View Full Version : 2. Opening Comments of Chair

Lyle Craver
08-09-2020, 02:52 PM
Please welcome our 2019-2020 President Vladimir Drkulec

Vladimir Drkulec
08-15-2020, 10:25 AM
The past year was shaping up to be the best in many years with membership numbers reaching recent records, revenues increasing and net income reaching levels that we haven't seen in more than a decade and perhaps longer. As we all know the bottom then fell out in early March as we were hit with a hundred year black swan event of a pandemic, Covid-19. Membership revenues dropped off a cliff in the last two months but the effects are masked by ten very good months. This moment is the explicit lesson of why being conservative in good times is very important. We will be eating the grains that were set aside in the seven years of plenty in this year of famine. Our expenditures are reduced because there was no Olympiad but the tentative plans of FIDE are that there will be a makeup Olympiad in 2021 to make up for the one delayed in 2020 and then the regular Olympiad in 2022 so the expenditures will still have to be made in the somewhat near future. We are going to have significant losses in the next year or two unless the pandemic completely disappears.

Our members have also been hard hit by the economic impact of the virus. We have decided to extend memberships for the period of shutdown, though we can't yet predict how long the extension should be. We will know more in the coming weeks and months. We will have a discussion of this in the incoming meeting but it should be mentioned here. We are looking at a total of six months of almost zero revenue. The good news is that we can continue to be careful and make it through this period without having to tap funds set aside in the foundation. There are government relief programs which we are set to tap for loans and grants which will provide us with some cushion.

We need to catch up on our billings so if you owe the CFC money, please pay it. The numbers on our financial statements are less important than the dollars in cash and near cash in our bank accounts and paypal account. We have allocated some significant amounts towards the upcoming Olympiad but that money is for the moment sitting in our receivables. We should have a better idea of the exact extent of our problem in about three months as things begin to reopen. We will survive and endure and make it through to the other side when we can start to thrive again.

Our chess community has come together in the last year and we are seeing more and more people stepping up and volunteering their time to help the CFC and its programs.

I would like to thank Don Parakin who is giving us a new website out of the ashes of the old which seemed to be constantly mired in malware due to the platform which is very public in its inner workings and difficult to maintain without breaking something every time you fix something. The new site will have less moving parts that attackers can exploit but will still have all of the information that we have come to expect. Be patient as the website is rebuilt.

I would also like to thank Les Bunning who has over the decades and in my term of seven years and this year in particular been a source of wise advice and action when needed. When I became president in 2013, we met in the TD room at the CYCC in Ottawa a few weeks later and he told me that he would be there for the CFC and he always was. He always does his part and well beyond. This year was no different as he helped us deal with an unexploded mine of a situation which hopefully will not explode later.

Nigel Hanrahan, Chris Mallon, Victoria Doknjas, John Upper have been instrumental in maintaining websites, forums, our newsfeed, our facebook. They have all made significant contributions to the face that we present to the world. I thank them and everyone who helps the CFC continue to move forward.

I would also like to thank everyone on the executive. Christina Tao has so owned the youth portfolio that I have little more to do than cheer lead. I was quite happy when she ran for youth coordinator because she was one of the most effective and productive organizers in Windsor. She really helped me in 2016 when we put on the three tournaments (CYCC, Canadian Open, NAYCC) so I knew the gem that the CFC was getting. Fred McKim just quietly gets things done and is quick to step in when something new has to be done or an issue comes up. Lyle Craver runs these meetings and is tireless as well despite running a full time business in these challenging times. Hal Bond does a great job and accompanied me to the last Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance conference, went with me to meet with the Durham Region people, took the lead with the Hamilton tourism people when I was hobbled by an Achilles tendon injury which led to a very strong Hamilton 2021 CYCC/CO bid that he is also one of the lead organizers on. Egis Zeromskis and Mark Dutton have also been strong contributors to a mostly well functioning executive team.

Paul Leblanc has done a good job as rating auditor and also as the chairman of the foundation which will be very important in these days when cash flow will be an overriding concern.

There are many more volunteers like Felix Dumont, Pierre Denomme, Vadim Tsypin who got the CFC an invitation to the Vladimir Dvorkovich tournament that the four kids who went always mention as a very positive experience. Vadim is also involved the the FQE, the CMA and assistant to our well respected FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich who while also challenged by COVID's impact on chess is a welcome upgrade from what we had four or five years ago.

I would also like to thank the members of the national appeals committee chairperson Mark Dutton, Aris Marghetis, Ilia Bluvshtein, Serge Archambault, and Pierre Denomme who thankfully were not kept too busy but were there if we needed them.

I would like to thank Eric Bopala president of the FQE and Richard Berube executive director of the FQE for their kind letter and offer of assistance and partnership with the CFC. We will be working on this in the coming year as this is a critical relationship that we need to nurture and maintain.

I would like to thank Larry Bevand of the CMA and Strategy and Games and their many employees and directors for their contributions to Canadian Chess and the CFC and the youth of this country.

To all of the volunteers and Bob Gillanders who help this sometimes chaotic herd of cats that is the CFC move forward I offer my sincere thanks.

Now we have some reports to digest and some matters to discuss and in the incoming meeting some elections to decide what will become of this CFC enterprise and organized chess in Canada that we are all so interested in.

Aris Marghetis
08-16-2020, 02:22 PM
Congratulations Mark! ;)

Vladimir Drkulec
08-16-2020, 07:18 PM
Did I mess something up? Are you the chairperson?