Dear chess friends,
You will probably have heard the positive news that, following candid and amicable discussions, Mike Truran and I have reached an agreement that builds on the achievements of his stewardship by incorporating my ideas in what I regard as the most important policy areas. We have therefore avoided the need for a contested election at the ECF AGM on Saturday.I believe Mike and I can put past differences of emphasis behind us and work together to achieve our common goals. With Council’s approval, he will continue as CEO and I will remain in post as International Director.
Of course, everyone will rightly be interested in what we have agreed, and this is what I would like to clarify.
Here are the main issues agreed:
1. Mike will support the Resolution tabled under agenda item 12 at the AGM, which “instructs the Board to attempt to engage with government to secure recognition of the game as well as funding, with a view to developing the game in England.”
2. We will also support a separate resolution thanking ECF President Dominic Lawson for his outstanding efforts to engage the government to support chess.
3. I will join Mike and Finance Director Adam Ashton as an ECF-nominated Trustee of the Chess Trust (with the Trustees’ approval, of course).
4. Mike and I will work together on deploying BCF Legacy Assets, broadly as I have proposed in the paper that I and Non-Executive Director Stephen Woodhouse have jointly prepared. (This paper can be viewed here.) My view is that Council should have the final say at the Finance Council in April, after preparatory work has been completed. I have therefore withdrawn the resolutions under items 10 and 11 on the AGM agenda.
5. We will work together with Stephen Woodhouse to recruit a Non-Executive Director unaligned with either CSC or the 4NCL when Julian Clissold’s current term as Non-Executive Chairman expires in 2022.
6. Mike and I will jointly propose that my portfolio as Director for International Chess is extended to include External Relations (Amending Regulation No. 2) with the specific brief to seek to engage with government and to implicitly move forward from the idea that the ECF is an “enabling organisation” to one of “prudent growth and development.”
7. The matter of the recruitment process for Development Officers, as requested by Council in 2018, was not fully resolved between us. Mike has had some excellent thoughts on my paper here and I’m sure this matter will be discussed further by the Board.
I would like to thank Mike for being receptive to my ideas, and also to Council Members for their support and feedback.
Together, I am confident that we can move English chess forward in a very positive direction.