Category Archives: English Chess Federation

ECF Director of Women’s Chess on Announced FIDE Sponsorship Deal

I was surprised to hear of the sponsorship deal between FIDE and Establishment Labs. If this is the only sponsor FIDE can find, after the success of The Queen’s Gambit and the increase in the number of women playing chess online, they need to seriously improve their commercial game.

While the money will doubtless be welcome to female professional players, a deal with a company whose main focus is breast enlargement sends all the wrong messages and potentially exposes the promotion of women’s chess to ridicule and could inhibit other potential sponsors.

Chris Fegan, ECF Director of Women’s Chess

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Putting the Record Straight II: Answering John Reyes and Mike Truran

Dear Colleague,

I am writing in support of my candidature for the role of ECF Chair of Governance.

During the recent past I have been subjected to a campaign of disinformation and downright untruths by Mike Truran and John Reyes and I am writing to set the record straight on both my record as Director of Women’s Chess and my qualifications for the role I am standing for.

Mike Truran has tried to argue that my time as Director of Women’s Chess has not been a success. Mr. Truran is currently undergoing formal investigation for this assertion and is the subject of a second complaint about his behaviour from another ECF Director.

He is without doubt a divisive figure who has caused division and unrest in the ECF Board.

I attach my election statement herewith which demonstrates my record in office.

Clearly, Mr Truran does not share my wish to improve the position of women in English chess. As you can see from the ECF Board minutes in 2018, at his initiative, the post was abolished

I have also had sight of a document from Mr Reyes where he claims that I have no experience of Governance and Government for this role. This has been repeated by other supporters of the status quo. As it happens, I am far more experienced in Governance and Government than my opponent.

I outline some relevant qualifications and experience

  • Honours degree in Governance/Politics
  • Worked with 2 UK Prime Ministers and several Cabinet Ministers on policy development and implementation.
  • Worked with and continue to work with the United Nations and UNEA/UNEP
  • Worked with and continue to work with European Union bodies
  • Chair a major EU-wide Committee
  • Leader of and the most senior political adviser to major UK Local Authorities including those with budgets of around £2 Billion per annum and a senior member of the Local Government Association.

I could list many more, but just wished to give these few examples to counter the on-going smear campaign against me by Mr. Truran and Mr. Reyes.

Best wishes,

Chris Fegan

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Putting the Record Straight: Answering John Reyes and Mike Truran

Putting the Record Straight: Answering John Reyes and Mike Truran

Statement by Malcolm Pein, 20th September, 2021
For British Chess News / Immediate Release

The recent message from ECF Silver Members’ Representative John Reyes, posted on the forum is such an awful misrepresentation of my position that I can only conclude it’s deliberately designed to mislead. It’s quite an intellectual leap for John Reyes to read my election address, which lists, as the first possible use of the BCF Legacy assets as:

‘1) To build the reserves to an amount specified by the Finance Committee, likely £100,000’ and allege that I intend to, and I quote the Silver Members’ rep here:

“If you feel you want to blow the pif funds and spend money on development officers till the money is gone and it’s will vote (sic) for Malcolm but if you want the chess trust to kept (sic) hold of the money and used calculated and logic risk (sic), then vote for Mike”

Perhaps John couldn’t work out that I was referring to the ECF reserves which had shrunk to a dangerously low level of 33K last time the Board were updated. I am proposing allocating about 20% of the legacy assets (circa £200K) to reserves and then about 20% into engaging Development Officers with a well-defined role that includes fund raising.

As for his:

“Malcolm wants to transfer circa £200K into the ECF from the BCF/PIF according to his Election Address, how much of that would be needlessly lost to tax?”

Obviously I have considered this. I will shortly publish a road map of how these assets can be deployed to the benefit of the ECF while minimising any tax liability. We are fortunate to have an ECF NED who is a tax lawyer and I have been consulting him on this matter.
Silver Members really deserve better representation.

I would also like to set the record straight about a number of misleading statements sent out by Mike Truran in a ‘message to Council members’ on Sunday 19th September which do not stand up to basic fact-checking.

FACT-CHECK #1: Mike Truran claims that funds transferred to charitable funds outside ECF control are subject to more oversight.
NOT TRUE – It’s different oversight. ECF nominees to the Chess Trust & the John Robinson Youth Chess Trust are not accountable for how they spend funds to the ECF Board & Council. I will be proposing safeguards for any future transfers of BCF legacy assets to the Chess Trust.

In contrast, the spending of funds held directly by the ECF is democratically controlled by the ECF Board, ECF Council & the ECF Finance Committee.

FACT-CHECK #2: Mike Truran claims that I plan to use the Permanent Invested Funds transferred from the trust funds back to ECF control on “uncosted tactical adventures.”
NOT TRUE – All of my proposals to develop & grow English chess will be carefully costed out & put to the Board & PIF Trustees and run alongside a fund-raising campaign to generate income from private sponsors and government – a desperately-needed campaign that has been noticeable by its absence under this CEO.

FACT-CHECK #3: Mike Truran claims that the existence of three employees of the non-profit educational charity Chess in Schools and Communities on the 12-member ECF Board would represent a threat to good governance.
NOT TRUE: Firstly, only 2 CSC candidates are standing for voting Director positions, the other stands for Chair of Governance. Mike seems to be a little forgetful if not hypocritical here. If it is a governance problem having ECF directors from the same organisation, why was this not raised at any time in the three years prior to October 2020, when three 4NCL Directors (Mike Truran, Alex Holowczak and David Thomas) sat simultaneously on the ECF Board?
Also, as an educational charity, CSC is mainly focused on teaching chess in primary schools, it rarely interfaces with the ECF, while 4NCL is a for-profit private limited company, whose leagues and congresses compete to an extent with ECF events and already give it lots of votes at ECF Council.

FACT-CHECK #4: Mike Truran claims that I recently stated I would hand over to a new CEO after a ‘time-limited period,’ rather than serve a full term in office.
NOT TRUE: Of course, if elected I intend to serve the full term. This may refer to an email exchange from July 28, nearly two months ago, at a very early stage of negotiations between me, Mike and the Non-Executive Directors, when I thought it was still possible to reach a compromise on the way forward without a contested election. I made strenuous efforts to reach agreement with Mike, but his rejection of every offer to meet him halfway has left me no option but to stand for CEO to achieve the objectives that I believe are in the best interest of English chess.

There are, however, two circumstances in which I would consider leaving the post early:

1) Arkady Dvorkovich decides it was all a mistake, he wants to jack it in and he asks me to replace him as FIDE President.
2) Everton win the Premier League.

Place your bets.


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