ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Alan Walton
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Alan Walton » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:37 pm

Another thread polluted by constant membership discussion

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:12 pm

agreed, Alan. Carl may want to do something (not sure what) because this tendency is getting out of control.

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JustinHorton
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:21 pm

To be fair, tedious thought it may be (especially to those like myself who have no opinion on the issue) it keeps coming up because it remains both a bone of contention and an actual issue in the forrthcoming elections.
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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:27 pm

JustinHorton wrote:To be fair, tedious thought it may be (especially to those like myself who have no opinion on the issue) it keeps coming up because it remains both a bone of contention and an actual issue in the forrthcoming elections.
Agreed. But there must be ways of limiting the issue to a select few threads (probably more than one, as the issue can be approached from several different angles, but no more than two or three)? What I suggest is that Carl picks a couple of existing threads, and makes clear that discussion on membership issues be limited to those. This doesn't mean that membership can't be mentioned in other threads, but if it is, then those wishing to continue the discussion along those lines are firmly and courteously pointed to those threads. I say courteously, because the juvenile name-calling and personalising of the issues and eye-rolling annoys as much as the raising of the issue again and again.

John McKenna
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by John McKenna » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:30 pm

RdC >Until this season when the ECF is using economic compulsion...<

I think of it more in terms of the economy compelling the ECF. The point was raised this morning by IM Richard Bates (later seconded by Paul McKeown) that ECF is in "financial difficulties". That is in some sense comparable to the situation the UK governement finds itself in - there is a deficit (explicit in the case of the UK and implicit in the case of the ECF).

Those in charge at the ECF seem to have been trying to follow a kind of Darling plan for some time - cuts (at the ECF office), taxes (more direct revenue via membership scheme more quickly than the old game-fee scheme) and growth (the hope expressed above that more people will play more chess because they have paid for membership).

The first two, cuts & taxes, are all about increasing cashflow to stave off a deficit crisis and the latter, growth, is an attempt to create a virtuous financial spiral upwards and away from any such crisis (something only dreamed of by the UK gov.)

There have been health warnings from the unofficial opposition - particularly the member for Bourne End - that the plan will not achieve escape velocity and may crash back to Earth with disastrous consequences for all involved.

michele clack >... the general perception might then be, possibly with some justification, that the ECF only cares about Congress Chess not League Chess.<

I agree with the rest of what Michele wrote but the quote above does not go far enough, in my opinion. What the ECF really cares about primarily is itself - those running it are committed individuals who would not be in it if they did not care about its continued existence.

THEY ARE FIGHTING FOR ITS SURVIVAL!! (Some are in it to fight other battles, too.)
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Warren Kingston
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Warren Kingston » Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:55 pm

Adam Raoof wrote:
Bob Clark wrote:
Adam Raoof wrote:
I agree. I think that we can really simplify the membership scheme both for players (less categories, one would do for me), and for organisers (integrated membership and grading database, we're working on it). We also need a specific scheme for Juniors, at a base level of about £5 perhaps, or £10 to cover any junior up to the age of 16, with a membership officer dedicated to getting more junior events graded, and more juniors to join up. We already have a magazine, but it really needs to refocus post-membership as the audience will probably widen enough to attract a sponsor or two.
Adam, if this is your view of how the membership scheme should work, will you be proposing changes in your new role as Membership and Marketing Director?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you previously posted that you believe there there should be a single membership category costing around £25 per adult.
Is that still your position?
Personally, probably yes. However I agree with Richard, we have what we have, and I would think the best thing to do is to see how it goes for at least a season - my feedback is that people don't actually mind having to join the ECF, and it doesn't put them off playing events - rather it actually, dare I say, excites them with the possibilities.

They do have real practical problems understanding what the scheme involves, what level they should join at and are happier to give their club secretary money to pass on to the ECF than using PayPal to do it online.

What we have to do is on the one hand help organisers create events, so that our members can participate. On the other hand we have to fund the ECF to provide the infrastructure to create that environment. My club, Hendon, used to have very quiet nights where no matches were taking place and when three or four people would turn up and play a few casual games. I made a point of organising events on those nights, FIDE rated blitz tournaments, ECF rapidplay rated events and simuls with our stronger players such as IM Lorin d'Costa. Now forty people (out of a membership of 70) come to a club evening, sometimes paying an extra fee on top of their usual annual membership fee, and we have problems fitting them all in! We used to have two teams, now we have five, and we still can't satisfy demand for rated games.

The ECF is not so very different from my chess club, or yours. If we require (and I do believe we should require) membership for playing graded chess, then we have to deliver something in return. I have hopefully contributed something to improving the grading system by bringing Mike Bennett into the grading team to revitalise the grading database. I would really like the ECF to put some money it raises from membership back into the national Grand Prix, at least £5,000, to kick start a new prix for events requiring membership and advertising the ECF on their websites and entry forms, with a proper award cermony to be held each year at the British Championships. We need to have more rewards / awards in general.

I think that Alex Holowczak is going to revitalise the ECF Club and County Championships with his ideas, and those ideas will need financial backing, though I actually think they will pay for themselves in the long run.

We have a lot of events that just don't run each year without some support, and some that run with no support at all. If I am going to be paying to join the ECF and asking others to do the same, that has to change. We need to get more young people involved in the organisation of the game, as arbiters. We need to get all organisers using tournament management software to run events, and delivering grading quicker as a result. The two things are linked. We have to encourage all junior events to be graded nationally so that we can monitor their development, probably by offering the grading and the right to qualify for junior teams and national titles in return for junior events enforcing membership.

I don't agree with what Roger has proposed, and I don't think it has made him more likely to be elected.
Excellent post Adam, lots of vision there. I think 25 pound is ok for membership, but it needs to give more than grading, maybe money for entry at parks or discounts at cinema? Reduced cost for books and DVDs. Only thinking out loud. The Grand Prix is an exciting idea as well. A lot of people are entrenched and do not want anything to change, good to see people like Adam pushing boundries.

A Goodall
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by A Goodall » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:23 pm

From the Chess Scotland website.

CJ de mooi and Nigel Short of England refused to sit with Scotland, Wales and Ireland at the general assembly - having Stewart Reuben change their seats.

Contrary to popular belief we are voting for the ECF...

Does anyone know what is going on?

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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Andrew Bak » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:44 pm

A Goodall wrote:From the Chess Scotland website.

CJ de mooi and Nigel Short of England refused to sit with Scotland, Wales and Ireland at the general assembly - having Stewart Reuben change their seats.

Contrary to popular belief we are voting for the ECF...

Does anyone know what is going on?
How odd. Maybe they wanted to sit closer to Papua New Guinea. :lol:

Alex McFarlane
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Alex McFarlane » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:52 pm

I have no idea what happened this morning.

Lara and I arrived at the General Assembly of FIDE to see that the seating had been arranged by zones. The first two seats were allocated to ENG, the next two to SCO, then WAL and IRL.

We were looking forward to sitting next to Mr De Mooi and hopeful that we might make some progress. Unfortunately Stewart came in and switched ENG and AND. I do not believe the change of seating was at Nigel Short's request. indeed he sat in the front row (without Mr De Mooi) for the afternoon session.

I do know that Stewart did not change the seating arrangement without being asked.

The ECF President appears to have claimed on twitter that he was persuaded to go to Istanbul to fight for English Arbiters amongst other things and yet he appears to refuse to sit beside them. This does not auger well for a fresh start.

I have suspected that he has been trying to avoid me since Sheffield. On that assumption, can anyone confirm or otherwise if he intends to go to the ECF AGM? (I do for his information.)
If not is he prepared to answer questions? The latest to my list is "Why did you decline to sit next to us at the FIDE meeting?"

Lara and Nigel have had some conversations. The ECF AGM agreed to vote against having England thrown out of FIDE unless that was thought to be in the best interests of England. Lara was establishing that England did not want thrown out. (For clarification there was some feeling that if the countries were thrown out it might hasten reform of FIDE or cause a new organisation to be created.)

IanDavis
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by IanDavis » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:24 pm

If England were thrown out, they could not then, under the statutes, rejoin. It would be an interesting tactic, given that they had complained of abuse of the statutes. :)

Martin Regan

Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Martin Regan » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:43 pm

AM wrote:
We were looking forward to sitting next to Mr De Mooi and hopeful that we might make some progress.
Alex,

This obsession, played to rousing support of those with various axes to grind, has simply gone too far.

Let's be clear. You do not wish to "make progress". You wish Mr De Mooi to capitulate and apologize for the harm he has done you and yours - I understand that, and in the past, as you know, have sent you a private message to underscore that understanding - but your actions are now hugely damaging for British (not English) chess. Of course, if any of us were CJ or Nigel we would not want to sit next to you and "make progress" - you have made common ground with those who, to their shame, have labelled CJ a liar, a fraudster and a cheat on the basis of flimsy circumstantial evidence.

You have further - and this is more serious for an official of Chess Scotland - sought to put up a candidate for the President of the English Chess Federation simply to resolve your personal battle. That the candidate Roger Edwards - a very nice man - is so unsuited to the post as to be risible (and I speak as the recent head of Cheshire and North Wales Chess Association whose congresses Roger runs) is unworthy of you. (and please... posts about "I knew nothing of his standing"- I shall ignore)

CJ has not been a good president,but nor a terrible one. He has, however, been better than his predecessor and is head and shoulders and torso above what you hope will be his successor.

Had you retained some semblance of balance, I would probably have used what little influence I have to secure "none of the above" over Mr De Mooi - now I shall seek to ensure he is reelected.

Alex McFarlane
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Alex McFarlane » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:13 pm

Martin,

How much nonsense can you put in one post?

Yes I want him to apologise but I would willingly sit down and try to talk to him. Of course I want progress - to suggest otherwise is just unacceptable. Do you really think we enjoy this long drawn out affair? Sitting next to us would have been progress.

Mr De Mooi has claimed on twitter that he is in Istanbul to support English arbiters. One that was adversely affected was there. He could have shown that support in a tangible way.

I certainly know Roger but to state that he is my candidate is just so much tripe that I don't know how to respond. It is insulting both to Roger and to me. He asked if Scarborough would nominate him, not the other way round.

The fact I am a Chess Scotland official is neither here nor there. I am in England a considerable amount. I have been an ECF member (haven't yet renewed). I have every right to express my concerns.

David Pardoe
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by David Pardoe » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:35 pm

Alex, I think what Martin is saying is that.. more than enough `bullets` have been fired now in this unfortunate saga.

We do not want any further running battles, and personal abuse being circulated, which appears aimed at firing up hostilities, and does not serve any real constructive purpose.

So, I`d ask for a respectful silence, and any positive and contructive comments to flow enabling the forthcoming elections to be completed, and our next group of officers to be duely elected.
BRING BACK THE BCF

Alex Holowczak
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:40 pm

Martin Regan wrote:You have further - and this is more serious for an official of Chess Scotland - sought to put up a candidate for the President of the English Chess Federation simply to resolve your personal battle. That the candidate Roger Edwards - a very nice man - is so unsuited to the post as to be risible (and I speak as the recent head of Cheshire and North Wales Chess Association whose congresses Roger runs) is unworthy of you. (and please... posts about "I knew nothing of his standing"- I shall ignore)
You may ignore posts from the other Alex about knowing nothing of his standing, but this Alex will have a go anyway.

Alex may well have sought to put up a candidate for the President of the English Chess Federation, but I do not believe that Roger is standing in that capacity. Roger had been asking for support from various bodies in order to get on the ballot paper, including bodies with which I have an involvement in the Midlands. With that in mind, I put the question directly to him, and he made it clear to me that he wasn't Alex's opponent for CJ. (I was fairly sure Roger was standing under his own steam, but wanted him to tell me as much.) Alex may well have known that Roger was going to stand before the rest of us knew, but I don't think he was key in getting him to stand in the first place. I'm fairly sure that this is all Roger's idea.

People were always going to link "Roger Edwards standing for President" with "Alex McFarlane wants to get rid of CJ", whether or not Scarborough nominated Roger.

If Alex had asked Roger to stand in a bid to oust CJ, I don't think Roger is the sort of person who would agree to do so under those terms.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Director elections for 2012/13

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:56 pm

michele clack wrote: There would also be an issue of trust if the price of basic membership was put up so swiftly.
Do you really expect any other outcome? The research and the budgeting were not done with the objective of testing whether a per head charging system was cheaper to run than a per event one, and certainly there was no parallel running to see which groups of players might expect to be paying less to the ECF and which group more.

The subject keeps on coming up when election of directors is discussed because it's quite clear that candidates have objectives. If members of Council or the organisations they represent don't share these objectives then they should vote for none of the above or instruct the ECF Board not to proceed. It's particularly relevant when the prospective Director of Membership and Marketing appears to be advocating a £ 25 membership presumably coupled with a complete exclusion of non-members from graded chess. This was believed to be the Regan position, rejected by Council in April 2008.

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