Full Version: Eligibility Votes - March 2022
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I have followed this thread, but not been actively involved. Many of arguments have been rehearsed at length and people are welcome to trawl through the information out there if they so wish.

It is up to Chess Scotland and our members to determine the eligibility criteria and I've never requested or campaigned for any changes.

I am either eligible or not and I fully accept the decision that members come to. I appreciate Andy Muir's attempt to find a halfway house solution, but that doesn't seem to help 'continuity' and be in the longer terms interests of Scottish Chess. So, I would not be playing under that arrangement.

Alan Tate has been in contact with me, firstly alerting me to this thread! and then more latterly on the logistical impacts of a positive vote on motion 2 (that is not presume anything, but merely to plan for all eventualities). Whilst those conversations are private, Alan did ask me to clarify a previous comment and for those not au fait with previous discussions I will restate that here "Irrespective of eligibility, I will only play with the support of the rest of the team"

The last decade has, in my opinion, seen Scottish Chess and particularly Scottish Junior Chess regress. I had hoped by this point we'd be discussing whether I was good enough to represent Scotland rather than Scottish enough. I hope we won't be returning to the same arguments in another decade.

I will continue to follow this thread, but I am not intending to comment on a regular basis. If someone would like a particular point clarifying then you are of course most welcome to message me.
I have no real interest in this specific issue and am not inclined to wade through the history.
I have no wish to offend MT or anyone else.
My point is one of principle (or pedantry some might say), which can sometimes be harder for those close to an issue to see.

It just seems very odd to me to have a proposal to confirm a set of rules, then along with it another proposal to ignore those rules for a specific case, without any reason being put forward by the proposer.

It also seems inadequate governance to suggest that exceptions to rules embedded in the constitution can be agreed by simple majority when the rules and the constitution which contains them can only be agreed by a 2/3s majority. In my opinion the correct governance should that the constitution should state the requirements for any exceptions to be approved and where no such mechanisms are specified then there should be no exceptions (until/if the constitution is changed, then no longer an exception). Dangerous precedents and all that.

Anyway, I'll say no more on this.
Hi Willie,

For your benefit, and I expect a few others too, I will attempt a brief history.

Many years ago an AGM voted to accept that Matthew Turner could change his FIDE affiliation to SCO (against the rules in place then and currently). The rules in place for the Scottish Championship at that time excluded Matt from winning the title even though he was now SCO.
More recently an AGM decided that residence was not enough to win the Scottish and only those registered with FIDE as SCO could win the title. Those who proposed the change did not consider all of the consequences of the motion presented. In addition, the result of the vote was not properly circulated.
Matthew Turner was the highest placed SCO player at the following Scottish. The Congress Director (me) awarded him the title in accordance with the decision of the AGM.
All Hell broke out.
Subsequently it was agreed that the title should be shared between players on different scores. I resigned as a result.
"Irrespective of eligibility, I will only play with the support of the rest of the team".
Too vague. I would grab a chance to play for Scotland (even if only once) with both hands.
There is likely to be a split. Last time vote was 4-4 , some agree MT would strengthen team, others think he will replace them in team.
Hi Alex,

Is this the motion concerned?

"The current rules to be eligible to be Scottish Champion are set out in Section A of “Scottish Champion Entry Rules”:
An additional sentence shall be added: To be eligible to be Scottish Champion or Scottish Senior Champion a player must also be FIDE registered as Scotland with a SCO code.
Proposed: Andy Muir – Seconded: George Neave"

Were there any amendments made or is this the ruling as it stands?

 I'm curious what you meant by "properly circulated".

I got the motion wording from

which I found at this link from
I know I said I would say no more...but I'll try to make a constructive suggestion this time.

Thanks for the summary Alex, I knew the bit about you resigning and I think that was a great shame, and hopefully you will feel able to resume in the future as Scottish chess is much poorer for that having happened. 

However, the history is somewhat irrelevant to my points. Surely the proposer of the exception should be able to provide a justification in, say, 10 words or less to go with their proposal e.g. "in recognition of past services to Scottish Chess", or "to formalise a position previously informally communicated to the player concerned". Just examples, I'm not saying these are good or relevant justifications. The historical summary may be referred to in order to provide further background on the justification, if relevant.

On the governance point, constitutions should be strategic and durable over time. The problem with this issue is it is verging on operational. All organisations need some operational flexibility. I would suggest this could be retro fitted to the current scenario if proposal 1 included something along the lines of "Council may approve exceptions to these eligibility criteria subject to 1) consultation with the general membership for a period of at least 1 month prior to the proposed effective date and 2) ratification  (prior or retrospective) by a simple majority of voting members at the next general meeting".

As it stands proposal 2 to me looks both incompetent and (literally) unjustified.
I think Matt's eligibility was vague to start with, but at every turn Chess Scotland has made a decision that underlined that he was eligible.

I therefore disagree with the wording of the proposal, as I believe what it would do would be to take away his eligibility, rather than decide the matter once and for all. I would not have voted for eligibility before 2019. I voted for the 2019 resolution because Colin asked me to. In retrospect I regret it. Not because of Matt's eligibility, which I think it confirmed, but because it is entirely wrong for a sport event to be decided by a vote and for co-champions to have different scores.

It is a mess. All created out of good will. With some injuries on the way (I missed out on a Scottish Blitz Championship, but Matt shared the biscuits with me, which made it a less famous case). I do not think this motion will "answer the question", rather I believe it is reversion a decision without any reason to do so. And for this reason I shall be voting for Matt being eligible.
Without trying to defend motion 2, we've had two AGM motions accepted which were effectively contradictory. The first created an anomaly. Attempts to rectify that anomaly were rejected. The second accepted motion was designed to prevent people with long term residence from winning the Scottish (they can still win the British) but the wording was such as it allowed Matt to win the Scottish. As a result we have an idiotic situation in place. To my mind we have had three AGM decisions which were not subjected to proper scrutiny (the third being sharing the title).
This second motion is far from ideal as it is trying to reconcile a situation which currently exists but should not. To my mind the only sensible options are either to accept Matt as SCO with all that entails or to add specific exclusions into various articles and regulations. Neither option seems likely to get sufficient support.
Thanks Alex, could you please clarify whether the 2016 motion wording I shared is in fact the final wording of the 2016 motion?
If you do not know, is there someone who does? I would have assumed the minutes I linked to would be the definitive version.
Hi all,

I am still confused by the wording of motions 1 and 2...

It appears to me that if Motion 1 is passed it could see Matt Turner ineligible for SCO registration, if it is applied as a rule retrospectively (and I don't see anything relating to that possibility) whereas Motion 2 would give Matt full SCO rights if passed, or at worst SCO registration rights if it falls?! The blurb for the motions states: "...they are entirely separate motions and not dependent on each other." What am I missing/not understanding?

Andy Burnett
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