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©

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The cold hard truth behind the chess destruction

In the past 5+ years, I have given 150% of myself to positively promote chess in the United States. My goal and mission is to bring chess to a different level by raising the awareness of chess in the media, getting more colleges and universities to give chess scholarships, getting more schools to have chess as part of the curriculum or after school programs, train more teachers so they can properly teach chess, improve women’s chess, and retain more of our players (especially young players), etc.

Here of some of the most well known projects that my foundation (the Susan Polgar Foundation) and I created:

- The US Women’s Olympiad Training Program which helped the 2004 US Women’s Olympiad Team capture the first ever Olympiad medal which is team Silver in addition to 2 additional individual Gold medals and 1 additional Silver medal

- The annual Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls, the most prestigious all-girls event in the United States. Today, thousands of girls have competed in regional and state competitions to qualify for this annual event. Girl’s chess is booming and many more of them stay in chess longer.

- The annual Susan Polgar National Open Championship for Girls and the annual Susan Polgar National Chess Challenge for Boys.

- The annual Susan Polgar World Open Championship for Girls and the annual Susan Polgar World Chess Challenge for Boys.

In the past 3 years, the Susan Polgar Foundation has awarded more than $400,000 in scholarships, stipends, Dell laptop computers, digital cameras and chess prizes on behalf of UTD, UTB, Texas A&M, Texas Tech University and other sponsors.

We also organized and sponsored countless other projects and events for college chess, military chess, internet chess, and scholastic chess, etc.

Unfortunately, some members of the USCF Executive Board are not happy. Instead of helping partners like the AF4C, SPF and others to excel who in turn will bring in more memberships and revenues for the USCF, they want to chase everyone away.

The following has happened within the past 5 months:

- Earlier this year, the AF4C walked away from the USCF. They decided not to sponsor the USCF championship. This is an organization which has invested more than $1,000,000 in the USCF. The cause was directly contributed by USCF board members.

- UTD declined to sponsor the Denker and Polgar event, citing that the USCF did not properly recognize UTD as a sponsor. UTD also cited that the SPF did its job in promoting and recognizing UTD.

- Because of what happened, the Denker committee chair approached the Polgar committee chair to ask for help in obtaining new scholarships for these events. In addition, the Denker chair also asked if there is any university willing to also sponsor the playing venue, lodging and meals for the players. This would save each Polgar and Denker player approximately $1,000 or more in expenses. In addition, one of the reasons cited for seeking a new location is the schedule of the US Open is not friendly to the scholastic players since many states start schools early and some of the players would have to miss the beginning of school.

- The Denker committee is interested in finding a 5-10 year deal so that the event would be secured. It is not easy to go out and find new scholarships each and every single year. The sponsors of the Denker and Polgar event both agreed to this idea since it would save their players around $100,000 a year plus $60,000+ in scholarships each year. If you take this number and multiply it by a 10-year deal, which would be over $1,500,000 in savings and scholarships.

- A university was found and before the Denker committee and the sponsor can even visit the campus to inspect the site, members of the current board decided to falsify the information to purposely mislead the USCF members, especially the parents of these players. In addition, they insulted and demeaned the potential sponsor. Why? For political reason.

- Back to the US Championship, there was another potential sponsor who was interested to invest a substantial amount of money, a million dollars or perhaps more. After negotiating with some members of this USCF Executive Board, the potential sponsor was so angry at the horrible and disrespectful treatment that he received, he walked away and that is to describe it mildly.

So in the past 5 months alone, our chess politicians destroyed 3 multimillion dollar potential deals. There is zero concept of professionalism, respect or courtesy toward our volunteers, supporters, members and sponsors. Some of our board members contributed in personal attacks, insults, and legal threats. Instead of asking for help since they can't close these deals, they decided to attack the people who can successfully do it.

The latest thing now is an attempt by board members not to allow the Susan Polgar Foundation and me to organize the Susan Polgar National Open Championship for Girls, the Susan Polgar World Open Championship for Girls and the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls. These events do not receive a penny of funding by the USCF and they bring in revenues for the USCF by getting more kids to play and stay in chess.

They rather see the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships, big drop in retaining memberships and no growth in chess. They also attacked and demeaned the Susan Polgar All-Star Girls Chess Team program designed to recognize our most talented girls and give them additional world-class training. They want to take away these opportunities for our young players. Why? Again, chess politics. They simply do not put the best interests of the members first.

As I said many times, the federation has been run by basically the same group of people over the last 20-30-40 years. They do not want to change the way how this federation operates. They want to maintain the status quo. They have no new ideas or direction for this federation. When the US Women’s Olympiad Team came home in 2004 with the first ever medal in US history, we did not receive a single congratulatory letter from any board member. However, what we got was a letter of notification that the US Women’s Olympiad Training Program was officially cancelled. This is what they called progress.

This country barely produces homegrown grandmasters in the past decade. The USCF could not produce a single elite round robin or invitational event with super Grandmasters. The round robin with the highest average rating was the NYC Mayor’s Cup last which was organized by the Susan Polgar Foundation. There is virtually no support for our top players. The USCF has done virtually a minimum in acquiring chess scholarships for our young players. This federation has a horrible record in finding corporate sponsors and it has an even worse reputation in retaining them.

But the same people will fight using every dirty trick in the book to keep their power. And what are their ideas? What do they want to do? How do they plan to improve the USCF or US Chess? Nothing! Dead silence when real issues are brought up. But the daily lies, insults and attacks are very loud.

What do I want to do? 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.

I want to bring in more scholarships for our young players. I want to help more teachers learn how to teach chess properly. I would like to see chess being promoted in the right way.

The line between the candidates is quite clear. It is stunning for me to see some of the candidates being endorsed by the same people who endorsed and voted for Sam Sloan, a person with a long history with legal problems, the person who caused serious corporations to walk away from the USCF. Some things just do not change. If you are content with the current state of the USCF, vote for them.

I have fought as hard as I could to change things for the better and our chess politicians have fought just as hard to make sure no progress is made. They rather see our players lose out because of chess politics instead of doing the right things. I cannot do this alone. I need your help. I need the most qualified team to help me. Without a board majority, all my efforts will be stopped at the door and nothing will get accomplished.

That is why I also highly recommend these 3 highly qualified candidates:

- Dr. Mikhail Korenman: He is a force behind scholastic, college, adult and professional chess. This is a critical component for the USCF and no other candidate can offer this expertise. He’s also 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.

- Paul Truong: He is by far the most successful person in chess marketing, promotion, public relations and management. He is also the best negotiator which will be very helpful for the USCF when it comes to dealing with sponsors and supporters. He can bring many things 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.

- 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. Losing money in 9 of the last 11 years is not a direction we can afford to continue.

Please make sure to vote. You will receive your ballots in the June 2007 Chess Life. Your decision can change the course of the USCF for decades to come.

Thank you for your support!
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  • At Tuesday, May 29, 2007 2:41:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is the doing of Sam Sloan, a guy who has a conviction record and served time in jail. He's being silently supported by Bill Goichberg and company because he's damaging other candidates so Goichberg's candidates can win. Joe Lux and Stephen Jones are now endorsed by the same people who endorsed Sam Sloan last time. Why?

  • At Tuesday, May 29, 2007 2:43:00 AM, Anonymous JKL said…

    I'm sick of the current uscf leadership. Can we throw all of them out at once? How many more years do they want to ruin this federation?

  • At Tuesday, May 29, 2007 3:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your points are too strong. I wish your team to succeed.


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