ECF loses case

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Alex McFarlane
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby Alex McFarlane » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:48 am

Gerard Killoran wrote:‘He’s a cheery old card,’ grunted Harry to Jack
As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack.
. . . .
But he did for them both by his plan of attack.


For Harry and Jack read Lara and Sean.

And speaking of Jack.
Thanks for sticking your head above the parapet. Your honesty does you credit, and for the record I wouldn't expect you to resign. However, I find it difficult to believe that the proposer of the motion didn't alert the Board to the possibility of some form of 'retaliation'. You only have to go back 2 years to the previous Olympiad where arbiters from countries seen as being against the current FIDE President were short on the ground.

You can argue that something needs to be done but making lawyers rich and taking money away from the FIDE Chess in Schools project quite clearly was never the way forward.

I wonder if the FIDE delegate's Report to the AGM will also be rejected like his last one.

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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby JustinHorton » Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:17 am

Alex McFarlane wrote:And speaking of Jack.
Thanks for sticking your head above the parapet. Your honesty does you credit, and for the record I wouldn't expect you to resign.


Nor would I. Rather the opposite.

There's a couple of resignations i would like to see though.
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Jonathan Bryant
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby Jonathan Bryant » Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:56 am

Justin Horton wrote:There's a couple of resignations i would like to see though.


Indeed, although the situation does rather remind me of a game I played a few years back when my opponent played on a rook down in what would otherwise have been a king & pawn endgame. It wasn't so much that I thought resignation was unwarranted when it came, rather I didn't understand why he would quit at that point when he was prepared to continue until then.




PS: agreed re Jack.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby Jonathan Rogers » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:55 am

We should not let the other pro-action Directors off so lightly. They too did nothing to ensure that the decision to declare war on FIDE met with the mood of the rest of the chess playing community, amd did not ask whether the action furthered the aims of the federation as a limited company. There was little apparent thinking about the consequences. It was only too foreseeable that there would be negative consequences of some sort or other. In fact this is true in many cases in ordinary life - it is not just FIDE who dislikes being sued: taking in legal action often tends to led to a complete breakdown in relations! The impression from Jack is that he was only thinking of the fact that the ECF's costs and liabilities were covered, and (quite astonishingly) that he might have reached the same decision even if he had foreseen the arbiter saga.

This was really highly reckless conduct. It would have been so even if they had won but it is all the worse now - we have lost any substantial "but they did have a point" sympathy which the ECF might have otherwise had from other chess playing nations if they had won, and Kirsan's position in 2014 is probably now completely safe (safer than before, in fact). One also wonders whether the Directors contemplated the possibility of defeat; perhaps they were thinking like ches players and did not realise that there is no such thing as a certain win in ltigation?

I am not saying the other Directors should be forced out, but if they have learnt nothing from this then perhaps they should be voted out if there are more worldly candidates available. It is most unfortunate that the one Director who voted against action is resigning anyway, but it must be frustrating to be the sole voice of reason on such an important matter.

Mike Gunn
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby Mike Gunn » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:11 am

The ECF were notified of the decision yesterday and I expect an official statement will appear within a day or so.

My personal position is identical to Jack's, but I would go further in saying I see no need for any director to resign over this issue. I stiil believe we were right to take this action and although mistakes were made (not least forgetting to inform Council what we were doing) they were not the fault of any individual director.

There will be an opportunity to elect new directors (and FIDE delegate) in October and if you do not like what the incumbents have done then put some candidates up against us.

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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby JustinHorton » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:22 am

Who was the director who voted against?
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"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby JustinHorton » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:25 am

Mike Gunn wrote:although mistakes were made (not least forgetting to inform Council what we were doing) they were not the fault of any individual director.


There obviously were individual faults on the part of individual directors. Notably, but not only, those who plainly chose to keep information from ECF Council rather than it slipping their mind.
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Jonathan Rogers
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby Jonathan Rogers » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:29 am

JustinHorton wrote:Who was the director who voted against?


Loz Cooper, unless I have misunderstood.

Late edit - and it looks as though this might have been a misunderstanding (and if so, then not my first, but this brings us back to the secrecy issue). Though in any event, I would not be surprised if whoever did vote against the action is leaving the Board; let's wait to see who will stand for re-election. And, following Mike Gunn's call to arms, it would be interesting to know whether anyone does want to join the Board.
Last edited by Jonathan Rogers on Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby Jonathan Rogers » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:32 am

Mike Gunn wrote:
There will be an opportunity to elect new directors (and FIDE delegate) in October and if you do not like what the incumbents have done then put some candidates up against us.


Oh, thank you! and what do we do if no credible candidate wants to join the Board as it is currently composed?

All we can do is to try to make Board members see the error of their ways, but it is not easy.

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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby JustinHorton » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:37 am

As far as mistakes are concerned - sure, people make mistakes. So would anybody else. I very much doubt I'd do any better.

But every time there's some cock-up with the ECF, there's this pattern where people admit that mistakes were made, but then it's not really followed through and nothing really changes - partly, because we don't find out what really happened - hence contributing to the next cock-up. And I fear this is liable to be another example.

As far as memory lapses are concerned, by the way, at the very least I would observe that if the ECF had a commitment to openness and transparency, there wouldn't have been any question of forgetting.
"Do you play chess?"
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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby JustinHorton » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:42 am

Anyway, my views on this are well-known and I do not wish to bore people further. I think there should be resignations. I do not think these should include Jack Rudd or Mike Gunn.

I have a plane to catch this evening and will be happy to say hello to any forum members who happen to be playing at Penarth.

Pip pip.
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"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Ernie Lazenby

Re: ECF loses case

Postby Ernie Lazenby » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:48 am

Its quite simple really. C J De-Mooi and Nigel Short must resign or be forced out. They sold it to the board. No need to go over old ground.

One must hope of course that it does not cost the ECF one single penny piece, if it does the Directors who voted for it without obtaining autthority from Council must cover the cost between them.

Andrew Farthing
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby Andrew Farthing » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:59 am

Jonathan Rogers wrote:
JustinHorton wrote:Who was the director who voted against?


Loz Cooper, unless I have misunderstood.

You have. It was me.

The earlier comments suggesting that the Board should have considered the possibility of adverse political consequences or retaliation are based on the assumption that it didn't. It did. It should be borne in mind that the ECF, in common with many other federations, was known not to be supportive of the current FIDE regime well before this case. We were already somewhat in the firing line.

I'm disappointed by the suggestion that, had we anticipated that the President of the Turkish Chess Federation would take it upon himself to discriminate against arbiters from countries whose federations had taken legal action against FIDE, it should have altered the Board's decision to pursue the case. Whether one agrees with it or not, the ECF had the right to undertake the action against FIDE. To imply that this right should be foregone because of the possibility of behaviour like Mr Yacizi's just perpetuates such bullying tactics.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby Jonathan Rogers » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Andrew Farthing wrote:
Jonathan Rogers wrote:
JustinHorton wrote:Who was the director who voted against?


Loz Cooper, unless I have misunderstood.

You have. It was me.

The earlier comments suggesting that the Board should have considered the possibility of adverse political consequences or retaliation are based on the assumption that it didn't. It did. It should be borne in mind that the ECF, in common with many other federations, was known not to be supportive of the current FIDE regime well before this case. We were already somewhat in the firing line.

I'm disappointed by the suggestion that, had we anticipated that the President of the Turkish Chess Federation would take it upon himself to discriminate against arbiters from countries whose federations had taken legal action against FIDE, it should have altered the Board's decision to pursue the case. Whether one agrees with it or not, the ECF had the right to undertake the action against FIDE. To imply that this right should be foregone because of the possibility of behaviour like Mr Yacizi's just perpetuates such bullying tactics.


I was at least right about the one Director who opposed the action leaving the Board! What were your reasons for opposing the action, Andrew?

Sean Hewitt
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Re: ECF loses case

Postby Sean Hewitt » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:11 pm

I agree with Andrew that Yazici's actions, even if foreseeable, were no reason not to take action - if it were warranted. However, it my opinion it was not warranted for a number of reasons

(i) It was not our battle. In other words, would we have taken this action unilaterally if not prompted to do so by Kasparov and others. If the answer is no, as I’m sure it is, we should not have been their puppet.
(ii) It was not a battle that could be won. Even if the CAS had found in the ECF’s favour (and I thought it probably would) it was possible, likely even, that the General Assembly would just change it’s own rules to allow the appointments to be re-made.
(iii) It was not the right battle. There is clearly a lot not to like about FIDE, and many federations clearly share this view. It is right that the ECF should stand up to FIDE (taking them to CAS even) if a serious issue were to arise. However, the appointment of 3 extra Vice Presidents is not the issue to go to war over. If you’re going to pick a fight, make sure it’s over something that most people would agree and / or care about.

The ECF must now ensure that it’s guarantees are now called in asap so that we can all draw a line under this mess and move on. A number of people will have questions to answer come October and the AGM, but that is a matter for then.


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