lundi 17 septembre 2018

FIDE shall train technical experts all around the world

FIDE shall help national federations to train technical experts. Arbiters are a good exemple: 

Chess arbiter actor of development

Today, FIDE is making high level arbiters. The recent creation of the “FIDE arbiter” title, given after a short training, is a positive step, but it is not enough.

Even more recently, FIDE has asked national arbiters to pay a license to FIDE. This was useful to … generate money, that is to say, to puncture national federations. These titles are given without any coaching or training from FIDE. It is just an additional tax.
The title of FIDE “national arbiter”, must be connected with a real support. As a matter of fact, if some big federations have already set up regular seminars and their own training programs, what about smaller and young federations? Many countries cannot work autonomously. To organize high level competitions: they must ask for help from neighboring federations. And to organize basic competitions, young, school, adult beginners, they simply do not have the human resources.

The house of the chess arbiters was built starting by the roof. FIDE left it to the federations to train their national arbiters. It is a system that generates, and increases, inequalities. It is time to set up, for the federations that wish, training plans for the arbiters who officiate at the base of the pyramid. It is time to set up training tools, but also free software for managing competitions. If we want chess to progress all over the world: let’s start to give all the federations abilities to organize competitions by themselves.

The solution is simple, you have to take care of the foundations:
- Creation of a detailed training program for national arbiters (for example: basic rules, irregularities, notation, draw, but also material and pairings). Leaving national federations the opportunity to adapt this program.
- Edit simplified laws of chess, understandable and usable by everyone on the field.
- Create free IT tools, including online management of competitions (round-robin, Swiss system, team matches).
- Train national trainers to support national arbiters.

Stéphane Escafre
International Arbiter, A category
Member of the FIDE Rules Commission


La FIDE doit aider les fédérations nationales à former des cadres techniques. L'arbitrage est un bon exemple :

Les arbitres acteurs du développement

Aujourd’hui, la FIDE forme des arbitres de haut niveau. La récente création du titre d’arbitre FIDE, donné après une courte formation, est une avancée positive, mais ce n’est pas assez.
Encore plus récemment, la FIDE a demandé aux arbitres nationaux de payer une licence à la FIDE. Cela permet de faire rentrer de l’argent dans les caisses, c’est-à-dire de ponctionner, de taxer les fédérations. Mais ces titres sont donnés sans aucun accompagnement de la FIDE. Ce n'est qu'une taxe de plus.
Le titre d’arbitre national homologué FIDE, doit s’accompagner d’une formation. En effet, si de grandes fédérations ont déjà mis en place des stages réguliers et leurs propres programmes de formation, qu’en est-il des fédérations plus modestes ? Beaucoup de pays ne peuvent pas fonctionner de manière autonome. Pour organiser des compétitions de haut niveau, elles doivent faire appel à des fédérations voisines. Et pour organiser des compétitions de base, jeunes, scolaires, adultes débutants, elles n’en ont pas les moyens humains.

La maison des arbitres d’échecs a été construite en commençant par le toit. La FIDE a laissé aux fédérations nationales le soin de former leurs arbitres. C’est un système qui génère, et augmentent les inégalités. Il serait temps de mettre en place, pour les fédérations qui le souhaitent, des plans de formation pour les arbitres qui officient à la base de la pyramide. Il est temps de mettre en place des outils de formation, mais aussi des outils informatiques gratuits de gestion des compétitions. Si nous voulons que le jeu d’échecs se développe, donnons à toutes les fédérations la possibilité d’organiser des compétitions de manière autonome.

La solution est simple, il faut s’occuper des fondations.
-       - Mise en place d’un programme détaillé de formation initiale des arbitres nationaux. Par exemple : règles du jeu de base, irrégularités, notation, nulles, mais aussi le matériel, les appariements basiques. En laissant aux fédérations nationales la possibilité d’adapter ce programme.
-       - Editer des règles du jeu simplifiées, compréhensibles par tous.
-       - Former des formateurs nationaux pour assurer le suivi des arbitres.
-       - Créer des outils informatiques gratuits, y compris de gestion en ligne de compétitions (toute-rondes, système suisse, équipes).

Stéphane Escafre
Arbitre International, catégorie A
Membre de la Commission des Règles de la FIDE

samedi 1 septembre 2018

Arbiters witness the state of FIDE

Statement of Stéphane Escafre
International Arbiter                                                                                                        September 1st 2018

Arbiters witness the state of FIDE

While traveling the world for years, I was able to observe the state of the chess planet. Through the eyes of the international arbiter I am, I have noticed many dysfunctions. An arbiter sees everything, he knows the stage and the backstage.
The first observation I draw from my experience is the great disparity of situations: I have the chance to live in Europe where most of the international competitions are organized. I should rejoice selfishly, but I am sad, because it means that the majority of the world is deprived of these events.

Whole areas are abandoned by current FIDE leaders. The continent most unjustly neglected being obviously Africa. Many federations (and we are talking about countries with tens of millions of inhabitants) have neither international arbiters nor FIDE arbiters (first level). How do you want to organize events worthy of the name in these conditions? And when I mention the absence of referees, this is only one of the symptoms, most of the time there are no coaches or trainers of chess teachers either.

The arbiters have technical and organizational skills essential to the progression of Chess. This added value makes arbiters a growth factor today, alas, under-exploited. I know the dedication and willingness of my colleagues: they will be the first to accompany and often initiate this new momentum. Through education, FIDE must fight against dependence, and promote the autonomy of those federations!
Where are the aids that can make African federations actresses of their own development? This situation is intolerable. We could attack the federations themselves by accusing them of doing nothing. But given the number of neglected countries, responsibility must be sought at a higher level. And since this lack of will for development is spread to several continents (Africa, South America, South-East Asia, Oceania), the responsibility is international.

Some FIDE leaders make federations believe that they are helping them, especially in the months before to the elections. I say they "make believe" because these aids, due to federations, are presented as extraordinary gifts. These people take advantage of their position to appoint “friends”, pay for travel ... but do not finance any development or effective formation.
It's a shame! At best we see seminars organizations or nominations given on the basis of political considerations. The current system cannot generate development. The majority of federations are victims of FIDE's negligence. Africa is visited by people from far away and wide who make gifts, make promises, but simply maintain the North-South imbalance.

I do not blame FIDE commissions. They are not the ones who vote budgets, open lines of expenditure, finance (or rather refuse to finance) development actions. The responsibility is at the level of the Presidential Board. It is the highest of the pyramid that must be changed.
We are fortunate to have a candidate who has the experience of the sports, political and financial world, with a presidential ticket that wants to redistribute the cards.

The members of Arkady Dvorkovich's ticket cannot be accused of personal ambition, they are Chess ambassadors respected in their country.
More important: Mr Dvorkovich is ready to work with all continents. You will not find in his communication support for one candidate over another for the continental elections. This particularity of not imposing a continental choice shows that everyone can work with everyone. At the end of the elections, there will be no fratricidal battle.

It is time to end a system that maintains disparities between federations. I encourage my fellow arbiters and the presidents of the federations to support the project of Mr. Arkady Dvorkovich. He has the skills, the experience and the will to develop Chess on all continents.

Stéphane Escafre
International Arbiter, A category
Member of the FIDE Rules Commission
Anti-Cheating Officer in Batumi European Championship 2018
Chess book writer

Statement in PDF