The arbiter nexus

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Roger de Coverly
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:16 pm

Michael Farthing wrote: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.
If the online form or the Framework Organisation form has to be reworded that those paying become Guarantor members, then that's a constitutional change. It wasn't one that the Farthing scheme was prepared to propose. If true, it still makes the point that you cannot have everyone voting at AGM level if they aren't Guarantor members, which is something that to my mind isn't clarified. Have there been significant changes to the Companies Act since the ECF was set up? In not, it appears the advice the ECF acted on back in 2005 or 2006 was incorrect.

John McKenna
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by John McKenna » Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:24 pm

Mick Norris wrote:
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
Back on topic (there are other threads for OMOV).

Does Chris Rice agree that there's, at least, good circumstantial evidence (including the quote above) for a nexus of some description (the International Chess Mafia!?) in FIDE?

Surely it's a similar triangle to the nexus at FIFA - rotten big head and his cronies coupled with a majority of minority rotten boroughs (small corruptable federations).

This is a model that can work anywhere fromTammany Hall to Tel Aviv, via Moscow.

I don't think those running the nexus in FIDE need to include arbiters because at that level of chess politics arbiters simply aren't a powerful enough group.

Within the ECF it's different - arbiters, controllers and organisers have and use their political chess muscles. The question here is - do they not only co-operate for the good of chess and the players of chess, but also do they collude - at certain critical times - for their own good to the detriment of chess and its players?

That's not to say all individuals who compose those groups are knowingly, actively part of the nexus. Only subsets are needed and the minnows change more frequently than the big fish.

Some people would like to collude to infuence the outcomes of chess games, but that's far from easy, due to it having to be done in open play.

Behind closed doors or on a comms network it's so much easier to get away with it undetected.

And, if accused - deny, deny, deny...
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:42 pm

John McKenna wrote: Surely it's a similar triangle to the nexus at FIFA - rotten big head and his cronies coupled with a majority of minority rotten boroughs (small corruptable federations).
That's certainly a definition of FIDE. I don't think it's true of ECF voters for at least two reasons. Firstly the ECF voting rights are size related, reducing disproportionate influences from small organisations. Second, the Representative Delegates are not easily swayed by lobbying, if at all.

Chris Rice
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Chris Rice » Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:54 pm

John McKenna wrote: Does Chris Rice agree that there's, at least, good circumstantial evidence (including the quote above) for a nexus of some description (the International Chess Mafia!?) in FIDE?

Surely it's a similar triangle to the nexus at FIFA - rotten big head and his cronies coupled with a majority of minority rotten boroughs (small corruptable federations).

This is a model that can work anywhere fromTammany Hall to Tel Aviv, via Moscow.

I don't think those running the nexus in FIDE need to include arbiters because at that level of chess politics arbiters simply aren't a powerful enough group.

Within the ECF it's different - arbiters, controllers and organisers have and use their political chess muscles. The question here is - do they not only co-operate for the good of chess and the players of chess, but also do they collude - at certain critical times - for their own good to the detriment of chess and its players?
I think its well known John that I, like many others, believe FIDE to be a corrupt organization, very much like FIFA, so no arguments there.

However, we are not saying that the ECF is corrupt, simply that there are suspicions that certain factions within it have undue influence. My feeling is that could be remedied with a better structure (whatever version of OMOV that is). At present the structure does not appear to work. I've met many arbiters and controllers and while they all have different opinions as to what should be done they all seem to have English chess interests at heart and want English chess to thrive.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:58 pm

Council at the moment is two things. It is an entity that elects the Board, and it is an entity that provides direction to the Board as to what it should do on a strategic level. The optimal sizes for those two entities are probably not the same.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:30 pm

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

Quite appropriate, I suppose, given that Gazza has form with regard to claiming that something exists but going quiet when asked to substantiate his assertion.

(e.g. http://streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.c ... in_14.html)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:30 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote: it is an entity that provides direction to the Board as to what it should do on a strategic level.
Notwithstanding the theory that it was too large, the old Management Board of the BCF may have got this a bit better. That had as part of the Board, anyone who did anything of significance plus representatives of the Unions and major leagues who were perhaps just there for the strategic and tactical direction decisions. Either that or it was a structure designed to make sure the BCF never did anything particularly radical.

To the extent that the wider membership of Council was just a superset of the Board, it reduced to an extent, the conflicts.

Michael Flatt
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Michael Flatt » Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:38 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:Council at the moment is two things. It is an entity that elects the Board, and it is an entity that provides direction to the Board as to what it should do on a strategic level. The optimal sizes for those two entities are probably not the same.
The Board is actually a powerful body in its own right which is charged with the day to day management of the ECF and is autonomous in its decision making. It reports to Council twice a year: at the October AGM when Members are elected to the Board and in the April Finance meeting to agree its budget.

Council tends not to define ECF strategy but rather endorse or modify whatever the Board proposes. Support given by the ECF to the English Bridge Union in its attempt to gain recognition as a sport was a Board decision that was never brought to Council. Similarly, the resolution of the legal claim brought by an ECF coach was settled entirely by the Board and has yet to be explained to Council, although it was briefly mentioned by the CEO in summing up the Board meeting held immediately before the AGM.

NickFaulks
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:41 pm

John McKenna wrote: Surely it's a similar triangle to the nexus at FIFA - rotten big head and his cronies coupled with a majority of minority rotten boroughs (small corruptable federations).
For the record, I would be surprised if 20 per cent of FIDE rated players are members of federations which supported Kasparov in 2014. I'm not saying that small corruptible federations do not exist, but the idea that they hold any balance of power is at a minimum outdated.

I struggle to understand how the General Assembly takes many of its decisions, but I don't think it's corruption. They just don't care.

Angus French
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Angus French » Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:50 pm

Michael Flatt wrote:Support given by the ECF to the English Bridge Union in its attempt to gain recognition as a sport was a Board decision that was never brought to Council.
... Council was told at the AGM that legal advice was that it would be an "uphill struggle". You wonder, then, was it worth spending £2,500 on?
Michael Flatt wrote:Similarly, the resolution of the legal claim brought by an ECF coach was settled entirely by the Board and has yet to be explained to Council, although it was briefly mentioned by the CEO in summing up the Board meeting held immediately before the AGM.
Michael, are you referring to a junior matter which the CEO said was settled at a cost to the ECF of £1,200? No one asked about this at the meeting and I wondered what had occurred.

Michael Flatt
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Michael Flatt » Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:56 pm

Angus French wrote:
Michael Flatt wrote:Similarly, the resolution of the legal claim brought by an ECF coach was settled entirely by the Board and has yet to be explained to Council, although it was briefly mentioned by the CEO in summing up the Board meeting held immediately before the AGM.
Michael, are you referring to a junior matter which the CEO said was settled at a cost to the ECF of £1,200? No one asked about this at the meeting and I wondered what had occurred.
My understanding, although I might have misheard what was said, was that it was a settlement with an ECF coach. There was no mention of it being related to any Junior. I too was interested to learn more but lack of time prevented asking any questions on the matter.

John McKenna
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by John McKenna » Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:58 pm

Thanks for your replies, guys.
What I heard was Roger speaking theoretically, Chris more practically and Jack laterally.

I just hope that something along those lines can be hammered out.

I'll only begin to believe that the ECF can be reformed when I start to see evidence of it, and I fear it may be circumvented (by you know what) and so the same battles we have been seeing for years will have to be refought, time and time again.

(See above post for a report on a resolved fight that has yet to be mentioned in despatches.)

Never mind, while idling away the time between, we can all join choirmaster Michael Farthing & chief choirister Andrew Z in a rousing chorus of Always Look on Bright Side... de-dum, de-dum, de-dumty-dum, de-dum...
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:12 pm

Michael Flatt wrote: My understanding, although I might have misheard what was said, was that it was a settlement with an ECF coach. There was no mention of it being related to any Junior. I too was interested to learn more but lack of time prevented asking any questions on the matter.
In a post on one of the forums, John Foley made a cryptic comment about a legal matter occupying the Board's attention during his first few months of office. It might be assumed to be a reference to Aberystwyth, but perhaps not.

Michael Flatt
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Michael Flatt » Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:23 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Michael Flatt wrote: My understanding, although I might have misheard what was said, was that it was a settlement with an ECF coach. There was no mention of it being related to any Junior. I too was interested to learn more but lack of time prevented asking any questions on the matter.
In a post on one of the forums, John Foley made a cryptic comment about a legal matter occupying the Board's attention during his first few months of office. It might be assumed to be a reference to Aberystwyth, but perhaps not.
What the CEO said made no mention of Aberystwyth or Juniors, which led me to believe that it was an entirely separate incident. I do recall him using the word coach and a mention of £1200 settlement - I assume that was paid to the coach.

John Upham
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by John Upham » Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:31 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote: it is an entity that provides direction to the Board as to what it should do on a strategic level.
Really?

Can you provide example of Council providing direction to the board Jack?

Are you suggesting that Council acts proactively?
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