My Resignation

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
David Pardoe
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Re: My Resignation

Post by David Pardoe » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:41 pm

Alex,
You and others rightly feel aggreived by these events.....
Let me just say this....many misjudged remarks and actions occur, which probably were not intended...
As the saying goes...`To err is human....`
How many times have you watched `match of the day` and seen some absolutely diabolical Ref/officials decisions... then you get the `slow motion replays`, confirming that `the Ref is an idiot....`. Hindsight is such a wonderful thing..... and all those `offside goals` and sending off offences cannot be undone.
And nor does the Ref go round after such events offering profound apologies for his mistakes and misjudgements.
Sometimes, what is more important is that we try to learn from our mistakes and do better in future......

I`m really not sure that special EGMs are the way forward. You have probably sown enough seeds to keep the ECF machine buzzing for some time....maybe some positives will come out of that.
In diplomatic speak, it might be time to take this `off aire` and let things calm down. I think that Andrew is doing his best, and maybe some patience and calm reflection is needed. You mentioned Stuart Reuben...he is an old head and one of the wise men at the ECF. Clearly you have his support and sympathies...take heart from that.
Meanwhile, I hope you and the other Arbiting chiefs can collect yourselves, and refocus on delivering good things for our great British chess community....
BRING BACK THE BCF

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: My Resignation

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:12 pm

Hard to know where to start with this sort of gibberish. If Steve Giddins were to lampoon David's contributions, he would probably have a fair point.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: My Resignation

Post by Carl Hibbard » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:23 pm

To be honest I am really not sure what can be gained by this now very one sided debate?
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

Ernie Lazenby

Re: My Resignation

Post by Ernie Lazenby » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:12 pm

I have registered on this forum again for one reason only and that is to say something about the current state of affairs.

Alex. You have alluded to something that warrants a clear and precise explanation. If there has been concerns about some financial activity then you really have to spell it out and name names. How else can those of us who are concerned about ECF activities make a reasoned judgement. You are no longer bound by confidentiality therefore say it as it is; if members of the ECF dont want to do anything about it in full knowledge of the facts then shame on them.

Carl. This forum is the sole place where facts can be made public because it is increasingly obvious that the ECF board will not do so on the official webb site. If Alex posts simple facts without any emotive language then I dont see any problem for you or this forum.


It is obviouy to me that the ECF board are more concerned about the 2013 British Championships, for which CJ and Keene and have apparently obtained sponsorship , than they are in making sure the hard working volunteers are looked after properly.

Those who come on here and tell Alex to leave it do so from a position adopted by many whio infest chess 'See no evil, speak no evil, here no evil' Quote- 'We just want to play chess' Very good but who do they think makes sure they can play chess- its the many volunteers like Alex and Lara.

If we the Chess community let all this pass without a meeting being called we ought to hang our heads in shame.

18.58 and thats not fogetting the ECF board taking legal action against FIDE Prresident without it being approved by Council- or have I got that wrong. If I am right is Council now irrelevant?
Last edited by Ernie Lazenby on Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Paul Buswell
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Re: My Resignation

Post by Paul Buswell » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:45 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Christopher Kreuzer wrote: If some starts a new thread on that, I might have something to add there. It all depends what is meant by the above, as it is not totally clear. But that is best put in a new thread.
You might want to revive this old thread.

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... ead#unread

I've been trying to get my head around the various ways of paying players for their participation in the British. I think they should be mostly tax neutral, since any payment to players can be offset by their expenses as it would count either as trivial income for a hobby (if amateurs) or allowed expenses (if professionals). As far as the ECF is concerned, if sponsorship or patronage amounts go through its books, then it has to pay VAT on receipts, but can offset the same against expenses. If the ECF President or other patron paid players directly or indirectly (via hotel bills) for participation in the British, that presumably isn't a direct concern of the ECF, but rather between the patron, the players and the tax authorities whether British or Greek.

I would presume that the ECF documents all payments to players that go through its own books. Beyond that, whether the payment is taxable, I would expect to be the responsibility of the players themselves.

Stewart Reuben claimed a few years ago that the Revenue was relaxed about amateur players earning prizes and in fact made it "difficult" to declare as a chess professional. Quite obviously if they sought to tax such prizes, almost all amateur players could throw their entire chess expenditure back at them and claim tax relief for all those 4NCL weekends and away club and county matches, not to mention the purchase of entire bookshelves of chess books and programs.
This is going back quite a few years, 15 maybe, but when I was Treasurer of the Hastings Congress it was necessary for us to deduct tax from the appearance fees (including fees in kind, e g hotel) and prize money of foreign players who were there professionally. At the time I secured written confirmation from the Revenue ('Foreign Entertainers Unit') that amateur players were not to be included in this. The foreign players were allowed to set off legitimate expenses and also a generous per diem; I deducted tax on the amount after expenses and gave them an Inland Revenue document to confirm the calculations and the deduction. Complicated by some countries' players being treated differently under tax treaties betwween their country and the UK.
As I recall - and here I am getting vague - this later expanded to having to report fees and prizes to UK professional players and officials; not deducting tax, just reporting, to some office in Wales I recall.
No idea whether that régime still exists but no doubt something like it does.

PB

Roger de Coverly
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Re: My Resignation

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:50 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote: It is obviouy to me that the ECF board are more concerned about the 2013 British Championships, for which CJ and Keene and have apparently obtained sponsorship , than they are in making sure the hard working volunteers are looked after properly.
.
It's general knowledge that the most likely venue for the 2013 British is Torquay. Beyond that any announcement of sponsorship is speculation. Or is it?

I would expect major changes in format to be unlikely for the 100th event. Beyond that, there was talk eighteen months ago of cutting the Championship back to a nine round event with presumably knock on effects on schedules for parallel amateur and junior events. 2014 would have a good excuse to do this, there being a likely date clash with the Olympiad in Tromso.

I suppose another unanswered question is who will be in charge for 2013 and 2014. It not a question that can reasonably be answered though.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: My Resignation

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:13 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote: 18.58 and thats not fogetting the ECF board taking legal action against FIDE Prresident without it being approved by Council- or have I got that wrong. If I am right is Council now irrelevant?
The ECF have never said what's happening apart from a brief comment by Jack Rudd and the matter being alluded to in Nigel Short's report without disclosing any ECF involvement other than as an observer.

I don't imagine Council is irrelevant but it must be difficult for Council members to raise matters that no-one knows about.

I think it's FIDE rather than the FIDE President that action is being taken against. In a manner of speaking it isn't the ECF who are doing this, rather a wealthy individual believed to be Kasparov himself, who is financing the action. As the issue (how many vice-presidents?) revolves around the small print of FIDE statutes, an individual cannot take action because the small print of the CAS says that for an organisation of organisations like FIDE only a member (national chess federations) can raise the issue.

Of course this is just speculation based on what FIDE or the FIDE President themselves have said and postings in this forum. Chess Scotland have confirmed they aren't involved notwithstanding a comment regarding chess federations of Great Britain (and Georgia)

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: My Resignation

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:37 pm

In Alex's message above he refers to `emails from Andrew Farthing that left Lara in tears`. This is new information and I feel needs highlighting. Obviously I will defer making any judgement until such time as I know exactly what the emails said (if that time should come). However I sincerely hope that these emails did not contain any bullying or unfair criticism over the matter - if this proves to be the case then Farthing's position must surely be untenable.

I think Alex's resignation means he is no longer obliged to honour any requests (or demands) of confidentiality made by the board. I would say that these documents should not be splashed over this forum but could be made available to interested parties on request. I am personally moving heaven and earth to ensure that my colleagues in Yorkshire know how the ECF (who want compulsory membership - lest we forget) treat volunteers.

If Lara is still willing to organise the 2012 championships then perhaps we should fall silent and allow her to concentrate on that - and organise some show of support during the event proper; one possibility is a petition praising her work in the face of the treatment she has received and handing it to De Mooi and Farthing who I'm sure will be in attendance.

Finally this was all so avoidable. Prior to the prizegiving the ECF was coming off the back of an extremely successful championship and was in its strongest position for years. Even after the T shirt incident and de Mooi's cretinous decision to involve the press the ECF had ample opportunity to repair the damage. All they needed to do was acknowledge the impact of events on Lara and support her in rebuilding her reputation and condemn the Keene slanders (lest we forget Keene was in the ECF office during the event upsetting volunteers with his behaviour - if he had no official standing why was he admitted to the office). Now the ECF is even more discredited than it was during the Gerry Walsh years and nobody with any common sense would consider getting involved.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Ernie Lazenby

Re: My Resignation

Post by Ernie Lazenby » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:03 pm

Perhaps others have noticed how Mr De-Mooi has gone absent from this forum and is now adopting the same position as the previous President did, a position we all complained about. So much for De-Mooi's promise of openness and accountability.

I really think it's time we gave some thought to who we get to replace Mr De-Mooi who has become a President in name only.

Alan Kennedy
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Re: My Resignation

Post by Alan Kennedy » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:33 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:Now the ECF is even more discredited than it was during the Gerry Walsh years and nobody with any common sense would consider getting involved.
I disagree with this comment. Having met Andrew Farthing he was a very sensible and level headed individual who is doing his best for English chess and although he may be wrong in this case he is entitled to respect.

I am also concerned that the endless disputes that get aired on the EC forum do nothing to further the cause of English chess. Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the dispute I would ask at what point is it time to move on and get on with the business of building English chess. The case of Jarndyce vs Jarndyce comes to mind. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jarndyce_and_Jarndyce. Whilst I am sure that Alex and Lara have been offended, and from everything I have read with good cause, I am concerned it does not do them or English chess any good to continue the debate. Incidentally, before any forumite are tempted to attack I should point out that we are nice to our arbiters in all the tournaments we organise. For example at the last tournament I ran I made sure the 60 children present gave the arbiters round of applause for a job well done and that the parents said thank you to them for their efforts.

Ernie Lazenby

Re: My Resignation

Post by Ernie Lazenby » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:46 pm

because someone is good at one job it does not mean they are good at another. Andrew Farthing has a thankless job trying to manage the ECF finances during a difficult time and on the face is doing a good job; in other aspects perhaps his management skills are not so apparent.

BTW A good Juggler can only keep the balls in air for a limited time eventually one comes back down to earth.

Alex McFarlane
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Re: My Resignation

Post by Alex McFarlane » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:54 pm

May I quote an Adam Raoof Facebook posting made earlier today to illustrate the support that has been given to the officials by members of the ECF Board.
Adam Raoof he never used the word and, to be fair, he apologised for his actions. Putting aside personalities, it was an inappropriate way to treat a sponsor who had ensured that what was predicted by many to be one of the less successful British Championships actually turned out to be atremendous success. It was possible to combine a prizegiving with the t-shirt, though not ideal. It was possible to resolve the issue on the spot, but that did not happen
He may not have used the word that is agreed but did he use terms which could only be interpreted in one way - as an accusation of homophobia?

Perhaps Mr Raoof will tell the forum exactly what was "an inappropriate way to treat a sponsor".

Ah, perhaps I have misinterpreted the Home Directors comments perhaps it is Facebook shorthand for
He never used the word and, to be fair, he apologised for his actions (but not his words). It was an inappropriate way to treat Lara Barnes who sponsored the event (with her time and effort and De Mooi by fund raising for his charity of choice) andhad ensured it turned out to be a tremendous success. It was possible to combine a prizegiving with the t-shirt (as had been suggested by both Managers), though not ideal. It was possible to resolve the issue on the spot, but this did not happen (because De Mooi refused to accept compromise).

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: My Resignation

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:04 pm

I think a critical point is that CJ de Mooi is a television personality and managed to get his grievances aired in a national paper. Raymond Keene is a well established chess journalist with a wide readership. Alex and Lara are not known outside of chess circles and have to make a lot of noise to get half the attention. I suspect the ECF would be happy for them to resign and quietly disappear. That's why this argument keeps going - it's important that the spotlight stays on Alex and Lara until their grievances are properly addressed.

I always seem to end up savaging Andrew Farthing on here but he has been asked repeatedly to address the impact this whole saga has had on Lara's health and reputation (it's called showing sympathy - it's not exactly difficult) and condemn the slanders made by Raymond Keene that go far further than anything CJ alleged. I now discover that he has sent emails that have upset Lara in her own home. I repeat that I do not know what these emails said or how they caused offence but I sincerely hope that Farthing has not resorted to bullying or heavy handed tactics to keep Lara in line.

Adam Raoof's comments are revealing - it's clearly one rule for CJ and another for Lara. Both contributed to the event in different ways, that is not in doubt. CJ should simply have said, `I understand what you're saying but I choose to differ and on my own head be it`. Whether there would have been such a fallout if he HAD worn the T shirt is something we'll never know (I'll happily add here that CJ was taking a stand against bigotry and I refuse to condemn a man for that).
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Roger de Coverly
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Re: My Resignation

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:39 am

Alan Kennedy wrote: I am also concerned that the endless disputes that get aired on the EC forum do nothing to further the cause of English chess.
Perhaps not, but I don't think official silence from the ECF helps either.

There's a longish list of issues that the ECF or a spokesperson for the ECF could comment on, where they maintain silence. This includes the ECF CEO, who if he intended his comments on the ECF website to be a regular feature, has been less than prolific in recent months.

Forums and blogs are a fact of life, directors of sporting, gaming and cultural organisations can no longer, if they ever could, control the information and dialogue taking place in and around their activities.

David Pardoe
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Re: My Resignation

Post by David Pardoe » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:04 am

Hello all,
Last year we had a brilliant `British Championships` at Sheffield, that was unfortunately tarnished by certain events at the closing stage.
Alex has explained in the clearest terms his concerns in that regard, and these have been met with a wide degree of sympathy and support from all quarters of British chess..
I now feel, as do others, that we must draw a line under matters, grasp the mettle, and try to move forward positively...
We are fast approaching the next `British Championships` on Tyneside, and I think we`d all like to see this as an unqualified success, as well as a great advert for our stunning and unsung North East coast..with all its heritage, and visitor gems...both in Northumberland & Durham....and, not least, great beaches.
Here`s my suggestion...
Can I ask that all sides now take stock and pull together and take this `second chance` to make this event an unqualified success, and demonstrate that we can indeed work as a team and deliver a top quality prestigious event that we can all be proud of.. I see this period as an opportunity for all sides to redeem themselves and make some really valuable and much needed contributions to British Chess.
We then have an opportunity at the next ECF AGM in October to further review matters, assess any further actions, and deliver a verdict, having given fair chance for all to demonstrate real commitment to the British Chess cause......
The School report currently reads... `Could do better if we tried`..... I`m sure we can....
BRING BACK THE BCF

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