US Chess Discussion

Welcome! This blog has no connection with the USCF. It's a blog where I provide chess fans with general information about US Chess as well as the USCF. It's also a site where everyone can productively discuss or ask questions about various USCF issues! Your contributions and comments are welcome! PLEASE KEEP IT CIVIL & RESPECT OTHERS! Enjoy! All posts that do not meet this guideline will be deleted -- WIN WITH GRACE, LOSE WITH DIGNITY!(TM) --- 2006 Susan Polgar©

Friday, February 16, 2007

Your Open Forum

I apologize for not posting here in the last few days. The main reason for that is I am completely stunned and disappointed with the extreme level of dirty, destructive and vicious chess politics that exist within the USCF right now.

I may not be perfect but I have done everything possible to conduct myself with grace and dignity throughout my entire 33 years in chess. I have given 150% of myself to US Chess and the USCF in the past 5+ years. For these people to attack, insult, lie and trying to destroy my personal and professional life is just unthinkable. If they can do that to me, what would they do to other less known people who want to help the USCF?

Where is the leadership? Why are they so afraid to fix what is wrong with the USCF? Why are they so afraid to make the USCF better?

I am having a hard time coming up with words to express how I feel. I do not expect anyone to like me or agree with what I do. However, I do expect a basic level of courtesy and respect that should be given to any normal human being. Is this how they would treat their wives, girlfriends, mothers or daughters? I sure hope not!

This post is dedicated to you. What is your feeling about the USCF? What do you want to ask? The forum is yours!
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  • At Friday, February 16, 2007 1:41:00 AM, Anonymous DChavez said…

    Do you find it odd that BRIAN P LAFFERTY ESQ (13592564) seems to know so much about the USCF, seems to be out to get you and yet he has never played a single USCF rated game? He is also from MA, the same state as Donna Alarie, another person who seems to be gunning for your head?

    D. Chavez

  • At Friday, February 16, 2007 1:45:00 AM, Anonymous MD guy said…

    Susan, don't worry about these nuts. You and your team will win big and I hope that you can fix the USCF. I'll never renew again if it doesn't work this time.

    Good luck!

  • At Friday, February 16, 2007 5:58:00 AM, Blogger sdo1 said…

    Once again, I have to ask, where is the positive campaign?

  • At Friday, February 16, 2007 7:39:00 AM, Blogger Jack Le Moine said…

    I note that I was singled out as your most vocal supporter in the USCF Forum recently and I’m proud of that. It as your supporter that I write the below.

    This dirty, destructive politics stuff drill of yours is starting to wear thin. What you’ve got is a few people – Sloan, Marinello, Lafferty, Quinn – who say the bad things and then a whole lot of others who try to do right.

    Gregory Alexander started a thread called “Personal Attacks and Divisive Leadership” where he tried to address this whole issue using BM’s latest attack on you as the example. He solution to the problem was a generalized, theoretical “we should all be nice to one another” approach. (BTW note that in your other blog, last time you asked for opinions on the USCF, a bunch or responses was to throw EVERYBODY on the Board out. Everybody. This kind of thing does not address the issue - but it is the natural outcome of the general approach.)

    I suggested another solution to the problem: distinguish between the guilty and the innocent and continued with Gregory’s example.

    Then you jumped in and made out like there was this whole campaign against BM out there. There was not. In fact, there was no attack upon BM at all. There was only a theoretical vs. practical discussion about what to do about this problem of personal attacks and divisive leadership.

    And it is high time you brought out what ELSE is being discussed on the USCF Forums. Things like: Gregories “Pre-Election Poll and Chat Room – New and Improved!” (which deserves especial recognition); “Ratings for New Players When Entire Section is Unrated”; “Voting System Issues”; “US Championship”; “Financial Statements – Phase 1”; “Changes to Quick Ratings” – and I could go on and on with important, substantive issues that are being discussed civilly and helpfully.

    As for that small minority that continue to cause trouble – the ONLY WAY this problem is ever going to be addressed is when we ALL – not just the leaders but ALL OF US, you included – distinguish between the guilty and the innocent.

  • At Friday, February 16, 2007 7:54:00 AM, Blogger Jack Le Moine said…

    The Lafferty guy really ticks me off. He popped up one day out of the blue and demanded that you and the other candidates sign onto an ethics statement he wrote. I’ve got 2 things about this whole deal that tick me off. The first one I’ve written about in previous posts. You gave away an important issue to please him. I won’t belabor the point.

    But the second one is the whole question of trust. I try to look at things from your position. You are a very famous woman who has made historic accomplishments. Accordingly, there’s a whole lot of people who would like to get close to you and some of them want to turn on you and stab you in the back.

    But then there’s a whole lot of others who don’t want to do anything but to support you at the proper distance and in the proper manner. I number myself among them. Since we’re not looking for any association, close or otherwise, we sometimes say things or do things you don’t like. Maybe that is out of foolishness or ignorance. Maybe it is because we don’t want to be thought of as your sycophants. And maybe, we’re right when we disagree with you on something. That doesn’t make us bad people or untrustworthy.

    But how can you know? You’re put in the position of having to determine the merit of people with too little information. And that’s the trouble with people like Brian Lafferty. Their bad behavior tars us all with suspicion.

  • At Friday, February 16, 2007 8:19:00 AM, Blogger Jerry MacDonald said…

    I use to support a indi musician out of Cleveland. I learned first hand how viscious people can be. Some of the things said against her were so vile it makes your situation look trivial.

    The Internet is a great tool for promoting yourself and what you believe in. However, this does not come without a price.

    The Internet in essence is nameless. People can make attacks witout remorse or retribution. Because of this "trolls" will come out of the woodworks in seemingly unreal numbers.

    There are a couple things to understand though. First these trolls are not the majority. Second, most people think these people are idiots.

    It's easier said than done, but you just have to ignore them. Feeding trolls makes it worse. If you really want to piss trolls off, the best thing to do is ignore them. Being ignored will drive them crazy. Eventually they will move on to some other person to harrass.

  • At Friday, February 16, 2007 8:28:00 AM, Blogger Jerry MacDonald said…

    If for some reason, albiet not likely, you and Sam Sloan are both elected to the board, how will you deal with it? Do you forsee any unsurmountable obstacles in that scenario?

  • At Friday, February 16, 2007 8:38:00 AM, Blogger SusanPolgar said…

    dchavez, I do not know who these people are. I find it odd that people who do not know me can make such decisive judgement about me.

    mdguy, I do not worry about them. I am just sad to see such behaviors. I am also worried for the USCF.

    Jack, I agree. They are a small minority. While I may not be 100% correct in my assessments, I do believe I am a decent judge of characters.

    Jerry, Sam Sloan will not be re-elected. I see zero chance in this. I will do what is best for US Chess and the USCF.

    Best wishes,
    Susan Polgar

  • At Friday, February 16, 2007 9:16:00 AM, Blogger sdo1 said…

    Again, I ask, where is the promised POSITIVE campaign?

    As for Sam Sloan having ZERO chance, that is a huge misjudgment. Your negativity gives hem a better chance with every post.

  • At Friday, February 16, 2007 5:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I believe Susan's campaign is positive. If you do not find the positive then maybe you need to look inside yourself.

    Negative people find everything negative.

    Positive people find everything positive.

    If you are a truely positive person you will find Susan to be very positive. If you can not yet find the positive, then just believe that she is positive and keep searching eventually you will become a positive person and see all the positive in Susan.

  • At Sunday, February 25, 2007 9:15:00 AM, Blogger SBD said…

    Negativity breeds negativity; once you enter the dirty world of politics, you can't help it. What GM Polgar does for chess is very positive, but having been drawn into the dirty infighting that goes on in politics everywhere (those of you who think this is solely a USCF problem have not been involved in the petty politics that seems to be involved in any human endeavor these days), she is bound to get her hands dirty.

    I am the type who can't stand these politics at all, as Konrad Adenauer said, " a thick skin is a gift from God." In my former academic career, one year as Chair of Academic Affairs (my obligatory committee service so I could be promoted) was so emotionally exhausting I can hardly remember some of the details. Those who have the least to offer seem to fight the dirtiest.

    I see GM Polgar trying to remain "clean" in all this, but she is going to fail. There will always be detractors. That is why the great politicians who matter had that thick skin. She is just going to have to persist if she wants to succeed and in some cases, just ignore the nay-sayers.

    That's easy for me to say; I was never good at it. I would never run for any USCF office; I could never endure the slings and arrows. Let's hope GM Polgar and her team - I have always had an admiration for Randy Bauer and was disappointed to see him lose last time- but, my gosh, the man has persisted for another run, perhaps meaning he has that "thick skin" I spoke of.

    Most USCF problems are long-term in nature; one thing I do worry about is that many of GM Polgar's supporters may expect an overnight fix. Read GM Benko's excellent biography and you will see that what goes on now was going on in the late 60s and 70s - these are long-term problems that may take many years to fix. The question will be, not: are the problems fixed?, but: are we on the right path?


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