Wikipedia

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
harrylamb
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Re: Wikipedia

Post by harrylamb » Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:29 pm

The Manchester and District Chess Association became a constituent unit of the British Chess Federation in 1971

The written evidence for this is that in the 1970-71 Year book and previous Year Books the MDCA is not listed as having a delegate to the BCF Council. In 1971-72 and subsequent Year Books it changed and from that point onwards we had a delegate. Our first delegate was Trevor Moth.

I was responsible for the MDCA becoming a constituent unit and I think I was the one who formally proposed it at the 1971 BCF Council meeting. The background was that the BCF was in financial trouble and put forward proposals to tackle the problem. These involved some constitutional changes and recommended the introduction of the Levy System. As a member of the BCF executive committee I realised that one effect of these proposals would give the MDCA exactly the same rights and privileges as the London League. I therefore along with other senior members of the MDCA suggested to the BCF that like the London League we should become a Constituent Unit.

The benefit to the BCF was that the levy proposals were somewhat controversial. Making us a Constituent Unit helped gain our support and that of other North Western counties. Also and perhaps more important it would increase our financial contribution to the ECF via the Levy.

The BCF for its part also recognised that more chess games were played in the Major City Leagues than in the counties and wanted to attract the major leagues formally into ECF membership. I believe the Bristol League were also interested in becoming a constituent unit but in the end did not.

Our suggestion to become constituent unit was accepted. It was voted on at the 1971 BCF AGM and passed.
No taxation without representation

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Wikipedia

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Oct 04, 2014 12:11 am

harrylamb wrote: Our suggestion to become constituent unit was accepted. It was voted on at the 1971 BCF AGM and passed.
In those days the summer Manchester Congress was second only to Islington in size and appeal. What's more, it was based on a University Campus, so on-site accommodation was available. I don't recall either Islington or Manchester demanding BCF registration or membership.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Wikipedia

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:50 pm

Later the London Chess Association members made a voluntary payment to the BCF at my instigation when Chairman of the LCA. Nobody from the BCF ever thanked us for our donation. It eventually metamorphosed into game fee.

Craig Pritchett
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Re: Wikipedia

Post by Craig Pritchett » Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:09 am

I look forward with some interest to Nigel Short's 'forthcoming article on Scottish chess in NIC magazine'. More generally the BCF does indeed seem to have been originally constituted on a fairly loose 'affiliation' basis that sought in some way to reach out to 'include' the entire (then) British Empire (and the Dominions?).

Nigel is correct that the old SCA (now Chess Scotland) 'affiliated' to the BCF in 1908 (he uses the word 'join' but I am not sure that means quite the same - at any rate, it needs proper definition). On the other hand, it was for one year only and earlier that year the SCA gave 'no guarantee ... to become a unit of the [BCF]' when considering whether to hold the British Championship in Scotland (Glasgow hosted the event in 1911). Earlier the SCA (while sympathising with the objects of the proposed BCF) noted 'the peculiar function of the [SCA] nationally as well as geographically.'

These quotes are from MD Thornton, co-author (with me penning a games section) of 'Scotland's Chess Centenary Book', which was published in the centenary year 1984. He goes on to note that in the 1920s, 'it was becoming apparent ... that affiliation to the BCF was not satisfactory.' There appear to have been two main reasons for this: although Edinburgh held the British Championship in 1920 and 1926, 'the BCF would not guarantee a place every year for the Scottish champion'; possibly more importantly, however, 'the BCF had affiliated to FIDE [1924] for the British Isles and therefore a separate Scottish affiliation could not be accepted'.

The BCF affiliation 'was cancelled in 1930' and 'affiliation to FIDE was applied for instead'. After an initial application had been rejected, a fairly speedy re-application was accepted by FIDE in 1932. It would be interesting to speculate what might have happened had the BCF opposed Scotland's application!

Sadly MD Thornton has since died. I wish I'd tried to find out a lot more about the detail of this from him but I believe that Chess Scotland's historian, Alan McGowan, did eventually try and didn't get very much further. It is now very difficult to get at many of the original sources. This also goes for many of FIDE's key records (I believe). I'm nevertheless quite sure that the SCA, the BCF and FIDE made what must have been far and away the most sensible decision at the time. But opinions might differ!

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Wikipedia

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:17 am

Craig Pritchett wrote:Nigel is correct that the old SCA (now Chess Scotland) 'affiliated' to the BCF in 1908 (he uses the word 'join' but I am not sure that means quite the same - at any rate, it needs proper definition)
The SCA participated in the governance of the BCF alongside other bodies such as the London League and the regional English chess unions, so join seems an appropriate word.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Wikipedia

Post by Stewart Reuben » Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:04 pm

The SCA was invited, I believe, to join the BCF when it was in the process of being formed in 1903. But they only did so in 1908. The BCF was a founder member of FIDE in 1924.
That Scotland affiliated to FIDE separately was very much to the farsighted credit of Scotland's chess administrators of the time. Wales joined separately in 1970. Guernsey and Jersey joined later. All have benefited. I suggested the IOM seek to join, but they didn't understand. By the time they became interested, it was too late. The regulations had changed. Indeed, under the current rules, none of Scotland, Wales, Guernsey, Jersey or Hong Kong would be able to become members. Northern Ireland recently applied, but were turned down flat.


Some years ago Nigel Short wrote in his column in the Sunday Telegraph that the UK was cheating within FIDE by having Scotland, Wales, Guernsey and Jersey as separate federations. This enabled me as, as then BCF Chairman, to get a letter in that paper commenting that Nigel's knowledge of geography was lacking and that he was being impertinent. FIDE was fully aware of the situation regarding the other British Isles federations.
It was only much later that Nigel told me he was patriotic and wanted to represent Britain. He seemed to think I should know that. But I had no idea, never having considered the matter of English or British in terms of representing my country.
The articles of the BCF used to say to support chess in the Commonwealth. Thus Ray Keene, I, Peter Wilson and Nigel are all past Presidents of the CCA. Minor help was given to India from 1981 and that had a dramatic effect.
I always set myself against the British Isles forming a political unit in FIDE. Had they felt threatened, they might have sought to change their statutes that once a member always a member.

Nigel Short
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Re: Wikipedia

Post by Nigel Short » Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:52 pm

Yes, I do recall that Stewart publicly called on me to resign, in a letter to chessbase, when I was President of the Commonwealth Chess Association.

Nigel Short
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Re: Wikipedia

Post by Nigel Short » Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:59 pm

Stewart's correct technical point that the Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey were Crown possessions and therefore not part of the United Kingdom was of course completely irrelevant to the point I was making.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Wikipedia

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:02 pm

1832, 1933, 1935 Year Books show no change in delegates. The 1938-45 YB, published post war shows that Calcutta CC are no longer delegates, but Chess Education Society are. In 1946-47, the Anglo-Soviet Chess Circle are there, delegate W Winter, not surprisingly.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Wikipedia

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:21 pm

In 1945, Houses of Commons Chess Circle was replaced by Houses of Parliament Chess Circle.

The 1937 YB has a loose sheet (which I'm amazed has survived), advertising a "Chess talk" on BBC on 4th May 1938, between 3.45 pm and 4 pm, adding, "Those who listen-in and would appreciate regular and progressive broadcasts on this subject are requested to advise the B.B.C. Should sufficient support be thus indicated, there is a definite hope that such broadcasts will be arranged."

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Wikipedia

Post by Stewart Reuben » Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:34 pm

I do remember helping Nigel become the leading figure in the CCA. The President, Ummer Koya, had yet to resign or be stripped of office. I suggested Nigel become Secretary General (a new post), in a manner similar to the UN. That solved that small technical problem and later Nigel became President seamlessly. But I have no memory of ever writing to ChessBase, nor of calling for Nigel's resignation.

Nigel claimed the UK was cheating FIDE by having two federations in FIDE, Guernsey and Jersey, inappropriately. But neither were then, nor are now, in the UK. Obviously he also felt it inappropriate that Scotland and Wales be members. I have no memory of calling for his resignation. Perhaps it was because he was calling for 4 members of the CCA to be removed from FIDE. And England to have to reconstitute itself as the British Isles minus Ireland.

Nigel Short
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Re: Wikipedia

Post by Nigel Short » Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:27 pm

I will refresh your memory, Stewart, about publicly calling for my resignation when I was President of the Commonwealth Chess Association http://en.chessbase.com/post/the-united ... th-feeling

Perhaps you have also conveniently forgotten that you wrote to the Board, in February of this year, in support of Andrew Paulson after the publication of the signed, secret Agon Memorandum.

You still apparently fail to grasp the point that Guernsey and Jersey being Crown possessions, rather than constituent parts of the United Kingdom, has absolutely no relevance whatsoever. They wouldn't be granted FIDE membership - and rightly so - if they applied today. Your general view appears to be that the British Isles should have as many federations as possible (England, Scotland, Wales, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and God knows where else) but your "liberality" does not appear to extend to Texas, Wyoming, Bavaria, Saxony, Catalonia, the Basque Country and the other zillion places that could all apply if one were to be consistent.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Wikipedia

Post by Stewart Reuben » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:52 pm

Thanks for refreshing my memory Nigel, I had completely forgotten 6 years ago. But I didn't call for your resignation. I said you should resign if you wanted to attack 8 CCA members in good standing. Hong Kong, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, England, Scotland, Wales, Guernsey and Jersey. You also attacked the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Faeroe Islands. They are not of course members of the CCA.
Had you also attacked FIFA's rules about the British Isles, that would have been consistent.
The FIDE statutes state that, once a federation has been accepted, it can remain a member of FIDE. The CCA have a similar rule. I introduced it in 1994 at the request of Hong Kong. I uphold the statutes. That is normal for an arbiter.
By the way, did not the editor of Chessbase have it wrong? You didn't stand for re-election as President of the CCA. That is quite different from resigning in mid-term.

I don't know whether you have forgotten that I supported your candidature for FIDE Delegate when you stood the second time against Gerry Walsh. I wasn't there, but gave you all my proxies. At the time I felt that the mood of Council was to support Kasparov and oppose in every way the re-election of Kirsan. You were obviously the best person for that purpose. The Board and, I think, Council have changed their adamant attitude, which is why I think I am the best candidate for FIDE Delegate.

I don't know why you changed the subject to Andrew Paulson. My purpose in intervening in February was to try to avoid the Board having a head-on collision with Andrew Paulson to get rid of him against his will, which would have required an Extraordinary General Meeting of the ECF which would have engendered great bitterness. Eventually he decided to resign. He did so the day following his visit to me where he explained his side of the story. I then advised him it would be in the best interests of English chess if he resigned. Possibly he had already made up his mind.

Nigel Short
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Re: Wikipedia

Post by Nigel Short » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:33 pm

I do apologise for not criticising FIFA, religious intolerance, cruelty to animals and domestic violence. I won't confine my comments to chess in future.

In case you were wondering, FIFA's rules ARE idiotic. Do I really need to add that?

Nigel Short
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Re: Wikipedia

Post by Nigel Short » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:48 pm

You may call my opinions on federations "impudent" but, unlike yours, they are consistent and fair to all nations. Your views, on the other hand, smack of opportunistism, lack of principle and intellectual dishonesty.

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