ones?
He could have admitted that he has, indeed, hardly any germane experience as either a chess organiser or player.
I don't agree that either is particularly germane. If I did, I wouldn't have accepted the appointment.
You are perfectly entitled to your bizarre view that little knowledge of a situation under discussion is advantageous when chairing a debate!
If your view were correct then the person selected as Speaker of the House of Commons last year should have been the one with the greatest experience in government, and/or the greatest knowledge and understanding of the legislation proposed by both the government and, should they win the next election, the opposition. I heard none of the many candidates, nor any commentators, suggest that that should be the criteria on which the selection should be made.

For what it's worth, some of the most productive group discussions I've been involved in have been those with an outside facilitator with no knowledge of the subject-matter at all.
In his first post in this thread, Adam mentioned that you had been deputed to write a report of this meeting. Wouldn't you do better to produce this account, rather than posturing here?
Good point. Thanks for the chat.

Alan Walton
Posts: 1258
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:33 pm
Location: Oldham

Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Alan Walton » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:17 pm

Hi,

Going back to Ben's point about the British v Czech comparisons, I played the British for 3 years on the bounce and found them enjoyable (Torquay 02, Edinburgh 03, Scarborough 04). Since then I have always played a tournament abroad due to the fact I am using 2 weeks of work holidays and don't really want to spend them in England (but that is my personal preference)

I have notice also by doing this that going abroad is normally alot cheaper, I to played in Pardibuce (and it is true that it isn't the best place on the earth) with Ben that year and here is the breakdown of the costs

£130 flight
£50 entry fee
£150 accom (£15 a night)

And then spending about £20 a night on food and copious amounts of booze

When you play the British you normally have these expected costs

£60 train ticket
£200 entry fee
£400 accom (about £30 a night)

And food and drink is very expensive in England, a good night out is at least £30 with food and drink

So you are looking at nearly double the cost of entering the British against a cheap Eastern European tournament, I also played in Amsterdam for 2 years and even that was cheaper than the British

This summer I am looking at playing in Canada (Toronto) and overall costs are going to be more due to the flight, but it (and no disrespect to Canterbury) will be alot more enjoyable and rememberable than the British

Alan

Simon Spivack
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 4:06 pm

Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Simon Spivack » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:54 pm

JohnPaines wrote:
Simon Spivack wrote: In tribute to John Paines's avatar, I shall call John and his supporters the Teddy Bears. Teddy Boys would be more accurate, but, perhaps, a tad too cruel. :-)
Aren't you a bit too old to believe that the world is divided into good guys and bad ones?
Your inability to comprehend is certainly not heaven sent. No, I don't believe that you or your supporters are the devil's emissaries. Certainly not wittingly.

The problem, rather, is one of the Bears being out of their depths. In the case of the ECF we are at a potentially critical juncture. Public finances are in a mess, it is all too plausible that there will be a change of government this May. There may well be a shock coming for the federation. The recent suspension of the DCMS's grant possibly presaged as much.

The Regan Board was much better placed to cope with this sort of eventuality. The neutral can guess this because of the way in which the Teddy Bears didn't take drastic action over the recent losses until rather late in the day, after the grant suspension, when they were threatened by the DCMS.

Being out of one's depth need not be a problem in normal times. Some of us might want to point fingers at the compositions of previous boards. However, in times like these, poor decision making can make those responsible seem as destructive as Teddy Boys are often perceived to be.

As a chess example of what can happen when a principal is out of his depth, consider the once flourishing Camden Chess Club. This club steadily frittered away members, without finding many replacements. Other London clubs did manage either to largely retain existing members, or to recruit new ones. The main difference was in the organisation. Unfortunately, when a club closes, not all the members necessarily gravitate to another. It is likely that this club's closure cut down on the number of chess players. I don't want something similar to happen to the ECF.
JohnPaines wrote:
Simon Spivack wrote:
JohnPaines wrote: I don't agree that either is particularly germane. If I did, I wouldn't have accepted the appointment.
You are perfectly entitled to your bizarre view that little knowledge of a situation under discussion is advantageous when chairing a debate!
If your view were correct then the person selected as Speaker of the House of Commons last year should have been the one with the greatest experience in government, and/or the greatest knowledge and understanding of the legislation proposed by both the government and, should they win the next election, the opposition. I heard none of the many candidates, nor any commentators, suggest that that should be the criteria on which the selection should be made.
This failure of comprehension is an excellent illustration of the contention that the Teddy Bears have made a mistake in bringing in one of their own as de facto chairman.

By what leap of logic can one arrive at the conclusion that the only alternative to comparative ignorance is a degree of knowledge superior to all others? :-D
JohnPaines wrote:
Simon Spivack wrote: In his first post in this thread, Adam mentioned that you had been deputed to write a report of this meeting. Wouldn't you do better to produce this account, rather than posturing here?
Good point. Thanks for the chat.
I aim to please. BTW, if you have accepted my contention, why have you responded?

Paul McKeown
Posts: 3383
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:01 pm
Location: Hayes (Middx)
Contact:

Re: Report: ECF Board meeting @ Hinckley Island 16th January

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:17 pm

Interesting that Simon refers to Camden CC. Wasn't Alan Martin one of the principal actors there?

Post Reply