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©

Sunday, May 31, 2009

USCF belongs to the Members

This piece is written by USCF member John B. Flores:

Summary of Wick's response posted at his blog:
  1. Feels Hall's summaries have been measured while providing accurate and fair updates;
  2. Points out Goichberg can post what he wishes on his site;
  3. Refers to semantics and legalese in response to who sued first;
  4. With respect to the settlement offer made by Polgar, concedes it is accurate and yet misleading. He concedes she does not want to bankrupt the USCF and yet delves into personal opinions and analysis to disprove his concession;
  5. Regarding Alexander's pleading, Wick discounts it as sloppy and points out the redacted material only proves Polgar did not have an anonymizer account fails to exonerate Alexander; and
  6. With respect to the failed attempt to remove Truong and the alleged bribery, he asserts it fails to deliver the quid pro quo.
As previously mentioned, it was not my intent to cover all the intricacies of any one case or the sum of cases. Rather, my objective is to briefly raise some issues that are conveniently being omitted from updates, reports and mail-outs to the membership.

Point 1. Goichberg has no choice but to be measured and appear to be fair and forthcoming. However, the record reflects that he has been anything but the opposite and disparaged the opposition to diverge attention from his failure and shortcomings.

Point 2. I do not question Goichberg's posting on his site but rather object to the inappropriate and incompleteness of the updates in Chess Life and the USCF website. I do admit to being called into action after seeing the post on the Chicago Open site. Yes I was aware that he own CCA and he has a right to post on it what he wishes - he receives no opposition from me for having done so. I do, however, passionately object to his use of Chess Life and the USCF website for propaganda.

Point 3. The fact is the June 25, 2008 suit was filed 43 days before the August 7, 2008 suit. I believe, as does Polgar, they intended to harass, intimidate and rid themselves of her, by hook or crook. I do not expect Goichberg, et. al, to confess as to their intent and scheme. Instead, their approach has and continues to be measured, calculating and deceitful. The basis for my argument are:
  1. USCF's Illinois Complaint filed on December 29, 2008, reads; "Between November 26, 2007 and June 24, 2008, with full knowledge that Polgar and her husband were under investigation by the USCF, Polgar and an accomplice unlawfully accessed the e-mail account of Excutive Board member Randall Hough (hereinafter "Hough") at least 111 times." They claim they did not know the identities at the time of the initial filing but I am not buying it.
  2. On November 17, 2008, Goichberg issued the following statement: "Susan Polgar has sued the United States Chess Federation in a lawsuit styled Susan Polgar v. United States of America Chess Federation, Inc., et al.; cause no. 5:08-cv-00169-C; in the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division. Ms. Polgar filed the lawsuit and served many of the volunteer USCF board members while they attended the USCF annual convention in Dallas, Texas in August 2008. Notwithstanding the fact that they were attending the USCF meeting as part of their official duties, four Executive Board members, another delegate, and the Executive Director were individually named and served while they were in Texas. Consequently, Ms. Polgar caused the initial lawsuit to be filed against the USCF and these other defendants. Ms. Polgar gave no advance warning of the lawsuit..." It is well documented Polgar has come short of begging for the Goichberg gang to cease and desist in the interest of the USCF, all the way leading up to the delegates meeting and since.
  3. Alexander's Pleading filed January 12, 2009, reads; "Actually, I spoke to Bill Hall before I switched on the IP addresses. Goichberg has also been involved in discussions. The discussion was not about my switching on the IP addresses; I decided to do that on my o[w]n after speaking to Hall. The information I had prior to doing that was already quite persuasive, and both Hall and Goichberg are quite eager to have the FRG/FSS character out of the USCF. Hall encouraged me to develop more information to strengthen the case, and to file an Ethics complaint. I am encouraged by this..." 'Develop more information'!? Messrs Goichberg, Hall and Kroenenberger have been 'developing' information from 2007 and this practise continues today in order to eliminate Goichberg enemies." Yet, Goichberg and gang continue to deny any wrongdoing or vendettas.
  4. Finally, I use an analogy to make my final point as to why Goichberg should not be trusted. When faced with the dilemma of who to give the baby to, King Solomon asked a soldier to cut the baby in half so each woman can have a part of him. The real mother pleaded not to harm the baby but instead give it to the other woman. The "fake" mother agreed to the detestable act. Similarly, Polgar has held that an open and complete investigation by independent parties and if the evidence shows they have committed any wrongdoing they would resign. On the other hand, if evidence shows the Goichberg and gang committed the wrongdoing, they should resign. The "fake mother" would much rather harm the "baby" than tell the truth.
Point 4. The offer of the settlement is public record and I believe remains on the table still today. The fact he is hiding behind his fiduciary duty to the members is crap - the members he has failed and whose privacy he allegedly violated?!

Point 5. Regarding his claim of sloppiness (not sure if he refers to my work or how the complaint was worded, which is where I "borrowed" from) but it is irrelevant. The fact is Kronenberger, the USCF's attorney, is trying to build the case that Polgar and Alexander hacked into personal emails. Kronenberger submits anonymizer accounts and IP's to make his case. However, the evidence not only fails to make his case but in fact disproves it, at least to the extent that Polgar does not have an account and, "After diligently searching our records, I am unable to find anything concerning the requested IP addresses." That report not only exonerates Polgar (no account) but Alexander as well (nothing found regarding the IP's submitted for review). More importantly, however, is the fact that Kronenberger allegedly doctored the evidence to conceal pertinent information and portray it as damaging to Polgar and Alexander.

Point 6. I would suspect the elements of bribery may differ from state to state but believe the core elements exist in all of them. To be sure, I briefly researched Texas and California where the two principle cases are filed. My source for the former was a copy of the 1987-1988 Texas Criminal Laws book as it reads:
    Sec. 36.02. Bribery.
  1. A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly offers, confers, or agrees to confer on another, or solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept from another:
    1. any benefit as consideration for the recipient's decision, opinion, recommendation, vote, or other exercise of discretion as a public servant, party official, or voter;
    2. any benefit as consideration for the recipient's decision, vote, recommendation, or other exercise of official discretion in a judicial or administrative proceeding; or
    3. any benefit as consideration for a violation of a duty imposed by law on a public servant or party official.
  2. It is no defense to prosecution under this section that a person whom the actor sought to influence was not qualified to act in the desired way whether because he had not yet assumed office or he lacked jurisdiction or for any other reason.
  3. It is no defense to prosecution under this section that the benefit is not offered or conferred or that the benefit is not solicited or accepted until after:
    1. the decision, opinion, recommendation, vote, or other exercise of discretion has occurred; or
    2. the public servant ceases...etc.

The source for the latter state is the online version of Vol. IV of California Jurisprudence, Section 5, which reads, "Value of a Bribe. - It will be seen by reference to the legislative definition that a bribe may be "anything of value or advantage, present or prospective. While money is the usual consideration of a bribe, it is clear that almost anything may be the consideration which has sufficient value to influence the conduct of the person bribed. It is not necessary to the completion of the crime of offering to give a bribe that the thing offered as a bribe should have a present and ascertained value. To offer a thing in the future which, at the time agreed upon for future delivery, will have being and value is to offer a valuable thing within the meaning of the statute; and as the gravamen of the offense is the tendency which the thing offered as a bribe may have to pervert justice or corrupt official action, the crime is complete the moment an offer is made to give something, which may have a future existence and a prospective value.

In conclusion, I would like to be able to address several other issues but I have dedicated more time to this than I like to - it has taken away from some other very important issues. I leave you with the following questions:
  1. Much has been made about the fiduciary duty of Polgar and Truong - what about the fiduciary duty of the remaining board members?
  2. With declining numbers and already busted budgets can we afford settlements of $25 million, one million or attorney's fees of half or three-quarters of million? Putting aside the California and Texas cases, was the Illinois case wise and necessary? I submit it is beneficial to the attorneys but not the membership for whom the entire executive board has an obligation to uphold.
  3. What about violations of the open meetings act? Most states have procedures governing the conduct of public meetings and consider it a violation of those laws if two or more members meet (and it does not have to be in person) to discuss official business. How may violations of the this law were there?
  4. Is the intimidation and threat of lawsuits against delegates in their upcoming meeting an exercise or violation of their fiduciary duties?
  5. Was the "meeting" to discuss the creation of the Chairmanship for Polgar a violation? I submit it was all a charade to get Polgar and Truong to go along for the good of the USCF while they were "developing" a scheme for her demise long before she took office.
  6. Would the demise of the USCF benefit or damage the Continental Chess Association?
I beseech all USCF members and delegates to carefully consider their votes and make your decisions in the interest of saving the USCF.

Thank you for your indulgence and kind attention

John B. Flores
USCF Litigation
USCF Executive Board Endorsements
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The Dirty Hidden Truth

Here are some of the stunning facts about the current state of the USCF:

Back in March 2003, the membership level of the USCF rose to 95,388. As of April 2009, the number is barely over 79,000 at 79,135. That is a loss of 16,253 members!

Financially speaking, the numbers are also bad. Here are some basic USCF numbers from the April 2009 financial report which was provided to me by the USCF Chief Financial Officer Joe Nanna:

Total Revenues: $2,952,904 (less $397,681 bequests = $2,555,223 of actual revenue) in 2009 versus $2,633,658 in 2008.

Total Membership Revenues: $1,457,224 in 2009 versus $1,568,324 in 2008.

(Down $111,100 from last year)

Total Expenses: $3,015,457 in 2009 versus $2,619,019 in 2008.

(We outspent the previous fiscal year by $396,438, which basically wiped out the bequests.)

Excluding the bequests, which clearly cannot be included in normal revenues, that means that USCF has lost, so far, nearly $500,000 in this fiscal year. (This number does not include more losses which were incurred in the month of May.)

The federation’s market share is also down. According to various sources, there are as many as 4-5 times more tournament chess players, especially younger players, who are not USCF members, than there are members of our national federation.

Because of incompetence, the USCF no longer owns the Book and Equipment business. The entire business had to be outsourced.

For the last few years, the USCF has not been capable of holding its own annual U.S. Men and U.S. Women’s Championships. It has to rely on the good will of generous individuals putting up money to save these prestigious events.

The USCF can no longer to fully fund the U.S. Men and U.S. Women’s Olympiad teams. Once again, it has to rely on the generosity of outside organizations or charitable individuals. The USCF is even incapable of sending our national team to the World Team Championship. And unless sponsorship can be found soon, the USCF either will not be able to send our “A” team and will have to resort to sending an amateur team to compete against the world’s best.

The USCF has no money to fund serious training programs for our most young talented male and female players. The USCF has no money to properly promote chess or the even just the basic agenda of its own mission.

How could a national organization, an organization which claims that it has no money to do many things for the benefit of chess and it members, afford to spend $500,000, $600,000, $700,000 or perhaps even more than $1,000,000 in legal fees for political purposes? How could a national organization, an organization which at one time had annual revenues over $6 million, sink this low? Finally, how can we fix the problems, to make things better, when the problems are being hidden and kept secret from the membership at large?

I will publish a full 8+ page report which includes major updates on the USCF legal woes ( lawsuits and legal battles in seven different states), massive financial losses, abuse of power, unethical conduct, and dire situation for this federation (critical facts that the current USCF management is hiding from the membership at large), on Tuesday night. Stay tuned.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

I will vote for ....

Many people have asked who I will be voting for in the upcoming USCF Executive Board election. At this time, I will vote for the following individuals and I will explain why.

1. International Master Blas Lugo. Why? He is a successful chess player, organizer, coach, chess club owner, and his sole intention in this election is to help make the USCF better using his experience, ability, business acumen, and passion for chess. He has no political or personal interest. He is also multilingual and understands the needs and demands of a diverse membership group. He is NOT a part of the “good ol’ boys” network that would do anything to grab and maintain power for personal and political interest. He is an independent thinker and a tremendous asset to help set the USCF on the right course of recovery.

2. Dr. Mikhail Korenman. Why? He is a premier chess promoter, organizer, coach, and he is well respected and admired by many chess players from amateur to grandmasters, world champions and even Presidents. He has successfully organized many mega events in the United States, events which have brought in unprecedented positive media coverage. His experience in grant writing brought in big money for chess in Kansas. Like IM Lugo, Dr. Korenman is an independent thinker, multilingual and understands what it takes to improve the USCF. Many American Grandmasters have publicly endorsed him in this election because he has a most impressive chess résumé.

3. Dr. Eric Hecht. Why? The USCF has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last few years and it is or will be nearly bankrupt if a proper course of action is not soon taken. Dr. Hecht is absolutely the most successful businessman among all the candidates, perhaps even the most prolific candidate ever. He has successful managed billions of dollars on Wall Street and he is a brilliant financial person. He has used his fortune to help chess by sponsoring many wonderful chess events from New York to Florida. Dr. Hecht has no personal or political ambition in chess. Like Blas Lugo and Mikhail Korenman, Dr. Hecht has the expertise and desire to help the USCF get out of the vicious cycle of failure and destruction.

I strongly believe that these three highly qualified people will be able to greatly help fix the many problems of the USCF and end the long-time pattern of corruption and abuse of power which is bankrupting this federation. They are “no nonsense” individuals and they will set this federation on the right course for years to come. They are all independent candidates and they do are not affiliated with any corrupt political parties. They will examine every issue and vote their conscience.

I have not yet made up my mind about the fourth candidate. However, I will not vote for anyone who will irresponsibly advocate more legal battles which will without doubt destroy and bankrupt this federation. I will also not vote for anyone who will advocate alienating and dividing various membership groups instead of uniting everyone, as well as putting their personal and political interest before chess and the USCF.

This federation under the leadership of current USCF President Bill Goichberg and USCF VP Jim Berry has been a disaster. On their watch, the USCF has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars while engaging in numerous lawsuits and legal battles in seven different states. Most were either provoked or started by them. They are responsible for wasting a massive amount of members’ money for frivolous actions. And yet they want another four years along with “their candidates” Mike Atkins and Ruth Haring.

They are desperately trying to hide many important facts about their actions (which have resulted in devastating consequences for this federation) from USCF members, while using Chess Life and the USCF website for their political propaganda.

Bill Goichberg has been involved with the USCF in various capacities for over four decades. Memberships are down, revenues are down, and expenditures are up. But he does not want to let go of his personal and political power even at the expense of the USCF and its members. He has his hands on nearly every election as far as I can remember. He keeps on recruiting people who will vote with him and for his agenda which has caused so much damage to the USCF. Do you want a different direction for the USCF or do you want the USCF to continue down the same path with the same cast of characters?

The USCF CANNOT afford to lose a few more hundred thousand dollars while doing very little for its members. We cannot afford to have our leaders spend our money like it is their own. Let your voice be heard and vote for the most qualified candidates and NOT individuals who have personal, financial and political interests.

Make sure you have an official ballot to vote. Your ballot should be outside of your June 2009 Chess Life and it should have your name and USCF ID number imprinted on it.

Check the names of the candidates you are voting for, fold the ballot into three and mail it back to Taylor, Bilyeu & Company at PO Box 1156 Crossville, TN 38557-1156. The ballot should only require a first-class stamp. If you do not have one, email the following people,, and request one.

The United States Chess Federation belongs to its members. We can take back control of the USCF by voting in the candidates who will serve the membership and not their own interests. I am counting on you to make a difference. Every vote counts.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Nearly $500,000 in losses so far in 2009

Current USCF Leadership:

USCF President: Bill Goichberg

USCF VP: Jim Berry
USCF VP of Finance: Randy Bauer
USCF Secretary: Randy Hough
USCF ED: Bill Hall

Some basic USCF financial numbers:

YTD 2009 / YTD 2008

Total Revenues: $2,952,904 (Bequests of $397,681 = $2,555,223 actual revenues) / $2,633,658

Total Membership Revenues: $1,457,224 / $1,568,324

(Down $111,100 from last year)

Magazine Expenses: $623,998 / $697,197

(Savings of $73,199)

Total Expenses: $3,015,457 / $2,619,019

(We outspent last year by $396,438)

Losses in 2009 so far: $79,494 + $397,681 = $477,175

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