Thursday, February 13, 2014


[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. 
Andrew Paulson
ECF President


Jonathan B said...

Since the issue of people working for Malcolm Pein has come up, I [JMGB] will declare an interest:-

I am not employed by Malcolm Pein, but I do receive money from CSC on a contractual basis (i.e. I'm self-employed).

David R said...

Paulson is barking. Or seriously ill. Or both

Simon said...

Paulson was obviously an unsuitable candidate from the outset. It's amusing that the ECF are stuck with him after their belated realisation of the truth.

Unknown said...

As my friend Mr Hogg used to say:

" No trough is big enough for ALL the snouts! "

Anonymous said...

As was said on the ecforum, it's delusional to suppose that a slate of potential directors proposed as AP minions has any hope whatsoever of removing existing incumbents, even if anyone you've heard of could be persuaded to stand.

A slate in October 2013 might have had a chance, but April 2014, surely not.

It is of course a criticism of the ECF electoral process or perhaps just the voters, that they managed to elect a Board and FIDE representative that self destructed within four months.


Anonymous said...

Surely Ray Keene has a part to play in these developments!

ejh said...

I'm withut internet for most of today (Friday) but I'll try to have something written for Sunday. On the likely theme of this being a disgraceful episode that reflects credit on nobody involved.

Jon H said...

What a totally disgraceful shambles. In 25 years of board level business I have rarely seen behaviour that even approaches those at ECF board level.

However, as I (and many others) warned at the time, Andrew Paulsen was an truly awful choice as President of the ECF. In fact, and it's hard to believe, but he's 10 times worse than the outgoing floppily useless joke president that was CJ. Combined with the obnoxious Nigel Short, you have a recipe for this sort of complete f***-up.

The only conclusion I can draw is that chess players are the worst people on the planet for governance and organisation.

ejh said...

Turns out I have internet after all. And I have to waste it on this circus.

Anonymous said...

Cometh the hour, cometh the man! It is now time for Raymond Keene OBE to come to the fore. As presidential successor to Mr. Paulson, Raymond Keene OBE will provide the much needed leadership to the ECF that is badly needed. The rank and file of British Chess will unite and prosperity will continue for years to come!

Unknown said...

My friend Mr Hogg commented:

" There is ALWAYS room at the trough for the snout of Mr Keene OBE!"

It is grossly impertinent of the board that Mr Keene has not been co-opted.

Or do I see the dark shadow of The Penguin pulling all the strings in the backgound?