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Clubs call for Olympiad info

Thursday, June 19, 2014
Members of the T&T team at the Olympiad.

The T&T Chess Association will hold a special general meeting on Sunday in response to requests from five member clubs seeking information regarding T&T’s participation in the coming Olympiad and also calling for the appointment of a Standing Technical Committee to deliberate “on matters pertaining to the best practices of the Association.” 


Valkeries, one of the five, has accused the T &TCA of being “silent on where vital matters lie” and described the joint petition as a “wake-up call to our Association” to address these concerns immediately in accordance with Article 5.1.1 of the constitution.


The meeting will be held at St Georges College, Barataria.


Paladins, joining the five-club call, saw the need for an SGM “to quickly address the sad situation the players, their parents and coaches have found themselves in to represent our country at the World Olympiad.”


Kings and Queens, in its petition, also refers to the issue of communication with respect to the Olympiad teams, their training and preparation. 


The Arima-based club also joined the call for a Standing Technical Committee “to address, inter alia, matters pertaining to best practice within the T&TCA. 


These may include criteria for the selection of players, coaches and other administrative functionaries for tournament duties among others.”


The initiative for this joint call came from veteran player and coach Hamza Dean who is also president of the Moruga Chess Club. Making up the five is SCUTT, led by Russel Smith. 


All five petitions were written by the clubs and received by the Association towards the end of April. The reason and purpose behind their initiative are clearly expressed. Indeed, DR has heard similar sentiments expressed by experienced players, at least one of whom had been a member of previous T&T Olympiad teams.


Some time after receiving the clubs’ requests, the Association responded by holding a meeting to deal with their concerns. 


DR has since learned that the Association has been able to obtain the services of two IMs from Germany to prepare the men’s and women’s teams, via coaching sessions on line. 


As players from a developing country, members of the T&T teams would also qualify for a special FIDE subsidy to help meet their travelling expenses, as announced by the world chess body.


However, it seems somewhat unfortunate to DR that member chess clubs should become so concerned about the operation of their Association that they resort to petitions to obtain information about vital matters such as the country’s participation in the world’s premier international competition and to seek appointment of a Standing Technical Committee to address “matters pertaining to best practice within the T&TCA.”


To be true to its essential structure and purpose, the national chess body must be as transparent and forthcoming as possible. Made up of member clubs, it cannot operate as a closed shop. When he assumed office, in fact, the Association president clearly recognised this as he declared his policy of “going back to the clubs.” 


However, in the widest sense, the organisation’s responsibilities extend, in fact, to the entire society from which it constantly seeks financial support. Sending teams to the Olympiad, for example, is a matter of national prestige about which not only member clubs but the entire population should be kept fully informed.


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