Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Democracy in action

When FIDE first released the agenda for the 2011 Congress, there was much consternation about proposals to license chessplayers, as well as increase the rating fees for tournaments. Most of the comments on this issue (not so much here but elsewhere) came from the 'FIDE is stupid and corrupt' point of view, and assumed that just because the proposals had been suggested, they would certainly be accepted. At the time I pointed out that such proposals could be (a) made by anyone and (b) they needed to be voted on (at a number of different levels) before they would be approved. Of course for this to process to work, it did need federations to participate in the discussion of these issues, especially if they did not support them.
As it turns out, this is pretty much what happened. A number of Federations either wrote public letters (eg the Dutch Federation) or private letters (eg the PNG Federation), on the issue. Now I'm not privy to how many Federations raised objections (or supported) the proposals, but word from the FIDE Congress is that they did not even make it to the Events Commission, having been pulled from the agenda.
So what worked in this case was using the system as it was intended, rather than throwing hands in the air and claiming 'nothing could be done'.

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