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©

Monday, January 12, 2009

11 candidates in the next EB election

11 sets of nominating petitions have been received for candidates in the 2009 EB election.

The filing fees for all of these candidates have been received and all of these individuals have either signed their own petition or otherwise indicated their willingness to be a candidate in the election. The office is still in the process of verifying that all of these petitions have the necessary number of valid signatures, that process should be completed tomorrow.

The candidates in alphabetical order are:

Mike Atkins
Jim Berry
Bill Goichberg
Ruth Haring
Eric Hecht
Mikhail Korenman
Blas Lugo
Mike Nietman, etc.

A few signed petitions were received for Beatriz Marinello and David Quinn. However, no filing fee or statement of intent to run from either of these individuals was received, so these individuals have not met the requirements for being certified as a candidate in the election.

Once the office has completed the process of verifying the signatures, a double-blind random drawing will be held at the office to determine the order the names will be placed on the ballot, which will also be the order that the candidate statements will appear in Chess Life.

Mike Nolan,
Chair, USCF Election Committee
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  • At Thursday, January 22, 2009 1:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    But we must be grateful to lawyer Lafferty for so very clearly showing why he must never be permitted to occupy any position within the USCF, or at least anything except administering the parking of cars outside the Crossville office.

    While I do not know for certain when it happened, but will find out, there can be no doubt Lafferty has boasted that when he gets on to the EB, he will abuse his position to get hold of the IP records of all the contributors to the USCF forums. The lawyer will then squander all our federation's resources pursuing suit against these people who poked fun at him and criticized him.

    We must not lose sight that Lafferty is an 1100-rated player who has no more interest in chess than he has in justice. With Lafferty in power, the USCF is doomed to a tightning spiral of lawsuits and recrimination.

  • At Sunday, February 01, 2009 10:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The past 30 days of USCF Lawsuit Land has had many turns and twists. One time seeming allies have either gone silent to each others' defense or have turned hyena like onto one another.

    We shall begin with events that have transpired over the past few days.

    First we hear that the USCF, Executive Board members Bauer, Hough, Berry, and Goichberg, and USCF ED Hall, have separate counsel from the other defendants of Chess Magnet School, Continental Chess Association, Hal Bogner, Brian Mottershead, and Brian Lafferty.

    Why the separation? Could it be that the USCF is looking at a sacrificial offering of these individuals and organizations (though it is strange because CCA is owned by Goichberg) in return to having the Lubbock lawsuit dropped in return? This separation would allow Polgar to drop the USCF from incurring any further costs in the litigation of the suit. A supporting theory here is the attacks made between Mottershead and Goichberg today on
    the USCF Issues Forums.

    Below is the quoted text of Mottershead and the Goichberg responses:

    [Mottershead comment begin]

    Mark, the main problem with your long post, which is very far from the first you have made on this subject, is that it assumes that IP addresses are private data, similar to credit card numbers, which must be treated sensitively so that they don't become public knowledge. You assume that IP addresses are included with the information that the Terms of Use say will treated by the USCF as private.

    They aren't. IP addresses are not even as private as license plate numbers on cars. Anybody can learn your car license plate number by simply observing you driving around, and license plate numbers are stored in many relatively accessible places. IP addresses are similar, only even less private.

    This has all been debated before, something of which give no hint.

    The real question is, why are you so intent after all that is happened to argue that the USCF and all its volunteers had a duty to keep it a secret that the IP addresses on Truong's USCF forum posts matched the IP addresses on his Fake Sam Sloan Usenet posts?

    As a volunteer, I don't believe I had any such duty, either as a result of the USCF Terms of Use policy, or through the confidentiality document that I signed.

    As for regrets, I did underestimate the negative reaction by people to having their IP addresses exposed. As I said, I think that reaction was in most cases inappropriate and founded on misunderstanding of how the Internet works. Nevertheless if I had been able to predict the reaction, I might not have done that. I did reverse that decision on my own initiative when it became clear that there was strong opposition to it.

    The only other thing that I regret is that I did not give Goichberg a bit longer to consider his position and act privately, after he was initially so reluctant to act publicly on the evidence that Truong was the Fake Sam Sloan. I have since learned that Goichberg dithers and hesitates on many things. It seems to be unduly important to him to avoid conflict, and I don't find him very forthright. I think his heart is usually in the right place, and he often gets to the right place eventually. But he much prefers to work slowly and indirectly, and it takes him a long time.

    [Mottershead comment end]

    [Goichberg response begin]

    I don't understand where you get the impression that I tend to "dither and hesitate." In the case of the FSS evidence, I received a phone call from Bogner informing me that you had proof that Truong was the fake Sloan. How would you expect a USCF leader to respond to this-

    "Great, why don't you post what you have found on the internet"? I don't think many people, especially not having seen the evidence or any expert opinion regarding it, would have reacted that way.

    My first reaction was that if you really had conclusive proof, the EB and ED would decide what to do, but what if your proof was not so convincing and Truong sued USCF for damage to his reputation? So of course, I recommended through Bogner that you not go public.

    [Goichberg response end]

    [Mottershead comment begin]

    In this case, a long time is what it took for Goichberg and the EB to act upon the contents of the Mottershead Report. For example, after promising an expert report, there was none. But, prodded by lawsuits and further egregious misconduct by Truong (and eventually by Polgar) he and the rest of the EB Legal Committee did eventually start taking a series of reasonable actions on the issue. I think the other Board members, the ED, and the lawyers probably had a big role in pushing Goichberg to action. And it was telling that Goichberg did not speak on this issue at the meeting in Dallas.

    [Mottershead comment end]

    [Goichberg response begin]

    You have quite a false impression here too. It was not up to me to act, it was up to the EB. And at the time that the EB was being chided on this forum for allegedly being too slow to act, we were simply following the advice of our attorneys. We did say we would do an expert report and then changed our mind, but that was because our attorneys advised that there was a better course of action.

    The idea that "the other board members, the ED, and the lawyers probably had a big role in pushing Goichberg to action" is wrong in several ways.

    You seem to misunderstand the role of the USCF President. When we took action it was not the President taking it, but rather the board. So if you talk about the President pushing or not pushing the board that might make sense, but the board pushing or not pushing the President is nonsense. If the board wants the President to do something they need only to vote to make it USCF policy, and the President's duty is to represent USCF in implementing that policy.

    None of the current four members of the current USCF EB legal subcommittee has "pushed" any of the others into supporting any of our actions, nor have our lawyers "pushed" any of us. All four of us have been in solid agreement throughout that USCF must do what is right, cannot overlook improper conduct by board members, and must vigorously defend itself against attack.

    I did not speak on the Truong issue in Dallas because the Truong side had accused me of improperly "authorizing" your investigation and asked me to step down from the board's legal subcommittee. While I believe that request to be without merit, I did not want to contribute to any impression some delegates might have had that I supported the removal of Truong for political reasons, and I trusted that the delegates would make the right decision without my participation, so I decided that unless asked a question, I would stay out of the debate. This was a mistake and I now feel that had I participated and pointed out some facts that the body was overlooking, the outcome might have been different.

    [Goichberg response end]

    [Mottershead comment begin]

    So, if I had given him more time, I reckon Goichberg probably would not have done anything with it. Someone would have leaked the information, and the USCF would have been in the same place it has ended up. Goichberg would have dithered; Truong and Polgar would have postured and been unyielding; and the final outcome would have been the same. But I would be happier in looking back at my decisions in September 2007, if those actions had been taken instead in October or November, and I had not pre-empted Goichberg and the EB quite so soon. There was perhaps a small chance to arrive at a solution out of the public eye, and that was lost. Small though that chance was, it might have been better, and certainly less expensive, than the bitter battle that is now consuming the USCF. I regret that we won't ever know now what might have happened if Goichberg and the EB had had a few more weeks to act before my actions preempted them.

    [Mottershead comment end]

    [Goichberg response begin]

    Other than the "dither" nonsense you are substantially right here. We don't know what would have happened if you had kept this matter private, but one possibility is that Truong, given the opportunity to resign while avoiding a lot of bad publicity, might have done so.

    Regarding the assumption many seem to have that everything with USCF is "leaked," it should be pointed out that the Ethics Committee charges against an EB member (Tanner) were not "leaked" for many months while the committee deliberated, and the situation was unknown to the public until the committee's decision was about to be issued. So it's far from proven that the case against Truong could not have been kept confidential.

    Bill Goichberg

    [Goichberg response end]

    We see suddenly also the rhetoric from Brian Lafferty has become minimal at best. He claims he is embracing his Budda nature.

    Perhaps the posting here on RGCP of someone looking to file a complaint with the bar association. Brian Lafferty is not admitted to the PA or MA bar (nor registered) and simple calls or web searches of those Bar Associations and the attorney licensing bodies in those states can show that. If the NY attorney registration system is searched for Mr.

    Lafferty it will display (unless the online records are incorrect and that is possible) that his next registration was Oct 2008. We are now Feb 2009. Again it is completely possible that the system is inaccurate. The link is

    Mr. Lafferty, according to his own resume posted on his USCF election blog, has not practiced law in many, many years. He claims to perform grant writing services and says he is willing to assist the USCF with this skill of his even if he is not elected. What is stopping him now

    from helping the USCF? Can Mr. Lafferty please provide references for his grant clients? Mr. Lafferty has claimed that he can receive legal counsel from the best at no cost to him and he can represent himself - why does he not face pending suits instead of cowering?
    Mr. Lafferty is known for threatening lawsuits but the mere prospect of being served with one had him cowering away and not going to the USCF Delegates meeting in Dallas. He was a delegate and resigned his post. Of course neither did Mr. Mottershead or Mr. Bogner attend. They were capable of throwing accusations however were not capable of having the courage to face those that they accused, speak to delegates to have them vote for removing Mr. Truong from his post as a duly elected EB.

    The US Attorney has already turned him away. He went after Mr. Truong with the bankruptcy court only to be turned away there as well (and they were not happy with him meddling where he did not belong, nor with his terse behavior - but what do you expect from someone that was a parking ticket judge for the majority of his legal career).

    Mr. Lafferty has stated on the USCF forums that he requested the Mottershead Report. Who else aside from the US Attorney did you provide that report to? Perhaps the same question should be posed to Mr. Mottershead - who was this anonymous source you sought counsel from that you gave a copy of your infamous report to?

    Mr. Lafferty also made claims that the postings on RGCP by the 'Fake Joe Lux' and the 'Fake Dylan McClain' did not originate where the IP addresses show them to have originated from, which was the Jersey City Library and the NY Times building. However Mr. Mottershead, previously claiming that the IP's cannot be faked, is now saying that they can be faked. So which is it? And if the 'technical expert' that Mr. Lafferty was trumping for the past year is saying the opposite, how can faith be placed in the infamous 'Mottershead Report'. Shall the process of showing the trail to the IP's be posted for anyone here that wishes to check for themselves can self-validate.

    Perhaps the report should be renamed the Motormouth Report. A USCF forums poster XPLOR has stated that Mr. Mottershead maintained the chain of custody of the data.

    How is that possible? Did Mr. Mottershead create a read-only replica of all USCF forum logs, forum database, and web server logs to ensure against data tampering? In the USCF delegates meeting in Dallas, Mr. Mike Nolan - the IT specialist of the USCF, stated that he has NOT been asked by USCF attorney's for any data from any of the systems. So if Mr. Nolan did not perform

    these tasks then who did? Mr. Mottershead? Mr. Bogner? Inquiring minds want to know! It is quite evident that chain of custody has been broken and there is no way of validating the authenticity of the underlying data. No one is questioning the process that was followed however even the 'expert opinions' stated that their opinions are valid only if the underlying data was not tainted.

    We will not discuss the NDA issue that Mr. Mottershead claims he did not violate. A court will decide that. Of course I would not be surprised if one of the reasons to separate counsel is for the USCF to throw Mr. Mottershead under the bus and say he violated his NDA and went against the wishes of the what the USCF President had instructed him (see the above dialog between Mottershead and Goichberg). Perhaps now is why Mr. Bogner is concerned that the Lubbock suit will enter into the discovery phase - he sees the writing on the wall where he too is being thrown under the bus along with his business and by association his business partners (I bet they are not pleased with him at this point!)

    Let us now change our attention to actions that transpired this past week. There was a court date in the USCF vs Polgar, Alexander, and John Doe 1-10 lawsuit. The judge told counsel to go talk with each other prior to getting in front of her. Huh? Why did this happen? Something's not right.....

    Wait - breaking news - the USCF Attorney popped a surprise tactic - he requested that all parties enter into mediation with Harold Winston as the mediator! What the heck is this? This topic has been heatedly debated by the 'experts of the USCF forums' that mediation is not possible unless Polgar and Truong walk away, reimburse legal fees, and never do anything with the USCF for 10 years! We know that Polgar and Truong have their own version of mediation.

    Why would this be happening now? Is the USCF concerned that they will not be able to prevail in the lawsuit? Is it because without the generosity of a departed chess lover, the USCF would have no money at this point? Or have other things transpired?

    Perhaps because it has been learned that the subpeona's for records requested by the USCF attorney were not authorized by a judge. The judge had stated to the USCF attorney to contact those company's the subpeona's were sent to to inform them not to comply as they were not duly authorized.

    Let us follow the events over the next month and see what else will transpire.
    A question to ask yourself - was the USCF aware of the tactics employed by their attorney or were they kept in the dark? Should they seek recompense from their attorney if they were not aware of these tactics that the court has frowned upon?


    Of course there is the IL lawsuit to have Polgar and Truong removed from office. This lawsuit has been in the works at least since September (the month after the delegates meeting) as the USCF paid a $5000 retainer to the lawfirm. The suit was then filed only at the end of Dec? Why the wait? Political move to see who was going to run for the board and to discredit anyone attached to Polgar and Troung?

    Service of the suit has not occurred to date. What is the length of time for serving them? Why is Mr. Bogner stating that Polgar and Truong are refusing service? What proof does he have of this allegation?


    What does the end game hold? USCF running out of money? USCF throwing the others under the bus to save the federation and themselves? Only time will tell...... The only winners so far are the lawyers.

  • At Tuesday, February 03, 2009 11:47:00 AM, Anonymous BocaJunior said…

    Here are the things that are known about candidate Lafferty:

    1. He's a new member to the USCF and he has a lower chess rating than many 6 year old kids. His chess resume in any capacity is extremely thin.
    2. He made multiple legal threats to board members, FOC members, MOC members, USCF members, etc.
    3. He made thousands of posts on different forums to insult the ED, various board members, and USCF members.
    4. He said: "You better consult your attorney. I don't care if this federation (USCF) goes under."
    5. He said: "At this point, IMMHO, bankruptcy would be the best medicine this organization (USCF) could ever be given."

    But USCF members don't know what are his plans to improve the federation other than "Candidate Brian Lafferty wants to involve the USCF in another lawsuit options" according chess journalist Sam Sloan. We don't even know who he is.

    What do we really know about this candidate? Is he willing to provide the names, telephone numbers or addresses of his current and past employers so we can verify who he is?


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