Now that 3-4 months have gone by since the HKCF got refreshed after well over a decade of an unchanged previous regime, we would like to take stock for a moment. This is an important matter for us and others who see chess as their sport/activity because the functioning of a sport’s federation is crucial for progress, if not merely sustainability of the sport.
As a start it must be clear that in any situation where leadership has remained unchanged for close to 2 decades, run by the same people in all leadership functions, unchallenged for years even after multiple constitutional breaches as surfaced in the last AGM, it is difficult for a new Committee to root quickly. Succession gap, either organically grown or by design. Echoes of vested powers. Confusion with audiences. You name it. The current Committee still needs time to sort out many things, if not only balancing the chemistry of the individual members in a group who had never had the change to work together.
Of course it is a key crucial role of the President to deal with internal polemic and try to bind the new members and help bridge different points of views – and keep those indoors. And it is the role of each Committee member to sort out individual differences at Committee meetings and be a united team towards the public – as is the case in any professionally run organization.
Despite that this Committee needs to grow a little further here, especially when it comes to uniting internal diverse perspectives and how these are expressed to the public, which will surely happen with time, we see that this Committee is well on track to establishing various positive changes:
- Hygiene factor: (a) the Monday QES venue is bigger and we have more people playing in a good atmosphere; (b) a web site with up to date information with links that work; (c) all games played in the Prelims playable/downloadable as PGN.
- We have a delegation of some 10 youth representing Hong Kong in the upcoming School World Championships. This is in steep contrast with previous world or regional championships (Maribor World Youth 2012, Halkidiki World Youth 2013, ASEAN 2013, Al Ain World Youth 2013) where our youth players were the singletons from Hong Kong if not for their parents. We know about these above tournaments because the players are Caissa members and there were surely also some other tournaments where HK youth went. But as no public announcement on results have ever been made by previous HKCF we have no clue how these went.
- The National Arbiter course already has and will further expand the arbiter base from a select controlling few to over a dozen more. More (than the max two organized by previous HKCF) FIDE rated tournaments can now be held, also by other persons/parties who need not be Committee members, and more of our players will find motivation in improving their rating. This is an important break-through as we, Caissa, ourselves have had first hand experience to overcome the absence of support when we wanted to organize the FIDE Trainer course in Hong Kong to increase accredited trainer base by some 10 trainers, away from the good-old status quo of less than a handful trainers – with the exception of one, all of them HKCF Committee members.
- Rating system: although this is being reviewed for further refinement, especially in light of most active players in Hong Kong by now already having a FIDE rating (the preferred rating) showed great ambition and this work will not be wasted if it can be introduced not for its own sake but as a meaningful supplement to FIDE rating. Up to the Committee to decide.
- We understand from latest web entries that there is a calendar at this moment forward looking only until halfway June with a National HK Rapid and a National HK Blitz championship. That is truly great news for us – which cannot be understood by chess players from ‘spoiled’ countries where such events are simply table-stakes for a federation to stay in power.
We hope that the HKCF, despite internal Committee calibration efforts ongoing as a natural fact of the power vacuum as described above, feel encouraged to continue on this track.
Well done so far!