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, March 02, 2007

Open Forum about the Executive Board

This is the first open forum for the US Chess Discussion Blog. Please feel free to share your opinions or perhaps frustrations with the performance of the current board members. What are some of the pros and cons in their performances? What are you looking for with the next board? Perhaps you even have questions for them? I will forward all legit questions to the board and give them a chance to respond. All inappropriate posts will be automatically deleted. We have enough lies and deceits on the USCF forum and already.

Susan Polgar

I will start with the first question: Executive Board Members are elected into leadership roles. They supposed to conduct themselves in exemplary manners and make decisions that are in the best interest of the USCF. It is abundantly clear that one of the current 6 board members have violated countless code of conducts / ethics as a USCF member and a USCF Executive Board member as well as rules in the USCF forums. Why do you sit back since August 2006 and give this one unethical board member the opportunity to lie, attack, demean and insult USCF members, USCF supporters and USCF sponsors again and again while violating so many different codes of the law?
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  • At Friday, March 02, 2007 8:47:00 AM, Anonymous SpicAndSpan said…

    It's obvious to me that to clear up any conflict of interest, chessdon (aka Don Schultz) should have stepped up and defended the SPF. But that would be bad for him since he's running against SP. So to follow the same past pattern, he sits back and allow Sloan to do the dirty work. This is why Sloan survived for decades sleeping on tournament floors and bathroom while having sex with young girls as he documented on his disgusting website. Weasels just don't change their colors. Why even bother asking? Schultz will of course talks his way out of it and ignores the facts. Susan, you're fighting a tough battle. These lifelong chess politicians will not give up too easily. They need that stupid power even though they have done nothing but harm chess year after year. Schultz and Sloan will never get my votes!

    Thanks for letting me speak up.

  • At Friday, March 02, 2007 9:06:00 AM, Anonymous USCF Life Member said…

    On the USCF forum, when Sloan attacked Channing, Schultz jumped in immediately asking the moderators to delete.

    But when Sloan maliciously attacked Susan and her team or even other people, Schulz and company looked the other way.

    I suspect they will jump in after the votes are in to try to make themselves look good.

    My question is why Marinello and Channing refused to vote on the US Championship matter? They are required to vote unless there is a conflict of interest. There's none. Do they not care? Then why not resign and go fishing?

    USCF Life Member

  • At Friday, March 02, 2007 10:16:00 AM, Anonymous Inquiring Mind said…

    My question is:

    Under Don Schultz and Sam Sloan's term as board members, the USCF lost money again. The USCF wasted $90,000 to pay off political supporters for the website. This was firmly Don's idea to hire Jennifer Shahade at $40,000 a year and $50,000 for Paul Hoffman. Don also spent another $10,000 for a useless retreats with a bunch of chess politicians. He can't deny this. Now, knowing his real records, he allows Sloan to destroy the AF4C, Frank and Jim Berry, Mikhail Korenman, Randy Bauer, Paul Truong and Susan Polgar. Don didn't do a thing to stop Sloan. This is not the action of a leader, is it? So why do you want to run again? So you can bankrupt this federation? Last year, you made a pledge that you'll never run again. Why not keep your words and exit with grace?

    Inquiring Mind

  • At Friday, March 02, 2007 11:17:00 AM, Anonymous Dan said…

    Every President has his cabinet, right?

    If your slate is elected, who are some other people you will seek advice and input from on a regular basis?

  • At Friday, March 02, 2007 12:24:00 PM, Blogger Jack Le Moine said…

    I'm kind of surprised that this is the first open forum on this blog. I remember an open forum in the first week in January and another just last week.

    As for the voting, I didn't vote because I had no idea who SS was or what was going on. Since I've become active again, I've asked chess players I've run into about the election. The level of igornance is very high. Virtually everybody I've spoken to knows very little. This includes organizers and people who make a full time living teaching chess in the schools.

    I am very worried that our team is too complacent about this election.

  • At Friday, March 02, 2007 12:27:00 PM, Blogger Jack Le Moine said…

    BTW I notice that Don Schultz has posted a great theme song on this web site. Why doesn't somebody compose and record a campaign theme song for Susan and her team?

    That fantastic 4 poster will look good on a flyer. The artwork may need to be toned down to B&W for duplication on paper.

  • At Friday, March 02, 2007 12:28:00 PM, Anonymous HalsOldFriend said…

    When there's a USCF election, weasels like Hal Boger and Sam Sloan are coming out to attack their opponents. Bogner wanted his own people in the election. After having some potential candidates hanging up on him and telling him to get lost (they remember the day when he was suspended for screwing up a national scholastic event in CA), he finally got Stephen Jones to run. Very few people even know who Stephen Jones is. He has very little chance to win unless Bogner can destroy the strongest candidates like Polgar, Bauer or Truong. This is the same Bogner who tried to blackmail ICC for money when they decided to fire him because of his imcompetence. Go to the dictionary and you will see Bogner's face next to a weasel. He's scamming other investors now and he's also trying to win a bid to rebuild the USCF website after Schultz and company wasted $90,000! Stay away from any venture by Hal Bogner

    Hal's old friend

  • At Friday, March 02, 2007 12:46:00 PM, Blogger SusanPolgar said…

    Please take it easy with Mr. Bogner. He is not running for the board. He is entitled to support his candidate. I just wish that he does not go out of his way to maliciously attack others for political reasons. Having said that, it is his right to be political. I am not and I will not drag myself through the dirt.

    As for his performance in various capacities, I do not know much about it to make any judgement. He did approach me as the GM of ICC and I politely turned him them. I prefer to do business with business people and not chess politicians.

    You have to make the decision to deal or not to deal with Mr. Bogner. But please stop the attack toward Mr. Bogner.

    Susan Polgar

  • At Friday, March 02, 2007 2:27:00 PM, Anonymous Dad who does not want to be divorced. said…

    Let me extend my plea that K-6 Nationals be moved away from Mother's Day weekend. Please please please!!!!

  • At Friday, March 02, 2007 2:29:00 PM, Anonymous Not So Understanding Mom said…

    You're not the only one who complained about this. It's a good point.

  • At Friday, March 02, 2007 2:49:00 PM, Blogger Mark said…

    I suggested this on another thread but it would be beneficial if there were a grass-roots campaign across the country at live tournament sites with flyers encouraging people to vote for this group.

    How can we get that started?

  • At Friday, March 02, 2007 2:50:00 PM, Blogger Mark said…

    Also, can we perhaps get state chess associations to endorse this group of candidates?

  • At Friday, March 02, 2007 2:51:00 PM, Anonymous USCF Member said…

    Great idea!

  • At Friday, March 02, 2007 6:01:00 PM, Blogger FractalChess said…

    Back in the 70s and 80s, I used to buy nearly all my books and equipment from USCF. But these days, I rarely even look at the USCF site (except to see the items in Susan's recommended packages). Yet I purchase hundreds of dollars in chess books and equipment every year. Why is that? First of all, USCF no longer has the best prices on books (even for members like me). Amazon beats them by quite a bit. Secondly, they don't carry some of the equipment I use. For example, why has the USCF never carried the Chronos clocks? Everyone knows they are the best. Yet year after year, USCF carries inferior digital clocks. Why do they even try to sell the inferior models? They aren't even less expensive than much better ones. If there is a huge overstock of them, my suggestion is to sell them (either as a sale, or simply dump them to a liquidator like and change to popular clocks. I'd suggest: Chronos, Saitek Game Timer III (a nice clock for those on a budget), some good analog clocks and perhaps a few others (e.g. ChessBaseUSA sells a nice looking silver clock, though I've never seen one). For things like clocks, it would be a good idea to have a small group that tests the clocks for things like durability (one clock sold by USCF for years is well known to have a rocker that bends). Then only carry those that pass the tests, or that sell well.
    And the books need to sell at Amazon prices or less to members.

  • At Friday, March 02, 2007 7:01:00 PM, Anonymous BAP said…

    This question is for Mr. Don Schultz:

    You have a long history of frivolous spending. How do you justify paying $40,000 a year to Jennifer Shahade when she had no editing experience?

    The USCF lost money again under your watch. How could you in good conscience run again when you said that this would be your last term.


  • At Saturday, March 03, 2007 5:02:00 PM, Blogger tanstaafl said…

    inquiring mind said "Under Don Schultz and Sam Sloan's term as board members, the USCF lost money again. The USCF wasted $90,000 to pay off political supporters for the website. This was firmly Don's idea to hire Jennifer Shahade at $40,000 a year and $50,000 for Paul Hoffman. Don also spent another $10,000 for a useless retreats with a bunch of chess politicians..." I don't believe this is either fair or accurate. Please keep in mind that I OPPOSE both Don Schultz and Sam Sloan, but we still need to be accurate and fair in our criticism.

    First of all, most or all of these expenditures were made or committed BEFORE Sam Sloan took office. There are PLENTY of other reasons to oppose Mr. Sloan.

    Second, also in the name of accuracy, I would point out that our partially completed web re-design was terminated before the entire $50,000 had been spent (I'm not sure but I understand we spent around half that amount). It's not as if we got NOTHING for this money, either. This was a badly needed improvement for our website, which really does look better. As a "retired" SW professional myself, I can tell you that this sort of work isn't cheap. I won't say we got a GOOD deal on the work, but it wasn't an AWFUL one either.

    Third, I wouldn't say that Jennifer was hired for her "editing" capability. She was hired to provide on-line content. You may not agree that she's done a good job here, or might argue that somebody (like Susan Polgar, for example) could have done a better job, but again things WERE awful and NOW they are MUCH improved.

    Fourth, I strongly disagree with the characterization of the "chess retreat". I consider the investment from the USCF to be fairly minimal for the potential benefits. I also don't agree with the negative description of the participants. To quote from the USCF's description:
    "Approximately 20 leaders of virtually every major chess organization in the USA will be participating in the Retreat that will be run by a professional facilitator hired by the USCF for that purpose. Attending will be:

    Wendi Fischer - VP AF4C
    Michael Khodarkovsky, President Kasparov Chess Foundation
    Marly Kaplan, Exec Dir Chess-in-the-Schools,
    Joel Berez, President of ICC
    Jerry Hanken, President Chess Journalists of America
    Al Lawrence representing The Hall od Fame
    Harold Winston, Chairman US Chess Trust
    Tim Redman representing College Chess
    GM Joel Benjamin representing professional chess players
    Steve Shutt co-chair Scholastic Council
    Dan Lucas, Editor Chess life
    Mikhail Korenman, Exec Dir Chess for Peace Foundation
    Mike Nolan, USCF Data Bases
    USCF Executive Board "

    Many of these people have contributed significant amounts of personal effort to promoting chess and supporting the USCF. Note that Mikhail Korenman was on this list of invitees.

    And finally, while it's possible, I think it's far from certain that the USCF will have lost money over this period of time. We'll see...

    Like I said, there are PLENTY of REAL reasons to oppose these two people as candidates. IMHO, they are among the worst of the 10 candidates and I STRONGLY urge voters to vote for SOMEBODY ELSE.

  • At Sunday, March 04, 2007 4:35:00 AM, Blogger gregory said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At Sunday, March 04, 2007 4:37:00 AM, Blogger gregory said…

    Interesting discussion.

    To the current and past EB:

    How do you think that the internal structure of the BE can be adjusted to minimize internal fractions that seem to exist, and what are the reasons they exist? Why does this seem to be a constant issue? Is there a way enhance processes that effectively creates better team building skills within the leadership of the USCF?



  • At Tuesday, March 06, 2007 11:10:00 AM, Blogger Loren said…

    A word from the sidelines? I'm a member of the Fischer boom, a professional, park ranger, artist and, until about a decade ago, occasional tournament player.

    I think I am like a lot of members that bailed out in the last 10 years: chess, for MOST of the membership, has historically been a relaxation: a connection with a deeply mental and satisfying part of ourselves. Yet I grew tired of the name calling, attacks and hidden agendas that virtually EVERYONE running for office seemed to have, and how that permeated down to the state and local levels. Seven year later I'm still seeing Sloan, Schultz and the same cast of characters that drove me away.

    To see chess become such a political and illogical distortion of the game that once was seen as "noble", is truly disheartening. While I have coached and taught chess informally to children locally, I would never pursue or encourage these kids further: if they choose to do so on their own, great, but I would be uncomfortable telling them to become a USCF member or even play in scholastic tournaments because of the situation as it still exists today.

    Best of luck to all current USCF members: I envy your fortitude for sticking it out to this point.



  • At Wednesday, March 07, 2007 5:41:00 AM, Blogger Don Schultz said…

    I notice here a few erroneous comments regarding me. That happens in elections.

    One, however, I wiis to correct. It said that I am against Susan Polgar. Not true - she is great for chess and will get my vote. She has selected a fine team to run with and I have no doubt USCF would be served well by them.
    Having said the above, there are other fine candidates as well. I urge everyone to look at the qualifications of them and choose whom you consider best.So far I have chosen two - Susan is my first choice and I'm my second choice. You wil read about my qualifications in the April and May Chess Life statements and in the June issues why you might want to vote for me.

    Now I would like to repost here something I included once before - my article on why the USCF ain't all that bad! There is a great deal of criticism and much of it may be valid BUT a lot of hard working volunteers are doing some good work and it is because of them that USCF Ain't All That Bad!

    Those campaigning on the theme that our USCF leaders are little guys who are not up to managing a large national entity such as the USCF, are running for the Board based on a flawed premise. The truth is USCF not only has qualified leaders but overall is a major contributor to the development of world chess.
    Compare chess in our country with the rest of the world and you will see what I mean.

    For example, I just played in our Amateur Team East – What a great event! I doubt there is a tournament like it any where in the world. My hat goes off to Steve Doyle and the other organizers who year after year organize that marvelous tournament.

    Have you ever been to one of our national scholastic tournaments? So many teams competing, dedicated coaches; I know of no comparable tournaments anywhere in the world. Our scholastic leaders who organize these events are doing a terrific job.

    Go to any Olympiad and you will marvel at the camaraderie among our teammates. I remember a statement by GM Gata Kamsky immediately after the US team in Calvia won the Bronze Olympiad medal: “I’m proud to be a member of the US team!” Kamsky said.

    We have fair elections. They aren’t so fair in many other federations where bribes and cheating are the rule and not the exception.

    The USCF has a Player’s Health and Benefit Fund to help professional players in desperate need of help. Grants of up to $10,000 have been made to deserving professional players. Fred Gruenberg had recently been appointed Chairman of Health Fund committee and will be looking at the fund’s coverage and raising additional money. I know of no chess federation in the world that provides such an altruistic service to its professional players.

    Our TDs are definitely among the best in the world.

    The world rating system, where did it come from? The USCF of course.

    Go down to Miami sometime and visit the Sid Samole Museum and the US and World Hall of Fame. It is, unmatched anywhere in the world.

    I have visited federation headquarters on all continents and attended more FIDE Congresses than most, perhaps any American. I have traveled the world, lived in Europe ten years and played in their chess leagues and chess clubs. Without a doubt, I wouldn't trade chess federations with any of them.

    In recent years, the managing and reporting of our finances has falen short of anacceptable level, let alone the levelof quality that is expcetd. Our new VP of Finance Joel Channing has assembled a blue ribbon team of experts to work with him and staff and get our financial house in order - Mike Carr, Randy Bauer, Frank Camaratta, Grant Perks, and Chuck Unruh.

    I for one am proud of our organization and its volunteer leaders.

    The best is yet to come!
    Don Schultz

  • At Wednesday, March 07, 2007 8:57:00 AM, Anonymous Chess Mom said…

    Mr. Schultz,

    You're a senior member of the EB. This is your 4th year of this term. Do you feel your board has played too much chess politics?

    The SPF is one of the most active and positive organizations. And yet, they have not received a single recognition from the USCF under your watch even though they were involved in the Olympiad program, many national girl's tournament, and giving out hundreds of thousands in scholarships.

    You have given the award to the KCF, AF4C, Karpov Schoof of Chess, etc. Why not the SPF? Why not the Polgar Chess Center?

    Thanks for answering.
    Chess Mom

  • At Wednesday, March 07, 2007 11:13:00 AM, Blogger Don Schultz said…

    Dear Chess Mom:

    I agree with you. Susan Polgar is deserving of a number of Chess Awards. This website is a possibility. We select our award winners at our May meeting and I will support Susan for an award.

    In 2003, I nominated Susan for the Fred Cramer Award for Excellence in Chess Journalism - Best Chess Column. Her Chess Secrets in Chess Life column in Chess Life won that award.

    Don Schultz

  • At Wednesday, March 07, 2007 8:01:00 PM, Anonymous CA friend said…

    ChessDon skillfully ducked from the question why the USCF screwed the SPF in the past 3 years. ChessDon is the best at it :)

    ChessDon also ducked from the question why he refused to sanction his friend Sam Sloan :) How can we vote for you if you continue to allow Sloan to advertise porn site on the USCF forum?

    Come on ChessDon! Be a leader for once. Admit that the USCF screwed the SPF and the Polgar Chess Center in the past because it was a political message and you need Sam to do your dirty work.

    Your CA friend


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