London League AGM: a mockery of democracy
News from London League AGM.
A bad night for chess. We were backing Hammersmith CC’s motion to end the absurd system of adjournments (that a few old timers insist is their birthright) and bring London Chess league into the 21st century. Unfortunately the motion did not even reach the floor as some clever tactics by some clubs ensured that a vote was taken to instruct the LL committee to come back next year and not vote on the proposal. This vote was carried. I was at the LL committee meeting in June which agreed that the Hammersmith motion would go to the AGM so I do think what happened last night was bad for chess and bad for democracy. I think we have to play hardball on this and ensure in all our LL matches that no compromise whatsoever is given to opponents on a short play board who may ask to play long play. As a gentleman I always respect this request and if I am on a short play board, will agree to long play. But no longer. John White from Hammersmith gave a brilliant speech which resonated. His message was clear: “If we want to attract young people, we have to get rid of adjournments”.
On a personal level I am pleased Steven Walsh decided not to stand as President again as he was the main voice of opposition to the Hammersmith motion.
The good news was that John White was elected to the committee and I picked up the Division 5 trophy and £75 on behalf of Chris Gribben.