Outsourced to the e2e4 organisation by the English Chess Federation, it attracted only a small entry. One consequence of this was that the generous prize fund advertised
dismissed the complaints.
I don't myself propose to adjudicate on the dispute, here or anywhere else: what interests me here is not the disagreement between the players and the organisers, but the role played by the ECF in what, outsourced or not, was their competition - and regarding which there was evidently some disagreement within the ECF Board itself.
Why do I say so? Because in the middle of the controversy the Commercial Director, Bob Kane, resigned.
He later retracted his resignation, but nevertheless one could detect that not all had been entirely well. I couldn't find much about the matter in the ECF Board minutes so, on November 4 last year, I sent Phil Ehr, by email, a number of questions about the ill-fated tournament and the ECF's role within it.
I waited for a reply. And waited. As it turned out I waited right through November, but when December came I had received no reply, so I sent a reminder on December 4.
Again I waited for a reply. And waited. As it turned out I waited right through December, too. But it passed, Xmas came and went, as did New Year.
...and wait...and wait...and wait...
So on January 4, when I had waited for two months, I sent another reminder. Three days later, I got a set of replies.
Some, to my mind, were satisfactory enough, others less so, but that's the nature of replies, and better any replies, I thought, than any further waiting. Still, as I wasn't entirely sure that I grasped (or agreed with) exactly what had taken place, on 17 January I sent back another, shorter list of questions.
To date I have not received a reply. This time I've not sent any reminders, as I confess my attention and my interest had started to wander by this stage, as, no doubt, has the reader's.
Now I might give the full list of questions, replies and further questions in a future posting (if I can persuade myself it's really that interesting) but if you've ever been to a folk club, you'll be familiar with the syndrome by which the introduction to the song is rather longer than the song itself, and this posting is already in danger of resembling such a performance. So to cut a too-long story very short, what I'm going to do today is concentrate on one particular issue, which relates to the financial support that the ECF provided to the event.
In my original email of November 4 I asked:
Did the ECF provide any financial support for the event and if so how much?In his reply of January 7, Phil Ehr stated:
The ECF contributed £1000 towards the prize fund and this amount was paid out.That apparently straightforward response is a little bit stranger than it looks, since readers will recall that the eventual prize list appeared to consist of two prizes only, one for £500 and another for £250.
Were prizes awarded that have not been listed? Or was the reply inaccurate in any respect? I don't know, but Phil Ehr ought to.
So my response to Phil Ehr's reply included at its head the following question:
You say "the ECF contributed £1000 towards the prize fund and this amount was paid out" but my understanding is that only £750 was paid out in prizes. Could you clarify this point?Alas, the point remains to date unclarified.
So if anybody else has the opportunity to meet Phi Ehr and fancies having a go, maybe they could put the same question. Assuming he is not under the impression that £500 plus £250 is equal to £1000, how does the sum add up? What is the explanation for his answer?