This article expresses my thoughts on the primary functions and roles of the Malaysian Chess Federation. So what is MCF?
It is better to start the discussion with what MCF is not.
(1) MCF is not an NGO. This is contrary to what some ignorant person may have you believe. For those who do not know what an NGO is, please read the relevant wiki page;
(2) MCF is not a charitable organisation and its officials are not social workers. Again this is contrary to what some ignorant person may have you believe. MCF is perfectly entitled to charge for services rendered and even make a surplus from such services. MCF officials are entitled to be paid; honorarium for honorary services, and fees or other forms of compensation for executive services; and
(3) MCF is not your regular association.
So again what is MCF???
MCF is an NSF, i.e it is a National Sports Federation, with all the associated roles and obligations with respect to the sport of chess. MCF is an integral body in a chain or hierarchy of sports bodies within Malaysia and which extend into the international arena. The following graphic shows the major relationships of MCF.
Let's examine the relationships:
R1 is the most important. It is MCF's relationship with the Commissioner of Sports, an arm of the Malaysian Ministry of Sports. This gives a legal basis for MCF's existence. COS regulates legal relationships and related issues, especially MCF's Constitution and bye-laws and issues arising out of it. The election and appointment of office-bearers, and the holding of proper and timely general meetings, and preparation and approval of accounts all come within the purview of COS. And finally, you run to the COS if you feel you have been unconstitutionally sacked.
R2 is MCF's affiliation with OCM. This relationship leads ultimately to the IOC. This relationship is important as it allows Malaysians to participate in events that are within the IOC family. Although chess is not an Olympic sport, it is nevertheless an event that has been included in the Asian Games, Asian Indoor Games and SEA Games. It is this relationship with OCM that enables Malaysian chess players to participate in these 3 later Games. And on the local front, the relationship with OCM is the one to cultivate if we wish to see chess included in SUKMA in the future.
R3 is the relationship which Malaysian chess players are most familiar with. After all, 'FIDE-rated event' is a term the serious chess players know very well. This relationship governs Malaysians' participation in FIDE events which include the Chess Olympiad, World Youth and Age-Groups, World Amateur, and the corresponding Continental and Regional events. The entries for all these events have to go through MCF. Local FIDE-rated events also have to be submitted through MCF. And finally all FIDE accreditation of Malaysians (players, trainers, arbiters, organizers, etc) have to go through MCF. FIDE will hold MCF responsible if anything should go wrong on these matters, instead of dealing with the individuals involved one by one.
R4 is the relationship that provides the link for the individual Malaysian chess player, chess official or chess professional to be ultimately affiliated to FIDE. The actual relationship is subject to COS stipulations which require individuals to be firstly a member of a COS-registered chess/sports club, which is affiliated to a COS-registered district chess association, which is affiliated to a COS-registered state chess association, which is affiliated to MCF, which is already registered with COS. Go figure.
This article is preliminary to some MCF-related matters I intend to write about over the next few weeks.