CFC FIDE Representative: Aris Marghetis endorses Victor Plotkin

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  • CFC FIDE Representative: Aris Marghetis endorses Victor Plotkin

    Dear Canadian chess family, like most of you, I am a chess person for life. I deeply believe chess is a wonderful unique activity that transcends so many possible divisions in life. A 5-year-old can play a 95-year-old; where it doesn't matter at all what's their size, gender, ethnicity, religion, nation, etc.

    Chess is so special!

    And that's why I have chosen to serve the game to the best of my abilities, mostly as an Arbiter, but also as a teacher, especially of complete beginners. I love starting families off on a lifetime of chess!

    My use of the phrase "to serve" is very intentional. I feel deeply we should all strive to do what is genuinely best for the game of chess, from fundamental grass roots all the way to CFC and FIDE.

    So, when Hal Bond resigned as CFC FIDE Representative, I was moved by proposals that I continue serving, as the next CFC FIDE Representative. With my long spectrum of experiences across Canada, the United States, and FIDE; it looked like a great fit for everyone. I was very excited to get started!

    Unfortunately, during this pandemic, especially since Christmas, our family has been shocked by a mean series of deaths, strokes / heart attacks, and other hospitalizations. I respectfully withdraw.

    That leaves two candidates, Victor Plotkin and Vadim Tsypin. Both men are very intelligent, very industrious; and each in his own way, very successful. There are differences, none more obvious than Vadim's current position on the FIDE Management Board. Even before "conflict of interest".

    Please consider the following analysis.

    Decades ago, John Prentice honourably represented Canada within FIDE leadership. For the first time since then, we have a Canadian within FIDE management. This is a very good thing. Then the question we should ask ourselves is a strategic one. Given that Vadim already is where he is, then between Vadim and Victor, who would be the better choice as CFC FIDE Representative? Another way of phrasing this is: who would not be the lesser candidate? Here is my strategic thinking:

    1) Vadim has been on the FIDE Management Board since 2018. During that time, Vadim has maintained a very close relationship with CFC President Vlad Drkulec. Could that get any better with Vadim as CFC FIDE Representative? Despite the flowery words and some adamant posts, the answer is: of course not. All it would do is to erode Vadim's influence within FIDE leadership. The new danger is that whenever Vadim speaks at the FIDE level, sometimes people will understandably wonder whether Vadim is wearing his FIDE management hat or one of his CFC hats. Why risk that?!

    2) The counter-argument that Vadim can "get things done" better than before just doesn't add up. Vadim has already been there since 2018, always with a very tight relationship with Vlad, so how would it suddenly get better for the CFC? So there's a potential downside, but no potential upside.

    3) Every organization has a leadership pyramid. The FIDE Management Board is up there in the FIDE leadership pyramid. Further down, but quite importantly, the Zonal Presidents and national delegates to FIDE are also part of the FIDE leadership pyramid. We have a unique opportunity to double how many Canadians in this conversation. Why in the world wouldn't we take advantage?!

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I have discussed my concerns with both Vadim and Vlad, who has apparently decided to support Vadim. I have clearly expressed my profound disappointment over the strategic mistake of installing Vadim as CFC FIDE Representative. Now I make my case to you.

    Victor Plotkin is a man of integrity, and is stepping up to serve chess, with no expected reward other than just that, serving chess, for both CFC and FIDE. At the upcoming February 2021 special meeting, I heartily encourage you to vote for Victor Plotkin as our next CFC FIDE Representative.

    If you want to chat before voting, I'll make time for you. If you Skype, my Name is "arismarghetis".

    Thank you, best regards, Aris Marghetis.

  • #2
    Thanks, Aris for this. This is a great analysis. I know both men and their contributions to Canadian chess, however, I only know Vadim personally as I've collaborated with him in the past. If Victor has what it takes to represent Canada well, I think it makes perfect sense for us to have two Canadians at the FIDE management level. And it will be a great opportunity to have both Vadim and Victor collaborating for Canadian chess.

    Personally, I'm disappointed with Canadian Chess and I strongly think the CFC can do more, with all of our support, to elevate chess in this country.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Aris. I think of Canada's FIDE rep being somebody who represents Canada's players in FIDE events, rather than an IA (Although Phil Haley made an excellent contribution during his years as TD of the Olympiads). Victor has been our Olympiad coach, himself plays in international events, and can represent masters. As well he has a son who has played in international youth events, so he can also represent parents of youth players in international events. Like Prentice, he can afford to travel and not be distracted trying to get IA gigs to make a living.

      Comment


      • #4
        A very classy move by Aris, to withdraw from contention for FIDE rep, explaining his reasoning as he did so, and then to endorse Victor for the position.
        From a personal perspective, through my dealings as an organizer with Aris for more than ten years, I have no doubt whatsoever that Aris could have done a fantastic job in this role. Perhaps a future time may bring this position, or a similar one, within reach for him.
        Either Victor or Vadim would be an excellent choice, going forward, for Canadian chess.
        Respectfully,
        Frank Dixon
        NTD, Kingston

        Comment


        • #5

          This morning, I got a call from my friend and long-time business partner. He is a Soviet Union CM that currently lives in St. Petersburg Russia. I have been friends with him since 1976. Currently, he is not an active chess player, however, occasionally plays blitz in St. Petersburg. He informed me that he recently got a very strange call from a well-known chess organizer named Vladimir Bykov (V.B).

          V.B asked my friend whether he knew of me, and of course he answered yes, because we are long-time friends. Bykov informed my friend that Victor Plotkin is currently participating in a chess election in Canada against Vadim Tsypin. Bykov told my friend that "Vadim is a good guy and Victor Plotkin should step down from his candidacy." Some very influential people in the FIDE had asked Bykov to call my friend.

          When my friend told me about the call between him and Bykov, I was very surprised. In Russia, calling someone and giving such a powerful message is a clear threat. After some hesitation, I decided to contact Emil Sutovsky, and I asked him for his advice regarding this information.

          Here are the most important parts of our chat translated into English (it was in Russian, on Facebook Messenger):

          V.P: Hello, Emil! I hope you remember me - we have interacted numerous times at Olympiads and in Gibraltar. I recall that in Canada's match against Israel, you beat Gerzhoy on the second board, in the Carro-Cann. The match ended with a score of 2-2.

          E.S: Victor, of course I remember you, I also remember seeing you at Aeroflot Opens.

          I explained the situation to him, he understood and took it very seriously. It was a priority for him to assure me that the FIDE is unrelated here.

          V.P: Emil, there is no doubt in my mind that neither you, nor Dvorkovich, have any relation to this whatsoever. Rather, all I'm asking for is some advice, from friend to friend. I ask that you understand me correctly - what happened today was absolutely brutal for me to hear.

          E.S: Why do you need to consider Bykov's opinion?

          V.P: Of course, I have no intention of heeding his advice. But it is evident to me that Tsypin initiated this. This all seems somewhat disturbing, wouldn't you agree?

          E.S: Certainly. Well, the question here is whether or not Tsypin crossed any lines, made any threats, or did anything of the sort.

          He then asked me about my opinion on this election, my answer was that it is approximately equal at this point, because many players support me, but Tsypin has the support of the President and of some chess politicians.

          E.S: I understand. Disregard this (Bykov's message). This most certainly doesn't improve his image. I can only reiterate that under no circumstances can we try to have an impact. And if anyone suggests this, it's a lie.

          I thanked him for discussing this with me. Soon after, he asked about the reason behind Marghetis' resignation.

          V.P: He did it in my favor, I want to emphasize that I did not initiate this, and had never asked him about it. Why? It seems that I, a more neutral candidate in this instance, was suitable, in his view. I am not an arbiter, I don't earn money from chess, and I am not looking for personal benefits from this position.

          E.S: You are a surprisingly decent person for a candidate.

          Sutovsky took this issue very seriously, and immediately informed the FIDE President, Arkady Dvorkovich. Very soon after this, Vlad Drkulec, Vadim Tsypin, and I received an official email from a FIDE lawyer stating:

          Dear colleagues. I am writing this letter on behalf of the FIDE President.

          "In connection with a number of questions that arise regarding the upcoming elections of Canada’s representative in FIDE, we would like to officially assure FIDE’s position.
          FIDE always takes an absolutely neutral position on elections in any federation, considers elections to be the internal affair of each federation, and works equally fruitfully and constructively with any representative elected in the respective federation".

          I do not know if Vadim crossed a line, and I don't have enough evidence to take this to court, nor do I have any intention of doing this as of now. Actually, I don't know Bykov at all, and likely, before last week, he was not aware of my existence either. The only person who could have initiated this chain of contacts is Tsypin, who tried to put some pressure on me to step down from this election. This reflects so negatively on his personality. I don't understand how any voting member, with the best interests of Canadian chess in mind, would be ready to support him.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Frank Dixon View Post
            A very classy move by Aris, to withdraw from contention for FIDE rep, explaining his reasoning as he did so, and then to endorse Victor for the position.
            From a personal perspective, through my dealings as an organizer with Aris for more than ten years, I have no doubt whatsoever that Aris could have done a fantastic job in this role. Perhaps a future time may bring this position, or a similar one, within reach for him.
            Either Victor or Vadim would be an excellent choice, going forward, for Canadian chess.
            Respectfully,
            Frank Dixon
            NTD, Kingston
            Thank you Frank for the kind words, I appreciate it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Victor Plotkin View Post
              This morning, I got a call from my friend and long-time business partner. He is a Soviet Union CM that currently lives in St. Petersburg Russia. I have been friends with him since 1976. Currently, he is not an active chess player, however, occasionally plays blitz in St. Petersburg. He informed me that he recently got a very strange call from a well-known chess organizer named Vladimir Bykov (V.B).

              V.B asked my friend whether he knew of me, and of course he answered yes, because we are long-time friends. Bykov informed my friend that Victor Plotkin is currently participating in a chess election in Canada against Vadim Tsypin. Bykov told my friend that "Vadim is a good guy and Victor Plotkin should step down from his candidacy." Some very influential people in the FIDE had asked Bykov to call my friend.

              When my friend told me about the call between him and Bykov, I was very surprised. In Russia, calling someone and giving such a powerful message is a clear threat. After some hesitation, I decided to contact Emil Sutovsky, and I asked him for his advice regarding this information.

              Here are the most important parts of our chat translated into English (it was in Russian, on Facebook Messenger):

              V.P: Hello, Emil! I hope you remember me - we have interacted numerous times at Olympiads and in Gibraltar. I recall that in Canada's match against Israel, you beat Gerzhoy on the second board, in the Carro-Cann. The match ended with a score of 2-2.

              E.S: Victor, of course I remember you, I also remember seeing you at Aeroflot Opens.

              I explained the situation to him, he understood and took it very seriously. It was a priority for him to assure me that the FIDE is unrelated here.

              V.P: Emil, there is no doubt in my mind that neither you, nor Dvorkovich, have any relation to this whatsoever. Rather, all I'm asking for is some advice, from friend to friend. I ask that you understand me correctly - what happened today was absolutely brutal for me to hear.

              E.S: Why do you need to consider Bykov's opinion?

              V.P: Of course, I have no intention of heeding his advice. But it is evident to me that Tsypin initiated this. This all seems somewhat disturbing, wouldn't you agree?

              E.S: Certainly. Well, the question here is whether or not Tsypin crossed any lines, made any threats, or did anything of the sort.

              He then asked me about my opinion on this election, my answer was that it is approximately equal at this point, because many players support me, but Tsypin has the support of the President and of some chess politicians.

              E.S: I understand. Disregard this (Bykov's message). This most certainly doesn't improve his image. I can only reiterate that under no circumstances can we try to have an impact. And if anyone suggests this, it's a lie.

              I thanked him for discussing this with me. Soon after, he asked about the reason behind Marghetis' resignation.

              V.P: He did it in my favor, I want to emphasize that I did not initiate this, and had never asked him about it. Why? It seems that I, a more neutral candidate in this instance, was suitable, in his view. I am not an arbiter, I don't earn money from chess, and I am not looking for personal benefits from this position.

              E.S: You are a surprisingly decent person for a candidate.

              Sutovsky took this issue very seriously, and immediately informed the FIDE President, Arkady Dvorkovich. Very soon after this, Vlad Drkulec, Vadim Tsypin, and I received an official email from a FIDE lawyer stating:

              Dear colleagues. I am writing this letter on behalf of the FIDE President.

              "In connection with a number of questions that arise regarding the upcoming elections of Canada’s representative in FIDE, we would like to officially assure FIDE’s position.
              FIDE always takes an absolutely neutral position on elections in any federation, considers elections to be the internal affair of each federation, and works equally fruitfully and constructively with any representative elected in the respective federation".

              I do not know if Vadim crossed a line, and I don't have enough evidence to take this to court, nor do I have any intention of doing this as of now. Actually, I don't know Bykov at all, and likely, before last week, he was not aware of my existence either. The only person who could have initiated this chain of contacts is Tsypin, who tried to put some pressure on me to step down from this election. This reflects so negatively on his personality. I don't understand how any voting member, with the best interests of Canadian chess in mind, would be ready to support him.
              I hereby confirm that Vadim also got the following people to contact myself, to "influence" me that I should step down for Vadim (and publicly endorse him):

              January 24th: Michael Barron (CAN)
              January 24th: Nikos Kalesis (GRE)
              January 24th: Vadim Tsypin (CAN)
              January 26th: Nikos Kalesis (GRE)
              January 28th: George Mastrokoukos (GRE)

              Comment


              • #8
                This is starting to cross a line in the sand... Maybe this is all to actually increase Victor's election prospects! :)

                Can this sort of nonsense seriously be happening? I guess we have the answer.
                ...Mike Pence: the Lord of the fly.

                Comment


                • #9
                  For some reason, our president decided not to post endorsement letter from Canadian Champion GM E.Bareev. Unfortunately, I have no choice but post it myself.


                  Dear Vlad,

                  Could you please give my vote to Victor Plotkin as FIDE representative.
                  I explain my positions below. Unfortunately I am busy for the next two days and cannot present in meetings. Could you please share my concerns with CFC members.

                  Tomorrow we are going to vote for a new Canadian FIDE Representative.



                  As Canadian national champion I also have the right to vote and would like to share my concerns about what may happen.



                  I worked in the FIDE commission at K. Ilyumzhinov terms and with FIDE President A. Dvorkovich in Russian chess Federation in 2010-2014, so I know the inner kitchen and it is not genuinely nice. I have been criticizing FIDE's decisions for the last year. I do not see much support for chess players at these hard times. At the same time, I know that FIDE representatives are preparing for new elections extensively.



                  One candidate Vadim Tsypin is working in FIDE. He has rather high positions there. What I know about him I know only from someone’s words and I cannot completely rely on that information. Nevertheless, his position in FIDE depends on CFC voting on new elections. In case CFC supports any other candidate than A. Dvorkovich in interests of V. Tsypin will be voting for A.Dvorkovich. In my opinion, it is an obvious conflict of interests. I have doubts, reasonable doubts that he will stand the temptations. In my opinion V. Tsypin should not be among candidates for this position at all. I also know that he wants this position so the only possibility left is to support any other candidate to exclude giving Canadian voting ballot in advance to A. Dvorkovich. After all, another candidate may run on election and we need a choice.



                  Sincerely,

                  GM E.Bareev

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    So 2 out of the 3 candidates for a position have independent stories about how the third candidate had people try to get them to drop out of an election and indorse him.
                    Anyone who votes for Vadim at this point is a fool or is corrupt. This is not how elections should be run. As a matter of principle, he should be defeated. This is the next big test of the CFC. Let's see if they can screw this up like so many other things in the past.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Initially, I had no intention of contacting Bareev about this election. This morning, after I got information regarding attempts to put pressure on me to resign, I changed my mind. I sent a short message to Evgeny, asking him to call me. In our conversation, he fully believed my story about the threat, which I had received from Russia. I asked for his advice, and he offered to send an endorsement letter in my favor himself.

                      8:03 - His endorsement email arrived into mine and Vlad's inboxes. Usually, Vlad posts endorsements after a very short time, so I was surprised to see such a long delay.
                      8:45 - I sent an email to Vlad, reminding him to post E. Bareev's email.
                      9:09 - Vlad replied to me, saying: "I cannot post something defamatory that would open things up to a lawsuit against myself and the CFC."
                      9:13 - I sent an email to Vlad, saying that at 9:30, I would post Bareev's letter myself.
                      9:33 - I posted Bareev's email.

                      I have to say that I don't see any defamation in Bareev's email, just a very negative opinion on one of the candidates, which, I remind you, is very legal, and typical. The refusal to post such a letter written by our champion and the best ever Canadian player is absolutely unacceptable.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If anyone has not been to the CFC forum, the thread about this election is a complete $hit $how. It is a wonderful example of how inept the CFC can be at times.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Today morning I got an email from FIDE:

                          Dear collegues.

                          I write to your this letter on behalf of mister Dvorkovich, his decision below:


                          FIDE President's decision:

                          Given that:
                          FIDE Management Board member Vadim Tsypin is participating in the election of the representative of Canada in FIDE
                          there is evidence of a possible violation of ethical standards,
                          it resolved

                          suspend the powers of V. Tsypin as a member and secretary of the FIDE Management Board until the end of the relevant investigation with immediately effect.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This is all par for the course when chess governance is concerned. Chess has always been the most corrupt game/sport in the world. I will once again state the late Bryon Nickoloff's theory of chess corruption. "If they can't take you off over the board they will try to do so off of the board." All one can say is, may the best person win.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Dear CFC voting members, colleagues, friends, and chess supporters:

                              It has been a while since most of you heard anything public from me, however, I realized that this is the time to express my feelings about the current situation.

                              First off, I would like to thank IA Hal Bond for his dedication, over all these years, for chess in our country. I can definitely say that his advice and support helped me to become a better arbiter and to obtain a better vision of how things work on a larger scale!

                              Initially, we had three candidates for the position, however, currently, obviously wishing IA Aris Marghetis and his family all the best, we are down to 2 candidates now.

                              Both candidates have different qualities. I will not waste anyone’s time expressing my personal opinion on each of them, as, by now, you probably red it all, including the PROGRAM, etc. Or should I say lack of attention on the program?

                              While both candidates have their strong and “to improve” qualities, what really bothered me is the approach of the voting “clans” and “tribes”. I would like to remind all my respected colleagues that we are not in the United States, not trying to make anything Great Again, nor wishing to have a 50% vs 50% hate and verbal violence!

                              It really touched me personally when I saw a comment that Chess ‘n Math is a direct (I guess in a strategic sense) competitor with the Canadian Chess Federation. I don’t work for this organization for the past 20+ years, and have no financial or any other interest in showing my support, except for the crucial fact. Growing up in Canada, in 90s, I know I would have been a sad shell of a human if I didn’t have an opportunity to play against other kids of my age! I do teach chess as a hobby (after all, I still am a FM with an IM norm) and would that make me a competitor to the CFC as well? As they say nowadays: L O L !

                              Voting members do have a moral obligation to think about what is best for our kids, for our chess players, and how to PROMOTE and UNIFY us!

                              Ones who know me personally will confirm that I am very patient, until the bubble explodes… In Canada, we have a very popular saying: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”!

                              I realize, that regardless to the results of the vote, I risk to face reciprocations for my today’s post, but it is what it is. Worst case scenario, there will be one more retired, hopefully respected, International Arbiter with over 20 years of job experience, who actually knows how to play the game (FM with IM norm & former U20 Canadian Chess Champion) and loves it since the age of 3 (when my dad first showed me the moves)!

                              In the light of the information that I have obtained from my own sources, I am no longer sure about IA Aris Marghetis intent in endorsing Mr. Plotkin, and that is the most politically correct expression of my true feelings.

                              Subsequently, following the announcement of IA Aris Marghetis to withdraw his candidature, I would like to reach to all his former supporters and the undecided ones and ask you NOT TO VOTE! With all the “trash talk” going around, I think we will pass a strong message to the eventual winner, making him understand that we exist and commit to watch every step! However, we will also SUPPORT and UNIFY all attempts to promote chess in Canada!

                              Sincerely,

                              IA / FM Danny Goldenberg

                              P.S. Dear members, please note that I decided to read/post/reply not more frequently than about 2-3 times per decade )) Subsequently, please keep all the personal messages, insults, or requests to after-pandemics, when I will see you live at any upcoming chess event! Please stay safe!

                              P.S.S. to all the attempts to manipulate my message. We know that Mr. Marghetis decided to support Mr. Plotkin. The issue is different. I have questions in regards to WHY REALLY Mr. Marghetis is supporting Mr. Plotkin. Subsequently, I was offering to the ones (like ME! after an initial phone conversation with Aris Marghetis) who wanted to support HIS (Aris) CANDIDATURE not to vote! Lets wash our hands from all the dirt!
                              Last edited by Danny Goldenberg; Yesterday, 05:08 PM.
                              I think, therefore I am!

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