Andrew Zigmond wrote:Obviously certain events continue to (needlessly) cast their shadow but I hope Alex and Lara will remain involve with the British for many years to come. After all, who else is willing to give up their time so selflessly in order to make events such as this happen in spite of their other commitments - okay don't answer that.
It's not the central point of this thread, but I would take issue with this. The dynamics of volunteer organisations and getting people to volunteer and work together, are something that should be considered more. Saying that any individual volunteers are irreplaceable or that no-one else is stepping forward, or would step forward, to do what someone does, ends up being a self-fulfilling statement.
The mark of the best volunteers, the ones who put aside ego and pride in their own achievements, are those who ensure a legacy of other volunteers that follow after them when they step down and/or move on. Those who encourage and help train other volunteers, building up something that is more than the sum of its parts. Finding other people to do what you are doing now is never easy, but if it is done and continuity is ensured, that is sometimes as important as the job you have volunteered for. No matter how competent or exceptional a volunteer is, if things collapse after they leave, they bear some responsibility for that (and this is directed at anyone who has ever volunteered in any chess organising role, from congress organiser to ECF Board members).
One thing is certain. The wrong atmosphere can discourage others from volunteering. It doesn't matter who is responsible for that atmosphere, everyone needs to work to encourage people to volunteer at whatever level, not blithely question who else is willing to do things.
Andrew Zigmond wrote:Let's make this the round of applause for the organisers and I hope as many members of the board as possible will put aside the rancour of the last twelve months to add their thanks.
I think what this thread has shown is that more than this, from all concerned, is needed. Possibly it is no longer possible for certain people to work together. If that is so, then something needs to happen to allow English chess as a whole to move on.