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Thread: CFC 2020 AGM Campaign thread

  1. #1
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    Default CFC 2020 AGM Campaign thread

    Please post discussion and campaign related topics here. The other thread is for nominations.

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    I began my career in chess politics with a impulsive decision at the 2011 Canadian Closed at the tournament meeting prior to the start of the games. Hal Bond had asked for a volunteer to become the masters' representative for the CFC. At the time, I was a chess coach and I was a bit frustrated with some of the decisions being made in youth chess by the CFC. No one appeared to be interested in volunteering for the position and a clear thought came into my head. "If you don't volunteer then you have no right to criticize the actions of those who do." I put up my hand and became masters rep.

    As masters representative discussion of a strategic plan for the CFC arose. I had an MBA in marketing and finance and had prepared a few plans and even participated in a huge project for the City of Windsor's strategic plan as part of my major paper along with several other MBA candidates. The strategic plan for the CFC was a major undertaking which wound up consuming many hundreds of hours of my time. I was happy with the final product. It was a good plan and it remains a good plan to this day. It could use some updates but that is a discussion for another day.

    In May 2012, I was asked to attend some meetings with the FQE and FIDE in Quebec City. I drove to Guelph and met with CFC president Michael von Keitz. We left my car at Hal Bond's condo parking lot and proceeded to Ottawa where we picked up Gordon Ritchie. We then drove on to Montreal and Quebec city with some minor diversions along the way. We met with Richard Berube and Bernard Labadie and had a full conversation about the future of Chess in Canada and Quebec. That meeting where Gordon and Michael did the heavy lifting later led to the FQE-CFC agreement. We also met with Geoffrey Borg and a number of FIDE officers in formal and informal settings. There were some student demonstrations going on (peaceful ones) which filled the streets of Quebec City. We sat in a cafe and watched the protesters walk by and talked with the FIDE officials about the world of chess and the realities in Canada.

    I had no thoughts of becoming the president of the CFC. The day I was asked to run by the current president, Michael von Keitz I had just said to one of my chess student's father that I was happy with the CFC leadership and thankful of the job that they were doing. We were in good hands. That day Michael von Keitz called me and said that he would be resigning and asked me to run for CFC president. The timing took me aback as I had returned home and had the conversation with the chess parent an hour earlier about the great job that Michael was doing. I did run and became president in 2013 at a June AGM.

    There was no rest for the wicked as a burning issue was the new Not For Profit Act (NFP Act). A committee led by Gordon Ritchie and others mostly from Ottawa (perhaps Les Bunning also played a key role) had come up with a plan to restructure the CFC and its bylaws to comply with the new law. Their proposal, though reasonable given the law and looming deadlines was rejected by the governors. Given the fact that the CFC would need to dissolve if the transition was not accomplished in time the situation became urgent. I believe that the original proposal was rejected because there wasn't enough prior consultation with the voting members and they did not understand the reasons for urgency. There were many calls to hire lawyers and consultants to get the transition accomplished. Discussions with lawyers and consultants yielded figures of $50,000 to $100,000 as the cost of that approach. It seemed excessive to me.

    The key to getting any plan accepted was to bring the governors on board and getting them to buy in every step of the way. We had a series of governors meetings that year which focused on different aspects of the transition and where we discussed every question related to the new bylaws and transition to the NFP act. Some people were frustrated with the progress and approached me about maybe engineering some kind of a coup with the help of FIDE. Some variation of that idea might have been needed in the future if we failed to get acceptance from the governors but I pointed out that the CFC funds would have to go to charity and any new organization would be starting with zero funds and that kind of talk subsided. To make a long story short, after an exhaustive and exhausting process we got a new constitution and bylaws approved (barely as we needed a two thirds majority) and the CFC lived on. That was even more exhausting than the strategic plan process. We have still not crossed all the t's and dotted the i's but we are still here.

    As part of the Canadian Olympic Committee's own NFP transition the CFC was dropped as sporting federation (which up until that point I hadn't even known we were recognized as by the COC). They sent us emails that wound up in the CFC spam folder which suggested that we could enter a process which would allow us to be once again recognized by the COC as a national sporting federation for chess. Once I became aware of the email, I initiated the process. There were emails and discussions with members of the committee deciding whether we would be allowed recognition. We also had to fill out forms and discuss our governance and every aspect of organized chess in Canada and indeed the world. Some months later we learned somewhat by accident that we had been accepted. This was a significant milestone though it would only become clear a few years later when we were invited to participate in the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance Conference in Halifax in March of 2018.

    In 2015 there was no Canadian Open because Windsor was not able to host it and there wasn't even a bid for the CYCC aside from the Windsor bid. While I was a helper in 2015, I was not the main person because of health issues of an elderly parent that kept me occupied a great deal with chemo and hospital visits. I did help as much as I could and it was a good thing as I learned from the mistakes of 2015 when in 2016 we found ourselves in a situation where there were no bids for CYCC, the Canadian Open and the bid for the NAYCC had fallen apart over inability to find a site that did not require a ruinous rent. Being very frustrated with what had happened in 2015 and not wanting the embarrassment of all three tournaments not taking place, I decided to organize them in Windsor at the last minute (putting a bid together in December some seven months before the pieces would start being pushed on the board). Instead of relying on a committee to visit the sites and risk some unprofessional discussions, I went by myself to the different possible venues, and the local tourism people. All three tournaments took place and were successful. I didn't The Canadian Open broke even financially with 130 players or so and the $5000 that the Windsor Essex Pelee Island tourism bureau kicked in. I had to say no to a lot of people to make that happen but it did happen.

    The profits from the youth events became chess equipment, but the more important result was the knowledge that we could pull off the last minute organization of these three events in just six months and not lose money. The next year, 2017 was already covered in Sault Ste Marie and 2018 was to be organized by the FQE in historic Quebec City. By 2018 the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance conference meant that we were getting multiple communities interested in having chess tournaments in their communities and they were willing to invest to make that happen.

    Aside from the COVID cancellations I believe that we are well positioned to be able to negotiate with multiple cities years in advance to get our major tournaments organized without having to twist organizers arms as has happened in the past.
    Last edited by Vladimir Drkulec; 08-08-2020 at 10:47 AM.

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    I have been a good ambassador and salesman for chess in Canada. I am a very capable organizer and also a good team player when I am not in a leadership role on some project. I have a proven record of getting things done. I am not afraid of rolling up my sleeves and doing the work required when faced with overwhelming tasks. Begin the journey with a single step and break down the task into the steps that need to be taken to accomplish what you need to accomplish.

    When I was approached by members of Mahmud's campaign and then by Mahmud himself I said that I would not step down as I would feel that I was abandoning the CFC in the midst of a crisis (the pandemic). You currently have a president who is doing a good job in the circumstances and one that is willing to expend the effort required to help grow and expand chess in Canada and confront any challenges that arise. It is up to the voting members to decide of course but I think my results and actions warrant one more year of trust with the position of president of the CFC.

  4. #4

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    I want to take this opportunity to thank Vlad Drkulec for his 7 years as CFC President. Vlad is an intelligent, hard working, and very capable President, and most importantly has a heart for our chess community, especially our Canadian Youth, which he recognizes is the future of CFC. Vlad has demonstrated time and time again and over these many years through his own personal sacrifices that our chess community matters to him and that he has always put the greater good of the CFC and our chess community above all else. Even though CFC’s issues and projects have kept Vlad very busy, he remains very approachable and always makes time to talk with people because he cares about others, is interested in hearing what is important to them, and he truly wants to help, which he has done over these many years.

    Vlad does not just talk about making a difference, he has actually done that and continues to be committed to making a positive difference for our chess community, and what better proof is there than the 7 years at the helm of the CFC as an active President that gets things done. In a few week’s time, I hope to see our chess community support Vlad Drkulec and that I will be able to offer my congratulations to Vlad Drkulec on another successful year as our CFC President.

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    Default Mahmud Hassain for President

    Mahmud Hassain is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

    Topic: Mahmud Second Meet
    Time: Aug 12, 2020 08:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://us04web.zoom.us/j/7177033228...hvVFJGL2V5dz09

    Meeting ID: 717 7033 2284
    Passcode: Z7TDL5

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    Thanks Mahmud! I will be there.

    I am very happy to see Mahmud finally throw his hat into the ring. We have often talked over the years about him presiding over the CFC but other obligations made it impossible before now. I think Mahmud would agree that he is not running against Vlad, he is running for the office of CFC President. He is running now because he is available now, looking for a new NFP challenge.

    I support Mahmud’s candidacy and in like fashion I do not oppose Vlad. Our executive has worked reasonably well together for many years. In my opinion Mahmud brings a different temperament to the job and seeks to engage more of our VMs in order to support future growth of the CFC. I welcome this approach because we are often over tasked- between the ED and the Executive and the usual suspects - to cover all the bases.

    Hopefully you can join us on Wednesday night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Bond View Post
    Thanks Mahmud! I will be there.

    I am very happy to see Mahmud finally throw his hat into the ring. We have often talked over the years about him presiding over the CFC but other obligations made it impossible before now. I think Mahmud would agree that he is not running against Vlad, he is running for the office of CFC President. He is running now because he is available now, looking for a new NFP challenge.
    With all due respect, he is running against me.
    Last edited by Vladimir Drkulec; 08-10-2020 at 09:26 PM.

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    Default Tony Li Rating Auditor Campaign

    I would like to thank Paul for his many years of service to the CFC. I am not running against him. The CFC needs every current and future volunteer to work together in order to reach the 10,000 member goal.

    Here are my ideals - The CFC rating system should do the following and no more:
    • Track improvement or deterioration in playing strength.
    • Be mathematically sound.
    • Only as last resort, take inorganic action in order to avoid significant inflation/deflation.

    The CFC rating system should not:
    • Need to be protected except against unsound rating mechanics such as participation bonuses.
    • Lag the strength of an improving player because that player should "earn it".
    • Discourage participation with mathematically unsound clauses such as the maximum number of games per day.
    • Need performance bonuses, when the organic mechanisms function well. In particular, the bonuses are excessive for tournaments with many rounds because the bonus threshold barely increases with number of rounds.

    Issues With the Current System

    1. Lack of a supporting anchor of stable adult players. We have fewer than 1000 active players, and most of them are improving juniors or declining seniors. Ratings will drift randomly until we get enough players with stable playing strength.

    2. The bonus system is deflationary at the lower end and inflationary at the upper end. This is because it pumps the same number of points to players of all strengths to reflect their improvement (with a lower bonuses for over 2200 that is consistent with the lower k factor). However, improvement occurs much more at lower ratings. This has resulted in inflation at higher ratings (obvious by comparing CFC spread vs FIDE spread), and deflation at lower ratings.

    3. The current rating system has no mechanism to deal with the improvement in the player pool's playing strength that happened and will happen while OTB chess is shut down for 1-2 years, and is not ready for the shock when OTB chess returns.

    Proposed Solutions

    1. Embrace the real core of the future CFC- adult players and stabilized juniors rated between 1200 and 1600. We can do this by the following:

    • Provide them value for their weekend. 5 games is not enough. Segregating them into quick rated games is not enough. We should provide them double rounds - 10 games in a weekend, at 1 hour time time control. The current system does not allow this by arbitrarily restricting the maximum number of games per day to 4. We should discuss removing the restriction, particularly at lower ratings (e.g. 1200 or 1400 cutoff), as the 1 hour minimum time is enough for predicting players' strength.
    • Allow them to see their improvement by starting them off at their real strength. Increase the maximum reduction in the provisional rating formula from 400 to 700 (a la FIDE). Right now a player with strength of 800 can walk into a club of 1400-1600s, lose all their games, and start with an 1100 rating. When they work hard and get to 1100 strength in a few years, their rating will barely change. Hard work and lack of visible improvement is hardly a recipe for membership renewal.

    2. Remove the bonus system, and increase the k-factor for juniors. This means that points are only pumped into the system when juniors outperform adults relative to their ratings. Simple and organic. No need to calibrate the threshold for bonus or multiplier for number of rounds in a tournament.

    3. Introduce a 12-month, 100-point rating floor when OTB reopens. Since a 100 point decline in playing strength is unlikely over a 1 year period, this should provide stable players protection against extremely underrated players when OTB returns. This will be a temporary measure to fight rating deflation.

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    --- moved to thread entitled CFC Rating System Issues ---
    Last edited by Aris Marghetis; 08-11-2020 at 11:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Li View Post
    I would like to thank Paul for his many years of service to the CFC. I am not running against him.
    There is no shame in you running against Paul as rating auditor or someone running against me as president. It is a curious strategy to claim that you are not running against someone, though everyone can clearly see that you are.

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