FIDE Law Suit

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Angus French
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Re: FIDE Law Suit

Post by Angus French » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:54 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:Returning to the legal action, the Streatham blog has some thoughts on the issue.

http://streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.c ... table.html

It occurs to be that the ECF has both a Governance Committee and a Finance Committee, both mostly composed of non-Directors. Whilst I've never been totally sure what these bodies are supposed to do and even whether they meet and do it, you might hope they had been made aware of the legal action.
The ECF also has two Non-executive Directors...

Kevin O'Connell
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Re: FIDE Law Suit

Post by Kevin O'Connell » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:22 pm

All rather bizarre, really. The current law suit does indeed relate to the 'extra' VPs (over and above those stipulated in the statutes). GM Azmaiparashvili should certainly be au fait with the matter since he was previously one such 'extra' VP. If my memory is still half working, 'extra' VPs first appeared in 1996 and have become a permanent fixture (with a bit of inflation).

There is no doubt about the fact that the FIDE statutes do not match FIDE practice on this matter.
The extra VPs are appointed by the General Assembly (FIDE's ultimate body - one country, one vote), NOT by the President (although he can nominate some and the GA is unlikely to vote against such nominations) or Executive Board.

In essence it comes down to a simple question - does the General Assembly have the right to appoint such extra VPs or not. If not, how does that sit with the GA having supreme power?

I saw, earlier in the thread, some incomprehension about how federations and countries such as ECF/England, USCF/USA, FFE/France are viewed by the vast majority. 'Hated' is too strong a word, but there is a powerful combination of pieces: colonial pasts, a tendency (from near bankrupt nations in decline) to tell others (usually credit-worthy and growing fast) that they 'ought' to do things in a certain manner, and annoyance and disbelief that such legal actions are depriving large numbers of federations of substantial investment funds.

Defending last year's CAS dispute (lost miserably by the plaintiffs) cost a fortune and cut the amount of investment in schools and 'developing' federations by about €300,000 in each of the last two years (the money having to go to lawyers instead, FIDE not having the advantage of a 'pro bono' legal team).

It is also rather bizarre that some Western federations are now bemoaning the fact that FIDE is a 'one man, one vote' organization. Some of these are the very same federations that argued strongly against a system that would have favoured the larger/stronger chess federations when it was proposed way back (late 50s/early 60s) when FIDE was effectively a European organization (but federations such as the then BCF and FFE were small and insignificant).

Paul McKeown
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Re: FIDE Law Suit

Post by Paul McKeown » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:55 pm

Kevin O'Connell wrote:It is also rather bizarre that some Western federations are now bemoaning the fact that FIDE is a 'one man, one vote' organization.
It certainly is not one man one vote; it is one federation one vote, without any demographic weighting.

Colin McGourty
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Re: FIDE Law Suit

Post by Colin McGourty » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:30 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
NickFaulks wrote: However, I remain puzzled that the issue could have been the talk of the chess world for so many months except, it seems, in England.
Can you point to any public forums, websites or blogs where this information may have been disclosed? I don't think it's been on chessbase, chessvibes, chessninja, chesscafe or even whychess.
For what it's worth, the issue was mentioned by Danailov in an interview I partially translated at WhyChess a month ago: http://whychess.org/node/2806

Apart from what you can find there Danailov also said in the interview:
[FIDE] accuse [Kasparov] of being behind everything, but again, you need to have some proof, which I haven't personally seen. That's the first thing. And secondly, it's the federations that are actually taking legal action against FIDE, not Kasparov himself. So it's difficult to understand these accusations. Personally I think it's all just a theory.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: FIDE Law Suit

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:37 pm

Paul McKeown wrote: It certainly is not one man one vote; it is one federation one vote, without any demographic weighting.
The complaint from amateur players against FIDE is that the Executive in general and the President in particular have an agenda which is basically anti-chess. Anti amateur chess anyway. At the same time, the President seems to regard himself as elected for life based on the voting power of smaller federations.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: FIDE Law Suit

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:57 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:The complaint from amateur players against FIDE is that the Executive in general and the President in particular have an agenda ....
Thank god nothing like that happens in England.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: FIDE Law Suit

Post by Stewart Reuben » Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:17 am

Nick Faulks >Zero time defaults are awful, but I believe the ECF delegate voted for them in 2008.<
That is wrong.

The ECF Delegate, Gerry Walsh, had only one vote at the FIDE Meetings in 2008 in Dresden. That was at the General Assembly. The issue of zero tolerance was not voted on there at all. It was decided, under the guidance of the Deputy President Makropoulos, to pass the decision to the Presidential Board. There they decided to allow to two options in 6.6a and 6.6b. Had a vote been held in Dresden I feel certain they would have passed zero default as the only option. Several delegates spoke in favour of Kirsan's wonderful idea.

It was Georgios finest hour.

NickFaulks
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Re: FIDE Law Suit

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:15 am

Stewart Reuben wrote:Nick Faulks >Zero time defaults are awful, but I believe the ECF delegate voted for them in 2008.<
That is wrong.

The ECF Delegate, Gerry Walsh, had only one vote at the FIDE Meetings in 2008 in Dresden. That was at the General Assembly. The issue of zero tolerance was not voted on there at all. It was decided, under the guidance of the Deputy President Makropoulos, to pass the decision to the Presidential Board. There they decided to allow to two options in 6.6a and 6.6b. Had a vote been held in Dresden I feel certain they would have passed zero default as the only option. Several delegates spoke in favour of Kirsan's wonderful idea.

It was Georgios finest hour.
Thanks, Stewart. I was not there, since I had chess playing duties, which is always a nuisance. My understanding was that few voices were heard against zero tolerance, and that the ECF's was not one of them, but I did not realise that the matter never came to a vote.

I do find that one reassuring feature of FIDE is that whenever a particularly disruptive scheme is approved, such as the 75 : 30 time control from 2000 discussed earlier in this thread or the doubling of the k factor in 2008, it somehow doesn't seem to happen. I like to think that zero default, if passed, would not have survived long enough to come into force.

NickFaulks
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Re: FIDE Law Suit

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:17 am

Kevin O'Connell wrote:All rather bizarre, really. The current law suit does indeed relate to the 'extra' VPs (over and above those stipulated in the statutes). GM Azmaiparashvili should certainly be au fait with the matter since he was previously one such 'extra' VP. If my memory is still half working, 'extra' VPs first appeared in 1996 and have become a permanent fixture (with a bit of inflation).

There is no doubt about the fact that the FIDE statutes do not match FIDE practice on this matter.
The extra VPs are appointed by the General Assembly (FIDE's ultimate body - one country, one vote), NOT by the President (although he can nominate some and the GA is unlikely to vote against such nominations) or Executive Board.

In essence it comes down to a simple question - does the General Assembly have the right to appoint such extra VPs or not. If not, how does that sit with the GA having supreme power?
Kevin is correct on all counts. First of all, and contrary to the extraordinary document produced by your FIDE delegate, the plaintiffs were laughed out of court in last year's dispute. This was not surprising, since their main claim was that, on a technicality, Kirsan did not have a sufficient connection with the world of chess to stand as a candidate. Whatever you think of the man, that was just absurd. The Court did discover that one of the opposition's ticket, the American lawyer, did indeed fall into this category, and that his date of obtaining USCF membership was, shall we say, controversial.

Short may not have expected this result, but I'm sure the lawyers did. However, from their point of view, the procedure was a total success, in that FIDE were hit with a large legal bill, and the CAS has previously expressed the view that, as an international organisation, they do not need to be awarded costs since they can easily recover them from their own federations. The court fails to understand that chess is a less wealthy sport than, say, football or athletics. FIDE must therefore either cut its budget, particularly in the developing nations where much of the budget is spent, or raise fees and antagonise members. Either way, the ECF and its allies consider that they win.

The lawsuit against which FIDE is currently defending itself, again at great cost, is petty but self inflicted. FIDE's statutes can be changed by, and only by, the General Assembly. The GA has for many years taken this to mean that they can pass motions that conflict with the statutes, on the grounds ( if they think about it at all ) that they could first alter the statutes accordingly if they were bothered. I have said that I think this cutting of corners is bad practice, as have some others, but old habits are hard to change. However, I believe that there was enough irritation about events in Khanty ( and not just among the loudmouths ) that this matter would really have been tidied up next year anyway.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: FIDE Law Suit

Post by Stewart Reuben » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:46 am

I think it is all to do with the Eastern concept of not losing face. To change the statutes to allow for more VPs would be admitting that they are wrong. Thus we have had the unedifying experience of seeing this particular statute flagrantly disregarded by the President 3 times now.
Ali Nihat Yazici of Turkey is one of those illegally elected VPs. In Krakow he offerd to step down. I am told he previously did the same thing when the whole issue first blew up. He did not even receive the courtesy of a response. He is, by the way, the best chess organiser I have ever met.
The idea that Kirsan is packing the Presidential Board with his cronies in order to get votes through is absurd. Like many organisations, FIDE decisions are reached by consensus, not votes. FIDE have a long history of bringing into the fold their erstwhile opponents. Campo certainly did that in 1994. My objection is that the PB is too big to be effective. Also the more members, the greater the cost.

Ola Winfridsson
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Re: FIDE Law Suit

Post by Ola Winfridsson » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:38 pm

As regards the change to 90min +30sec (and shorter envisaged for the future), I seem to remember that was part of Kirsan's explicit plan to get more chess on television globally (1 hour programs was his idea). This was at a time (early 00s) when the internet really started to come of age in many parts of Europe and north America in particular. Kirsan clearly failed to to realize that live chess on the multichanelled internet, where time controls really don't matter at all (as opposed to telly where you would occupy a big block on one channel with a 7 hour game - often to the detriment of domestic bliss ...), is the perfect medium for spectators who are not at the event itself. You can drop in on the broadcast as you please.

No offence to the republic of Kalmuckia, but I think it's safe to say that had Kirsan come from a country where IT networks and pc and laptops had been more readily accessible to the wider public at the time, he wouldn't have come up with this hare-brained scheme.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: FIDE Law Suit

Post by Stewart Reuben » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:07 pm

It i perfectly true that there are a umber of people who believe shorter games will make chess more accessible for TV. Since a chess programme should probably not be longer than 25 minutes, this is o nly true for blitz. Long games need to be edited and thus might just as well be as long as is wanted.
There is another threrad. Kirsan probably is in favout of wo tounds a day. Then a gam,e exceeding 5 hours is clearly undesirable. Leonh even suggested the Olympiad be 2 rounds a day. The amateur plauers do not save up fo two years i n oredr to be fobbed off with a weekend Swiss!

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Gerard Killoran
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Re: FIDE Law Suit

Post by Gerard Killoran » Thu May 17, 2012 9:12 am

Just an update

from

http://www.chessvibes.com/reports/nigel ... xperiences
The current FIDE regime has been in power for well over a decade and a half. I honestly don’t think they are terribly serious about promoting chess in Africa. Their main priority is the crude exercise of power. To give a recent example: FIDE has chosen to spend the best part of a million Euros of FIDE money on a court case in Lausanne, this January, defending Kirsan’s appointment of five FIDE Vice Presidents, in 2010, when the statutes state that he can appoint only two “and no more”. Personally I consider that to be a disgraceful waste of money that would be far better spent on Africa (or anywhere else for that matter). If it were essential to have so many extra VPs, Kirsan could simply have appointed two and put a motion before the General Assembly calling for a change in the statutes. The million Euros of our money is being spent solely for the right for Kirsan to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.
This would be fair enough - except Short fails to mention his own role in this and other law suits against FIDE.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: FIDE Law Suit

Post by Stewart Reuben » Thu May 17, 2012 12:39 pm

Quoting Nigel Short 'One of the main problems here is that senior FIDE officials don’t actually like strong chess players. They are at best tolerated and at worst actively despised.'

In my experience this is not so at all. In fact recently they have gone to considerable pains to involve the Association of Chess Professionals. What is true is that there is incompetence, especially in the field of formulating playing policy and sticking to it.

'Hence FIDE’s obsession with setting up arbiters’ seminars and the like.'

Well, maybe. It is natural for an organisation to concentrate on regulations. Thus leaving development to entrepeneurs with relatively little connection to the core administration.

What I find most distressing is this recent tendency to find ways of defaulting players. Rather than having games decided by moves played on the board.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: FIDE Law Suit

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Thu May 17, 2012 4:34 pm

This latter point of Stewart has attracted comment by SG.

On this occasion SG is wrong. The game in question went 1 d4 d6 2 c4 Kd7 3 Nc3. We will never know whether Black would have played 3...Kc6, for which he had been offered a reasonable amount of money by one of the many spectators. I still think that at the end of the day he would have more likely played 3...Ke8 and 4...e5.

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