We sent a short Q&A to Chess Victoria boss candidate Gerrit Hartland and, thankfully, he agreed to answer them. We appreciate Mr Hartland's very frank approach. His involvement in Victorian chess affairs, we understand, goes back to the 60's. He also currently holds the position of CV vice president as well as captain of his club, Box Hill. Good luck to him and his team.
TCG: What motivated to you form the Unity ticket?
GH: I wanted to present a program of change to CV and I needed a committee with me that agreed with the program. It would be counterproductive to have a program and then elect a committee that does not agree with it.
TCG: Except for Kerry Lyall and Elliott Renzies, most personnel on your ticket are pretty much drawn from the current officialdom.
GH: The people on the ticket were selected because they liked the reform proposals, and have worked with me before. They are my friends and believe me when you get to my age you do need a little help from your friends .
TCG: Some, like Michael Baron and Dromagoj Dragicevic, have expressed concerns at your proposal to move all CV activities to BHCC facilities on a rental share basis. Given that you're a current committee member of BHCC, you can see where their concerns are coming from - specifically, that the club now appears to be a financial winner from such an arrangement. Isn't there conflict of interest at play here?
GH: It is a misconception to think that the proposed rent from CV would reduce the rent to BHCC It is increased rental for the whole building allowing CV The Box Hill Ches Club and Canterbury Junior Chess club unlimited and unrestricted access to the venue. It will not reduce the rent to the latter 2 organisations. The venue will make an excellent chess centre with storage for CV equipment. There is no conflict of interest in proposing an arrangement which willl benefit all of Victorian Chess. Conflict of interest is usually shouted by Bulletin [board] (Gerrit is referring to Chess Chat, Australia's most popular online discussion forum - TCG) afficionadi who have nothing useful to say.
TCG: Give us your quick assessment of the Wastell leadership.
GH: Gary is a meticulous administrator who has a tendency to cross all his tees and dot every i. He is also an excellent arbiter and I was most surprised when he made that embarrassing mistake at Elwood. He usually stuck to his decisions. He decided, for instance, never to read the bulletin board or post on it or read Amiel's blog. And stuck to it. I wish I could do that, I am a bulletin board junkie .
TCG: You're proposing Wastell to be a life member of CV. You know, that's not going to be popular. Isn't this proposal a potentially bad start for you?
GH: Gary Wastell has been president of Chess Victoria for well over 20 years and any self respecting organisation would honour a president after such long and loyal service. Those who oppose this proposal should be ashamed of themselves.
TCG: David Beaumont observed that there is a lack of representation from the Western clubs. How will you reach out to these Western clubs?
GH: There is indeed a lack of that representation and the team hopes that during the year people from other districts will come to us with help and new ideas. There is plenty more that needs changing.