Andrew Paulson -- Candidacy for ECF President

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Martin Regan

Re: Andrew Paulson -- Candidacy for ECF President

Post by Martin Regan » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:09 pm

Andrew, you're a waffle merchant.

You answer different questions than the ones you're asked.
You love your verbiage but you won't be pinned down on specifics.
You make grandiose claims which turn into mist the moment they're examined.
It's all waffle.
Pot, Kettle.... and ill-mannered to boot.

Martin Regan

Re: Andrew Paulson -- Candidacy for ECF President

Post by Martin Regan » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:22 pm

For what it’s worth, I had expected to be supporting AP in this election – as it seemed to me to be a cultural clash; a choice between a successful entrepreneur, with a tendency toward charisma, exaggeration and bull**** ,like most of the breed - a breed which, in passing, tends to achieve things - or a quiet philatelist, bumbling along meaning no harm.

On that level it really is a no-brainer.

But the question of AP’s relationship with the FIDE leadership will simply not go away . It is, as I have often argued, a moral question. What type of man would offer help or aid to such a leadership?

Having AP as President would be a good thing. Having a President who thinks the FIDE leadership is OK, would be repugnant.
Unless and until AP makes clear his distaste of the FIDE leadership, I am a hugely reluctant supporter of the stamp collector

Andrew Paulson
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:09 pm

Re: Andrew Paulson -- Candidacy for ECF President

Post by Andrew Paulson » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:41 pm

Martin Regan wrote:For what it’s worth, I had expected to be supporting AP in this election – as it seemed to me to be a cultural clash; a choice between a successful entrepreneur, with a tendency toward charisma, exaggeration and bull**** ,like most of the breed - a breed which, in passing, tends to achieve things - or a quiet philatelist, bumbling along meaning no harm.

On that level it really is a no-brainer.

But the question of AP’s relationship with the FIDE leadership will simply not go away . It is, as I have often argued, a moral question. What type of man would offer help or aid to such a leadership?

Having AP as President would be a good thing. Having a President who thinks the FIDE leadership is OK, would be repugnant.
Unless and until AP makes clear his distaste of the FIDE leadership, I am a hugely reluctant supporter of the stamp collector
Martin,

I posted this today. Does this not adequately address your question?

-----------------------

For better or for worse, the EC Forum is currently the only forum for understanding the moods and concerns of an important part of the chess community. I have been reading it assiduously in the past weeks and there is an issue that seems to me to be exercising the commentators that I’d like to address now leading up to the Elections on Saturday: my views on the next FIDE Presidential Election. I want directly to address the concerns of the many contributors to the Forum who will not be at the AGM. And, as I only will have five minutes for a presentation and questions during the election phase of tomorrow’s AGM, posting it here will free time for more pertinent questions.

FIDE vs. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

I have said that it is important to separate our position vis-a-vis the current President of FIDE and FIDE the institution/organization itself. I would recommend that as a member of FIDE the ECF engage and attempt to influence FIDE on issues that the ECF feels are important either ‘interestedly’ as they relate to English chess or ‘disinterestedly’ as they relate to matters of principle and reputation on a larger worldwide stage. Of course, the ECF could decide against this path as on any other issue.

Paulson (possible President of ECF) vs. Paulson (Owner of AGON) vs. Paulson (Private Individual)

As to the current President of FIDE, my position vis-a-vis him may be divided into three angles of view: my position were I to be elected as President of the ECF, my position as the owner of a business with FIDE as the principal counter-party, and my position as a private individual. As the President of the organization with only a symbolic voice I would reflect the views of that organization, whatever they might be, in a frank and unambiguous manner. Similarly, the FIDE Delegate with a material vote would always vote to represent his best understanding of the views of the ECF.

As a businessman via AGON, my relationship is with FIDE the permanent institution and not with its transient leader. (This is why my fear of Kasparov reviewing the contract were he to be elected President is a red herring and also why to date I have tried to be agnostic vis-a-vis FIDE politics.) The AGON contract was negotiated with FIDE with no intervention from the President. The FIDE side of the ‘interface’ which is designed to make day-to-day decisions regarding the relationship is made up of Nigel Freeman and Georgios Makropoulos.

As a private individual, I have repeatedly stated my views on the matter. I feel that it is time for Kirsan to go for many reasons. The most clear and unequivocal is that he and his apparat have been around too long and it is always good to introduce new blood into an organization. The stories of the assassination of a journalist, meetings with murderous tyrants, meetings with chess-playing aliens, have all cast disrepute onto chess and FIDE and made him easy to demonise. Fortunately, Kirsan can also lay claim to many ambassadorial achievements in spreading competitive chess and chess in schools around the world and organizational achievements in creating within FIDE an efficient bureaucratic system for dealing with complex issues affecting chess the game and chess the sport. But, I state unambiguously, its time for a change.

The only step I cannot make is a whole-hearted endorsement of Garry Kasparov at this time. There are several reasons: (a) I don’t believe he is a leader of men but rather oppositional, confrontational and ultimately a bully; (b) although his political wrath against the current FIDE administration is genuine and heartfelt, I suspect that he may be his own first priority; (c) he will stand for election using many of the same unsavory tactics as his opponent even though even by his own account, he’ll likely lose (Wouldn’t it be better to run a clean campaign with a clean ticket and lose? That’s a ticket I’d join shoulder by shoulder with Garry!); (d) by spending many millions in an attempt to win the election he will be taking money away from the pool of benevolent funding available for chess and spending it on a quixotic adventure (much as he forced $millions which otherwise would have gone to chess to be spent in the two failed lawsuits against FIDE).

Therefore, I have repeatedly stated that although my natural position would be to support abstention on principle, I will recuse myself from all discussions and voting in the Board, if I am elected, on the subject of voting in the FIDE election. (Nigel Short, the Candidate for FIDE Delegate, has made the point that in an election you vote for the best, not necessarily the good. It is a valid point, though not unarguable.) Further, I will recuse myself on any other subject that the NEDs feel presents a conflict of interest between the duties of an ECF President and an individual engaged in business around chess.

Andrew Zigmond
Posts: 1816
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: Andrew Paulson -- Candidacy for ECF President

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:51 pm

Martin Regan wrote: I am a hugely reluctant supporter of the stamp collector
If the `stamp collector` leaves office tomorrow he will at least do so with a better reputation than his two immediate predecessors. He may not have been a dynamic leader but at the same time the ECF has not slid back into the cack handed amateurishness of the Walsh years. Few people seem to acknowledge that his year in office saw the CEO role vacant.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19011
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Andrew Paulson -- Candidacy for ECF President

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:09 pm

Andrew Paulson wrote: As a businessman via AGON, my relationship is with FIDE the permanent institution and not with its transient leader.
Those of us who have been playing chess since even before the Fisher-Spassky match have seen eighteen years of Kirsan and counting. Whilst in his first term, it may have been possible to see him as transient leader, his general attitude that "we are FIDE" and his desire seemingly to hang on the Presidency for life mean that he has to be seen as permanent.

Andrew Paulson
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:09 pm

Re: Andrew Paulson -- Candidacy for ECF President

Post by Andrew Paulson » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:45 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Andrew Paulson wrote: As a businessman via AGON, my relationship is with FIDE the permanent institution and not with its transient leader.
Those of us who have been playing chess since even before the Fisher-Spassky match have seen eighteen years of Kirsan and counting. Whilst in his first term, it may have been possible to see him as transient leader, his general attitude that "we are FIDE" and his desire seemingly to hang on the Presidency for life mean that he has to be seen as permanent.
And, I have unequivocally said it is time for a change. What is your point?

David Pardoe
Posts: 1225
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:29 pm
Location: NORTH WEST

Re: Andrew Paulson -- Candidacy for ECF President

Post by David Pardoe » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:00 am

John Upham wrote:
David Pardoe wrote: due in part to a lack of clear information
Please specify what you like more clarity about.
That reference was partly to explain why I believe that many abstain from ECF and other electorial matters.
These folk are often wrongly branded as apathetic, when, in fact they are simply bamboozled or misled by the smoke and mirrors stories that are put in front of them.
The actual full quote was...

Yes...
I asked some questions (made comments), about the voting process on another thread yesterday...
I quote..
My comments above (see P4), were aimed specifically at those with significant perceived vested or commercial interests, who, in my view should be kept at arms length from the main board, because of the ever present dangers that the ECF and its officers could be adversely influenced, and the integrity and independance of the ECF might seriously risk being called into question.
I hope those voting in the ECF elections will consider these and other concerns raised very carefully, before casting those votes, particularly those who have multiple delegate & proxy votes.
Faced with a difficult choice, due in part to a lack of clear information, many delegates dont show up at these meetings, and are accused of apathy, when what many probably suffer from is `bewilderment` and confusion.

Many have expressed concerns about the voting system, its lack of transparancy and being wide open to abuses


But yes, many questions have gone unanswered....is this certain party(s), trying to duck under the radar and bluff there way into office...the evasion has not gone unnoticed.
One can only hope that our electorate are not duped by all this razamataz...
BRING BACK THE BCF

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19011
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Andrew Paulson -- Candidacy for ECF President

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:14 am

Andrew Paulson wrote: And, I have unequivocally said it is time for a change. What is your point?
That FIDE and Kirsan are entwined together and it isn't possible to be a commercial partner of FIDE without being one of Kirsan as well.

Stewart Reuben
Posts: 4176
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:04 pm
Location: writer

Re: Andrew Paulson -- Candidacy for ECF President

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:02 pm

Roger >If you set aside the competitors in the schools chess challenge, the number of active players in England is around fifteen thousand.<

But why on earth would you do that? There are vastly more chessplayers who
play solely on the internet
play privately in a non-tournament or team environment.
Kevin O'Connell once opined that only about 1% of children's chess was graded.
The TGI independent analysis of the number of people who had played at least one game of chess in the last 3 months was 3 million in the UK. That is a quote from their publication about 20 years ago.
The large numbers astonished me.
Then there are those who read the chess columns, books or DVDs.
You can then try to extrapolate that to the number of people who roughly know how to play chess. But that would be guesswork.

I was very pleased to hear my opinion echoed, for the first time as far as I know, that the ECF should be concerned with developing chess in England, not the ECF.

Anyway, Andrew Paulson is now President. We must hope that people will unite to make this a success.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19011
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Andrew Paulson -- Candidacy for ECF President

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:13 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote: You can then try to extrapolate that to the number of people who roughly know how to play chess. But that would be guesswork.
There's a vast number who roughly know how to play chess. It's probably around the same number who roughly know how to play Patience, Winmine, Tetris or KandyKrush. That doesn't extrapolate into either a national or worldwide audience wanting to follow chess for sporting or competitive reasons unless it's an event of worldwide interest like Fischer-Spassky in 1972 or Kasparov-Deep Blue in 1997.
Stewart Reuben wrote: I was very pleased to hear my opinion echoed, for the first time as far as I know, that the ECF should be concerned with developing chess in England, not the ECF.
Haven't the ECF's objectives have always said this? I don't understand how those objectives are compatible with preventing players taking part unless they are ECF members.
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Stewart Reuben
Posts: 4176
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:04 pm
Location: writer

Re: Andrew Paulson -- Candidacy for ECF President

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:18 pm

We were very worried that you had fallen off your hobby-horse.
Having something in the objectives isn't the same as doing anything about it.

Laurie Roberts
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 5:16 pm

Re: Andrew Paulson -- Candidacy for ECF President

Post by Laurie Roberts » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:17 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Haven't the ECF's objectives have always said this? I don't understand how those objectives are compatible with preventing players taking part unless they are ECF members.
Putting aside for one second whether game fee is or is not a better model than membership; Roger's arguments (if I have understood Roger correctly) seem to based on the assumption that the cost of an upfront ECF Membership fee will discourage new players from taking up chess. I appreciate that there are other factors that influence the growth/decline of chess players, but what has happened to the trend in growth / decline of players in recent years? Has the trend in the rate of growth in number of players slowed in the last year? Or has the trend in rate of decline in number of players increased?

If the membership fee was £50 then I think such a fee may discourage new players from taking part as per Roger's argument; and maybe a player might decide to stick with playing on the net. However, at the adult level, I would be very surprised if a bronze membership fee has a statistically significant impact on a new player deciding to join a club and play graded games as it's not actually very expensive at around £1 a month (indeed, if club fees have come down as grading charges have come down, it may not be much of an increase at all)?

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19011
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Andrew Paulson -- Candidacy for ECF President

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:33 pm

Laurie Roberts wrote: Has the trend in the rate of growth in number of players slowed in the last year? Or has the trend in rate of decline in number of players increased?
It was convenient the grading year ending in 2012 contained 13 months and twelve month equivalents have not been made available.

The stats are on the SCCU site

http://www.sccu.ndo.co.uk/grad.htm

Active players 2011 15227
Active players 2012 15763
Active players 2013 15097

So that's probably a drip of 600-700 after increasing the previous year unless you can prove that the extra month had a whole host of players just playing in that month.

The ECF Council has accepted a line in the sand that membership should not be made compulsory to take part in inter-school matches. For players taking part in a whole season of club and county chess, say twenty games or more, paying per head was cheaper. The £ 2 per game meant that occasional players weren't being asked to pay £ 12 per head for a single game. The £ 6 fee for Congresses meant that for non-FIDE events, £ 27 wasn't being demanded on top of the entry fee. But will these concessions be allowed to continue?

Laurie Roberts
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 5:16 pm

Re: Andrew Paulson -- Candidacy for ECF President

Post by Laurie Roberts » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:18 pm

Thanks Roger.

The 2012 data distorts the picture as you say. I've tried to attach a chart. Wonder if anything else happened in 2012 other than the extra month?

If you ignore 2012, it seems the number of players in 2013 is about what you'd expect
Attachments
players.pdf
(6.55 KiB) Downloaded 60 times

William Metcalfe
Posts: 585
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:12 pm
Location: Darlington

Re: Andrew Paulson -- Candidacy for ECF President

Post by William Metcalfe » Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:15 pm

But Roger promised a huge drop in numbers he predicted a meltdown
I am speaking here for myself and not the NCCU which i am now president of

Post Reply