US Chess Discussion

Welcome! This blog has no connection with the USCF. It's a blog where I provide chess fans with general information about US Chess as well as the USCF. It's also a site where everyone can productively discuss or ask questions about various USCF issues! Your contributions and comments are welcome! PLEASE KEEP IT CIVIL & RESPECT OTHERS! Enjoy! All posts that do not meet this guideline will be deleted -- WIN WITH GRACE, LOSE WITH DIGNITY!(TM) --- 2006 Susan Polgar©

Friday, May 09, 2008

Specific problems addressed


Dr. Tim Redman, two-time USCF President just wrote the following:

In a message dated 5/8/2008 6:18:22 P.M. Central Daylight Time, Tim Redman writes:

I have a great deal of respect for Susan Polgar, but in my view, her responses are still at the level of vague generalities. I look forward to her providing us with more specific action items.


Here was my response to his inquiry:

Dear Tim,

1. One of the first things the USCF must do is to improve its image. As long as the endless culture of personal attacks continue (as pointed out by Dr. McCrary), the USCF will be ineffective in getting any substantial revenues in sponsorship, advertisement, or donation. There are many people who are willing, ready, and able to contribute financially to chess because they believe in the benefits of the game. For example, if you just look at the people attending the US Senior Open / CCI event this past weekend, the potential is incredible. And that is just one event.

There are countless opportunities with so many of our national events and other special events. But the USCF has done nothing to capitalize on these opportunities. Both Paul and I offered to go to these events to represent the USCF. Paul offered to conduct free classes or seminars to teach parents, coaches, organizers, and other interest parties ways to generate publicity, interest, sponsorship, and donation. We were even willing to pay our own expenses. All he asked for is a room and proper announcements and promotion by the USCF. Months and months went by and not even an inch has moved.

Paul offered to teach (also for free) CL and CLO contributors the art of photography. Pictures sell. These images represent the direction, mission, and goals of the USCF. Each picture has its own story. They represent the stories we want to sell to the chess community and the public. Paul was asked and he accepted to be “THE” official photographer for the 2008 Chess Olympiad in Dresden. His pictures have appeared in major mainstream publications worldwide. Months went by and again nothing.

2. I was asked and accepted the position of the Official Ambassador of the 2008 Chess Olympiad. This is the highest possible honor. I will also be in charge of all International media for the Olympiad. The organizer asked me to promote the Olympiad and I will have a full page daily column in the largest German newspaper in Dresden. I will also give interviews and conduct a LIVE show (for a live audience and TV) every night during the Olympiad. I was asked to promote chess (and being paid a lot of money to do so) in many places in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Hungary, Germany, etc. and my own federation refuses my help (for free) while we continue to lose money. This makes zero sense whatsoever. I hope you can understand why I am frustrated. How many qualified people has this federation lost because of the same old pattern of politics or incompetence?

Chess CAN be promoted and we have proven that again and again. There are specific steps to follow and Paul and I made these suggestions back in August / September of last year. Both of us are willing to go out and do this for the USCF. We followed the exact same suggestions we made to the USCF with SPICE / SPF and you saw the results in around 8-9 months. More than $500,000 has come in this year alone and I expect to exceed $1 million by the end of the year. If my name and reputation and Paul's expertise can generate this kind of money and publicity for one small program, the USCF can generate a lot more with the same plans.

It is like a game of chess. We created a sound plan and we went out and execute the plans. As I said earlier, each board member has special talent / skills. If we want this board to succeed, we must utilize the strength of each of us without any personal ego, agenda, or politics involved.

3. The SPF offered to sponsor the Grand Prix, college chess and other events. As for college chess, we dealt with Jim Stallings (he is great) and we gave whatever he asked for. As for the USCF, months went by again and not even a single person contacted us. Things which were promised were not delivered timely. The same story happens to other interested parties. This is why we must have a quality control system. Similar opportunities were lost because things fall through the crack for years. We offered to take the calls or inquiries and follow up to help the USCF. Again, we have the same old story. Months and months went by and nothing. I personally handle every inquiry or possible sponsorship / donation opportunity myself for SPICE / SPF.

4. Respect members and affiliates, etc. The USCF is desperate for memberships. There are many people / organizations which brought in big numbers. It is the job of the ED or an assigned person to call these people / organizations to thank them for signing up a large amount of memberships. We need to follow up to see if there are things we can do to help them succeed even on a bigger scale. I do that with my chess center, the SPF, and SPICE every time someone makes a contribution. Why not the USCF? This is PR 101.

There are many other areas we could improve on. We have people who know how to run successful businesses. Listen to them. Learn from them. Reach out to them. Let's stop this political nonsense because all it will do is bring the USCF down financially and legally.I will be honest and say that my expertise when it comes to memberships and dues structure is no where near Beatriz M., Bill G., Grant P., Mike N., and many others. All I can suggest is to simplify the structure. Many people cannot comprehend our structure and this is not good for us. I know that I (as a chess Mom, organizer, promoter, and coach, etc.) get confused myself. I hear similar complaints from other parents, coaches, and organizers.

There are many other issues which I do not have time to write down. I am not looking for an argument with Bill G. or other board members. I am not looking for personal glory or inflate my ego. I have received enough accolades in my career. The bottom line is I know what I can do. I see the problems and weaknesses of the USCF. I know how to help. I did not run for the board to play politics. I ran because I want to see the USCF succeed. I am in Pittsburgh now as a chess Mom. I will have very limited time. I have given many specifics. There are many more points but I am sure you can see the direction I would like to focus on. Fixing the dues is just a small and short term solution. To make the USCF better, we must fix the many weaknesses and problems and that was exactly what Paul and I proposed back in August / September 2007.

Best wishes,
Susan Polgar
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