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, March 27, 2007

Interview with Mikhail Korenman

Some people think that most people drop out of chess between the ages of 18 – 35. Wrong! The large drop starts at the age 11!


More sport activities are available. More regular school assignments take up more time. Finally, there are just more other interests are available for kids at this age.

This is a big concern to me as a member of the USCF Scholastic Council. We can’t control the outside influences that draws people away from chess but there is something we can and should help with - the quality of the chess programs at elementary/secondary school levels.

There is a great army of chess volunteers, parents, community members who are helping kids to get first knowledge of chess. They introduce scholastic chess tournaments for thousands of kids.

There are a couple problems I can see.

First, among this army of volunteers, parents, community members, etc. there are very few who can take kids from step one (beginning level) to step two (intermediate level).

Second, something should be done to minimize number of kids with USCF rating below 500. In a state of IL out of 3500 scholastic members last fall only 82 (!!!) have a rating more than 1200. At the same time, more than a 1,000 kids had USCF rating below 500, 400, 300, even 200. Will we see these kids back as USCF members next year? Not likely. This is a difficult topic for discussion. To run tournaments cost a lot of financial resources. Trophies and medals are not cheap. To add more sections to the local scholastic events will cost more money to purchase more trophies, medals, etc.

Help is on the way. With support from the American Foundation for Chess (AF4C), The Susan Polgar Foundation (SPF), and The Kasparov Foundation (KF), a curriculum has just recently become available. The USCF should promote all of those professionally (!) developed materials and help AF4C, SPF, KF and all other potential organizations and groups that provide chess curriculum. We should send a message to ALL schools that the materials are available and the USCF as a national lead organization supports them. Hopefully, recently signed agreements between USCF and AF4C, SPF, and KF will help to send the right message to the right people and as quickly as possible.

In addition, the USCF Chess Coach Certification Program is ready to be implemented nationwide. Again, the message about the program should be sent to as many schools as possible throughout the country to encourage coaches to go at least through the first step of the certification. Right now you have to have a certificate to coach football or basketball or any other sports at schools. But anybody (!) can be a chess coach. The USCF role is to help (!) those who are having a problem to go through the first step and provide help and support with necessary materials so coaches will be more prepared to teach kids.

More needs to be done. We need to work with local organizers more. I would encourage local organizers to try (even knowing that it is really hard) to raise outside funds for the trophies. Some businesses will more likely sponsor a set of trophies than just give cash to buy them. Add additional sections (such as K-5 U800) would help to keep more kids happy with some winning points. Again, this is a difficult topic but something can be done to change the situation. I am sure that there are some programs that run tournaments with such formats. Keeping more kids for a longer period of time active with chess is a need and a goal.

Summary: Progress is being made but more needs to be done.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Chess Life Candidate Statement

Chess Life Candidate Statement

Thursday, March 22, 2007

USCF members are outraged about Mr. Sloan's plan

Mr. Sam Sloan, fresh off his censure by the USCF Executive Board and the USCF Scholastic Council for posting a link to a pornography website in the USCF forum where young members have access to, publicly stated that he will attend the National Elementary Championship. This is the same man who has publicly bragged about demeaning women and having immoral sexual conducts with young female in the past.

Mr. Sloan has violated just about every rule in the code of conducts for an Executive Board member. He has violated just about every rule in the USCF forums.

Here is a comment from a prominent USCF members and a Scholastic Organizer:

So, let me see if I understand the logic of not being concerned if Mr. Sloan attends.....

a. We don't know if he is the most dangerous person in the crowd...
b. We do know some of the things he has made a point of telling the world about on his web site and most of us consider them not to be appropriate for children.
c. We also know many of the things he writes about show a lack of respect for young women.
d. We know he has written a set of instruction on "how to rape a woman and get away with it".
e. We know that we have taught our children things we wish we didn't have to teach them for their saftey.
f. Although some of us may know what Mr. Sloan looks like, most in attendance will not know who he is.
g. We know very recently Mr. Sloan placed a link on a public web site, mis-labeling it as a chess site and directing people to a porn site. h. We know a good many people do have apprehension about him if not fear him.
i. We know that one of the kids favorite people may not stay at the tournament any longer than she has to if Mr. Sloan is present.
j. We suspect that some people may not bring their children to the tournament if Mr. Sloan is expected to be there.
k. We know that in the past, Mr. Sloan has attempted to harm the USCF.
l. We know that at times it has appeard that Mr. Sloan likes to be the center of attention and has the ability to disrupt normal activity of the USCF.
m. We know that at times, Mr. Sloan has posted comments on his web site that are viewed by many people as being racist and sexist.
n. We know that Mr. Sloan and his recent activity is something the USCF Scholastic Council has not been happy about.
o. We do know that Mr. Sloan has an interest in both Pokeman and Pornography.

This is a very disturbing situation. As one can clearly see, this is the Sam Sloan show. He has no regards to the welfare of our young players or the USCF. He wants to cause as much trouble as possible and he wants create the biggest negative scene to disrupt the process.

What makes me sad is that some (thankfully it will be very small) will vote for Mr. Sloan because they want to see the USCF collapse once in for all. This is why the upcoming election is so important. We have to show people like Mr. Sloan the permanent door so he can no longer harm the USCF and US Chess.
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I will do more!

Painting by my sister Sofia

To the many of you who constantly give me words of encouragement to fight the destructive chess politicians who held US Chess and the USCF back for years:

Thank you! I can assure you that some of these people have picked the wrong battle with the wrong person. I remember when I was a little girl playing chess. People used to be just as mean and vicious. Many did what they could to discourage me from playing chess. Not only I did not quit, it motivated even more to work hard in my game every single day and I ended up breaking one barrier after another.

When I decided to help US Chess and the USCF back in 2001-2002, I faced a similar thing. Their questionable actions and detrimental conducts motivated me to do more and more and I did not quit. When I decided to run for this upcoming USCF Executive Board election, I knew it would be difficult. But seeing what I have seen in the past few months, it is worse than what I could have imagined.

Now I understand the many problems within the USCF for decades. Some of these people would sink to any level for their own agenda. The best interest of the US Chess and the USCF is the last thing on their minds. They constantly try to chase the best talents that want to help this federation instead of embracing them.

I am not going anywhere. I intend to stay and fight all the way. Chess is my life and I love what I do. Chess and politics do not mix for me. I am willing, ready and able to continue putting 150% of my energy and efforts for chess. One way or another, things will be fixed and these destructive people will just be a distant memory.

President Kennedy once said: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country!"

I can do more for US Chess and the USCF. I will do more for US Chess and the USCF. And yes, I will do everything in my power to unite everyone for the benefits of chess.

Thank you for your kind words and support!
Susan Polgar
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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

USCF Board and Scholastic Council speak out

The Scholastic Council requests that the following motion be read into the Executive Board minutes as soon as possible.

"The Scholastic Council unanimously concurs with the Executive Board censure motion of Sam Sloan based on his Tuesday, March 6, 2007 posting on the USCF Forum."

In addition, we plan to disseminate our motion with the text of the EB's motion to the State Scholastic Coordinators shortly.

Thank you,
Mike Nietman
USCF Scholastic Council Chair


Based on the outrageous and unconscionable post to the USCF Forum by Sam Sloan on Tuesday March 6, 2007, in which he ridiculed an organization which has for many years been an important USCF sponsor, and which post contained a link to a pornographic website, the Board of Directors of the United States Chess Federation hereby declares that we find that Mr. Sloan's action is unthinkable and inexcusable for a director of this organization and we hereby declare vehemently that we find his action deplorable and we censure Mr. Sloan and we publicly disavow disassociate ourselves individually, and this organization collectively, of from any of his actions in this matter.

Bill Goichberg
USCF President
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What can each candidate bring to the USCF?

The 10 candidates, in ballot order, are as follows:

1. Susan Polgar
2. Randy Bauer
3. Mike Goodall
4. Joe Lux
5. Sam Sloan
6. Stephen Jones
7. Paul Truong
8. Jim Berry
9. Don Schultz
10. Mikhail Korenman

The counting of the ballots will commence on Wednesday, July 25th, at the USCF offices in Crossville TN.

I do not like the shape the USCF is in right now. I feel that many changes must be made in order to turn the USCF into a strong, respected, efficient and viable organization. Therefore, it is critically important that the four most qualified candidates who can fill the needs of the USCF right now be elected. What expertise or qualifications can each candidate bring to the USCF if elected to the board?

I have asked this question many times but some just want to pursue the negative, petty, destructive or vigilante method.

I recently received some anonymous threatening email telling me to drop out of the election or else my family and I would be physically and financially harmed. Some made threats to go after the Susan Polgar Foundation by going to the NYS Attorney General's Office, State and Federal Tax Authorities as well as potential personal lawsuits.

Isn't chess politics grand?

No, I am not dropping out of this election. In fact, I intend to work harder to fix the USCF and I strongly recommend the following three candidates. I believe they can help fill the many weaknesses of this federation immediately. 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 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.

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.

Here are some of my areas of focus for the USCF:

- Restore respectability, integrity, credibility and professionalism to the USCF.
- Re-establish a sound and balanced budget.
- 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.

How can other candidates help the USCF? What are their positive qualities?
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Sunday, March 18, 2007

An Incredible Interview: A Man with a Noble Cause

This interview was originally published in my column in August 2003. It was the most emotional interview I have ever conducted.

A Man with a Noble Cause
The Mission: Help Chess, Women and Children

This month’s article is a little different. I decided to treat you with something very unique, special, and inspirational. I decided to interview one of my best friends, for almost two decades, who also happens to be my business manager and trainer as well.

His name is Paul Truong. He is the brains behind many current incredible projects to help chess. His mission is to bring chess to the level of popularity of golf, tennis and other sports. He has spent his own time and money to fulfill this mission. Often, people asked me why does he do this? I think you will know why after reading this touching interview.

This was a very emotional interview because it touched upon many painful topics for Paul, some things he tries not to talk about. But somehow, we got through the interview.

Susan Polgar: Why are you so passionate about changing the face of chess in America?

Paul Truong: Well, it is a very good question and one I don’t think I have ever talked about before. It started from circumstances I had to deal with throughout the early part of my life. Growing up in Saigon, Vietnam, I became a chess icon at a very young age. I won the first National Junior (under 21) Championship when I was only 5 years old, unexpectedly. All of a sudden, I became a sensation, a child prodigy. I defended this title for the next three years. At the age of 8½, I stunned the country by winning my first national championship and defended it successfully for four consecutive years. My celebrity status skyrocketed.

I was invited by the late President Marcos of the Philippines to attend the Fischer vs. Karpov match in Manila in 1975 (which of course never took place). I also qualified for the World Junior (under 21) Championship in Manila that same year. At that time, I thought I had a chance to showcase my talent on a world stage. Then, my life came crumbling down. The communists from North Vietnam took over my country on April 30, 1975. I was no longer allowed to travel. I was no longer allowed to play chess freely.

Since my father was working for the US Embassy prior to the fall of South Vietnam, my family was singled out. They considered us traitors. For the next four years, my father had to constantly be in hiding.

Otherwise, he would have been executed. The new government no longer allowed me to train in chess. The only thing they allowed me to do was to defend my National Championship, which I did successfully until April 30, 1979, the fourth anniversary of the fall of Saigon. On that day, my father and I escaped by boat through an underground network, leaving my mother and young brother behind. They would never survive this dangerous escape. Our hope was to be able to get out first and bring them out later through another channel. To make the long story short, we faced death many times. How we survived was a miracle in itself.

SP: So what exactly happened?

PT: We had a lot of problems the first time we tried to escape. The wooden boat was only about 150 feet long and there were more than 600 people inside. We were sitting like sardines in a can, even worse. There was no ventilation, no food, no water and not even a bathroom. The engine could not hold up and exploded. We were stranded in the ocean without food and water for a while.

After we were lucky enough to be rescued, our boat was towed back to Vietnam and we were all thrown in jail. Luckily, the authorities did not know who my father was. After bribing the local officials, we were released and we escaped again.

This time, the engine was bigger. But we had different problems. We were attacked by pirates from Thailand. They took the valuables from people on the boat. They raped our women and young girls. They even took some to their boat when they were done. We never saw these young girls again. We had to go through this five different times with five different pirate ships.

SP: So how did you get to safety?

PT: During the fifth attack, the pirates could not find any valuables because the previous four groups took everything. They were angry so they sunk our boat. We were in the middle of nowhere in shark infested waters. Many people could not swim and drowned. Other died of exhaustion. And some died from you know…

SP: You mean from shark attacks?

PT: Unfortunately, yes. My father and I were lucky enough to live through this. An American oil tanker happened to go by, saw us and rescued us. We then were brought to Malaysia.

SP: So you were safe after this?

PT: No. After being in a small enclosed abandoned soccer field with no roof over our head, little food and unbearable living conditions for 30 days, we were thrown out of Malaysia because the locals could no longer to help us. They put us on a boat taken from previous refugees, threw in another 350+ refugees from different boats (now we had about 700 people total), gave us 20 gallons of fuel and 20 gallons of water (no food), then towed us out to international waters.

Could you imagine, 20 gallons of fuel? Where do you go with 20 gallons? And 20 gallons of water for 700 people? How long can anyone last under 120-degree heat directly under the tropical sun with no food or water? Not only that, while the towed us out, they purposely tried to sink us. They towed us in a zigzag formation to tear apart the front of the boat. They did but we were lucky that the boat did not break in half. After they got us to the point where they thought we could never survive, they left us to die.

Again, we had to drift to nowhere for weeks without food, water or fuel. Many people died of hunger and thirst. Dead bodies were everywhere. There was nothing you could do. All you could do was pray.

SP: How did you manage to survive?

PT: I guess my father and I survived because of our inner strength. We said to ourselves, we have to live. We have to make it because if we don’t, my younger brother and mother would die eventually die in Vietnam. They had no way of taking care of themselves. The communists did not treat them well after learning of the escape of my father and me. They punished them. They took away everything they owned. So we had to be strong and make it. We had no choice…. [Paused, tears welling up]

I am sorry. This is a very emotional topic for me. It brings back a part of me that caused me great pain.

SP: That is OK. I know you for 17-18 years now. I know you usually don’t want to talk about it. But I think this is really important for chess fans around the country and around the world to know why you are so passionate about helping chess. I think it is very inspirational. Please go on. How did you survive?

PT: We were drifting nowhere for a long time. All of sudden, after weeks of nothing but ocean, we finally saw land at the end of the horizon.

SP: So that was it?

PT: Not exactly! We could not get there because we had no fuel. And it was too long of a distance to swim. No one would make it. But luckily, I don’t know how, but the current apparently pushed us slowly closer. Then out of nowhere, Indonesian navy ships came in front of us to stop us from entering.

My father was brought to the commanding ship. They told my father to turn our boat around. My father explained to them we could not. We had no fuel, no food, no water and many of our people had died. They said they had order not to let us in. If we do, they have no choice but to shoot us down. My father told them in that case then please just save all of us from a slow and eventual death by shooting all of us now. We would not make it anyway.

Upon returning to our boat, my father ordered everyone to throw overboard all the dead bodies that relatives were still trying to hold on to for a proper burial. This was our only hope to show them how bad the situation was. When the captain of the commanding ship saw how many bodies were there, I think he changed his mind. An hour later, an official helicopter circled around us and they officially requested to have us brought to safety. In my heart, I know that the captain had radioed for help. But he would never admit it.

SP: So this was the end of the journey?

PT: Kind of! After we were brought to this wild and deserted island, we were safe. But we still had no food. I had to hunt and fish with my bare hands, and find fruits from the jungle. We had to do whatever we could to survive. This was a real survival experience, not the game you see on TV. Many more people died as a result of malnutrition. We stayed here for about 5-6 months I think. Then finally, we came to New Jersey on December 1, 1979. I spoke no English. I was frail. I was very rusty in chess. It was a disaster.

SP: So did you start to play a lot chess in here in America? And did anyone know what you had to endure?

PT: I played in any tournament that I can afford to enter. I had no money. I was going to high school full time (without even knowing the language) and I worked seven part-time jobs at night and weekends to raise money to send back to Vietnam to help my mother, my brother and over 60 other relatives. Most people did not know this. Some knew, but very little. I did not want anyone to feel sorry for me. I wanted to earn everything by merit. I became a master again in 1980. I was right around 15. I won many tournaments, but I could not afford to enter many big tournaments, so mostly regional ones.

SP: So when did you leave chess?

PT: At the age of 17, I had to make a very hard decision. Do I want to continue to play chess and be a professional, and to fulfill my dream of being a grandmaster and even world champion? Or do I just give it up and go to college and have a normal career? I chose to leave the game. How could I be a world class player if I did not even have the opportunity to train or play?

So I went to college. And during college, I did the same thing. I had 7 part-time jobs while taking over 21 credits per semester. I also took winter courses, summer courses. I needed to graduate as quickly as possible.

SP: So what happened after college?

PT: I began working professionally. I worked very hard. I put in 16-18 hour days, seven days a week. I became very successful. I did that every day for 15 years. Then in 2001, on 9/11, you remember we had a business meeting right around the World Trade Center area that morning. I guess someone up there did not want us to go. That was when I felt that it was my calling to do something I always wanted to do, and that is to get back in the chess field. That was always my true love.

SP: Is this why making a difference for chess is so important to you?

PT: Yes. Absolutely. I lost my chance to become a very special player in chess when I was younger because of the political situation in my country. I wanted to become the first grandmaster from Asia. But I did not have this chance. Then when I was in America, I could not pursue chess fully because I could not afford it. That is why it is my mission to change this. I want to be able to give every child an opportunity to play this game. I want every child who wants to pursue his or her dream will have the proper guidance and assistance.

I know that I may not reach every child. But I will give it 150% everyday to fulfill this mission. I want to bring respectability to chess. I want to bring chess to the same level as golf or tennis. Why not? Who says we can’t do it? If I can survive everything I went through in life, why can’t I do this? I don’t know failure. I don’t accept failures. I don’t understand the word ‘impossible’. I did not risk my life, give up everything to come here to just be another person. I want to make a difference. I want to give back for the blessing I had.

SP: Is this where you get your passion?

PT: Yes! Whatever I do, I give 150% of myself. Everything I do, I do with a passion. Everything I say, I say it with a passion. This is me. Even now when I am retired from business, I still put in 20-22 hour days, for chess, for free. I hope my passion will rub off on other people. I hope that when more people see why I am doing this, they will join and lend a hand. There are 35-40 million people who play this game according to the numbers I read. Why can’t chess be bigger and more popular? I will not take no for an answer. I am confident. Let me rephrase that. I am absolutely positive that we will succeed if everyone works together.

SP: How do you plan to reach out to every child around the country? That is quite a job and quite a goal.

PT: You are right. It is not possible for you or I to go to every school or city in America. But thank God we are living in the 21st century with internet technology. We can reach out and help every child this way. Recently, I contacted Mr. Niro and a few people I know who are in the internet chess industry. They agreed to help me achieve this goal. As you already know, we have to start with the kids and we need the support from parents and coaches. So starting next month, and by the way, before I go into this, I want to thank you for doing this with me. You are a true ambassador for this game and you are truly a role model to children and women. You are really an inspiration to me as well.

Thank you for working with me in these very worthwhile projects.

As I was saying, starting in September, we are (you and I) going to have a monthly Q&A session with all parents and coaches who need or want advice on how to help their children, their schools, their communities, etc. Parents and coaches can send us questions and they will get a chance to get the answers they need on the Internet. It will be done live and FREE for everyone. On top of that, we are also conducting special training for youth and scholastic players. All children will benefit tremendously from your experience and wisdom. I am thankful to have the cooperation and assistance from USCF and your Susan Polgar Foundation. We hope this will help hundreds of thousands (maybe even millions) of children out there. Everyone is welcome and it is free. All they have to do is find out the details from your website The info will be available soon. I am really excited about this.

SP: How did this idea come about?

PT: When you and I attended all these different national scholastic events, so many parents and coaches came up to us to ask for advice. That was when I started thinking, how can we help more parents and coaches? Then the idea of doing through the Internet came to my mind. This way, we can reach out to everyone 24/7.

SP: I can understand your passion for youth and scholastic chess. Where did the passion for women’s chess come from?

PT: I think the answer is obvious.

A – My best friend for almost two decades is the greatest women’s world champion ever.

B - Being part of a minority group, I want to help the underdog. Just like you, I believe that many young girls can benefit from chess. It can help them raise self-esteem and confidence. With your experience, we can really make a difference. That is why a program like the US Women’s Olympiad program is so important to me. It can change chess, as we know it, forever.

I am so thankful for people like you, Garry Kasparov, Frank Niro, the USCF and the EB board, the Chess Trust, etc. for lending a hand, believing in this. I think by now, everyone realize that we do not do this for money since there is no money (chuckle). In fact, it is costing us a lot of money (smile). But it is worth it. It is truly worth it.

SP: Paul, I really appreciate you doing this. I know that for 20 something years in America, you tried not to talk about your traumatic life experience. I realize that it is very emotional and difficult for you. But I think your story can inspire a lot of people. One last question?

PT: Sure.

SP: Have you thought about putting your inspirational life story into a book, maybe even a movie? I know that there are a lot more incredible details (including an episode where you had a gun pointed right at your head and you refused to back down to the Communists, you would rather die for what you believe in) that you did not want to go into. Your story can rank up there with the Anne Frank story and many other WW/Holocaust stories.

PT: I would like to but I don’t know how to go about and do that. Maybe someone can help me. But if and when it happens, I would like to use the money from book sales or movie deal to help chess. I will only do it for a meaning, not just to make money for myself. I have done that for 15 years already. I don’t need it. But I will do it to help women and children. I will only re-live this painful part of my life if it can benefit millions of children and women.

SP: Once again, thank you Paul for sharing part of your life with us. As one of your best friend for almost 20 years, all I can say is that you are such an inspiration for many, including me. I have no doubt as well that you, me, us, we will succeed in making a difference in chess.

The following is a quote from Garry Kasparov about the US Women’s Olympiad
Program, where Paul is the Captain, Business Manager and even helping out with the training duties.

World Champion Garry Kasparov:

"What I've seen in this team is quite unique in today's world of chess" - it goes to your (Paul) part of the team's chemistry and respect in the team's members' relations.”
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Sitting board member censured

With the expiration of our five day voting period for votes by email, the following motion by Joel Channing has been approved by the USCF Executive Board by a vote of 5-0, with Sloan abstaining:

Based on the outrageous and unconscionable post to the USCF Forum by Sam Sloan on Tuesday March 6, 2007, in which he ridiculed an organization which has for many years been an important USCF sponsor, and which post contained a link to a pornographic website, the Board of Directors of the United States Chess Federation hereby declares that we find that Mr. Sloan's action is unthinkable and inexcusable for a director of this organization and we hereby declare vehemently that we find his action deplorable and we censure Mr. Sloan and we publicly disavow disassociate ourselves individually, and this organization collectively, of from any of his actions in this matter.

Bill Goichberg
USCF President
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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Code of Ethics of the U.S. Chess Federation

Code of Ethics of the U.S. Chess Federation

(Revised Sept. 2004)


1. The purpose of this code of ethics is to set forth standards to which the conduct of players, tournament directors, sponsors, and other individuals and entities participating in the affairs of the United States Chess Federation (USCF), including tournaments and other activities sponsored by or sanctioned by the USCF, should conform; to specify sanctions for conduct that does not conform to such standards; and to specify the procedures by which alleged violations are to be investigated and, if necessary, the appropriate sanctions imposed.

2. The standards, procedures, and sanctions set forth in this code of ethics are not equivalent to criminal laws and procedures. Rather, they concern the rights and privileges of USCF membership, including, but not limited to, the privilege of participating in tournaments, events, or other activities as a member of the USCF.

3. The standards, procedures, and sanctions set forth in this code of ethics shall apply only to actions and behavior by:

(A) members of the USCF, that occur in connection with tournaments or other activities sponsored by or sanctioned by the USCF; and

(B) individuals and entities acting in an official capacity as officers or representatives of the USCF. This code shall not apply to actions or behavior by employees of USCF acting in the scope of their duties. Such actions fall instead under the province of the Executive Board.

4. Each member of the USCF and each participant in a USCF activity shall be bound by this code of ethics.


5. The USCF Ethics Committee is appointed in accordance with procedures consistent with the bylaws of the USCF. The committee exists to consider allegations of unethical conduct at or in connection with events sanctioned by the USCF, and allegations of unethical conduct involving the USCF and its activities, in accordance with the standards and procedures contained in this code. The committee will exercise all other duties as may be assigned by the Bylaws or by action of the USCF Board of Delegates.


6. The actions and behavior of individuals participating in USCF activities, or in events sponsored by or sanctioned by the USCF, shall be lawful and in accordance with all USCF rules and regulations, and consistent with the principles of fair play, good sportsmanship, honesty, and respect for the rights of others. The following is a list of examples of actions and behavior that are considered unethical. The list is not intended to be exhaustive, and any action or behavior that is unlawful or violates USCF rules and regulations, or is inconsistent with the principles of fair play, good sportsmanship, honesty, and respect for the rights of others, may be considered to fall within the scope of this code of ethics.

(a) Intentional violations of tournament regulations, or of any other regulations pertaining to USCF activities and goals, particularly after being warned.

(b) Cheating in a game of chess by illegally giving, receiving, offering, or soliciting advice; or by consulting written sources; or by tampering with clocks; or in any other manner.

(c) Deliberately losing a game for payment, or to lower one's rating, or for any other reason; or attempting to induce another player to do so. Deliberately failing to play at one's best in a game, in any manner inconsistent with the principles of good sportsmanship, honesty, or fair play.

(d) Deliberately misrepresenting one's playing ability in order to compete in a tournament or division of a tournament intended for players of lesser ability; players with foreign ratings are expected to disclose those ratings.

(e) Participating in a tournament under a false name or submitting a falsified rating report..

(f) Participating in a tournament while under suspension.

(g) Purposely giving false information in order to circumvent or violate any rule or regulation or goal recognized by the USCF.

(h) Attempting to interfere with the rights of any USCF member, such as by barring someone from entering a USCF-sanctioned event for personal reasons. Generally, no individual should be barred from a USCF-sanctioned event for which he or she meets the advertised qualifications, without appropriate due process, and then only for behavior inconsistent with the principles of this code and/or the rules of chess. If a ban on future participation is imposed , the individual should be notified of the ban prior to his attempting to appear at future events.

(i) Violating federal, state, or local laws while participating in activities that are associated with the USCF.


7. Any USCF member may initiate procedures under this code of ethics by filing a complaint in a timely manner with the USCF Ethics Committee. A good-faith deposit of $25 must be submitted by the complainant. The deposit shall be returned unless the Committee rules that the case is frivolous. The Committee may determine whether to return the deposit even before it determines jurisdictional and merit questions. The Committee may also, by a two-thirds vote, accept complaints submitted without the $25 deposit. In the case of any accusation that does not fall clearly under the "Standards of Conduct" above, the Ethics Committee shall have the authority to decide whether the alleged conduct is within the scope of the code of ethics. In the case of each alleged violation that is within the scope of the code of ethics, the following steps shall occur in a timely manner:

(a) A factual inquiry shall be made by the Ethics Committee, assisted as necessary by the USCF staff. Previous findings of the Ethics Committee or other USCF entities may be included among the evidence considered by the Ethics Committee, if relevant to the circumstances of the present case. As a part of such an inquiry, any person accused of unethical conduct shall have the right to examine the evidence against him or her, the right to respond to the accusation, and the right to produce written evidence in his or her behalf.

(b) Appropriate sanctions, if any, shall be recommended to the Executive Board by the Ethics Committee. In recommending sanctions, the Ethics Committee may consider any previous ruling or finding of the Ethics Committee, or other USCF entity, pertaining to the past conduct of the person being sanctioned. In recommending sanctions, the person being recommended for sanctions must be informed of this fact. Any person against whom sanctions have been recommended shall be promptly notified.

(c) Except as specified in 7(e) sanctions recommended to the Executive Board shall be deemed final unless appealed to the Executive Board by the person or persons upon whom the sanctions have been imposed, or upon the initiative of any member of the Executive Board. Such an appeal must be made within thirty days of the date that notification of recommended sanctions occurred, except that the Executive Board may extend the deadline for appeal if in its judgment an unavoidable delay in communications or other valid cause prevented a timely appeal. If an appeal has not been filed by the deadline the recommended sanctions shall be placed into effect.

(d) Upon appeal, a review of the facts and the appropriateness of the recommended sanction shall be undertaken by the Executive Board. The person against whom the sanction has been recommended, as well as the person filing the initial complaint, shall be given notice of the time and place the Executive Board will review the case. The person against whom the sanctions have been recommended shall have the right to appear before the Board and present evidence. In all appeals the recommended sanctions imposed by the Ethics Committee shall not be in effect until the appeal hearing is completed. The recommended sanctions shall be either confirmed, modified, or revoked by the Executive Board.

(e) If the person against whom sanctions have been recommended is a member of the USCF Executive Board, he or she may not appeal the sanctions to the Executive Board, but may appeal to the USCF Board of Delegates at its next scheduled meeting.(f) If any member of the Ethics Committee or of the USCF Executive Board has a conflict of interest of any kind that might preclude objective participation in the consideration of any case, that person may not act in the capacity of a committee or board member on the case.


8. The following are some of the sanctions that may be imposed as a result of the procedures specified above. In unusual cases, other appropriate sanctions may be imposed, or these sanctions may be varied or combined.

(a) Reprimand. A determination that a member has committed an offense warranting discipline becomes a matter of record, but no further sanction is imposed at the time. A reprimand automatically carries a probation of at least three months, or longer if so specified. If the member is judged guilty of another offense during the probation, he or she is then liable to further sanctions for both offenses.

(b) Censure. A determination that a member has committed a serious offense warranting discipline becomes a matter of record, but no further sanction is imposed at the time. Censure automatically carries a probation of at least one year, or longer if so specified. If the member is judged guilty of another offense during the probationary period, he or she is then liable to further sanctions for both offenses.

(c) Suspended sentence with probation. A determination is made that the member has committed an offense warranting discipline. When the discipline is imposed and execution thereof suspended, such suspension shall include probation for at least six months longer than the discipline imposed. If the member is judged guilty of another offense during this period, unless otherwise decreed, the original discipline shall be added to such new discipline as may be imposed for the new offense.

(d) Suspension. Suspension is a determination that the member has committed an offense warranting abrogation, for a specified period of time, of all membership rights and privileges.

(e) Expulsion. Expulsion is a determination that a member has committed an offense warranting permanent abrogation of all membership rights and privileges. An expelled member may be readmitted to membership only by the USCF Executive Board or by the USCF Board of Delegates.

(f) Exclusion from events. This is a more selective determination that a member has committed an offense warranting abrogation of the right to participate in certain specified events or activities.

9. If the person being sanctioned is a member of the USCF Executive Board, the Ethics Committee may recommend to the Executive Board no sanctions other than censure or reprimand, but may also recommend to the Board of Delegates other actions.

10. In the case of every sanction that involves suspension or expulsion, a member may not hold any office in the USCF or participate in any capacity in any event or activity sponsored by or sanctioned by the USCF.

11. The USCF Business Office shall be informed in writing of all official determinations by the Ethics Committee, and shall record any recommendations of any sanctions. The USCF Business Office shall inform the Executive Board of any sanctions recommended.

Source: USCF
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Standards of Conduct for the USCF Executive Board

Standards of Conduct for the USCF Executive Board

The USCF Board of Delegates establishes the following standards of conduct for Executive Board members in the performance of their duties:

GENERAL PRINCIPLES: Members of the USCF Executive Board have responsibilities of the highest order for the promotion of chess and for stewardship of the resources of the USCF. In the execution of these responsibilities, they are expected to act lawfully and in accordance with USCF policy, and to adhere consistently to the principles of fairness, honesty, and respect for the rights of others. They are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner throughout the performance of all duties, contributing thereby to maximum effectiveness in the achievement of the goals of the USCF.

(1) Executive Board members are expected to contribute to the functioning of the Board as a cohesive unit, with information flowing comfortably among all its members. Actions that interfere with comfortable and open communication among all Board members should be avoided.

(a) All Board members have the right to receive all information pertinent to the making, monitoring, and implementation of USCF policy. Board member(s) should not withhold full and accurate information from other Board members, when that information is relevant to Board decisions or potential decisions. Where decision-making authority has been given to a specific officer by the Board or the Bylaws, that officer must keep all Board members fully and accurately informed of all decisions made and factors influencing those decisions.

(b) All Board members have the right to be involved in the determination of all Board decisions. A Board majority has no authority except as a majority vote within the context of a properly called Board meeting. Board decisions must result from discussions in which all Board members have had the opportunity to participate.

(c) Board members are responsible for contributing to constructive communication within the Board. Board members are responsible to communicate directly with each other whenever there is misunderstanding or ill will, making strenuous efforts to resolve the issue amicably through such communication, before making the dispute public.

(2) Executive Board members must be motivated solely by the best interests of the USCF in exercising their duties. Any potential conflict of interest, whether due to financial, political, personal, geographical, organizational, familial, or other considerations, must be prevented from affecting any Board member in the discharge of his or her duties.

(a) Except where noted below, no Executive Board member or a member of his immediate family may receive financial compensation from the USCF for any reason, except for standard reimbursement of expenses, during his tenure on the Board, or for two years after completing his tenure if such compensation results from bids accepted or agreements made by the Board during his tenure. In claiming expense reimbursement, a Board member must claim only that portion of expenses that were incurred in non-political activities that were a legitimate exercise of the Board member's duties. Any unusual expenses for which reimbursement is questionable must be referred to the full Board for consideration. Board members are expected to exercise all reasonable frugality in incurring expenses to be reimbursed.

(b) No Executive Board member, or a member of his immediate family, may profit financially from organizing or directing a national tournament or activity organized or co-organized by the USCF, or from any business activity of the USCF, if the Executive Board or the USCF business office is involved in determining the arrangements; such restriction applies during the Board members's tenure and for two years thereafter, with respect to actions taken during his or her tenure on the Board.. This provision does not apply if the bid, and all relevant financial arrangements, were finalized before the member was elected to the Board, and are not changed to his advantage during his tenure.

(c) No Board member may participate in consideration of bids for any event or for any expenditure of USCF funds if he or his immediate family member has any office or other interest in any entity offering a bid. He is required to inform the Board whenever there is a conflict of interest. However, the Board member may provide information on behalf of such a bid, provided that his opportunity to provide information is the same as for those involved in other bids. The Board member with a potential conflict of interest may not make or second motions, enter into debate or discussion in the capacity of a Board member, or vote on the bids or on any issue reasonably related to the bid consideration. If consideration of the bid involves sensitive matters that require a closed session, a Board member who has a potential conflict of interest may not attend the portion of the closed session involving that bid, unless all parties representing competing bids are permitted to attend.

(d) Any Board member who believes that he or another Board member may have a conflict of interest on any matter is expected to inform immediately all members of the Board.

(e) A Board member should not pressure any USCF employee by means of stated or implied threats to employment..Specific criticism of other USCF employees should be conveyed discreetly to the Executive Director.

(3) The Executive Board is responsible for conducting business in an efficient, constructive, and open manner.

(a) All actions taken by the Executive Board must be consistent with the Bylaws of the USCF, and with all policy established by the USCF Board of Delegates.

(b) Executive Board members must respect the dignity of all persons in all statements and actions. Any derogatory and/or sarcastic statements attacking an individual in a personal manner, or intended to bring scorn or ridicule on an individual , shall be considered out of order at any and all times in a Executive Board meeting, whether in open or closed session. Any angry and heated exchanges in a Board meeting should be considered out of order. The Chair of the meeting shall be responsible for promptly ruling such utterances out of order, or any member may raise a point of order to that effect. Personal differences must be privately resolved without disturbing the efficient conduct of USCF business in a Board meeting.

(c) A closed session should be held only when the best interests of the USCF are definitely served by doing so. Examples of when closed sessions are proper would include the discussion of matters that are legally sensitive, issues involving sensitive negotiations, or matters in which the privacy rights of any individual may be at risk. Closed sessions should not be scheduled to permit the airing of heated or derogatory comments, which should be out of order in any meeting discussion, or to avoid the necessity of Board members' dealing with unpopular issues publicly. The Board may invite other persons into the closed session if such persons possess special information or expertise needed by the Board, but a certified Executive Board candidate who is not currently on the Board should not be included in a closed session unless all Board candidates present at the meeting are also invited.

(d) Board members should be sensitive to the feelings of volunteers and staff members whose names may be mentioned, or whose work may be criticized, during Board discussion.

(e) All Board members must strictly observe confidentiality of closed sessions. In the case of a conference call, the Board members must clearly understand what portions of the call are considered open or closed, for the purpose of determining what information in the call must be considered confidential.

(4) When appointed by the Delegates, the USCF Ethics Committee may consider an allegation by any USCF member that a Executive Board member has committed significant violations of this code of conduct. The Ethics Committee may, if it determines that such violations have occurred, either warn the Board member or recommend actions, such as recall of the member, to the Board of Delegates in accordance with the Bylaws of the USCF.

Source: USCF
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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

New Flyer and Poster

This is the campaign flyer and poster for the upcoming USCF Executive Board Election. As I stated before, I highly recommend these 3 other candidates for the following 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 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.

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.

The current state of our federation is not healthy! We are losing money year after year while other chess organizations thrive. Sponsors don’t want to deal with us. Supporters are tired of our internal political destruction. Some board members have repeatedly violated the USCF code of ethics as well as the members' trust. There is no end to this destruction in sight unless we demand positive changes by putting the most capable people in place.

Here are some of my areas of focus for the USCF:

- Restore respectability, integrity, credibility and professionalism to the USCF.
- Reestablish a sound and balanced budget.
- 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.

Please join me in this mission to reform the USCF. The future of the USCF is in our own hands. We cannot continue to status quo. It’s not working. It is sinking this federation.

I cannot do this alone. I need the help of a team of highly qualified and competent board members to work on fixing the USCF. That is why we need Mikhail Korenman, Randy Bauer and Paul Truong.

Thank You for Your Support! Please Vote!

This flyer is available in PDF format on my website Here is the link:

Please feel free to download, print it out or distribute to anyone you wish. Thank you!
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Sunday, March 11, 2007

A Horrendous Idea!

I recently read the latest unofficial summary of the last board meeting in Monrovia, California. There were many ridiculous items that the entire board had waste time on due to one destructive board member. To make matters worse, the board is planning to schedule to have their next board meeting at the National Elementary Championship in Nashville, Tennessee later this May. Here is the link to the summary:

This is the exact quote: "The next Executive Board meeting, originally scheduled for the first weekend in May has been rescheduled to be heldthe second weekend in May in Nashville's Grand Ole Opry Hotel, the site of the National Scholastics."

I, as a Chess Mom, will not bring either of my children to this event if the board decides to play politics and have their next meeting at this National Scholastic Event. Mr. Sloan should not be anywhere near the children, especially when he just posted a link to a porn site where USCF young members have full access to. So much for putting the best interest of chess and our kids first instead of politics as usual! If the board wants to hold their meeting in Nashville, fine. But it should not be in the same venue as a National Scholastic Event.

I have banned Mr. Sam Sloan to the Polgar Chess Center. I have banned Mr. Sam Sloan, a current USCF board member, to all events organized by the Susan Polgar Foundation. I would never allow my children to be in the same room as Mr. Sam Sloan for security reasons. This is a man with a very disturbing past. I hope that parents will write to the Executive Director Bill Hall (, Scholastic Director Jerry Nash ( and USCF President Bill Goichberg ( and tell them not to involve our children with their politics!Shortly after this post, USCF President Bill Goichberg posted the following response:

"At the last meeting I objected to meeting in Nashville, and as a result the date and location of the meeting were unresolved when we adjourned. About ten minutes after adjournment, most of the Board unofficially agreed to meet the first week in May in either Florida or Crossville. Recently there has been a new development; Frank Berry has invited the Board to meet at the US Championship in Oklahoma. I think this is a wonderful idea and much prefer it to meeting two weeks earlier in Florida or Tennessee. Bill Goichberg"

Thank you Bill for the correct objection. It is important to put the best interest of chess and our children before questionable politics.

Here is another response by USCF President Bill Goichberg:

"Hi Jack,
Truth is, the main reason I objected was that I knew bringing Sam to a National Scholastic was a poor idea, but I didn't want to say so in open session as he was relatively well behaved at the meeting and it might have appeared to some as an unprovoked attack. After we adjourned and I told the other Board members this, they readily agreed that meeting in Nashville was out. You can post this on Susan's blog if you wish.
Thanks for writing,
Bill Goichberg"

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

What should be the penalty?

Mr. Sam Sloan, a board member of the USCF, recently posted a link to a porn site to 5 different forums, including the official USCF forum where children do have full access to. He worded his post in a way to create curiosity to the readers to purposely get them to click on the porn link. Members would have no way of knowing that the link would lead to something bad because the name of the link is a chess name.

I wrote to the Executive Board and as usual, they have done nothing. Countless people have complained about this. What actions should be taken for a sitting board member promoting pornography to minors?

This was the original post by Mr. Sloan:

### Chess Foundation has new plan to improve its finances.
Having spent approximately one million dollars to finance ###, the ### Chess Foundation has finally decided on a new way to raise funds and improve its finances.
It is hoped that this plan will be successful and that the ### Chess Foundation will be able to start funding the ###.
To see the new plan of the ### Chess Foundation to improve its finances, just go to the ### Chess Foundation website, which is at: #######
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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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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Statement by Dr. Korenman for the USCF election

This is Mikhail Korenman at the press conference with Anatoly Karpov, Mikhail Gorbachev and me

It’s not enough to merely have a good idea. People must make the commitment and have the tenacity to make it work. That’s my business philosophy. That’s what I want to bring to the USCF Executive Board.

Making it work – my proposals:

1) For the USCF: Work with the state affiliates to promote more adult memberships and develop more community-based chess clubs (= more USCF affiliates!) Work with corporations to provide sponsorships. We need to build the organization’s concept of development based on scientific research of the USCF data. The USCF should take the lead in promoting chess in the national television and print media.

2) For the Children: Let’s start a few national training facilities for K-12 coaches. These will provide year-round on-line and on-site curriculum support, teaching materials, tests, software, and certification of coaches. Develop national chess curriculum standards to assist public and private schools. Sounds ambitious but by working with the Scholastic Committee and our nation’s universities, we can make it happen together.

3) For College Chess: Work with leading institutions, K-12 schools, and private business on a national research project to study chess as an effective learning tool to improve students’ progress in school subjects and their general knowledge. Support colleges and universities that provide chess instruction and their facilities for the national training centers.

4) For the Chess Professionals: The USA needs more top tournaments. More norm-granting tournaments. More round-robin tournaments with the top world-class players. More long distance Internet chess matches and tournaments. Again, we do this by working together. USCF, with cooperation of corporate sponsorship, should work aggressively with the media to obtain nationwide coverage of major chess events.

All of the politicians can make promises. I stand on what I’ve achieved:

- Founded the first Karpov School of Chess in the country (after obtaining a grant of $261,000).
- Organized professional and scholastic tournaments, including U.S. Junior Open, Pan-American Intercollegiate, two Final Four Intercollegiate championships, two Karpov-Polgar matches and numerous open and invitational tournaments.
- Helped the Scholastic Council to design the Chess Certification Program.
- Teamed with Susan Polgar and Paul Truong to lead scholastic players from all over the US to the first Chess for Peace Tour to Moscow.
- My latest project – Chess for Peace – brought former Soviet President Gorbachev to play chess in Kansas.

I have a Doctoral Degree in Education from Kansas State University. For six years, I taught at Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS. Today, I’m President of International Educational and Cultural Services, Inc., member of the USCF Scholastic Council, and a high school teacher. Please visit for more information about me and my campaign.

I am honored to have received Susan Polgar’s endorsement. I am honored to have worked with her and Paul Truong on numerous scholastic and professional events to promote chess in the US. I am proud to be part of the TEAM of professionals. But I would be most honored with your vote this July.
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Statement by Paul Truong for the USCF election

Dear friends and colleagues,

This is an absolutely critical election for the USCF. It’s also one of the most unique elections ever. Why? Because you, the members, have the power to set this federation on the right course for the next 4 years! You, the members, are in the position to take back control of our beloved federation.

What has happened to the USCF in recent years? Well, it hasn’t been great at all! Every time the USCF took a step forward, it also took two steps backward. There was little sense of pride. There was little sense of responsibility. There was little attempt to positively promote chess or the USCF. There was little sense of urgency.

However, there were plenty of internal political wars. There were plenty of horrific business and financial blunders. There was plenty of frivolous spending for political reasons. There was plenty of dishonesty and unprofessionalism.

Some believe that if it ain’t broken, why fix it? I would say something is broken when we’re losing money year after year. There’s hardly any room left for errors. As each day went by, this federation fell further behind. With massive overheads, shrinking revenues and outdated technology, we’re doomed to fail again.

Every year is a new excuse. Every year is a new finger-pointing game. The Executive Director and his staff weren’t allowed to do their jobs because some board members wanted to micromanage them. We wasted so much time, money and resources dealing with nonsense by chess politicians instead of focusing on improving many needed areas.

What are some of my areas of expertise? What can I bring to the table?

I spent the last 5+ years volunteering my full time to positively promote chess in the US, especially for the Susan Polgar Foundation. I was able to secure more publicity and media coverage for all the events that I was involved with than the entire USCF. I helped create countless headline-news chess events.

The Susan Polgar Foundation awarded approximately $400,000 in scholarships and chess prizes in the last few years. We did it with virtually a zero budget. I proved that we don’t have to spend tens and thousands of dollars to positively and correctly promote our game. We just need to know how to do it and have the passion and diligence to follow through.

I can bring my unique expertise in marketing, promotion, management and public relations, areas that the USCF sorely needs. When doubters said that the US Women’s Olympiad Training Program would not work, I spent two years without pay to help the team as their captain, manager and personal coach. We came home with an unprecedented 4 medals (2 Gold and 2 Silver), first ever in US history.

I can help restore the much-needed integrity, credibility and professionalism back to the USCF. If you’re happy with the status quo then I’m not the right person. If you want success and accountability then I can make a big difference immediately. Thank you!
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Funniest Artwork!

A fellow blogger Jerry MacDonald just sent me this! I could not stop laughing. Thanks Jerry!
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Statement by Randy Bauer for the USCF election

As a 30-year life member, I love the USCF. Please help me save it. With your support, I believe we can.

We face many important issues, including securing our finances, fostering chess interest in the US, and building and serving our membership. We must address these, but no Executive Board member is going to constructively change things based on our current circumstances -- we cannot make progress while our leadership is divided and divisive. We must focus on electing a Board that can collectively work to improve our organization.

Lately, the Board has been distracted from the work it needs to do. Important discussions and decisions have been sidetracked by internal dissension. We can no longer afford this politics as usual -- we need a change.

Change has to start with the people we elect. We must elect Board members who are honest, effective and accountable.

Our Board needs to convey and demonstrate professionalism, collective competence, teamwork and good judgment. We need to get beyond decisions based on the ability to get a majority vote on any one issue and move to a willingness to cooperate and communicate with all, an understanding of group dynamics and how to work collectively for the larger goals of the USCF.

Make no mistake -- this is a lot harder to accomplish than it sounds. There are candidates who can make it work, but others who cannot. We need Board members who are able to work with others: Lone Ranger types need not apply. We need Board members of sound judgment: people you can trust to make reasoned decisions, even under pressure. We also need a Board guided by a sense of service, not motivated by a desire for attention or to create a spectacle. Finally, we should elect people of solid character -- those who will act ethically and honestly toward each other and the USCF.

I’ve spent much of my professional career leading teams dedicated to improving finances and services for large, complex organizations. These have included balancing a $5 billion state budget without raising taxes, creating strategies that improve results and reporting, and supporting award-winning initiatives that cut bureaucracy and create innovative change. We can do the same for the USCF.

Two years ago, I was elected to a one-year term on the Executive Board. I am proud that during that year we balanced the budget (only the second time in nine years). We also voted to move the USCF office and successfully implemented that change. While I didn’t originally support the vote to move, I did everything I could to make it successful, and it was implemented without negatively impacting member services.

That is the focus I will bring to the Board: I will approach each issue on its merits – as an independent voice. However, once the Board has decided, I will work with all members to successfully implement those policies. Together, we can make a difference. I ask for your vote for constructive, positive change.
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My statement for the USCF Election

Chess is my life! This is why it’s so important to me to help chess. Unfortunately for all chess lovers, the USCF has had many serious problems in recent years. I would like to help turn this federation around.

Here are some of the past major problems that need to be corrected in order for the USCF to prosper:

- Too many bad financial and business decisions
- Too many decisions made for political reasons instead of the best interests of US chess and the USCF
- Too much micromanaging of staff by the Executive Board
- Too much frivolous spending without long-term vision
- Too little effort to raise much-needed revenues to ensure the good health of this federation
- Too little focus on positive chess promotion in the United States
- Too little focus on many membership categories such as adult, collegiate, correspondence, and military chess
- Too little effort to retain our memberships, especially the scholastic members
- Too little integrity, honesty, credibility and professionalism by some board members
- Too little accountability of our board members
- Too little respect for our members, partners, supporters and sponsors
- Too little willingness to keep the USCF up with the times

The current state of our federation is not healthy! We’re losing money year after year while other chess organizations thrive. Sponsors don’t want to deal with us. Supporters are tired of our internal political destruction. Some board members have repeatedly violated the USCF code of ethics as well as the members' trust. There is no end to this destruction in sight unless we demand positive changes by putting the most capable people in place.

Here are some of my areas of focus for the USCF if I’m elected:

- Restore respectability, integrity, credibility and professionalism to the USCF
- Reestablish a sound and balanced budget
- 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 highly recommend three other candidates. Here are my reasons:

Paul Truong: He’s by far the most successful person in chess marketing, promotion and public relations. He can bring something to this federation that no one could in the past.

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

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 expertise.

Please join me in this mission to reform the USCF. The future of the USCF is in our own hands. We cannot continue to status quo. It’s not working. It’s sinking this federation. In the upcoming months, I’ll discuss many important issues in detail at and

Thanks for your support!
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