Tuesday, July 02, 2013

John Lewis II

"Due to the breakdown of communications between the organiser of Richmond Rapidplay and Hampton on Thames Community Association the Trustees are left with no option but to cancel the 108th event planned for Sunday 7th July 2013 and all future events. The Trustees have attempted to solve the difficulties that have arisen regarding this event but, as a registered charity which receives no central or local government funding, they are unable to continue to host this event in its present form."

I would be grateful if you could publicize this fact via your website.

The Trustees
Hampton on Thames Community Association
The White House
45 The Avenue
TW12 3RN

We mentioned this last week - see comments here - but with the date approaching it's worth repeating. If only because the event wasn't removed from the ECF tournament calendar until yesterday and up to Sunday evening it had been advertised as going ahead on the London Academy of Chess and Education website (which, incidentally, seems to have gone down at some point in the last 24 hours).

Helping in the attempt to make sure that nobody wastes a journey this weekend isn't the end of the story, though. There's also the question of why the venue doesn't want the tournament back. The answer, as it happens, is because the Hampton on Thames Community Association is owed money for rent dating back to March of this year.

Lawrence Cooper had contacted me after the original John Lewis ... article, so I got back in touch and asked him about the rent issue. This, word for word, was his response:-

Sabrina has my full support and I'll continue to organise events with her. People should stop kicking her when she's down and circling around her events and students like vultures.

Fair enough. No doubt it expresses sentiments others would share.

Still it seems to me, regardless of what else might be going on, the venue not being paid is an issue. I'm not convinced that avoiding the reality of the situation helps anybody.


Jonathan B said...

On reflection I think I best not pass that comment my anonymous friend

Anonymous said...

Chess forums are packed full of argumentative people. It is necessary to be able to detach yourself from a certain swathe of the comments in order to not waste your time. The organiser in question here appears not to have been able to do that, and thus got rather cross on occasion. If you organise chess, you need to be able to cope with the criticism you are going to get and the pedantry and red tape. SC seems perhaps, not to have been able to do that well enough? In this case, there is the further question of whether they were harassed in a very malicious fashion. This post makes no mention of that, which I find strange given how topical it is. For example, if venues have been cancelled by somebody impersonating her, it does add an interesting layer of detail to the subject. Rather like British Airways and Virgin don't you think?

Jonathan B said...

Hello Anonymous.

thanks for your comment.

there is the further question of whether they were harassed in a very malicious fashion. This post makes no mention of that, which I find strange given how topical it is.

Well I agree that's an important question. I didn't mention it - beyond the 'whatever else might be going on' reference - was because I have no knowledge of it. Therefore I have nothing to say and nothing to add to what's been said/being said elsewhere.

... if venues have been cancelled by somebody impersonating her....

IF that has happened I would condemn it. But has it? I've not seen that suggested anywhere but your comment.

I would certainly condemn 'malicious harassment' of anybody - whether behind with the rent or not - but I can't do that if I don't know it's actually happening. Point me in the direction of an explanation of what exactly is supposed to have been done or send it to me privately and I'd be happy to read it - and pursue it further.

In the meantime, the bottom line is that this weekend's tournament isn't going ahead for one reason alone: because the venue is owed money for the rent for the last two tournaments. That I knew about and so that's what I wrote about.

Anonymous said...

I haven't the faintest idea who you are either, but I do know that we both read the 'ecf' forum. There you will quite easily find the comment "I had venues rang up and cancelled on my behalf". It is in the opening post of a thread you refer to by way of the remark "whatever else might be going on". Obviously we don't know for sure if this is the truth, or just a lie by way of excuse. I for one though, would have thought it might have deserved some more solid mention here.

Jonathan B said...

Hello again anonymous,

"cancelled on my behalf" is not the equivalent of "i was impersonated" I would suggest and therefore the meaning is not (necessarily) the same

I've no idea which - if either - was the truth here. Which is not to say that I know for a fact that SC hasn't been harassed either in this regard or otherwise.

What I *am* saying is that I don't know anything about it and don't have anything to say about it.

I agree it deserves attention, though - just by somebody who knows what they're talking about. At the moment that isn't me. If and when that changes you'll be the first to know.

Anonymous said...

Admittedly it is ambiguous. I formed 3 possible interpretations. 1 Somebody phoned the venue, claimed to be SC, and cancelled 2 Somebody phoned SC genuinely on behalf of SC and cancelled 3Somebody from the ECF called, said hello I am from the ECF and I would like to cancel the event SC booked. Of those 3, only 1 seemed likely to me.

In the previous post you stated The real problem, it seems to me, is not that one tournament didn't take place for whatever reason, it's the lack of any evidence that the organiser gives much of a damn . And if they don’t care why should I? Now, I have no idea if SC is genuine in all of what she says or not, but it does seem quite clear that she now longer gives much of a damn. :)

ejh said...

Though is seems clear enough to me that the main problems are as follows:

(a) as stated in the post, the venue aren't being paid, which means no venue.

We don't know the ins and outs of this, but if you're not paying your bills you do need to have a story, and I don't think we're hearing one.

(b) this state of affairs did not apparently exist when the present (or recent) organiser took over. As far as we know, she was handed over a healthy and popular tournament.

Again, maybe this is not so, maybe there were underlying problems or what you will. But if you're handed a healthy concern and a year later it keels over, you do, again, need to have a story. And again, I don't think we're hearing one.

Or at least, not one with a lot of explantatory force and verifiable detail.

Jonathan B said...

I don't want to get into an analysis of what was said in that forum post and what exactly it means - for all the reasons that I didn't want to in my article. Let's just leave it at me acknowledging what you say and not agreeing or disagreeing.

[Although one thing I would add from earlier is that it's possible to entertain the idea that not every word of that forum post would withstand the strongest scrutiny and not therefore conclude that it was all a deliberate and cynical lie.]

I wouldn't presume to know what people are feeling now but I dare say that SC is not full of the joys of spring. The trouble is she *has* to care because she's got a debt to pay.

I don't rejoice in that by any means, but neither do I go along with a narrative that suggests that the problems at the Richmond Rapidplay aren't deep-seated and long standing problems. The fact is things didn't start going pear-shaped there three hours before before that post appeared on the EC Forum and nor did they start with a cancelled tournament in May.

Jonathan B said...

Oh that's weird - EJH just posted at the same time.

Anyhoo, i fully agree with the point about the response to the debt being more important than the existence of the debt itself (exactly the same point from John Lewis I).

Richard James said...

I can confirm that the Richmond Rapidplay was indeed a healthy and popular tournament when it was handed over to Sabrina.

ejh said...

[Note - this blog has a policy of showing more indulgence to comments with names of some sort attached than to entirely anonymous postings. You can post anonymously - you just get rather less leeway. This is said partly in response to a comment made last night that we've chosen not to pass.]

Anonymous said...

If you're referring to my facebook comment, well of course that's up to you. But it made a rather valid point did it not? And one that no-one seems to have made anywhere else. And it wasn't really even contentious - just pointing out the anomaly between claims made in one place, and comments made elsewhere.


ejh said...

Hi Mark - not sure who you are or what you're referring to. I was referring to a comment we received on this blog last night.

Jonathan B said...

Yes that was it.

It's not so much that it wasn't a valid comment. The first comment on this thread that never made it wasn't entirely invalid either.

Modding comments is sometimes a bit of a judgement call and who knows, maybe we a tad over-cautious in this case.

I think there's a certain sensitivity with facebook. It's kind of public a lot of the time but it's also kind of private.

But I agree with your final sentence in the sense that such anomolies are not insignificant.

Jonathan B said...

Twitter, on the other hand, is a different story.