Thank you Lara and staff

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Paul Cooksey

Re: Thank you Lara and staff

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:26 pm

Krishna Shiatis wrote:Honestly Paul, I think you are blowing this out of proportion. Lara has just done a very good job at the British. I suspect she is exhausted and tired. Just leave her alone and when she is ready, maybe some explanation will be forthcoming.
I cannot imagine the reaction such an argument would have provoked if I'd used it to defend Nigel Short.

There is no particular need for Lara to respond immediately. But I view the matter as very serious.

Krishna Shiatis
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Re: Thank you Lara and staff

Post by Krishna Shiatis » Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:35 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Krishna Shiatis wrote:Honestly Paul, I think you are blowing this out of proportion. Lara has just done a very good job at the British. I suspect she is exhausted and tired. Just leave her alone and when she is ready, maybe some explanation will be forthcoming.
I cannot imagine the reaction such an argument would have provoked if I'd used it to defend Nigel Short.

There is no particular need for Lara to respond immediately. But I view the matter as very serious.
The two are not even remotely comparable in terms of impact on the ECF and their members.

I do not know if you have noticed Paul, but we might be about to be ejected from FIDE. This is as a consequence of a failed legal action costing FIDE and Mr Kasparov lots of money - an action which many people were not in agreement with in the first place or simply did not even know about; as well as a memorandum which we have our name on, which will possibly anger FIDE delegates even further so that they may have even more cause to vote us out.

In addition, our arbiters are being stopped from performing their jobs.

Whereas Lara has suggested something which she corrected the next day. There has been literally no consequences that I can see to her actions other than some statements on the forum.

Paul Cooksey

Re: Thank you Lara and staff

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:48 pm

Krishna Shiatis wrote:The two are not even remotely comparable in terms of impact on the ECF and their members.
I disagree strongly. Some of our arbiters have used every opportunity to attack the ECF board, since they felt that they were mistreated at last years championship. I consider that this has been extremely damaging to English chess, whereas the dispute with FIDE will not ultimately have much impact on the overwhelming majority of members.

Alex and some of his supporters have already expressed dissatisfaction that their "enemy" CJ intended to "use" the 2013 championship to re-establish his popularity. You'll also remember Alex's earlier insinuation that the Board had made a serious mistake signing a contact with Torquay since a Scottish sponsor had approached him.

I can only see this latest incident in that context, and feel the ECF is being damaged by an ongoing vendetta.

Lara Barnes
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Re: Thank you Lara and staff

Post by Lara Barnes » Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:51 pm

Last year the Managers of the BCC were criticised for not asking a board member who was present. I asked the advice of the only board member present and was given, unasked for, advice from Stewart Reuben - someone who was suggested last year as an acceptable source of advice - to make some kind of statement to the effect that next year's venue may not be confirmed. I was not intending to make anything public before this advice.

This was after an absolutely fantastic offer from Plymouth, who were willing to go to extreme lengths, all beneficial to the players and the event, to gain the 100th Championships. These included seeing satisfactory re-location of people who had already booked accommodation in Torquay.

As the current manager of the event I could not, in good faith, ignore such an offer and asked many experienced people whether or not to moot the possibility of Torquay postponing our event until 2015.

I emailed the manager of the Riviera centre in Torquay to ask if such a postponement was a possibility without too much of a financial penalty.

These are the facts, make of them what you will.

Thank you so much to the dozens of people who have sent positive feedback about this year's event. It would not have been possible without your participation and excellent, well mannered, friendly and supportive attitude to the event.

Krishna Shiatis
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Re: Thank you Lara and staff

Post by Krishna Shiatis » Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:57 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Krishna Shiatis wrote:The two are not even remotely comparable in terms of impact on the ECF and their members.
I disagree strongly. Some of our arbiters have used every opportunity to attack the ECF board, since they felt that they were mistreated at last years championship. I consider that this has been extremely damaging to English chess, whereas the dispute with FIDE will not ultimately have much impact on the overwhelming majority of members.

Alex and some of his supporters have already expressed dissatisfaction that their "enemy" CJ intended to "use" the 2013 championship to re-establish his popularity. You'll also remember Alex's earlier insinuation that the Board had made a serious mistake signing a contact with Torquay since a Scottish sponsor had approached him.

I can only see this latest incident in that context, and feel the ECF is being damaged by an ongoing vendetta.
Paul, we will never have peace if you keep stoking the fires like this and talking of vendettas. I noticed that Lara has posted her statement - which is good enough for me.

Let it go and maybe one day they will fix things between themselves - whatever it is, maybe not. But continued accusations of 'damaging English chess' when nothing has really happened will not help English chess.

Paul Cooksey

Re: Thank you Lara and staff

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:58 pm

Lara Barnes wrote:These are the facts, make of them what you will.
I see a very significant difference between consulting Stewart Reuben when he was a member of the ECF Board last year, and consulting him no when he is not. But I accept that if Lara did consult a board member who was happy for her to proceed as she did, that is significant.

I'm not arguing Lara acted incompetently - there never seems to have been any doubt that she runs well organised events. But I cannot support her judgement in taking the actions she did, knowing that a contract was in place with Torquay. I cannot view her ongoing disputes with the ECF board as irrelevant.

Paul Cooksey

Re: Thank you Lara and staff

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:07 pm

Krishna Shiatis wrote:Paul, we will never have peace if you keep stoking the fires like this and talking of vendettas.
If I felt I was the only person who believed Alex and Lara have acted unreasonably and continue to do so, I would not have raised the matter. Nor would I if I felt Alex and Lara were attempting to move on.

I agreed strongly with Martin Regan's comments about their actions in the CAS thread, but felt it was inappropriate to criticise them while the British was ongoing. I was frustrated this was seen as an attempt to sweep their allegations under the carpet, rather than a willingness not to challenge the allegations until a more appropriate time.

Andrew Farthing
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Re: Thank you Lara and staff

Post by Andrew Farthing » Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:14 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:Let's suppose the Board were in fact divided, with an argument going on between a Torquay faction and a Plymouth faction. If you are caught in the middle as being responsible for the 2013 event, you need to bring it out into the open to provoke a decision, or just a reiteration that the choice had already been made.
No, let's not suppose this, because it is completely untrue.

There is no division in the Board and no 'Torquay faction' or 'Plymouth faction'. The Board took the decision that Torquay would be the 2013 venue during the 2011 Championships in Sheffield and the contract was signed days later. There has been no discussion of the 2013 venue since because the decision had been taken and there was nothing to discuss. No one on the Board has considered, is considering or will be considering an alternative venue, because we already have an excellent venue.

It is impossible to be caught in the middle of something which does not exist.
Roger de Coverly wrote:The background hints suggest that the ECF would/will struggle to afford the Riviera Centre, but that if sponsorship was lacking, an unknown backer (where have we heard that one before?) would step in. If there's a suggestion that the backer will back out, what do you do?
Let's not suppose this either. The ECF will NOT struggle to afford the Riviera Centre.

I too would like to comment positively about the hard work put in by Lara and the rest of the Championships organisation team. I was in North Shields on the second Monday and Tuesday, spoke to many players, and heard nothing but positive comments about the venue and the running of the event.

I am grateful to Lara and the team for what they achieved, and I regret as much as anyone that we have been distracted from what could and should have been a positive story by what was said at the start of the final round. I would much rather have commented exclusively on the positives, but the necessity of confronting a completely false story about 'doubts' over the venue of the 2013 Championships left me with no choice but to deal with it. As the remarks quoted above show, no matter how clearly I state the truth, I have to keep on rebutting new variations on the same nonsense.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Thank you Lara and staff

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:19 pm

Andrew Farthing wrote: ...no matter how clearly I state the truth, I have to keep on rebutting new variations on the same nonsense.
Indeed. What a sad indictment. It's a real pity that a great event has once again been overshadowed by something not related to the chess.

Ernie Lazenby

Re: Thank you Lara and staff

Post by Ernie Lazenby » Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:37 pm

The one single thing that must happen in October is for a festering boil to be lanced once and for all and thereafter move on in a positive way. I see the best way for the boil to be lanced is for a couple of individuals to resign or be voted out.

I am sorry Andrew is standing down as CEO, maybe he could occupy a suitable position where is talents can be put to good use. We need a strong personality as a CEO. Above all we must get rid of the council system.

It is indeed sad that an excellent event has been overshadowed by this and one wonders if it was orchestrated? There are those who have an agenda so far as ALex and Lara are concerned, that is obvious.

Paul Cooksey

Re: Thank you Lara and staff

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:44 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:The one single thing that must happen in October is for a festering boil to be lanced once and for all and thereafter move on in a positive way.
It is rare that I agree with Ernie, but I think this statement is correct.
Ernie Lazenby wrote:I see the best way for the boil to be lanced is for a couple of individuals to resign or be voted out.
My agreement with Ernie was unlikely to ever last long. I don't agree this is the best way, although it is one way.

If they are re-elected and some officials cannot work with them without it causing further distractions, the officials should be removed, Even if they are highly competent. No-one can be bigger than the team.

Ernie Lazenby

Re: Thank you Lara and staff

Post by Ernie Lazenby » Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:56 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Ernie Lazenby wrote:The one single thing that must happen in October is for a festering boil to be lanced once and for all and thereafter move on in a positive way.
It is rare that I agree with Ernie, but I think this statement is correct.
Ernie Lazenby wrote:I see the best way for the boil to be lanced is for a couple of individuals to resign or be voted out.
My agreement with Ernie was unlikely to ever last long. I don't agree this is the best way, although it is one way.

If they are re-elected and some officials cannot work with them without it causing further distractions, the officials should be removed, Even if they are highly competent. No-one can be bigger than the team.
With respect Paul it has been a lack of team work that has caused problems since the end of last years Championship. Quite apparent some people worked outside a team going of as lose cannons resulting in others having to try and justify those actions. Strong personalities/egos believing they can do what they want.

Paul Cooksey

Re: Thank you Lara and staff

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:00 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:With respect Paul it has been a lack of team work that has caused problems since the end of last years Championship. Quite apparent some people worked outside a team going of as lose cannons resulting in others having to try and justify those actions. Strong personalities/egos believing they can do what they want.
I would go quite that far in criticising the people with whom I disagree, although I could see that argument. Also, it is highly probably that the people with whom I disagree are not the same ones Ernie is referring too.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Thank you Lara and staff

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:06 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:Obviously certain events continue to (needlessly) cast their shadow but I hope Alex and Lara will remain involve with the British for many years to come. After all, who else is willing to give up their time so selflessly in order to make events such as this happen in spite of their other commitments - okay don't answer that.
It's not the central point of this thread, but I would take issue with this. The dynamics of volunteer organisations and getting people to volunteer and work together, are something that should be considered more. Saying that any individual volunteers are irreplaceable or that no-one else is stepping forward, or would step forward, to do what someone does, ends up being a self-fulfilling statement.

The mark of the best volunteers, the ones who put aside ego and pride in their own achievements, are those who ensure a legacy of other volunteers that follow after them when they step down and/or move on. Those who encourage and help train other volunteers, building up something that is more than the sum of its parts. Finding other people to do what you are doing now is never easy, but if it is done and continuity is ensured, that is sometimes as important as the job you have volunteered for. No matter how competent or exceptional a volunteer is, if things collapse after they leave, they bear some responsibility for that (and this is directed at anyone who has ever volunteered in any chess organising role, from congress organiser to ECF Board members).

One thing is certain. The wrong atmosphere can discourage others from volunteering. It doesn't matter who is responsible for that atmosphere, everyone needs to work to encourage people to volunteer at whatever level, not blithely question who else is willing to do things.
Andrew Zigmond wrote:Let's make this the round of applause for the organisers and I hope as many members of the board as possible will put aside the rancour of the last twelve months to add their thanks.
I think what this thread has shown is that more than this, from all concerned, is needed. Possibly it is no longer possible for certain people to work together. If that is so, then something needs to happen to allow English chess as a whole to move on.

William Metcalfe
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Re: Thank you Lara and staff

Post by William Metcalfe » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:56 pm

Laras statement had nothing to do with any dispute with some ECF board members anybody that even thinks that obv have there own agendas.Lara made the statement because of information she had been given that there could be a problem and she did not want people lossing money.
If a potential sponsor has pulled out i hope the ECF are not expecting the players to pay increased entry fees.
I am speaking here for myself and not the NCCU which i am now president of

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