I wrote to our President last week.
You'll recall my surprise that a Karpov fundraising event appeared to be disguising itself as a Ray Keene publicity drive and my concern as to whether this was entirely wise.
So having read the following in Chessbase:
For more information and tickets please contact CJ de Mooi, the President of the English Chess Federation. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org having seen a similar ad on the ECF website, complete with that same official email address, I sent CJ a message via that address. Just to ask.
...as an ECF member (membership number 4166) I wondered if I could ask you about the extent of Ray Keene's involvement in the Staunton Memorial Dinner, which the ECF is promoting.
Imagine my surprise, when CJ's commendably swift reply (from his private email address) arrived, to be informed:
May I just say that this dinner has nothing at all to do with the ECF other than the fact the President is organising it? It is a purely independent nature that I myself am undertaking.....this is a private venture free of the ECF auspices.
Now, I don't know about you, but if I were to organise something in a private capacity, entirely separate from the organisation of which I was President:
- I would not use my official email address to sell tickets
- I would not advertise the event on the organisation's website
- I would not describe myself as President of the organisation in advertising for the event, nor on the invitations.
...if the president of an organisation advertises an event on that organisation's website and personally offers to sell tickets, he is patently acting in his capacity as president of that organisation and not privately.
This may all seem very obvious. But let us hear the man's defence:
Thank you for your comments, they'll be taken under consideration.
However, I'm sure you've realised I can't advertise my personal email due to my public position.
That's surely fair enough as far as it goes. But I wonder if there may be an obvious solution?
Thanks for yours.
As somebody who also likes to keep his email address private I can understand that you might wish to do the same, but unfortunately that's not a justification for using the ECF address, as it were, privately. If you're really intent on selling tickets for Ray's event can I propose the creation of a bespoke email address for the purpose? It takes only a few minutes and I imagine something like email@example.com may still be available.
Thank you, I'll look into it.
Glad to be of service. I look forward to seeing the ads amended accordingly.
This is not Ray's event though, it is mine!
Now let us do CJ the favour of accepting that he, at any rate, believes that. But we, at least, may have our doubts. Among other things:
- Does CJ really have the contacts that Ray has got?
- Would CJ really have thought of the name "Staunton Memorial Dinner"?
- Would CJ really have thought of inviting long-term Penguin crony Barry Martin?
CJ's event? It's a bit like a child's birthday party. It's their party all right. It's their big day. But it isn't entirely them who organised it. And it isn't really them in charge.
In truth it is, in some part, a networking and publicity event for Ray. For which CJ, in his stated capacity as ECF President, is selling tickets.
Which means in practice that the ECF is working for the Penguin.