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©

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The basic expectation for chess leaders

The USCF is the National Chess Federation of the United States. We claim that we are the largest and one of the most prestigious chess federations in the world. We supposed to lead the chess world by good examples. Unfortunately, too many of our Executive Board members / chess leaders behave atrociously instead of professionally.

My experience as a chess sponsor, organizer and promoter started around 2001. Prior to that, I was mainly a professional chess player and advocate. At that time, even though not all of the board members / chess leaders that I met agreed with all of my ideas, they were polite, respectful and behave in professional manners. That is my basic expectation of our chess leaders.

Toward the end of 2003, things started to sink and it got a lot worse since. Some board members / chess leaders started to attack, insult and demean our USCF members, supporters, sponsors, organizers and even volunteers. They see nothing wrong with calling each other names and they do the same to the memberships, supporters, sponsors and volunteers. This has now become a sick pattern. This is absolutely unacceptable! Because of this inexcusable behavior, the USCF started to lose one member, supporter and sponsor after another.

Many people asked me why I decided to put myself through hell to run in this upcoming USCF Executive Board election if this is just a volunteer position. The reason for that is simple. I am a professional chess player. I am a chess enthusiast. I am a chess supporter. I am a chess promoter. I am a chess organizer. I am a chess sponsor. I am a chess ambassador. And most important of all, I am a chess Mom. I do not like what I see and I want to positively change things.

Every time I see things that are not right, I fight to change it for the better. I fought throughout my entire life to end discrimination against gender, religion, race and age, etc. But fighting against the establishments has never been easy. But if I do not stand up and fight for what is right and what I believe in, I cannot look at myself in the mirror knowing that I did not give my all to our sport.

Unfortunately, there is a price to pay when you fight against the power from the top. Every single day, various chess leaders and their front men insult, demean, attack and lie about me and my family. They made threats to physically harm me and my family if I do not drop out of this election. I even received letters from their lawyers with vile legal threats. They will use every single trick to try to stop my promise to clean up the USCF and this is the price I have to pay to fix the status quo.

Let me tell you what happened. I was asked by a number of people from both sides of the political aisles to join them and their groups. They told me that I would receive “protection” and “immunity” if I join them. They informed me that if I choose not to join, they cannot guarantee my name and reputation.

I politely refused. I do not want to join any chess political party. I decided to run in this election to clean things up and not to make things worse. Even though I like and respect many people from both sides and I will work with them in the future, I will not join their political games. After my refusal, their promises came true. That was when vicious attacks came in from all sides.

This federation has no chance to grow and it will sink if things do not change. I am sick of it. So do thousands of others. Many of us joined this federation to play chess or to support our children. We do not join the USCF for the nasty, dirty and destructive politics. There are a lot more chess players who are not members of the USCF. Many of them refuse to join or rejoin because of the behavior of our chess leaders and the direction this federation is going.

I am fighting the system. I promised to run a clean campaign and I have. I have not attacked any individual. I attacked the system, the bureaucracy, the inefficiency, the failed system, the failed structure, the unprofessionalism and the negative attitude. However, some of my opponents and people who stand to gain the most if my team and I do not win this election do not play by the same rule. They go out of their ways to be vindictive, vicious and malicious.

I am not going to change. I will not attack my opponents. I will take the high roads and continue to focus on the problems. I will continue to promote chess positively and give my all to chess. The ballots should arrive to the members in about 3 weeks or so. I can only hope that the USCF members will do the right things for this federation when it comes times to cast their votes. This election will set the course of the USCF for decades to come.

I am not a chess politician and I do not plan to continue running term after term. I am willing, ready and able to serve and help the USCF. But I would be useless just as many good board members before me if I have no power to make changes. We need a team of successful professional people to lead the USCF into a different direction.

What are some of my goals for the USCF if my team and I are elected?

- Restore respectability, integrity, credibility and professionalism to the USCF.
- Reestablish a sound and balanced budget and create strong a strong foundation to substantially increase revenues and sponsorships.
- Develop strong cooperation and support for adult, scholastic, collegiate, correspondence and military chess.
- Establish a strong professional marketing and PR system.
- End the petty and destructive politics.

And this is why I highly recommend these three other candidates and here are my reasons:

FM Paul Truong: He is by far the most successful person in chess marketing, promotion, public relations and management. He can bring something to this federation that no one could in the past. He is an ultimate professional in every sense. He will also help fix many current weaknesses of the USCF and end the destructive chess politics.

Dr. Mikhail Korenman: He has a strong record in promoting and organizing major chess events. He’s a member of the USCF Scholastic Council. He is well respected by many people, including former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, 7-time World Champion Anatoly Karpov, and many others. He can help unite the USCF. This is very important.

NM Randy Bauer: He has had tremendous success as the budget director of the state of Iowa, dealing with a multibillion dollar budget. We need his financial and budgeting expertise to help end massive losses. We need to stabilize our finances.

As promised by some of my teammates, I will make the same promise. If Paul, Mikhail, Randy and I are elected and we cannot fix what we set out to do, I will never run for the USCF office again. I do not want to be a life long chess politician. I am 150% confident that things can and will be changed if we are given a chance.

I will leave you with one last thing to think about before you cast your votes. Candidates often make wild promises to get elected. We have 7 candidates with strong backgrounds. I have nothing personal against any of them. But besides Paul, Mikhail, Randy, Mr. Berry and me, what positive things have some of the other candidates do for chess in the past 12, 24 or even 36 months?

Thank you for your support and the well wishes. Please help me fix our beloved federation.
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