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Thread: 11.1 Presidential Campaign Thread

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    Default 11.1 Presidential Campaign Thread

    In an ideal world people would become voting members and volunteer for assignments and lead projects which help the CFC fulfill its mandate. They will be known by their results and demonstrated competence and rise through the ranks and be seen as leaders who can then challenge for higher levels of responsibility based on the positive results and outcomes that they have clearly shown. We don’t live in that world. Our world is a fast food paradise where everyone is in a hurry, everyone wants a participation award and everyone wants to start at the top and become CEO without having to put in their dues. It is not clear what he would do differently than what we are already doing.


    I am not going to say anything bad about Mahmud. I have met him a few times over the years and my impression has always been positive. He’s a nice guy but that doesn’t mean that he is the right guy to lead the CFC.


    The candidate and his team have stated that I have been a good president but that it is now time for a change of direction. I disagree with the two aspects of this statement. I am a good president right now, present tense, today with seven years of experience as president over the course of which we have totally reversed the negative momentum that had been a feature of the CFC. I am a good president with the experience to deal with the considerable challenges that we are facing today. I have the connections and the skills which are needed to help chess get over the hurdles that have been placed in front of us through nobody’s fault. The direction that we were going was up, up, up.

    We already got a taste of a change of direction with the Covid pandemic which has hit us like a train hitting a car at an unmarked railway crossing. If I am re-elected I expect that with the help of the volunteers, officers and executive to reassemble the vehicle that was the CFC and head forward in the same direction we were going previously which was up, up, up. The CFC does not need a change of direction nor does it need a change of leadership.

    In any endeavour, there is a learning curve. This is true for the CFC presidency as with anything else. Mistakes will be made. The key is to make lots of them and correct course when results are disappointing. If you do make mistakes, make sure they are not catastrophic ones.

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    Lets talk about what being a 'good president' in CFC. I think being present and available are very good qualities, experience and knowing all the projects of the CFC from inside certainly helps. However, in the last years we have descended to a situation where the gap between directors and voting members is such that the voting members are only needed once a year on election day, and even that not every year (no candidates). I think a CFC president should not be dictatorial.

    To explain 'dictatorial', some examples.

    We don't have a current rules handbook, discussions of rewriting it have been going for maybe a decade. When the 'old handbook' laws don't suit the president, they get ignored, ie Canadian championship 2017 (no paying grandmasters hotel fees, etc). I might personally even agree on some of those decisions that were against the 'old rules' - but the point is, the rule of law does not work in CFC, directors (president) decide.

    Its rare that there is a vote between two different bids for tournaments, more often than not voting members are just put against the fact that so and so bid has been approved

    Juniors to masters - "CFC will sponsor 20 players into the JtM Program. Each player will receive $250 sponsorship to be used towards the registration into the JtM Program in a CFC yearly chess cycle." I have met Gergely Szabo and he is a wonderful person, but I am not sure why CFC decided to make JtM officially affiliated with them through sponsorship. There are quite a few canadian coaches in the big cities, myself included, who could be approached with attempts of creating group lessons for the 'elite' up and coming kids. I daresay we could even do better, because in non-covid times a group lesson would work so much better in person, the chemistry, competition is so much better than online. I can understand when CFC decides to have a coach living in Europe train the canadian youth team, because of cheaper costs, but this initiative I found very anti-canadian in nature. Once again, voting members are just put against the fact that this is now how things are, no discussion.

    I hope if the CFC has a new president, the status quo will change.

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    Also.

    " 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). "

    Is CFC in a crisis? What has the CFC done to adapt to the pandemic? What steps were taken to help organizers restart tournaments, perhaps organize something online?

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    Hi Nikolay,

    As you mentioned our Juniors to Masters Program, I thought I would add in some info, especially to help alley your fears of us being "anti-Canadian".

    JtM is not just an one-man operation. We are a Canadian company that have a team of Canadian instructors who are experienced chess coaches as well as published authors. At the helm of our teaching team is GM Gergely Szabo who is a FIDE Trainer from Romania and who has coached Canadian teams at the World stage, including the 2018 Canadian Women’s Olympiad Team, as the Head Coach of the Canadian delegation at the 2015 World Youth Chess Championship in Greece, and as the Trainer and Captain of Team Canada at the 2014 U16 Olympiad, which won 5th place. I (Victoria) am also a big part of JtM and am a proud Canadian and have has been the Canadian Head of Delegation and Team BC Captain including at the North American Youth Chess Championship (in New Jersey 2017 and in New York 2014) and at the World Youth & Cadet Chess Championships (in Halkidiki, Greece 2015).

    GM Gergely Szabo and I have discussed the concept of JtM for many years and the result is our Juniors to Masters Program which offers online group training that is inclusive of ALL Canadians which span our great nation from the beautiful West Coast to the awesome Maritime, and all the wonderful provinces in between. By embracing technology, we are able to train Canadian youths in advance and in preparation of the major World events like the WCCC, WYCC, World U16 Youth Olympiad, Women's Olympiad, etc. AND where they would then meet up and work with in person GM Gergely Szabo.

    JtM submitted a proposal to the CFC Executives to create a National Training Program for our Canadian Youth which took into consideration GM Gergely Szabo's position as Team Canada Head Coach at the WYCC which was scheduled to take place in Romania. Our goal was to create a year long program as a preparation to these World events for ALL Canadians, not just those in ON, nor only those in BC, nor any one place -- it is for ALL Canadians, and that is how technology allows us to be inclusive. Kids are smart. We have seen them quickly adapt to online learning in all aspects of their lives during this Covid-19 shutdown. JtM had already been embracing the online experience well before Covid-19.

    Any coach or any organization can submit proposals to the CFC Executives all year round, and are encouraged to do so. I think this is what helps to move CFC forward. When good ideas are brought to them and things get done for the good of the chess community, we all win.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikolay Noritsyn View Post
    Lets talk about what being a 'good president' in CFC. I think being present and available are very good qualities, experience and knowing all the projects of the CFC from inside certainly helps. However, in the last years we have descended to a situation where the gap between directors and voting members is such that the voting members are only needed once a year on election day, and even that not every year (no candidates). I think a CFC president should not be dictatorial.
    I don't think that what you are describing is dictatorial. Quarterly meetings are unusual for almost every other non-profit, particularly as small as the CFC. Quarterly meetings that last 8 days don't exist anywhere else. The voting members get to pop in and out but we are basically locked into the meeting in every spare moment of the eight days. By law, we only need to have an annual meeting and we are in trouble if we delay it four or six months (I don't recall the exact number). Maybe the quarterly meetings need to be more manageable and held over Skype or over Zoom and last a few hours like the annual meetings used to last and then we would not need to find time where we can commit eight days straight to running a meeting. Originally I had intended to have an intermediate meeting which dealt only with the financials and then COVID hit. That would have meant that there were four meetings for the year. Then the meeting was going to be about financials and COVID much like this meeting is going to be. Then we had a few situations which we were dealing with, which might have required the voting members to adjudicate but we have to give three weeks notice of any meeting and give a complete agenda. Some of the items might have made the agenda and some might not. I only just got the financials a day or two ago and they were finalized last night so one of the main items just was not ready for a meeting. I wish we could get to the point where financials are done three weeks before the meeting and shared with the voting members before the meeting. When there is only one employee and fires everywhere some things only get addressed when the pressure gets really high.


    To explain 'dictatorial', some examples.

    We don't have a current rules handbook, discussions of rewriting it have been going for maybe a decade.
    They have and have you volunteered to rewrite a section? I spent close to a year on the NFP process which took a lot out of me. I think we had six meetings that year. I have lots of promises to complete updated sections of the handbook but they never seem to come to a vote. I have promised to be bound by the handbook as much as possible where it is lawful while I am president but I didn't think that we would not have a handbook of policies at this point.


    When the 'old handbook' laws don't suit the president, they get ignored, ie Canadian championship 2017 (no paying grandmasters hotel fees, etc). I might personally even agree on some of those decisions that were against the 'old rules' - but the point is, the rule of law does not work in CFC, directors (president) decide.
    It is well and good to demand that organizers have to adhere to the old handbook but even the old handbook recognizes that if there are no other bids, the organizer can vary from that handbook by submitting a proposal. If the choice is between an event where the grandmasters don't get their rooms and no event we are a bit stuck there. In the case of the only major event that I organized where there were grandmasters in attendance they did get rooms and apparently generous stipends. I believe we even found billets for any IMs. It is all about how well you can negotiate with hotels and local officials.

    We are in a different world now because of a progression of events with respect to top tournaments like the Canadian Closed and Canadian Open. Some grandmasters have told me that the Canadian Open was quite generous in 2016. The GMs deserve the respect. IMs also deserve respect.

    Its rare that there is a vote between two different bids for tournaments, more often than not voting members are just put against the fact that so and so bid has been approved
    That is the rule from the handbook.


    Juniors to masters - "CFC will sponsor 20 players into the JtM Program. Each player will receive $250 sponsorship to be used towards the registration into the JtM Program in a CFC yearly chess cycle." I have met Gergely Szabo and he is a wonderful person, but I am not sure why CFC decided to make JtM officially affiliated with them through sponsorship. There are quite a few canadian coaches in the big cities, myself included, who could be approached with attempts of creating group lessons for the 'elite' up and coming kids. I daresay we could even do better, because in non-covid times a group lesson would work so much better in person, the chemistry, competition is so much better than online. I can understand when CFC decides to have a coach living in Europe train the canadian youth team, because of cheaper costs, but this initiative I found very anti-canadian in nature. Once again, voting members are just put against the fact that this is now how things are, no discussion.

    I hope if the CFC has a new president, the status quo will change.
    I am sorry that I missed the proposal that you submitted. What day was it sent? I want there to be training programs in every city. It was in the 2012 strategic plan for the CFC. Pre-COVID we were looking at growing surpluses which meant that we could go beyond just paying for the Olympiad team to attend Olympiads and get into more training. When this proposal came to us we decided to try it and see if it improved our results at WYCC. We didn't get a chance to find out though one of the recipients did win the Women's Continental after completing the program that the CFC partially sponsored. It wasn't just because of the program but Maili-Jade Ouellet has said good things about her experience in Juniors to Masters and she is still involved in the program to this day without any subsidy from the CFC.
    Last edited by Vladimir Drkulec; 08-16-2020 at 06:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikolay Noritsyn View Post
    Also.

    " 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). "

    Is CFC in a crisis?
    Six months without very much revenue would probably constitute a crisis in the minds of most people. Yeah, I would say that we are in a bit of a crisis.


    What has the CFC done to adapt to the pandemic? What steps were taken to help organizers restart tournaments, perhaps organize something online?
    We have done plenty. Perhaps you could pay attention to the CFC forums and CFC facebook page where we announce the tournaments that are taking place online and the issues we are having if you are unaware.
    Last edited by Vladimir Drkulec; 08-16-2020 at 06:39 PM.

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    Hi Victoria,

    Just to elaborate - I don't think Juniors to Masters is "anti-Canadian" at all. I think the decision of CFC executive to approve your proposal is, without consulting the voting members and without approaching other Canadian coaches/teachers. You have a private, mostly family run company (I checked https://juniorstomasters.site123.me/our-team), and you are doing great things for the chess community, while also promoting your own interests.

    I also have been teaching online for many years, while having most of my lessons in person. Today everything is online. I think most would agree that, while kids certainly are smart and can adapt to online learning - in person learning is still more beneficial for them.

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    "I am sorry that I missed the proposal that you submitted. What day was it sent? I want there to be training programs in every city. It was in the 2012 strategic plan for the CFC. Pre-COVID we were looking at growing surpluses which meant that we could go beyond just paying for the Olympiad team to attend Olympiads and get into more training. When this proposal came to us we decided to try it and see if it improved our results at WYCC. We didn't get a chance to find out though one of the recipients did win the Women's Continental after completing the program that the CFC partially sponsored. It wasn't just because of the program but Maili-Jade Ouellet has said good things about her experience in Juniors to Masters and she is still involved in the program to this day without any subsidy from the CFC."

    A lot of words as usual, Vlad. If you would like to have training programs in every city, what have you done since 2012 Strategic Plan? If The CFC advertised that they would like to set up a group lessons training program, and it was looking for potential candidates for coaches - I would likely check in to see if I could be of use, because I like the idea of group lessons. As is, I have enough private students to not worry about changing my life.

    "They have and have you volunteered to rewrite a section? I spent close to a year on the NFP process which took a lot out of me. I think we had six meetings that year. I have lots of promises to complete updated sections of the handbook but they never seem to come to a vote. I have promised to be bound by the handbook as much as possible where it is lawful while I am president but I didn't think that we would not have a handbook of policies at this point."

    I am a coach and a chess player. Also a 'voting member', I do what I can. You are the president of CFC for 7 years - where your your handbook?

    "We have done plenty. Perhaps you could pay attention to the CFC forums and CFC facebook page where we announce the tournaments that are taking place online and the issues we are having if you are unaware."

    I am sorry, but I do check the forums and the facebook page. And yet, I wrote what I wrote. Are you claiming that the CFC is responsible for all the events for kids that are being organized by organizers who were running these events pre-covid, or the maritime lichess tournaments? I believe, the only thing CFC did is decide to rate these tournaments.

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    "Six months without very much revenue would probably constitute a crisis in the minds of most people. Yeah, I would say that we are in a bit of a crisis."

    From reading the Treasurer Report, I get the feeling that everything is fine, and I am not the only one who thinks so. Not much revenue, but also no expenses. If we are in a crisis though, I'd love to hear a plan. I think its missing in your campaign essays.

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    Maritime lichess tournaments are run by Fred Mckim. There have been two matches with Romania, yesterday there was a match with the USA, there have been matches with clubs including the CFC executive and officers getting trounced by the Juniors to Masters kids. Not to mention that I had to enter the information for the Olympiad because the president of each federation is the one given the password and logon. Much of the impetus for the online CFC events has been the Covid rating incentive which lets people play games that are meaningful if you achieve some improvement in your active rating through CFC online play.

    Paul Leblanc, CFC rating auditor, Victoria Doknjas, Christina Tao and the rest of the CFC board were involved in that initiative. We aren't sitting on our laurels and we aren't sitting around doing nothing but I have lots of things in my life including a nephew who was very sick and only today seems to have started to recover.

    I love you because you do things like volunteer to coach teams for which we have paid you at times but I don't have time to hold people's hands. Bring us a proposal if and when we recover from this pandemic and it will be looked at closely. You are a good coach and we would love to have a network of good coaches training our kids. If you aren't asking us for money right now we would even help you as much as we could.

    Anyone who loves chess and is trying to make chess better is a friend of the CFC and of me.

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