US Chess Discussion

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

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Lack of direction and goals

The following was recently asked by a USCF member:

by sdo1 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:55 am #106414

The recent controversy about eliminating Chess Life from some adult memberships to cut costs prompted some questions that I didn't ask as I thought my membership was going to expire.

In that membership growth is dependent upon member activity at the grass roots level;

1) What is the USCF doing to promote growth of existing clubs and the creation of new clubs in areas that lack them?

2) What is the USCF doing to promote USCF membership among internet players?

3) What is the USCF doing to promote USCF membership among non OTB groups such as correspondence chess, 960, etc?

The answers for all three questions are either nothing or next to nothing. These are some of the things Paul and I pushed the board to do since last August. These are the areas which we have supported for a long time (via sponsorship, promotion, and publicity). Without chess promotion and drastic improvement in the way how we conduct business, the USCF will continue to struggle very badly to survive year after year. Changing the dues structure will make little if any impact at all. This is also not the priority now. We also outlined the way how it can be done.

It took the USCF contractors from last August until last month or so ago to add one word on the main page of the USCF website. This is after countless requests. This is unacceptable. Any normal company would have fired incompetent staff or contractors long ago. Starbucks just announced that it will close more than 600 stores. Many other big companies have to change their business models or face extinction.

Start running the federation in a sound, efficient, and professional fashion or the USCF will continue to lose money until there is nothing left.

Other companies / organizations / groups / websites can do things better, faster, and more efficient than the USCF. This has become a big problem for the USCF. There is too much bureaucracy and politics and too little business sense. Many excellent and well qualified people have offered to help but they were turned away because they are not within the “political circle” of the people in charge.

The problem is the head of the USCF. There are no new ideas other than playing with dues again. This will not fix the many problems of the USCF. There is no understanding of how real businesses work. There is no concrete direction or goals other than trying to survive another year. There is no conserving our revenues. There is no marketing and promotional plan in place. There is also no "quality control" system.

On the other hand, there are plenty of behind the scene deals, deception, and cover up. It took almost a year for board members to find out about the contract to build the new website. Too many things are too slow to change. There was no competitive bidding process for many of the contracts or jobs. There are plenty of awarding lucrative works for friends, USCF insiders and allies. There is plenty of frivolous spending and waste. There is also plenty of micro-managing.

I am on the road for at least the next two weeks. Therefore, I will have very limited Internet access. The bottom line is as long as we continue doing the same thing over and over again, the USCF will continue to lose members, revenues, and its position in the chess community. We must stop all chess politics, unite, and start fixing problems now. Unfortunately, those who have been hanging around the USCF for decades will not let that happen. They will do everything possible to maintain their power and status quo.

Best wishes,
Susan Polgar
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  • At Thursday, July 03, 2008 10:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As long as Goichberg is running both CCA and USCF, this federation will have problem. It's a serious conflict of interest.


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