Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

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

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:00 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:He cannot say he wasn't warned that attitudes towards FIDE could be an election issue
But actually it wasn't, was it? I mean when the actual election happened, it was scarcely raised. (A few individuals did on here - Paul McKeown and Martin Regan among them, I think.) But that wasn't what people in general thought was important. The questioning took place later.
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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 6:12 pm

JustinHorton wrote: But actually it wasn't, was it?.
I was thinking about the forum where it was one of the very first questions, even before "who are you and why do you want to be President?"

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... 71#p123269
Jonathan Rogers wrote: Do you agree with Nigel Short that it is important to oppose Kirsan as President of FIDE in 2014, and if so, who do you think should replace him?
As to what was asked at the actual ECF meeting, were either of us there ?

(edit) If you read through the thread, you will find further statements from Jonathan Rogers about just why Western "titled" players have no faith in a continued Kirsan presidency. There's also a comment by AP himself, that the detailed work on the contract between Agon and FIDE was handled by Makro and Nigel Freeman for the FIDE side. That doesn't explain how a mutually signed "Dear Kirsan" letter has surfaced. (/edit)
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:17 pm

Indeed not, and either of us might have asked differnt questions to those actually asked. But that meeting did result in Mr Paulson's election, didn't it?
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Malcolm Pein
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Malcolm Pein » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:33 pm

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

Sean Hewitt wrote: I cannot speak for others, but in my case this is demonstrably false.

It is also demonstrably false in my case. It's just more nonsense from AP, I have copied below relevant extracts from an email of 30th Jan. 2014 from AP to me and me to AP.

Re AP's other lies and assurances to me, I will go into more detail in due course before the ECF Council Meeting.

Also, off topic, I hope to announce announce another sponsorship for English chess shortly.

MP

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Some Business
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 15:57:38 +0000
From: Malcolm Pein <>
To: Andrew Paulson <>, Phil Ehr <>, Malcolm Pein <>

2) I have met with the main Chess in Schools organisations in Western Europe recently. The general consensus is that the FIDE Chess in Schools Commission is damaged beyond repair.
We are probably forming an umbrella organisation for Europe to coordinate research and fund raising. FIDE is toxic from that viewpoint. In the unlikely event of a complete clear out many people might come forward. I think the FIDE brand might remain toxic for some time to come but so I would be unlikely to put my name forward.

Regards

Malcolm

2. I had discussions in Lausanne about the Chess in Schools Commission, as said I would when we last met. If there were a new Chairman whom you had confidence in, it might be very valuable for all concerned for you to be a core member of this Commission, regardless of who is the President of FIDE after the elections. Do you still agree with this and should I include you in the list of potential candidates for senior commission roles?

Andrew

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:34 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:This thread would be more informative without the chest beating, the itoldyousos and the general piffwibble.

Perhaps, Paul, although I thank you for enriching my vocabulary with ‘Piffwibble’: marvellous word.

Anyhoo, different views across the board and I suppose it’s no surprise that passions have been ignited. Disagree with some more than others but if there’s one thing I find totally depressing it’s the view that as long as a person promises to bring money to chess than absolutely everything else can and should be dismissed as an irrelevance.



[edit: just to be clear - MP’s post was published while I wrote this one. Mine is not a response to his.]

Andrew Paulson
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Andrew Paulson » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:57 pm

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

Sean Hewitt wrote: I cannot speak for others, but in my case this is demonstrably false.

It is also demonstrably false in my case. It's just more nonsense from AP, I have copied below relevant extracts from an email of 30th Jan. 2014 from AP to me and me to AP.

Re AP's other lies and assurances to me, I will go into more detail in due course before the ECF Council Meeting.

Also, off topic, I hope to announce announce another sponsorship for English chess shortly.

MP

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Some Business
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 15:57:38 +0000
From: Malcolm Pein <>
To: Andrew Paulson <>, Phil Ehr <>, Malcolm Pein <>

2) I have met with the main Chess in Schools organisations in Western Europe recently. The general consensus is that the FIDE Chess in Schools Commission is damaged beyond repair.
We are probably forming an umbrella organisation for Europe to coordinate research and fund raising. FIDE is toxic from that viewpoint. In the unlikely event of a complete clear out many people might come forward. I think the FIDE brand might remain toxic for some time to come but so I would be unlikely to put my name forward.

Regards

Malcolm

2. I had discussions in Lausanne about the Chess in Schools Commission, as said I would when we last met. If there were a new Chairman whom you had confidence in, it might be very valuable for all concerned for you to be a core member of this Commission, regardless of who is the President of FIDE after the elections. Do you still agree with this and should I include you in the list of potential candidates for senior commission roles?

Andrew
Malcolm is forgetting a conversation we had a month or so ago in my flat (January 3rd at 12:30 p.m.) where we discussed the Anglophone Committee and he said that he would be interested in sitting on the FIDE Chess in Schools Commission.

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:13 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Paolo Casaschi wrote:You should not assume that everyone shares your opinion either. Most likely I'd say the majority of chess players in UK are completely indifferent to FIDE and their issues.
If FIDE was a sensible organisation, a dubious personal reputation of a President could and probably would be ignored. There was little or no support back in 1998 for a boycott of the Elista Olympiad. But it isn't a sensible organisation and leading the nonsense is frequently the President. Just taking one obvious example, I don't think you could run amateur chess with a zero time default, yet the President advocated this until some of his colleagues realised the damage it could cause to FIDE, got it postponed and then confined only to FIDE branded events. Just think about it, every time you play chess at a competitive level, you will lose unless you are seated at the board exactly at the time the arbiter says "start the clocks". It didn't happen, but the FIDE President wanted it to.

The ECF has a FIDE Delegate to specialise in issues involving FIDE and ECU. The public position of the ECF since at least 2006 has been that it opposes the continued re-election of Kirsan as FIDE President. This has not until recently become an issue of dispute. The new President wished to change this long standing policy. It would seem a fairly obvious point that ECF policy towards the FIDE election should be discussed at Board level and a vote taken as to whether to move it to a more neutral position. Nigel may well disagree with this but he would be going against the Board if that's was what a majority had decided. Equally if a majority of the Board has a whole wished to maintain the previous policy, then the President should abide by this and if this conflicts with his political ambitions to gain favour with FIDE establishment figures, then so be it. He cannot say he wasn't warned that attitudes towards FIDE could be an election issue, hence the questioning to find out what his was and the closeness of relationships with FIDE figures.

Even before news of the special Board meeting was released, a statement was placed on this forum in the name of AP, that he would be taking whatever steps were needed to remove Nigel from office as FIDE Delegate, Nigel being presumed responsible in some way for the signed draft Agon-Kirsan contract becoming public.
That is all fine, I dont even want to enter the debate, just do not pretend to represent the average UK chess player without ever asking their opinion. Just that.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:10 am

Paolo Casaschi wrote: That is all fine, I dont even want to enter the debate, just do not pretend to represent the average UK chess player without ever asking their opinion. Just that.
Define average UK chess player. Do you think they would have welcomed being defaulted for being 10 seconds late? As it happens the threat was averted for most practical purposes, but no thanks to the FIDE President.

It's fair to say that the average UK chess player isn't greatly interested in the ECF let alone FIDE. But that's conditional on both of them maintaining a status as the late Douglas Adams put it of "mostly harmless".

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Rob Thompson
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Rob Thompson » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:15 am

IM Jack Rudd wrote:Fleet London -> North Sea
Fleet Edinburgh -> Norwegian Sea
Army Liverpool -> Edinburgh
Army Liverpool -> Yorkshire, surely? We wouldn't want the French sailing into London after all.
True glory lies in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:20 am

Rob Thompson wrote:
IM Jack Rudd wrote:Fleet London -> North Sea
Fleet Edinburgh -> Norwegian Sea
Army Liverpool -> Edinburgh
Army Liverpool -> Yorkshire, surely? We wouldn't want the French sailing into London after all.
Straying into Yorkshire in an ECF Matters thread? That would be a very risky opening. :P

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Rob Thompson
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Rob Thompson » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:34 am

Surely better than moving into Scotland though - at least the ECF is ~supposed to have influence in Yorkshire.
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Chris Rice
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Chris Rice » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:00 am

Well seeing as we are at a bit of an impasse perhaps it’s a good time to flag up a few details of the FIDE Chess in Schools project to perhaps elaborate on Malcolm Pein’s “toxicity” claims.

Section 5.10 of the minutes to the FIDE Congress at Tallinn last October piqued my interest. It appears Ali Yazici is the Chairman of the CIS FIDE project, lots of high rated women players are involved and overall would be the sort of the thing you would be pleased to be part of.

Then things started to get a bit murky. The minutes appear to have been written by someone whose first language was not English but the message is clear enough in the sense that something is not quite right.

The CIS project seemed to have relied heavily on a $750,000 donation from the Russian company Rosneft, one of the world’s top publicly traded oil & gas companies, although they have recently abandoned their sponsorship. The project looks to raise its own funds by donations and by asking people to become premium members etc. Each year the Verification Committee, led by Jersey auditor Graham Boxall check the CIS accounts. However, this year Mr Boxall did not appear to be a happy bunny and said it was not clear what the priorities were regarding the expenditure of the money and wanted some detailed accounting for $600,000 of the money.

Mr Yazici said he was unhappy about this as he had only been told two days before but was ready to answer for any expenditure in his Commission.

Then Mr Sielicki (the Deputy President of the ECU and the person Andrew Paulson would supplant if elected) said that the budget of CIS was not in the budget of FIDE and that various amounts were channelled through other bodies, like Global Chess* and it was not clear where the money was being spent.

In response to this Nigel Freeman seemed to basically say that Mr Sielicki was all mixed up and didn’t know what he was talking about. He said the FIDE office had all the payments, and “we do not know which amount was for a manual, which was for seminars, we do not know this exactly”. He underlined that the monies which were written off**, are the monies spent by FIDE before the Rosneft money came in.”

Mr Yazici also had a pop at Mr Sielicki effectively stating he never spent any FIDE money and any of his expenses were from his own pocket***, which he didn’t invoice FIDE for at all although the minutes aren’t very clear on that. He then basically went on about how he wasn’t given enough time to prepare a proper response but he had nothing to hide.

The ECU President, Silvio Danailov then asked about the exact amounts of money unaccounted for in Slovakia/Slovenia. Mr Yazici said he couldn’t remember at the time, what the exact figures were but emphasised CIS material was spent in these countries.

The section ended with a commitment to publish the expenses on the CIS web site and four months later I can’t see anything about it at all.

If anyone wants to correct anything I’ve said above help yourself as I’m not sure the minutes are that accurate and that I've understood them properly. Maybe someone who was actually present can interpret what went on in a better way.

*Still have not managed to track down any trace of the Borg-led Global Chess MFZE. Did manage to confirm on the Dutch Trade Register its predecessor Global Chess BV was incorporated in the Max Euwe Square in Amsterdam in 2006 and the company dissolved in 2009. Interestingly before it dissolved the company moved address to Borg’s home address in Malta. Presumably this was because they didn’t want to pay to keep the office running in Amsterdam but as the company died anyway it’s not important.

** This appears to refer to an amount I think of 87,000 euros that went missing in Slovakia/Slovenia and is still unaccounted for. The tone of the meeting minutes seemed to convey a "don't worry about it, the money would have been spent in a good cause" approach

***You’ll recall the accusations made by Kasparov that led to an angry FIDE press release about this.
http://cis.fide.com/

http://www.fide.com/images/stories/NEWS ... inutes.pdf
http://www.fide.com/images/stories/NEWS ... nex_59.pdf

http://www.fide.com/images/stories/NEWS ... s/Annex_23

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:35 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Paolo Casaschi wrote: That is all fine, I dont even want to enter the debate, just do not pretend to represent the average UK chess player without ever asking their opinion. Just that.
Define average UK chess player. Do you think they would have welcomed being defaulted for being 10 seconds late? As it happens the threat was averted for most practical purposes, but no thanks to the FIDE President.

It's fair to say that the average UK chess player isn't greatly interested in the ECF let alone FIDE. But that's conditional on both of them maintaining a status as the late Douglas Adams put it of "mostly harmless".
I don't think you are doing a good service to the Kasparov cause if you quote the zero tolerance rule as the major issue with the current FIDE president (there's probably a lot worse). Issue that never affected the average UK player because ultimately never enforced. Are you now making hypothetical assumptions about the opinion of the average UK player in case something would have happened that ultimately did not happen?
Again, all you say is good as your opinion, just don't claim it as a general feeling without any other evidence than your personal opinion.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:02 am

Malcolm Pein has covered the story in his Daily Telegraph column.

Want to read his thoughts? Buy today's Daily Telegraph.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Emergency Board Meeting - Draft Minutes

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:10 am

I'd love to, but it's not widely available in rural Huesca province...
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

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