But what are they, really?
Malcom Pein wrote:You can’t fight an election without a positive vision for change. Here are just a few ideas I will promote.
Term limits – These would be 8 years for President and a limit for Board members. That would be 8 years in total so that no matter what happens, Ilyumzhinov cannot return, even if the Kremlin tries to parachute him back in.
You don't change the constitution to address one individual case. Term limits always sound like a good idea anyway, until you reach the point where after seven years most people agree that the incumbent is doing a great job and they don't wish to lose them. I support term limits, but it isn't a one-sided argument of honesty v corruption.
Beef up and rebrand the Anti Cheating Commission – I’d call it the Fair Play Commission and have it comprised of arbiters, legal professionals, organisers and most importantly, players. Indeed someone of Nigel’s stature as a player would be ideal as chairman.
This obviously makes sense, although if he is actually suggesting Short for the job he needs his head examined.
Rescind or completely renegotiate the arrangement with Agon/WorldChess
He won't find many people in FIDE disagreeing with that. There are supposedly legal complications.
Scrap the FIDE Online Arena and work with the major online providers instead
Or that, although there is an entrenched vested interest.
Arbiting standards – Create cadres of professional or semiprofessional arbiters as the core of any official event and end the use of such appointments for political purposes. Arbiting standards need to be raised generally.
He is right about political appointments and I hope he is on that case right now, without waiting to be elected
The Verification Commission needs to be strengthened – This is the body that oversees all the important functions and it does not report often enough. I would appoint one salaried member who is responsible for independent oversight of the FIDE bank account throughout the year and should have online access to scrutinise all transactions in real time if required.
I have never seen Malcolm at a VC meeting. Had he attended, he might reaise that their work covers a bit more than he imagines. However, the idea that its remit should be broadened is sensible and not a new one.
His other suggestion addresses a problem that does not currently exist. What does it even mean to add a role that is salaried and independent? It is only useful if you believe the Treasurer is either incompetent or corrupt, and he shares a ticket with the gentleman who holds that post.
Title fees – These need to be reduced. It seems to me that the approach is often: how can we raise more money from players? It’s time to look at new sources of income. Rating fees for developing countries must be kept to a minimum and abolished for as many poorer countries as possible.
There is a case for reducing OTB title fees ( although there is an entirely separate case for making these titles harder to achieve ). Fees for Arbiter and Trainer titles are in practice union membership dues. Don't get me started on Organiser titles. As to rating fees, he is petitioning for something that is already in force.
"It’s time to look at new sources of income." That's what Short says, too. Tell us more.
Africa – African chess has advanced far too slowly for decades and it’s the fault of FIDE’s longtime neglect. I would propose that a proportion of surplus funds over the target reserve of €2.5 million generated be transferred to an African development fund.
Ah yes, Africa. Some such proposal is clearly obligatory, but now you really do have an oversight issue. Who will ensure that the money does not just disappear?
Lest this comment appear unfairly derogatory about a single continent, perhaps the same would be said about other parts of the world too, except that nobody ever suggests dropping huge amounts of money on them. Why is that?
The Presidential Board should be composed of people with specific skills, as well as ensuring all continents are represented.
The trouble is that most of the PB are elected, not appointed. When Kirsan appointed a few extra, admittedly less than stellar candidates, he ran into a firestorm orchestrated by Malcolm himself. FIDE does need better governance, but the PB may not be the easiest place to start.