Oh scratch that!
When I began to write this post I had in mind contemporary events. But given the language used by Melbourne chess businessman David Cordover, he apparently thinks of this, his latest war against the ACF, as a sort of crusade. I thought he was merely calling for a revolution. I was wrong.
He wants a new religion.
In a series of often acrimonious emails (to which I am cc'd) between himself and the Australian Chess Federation big wigs, David Cordover ends with, what seems to me, a threat of nothing less than all out war! To split Australian chess.
All this is over his new venture called "Tornelo".
If you missed it, the first shot in this war was actually fired by the ACF. This from their most recent newsletter:
The ACF has decided that only Swiss Perfect, Swiss Master or Swiss Manager are to be used for pairing purposes for any ACF event including ACF Grand Prix events or any event that is to be FIDE rated.
The Australian Chess Federation does not endorse in any way, or have anything whatsoever to do with, David Cordover's Tornelo system and any statements or implications otherwise are false.
In connection with the above matter, the ACF Council has recently resolved that [it will have] nothing to do with David Cordover, his chess business or his Tornelo system is to appear in the ACF newsletter until he removes to the satisfaction of the ACF Council all references, inferences or implications that his Tornelo system is in any way related to the Australian Chess Federation or ACF ratings [obviously with the exception of the above notice itself].
Please note that if you wish to write Letters to the Editor debating this decision they must do so in ways that do not breach the resolution.
For the time being, in some ways aided by Mr Cordover's carelessness, not to mention his propensity for confusing and totally irrelevant diversions, the ACF has the tactical advantage. The national body can simply sit back and drag this along until the Melburnian does what he's been told to do.
1) That on tornelo.com you change the wording that was "Australian Chess Federation" to "Tornelo Demonstration"
2) That on auschess.tornelo.com you change the title that was "Australian Chess Ratings" to "Tornelo Demonstration".
3) That you remove the link on the top left hand side of auschess.tornelo.com that links back to the ACF website auschess.org.au and does not link to the ACF website from tornelo.com or auschess.
I looked at all that and thought, fair enough. Just make it happen and be done with it. But Mr Cordover apparently had some kind of epiphany. And, of course, being a successful entrepreneur he doesn't exactly like being told what to do - certainly not by what he considers as an aging Ancien Régime devoid of ideas.
He just had to have his own demands. And he just had to say this:
I will be quite honest with you [Bill Gletsos, ACF ratings officer, and the ACF] - if we cannot reach an amicable resolution then I will consider my other options to include actively encouraging clubs and organisers to withdraw from the ACF ratings system to use Tornelo (free) and simultaneously petition FIDE to allow an organisation OTHER than the ACF to deal with them for ratings.
Read it how you like, but that sounds like a new religion to me.
To be honest, I have some sympathies for David Cordover. Notwithstanding my unhappiness about that email, Tornelo (and yes, I've had a brief, very brief, play) looks to be quite attractive. Why wouldn't you want a fancy system that has detailed reports and fully searchable instead of this monstrosity?
I think the ACF needs to tread carefully here. They have every right to make their demands, protect their turf, and I support them. But they ought to state clearly why they have a problem with Tornelo, the technology. From a user's point of view, the tool seems to be far and ahead of what even FIDE has to offer.
The ACF's Bill Gletsos talks about David Cordover's past sins and why people don't trust him. Yet we know of at least one other ACF office-holder who was more than happy to do business with Mr. Cordover - none other than Mr Reliable, Dr Kevin Bonham!
As for our wannabe Martin Luther, he could start by doing what he was told to do in the first place: just get rid of any references to "auschess". Then he should genuflect before the ACF, say sorry to my mate Bill Gletsos, the High Priest (I gotta pay Mr Cordover for this moniker) of Aussie chess ratings, and stop talking about new religion. More importantly, he should just be out with it and tell us exactly how much Tornelo is going to cost.
Bottom line: any talk of new religion will fuck us all up. Whatever side you're on, we have to prevent that from happening.