Peter Sowray, international director of the English Chess Federation (ECF), has started a petition to change the way the federation is organised. Without further ado, click on the following link:
The wording of the petition is "We, the undersigned, call upon the English Chess Federation to adopt a more democratic approach. Specifically, we believe that 'One Member, One Vote' should be introduced for major decisions, including the election of board members and the setting of the Annual Budget."
At the moment the ECF has a federal structure, composed of affiliated organisations which have votes. This was probably quite a reasonable set-up in its day, 100+ years ago, but it is increasingly evident that the ECF's wheels just don't turn fast enough for the chess world as it stands in the 21st century. The pace of change is agonisingly slow, and over the years a number of dynamic people who might have been useful in the organisation of chess have been put off by its in-built conservatism. Note, this is not a criticism of any of the people involved, just the structure of the organisation.
Please read Peter's petition and the reasons behind it. I haven't the time today to do a full-blown blog on this but I find Peter's case admirably clear and sensible. I was havering about whether to sign myself, given that I am a 'foreigner' (a member of the Welsh Chess Union). But I live in England and am directly affected by decisions made by the federation in my work, so felt constrained (after the gentlest arm-twisting from Peter!) to append my name. What do blog readers think?