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Thread: 10C - New Business - For Discussion Only - FIDE Elections - August 2014

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    Default 10C - New Business - For Discussion Only - FIDE Elections - August 2014

    A discussion thread has been requested concerning the FIDE elections to be held at the FIDE Congress in Tromso, Norway in August 2014

    The major item for discussion is the election for the presidency of FIDE. The two main candidate websites are at:

    http://fidefirst.com/ for Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
    http://kasparov2014.com/ for Garry Kasparov

    Our FIDE Representative Hal Bond has indicated that he is going to be in Norway for the Congress.

    So which way should Canada vote? First off a couple of key points:

    - the Handbook makes it quite clear that the CFC's relations with FIDE is an Executive decision, not a decision of the Assembly. Obviously on this issue like any other issue, the Executive's stewardship of the CFC will be considered in voting for the new Executive.
    - there was a spirited discussion on the Governors' Chat forum with a straw vote which was narrowly in favor of the Ilyumzhinov camp. To the Executive that said we don't have a clear consensus on the subject amongst the Governors / VMs
    - before that there was an equally spirited discussion amongst the Executive and the consensus was that neither candidate was clearly superior to the point of the decision being a "no brainer", that neither campaign came to the table with "clean hands" and that there were charges and counter-charges. But we DO have to choose - "none of the above" is not a recipe for good governance of FIDE!
    - the Executive decision was for Ilyumzhinov and no one who was party to the Executive discussion would say the vote was a ringing endorsement
    - following that there was a Globe and Mail article which was clearly based primarily on information from Canadian Kasparov supporters

    To reiterate, it may not seem this way but this issue has been talked out extensively by your Executive and it was one of the tougher decisions of the year. I wish it HAD been an easy decision since there are things that I (speaking personally) strongly dislike about the current state of things at FIDE. Again speaking personally I have wavered in my view and am offended with some of the rhetoric I've heard from the stalwarts on both sides.

    OK - I've said enough for now, time for someone else to put in their $ 0.02 worth!

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    There has been so much discussion of this, already, that unless there is a significant change on the Executive (which marks the end of the meeting, I think), further discussion is for those that don't have better things to do with their time.

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    I don't think that's completely fair comment as there's a lot to say on both sides. I've been shocked regularly by some of the things I've heard said and there are plenty of partisans on both sides who clearly would say anything and I mean anything to advance the cause of their candidate. At the end of the day it needs to be clearly understood that neither KI or GK will be President for life and that the best they can do is be the best they can while in office however long that might be.

    Again - there are plenty of issues the Executive deserves to be judged on and I would consider it a more than a shame if the election were to become a referendum on FIDE alone. Yes the FIDE election is important and the results do matter. No it's not the whole story of 2013-14.

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    Lyle, I have a question. Here is from your post: "- the Handbook makes it quite clear that the CFC's relations with FIDE is an Executive decision, not a decision of the Assembly. Obviously on this issue like any other issue, the Executive's stewardship of the CFC will be considered in voting for the new Executive." Please refer me to the appropriate section of the Handbook, because all I was able to find is this:

    The Chess Federation of Canada shall be governed by an Assembly of Governors (hereinafter called the Assembly) comprising of:

    Those persons elected or appointed as Governors by a provincial or territorial association (hereinafter called a provincial association); and Governors at large.

    That means that Assembly has the authority to make ANY decision, including the FIDE vote. It has the power to DELEGATE it to Executives, and please refer me to the Minutes when such a decision ever took place. Because if that never happened, Executives had NO authority to vote on FIDE vote to begin with, never mind ENDORSING anyone. As I understand (beginning of your post) you are relying on the Handbook (the idea that there must be 7 Directors, for example). How are we going to get out of this mess? Who will assume all the responsibilities?
    Last edited by Sasha Starr; 07-08-2014 at 08:45 PM.

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    Lyle, again, back to your post: "To the Executive that said we don't have a clear consensus on the subject amongst the Governors / VMs". In this situation where you did not have a clear consensus the executive's vote 5-0=2 in favour of the incumbent's ENDORSEMENT is really showing a good judgment? The executives ought to know that there will be a lot of unhappy people who care about Canadian Chess including its biggest sponsor. If there was not a clear consensus then what kind of inducements were used to get five executives to vote for the ENDORSEMENT with two abstainers?

    Another issue is that Hal Bond has failed to abstain from the vote in spite of being warned: "15. CONFLICT OF INTEREST. Whenever a proposal is being considered which puts any CFC officer in a potential conflict of interest he shall declare the conflict and abstain from discussion, voting or other involvement in the matter". In January of this year Hal told me himself that because of his paying arbiter's assignments in FIDE organized tournaments he is in conflict of interest and will not get involved in this matter. Well, as we know he was campaigning for the incumbent and actually voted. And no executive has objected to it. Is it a good Governance?

    What have executives gained by allowing all this to happened? As you know there are the rumors about $80,000.00 deal coming from FIDE and/from incumbent win or lose. Have you ever seen a paperwork? Was the Canadian lawyer involved? And if its true, why you haven't made any announcement about it? After all CFC is a Non For Profit national organization and should inform its members of any significant news. All Vlad has done - he has announced it on one of his posts on the Chess Talk but refused provide any details. So is there or is there not an $80,000.00 deal? If not - then why Vlad has put an info about it on the Chess Talk? If yes - why have you failed to announce it? As a Voting Member I need to know all related information about this $80,000.00 affair. When could I or my representative to have the file? If there is one?
    Don't you agree that all of you have needlessly exposed yourself while chasing away Canadian Chess biggest sponsor and derailing any possibility of the deal with Kasparov Chess Foundation. If so - agree, that the great damage to Canadian Chess has been inflicted.
    Is it an example of a good governance? Probably not.

    I'm trying, I'm trying really hard to get CFC out of this mess. I've even offered to become a President of CFC to help, raise substantial funds, starting a real chess promotion creating a vital and vibrant organization. So everybody will benefit. Help yourselves! It is still not too late.
    Last edited by Sasha Starr; 07-11-2014 at 10:04 AM.

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    It's a bit difficult to take "offered" in a completely altrustic context but be that as it may it's not a critical point.

    Review the Handbook focusing specifically on FIDE related matters. With the exception of matters relating to FIDE rating of events and FIDE ratings generally, there is no portion that discusses the role of the Governors and quite a significant portion dealing with the Executive's role in maintaining our affiliation with FIDE and part of our affiliation with FIDE definitely does include taking part in FIDE Congresses particularly given our zone status. While you may not agree, it seems fairly open and shut to me.

    Fundamentally what we have here is two competing visions of CFC governance - one giving nearly all powers to the Governors, one specifically giving powers to the Executive. As in common in political science discussions there is the question of "residual powers" - where powers not specifically stated belong. In the US Constitution residual powers belong to the States, in Canada the Constitution Act (and the BNA Act before it) gives these powers to the Federal government. It is clear that you and I differ sharply on this point and make no mistake about it, it is a critical difference between us

    As is all too common in CFC circles the Handbook is all too specific in non-critical points (such as the precise time for polls opening and closing in an online Governors meeting) and all too vague in some very critical points -though I do not believe "FIDE affiliation" can reasonably be interpreted any other way than as I stated above. I simply do not believe your view of the Governors with respect to FIDE holds water either specifically through the Handbook nor 50+ years of CFC practice.

    Contrary to what you might think, the Executive receives input and advice regularly most particularly from the Assembly but also from the membership generally. I believe our role would be critically handicapped if this ever were to stop. I do believe the Executive now receive more input in the past 5 years than ever before - and I have been a Governor for 20 years long before I was on the Executive. Most especially Francisco Cabanas (when he was CFC president) and I regularly chatted on CFC affairs and I do not think the fact I was a senior officer in one of the CFC's bigger provincial affiliates made him particularly happier to talk to me than if I had been a regular member. And I could name similar experiences with several more CFC presidents (Maurice Smith, Yves Farges etc).

    Obviously there's more e-mail banter than formerly but no serious observer can reasonably think the Executive is in an ivory tower and uncommunicative. I don't expect everything we do will be 100% approved 100% of the time by 100% of the people but do think our record is considerably better than you are making out.
    Last edited by Lyle Craver; 07-09-2014 at 01:21 PM.

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    Lyle, thank you for the informative reply.

    1.Unfortunately my posts are not getting due attention, only you are replying and it looks that all people want is to get over with AGM as soon as possible. I'm trying to solve the serious issue of the mismanagement of the CFC. I can see that you do understand the seriousness of this situation: "I don't think that's completely fair comment as there's a lot to say on both sides". Also this: "I wish it HAD been an easy decision since there are things that I (speaking personally) strongly dislike about the current state of things at FIDE".

    2.You've provided your interpretation of the Handbook issue. For now lets agree to disagree. Let me remind you that in the year of 2010 Assembly of Governors delegated the Power on the FIDE election to the Executives. This year they've asked for a vote. Meaning that this year they did not want to give the power to the executives. What did they get? A straw non-binding poll instead. They've learned about it at the very last minute when it was too late. And only 33,33% of Governors have voted for the endorsement of the incumbent. So the issue of the interpretation of the Handbook is not the most important point here - its the arm twisting tactics used to shut up the Governors and with only 33,33% of their votes - and that includes both Vlad and Hal - still ignore it and end up with the nearly 100% of the ill-informed Executive votes! Is it fair? Is it a good Governance? Will it survive a long and hard look of impartial people?

    3.And what about the other issues raised? They are all completely ignored. Maybe people here believe the best they'll deal with these issues is that I would lose the election and go away. What they don't understand is that I am here to stay, will not go anywhere, and will get to the bottom of it, whether elected or not.

    4.I would have not be upset if the CFC's decision was properly made. As we know, even with Canadian vote in for Kasparov there is no guarantee that he would win the FIDE election.

    5.However what's really happened here the way I see it: two highly motivated people for whatever reasons took hostages all CFC, the Governors/VM, ignored the results of two polls (one of them was Vlad's own poll on the chess talk - almost 30 votes for Kasparov and only 1 for Ilyumzhinov, another one - a shameful Governors' "straw vote" - as I've said according to the Handbook it was supposed to be a real one, or a vote to delegate the power to the executives) and with the assistance of ill-informed Executives they have disregarded public opinion, Governors' opinion, got away with one of them being in the obvious conflict of interests, and finally got not just the VOTE - the ENDORSEMENT (Sorry for repeating myself sometimes)!

    6.The result - the $80,000.00 CFC will never ever see regardless of the outcome of the FIDE's election, the announcement about it to CFC's Members or even Governors/VM's was never made. As a VM I've already asked for the supporting documentation with no replies. The biggest sponsor has been turned away, my plans to help CFC are being rejected. Is it a good Governance?
    Last edited by Sasha Starr; 07-09-2014 at 02:45 PM.

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    Sasha, please consider this point of view: anyone (you, Sid, etc) truly wishing to do something about chess in this country and especially those with the financial and political influence capability to do it, should fight for chess as a sport designation in Canada. Ask Nava and anyone else growing up in different chess cultures across the globe who are now representing Canada in any chess related form; all should remember what makes chess successful in those parts of the World for many years! This is the only turning point we need to move in the right/ different direction.

    Whoever achieves this will forever have the respect of past, current and future generations! I know it sounds a bit bombastic, while still being 101% true.
    Last edited by Valer Eugen Demian; 07-11-2014 at 12:54 AM. Reason: Spelling
    Valer Eugen Demian
    FIDE CM & Instructor, ICCF IM
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ches...593013634?mt=8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha Starr View Post
    Lyle, thank you for the informative reply.

    1.Unfortunately my posts are not getting due attention, only you are replying and it looks that all people want is to get over with AGM as soon as possible.
    The meeting does seem to drag at times. Your posts are not getting due attention in part due to the way you react when they do get attention.

    I'm trying to solve the serious issue of the mismanagement of the CFC.
    There have been issues of mismanagement in the past but the situation has been improving since 2007 when the CFC first took steps that faced the reality of the situation that it found itself in financially.

    I can see that you do understand the seriousness of this situation: "I don't think that's completely fair comment as there's a lot to say on both sides". Also this: "I wish it HAD been an easy decision since there are things that I (speaking personally) strongly dislike about the current state of things at FIDE".

    2.You've provided your interpretation of the Handbook issue. For now lets agree to disagree. Let me remind you that in the year of 2010 Assembly of Governors delegated the Power on the FIDE election to the Executives. This year they've asked for a vote. Meaning that this year they did not want to give the power to the executives.
    That view of the division of powers seems to me to have been the minority view among the governors. That view of the division of powers was dealt a severe blow when the government mandated that non-profits comply with the NFP act. Among the many accusations you made in this campaign was that I rushed to comply with the NFP act in order to snatch the campaign from Kasparov's hands. The fact is that we completed the NFP requirements before this FIDE campaign had really registered as much more than an additional distraction. It is not the central defining moment for me that it is for you. I don't imagine that some external force can save us in this situation with the possible exception of God and that external force will expect us to do much of the work ourselves.

    What did they get? A straw non-binding poll instead. They've learned about it at the very last minute when it was too late. And only 33,33% of Governors have voted for the endorsement of the incumbent.
    Fewer voted for Garry.

    So the issue of the interpretation of the Handbook is not the most important point here - its the arm twisting tactics used to shut up the Governors and with only 33,33% of their votes - and that includes both Vlad and Hal - still ignore it and end up with the nearly 100% of the ill-informed Executive votes!
    The executive were well informed and spent way more time on this than is warranted by its importance.

    Is it fair? Is it a good Governance? Will it survive a long and hard look of impartial people?
    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    3.And what about the other issues raised? They are all completely ignored. Maybe people here believe the best they'll deal with these issues is that I would lose the election and go away. What they don't understand is that I am here to stay, will not go anywhere, and will get to the bottom of it, whether elected or not.
    Well you are going to have to learn to behave better if you hope to be effective.

    4.I would have not be upset if the CFC's decision was properly made. As we know, even with Canadian vote in for Kasparov there is no guarantee that he would win the FIDE election.
    He is going to lose badly. Whether you like it or not that is my read of the situation. We'll know in a month whether I am right.

    5.However what's really happened here the way I see it: two highly motivated people for whatever reasons took hostages all CFC, the Governors/VM, ignored the results of two polls (one of them was Vlad's own poll on the chess talk - almost 30 votes for Kasparov and only 1 for Ilyumzhinov, another one - a shameful Governors' "straw vote" - as I've said according to the Handbook it was supposed to be a real one, or a vote to delegate the power to the executives) and with the assistance of ill-informed Executives they have disregarded public opinion, Governors' opinion, got away with one of them being in the obvious conflict of interests, and finally got not just the VOTE - the ENDORSEMENT (Sorry for repeating myself sometimes)!
    Your view of the voting members and governors as simpleminded children who can be enchanted by a spellbinding argument by a Machiavellian manipulator give me way more credit than I deserve. For one thing I'm not very spellbinding. I am just a plodder with a dream and this FIDE election has mostly been a detour on the road that I want to follow. I met some interesting characters along the way but its probably something that can be cut from the book as it doesn't really advance the plot or the story arc.

    6.The result - the $80,000.00 CFC will never ever see regardless of the outcome of the FIDE's election, the announcement about it to CFC's Members or even Governors/VM's was never made. As a VM I've already asked for the supporting documentation with no replies. The biggest sponsor has been turned away, my plans to help CFC are being rejected. Is it a good Governance?
    We didn't get get a contract from the Kasparov people either. I am quite reassured that we will get our sponsorship. Despite your at times wishful thinking Kirsan does keep his promises.

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    I was at the 2010 meeting and I remember agreeing to defer to the executive (for that year). My view was that I had not followed the FIDE issue sufficiently to cast a knowledgeable vote. I would probably do the same today despite having read numerous contradictory messages on the issue.
    Paul Leblanc
    Treasurer, Chess Foundation of Canada
    CFC Rating Auditor
    CFC Governor

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