My Resignation

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Roger de Coverly
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Re: My Resignation

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:13 am

Paul Cooksey wrote:. Although Andrew Farthing did describe it as such, when he posted it here. I though the issue of the Sunday Times with the offending article was the one earlier that day?
The August 7th statements were intended to close and should have closed the issue. But when was the Sunday Times article? Hidden as it is behind the News International paywall, it's difficult to check.

I thought the context of Alex McF's issue with the ECF was that the article post-dated the August 7th closure and the ECF board refused to comment against the article. If the article was published on the 7th, it would have been prepared on the 6th and thus "crossed in the post" with the ECF's internal investigation. Even so, it would have been possible to comment that the article had been overtaken by events.

I suppose again it's governance, but if the ECF board or individuals on the board don't feel able to respond to issues publicly in their own name, why don't they have an official, unofficial spokesperson to respond off the record? (Or is it Gidders ?) You have to know what it is that you want to say to make that work.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: My Resignation

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:16 pm

Part of the September 2011 issue of Chess is available on line at ... 20miva.pdf

In it Malcolm writes about the opening and closing ceremonies at Sheffield.

Some snippets
Sep 2011 Chess wrote:Adam Raoof, the Director of Home Chess was not present at the closing ceremony as he was running one of his events in London. I know he wants to make some personnel changes and one of them should be Adam becoming tournament director. Credit to him and CJ for finding an excellent venue. Playing conditions were very good.
Earlier in the piece he had commented
Sep 2011 Chess wrote:However, I would add just one caveat. The ECF does not yet look ready to stage a professional event. For example, there was no Press Officer. Indeed, there was little to show that the event had commercial sponsorship.
I think Alex has now revealed that a Press Officer was proposed but turned down as all the sponsorship money was to be used for titled player fees and conditions.

On the subject of a certain chess correspondent he wrote
Sep 2011 Chess wrote: It was the 40th anniversary of Keene’s victory at the British at Blackpool in 1971 but he was an odd choice given his fractured relationship with the governing body that ended very badly with the Tony Miles affair. I think that, after all this time, CJ has decided to let bygones be bygones and the tournament was covered well in the Times.

Alex McFarlane
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Re: My Resignation

Post by Alex McFarlane » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:01 pm

Hopefully to clarify a few points.

The Darwin sponsorship money was solely for conditions for the players. The Managers realised that even though it might mean an overspend on the budget it would be a good idea to have a press officer when we had a sponsor. We felt the sponsor should get maximum return on its investment. Adam Raoof approached some potential POs but was unsuccessful in his attempts.
Initially there were no plans to have a PO as it was felt that the available funds would not support such a position.

The venue for 2011 had nothing to do with CJ De Mooi or Adam Raoof. It was found by Stewart Reuben and approved by David Welch.

To clarify the timeline of events.

6 Aug De Mooi declines to present any prizes
6 Aug De Mooi rejects an offer from DAve Welch to make a speech during the prizegiving.
6 Aug De Mooi contacts Times/Keene/Observer/Jeremy Vine(Radio 2) to complain
6 Aug Story appears in inline edition of Observer and Sunday Times
7 Aug Story appears in printed edition of above papers and various blogs from then on.
Keene Tweets
7 Aug Explanation/apology appears on ECForum. De Mooi states this draws a line under the matter.
11 Aug De Mooi has appraoched the Sunday Times and Observer offering to do articles on homophobia. Allegedly on his experiences subsequently denied by him.
13(?) Keene tweets that he stands by everything said or written
23 Aug De Mooi emails me asking for details of my lawyer as he is wanting to put together a case.
24 Aug De Mooi tweets urging people to read Keene's column
25 Aug I email De Mooi "It was disappointing to see that you tweeted asking people to follow Times_Chess on Twitter.
The Times has still to withdraw its accusation of homophobia against the control team and Ray Keene (Times_Chess) refuses to apologise for his use of the terms 'bigots' and 'brutish' when referring to us again in his tweets."
25 Aug De Mooi requests that I make no further contact with him.

A short time after this we are told by representatives of both the Observer and days laterby a representative of the Sunday Times that both stories which appeared accurately reflected the allegations which were made by De Mooi. The Observer on being directed to De Mooi's apology immediately toned down its online story. THe ST subsequently toned down its online story as well but only after we had gone to the PCC.
Date unknown De Mooi issued personal apology to Andrew Farthing. No apology has ever been issued to Lara Barnes.

I believe that De Mooi's approach to two national papers negates his claim that his statement of 7 Aug drew a line under the matter. His email to me of 23 Aug also seems to deny that he had drawn a line under the matter. When his statement of 7 Aug was noted it is certain that the Observer ended its interest in him doing such an article.

I trust this helps clarify the timeline. The story was picked up in various blogs - the Spraggett one being a particularly nasty example. A clear statement of De Mooi's position was needed at that time to minimise the damage and have some of the vile retracted. It was not forthcoming.
Hence my position in this matter.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: My Resignation

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:10 am

Thanks for posting the excerpts from the CHESS September 2011 editorial, Roger, I'd forgotten about that. Alex, in your timeline, were there not tweets from CJ on the 6 August? IIRC, these tweets went out while the prize-giving was taking place? They were also reposted on this forum, see here:

Someone should collect together all the forum threads related to this topic. It's not easy to find them all now.

Paul Cooksey

Re: My Resignation

Post by Paul Cooksey » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:35 am

I was not intending to comment on the timeline, since I felt Alex had stated the facts reasonably. Not neutrally of course, but certainly not in a way that would mislead anyone. I disagree with him that the unwritten articles broke the "truce", as I imagine everyone would expect.

I am commenting further to mention I am going to write to the editor of The Times:
James Harding
1 Virginia Street
E98 1RL

and Sunday Times:
John Witherow
3 Thomas More Square,
E98 1RL

to complain about their chess correspondent. I suggest others do the same.

I can understand why people who make their living from chess, and not just CJ, maintain a relationship with Mr Keene. But I think retweeting a link to the old Spragett article on a flimsy pretext, after Alex called it out as particularly unfair, is disgraceful. My position is that, although I accept the PCC ruling and have in fact disagreed with the complainant, it embarrasses the papers to have a correspondent causing gratuitous offence to score petty points.

It is possible to email these people, but I think letters are still regarded as the best way to complain. Something about a piece of paper gives a complaint weight, both literally and metaphorically.

John McKenna
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Re: My Resignation

Post by John McKenna » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:51 pm

Just a throwaway (feel free Carl) comment - CJ & RDK remind me of the current TB & GJB - while the former is now a wandering envoy (persona non grata at home) busy 'pacifying' the Middle East, the latter sits at home (persona non grata in Parliament) trying to 'save' Africa.
PS The main difference is that Tony & Gordon are no longer friends - if they ever were.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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