[JMGB Note: Correspondence received from AP 13/2/2014]
The Draft Minutes of last Saturday's Emergency Board Meeting of the English Chess Federation are now available online:
The Agenda for some confused pedantic reason chose to call a vote of Confidence rather than to call for a vote of No Confidence against me. The Minutes of the meeting reveal that in fact it was a vote of Whinging (Brit. variant of to bitch, whine, complain): (a) he was doing too much, too fast, (b) he wanted to stand for the Board of the European Chess Union and we weren't sure, (c) he had a strong personality, and (d) two years ago he did something that appeared inappropriate, though in fact it wasn't.
The ECF Chief Executive, one of the ECF Non-Executive Directors and a former Chief Executive (now Chairman of the Governance Committee) of the ECF all supported me; the ECF Membership Director abstained admitting that he had no grounds for complaint. The remaining Board members all had close connections with either Malcolm Pein or Nigel Short (thence to Garry Kasparov) and I have demonstrated that their complaints are spurious (see Minutes).
Members of the Board attempted a coup d'état last Saturday, but failed. The Board has not (could not have) removed me. Several may try to call an Emergency Council Meeting to remove me, but the grounds laid out in the Minutes will provoke ridicule of them rather than outrage at me. In an attempt to solve this impasse, I will propose a new harmonious Board (replacing several of its current members) to Council at its regularly scheduled meeting in April, as the current one has been rendered dysfunctional. This will allow us to proceed constructively in the renewal of the ECF and its communications and marketing development that we promised at our election.
But, what actually happened and how did we arrive at this point in less than four months? It's election time in FIDE! Kasparov needed to distract attention from his agreement to pay $1.5m from his charity in the U.S. to a private company in Singapore, 100% owned by Ignatius Leong. Bad enough to have Leong on his ticket, people were saying, but to have bought him away from Ilyumzhinov at such a high cost to deliver a mere 11 (of 158) votes . . . And, Kasparov was unhappy that my presence lent credibility to Zurab Azmaiparashvili's ECU ticket and, supposedly, by association to Ilyumzhinov (even though I have openly declared that I do not support Ilyumzhinov and am considering standing for FIDE President myself).
Once again (let me count the times) Nigel Short has acted in his own best interest and not in the best interest of English chess ... or any chess, for that matter: if Ignatius Leong is getting $1.5m to deliver S.E. Asia, one might ask how much Nigel is getting for the U.K. to topple me. He has teamed up with the otherwise splendid and admirable Malcolm Pein whose shop, charity and tournament benefit from association with Kasparov. Kasparov put direct and relentless pressure on both of them as his agents in the UK to get rid of me. They in turn browbeat their pocket members on the Board (several of whom are employees of Malcolm Pein) to lead this failed coup d'état.