I’ve created a timeline of posts with how I interpret them.
It all started with a query by Aristides as to whether agreed upon draws should receive a point or not. What followed were a series of posts amicably discussing the topic involving a number of players.
The real criticism begins when Aristides posted comments in rebuttal to Claymore’s comment “All part of the fun.” Aristides drew upon his game with stockwellpete to support his argument without directly indicating Pete though it is reasonable to conclude that his comments would probably provoke a reaction especially as he proffered information regarding an offered draw. After that he debates whether we need further rules to adjudicate these situations. (I consider this stage to be the catalyst for all further troubles. I also believe Aristides chose his words poorly if his intention wasn’t to ruffle feathers.)
The next escalation of the issue is when Pete replies to Aristides comments. He takes a counterpoint to Aristides and uses sarcasm to illustrate his point though he also uses smiley faces to show he isn’t being hostile. Then finally he expresses his exacerbation with Aristides slow play and asks him to speed up or accept the draw. (In my opinion using sarcasm is never a good tactic unless you are on intimate terms with the individual and as such it is likely to provoke a negative response. Also Pete’s final comments regarding speeding up the game should have been far more polite if he was hoping not to upset Aristides.)
Next we have Aristides defense regarding his slow play. There is nothing particularly constructive in what he says and he makes an inferred slight.
Now there are a series of posts regarding draws/slow play including a post by Pete pointing out that Aristides still hadn’t moved. We now have Eric joining in who attempts to defuse the situation by citing his experience from previous seasons regarding this matter. He indicates draws are not so common and recommends that both players put there game on hold and to continue at some latter point. He also points out that Bagration is in charge of the division and that he would have the final say should he choose.
Next we have a negative comment by Aristides to Pete followed by a statement that he would continue the game.
Now Pete attempts to justify his position to Eric regarding the match that he wasn’t playing for a draw. He also expresses dissatisfaction with putting the game on hold. At this point he indicates the game will finish in June at the current rate.
Eric responds that Pete didn’t correctly understand his post and that there was no reference to him playing for a draw. Eric also discusses the topic of slow play.
Rather than letting the point drop Pete responds that it was inferred about playing for a draw by Eric. (I disagree with this and feel it wasn’t necessary to refute what Eric said anyway.) Pete then goes on to discuss the extension of the season deadline to be counterproductive.
Bagration now steps in and requests all parties to cease discussing this topic and to let him make a ruling if needed.
Aristides steps in to say that a ruling isn’t required and to further explain that the intent of all this discussion was to see if some common ground could be found between himself and Pete and to make everyone aware of this trending negative play. (This post is in direct contravention to Bagrations request).
Now Pete posts that Aristides hasn’t moved in 4 days and that he has asked the organisers to adjudicate the game. (This is also in contravention to Bagrations request. His asking for adjudication privately is fine but public posting is not. Also I feel 4 days is not a big deal to wait for a turn and that further patience was required of Pete. Pete should also have been aware that this controversial situation would not be aided by any demands especially in the public forum.)
Next we have another post by Pete telling everyone that Aristides hasn’t moved for 10 days though he has finished other matches. He also states that he hasn’t been accorded the courtesy of a reply by Eric or Bagration regarding his private mails to them. He then goes on to insult both organisers and Aristides. Pete also threatens Aristides with exclusion from any of his own run tournaments unless the matter is resolved promptly. (There is no merit to any of Pete’s comments and I feel that he has overstepped the mark at this stage. Insulting, cajoling or threatening others will never resolve a situation.)
Bagration attacks back in his post. (As an organizer I think you have to take the higher ground and avoid being dragged into negative criticisms. It would have been smarter for Bagration to have privately responded to Pete rather than in the public forum as it creates a negative image of the league and of his credibility as an organizer.)
Next is Aristides hostile response.
Now Pete’s hostile response to Aristides.
Aristides hostile response to Pete.
Pete now responds to Bagration though he words it expressing his empathy from running or supporting other events. Unfortunately he ends it with a criticism towards how the current organisers are handling things.
Now there are a series of posts between Pete and Aristides regarding putting the game on hold. Pete quarrels with Aristides over the interpretation of Eric’s advice and that it should have been Bagrations call. Finally it ends with Aristides commenting that he should have sent Pete a polite note requesting to delay the game. (In these exchanges I find Pete to have been too pedantic in regards to this matter. Also Aristides made a quip at the end of his consolatory words totally negating there intent).
Things settle down a little and Pete talks about how to improve the league and then queries Aristides as to why his play was negative in his view. Aristides responds with his opinion articulating his points. Some other players wade in expressing possible solutions or their own view points on these matters regarding draws or slow play in constructive manners. This banter is amicable and goes back and forth between the parties for many posts. It ends with Aristides politely saying ‘we have to agree to disagree.’
Now Eric posts that he couldn’t respond to Pete because Pete deleted his mail before he could read it. This implies to me that Eric saw that he had a post from Pete but chose not to open it at that particular time and when he came back to it that it was deleted. (I’m not sure what Eric’s intent was in publically posting this unless it was to goad Pete into a response or simply to notify him that he wasn’t aware of the mail’s content. My guess is the latter reason.)
Pete now refutes Eric’s comment about the deleting of the post saying it is in his sent folder. Pete also indicates that a general private post was circulated to certain players and that he still hasn’t received a direct reply. Pete also is sarcastic towards Eric regarding new rules that may need to be introduced for next season.
Eric responds that the general mail was sufficient in his opinion to satisfy Pete and that he had contacted Aristides about getting the game with Pete rolling (which it appears to have occurred). Eric also responds politely to Pete’s insult to organisers about being negligent from much earlier (it seems Eric only just read that comment many days after the fact otherwise I suspect an earlier response). Eric also requests that both Aristides and Pete delete all their posts that include negative remarks and to keep this matter out of the public forum. Eric also stipulates any further offenses by Aristides or Pete will end in their banning from the league.
Pete insults Eric and calls his bluff.
Eric isn’t bluffing. He axes Pete.
Pete posts his private mail to Eric which he never received a reply for (I would argue that Eric did in the general reply and on the forum a couple of posts back which indicated that Aristides had been asked to get a move on).
Pete now posts a challenge to Eric’s decision implying that he never got approval from the other organisers. (In my understanding Eric was the overall organizer so that would mean he would have the right to handle the situation as he saw best.)
Eric responds by quitting as an organizer.
I step in requesting a halt to the discussion.
After this there are further posts to try and assuage Eric but only further provoke him and result in Eric pulling from the league forfeiting his remaining matches. I will point out that hidde commented regarding Eric’s resignation which brought on an outburst from Eric which I thought was unwarranted though understandable since his tensions were so high. I’m sure Eric regrets his comments to hidde.
What can I say. Ultimately the issue here is in regards to conduct. Lets start with Aristides. He is to blame for allowing this issue to fester rather than simply getting the game over and done with once he saw what direction this issue was taking. It was transparent how Pete felt and it served no purpose to goad the situation or bring it out into the public forum in such a negative manner. Constructive discussion on the matter is welcome but one must also be mindful of others. Aristides presented many well thought out arguments but inevitably undid a lot of his ideas with negative quips or insinuations. I am not stating that Aristides was at fault in anything he did regarding his game but rather his selection of words needed to be better to avoid antagonising his opponent.
As for Pete I feel that he expected far too much from people and was enforcing his own opinion when he had no right to. I believe that Pete read too much into what Aristides and organisers said seeking umbrage when at time none was intended. I understand his consternation with such a slow game but that doesn't entitle him to belabor the point and force organisers to rule on something that doesn't need to be finished for another couple of months. Everyone encounters things that they dislike in life but what sets one apart from others is how you handle it. The league rules set a completion date and provided how to adjudicate a match if not completed by August. That should of sufficed. To raise an idea for future leagues on how to improve things is great but not in conjunction with attacks on other people. Also to insult organisers or players is certainly poor conduct. It is never acceptable even in response to anothers comments. We have all been taught good manners and if we can stomach some measure of pride then we should be able to resolve these issues amicably.
To the organisers I can only advise that responding to players privately is probably the best course of action. In the public forum a player is more likely to become defensive and reticent to any proposal. Simple posts indicating receipt of a mail and stating a response will be sent at some latter point can do wonders for satisfying someone. Also if you see something getting out of hand then you should step in and be firm but polite. It is not necessary to always justify your decisions since this may provoke a disatisfied party but it will make it clear in future postings if someone is at fault. Also I can understand Eric's response but I feel if you undertake doing something then you should see it through to the end (obviously not when there are extenuating circumstances).
What would I like to do? I've deleted all the posts involved but kept them in a 19 page document on my hard drive for reference. I want to see players get back to gaming and fun. I don't want to see players being banned but I do believe that Pete's conduct went too far and as such I would like him to be mindful of this fact in the future. A bit more perseverance and patience otherwise I will enforce Eric's decision. Lets move forward from here and look to how we can improve the gaming experience for everyone.
Should anyone have a grievance with anything I've posted then please feel free to privately mail me. I guarantee to listen to what you have to say without prejudice though it doesn't mean I will agree with you but I don't mind being a sounding board.