The arbiter nexus

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Martin Regan

Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Martin Regan » Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:42 pm

Well after eight pages of posts we are no nearer than where we started. Other than knowing that there are three sides: the arbiter nexus, the nexus denying nexus and the anti-denying the nexus nexus.

We have also learned that "aftermath" (shock ) is a word with considerable lattitude in meaning; that the F-words on this board at the moment are Fegan and Foley. And that the not-the-real Bury in the south is a nice place.

A typical thread really. :)

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:21 pm

I'll try to make this the final word. I think that the key members of the supposed nexus represent the best of English chess at the moment. I should add that I do NOT include myself in this; in years to come I might be remembered as an adequate caretaker of a historic event and nothing more.

I also think that seven years ago that was not true of the nexus you had to deal with as they were conservatives blocking progress. The 2015 `nexus` are progressives.
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John Foley
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by John Foley » Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:37 am

Gary Kasparov speaks on Timeless Values at the inevitably named Nexus Institute :D

John McKenna
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by John McKenna » Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:25 am

I see Andrew Z's tenure more as that of a curator of ancient ECF heirlooms than a "caretaker". He's too modest for his own good. I hope he remains in the ECF fold even if he returns to being a shepherd of the Dales.

As for the various nexii (plural of nexus?), as I said before, I imagine them to have similar properties to blackholes and we can only suspect they exist until we actually spot people and their votes & proxies falling into one.

Or, until someone emerges from one and confirms their existence with the first ever selfies taken inside a nexus. Who knows what those will reveal? It will be mind boggling!

Until then I'm done here.
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: The arbiter nexus

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:37 am

John McKenna wrote:As for the various nexii (plural of nexus?)
The English plural of nexus is nexuses. The Latin plural is nexus. Nexus in Latin is fourth declension, not second declension, and even if it were, its plural would be nexi.

John McKenna
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by John McKenna » Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:57 am

That would have been brilliant in the Life of Brian, Jack. (Coupled with a bit of bullying and threatening Romanic behaviour.

I'm both impressed and humbled.

And promise to stop covering the forum in grafitti.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

E Michael White
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by E Michael White » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:26 am

John McKenna wrote:That would have been brilliant in the Life of Brian, Jack. (Coupled with a bit of bullying and threatening Romanic behaviour.

I'm both impressed and humbled.

And promise to stop covering the forum in grafitti.
Hello John
How many forums have you covered in al least one graffito ?

..and by the way the word "lodging" as used by yourself in another post was a gerund not a pure noun. If you wanted the pure singular noun form in English it is lodgings !

..and Martin Regan seems more on the mark than others in this thread. Sooner or later I'm expecting an arbiter to quote a preface or two.

Mick Norris
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Mick Norris » Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:02 am

John Foley wrote:Gary Kasparov speaks on Timeless Values at the inevitably named Nexus Institute :D
FIDE have banned him for 2 years chess.com
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Chris Rice
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Chris Rice » Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:07 am

Martin Regan wrote:Well after eight pages of posts we are no nearer than where we started. Other than knowing that there are three sides: the arbiter nexus, the nexus denying nexus and the anti-denying the nexus nexus.

We have also learned that "aftermath" (shock ) is a word with considerable lattitude in meaning; that the F-words on this board at the moment are Fegan and Foley. And that the not-the-real Bury in the south is a nice place.

A typical thread really. :)
What was it you were originally trying to achieve?

As I understood it your initial post, which didn't seem to include any specific questions, looked for further evidence to support John Foley's and Chris Fegan's assertions of an arbiter/controller nexus. Nothing in the 8 pages after that in this thread or any other thread produced any evidence that such a coalition exists or existed. JF's and CF's actions have been attacked from many sides so I can see why they might think its a plot against them but all these arbiters/controllers all agreeing with each other in some Machiavellian scheme? Don't think so judging by the previous experience of the chaos with which the ECF normally operates.

It seems perfectly reasonable to me that there would be more arbiters/controllers on the management board rather than players. Players would, on the whole, rather play. Without any evidence to back up these claims then they would certainly appear to be ridiculous and deserve to be ridiculed. Not sure why you would want to get involved in all that.

I note that you support OMOV and that has to be a better way for the ECF to proceed than getting involved in arbiter/controller witch hunts. Its the people that oppose OMOV I find the most concerning.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:24 am

Chris Rice wrote: Its the people that oppose OMOV I find the most concerning.
Given the range of plausible versions of OMOV, some of which would strongly resemble the existing structure, isn't the real difference between those who would see the ECF as a centralised body and those who don't? At presently constituted, the ECF exists and has directors because the numerous smaller local and national chess organisations allow it so. The ECF has little or no control over whether a chess body exists, all it can really do is deny it ECF membership and in practice that's almost always a rubber stamp. It would be my suspicion that those whose positions of influence within the ECF have been terminated would believe the opposite, namely that the ECF should be supreme and local bodies subservient.

Mick Norris
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Mick Norris » Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:38 am

Chris Rice wrote:I note that you support OMOV and that has to be a better way for the ECF to proceed than getting involved in arbiter/controller witch hunts. Its the people that oppose OMOV I find the most concerning.
Agree with that

It would be good if it could be agreed what form of OMOV, i.e. what Council could be persuaded to accept, would be acceptable to the majority of players too

There was a quote somewhere from Andrew Z about using OMOV to show the players that the ECF actually wants to engage with them (apologies for not getting the exact form of words right, it has been an extremely trying day so far) - if everyone is anti-ECF like we have had in the past, then we'll get nowhere
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Michael Farthing
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Michael Farthing » Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:50 am

Roger de Coverly wrote: Given the range of plausible versions of OMOV, some of which would strongly resemble the existing structure, isn't the real difference between those who would see the ECF as a centralised body and those who don't? At presently constituted, the ECF exists and has directors because the numerous smaller local and national chess organisations allow it so. The ECF has little or no control over whether a chess body exists, all it can really do is deny it ECF membership and in practice that's almost always a rubber stamp. It would be my suspicion that those whose positions of influence within the ECF have been terminated would believe the opposite, namely that the ECF should be supreme and local bodies subservient.
I believe here Roger has very succinctly set out what I see as the agenda of the wing that has stressed the word 'progressive', but it is appropriate to look further than that and try to see the ambitions that they have that drive them to this sort of policy. I have been trying to get Martin to spell this out as an advocate of the Phil Ehr camp, but when challenged to come forward with an analysis he seems to me to retreat from the issue.

So my attempt:

Chess should be a thriving national activity (as it is in some other countries) and to achieve that it is necessary to:
a). have a strong body of top-players that have international standing and can provide role models and enthusiasm for up-and-coming players
b). to achieve this outside finance is essential and this requires government support; recognition as a sport and commercial sponsors
c). recognition as a sport in turn requires there to be a strong governing body, partly because other bodies expect this, but also to control the conduct of the sport so as not to generate the sort of bad publicity that has dogged chess in the past.
d). Beyond that, to take full advantage of the achievement of outside support the governing body needs to be in a direct position to drive forward change and chess initiatives.

I have tried to reflect what I think Phil was about, but it is intended only as a quick snapshot analysis. I again invite comment from Martin or John Foley on whether they feel this a reasonably fair interpretation of their approach and invite their modifications and corrections. If we could recognise the policy issues it might provide an interesting basis for discussion.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:58 am

Mick Norris wrote: It would be good if it could be agreed what form of OMOV, i.e. what Council could be persuaded to accept, would be acceptable to the majority of players too
There's also the question as to what type of OMOV would be legal given the ECF's status as a Company limited by Guarantee (CLG).

Definitions

Guarantor Members - those who have signed the White Form
members who are not Members - individuals who haven't.

It's suggested that all Guarantor Members should have votes and indeed they do, having the right to elect two Representatives to attend AGMs and other meetings. That's just a de minimis representation, so it's hardly a surprise that it doesn't work very well. Perhaps that's about to change with more recent volunteers to these posts adopting a more proactive approach. One form of OMOV would just enhance this, by electing far more Representatives and giving them far more voting power. In this structure, members who not Members could elect Members who are as their Representatives.

Another form of OMOV would give every individual the right to attend AGMs and vote for some or all Directors either in person, by proxy, or by email or online vote. The potential problem with this comes as to whether they also have to be Guarantor Members, in other words people who have signed the White Form. So it's a governance question, can a CLG have its officers elected by those members who are not Members? It's also a practical question, can the ECF really insist that all new players sign White Forms? Perhaps it could say that a vote is available only if someone downloads, signs and return a form.

At least the complete red herring propagated by Chris Majer amongst others that it was necessary to be a Guarantor Member to play FIDE rated chess is now out of the window.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Michael Farthing » Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:06 pm

This is a legal red herring, Roger. Clearly only direct members who have paid a subscription are going to be voting (either directly or through representatives) at Council or in Board Elections. If they have paid a subscription part of that subscription can be a guarantee paid in advance. No white form is necessary: it is quite sufficient just to say on the online form that that is what is happening. It's a trivial issue and is all decided within our own articles over which we have control. The Act quite specifically allows there to be different classes of Member (capital M) with different rights.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:10 pm

Michael Farthing wrote: If we could recognise the policy issues it might provide an interesting basis for discussion.
I would suspect the same as well.

If they were reluctant to advocate this directly, it would be have because much of the history of British chess implies that successful developments have been despite the BCF/ECF rather than because of it, or more charitably that it knew when to stand in the background giving technical support such as a grading system, but no more.

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