Deliverance!?

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
John McKenna
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Deliverance!?

Post by John McKenna » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:29 pm

Is there anything whereof it may be said, See this is new? It hath been already of old time... (Ecclesiastes)

You may, or may not, remember the following email -

Dear Chess Colleagues,

Yesterday I along with Peter Sowray, the director of international chess, Claire Summerscale, the director of junior chess, and non-executive director Mike Truran resigned our positions within the English Chess Federation, although we will stay on, if required, until the end of May to ensure a smooth handover for our successors.
The decision has been immensely difficult. Since the new board took control in a contested election in 2006, it has made substantial progress in improving both the profile and activity of the ECF. It has made mistakes along the way, but generally, I hope you will agree, it has been a board which had the interests of English chess at heart.
However, in order for English Chess to achieve that of which it is capable, more fundamental changes are needed. This is what the board was elected to deliver.
We were under no illusion about the hurdles that would need to be overcome, nor were we even sure that the Federation itself would wish to embark on major change.
However, it was clear from the first that in order to progress this agenda two fundamental conditions were required: A unified board and a Council wishing to hear the debate with an open mind.
I regret to say that neither condition could be met, despite my best efforts.
At Finance Council it became depressingly clear that a minority - and I do stress the word minority - had little intention of grasping the opportunity for debate. Unfortunately, voices within the ECF which speak loud and often have a disproportionate influence.
At the same time, over the past year, it has become clear that not all the members of the board wished to support the type of changes that the large majority of the board believed were essential, indeed were implacably opposed to them .That is their right,of course, but seeking to persuade the Federation about the need for change with the background opposition of key figures is impossible. I am not a magician.
It is an huge privilege to be a director of the ECF and to serve a Council which on the whole, in my view, tries its best. But with this privilege comes the responsibility to leave the Federation in a better position than when one took office. This needs to be recognised more. And as your CEO, as I could no longer guarantee this, I felt the only honorable course was to resign.
In saying this, I make absolutely no criticism of those directors who have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with me but have, for the present, decided to remain in post. I thank them for their support. As I say, this has been a period of soul-searching for us all.
In the case of Claire, Peter and Mike, the ECF has lost three of the hardest working and most effective officers it has had for many, many years. I am proud to have worked alongside them. As indeed I have been proud to work with many ECF delegates and officers.
I should like to thank all those who have helped the board during the past 18 months, and those hundreds of volunteer organisors, members and players whose voices are rarely heard, but without whom there would be no Federation.

Thank you all
Martin Regan (29/04/2008 12:48)
Last edited by John McKenna on Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Deliverance!?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:47 pm

John McKenna wrote: You may, or may not, remember the following email -
We certainly do. They walked out in a hissy fit when the voting membership on Council quite rightly said that they couldn't endorse the development of a compulsory or universal membership scheme without knowing the broad outlines of the concept. It later transpired that they wanted everyone to pay something like a Gold level fee, but that grading would be optional. In other words if you weren't a member you wouldn't be in a grading list, although whether this meant that all your games would be excluded or the result not published was never made clear.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Deliverance!?

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:12 pm

Thank God for that. I thought somebody was being sent on a canoeing weekend.
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John McKenna
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Re: Deliverance!?

Post by John McKenna » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:53 pm

Actually I was hoping that the incoming 'team' would read the email and get cold feet. If they don't then perhaps I will eventually have to say - they died with their boots on.
Last edited by John McKenna on Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Deliverance!?

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:56 pm

{url=http://www.somelink.com}Pot Hole Text{/url} only with square brackets rather than curly ones.

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Greg Breed
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Re: Deliverance!?

Post by Greg Breed » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:00 pm

John McKenna wrote:One day I'll learn that trick of turning links into text.
If you hover your mouse pointer over the URL button it actually tells you how to do it :)

Code: Select all

[url=http://url]URL text[/url]
so it could look like this:
[url=http://www.ecforum.org.uk/posting.php?mode=quote&f=25&t=5870&p=123254]EC Forum called Deliverance[/url]
EC Forum called Deliverance
Hatch End A Captain (Hillingdon League)
Harrow Captain (Middlesex League)

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Greg Breed
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Re: Deliverance!?

Post by Greg Breed » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:01 pm

...ever the speed merchant Jack ;)
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John McKenna
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Re: Deliverance!?

Post by John McKenna » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:13 pm

My thanks to Jack and Greg (see above) - next trick turning the ECF officers and Council into a close harmony group. Perhaps that's the answer - they should form into a choir and ask for coaching from Gareth Malone.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Deliverance!?

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:21 pm

A choir? I can do that.

John McKenna
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Re: Deliverance!?

Post by John McKenna » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:56 pm

Jack you are a choir but the rest of the actors on stage are not even singing, never mind from the same scoresheet, and there is a chanting chorus of doom in the background. Don't want to dampen your spirits but you've been trying your best to make the best of a bad job. Unless things change this time round it may be best to heed Geoff Chandler's advice and jump ship, like
Billy Budd should have done in the story.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

John McKenna
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Re: Deliverance!?

Post by John McKenna » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:44 am

JustinHorton wrote:Thank God for that. I thought somebody was being sent on a canoeing weekend.
I get your drift, Justin.

English lit. gave us Three Men in A boat.
American lit. gave us Deliverance - four men in two canoes.

I give you the Banjo-Guitar Duel from the film.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

John McKenna
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Re: Deliverance!?

Post by John McKenna » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:36 pm

Andrew Paulson (in his candidacy thread) >I will be available for pub meetings in London (and the north, if someone will organise a group interested to meet up) on October 10th and 11th, just before the AGM...<

I don't know if Mr. Paulson is following the example of UKIP leader Nigel Farage in having meetings 'down the pub' (a lot of English club players usually end up there, so he is continuing a longstanding tradition) but, a word to the wise, use of "... and the north..." is not without problems.

It is said that those in the South regard the North as being anywhere north of a line of latitude drawn through Watford. The reality, as those north of the Watford line see it, is that there are the Midlands before one reaches what they would call the North. The North is usually divided in to NE - mainly Yorkshire - and the NW - mainly Lancashire (read a history of the Wars of the Roses to appreciate the background to that division). Finally there is the Far North of England which comprises those counties that border Scotland. (Some have questioned why they don't join the Scottish Chess Federation as they are geographically closer to Edinburgh than London.)

I don't know how far north Mr. Paulson intends to travel - he might be south of London and only going as far as the AGM at Euston, where I believe it is being held this Oct. Anyway, he should be warned that if he adopts the Watford line mentality he will be in danger of being regarded as a southern gentleman by those in the true North, which could be almost as bad as being regarded as a carpetbagger by the gentlemen of the deep-pockets South.

The divisions and feuds of English chess are legion. They should, however, pale into insignificance when compared to doing business with FIDE, or in Russia. Be warned though that the English don't just do as they are told and aren't used to having their heads knocked together. The last men to make any real success of that were William the Conquerer and Henry VII & Son. Those who came later were always in debt - Elizabeth Tudor had to license piracy, the Stuarts were always going cap in hand to Parliament - Charles II actually bankrupted the nation and the Bank of England had to be created to prevent it happening again. It took another woman - Victoria - to sort out the royal finances and make 'them' independently wealthy.

Can't say much more than that now but would just add that a previous ECF business plan included a modern equivalent of a Doomesday Book phase - uncover and gather in wealth salted away by us churls - the Membership Scheme. Now it looks as if it could be followed by a dissolution of the monasteries phase - to collect larger sums from the grandees - the Sponsorship Scheme? That might just keep things ticking over until hell freezes over and a woman is elected to high office at the ECF.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Phil Neatherway
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Re: Deliverance!?

Post by Phil Neatherway » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:48 pm

Not Watford, Watford Gap. There is a difference.

John McKenna
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Re: Deliverance!?

Post by John McKenna » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:58 pm

Location: the bridge of the USS Enterprise (parked high above Watford Gap) -

Kirk - What did you say the name of this planet is, Mr. Chekov?
Chekov - Fee-day, captain, but the inhabitants call it Earth.
Sulu - What kind of a name is that?
Spock - Fee-day is of Romulan origin, one of their vessels arrived some years ago.
Kirk - So they must have tried to get Fee-day to join their empire.
Spock - Yes, captain, they made contact with Kirsan the leader of Fee-day, according to our records.
Kirk - And what happened?
Spock - Not clear. For some unknown reason they suddenly departed, leaving Kirsan in the lurch.
Kirk - Mr. Chekov, what is the population of Fee-day?
Chekov - Unclear, captain, but somewhere between 120,000 and 150,000 according to the sensors.
Kirk - And, what about the place on Fee-day where Sean has started the voting experiment?
Chekov - You mean the place they call the For-rum, captain. There are almost 1,000 inhabitants.
Kirk - How many of the For-rumites have voted so far?
Chekov - Not that many as yet, sir.
Sulu - Then there is still hope that Sean's OMOV won't spread beyond the For-rum to all of Fee-day.
Kirk (aside) - Spock just who is this 'None of the Above'? (Thinks: a reference to one of their gods?)
Spock - A virtual anti-matter candidate: a device to prevent any living being gaining control directly.
Kirk - Lieutenant Uhura, have you established contacted with Rear Admiral Edwards of the ECF?
Uhura - Negative, sir, I can only reach his morale officer, Chief Pardoe.
Kirk - How about Admiral Paulson on the Agon?
Uhura - Sorry, captain, we've lost contact with him.
Kirk (aside) - Dammit, Spock, the top brass are never around when you need them.
Spock - Logical, Jim, why should they stick their necks out?
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

John McKenna
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Re: Deliverance!?

Post by John McKenna » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:22 pm

I have just read a classic Simon Spivak blockbuster post (not quite as scary as reading Stephen King) -

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... ce#p123775

Dynamite, but is he just trying to "blow the bloody doors off" or completely blow Andrew Paulson out of the quiet backwaters of English chess, I wonder?

Another view of it is that despite all the specific insinuations, in general, it simply amounts to a have-you got-fleas? examination because if you lie down with dogs you will get up with them little bloody beggars. That still wouldn't make a man a dog, though, he'd still be a man for all that. Though if that usually normal man suddenly began to become extemely hair-suit and bay at the full moon he could be a werewolf - infected by one too many flea bites with tainted blood from an old Eastern-European-deep-dark-forest-dwelling succubus.

(Cue Vincent Price, Peter Cushing & Christopher Lee? No, I don't think they are members of the forum. Anyway, they're all dead, or are they? Better get home before the sun goes down as I pass a number of churchyards.)
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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