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MatPlus.Net Forum General PCCC should become independent of the FIDE
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(1) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Saturday, Feb 2, 2008 14:43]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [08-02-02]

PCCC should become independent of the FIDE

I think, the PCCC should become independent of the FIDE. I won't talk about the whys openly here, but I strongly suggest to get out and become independent before it is too late. We don't need organisations like the FIDE.

FIDE is no good representation for a family like us composers.

Also, while we're at it: We need an independent organisation that doesn't engage in politics in a way like the FIDE does. We need a strong organisation that is really willing to assist composers (something like the PCCC already does, but in a greater extent). We need people who idealistically spend money for the achievements of art without wanting everyone to wear t-shirts (i.e., patrons - not sponsors).

It's way too long, we were in the FIDE. When Nenad Petrovic founded the PCCC, he did a very heroic thing. But later the FIDE became corrupted by people who like holding their own office a lot more than being productive. Friðrik Ólafsson was the last good FIDE president, the last two were bad for chess.

Either we get a good FIDE president again or we should take consequences and become independent.
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(2) Posted by Sergiy Didukh [Sunday, Feb 3, 2008 10:23]

Don't worry Siegfried. Today's PCCC administration is afraid of FIDE more than of a deadly plague. They never gonna let it come close. Like local african tribes resisting attempts of civilisation. A threat to their order and families.
Do you really think PCCC can do more with a tattoo on the chest, a spear in the hand and a fig leaf around the waist?
A great ukrainian writer I.Franko in one of his novels wrote that a nation can't be great without very rich men.
I know some rich men in FIDE and no one in PCCC.
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(3) Posted by Jacques Rotenberg [Sunday, Feb 3, 2008 12:43]

Hello Sergei,

What do you call exactly PCCC administration (of today)?
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(4) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Sunday, Feb 3, 2008 13:49]; edited by Siegfried Hornecker [08-02-03]

Maybe president Ilyumshinov who has six Rolls Royces, a private jet and two limousines.
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(5) Posted by Sergiy Didukh [Sunday, Feb 3, 2008 14:46]; edited by Sergiy Didukh [08-02-03]

Let me cite John Roycroft's words in EG 171:

"Earlier the Russsian delegate Andrei Selivanov had dropped a bombshell by reporting that the 'big' FIDE had proposed to bring composition chess and chess philately under a new and seperate department headed by someone to be appointed by President Ilyumzhinov. ... Subsequently the PCCC President sent a strongly worded letter to FIDE". p.35

This reminds me the situation 'I've got a good news and a bad news. Which one DID U Hear first?'

Or maybe they are both bad news? I mean Ilyumzhinov's offer and PCCC President's reaction.
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(6) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Sunday, Feb 3, 2008 14:54]

A very good reaction by the PCCC president!

It's both bad news. If it is appointed by Ilyumzhinov, it's most likely to be only Putin's men instead chess composers.
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(7) Posted by Ian Shanahan [Tuesday, Feb 5, 2008 01:52]

Although I'm not slavishly or mindlessly 'pro-FIDE' (and I certainly know nothing about what's going on unofficially, 'behind the scenes'), it seems to me that notwithstanding there remains much to consider before such a divorce is enacted:

1. If the PCCC were to secede from FIDE, what would happen to the FIDE Albums (henceforth 'PCCC Albums'?), and what would be the new status - if any! - of FIDE qualifications (FM, IM, IGM for Chess Composition)?

2. As things stand at present, for a country's problemist-organization to officially join the PCCC, it needs written approval from that country's national chess federation - which is sure to be FIDE-affiliated. Will this protocol necessarily change?

3. During a time when, worldwide, problemists are trying to attract players into the fold so as to ensure the future of our art-form, would it be wise to dissociate ourselves completely from the official governing body for chess?

4. What effect would the proposed schism have upon the authority and relevancy of the Codex?


We all need to ponder such points before decisively - and perhaps irrevocably - acting upon the obviously widespread dissatisfaction with the FIDE in its relationship to the PCCC.
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(8) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Tuesday, Feb 5, 2008 03:53]

Dear Ian,
many thanks for the constructive questions! I'll try to give an answer to them, but since it is only my personal way of thinking about that divorce it most probably won't come to such a divorce anyway.

1. Should be granted by the PCCC in the same way as it was before. The FIDE was not really involved in this anyway, I think.

2. I don't know. Maybe they directly should send their approval to the PCCC.

3. If the official body for chess is untrustworthy, yes! Ilyumzhinov is not only untrustworthy, he also has a very bad attitude for chess in general. See below, why.

Ilyumzhinov is anti-promotional for chess. First of all, he claims to have been abducted by an UFO. Even if this is true, it's nothing one should say publically. Second, he is president of Kalmykia. Politicians like that shouldn't be representatives of the FIDE. Third, he is the first FIDE president at that's time a world championship was held where jews were excluded (2004 in Lybia). Fourth, under his presidency the K.O. system was introduced which has failed from the beginning. Fifth, for example Karpov and Kasparov hate Ilyumzhinov.

"Even a dickhead would do a better job than Ilyumzhinov" (Karpov), "(Ilyumzhinov) has created a vertical column of power that would be familiar to any observer of Russia today. He runs the chess world in the same authoritarian way he runs his impoverished republic. After a decade of such mistreatment, the only place that could be found to host the (chess world champion unification) match was his own capital. Serious sponsors rarely want anything to do with Mr. Ilyumzhinov and his organization." (Kasparov)

4. The codex stays relevant and authoritative. However, the chess rules (finally!) would have to be included in it.


If PCCC really needs a head organisation, we should create an own.
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(9) Posted by Andrey Selivanov [Tuesday, Feb 5, 2008 10:58]

I consider what to offend President FIDE it is impossible. He planned to organize work of FIDE better. It is his right. I could convince FIDE to keep status РССС. It has occured in November in Turkey where I personally was present on Congress FIDE and spoke there. The letter of President РССС also promoted it.
If РССС will leave from FIDE is there will be a collapse. FIDE has included in the budget 5000 euros on the organization of work РССС per 2008 under my offer. I think, that this money it will be necessary to direct on payment work of judges of Album FIDE, the individual championship on drawing up and the decision, manufacturing of valuable medals and prizes for winners of official competitions РССС.
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(10) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Tuesday, Feb 5, 2008 17:28]

Let Bessel Kok become FIDE president and everything is okay for me. :-)

Look at that: World Championships in OTB chess get millions of Euros and we only get 5000. We need sponsors! There were days when good composers were as well known as good players (like on 7th June 1903 Fritz Schrüfer and Siegbert Tarrasch). Methinks, even the local organisations (like the Deutscher Schachbund) don't do enough for their composers. When - today - gets for example WCCT winner problemist X the same honor by the local organisation as at least national OTB champion Y? Even a few years ago, in 2002, you - Mr. Seliwanow - took a flight from Moscow to congratulate a famous Novosibirsk problem patron - one of the finest ever - to his 90th birthday. This is sadly rather an exception than normal in today's chess world and most probably only was done since you're a composer yourself. How many other cases are there when a president of a chess federation takes a flight just to congratulate a composer?

How many cases are there when they even care at all?
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(11) Posted by Juraj Lörinc [Tuesday, Feb 5, 2008 20:48]

Well, chess federation... in Slovakia chess composition is not under the roof of Slovak chess union. Once upon a time, they have expelled us (more experienced colleagues have said OTB functionnaires were jealous of our success, at least in WCCTs Slovakia was quite successful for sure) and thus we have set up a new organization. As a consequence, there is no point in chess union leaders congratulating chess composers on anything, at least in Slovakia.

But the recognition by others... when Slovak solving team finished third at WCSC in Pula, they were received by prime minister together with all other successful athletes (sic!) in respective year. The same situation with team finishing 2nd in WCCT, Stefan Sovik having the second best individual result in WCCT or me for third place in WCCI (I have written about that experience in my Slovak blog at - it was fun to be there with athletes from so many different sports).

So I wonder... what would be the advantage for PCCC from parting from FIDE? Currently all minuses seem to be mitigated, no one wants to expell us, no immediate interference, and on the other hand, I see no pluses. Status quo is then preferred strategy, it seems.
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(12) Posted by Siegfried Hornecker [Tuesday, Feb 5, 2008 22:39]

Ok, I take back my statements then.

For now the issue can be laid aside.

However, FIDE needs a new president, that's where I will stay.
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(13) Posted by Ian Shanahan [Thursday, Feb 7, 2008 04:03]

Reading Juraij's and Siegfried's remarks above prompts me to comment on the situation in Australia. The official chess body here is the Australian Chess Federation [ACF]; but for decades now, there has been no 'official' chess-composers' organization - there are so few of us! - hence I am proposing that we band together as "The Network of Australian Chess Problemists".

Anyway, most of the time the relationship between local problemists and the ACF is either nonexistent or, at best, ambivalent. Recently, on the positive side, we held the second Australian Junior Chess Problem Solving Tournament under the auspices of the ACF (as part of the Australian Junior Chess Championship) - and a great success it was too! (Some of our youngsters in the near future might even come over to Europe and give your solving hotshots a run for their money!) Negatively, the ACF, which oversees the Whyatt Medal for Chess Composition (akin to the U.K.'s Brian Harley Award) every five years, has been incompetent, inept and mendacious this time. Indeed, I feel it was a mistake to involve the ACF in the first place with Australia's top problemist award. But let me not air too much Australian dirty linen so publicly...

In summary, I would nevertheless hope for Australia's problemists to maintain as healthy a relationship as possible with the ACF - if simply to encourage youngsters to take up that most beautiful aspect of chess: composition.
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(14) Posted by Uri Avner [Thursday, Feb 7, 2008 12:03]

We would of course welcome Australia as member of the PCCC with their Delegate taking part in our annual meetings.

The last time I saw an Australian representative, as I remember, was in Bat Yam (Israel) 1983, where I was happy to meet Alexander Goldstein.

And so, I am calling Australia to renew their missing connection!

I realize that Australia is a bit far from our usual meeting places, but nowadays, so they say, transportation becomes easier.

And you need not even be a PCCC member to take part in our activities like the WCCT, WCCI, WCSC and ISC.
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(15) Posted by Ian Shanahan [Friday, Feb 8, 2008 01:32]

Dear Uri, Many thanks for your wonderful invitation! Actually, I spoke with John Rice about this possibility when he was PCCC President. Currently, there are only five active problemists in Australia - they are, in no particular order: myself, Geoff Foster, Peter Wong, Arthur Willmott (aged 86), and Denis Saunders (in very poor health, alas). The big obstacle for all of us is mentioned by you yourself in your opening sentence, it being a consequence of the PCCC statutes - i.e. the need for an Australian delegate to be physically present at PCCC congresses. As you say, Australia is so distant... Now, for such lengthy travelling, Denis is out of the question - and very probably Arthur, too. Knowing Geoff and Peter well, I don't believe either of them are temperamentally inclined to the task. Which leaves just me... Now, I'd *love* to do it (having been the Australian delegate to the Asian Composers' League three times several years ago in my profession as a musician)! However, given that I am currently on a low-paying pension due to my own ill health, the travel costs for me are prohibitive.

So what is the solution to this dilemma? Australia would certainly be very keen to join the PCCC, in principle. But as I see it, there are only two options: (1) for us get travel sponsorship somehow (fat chance from local sources, believe me; or money from FIDE??? [joke]; (2) change the PCCC statutes so that some other delegate could act as our proxy (at least until one of us can do it in person). This latter option is probably the most practical at this stage, from our perspective, but I am aware of the conflict instigated by Mr Selivanov trying to force proxies through a couple of years ago...

An as for the WCCT etc, I tried - unsuccessfully - to rouse interest in the latest WCCT amongst my colleagues. Hopefully, things may change for the better in future. But again, I am grateful for your friendly interest in us Uri - particularly since we are rather insignificant on the world problemistic stage.

Ah, Alex Goldstein: he was a good friend of mine (despite the nearly 50-year age-difference); and I always made a point of meeting him whenever I went to Melbourne - a hospitable man, of strong character, and a very fine (albeit conservative) problemist indeed! I miss him.
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(16) Posted by Ian Shanahan [Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 03:55]

@Uri. Another way around the proxy/delegate issue is technological! Whilst of course it's best to have delegates physically present at PCCC congresses, surely nowadays real-time video conferencing is a genuinely viable alternative for those who, like myself, have something positive to offer but are geographically in a country which is too distant. Would the PCCC please consider modifying its statutes to embrace this modern option?!
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(17) Posted by Uri Avner [Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008 14:59]; edited by Uri Avner [08-02-12]

That's an interesting thought.
I shall consult some communication experts about this possibility.
I'm not sure we would need a (big) change in statutes if the right of voting is preserved (as I think it should) for those physically present at the meetings. However, it could enable countries like Australia to take part in, or at least listen to the discussion in real time.
We shall see...
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(18) Posted by Ian Shanahan [Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 01:06]; edited by Ian Shanahan [08-02-13]

Well, Uri, that's an excellent start! If - or should I say "when"? - such video-conferencing becomes a reality, then as you suggest, the PCCC statutes shouldn't require any major alteration; but I don't see why a member-country's delegate participating via video link shouldn't have the same voting rights as others who are physically present - that makes no sense to me whatsoever. Why would they deserve lesser status than those physically present? Surely all delegates participating in the proceedings - whether 'actually there,' or doing so via video - should have equal rights? Naturally, I agree with you that all delegates should be encouraged to travel to the PCCC congresses wherever feasible - but not at the expense of 'downgrading' those who are unable to. In the meantime, as you yourself point out, video hookup would certainly permit observation by interested parties at the very least. Notwithstanding, let's hope that this technology doesn't prove to be prohibitively expensive...
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(19) Posted by Uri Avner [Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 03:38]; edited by Uri Avner [08-02-13]

@Ian. As regards the voting, there are many reasons for demanding a physical presence. I feel it's unnecessary for me to elaborate here; as a simple example we may ask ourselves why no voting procedure exists for non present members of any parliament. I believe the answers are not very complicated.
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(20) Posted by Ian Shanahan [Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 03:57]

Thank you for your patience with me, Uri! But surely video-conferencing - which, to the best of my knowledge, no parliament has - would sweep away all of these objections (whatever it is you are thinking of)? What would be necessary, of course, is that any 'video delegates' have all printed documentation to hand; but that could be organized ahead of time, via the internet. Forgive my persistence, please: it's not from a desire to cause you trouble, but, rather, to increase equal participation in the PCCC's doings.
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MatPlus.Net Forum General PCCC should become independent of the FIDE