SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Last week I made available all of the archived blog articles so that my readers could browse thru them and I was surprised to find that a discontinued thread on what had happened in Canadian chess the week before (Chess in Canada !, or CIC -pronounced sic ) was quite popular and being read by hundreds of readers.
The reason I discontinued the humorous weekly article (it would normally appear on Monday of each week) is because the CFC executive at the time (the Ottawa mafia including Eric Van Dusen and his side kick De Kerpel) would simply drop off the radar–sometimes for months at a time! There would be nothing to report on because there was no real information to base any blog article on. Who could I make fun of and why?
VP. De Kerpel (l) and Prez Van Dusen. The Prez was not allowed to have email at home (the wife!) but De Kerpel would compensate by reading Van Dusen«s emails and let him know if there was anything important that needed fixing. Nobody ever did figure out why they did not just switch position in the Executive! The relationship failed, ofcourse. So did the CFC that year!
I suppose that the mere presence of a daily blog that would report on the CFC Executive’s every slip-up and scandal was intimidating . After all, Canadian chess has for so long operated beyond the light of public scrutiny that those in elected office had taken for it for granted that they had some natural immunity from their actions– some sort of god-given right that came along with the other perks of their office.
So I have decided to try to continue the CIC! each Monday, providing –of course– that I get a bit of cooperation from the CFC executive. That may not be easy, though. The CFC has an instinctive tendency for stealth and secrecy: the recent controversy about not wanting to publish the full minutes of the online governors’ meetings is an excellent example of this behavior!
Apparently there will be a real election for the CFC presidency next month at the AGM in Toronto. There are 3 candidates: 1.) Serge Archambault , a well known IA from Quebec; 2.) Pierre Denommee, another IA from Quebec, but less well-known; and 3.) an as of yet un-declared member of the current CFC executive.
The 2011 Presidential hopefulls: Archambault (l), ‘?’ and Denommee
Serge Archambault was the first to throw his hat into the ring, posting his candidature on the official CFC message board about 2 weeks ago. Several days later Deommee announced his candidature on the same message board, but with considerably less detail and somewhat cryptic. It is worth to take a look at Pierre’s announcement:
”I will stand for election in 2011. Because the moving truck is scheduled to come next Thrusday, the official program will follow later when everything will have been boxed. –Pierre Denommee”
This is what happens if the moving truck fails to show up!
Well, today is Monday — moving day came and went last week– and still no news of an ‘official’ election program from Pierre! Ofcourse, we are all reasonable people and don’t expect miracles. We know what moving is like…hopefully Pierre will find the time to fill in the blanks before the election day.
HOWEVER, maybe this is all part of a very clever campaign strategy by Pierre: postpone, delay, find excuses, etc….while the other 2 candidates fight it out and embarrass themselves! Then Pierre can jump in and appear as the voice of reason and sanity!
Well, it is too early to see if this strategy is going to work. In any case, the un-declared candidate is not taking any chances: he continues to remain anonymous. Perhaps he is waiting for Pierre to finish moving , duke it out with Serge and then the both of them will be embarrassed…then he will make a quick appearance and save the day like a knight in shining armour!
”You’re my hero and I want to be the mother of your children!”
BUT who really knows what is up? We now have a 3-way race with only one visible candidate in the starting block and the clock is ticking…doesn’t that sound so typically CFC-ish? How can there be any real debate without candidates? How are the governors supposed to decided which of the presidential hopefuls is more qualified for the job? Or does it really make any difference?
The big debate is a no show!
Ofcourse, it makes no difference at all to this election! Everyone knows that democracy died 7 or 8 years ago in the CFC when some elected individuals decided to ignore the rules and regulations–even the constitution, and nobody gave a damn! Rule of law is no longer a concept that is taken seriously in the day to day business of running the CFC….
The election will be decided by proxies. Who ever holds the most proxies will win. As of present, the current CFC executive has most of them. Archambault and Denommee have none. Even assuming Pierre actually shows up and presents himself as a legitimate candidate with a real program, debates critical issues with Serge and allows a consensus to be arrived at which would make the more suitable Prez, it would make absolutely NO difference to the election outcome. PROXYVILLE, CANADA.
As some cynics have pointed out on the message boards, most likely the un-declared candidate will appear only on the actual day of the election at the AGM in Toronto in July…
NEW CFC WEBSITE GOES ONLINE
IN APRIL, IN MAY, IN JUNE, SOON!
I think the regulars on the message boards have stopped asking ‘when?’. According to CFC executive member Fred McKim, there are some bugs that have to be worked out first. Ofcourse, we all know the truth: $18,000 buys you only so much webdesigning today. If that is not enough to come up with an operating and fully functional site, then you have to put more money up to make it better, don’t you?
Cost over-runs and unexpected problems. We all know the story…it is a FACT of life in the real world. It appears that the CFC is now waiting for the AGM to spring the news on everyone. Let the new Prez take the heat…
THE DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK…
This is the current CFC prez Bob Gillander’s excuse for not even coming close to start working on his stated priority when elected: INCREASING THE MEMBERSHIP!
”The focus this year will be to increase the membership. My target is to reach 2,000 CFC members by May 1, 2011.” -prez Bob
”Read my lips.” Bob Gillander
The real shocker is that the numbers actually show a decrease in membership since Bob came into office: from 975 regular members in 2010 before Bob compared to 956 regular members today with Bob! Great work, Bob! You are a natural!
What is more, Bob did NOT even try to put into place a campaign to increase the membership. He did not move a finger in that direction. Fellow conspirator Fred McKim apparently convinced Bob to wait until the new website is up and running BEFORE doing anything to increase CFC membership.
Now I am not sure why Bob would listen to Fred when Bob had already promised in his election campaign to do something to increase membership, but perhaps it was simply the easiest thing to do: NOTHING. Blame it on the lack of a new website..blame it on the dog!
So Bob just smiles and pretends that , while he is concerned about falling memberships, it is not such a big deal afterall! That is, that Bob is doing such a hot-shit job as Prez that once the website goes online it will be even easier than expected to increase the membership! Here is Bob’s spin job:
”The primary goal (still) remains to increase the membership. IMHO, this past year we have successfully tackled some of the major impediments to growth. The new website will be launched soon…I do believe our work this year will generate long term membership growth.”
CFC PREZ CAUGHT IN BARE FACED LIE!
The CFC is chronically short of cash and therefore last year’s extra expenditure of some $5,000 to cover an un-anticipated problem in the travel plans of the National Team is not something to sneeze at. On yesterday’s blog I raised the question of whether FIDE has compensated the CFC for the problem .
It was not meant as a rhetorical question since the CFC has been conspicuously silent about this extra expense, most of which FIDE could easily refuse any responsibility for since the Olympiad Coordinator (Ilya Bluvshtein) was atleast as much responsible for it as FIDE.
The question is whether the CFC has received compensation and how much of the original $5,000 extra expense has FIDE actually paid to the CFC?
JUST THIS AFTERNOON the current CFC President, Bob Gillanders, denied any validity to the above known facts and then he tried to disparage my reputation and call into doubt the credibility of this blog:
”It has been recently reported elsewhere, that we paid an extra $5k due to the airline scheduling problems caused by the organizers. I am happy to again report that this is not the case. …. Don’t believe everything you read on a blog.” link
Needless to say I am completely dumbfounded by these remarks. While the integrity of this blog and my person could never really be called into doubt by an individual of Mr. Gillander’s ilk, I feel that I should atleast let the facts be known so that the readers themselves can see what kind of character ‘Bob’ has become since the beginning of his presidency.
Take for example, Mr. Bond’s frantic appeal for help
on September 14
of last year on the official CFC message board: (LINK
”… The cost of sending our teams was increased by about $5,000 when the organizers changed the schedule of charter flights after our tickets were booked, forcing us to re-book! Then the schedules were changed again, and as it stands we will have to overnight in Munich on the way back….If you are in a position to contribute, the CFC would love to hear from you. Every little bit helps! ”-Hal Bond
You might also want to read the partial account of Canadian Coordinator (Ilya Bluvshtein) that was published on ChessVibes, one of the most prestigeous chess sites in the world. LINK
Finally, you might find informative and amusing my own account
of this issue that I wrote last September when this story first broke.
CLEARLY, I don’t expect an apology from the CFC president for crude behaviour. Mr. Gillander is no gentleman.
MEANWHILE, ON PLANET OF THE APES….
The Cooperative Chess Coalition drilling outside the Scarborough Chess Club
Bob Armstrong, the eccentric director of the Scarborough Chess Club (Toronto) has created another ficticious organization to amuse us with. Just a front for a fistfull of proxies in the Toronto area, Bob insists on trying to give an air of legitimacy to his flights of fancy. Score one more point for subsidized OHIP medication!
Bob promotes the democratic idea that he- and he alone-knows what is good for chess in Canada (or more precisely, what is good for Toronto chess is good for Canadian chess). Author of more than 10,000 message board postings, approximately 500 cfc motions and former head of 3 or 4 (now defunct) ficticious chess organizations, Bob must have plenty of time on his hand to waste.
Laughs aside, it should come as little surprise to my readers that fewer and fewer people are taking Bob’s initiatives seriously. While Bob is noticing the dwindling numbers willing to take part in his imaginary world, Bob has not yet come to the realization that maybe he is the problem.
Here is Bob’s most recent posting about this in the form of a question to the candidates for the CFC presidency: (LINK) ”The Cooperative Chess Coalition ( CCC ) believes CFC members are concerned about the governance of the CFC.
Barely 50 % ( 31/60 ) of the CFC Governors showed up for the 2011 Spring Governors’ On-line Meeting. However 70% had shown for the 2010 Fall Meeting and the 2011 Winter Meeting. 1. Is there a problem here, and, if so, what is it?
2. Does the Executive have a role in encouraging apathetic governors to participate in governing? If so, what is that role and what would you do to try to change the current situation?
Bob, CCC Coordinator”
One day future generations of chess players in Canada will look back on this period of time and not believe that this was all real!
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS