Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Carl Hibbard » Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:46 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Chris Wardle wrote:I'm sure all this FIDE/ECU/World Championship stuff is fascinating, but I can't see what difference it makes to chess players in Northumbria and so I make no apologies for my blissful ignorance. Mr. Paulson seems to have a plan to bring more money and organisation to the chess that's actually taking place in England, so I vote we let him get on with it.
Please could I ask you to (re-)read Points xii and xiii of David Openshaw's comments in the draft minutes at the start of the thread.
Also:

x. DO felt undermined by AP even though various discussions were held. DO was
particularly disturbed by the proposed creation of the Anglophone Group and AP’s
dealings with Rupert Jones.


What is the Anglophone group?
Last edited by Carl Hibbard on Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Ignorance moderation :(
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Carl Hibbard

Andrew Paulson
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Andrew Paulson » Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:15 pm

Carl Hibbard wrote:
David Sedgwick wrote:
Chris Wardle wrote:I'm sure all this FIDE/ECU/World Championship stuff is fascinating, but I can't see what difference it makes to chess players in Northumbria and so I make no apologies for my blissful ignorance. Mr. Paulson seems to have a plan to bring more money and organisation to the chess that's actually taking place in England, so I vote we let him get on with it.
Please could I ask you to (re-)read Points xii and xiii of David Openshaw's comments in the draft minutes at the start of the thread.
Also:

x. DO felt undermined by AP even though various discussions were held. DO was
particularly disturbed by the proposed creation of the Anglophone Group and AP’s
dealings with Rupert Jones.


What is the Anglophone group?
If you accept that neither of the candidates for President of FIDE is adequate, then you begin to look beyond personalities and get down to work on ideas. How can the ECF take a leadership role in FIDE and keep its hands clean? (And, why would anyone on the Board object to this?!?!?!) There's a Francophone Committee, so why not an Anglophone Committee?

Mission Statement: The ECF seeks to take a more active role in chess play and governance outside of England. Through this Committee, the ECF will engage with and seek to influence FIDE, the ECU, the Commonwealth Chess Association, and the British Isles Coordinating Committee; the resulting positive influence will bring benefits both to English chess and chess in general.

Purpose: This Committee is to be made up of former and current members of FIDE Commissions from anglophone countries. It will be a lobbying organisation both for people and for ideas: it will advocate anglophone candidates to FIDE Commissions and will advocate issues of interest to its members. The Committee would meet regularly at the Commonwealth Chess Tournament, the FIDE General Assembly and/or the Congress meetings.

First Steps: Meet in Lausanne with Chairmen of all the Commissions and identify openings on Commissions to be filled in Tromsø this summer. Establish the procedures required for getting names on lists or getting candidates elected with the FIDE Executive Director.

Second Steps: Committee Members are to propose potential candidates and determine willingness to serve. Establish priorities and begin lobbying for to get them on appropriate Commissions.

Illustrative List of Former and Present Anglophone FIDE Commissioners: David Jarrett, David Anderton, Nigel Freeman, Rupert Jones, Jana Bellin, Jon Speelman, Nick Faulks, Lawrence Cooper, Graham Boxall, Kevin O’Connell, Nigel Short, David Sedgwick, Stewart Reuben, Hal Bond, Shaun Press, Francois Styrdom, Gerry Walsh, Raymond Keene, Steve Doyle, David Levy, Bill Kelleher, Carol Jarecki (British Virgin Isles), Beatriz Marinello, Don Shultz, Walter Brown, Ruth Haring, Michael Khodarkovsky, Allan Herbert (Barbados), Margaret Murphy (US Virgin Islands) and Wilkinson (Jamaica), Dabilani Buthali (Botswana), and many more...

List of FIDE Commissions: Anti-Cheating Commission (ACC), Arbiters' Commission (ARB), Chess in Schools Commission (CIS), Commission for Modernization of FIDE Commission for Women's Chess (WOM), Commission for World Championships & Olympiads (WCO), Commission of Chess Journalists (CCJ), Constitutional Commission (CON), Development Commission (DEV), Electoral Commission (ELE), Events Commission (EVE), Ethics Commission (ETH), Medical Commission (MED), Qualification Commission (QC), Technical Commission (TEC), Rules and Tournament Regulations (RTR), Systems of Pairings and Programs (SPP), Social Action Commission (SAC), Social Projects Commission (SPC), Trainers' Commission (TRG), Verification Commission (VER)

Note: Malcolm Pein, Sean Hewitt and Alex Holowczak, among others, were eager to be put on Commissions under this initiative.

Angus French
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Angus French » Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:36 pm

Nigel Short wrote:
Angus French wrote:
Nigel Short wrote:I am NOT anti-FIDE. I am against the current people who are running FIDE. There is a fundamental difference.
But you supported the recent (Kasparov-inspired) legal action - taken out in the name of the ECF (and with the support of just the Georgian Chess Federation) but unknown to ECF members, to ECF Council and also, in part, the ECF Board* - against not the people who run FIDE but against FIDE (with the claim specifically targeted against a decision made by the representatives of the national governing bodies which make up the FIDE membership: the FIDE General Assembly).

*The legal action comprised two cases. The first case – approved by the ECF Board - was incorrectly targeted against a decision of the FIDE Presidential Board. The second case – unknown to the ECF Board (see here) – was targeted against a decision of the FIDE General Assembly.
...
Please don't talk about legal matters you don't understand. Our lawyers took the view that the FIDE Presidential Board was responsible for the appointment of the three extra Vice Presidents. However, they were aware that the judges might decide that responsibility ultimately lay with the General Assembly - hence the second filing. Beyond that solitary technical point of legal interpretation the facts were exactly the same, which is why the judges decided to roll the two cases into one. To imply that the ECF Board was somehow duped into bringing a second case is grossly misleading.
It was the FIDE General Assembly which appointed the extra Vice Presidents. The FIDE Presidential Board had no power to overturn the decision of the General Assembly as the General Assembly has primacy. (Similarly, the ECF Board has no power to force the resignation of a Director elected by ECF Council.) It seems to me that a mistake was made in raising a case against a decision of the Presidential Board and presumably this is the reason a second case was submitted – against the original decision of the General Assembly. The chronology of events and the decisions of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) are clear from the decision text.

The ECF Board only considered the first case - against the decision of the Presidential Board. It knew nothing of the second case because it wasn’t told – someone omitted to tell the ECF Board. Had the Board known about the need for a second case and had it also known about FIDE’s objections to the first case (concerning, in particular, whether the case had been raised in time – something entirely relevant to the outcome of the second case) it may well have reconsidered whether it wanted to continue with the legal action. Certainly it should have been given the opportunity to reconsider... but it wasn’t given that opportunity because it wasn’t told. Somebody didn’t communicate the information to the ECF Board.

As I said: the legal action was against FIDE (the organisation) rather than against the people who run FIDE. And the most relevant of the two cases was targeted against a decision of the General Assembly - made up of representatives of the national federations which constitute FIDE's membership.
Nigel Short wrote:Angus, I can appreciate that you are very upset that you weren't elected to the Board last year. As Andrew Paulson's prettiest and most enthusiastic cheerleader, you may hope to be rewarded for your obsequiousness and servility. Unfortunately for you, Andrew is not going to succeed in his desire to sack everyone on the Board: Council has rather more common sense.
Actually I wasn’t upset about not getting elected. I didn’t expect to be elected (I stood because I thought it was a worthwhile thing to do). I was rather chuffed to receive so many votes.

In last year’s election for ECF President, I was a keen supporter of Roger Edwards (and not of Andrew Paulson). I think this is evidenced on this forum and elsewhere. I suggested to the organisations I represent on Council that they support Roger’s candidacy and the votes I was responsible for casting went to Roger.
Last edited by Angus French on Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Chris Goodall » Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:39 pm

If it is parochial to care more about the grass roots than the elite, then I thank you for your kind words.

AP has been in the job three months, and from the sounds of the draft minutes has been opposed by the establishment at every turn. No, he hasn't written us any blank cheques yet, but he has acknowledged that the North-East exists and has come up to a local club, listened to our concerns and told us what his plan of action is. So I'm optimistic that the wheels are in motion and we will see some results before the next election.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

David Sedgwick
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by David Sedgwick » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:35 pm

Malcolm Pein has asked me to post the following statement:

The idea of Malcolm Pein the puppet master controlling the ECF Board is almost too ridiculous to merit a reply other than to say it is insulting to the Board members concerned. The only member of the Board with whom I am on close terms and would regard as a friend is Phil Ehr and Andrew Paulson has described him as a supporter. So much for my power and influence. Phil certainly deserves a lot of credit for the even handed manner in which he has handled a difficult situation.

My regular direct contact with other board members varies between non-existent and occasional, with the exception of Alex Holowczak who is engaged on a (very) part time basis by Chess in Schools and Communities.

I have made my views clear to the Board as a whole.

Moreover, Andrew Paulson helpfully omits that I was strongly in favour of his candidacy for President and publicly stated so. However this was after he gave me many assurances which have now turned out to be lies.

Malcolm Pein
15th February 2014

Martin Regan

Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Martin Regan » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:43 pm

D Sedgwick wrote:
You seem to have a short memory. Have you forgotten your own demand for the resignation of the then President?
No David it is you whose memory is lacking. I resigned and then, as a non-director, called upon the President to resign. There is a difference. It is about the professionalism of the board and the transparency of its actions.

You added:
The group had to do something. They could of course have chosen to quit suddenly and unexpectedly mid term. After all, there is a precedent for that course of action.
Yes there is. It is called honourable. It is called not wanting pretend "power" for it's own sake. I could possibly have removed the President at anytime, but to do so would be to ignore completely the voice of the members. In passing, I support Nigel's current stance against FIDE 100 per cent, but that would not absolve me from acting professionally. A "vote of confidence" for God's sake.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by David Sedgwick » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:26 pm

Martin Regan wrote:I resigned and then, as a non-director, called upon the President to resign. There is a difference.
Did you not delay your resignation until after those of your colleagues precisely so as to enable you to call for the President's departure whilst still in office yourself?

Martin Regan wrote:
DavidSedgwick wrote:The group had to do something. They could of course have chosen to quit suddenly and unexpectedly mid term. After all, there is a precedent for that course of action.
Yes there is. It is called honourable. It is called not wanting pretend "power" for it's own sake. I could possibly have removed the President at anytime, but to do so would be to ignore completely the voice of the members. In passing, I support Nigel's current stance against FIDE 100 per cent, but that would not absolve me from acting professionally. A "vote of confidence" for God's sake.
Well, there we have it.

Firstly, Andrew Paulson alleges that the Board majority have acted as they have because they're Malcolm Pein's stooges.

Then you come along and say that they've done so out of a desperate desire for "power".

Members of Council will have to decide for themselves who is/are acting in the best interests of the Federation and who is/are not.

However, I'm sure about one thing. If Andrew Paulson were to succeed in replacing several of the present Directors, the lives of those replaced would suddenly become a lot less stressful.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:33 pm

Fleet London -> North Sea
Fleet Edinburgh -> Norwegian Sea
Army Liverpool -> Edinburgh

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JustinHorton
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by JustinHorton » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:35 pm

Malcolm Pein, quoted by David Sedgwick wrote:Moreover, Andrew Paulson helpfully omits that I was strongly in favour of his candidacy for President and publicly stated so. However this was after he gave me many assurances which have now turned out to be lies.
More fool Malcolm then, I'm afraid. Many other people didn't find it hard to spot that Paulson was not a man to be believed.
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Martin Regan

Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Martin Regan » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:38 pm

David,
I bow to no man in my admiration of your ability to ingratiate yourself with those you view as the real power in English chess - but your memory is at fault.

As for your other point, you really are extraordinarily one-dimensional. I strongly support Nigel Short and Malcolm Pein and I oppose Andrew Paulson, but the governance of English chess and its credibility is more important than what I or you might think. There are ten thousand paying members out there and the board has let them down. You won't understand that, but then you never did.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by David Sedgwick » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:57 pm

Martin Regan wrote:David ... your memory is at fault.
In that case, I would have been perfectly willing to apologise, were it not for the offensive tone of your post.

Ernie Lazenby
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Ernie Lazenby » Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:08 pm

Looking at this as an outsider it appears we have a situation whereby Council appointed someone they probably thought was going to give money to Chess in this country; the current ECF President seems to be someone who has seized an opportunity to advance himself within chess beyond these shores.
If the majority of the board cannot work with AP it seems the only option is to call an EGM because the current situation is appalling and sadly chess continues to shoot itself in the foot.

I doubt the vast majority of local league chess players care anything about ECF FIDE politics and in reality it's only a small number of activists that get involved through council, many of whom actually have their own agendas.

The are too many egos at work at the moment.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:03 am

Andrew Paulson wrote:
If you accept that neither of the candidates for President of FIDE is adequate,
The problem is that if you are anti-Kasparov, you are pro-Kirsan. Do not underestimate the depth of feeling built up against the FIDE establishment and some of its proposals over the last 20 years amongst those in the UK who actually play or are arbiters for semi-international chess. That's not even to mention the Rotten Boroughs version of what FIDE insiders call "democracy".

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JustinHorton
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:18 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:The problem is that if you are anti-Kasparov, you are pro-Kirsan.
That's a rancid argument, though, isn't it? And given how many Kirsan people are in Kasparov's camp now, it's also an absurd one.

People are entitled to say they want better than two sides whose behaviour and personnel resembles each other very closely. And they're also entitled to say that "if you're not with X, you're with Y" is the best possible way to ensure that X are Y are indistinguishable.
"Do you play chess?"
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:34 am

JustinHorton wrote: That's a rancid argument, though, isn't it? And given how many Kirsan people are in Kasparov's camp now, it's also an absurd one.
It's an election with two candidates, If you refuse to vote for candidate A, then abstaining or voting for candidate B contributes to B's re-election. If you want to see another four years of Kirsan as FIDE President for life, then say so.

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