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 » Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:44 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote: If they suddenly received a vote the likelihood is they would ask around club and league colleagues (or congress friends) until they find somebody who has an opinion; most likely somebody involved in chess organisation.
They might also ask those who play a lot of chess, even if not involved in organisation. I doubt they would pay much respect to the views of those who didn't play chess, were not involved in chess organisation or who weren't involved indirectly as parents.

In my mind there are two types of OMOV. There's the type where the ECF retains a Council voting structure but a significant amount of voting power is up for grabs by individuals directly elected or nominated by individual players. There's also the type where every "Member" has a vote. That's vulnerable to proxy harvesting and remains muddy whether it's even legal, short of expecting every new player to download, sign and post a form back to the ECF.

I'm not sure whether there's a looming confrontation with the SRA, whose codes were signed up to by the outgoing CEO. ECF voters have shown themselves hostile to the notion of a top down organisation where the local exists only with the sufferance of the national. The problem is that many sports organisations are organised that way.

There was a previous CEO who thought the solution to ECF problems was that every one should pay the ECF between £ 20 and £ 30 a year as a condition of playing organised and graded chess. When it was suggested that it wasn't a terribly good idea, he walked out, although his successors have managed to drag the ECF some way along that path.

Martin Regan

Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Martin Regan » Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:02 pm

Rdc
There was a previous CEO who thought the solution to ECF problems was that every one should pay the ECF between £ 20 and £ 30 a year as a condition of playing organised and graded chess. When it was suggested that it wasn't a terribly good idea, he walked out
One again a mix of half-truth, supposition and midnight Googling. And completely wrong.

You have posted more posts on this forum than any other man alive and yet you have not lost the shrillness that distinguished your very first posts.

And it would be nice to try and stick to the thread.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:30 pm

Martin Regan wrote:. And completely wrong.

Verdict of history surely. Contemporary records indicate that you wanted universal or compulsory membership complete with a high membership fee. They also record that you had a confrontation with Chris Majer amongst others and walked out as a consequence.

As far as anyone understands, that vendetta is the reason you are back. It's not as if you have a burning desire to play 100 games a year.

Martin Regan

Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Martin Regan » Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:53 pm

Rdc:
Verdict of history surely. Contemporary records indicate that you wanted universal or compulsory membership complete with a high membership fee. They also record that you had a confrontation with Chris Majer amongst others and walked out as a consequence.
You really actually never learn do you?- it is extraordinary. I will try one last time.

1) you are correct, I wanted compulsory membership. But here you depart from the planet.

We wanted the players to tell us what THEY wanted from the ECF and then we could tell them what it would cost.

It was to be their choice. It could have been 1p- it could have been £100, but the choice would have been entirely up to them. You seem to have difficulty in grasping this democracy lark.

2) Your second point shows the dangers of Google and applying an inadequate analysis to what spews forth; a trait of yours.

It is true that I had a clash with Chris Majer at that meeting, along with about three quarters of council, but he had previously served on my board and I was sorry to see him go. I also recall that I was hugely in favour of him being appointed and offered to stay on as long as it took him to find his feet. When some later problems arose I also had a number of conversations with him when he was clearly under stress, offering to help. Chris and I have always had a decent working relationship.

In passing, when I was first appointed I had a conversation with Richard Hadrell who - seeing me as part of the dark forces of the NCCU - asked me what I wanted. I said I wanted to improve the ECF and that the milli-second I felt I could not, I would step aside. He simply did not believe me.

So you see Roger, information off Google, without context , is no information at all.

Mike Truran
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Mike Truran » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:00 pm

We wanted the players to tell us what THEY wanted from the ECF and then we could tell them what it would cost.

It was to be their choice. It could have been 1p- it could have been £100, but the choice would have been entirely up to them.
My memory isn't what it was, but that is certainly my recollection.

Martin Regan

Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Martin Regan » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:04 pm

My memory isn't what it was
You need to be posting in JB's chess and dementia thread :)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:07 pm

Martin Regan wrote: but the choice would have been entirely up to them.
That is and always was total nonsense. The ECF is the governing body for chess in England which is a monopoly position for various external reasons. As such, there are certain things it has to do or it forfeits its position.
Martin Regan wrote:
Your second point shows the dangers of Google
When I quote material from the SCCU or the ECF website, it's because I was there as a witness when it was written. I watched with increasing alarm as despite numerous rejections, the lump sum membership advocates just wouldn't take "no" for an answer and eventually decided to add my voice to the opposition. I should have started much earlier, it was always a con by the BCF that FIDE had demanded that the BCF/ECF had a compulsory membership scheme, more so that it had to be membership in the form of Guarantors.

By 2006, the atticus forum was in existence, followed by this one some months later. Contemporary opinions are thus preserved as are those expressed by and on the SCCU site, which goes back to the establishment of the site around 1998.

Martin Regan

Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Martin Regan » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:13 pm

Roger,

Whatever.

13003 posts and none the wiser.
Last edited by Martin Regan on Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

John McKenna
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by John McKenna » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:18 pm

Andrew Z, often make sense, but some of the things he comes out with really surprise me - such as his insistence on the non-existence of "the... Nexus" and his allegation about John Foley.

At such times he's as out of order as a Young Tory at a Hagueathon, and just as wet behind the ears.

(Hope he doesn't take that too personally 'cos I'm off to a hostelry and may be able to reply until I've had a few and who knows what I may write then?)
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:57 pm

Just to pick up on the posts by Martin Regan and John McKenna.

On the other forum I pointed out to Chris Fegan that in notable elections between arbiters and non arbiters the non arbiters had generally come out best (Paulson vs Edwards, Short vs Jones and Pein vs Reuben being cases in points) so it's hardly a case of arbiters looking after their own. Chris' response was that sometimes they do, sometimes they don't to which the question of why they chose to do so on this occasion is an obvious response.

I don't think I've made an `allegation` against John Foley except perhaps noting that a comment he's made more than once could be taken as an insult by a lot of volunteers, including myself. Of course John was an ECF volunteer himself and has taken his fair share of criticism so it does work both ways. In any event, my point about a failure to build the relationship still stands as does the other key point - that Alex Holowczak is not perfect but commands considerable respect across the chess community.

I felt that Martin Regan's post missed the main thrust of mine which was about the criticism of arbiters and volunteers from some quarters. I agree entirely about what we could achieve if members were engaged although sometimes that's easier said than done (I can pm some examples). We'll never know how the election might have played out under OMOV but for future elections there's only one way to find out.

Going back to John's post - I won't take it personally. A few weeks ago I went to a quiz night at the local conservative club and made a point of having my membership card for another party in my pocket. That is all.
Martin Regan wrote:A
Why are you, me, or anyone who contributes to this board somehow special, as if we alone are the ones who care?
I never said that but it does sometimes feel like that. One of the ECF's most trenchant critics made some comments on twitter today and in isolation it's hard to disagree. Five years ago I probably would have felt the same. Now I like to think there's something well worth saving.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Roger de Coverly
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:23 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote: One of the ECF's most trenchant critics made some comments on twitter today and in isolation it's hard to disagree.
I expect you are referring to this.
Steve Giddins on twitter wrote:ECF in total meltdown, but chess events continue unaffected. When will people draw the obvious conclusion and stop paying these clowns?
The nexus demands that players become members who aren't Members and pay the ECF in order to allowed to play in events. It's marginally more subtle than that as it's the organisers who suffer financial penalties by promoting chess and allowing non-members to participate.

Graders have remained loyal to the ECF. If they got annoyed and declared independence, that would present serious problems to the ECF management, since its principal enforcement mechanism of demanding money would become mostly toothless.

As far as FIDE rated events is concerned it's still in the air. The April meeting voted to abolish the punishment for non-members of being treated by the ECF and FIDE as if they were computer cheaters, but declined to introduce any penalties, financial presumably, for those organisers who allowed non-members into their events. If you have left England and aren't an ECF member, you may now be safe to play in FIDE rated events where you reside or outside England without having your rating removed.
Last edited by Carl Hibbard on Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added twitter details to quote.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:32 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote: The nexus demands that players become members who aren't Members and pay the ECF in order to allowed to play in events. It's marginally more subtle than that as it's the organisers who suffer financial penalties by promoting chess and allowing non-members to participate.
Just so we're not at cross purposes the `nexus` under discussion here consists mainly of congress organisers who play a big role in council through running ECF member events. The members of the Home Director's team such as myself don't have that much individual clout.
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E Michael White
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by E Michael White » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:41 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote: The minority who play in congresses and criticise the organisers normally either a) view them in the way they would supermarket cashiers or b).......
What have you got against supermarket cashiers ? Do you consider yourself as Chess County Competition Organiser superior to supermarket cashiers ? In my local supermarket they have got to grips with electronic equipment and audible announcements over a PAS. These would be useful skills for organisers working on tournament pairings.
Last edited by E Michael White on Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:42 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote: Just so we're not at cross purposes the `nexus` under discussion here consists mainly of congress organisers who play a big role in council through running ECF member events.
By my interpretation of what those who coined the phrase were suggesting, it also included not just Congress organisers, but also those who represent Leagues and Counties, who if not arbiters, are often organisers and very definitely people with the patience to attend tedious meetings, whether ECF or otherwise.

I consider a weakness of current ECF governance that Congress organisers are not subject, even in theory, to any local oversight.
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: The arbiter nexus

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:45 pm

E Michael White wrote:
Andrew Zigmond wrote: The minority who play in congresses and criticise the organisers normally either a) view them in the way they would supermarket cashiers or b).......
What have you got against supermarket cashiers ? Do you consider yourself as Chess County Competition Organiser superior to supermarket cashiers ? In my local supermarket they have got to grips with electronic equipment and audible announcements over a PAS.
Very little as I'm a manager at a convenience store myself (and have worked in supermarkets in the past). The analogy was that people who complain to and about the people who run congresses are probably the same people who have a go at retail workers simply because they can.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

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