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 PolgarĀ©

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The troubling state of the USCF

Now that some of the USCF voting members have received their ballots (most still do not have them), lies, lies and more lies are starting to pop up in the USCF forums and various newsgroups hoping to confuse the voters while trying the hide the troubling state of the USCF.

This is the win at all cost election by the people who are desperately trying to maintain their power and they will do whatever it takes to accomplish this including physical threats to my children and I, legal threats to my husband and I and daily insults and attacks.

None and I mean none of the board members spoke out against this kind of classless tactic. In fact, some even helped fuel the attacks and some even launched these deplorable tactics themselves.

While some of us are busting our behinds to do positive things for chess and the USCF, these people spam the newsgroup with thousands and thousands of posts with derogatory and false information.

The strategy is simple. They believe that if they lie and throw out 1,000 false items, some people will believe in some of these lies and that is what they are hoping for. They know that it is impossible to have enough time in a 24 hour day to respond to all the garbage. This is how the USCF has functioned for years. Instead of doing the right things, they do what is right for them. They use the same tactic for years.

And if people like me who want to be above their tactic and not go back and forth with them, they continue their daily insults and attacks while telling the members that if there is no response, it means that the charges are true. I am sorry to say but my children and students behave better than some of our leaders.

GM Alburt was elected and was not allowed to do much. GM Seirawan, one of the most well known chess ambassador of the US, lost the election. They did the same thing to GM Seirawan. They also attacked, insulted and tried to destroy his reputation.

So what is the bottom line? The bottom line is they are not capable of discussing the accomplishments of their candidates in the past 3-5 years. They are also not capable of discussing real issues such as:

* Shrinking revenues and rising expenses which caused the USCF to lose money in 9 of the last 11 years
* Membership level dipped from the mid 90 thousand to low 80 thousand
* Loss of 3 multi-million dollar sponsorship possibilities in the last 5-6 months due to the USCF politics and incompetence
* Pitiful marketing and promotion of the USCF* Loss of a $250,000 US Championship and a sponsor which invested more than $1 million in chess
* Lack of support for parents, coaches and the scholastic members
* There is no program or plan to help teach and certify more chess teachers to accommodate countless schools across the country
* Lack of support for Internet, College, Correspondence and professional players, etc.
* Displeasure of the USCF members with the board that they elected a board member with conviction records to keep the current board members "honest", which directly harm the reputation or what's left of it of the USCF
* Coming up ideas or plans which can restore the integrity, respectability, professionalism or increase revenues and visibility of this federation
* Creating plans or ideas to promote chess the right way, increase memberships or retaining the current members
* and many more issues...

What they are capable of is throwing out baseless accusations, rumors, innuendos and insults, etc. There is no chance in the world that these people can change their ways. They have no vision, no experience, no understanding and no ability to turn this sinking ship around.

I made my recommendations here and here. You have the power to make this change. The choice is up to you.

We all need to unite to change this federation. Thank you for your support!
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  • At Sunday, June 10, 2007 3:55:00 PM, Blogger KosmicEggburst said…


    I do not believe this is gender-related so much as it is doing what is right for them alone as you mention.

    I have run this by a sports writer acquaintance that you are facing an army of internet snipers.

    The reason I say this is because Seirawan is ostensibly a male chess advocate using the natural law theory as his basis of observation, so, I rule out anything questionable like russian FIDE types giving everyone 100 points except yourself.

  • At Tuesday, June 12, 2007 10:51:00 AM, Anonymous Brian Lafferty said…

    Please ask Paul to comment on this and his other 8 Vietnamese Chess Championships

    Sept 1986 Chess Life, page 26
    Happy To Be A USCF Member
    Assistant Editor, Chess Life

    Paul Truong is a survivor. And although he would like to say that his love for chess helped to sustain him during two hellish weeks in early 1979 aboard a crowded, leaky, wooden refugee boat -- it would be untrue.

    For Paul, who was born in Saigon on June 2, 1965, and whose Vietnamese name is Hoainhan, found that "survival pushed everything else to the back of [his] mind." Still, chess does play an important role in the life of this energetic, young Vietnamese-American.

    Paul learned the moves in 1971 at age six from USCF master Kenneth Clayton, who was then working in Vietnam as a computer adviser. Paul and his father Tien, who spoke good English, used to visit a local sports club with a large swimming pool, billiards tables, and whatnot. But it was chess which attracted the lad. Recalls Clayton of the young boy: "He was always attentive, retained what I taught him, possessed good nerves and evaluated positions objectively. I recall one game against a strong player, whom Paul defeated in an ending in which he used a Bishop to trap his opponent's Knight on the run of the board. Playing virtually a piece up, he just walked in with the King. He had seen a similar maneuver in one of my games."

    At age eight, Paul won the closest thing that Vietnam had to a national championship by finishing behind only Clayton in a tournament at the sports club. "In our game," Clayton remembers, "I set some nice traps that he saw. I was finally able to wear him down positionally, but it was a real struggle." Clayton estimates that the eight-year-olds strength was in the class "A" range.


    Tire happy times didn't last. The South Vietnamese government fell to the Communists in early 1975, and Tien Truong, a former employee of the United States government, faced hard times for himself and for his family. And in 1979, when the Communists began to persecute Vietnamese citizens of Chinese ancestry, the Truongs formulated a plan to leave. Acquiring false identification papers and greasing the palms of a few officials, Tien and Paul managed to leave. "We wanted the freedom a human being deserves," says Paul, "and my father was concerned about his children's futures." But Paul's mother, Yeh, and a younger brother, who was too young to make the perilous journey through the South China Sea, had to remain behind.

    The following six weeks were the most memorable period of Paul's life. Over 600 passengers were crammed into a 150-foot wooden vessel, which had to return to Vietnam for repairs after several days at sea. When the boat again left Vietnam, after payment by the passengers of additional bribes, it was boarded by pirates on the second day out. And the refugees found themselves without much of their food, medical supplies, and valuables. Women were raped, and the boat was virtually torn apart as the pirates searched for jewelry.

    There were additional boardings, and the boat drifted for days beneath the tropical sun - a vessel of misery filled with terrorized human beings. And then the refugees were spotted by an American oil tanker.

    Tien Truong persuaded the tanker's captain to help the passengers reach the East Coast of Malaysia, where they spent weeks in a teeming, island refugee camp before setting out in a new boat. On this second voyage, people began to die of hunger and thirst before reaching the coast of Indonesian Sumatra ... where they were again turned away.

    In despair the passengers began to throw overboard the dead bodies in order to lighten the boat's load. And suddenly, the Indonesian authorities took pity on these unwanted refugees, allowing them ashore. Whereupon. Tien and Paul spent six months in yet another camp. On December 1, 1979, Tien and Paul arrived in the United States, sponsored by an aunt who lived in New Jersey.


    Paul started school in the ninth grade in Washington Township, New Jersey finding that he had plenty of catching up to do. Tien looked for and eventually found a job with Versa a valve manufacturer in Paramus, New Jersey. Where he now works as a control manager. After school, Paul also worked. He and his father offered and they saved money to pay for the freedom of his mother and younger brother And years later - in August 1985 - they to arrived in America.

    School, money scrimping, hard work - none these things kept Paul away from his old love of chess. But his rust was apparent in early American tournaments, and his first rating was only in the 1600s. However, he improved rapidly thanks in significant measure, to support from the North New Jersey chess community. At the 1981 New York State Championship, he achieved a USCF master's rating, which he has kept ever since.

    Thus far in his chess life, Paul's most memorable competitive experiences (aside from playing for the Collins Kids against Iceland in 1983) occurred in the summer of 1984 when he qualified for the U.S. Junior closed (in which he finished a disappointing eleventh in a twelve-player field despite defeating tournament favorite Maxim Dlugy) and when he participated in Gary Kasparov's "Starwars Simul" - a set of ten game played by Kasparov in London against British and U.S. juniors with the Americans in New York playing via a telecommunications hookup. Paul went astray in a complex middlegame, but the then world championship contender later said that Paul played better than any of his compatriots.

    In a Sicilian Defense, Paul Truong sacks a Rook for White's Knight on c3. That's the sort of sharp trading he had to practice to survive a perilous journey to the United States.

  • At Tuesday, June 12, 2007 7:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Is Lafferty mentally sane? He seems like a bigger loonie than Sam Sloan on the uscf forums.

  • At Thursday, June 14, 2007 2:51:00 AM, Blogger KosmicEggburst said…

    Mr. Hough, thankyou for writing about an interesting chess personality, as I was not aware of these things, and am somewhat left speechless from this story.

    Truong was destined for chess, and to teach others the important things about life in an interesting way. One may ask how this is.

    After reading this, I am very proud of Truong as a person, am inspired by his determination, and how the Lord preserves him through many trials. Truong developed a passion for chess that inspires the young person.

    Truong never gave up. He went back for his family. Why? Because family is important. Because life is great. Because love is great.

    Despite the formidable challenges he was handed in life, Truong remains hopeful of tomorrow, and brings honor through chess. There is something special about chess, something profound in it, as it can be a great way to communicate hope for people.

    It is just a neat story.


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