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, September 09, 2010

The same USCF political tactic


No One Is Bigger Than Chess
By WIM Beatriz Marinello
Former President of the USCF

Why didn’t the U.S. Chess Federation support my decision to accept the invitation to be part of Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s Presidential Ticket?

I will answer this question matter of factly.

Back in February (2010), I was approached by Mr. Michael Khodarkovsky who is the President of the Kasparov Chess Foundation and a U.S. Chess Federation’s FIDE Delegate. At that time, Michael Khodarkovsky informed me that GM Ron Henley wanted to talk to me about GM Anatoly Karpov running for FIDE President. He told me that Mr. Henley also asked for a meeting with him. I mentioned to Michael Khodarkovsky that I could not meet with Mr. Henley at the time, but maybe later. Early in March, I agreed to meet with Mr. Henley since I have known GM Henley for a long time and I always thought he was a nice person.

The same week, I received a letter from FIDE President, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov inviting me to be part of his electoral ticket. When I meet with Mr. Henley, he offered to appoint me as FIDE Vice President in Mr. Karpov’s Presidential Board and compensation for actively campaigning.

After carefully reviewing the situation, I considered that FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was the best candidate as FIDE President, and I was highly supportive of his team as well.

I did not think that Former World Champions Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov, both great players and important members of our community, were the best people to run FIDE.

In the past they were both chess enemies, and I considered how this could create potential issues between them, in case that GM Anatoly Karpov became FIDE President. I also thought, that their motivations were not in the best interest of FIDE and GM Karpov was lacking the necessary experience to run an organization such as FIDE.

Something just didn’t quite fit or feel right about this situation and I held firm in this belief.

Additionally, I also did not wish to divide the Americas, since we have been working for 10 years in building a block in the American Continents.

During this time it also became clear that the Karpov team was going to try to split the continent by dividing the Americas in hopes of gaining ground in that region.

My vision is for a united chess community, which is best represented by Mr. Ilyumzhinov’s Ticket and his team.

Once I made the decision, I asked the U.S. Chess Federation’s Executive Board for a meeting, innocently I also included Michael Khodarkovsky as FIDE Delegate to join us in a conference call.

At the conference call, all members of the board (5) were present: President, Jim Berry; Vice President, Ruth Haring; VP of Finances, Randy Bauer; Members at Large, Michael Atkins and Bill Goichberg.

Mr. Goichberg is a former U.S. Chess Federation President and the main tournament organizer in the United States. Mr. Goichberg is very anti-FIDE and especially very anti-Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. I presented the situation to the Executive Board, Mr. Bauer got disconnected from the conference call, so he did not hear everything and did not vote. However, the Board took an unofficial vote. Mr. Berry and Ms. Haring voted ‘Yes’ to endorse me as a candidate in Mr. Ilyumzhinov’s ticket, Mr. Atkin said that he did not know enough, but was initially agreeable to support me, but decided to abstain, and Mr. Goichberg voted ‘No’ to my endorsement.

Acting on Mr. Khodarkovsky’s advice the Board postponed the meeting for two days later. At the time, I did not know that Mr. Kasparov was the person running the campaign for Mr. Karpov and Mr. Khodarkovsky clearly had a conflict of interest, since he works for the Kasparov Chess Foundation and he is also serving as USA FIDE Delegate.

During those two days, Grandmaster Kasparov and Grandmaster Henley made several phone calls asking the Board members not to endorse me in order to prevent me from joining Kirsan’s ticket and to only support Mr. Karpov. He even called a very influential person in U.S. Chess, who is also a major sponsor of the U.S. Chess Federation.

This whole situation reminded me of the 1994 Presidential FIDE Election, when the U.S. FIDE Delegate was Mr. Fan Adams and in a meeting held prior to the Chess Congress in Moscow, the U.S. Chess Federation decided to support the candidacy of Mr. Kouatly, but then after GM Kasparov’s phone calls to members of the U.S. Chess Federation’s Board, the United States changed their position at the last minute in favor of FIDE President Mr. Campomanes, resulting in the resignation of Mr. Adams. Back then, many promises were made but nothing happen in the end.

Now, back to March, 2010, two days after we had a conference call, we met again over the phone with the members of the Federation’s Executive Board, Mr. Khodarkovsky and GM Henley. Karpov’s team made a new offer to me in exchange for me not accepting Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s invitation to be a member of his electoral ticket. The offer was an appointment in GM Karpov’s Presidential Board (in the event that he won the election) and full support to become Continental President. In addition they would not require that I campaign on behalf of Mr. Karpov.

I told them that I would not accept the offer. One hour later, Bill Hall, USCF Executive Director and Ms. Haring called me to tell me that I should accept the offer or else they would not endorse me and that they would even remove me as Zonal President.

By then it became clear that I was dealing with a very undemocratic organization, and the way in which they were pressuring me and trying to force me to accept Karpov’s offer by use of threats, convinced me more than ever that I was making the right decision.

I did not accept the offer, the board did not remove me as Zonal President, but the U.S. Chess Federation sent me a letter denying me the endorsement and making a statement that they would not support anyone who is on Mr. Ilyumzhinov’s ticket.

Fortunately, the National Federations of Chile and Brazil gave me an endorsement since I am also a member of these Federations.

Full article here.

Labels: , , , ,

5 Comments:

  • At Tuesday, September 28, 2010 5:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    On Monday September 27, 2010 the FIDE Executive Board held its meeting at the Congress Hall, also known as the “Chess Academy”, in Khanty-Mansiysk, South-Western Siberia, Russia.

    The Chairman of the meeting, FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos, announced that most of the major issues would be put over to the FIDE General Assembly, so only two issues would be discussed. These were the review of the agenda and the appointment of the Committee to check the legality of the proxies.

    The second item, the appointment of the committee, proved to be contentious.

    Ank Santens, a partner in the New York law firm of White and Case and an expert in arbitration, jumped up and declared that the procedure was unfair because according to FIDE Statutes the four Continental Presidents shall each nominate one person. Then one of the four will be eliminated by the drawing of lots and the other three shall serve on the committee.

    Ank Santens said that this was unfair to the Karpov slate because all four Continental Presidents had been selected by Kirsan Ilyumzhinov so therefore they would award delegate status and voting rights to those who favor Kirsan.

    I knew Ank Santens because I had met her on Tuesday September 21, when coincidentally we were both standing in line together at the Russian Consulate at 9 East 91st Street, New York City applying for a Russian Visa. We stood in that line together with her behind me altogether for about two hours. She is from Belgium.

     
  • At Tuesday, September 28, 2010 5:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Israel Gelfer was the first to speak in opposition. He said that FIDE Rules regarding this had been in place for a long time and it was unacceptable to change them. George Makropoulos said that the committee would just report to the General Assembly regarding its determination about who had the right to vote. The final decision would be made by the General Assembly.

    Among the many other speakers, William Kelleher representing the USA spoke in agreement with Ank Santens, as did Morton Sand, the Delegate from Norway.

    Geoffrey Borg, Delegate from Malta, spoke, siding with the chair.

    George Makropoulos spoke many times, saying the same thing over and over again, often interrupting the speakers.

    Richard Conn, who is on the Karpov Slate as a candidate for Deputy President, spoke several times, basically supporting Ank Santens.

    Finally, after much arguing back and forth, George Makropoulos adjourned the meeting for a coffee break during which time Ank Santens and Richard Conn were supposed to approach the Continental Presidents and propose persons to serve on the committee.

    After the coffee break was over and the meeting re-convened, Makropoulos asked whether Ank Santens and Richard Conn had reached a agreement with the Continental President as to who would serve on the committee.

    Ank Santens said that she had not done so because she did not feel it was in her place to do so.

    When Makropoulos asked Richard Conn why he had not approached Jorge Vega, who is the Continental President for the Americas (North and South America) with his proposals for who should serve on the committee, Richard Conn embarrassed himself and the United States by saying "I could not speak to Jorge Vega because I do not know who Jorge Vega is?"

    Jorge Vega is the Continental President for the Americas and was seated on the dais with a large name card in front of him.

    The old saying applied, "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."

    Somebody should answer the question of how the United States nominated someone to be FIDE Deputy President who knows absolutely nothing about FIDE and is not trying to learn either. He could have just remained silent and asked somebody sitting near to him who Jorge Vega is.

    Since Ank Santens and Richard Conn did not propose anybody, the Continental Presidents proceeded according to the rules. Nominated were Meriel Beja, Herbert Allan, Geoffrey Borg and Shaikh Sultan Al-Taner.

    The drawing of lots eliminated Herbert Allen so the other three will serve on the committee.

    One of the issues at stake here is who is the proper President of the Peru Chess Federation. There are two contenders. Milton Iturry who is believed to support Kirsan, and Adrian Noreiga, who is believed to support Karpov. Both Milton Iturry and Adrian Noreiga were present at the meeting. If the FIDE Presidential election turns out to be close, as many expect, this decision could decide the election for FIDE President.

    Sam Sloan in Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia

     
  • At Tuesday, September 28, 2010 5:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jorge Vega is the Continental President for the Americas and was seated on the dais with a large name card in front of him.

    The old saying applied, "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."

    Somebody should answer the question of how the United States nominated someone to be FIDE Deputy President who knows absolutely nothing about FIDE and is not trying to learn either. He could have just remained silent and asked somebody sitting near to him who Jorge Vega is.

    Since Ank Santens and Richard Conn did not propose anybody, the Continental Presidents proceeded according to the rules. Nominated were Meriel Beja, Herbert Allan, Geoffrey Borg and Shaikh Sultan Al-Taner.

    The drawing of lots eliminated Herbert Allen so the other three will serve on the committee.

    One of the issues at stake here is who is the proper President of the Peru Chess Federation. There are two contenders. Milton Iturry who is believed to support Kirsan, and Adrian Noreiga, who is believed to support Karpov. Both Milton Iturry and Adrian Noreiga were present at the meeting. If the FIDE Presidential election turns out to be close, as many expect, this decision could decide the election for FIDE President.

    Sam Sloan in Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia

     
  • At Monday, March 21, 2011 3:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dear Board Members and Executive Director,

    All the children in our family will no longer particpate in the 2011
    Junior Grand Prix.
    We didn't register for this event and it is clear from your inaction
    that you do not have the best interests of the children at heart.
    This letter means USCF no longer has the permission of our family to
    list the names of our minor children on any Junior Grand Prix lists.
    Please remove their names and JGP numbers from your system.


    The names of the children are:
    XXXXXXXXXXX 14164178
    XXXXXXXXXXX 14164184
    XXXXXXXXXXX 14164190
    XXXXXXXXXXX 14164204


    There are three reasons for this withdrawal.


    1) Through inaction, this board has chosen to associate itself with
    the new "invitation to cheat" rule.
    12.3.3 Players who are repeating a grade in school may have a second
    year of eligibility in that
    grade if they are still age eligible for that grade. You have chosen
    not to protect the other players in the tournaments from the
    beneficiaries of the invitation to cheat. That this rule also
    benefits certain members of the scholastic council cannot be ignored.
    It benefits the private/magnet schools at the cost to the public
    schools who do not hold back bright children for supposed curriculum
    differences.


    2) This board has refused to take any action on cheating which
    occurred before the rule was changed thus protecting the cheaters.
    14026082: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX and his brother cheated. He was not
    held back for academic reasons. He won trophies two consecutive years
    as a first grader (2008, 2009) and defeated my kindergartner daughter
    Gia as a second time first grader in Atlanta. So a three year player
    was allowed to pretend to be a second year player. Do you understand
    the magnitude of difference at those ages. Under the rules existing
    at the time, he was ineligible to play. This is the textbook example
    of why this new rule cheats the opponents. Now you have codified the
    cheating.


    3) Through inaction, this board denied XXXXXXXXXXX the winner of the
    2010 Junior Grand Prix in SOCAL his rightful title as state champion
    and named the third place finisher as state champion. March Chess
    Life page 49.


    Cheating in favor of the private/magnet schools speaks for itself.


    Your Junior Grand Prix system is a mess.
    Your promises are worthless. Have the prizes for 2010 even gone out
    after this board promised they would? I have been asking about this
    for over three months without response.


    Do you even have rules for the 2011 competition? The USCF website has
    said for a month, Note: The JGP rules for 2011 will use a different
    means of computing points. The updated rules document should be
    available soon. We are nearly three months through 2011.
    Incompetence is too kind a word. The office ignored my legitimate
    inquiries for three months and according to an email I received last
    Friday you still don't even have rules for this year's competition.


    Effective immediately, please withdraw my kids from the JGP. Other
    parents have a right to know how you are handling your their
    children's affairs. When USCF cleans up its affairs, acts on the past
    cheating, and levels the playing field, we will return.


    A few years ago, the New York Times was kind enough to print my letter
    when Dalton won the National High School Championship using the
    National Junior High School and National Elementary Champion on their
    high school roster cheating Stuyvesant High School out of the national
    championship. I wonder what they might do with this. This sounds
    like another Danny Almonte Little League scandal.


    I really do not understand you people.


    Richard Peterson

     
  • At Sunday, March 27, 2011 9:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Another lie by Bill Goichberg to get one of his cronies elected:

    On his website, Bill Goichberg writes,

    MIKE NIETMAN: Current Executive Board member and USCF Secretary, senior programmer/analyst for a large non-profit hospital, President of the Wisconsin Chess Association since 1987, organizer of many tournaments including the 1990 World Youth ...

    Hmmmm. So Mike Nietman organized the 1990 World Youth in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin? Interesting. I was there in attendance. I raised thousands of dollars for the event and yet the name Mike Nietman was unknown to me at that time.

    From the time Singapore withdrew its bid to FIDE to run the World Youth in the spring of 1990, I worked with Don Schultz to raise money and find a site for the event lest it be cancelled in its entirety. Schultz was going to give up when I showed him how a financial model for the event could work. Schultz used that model and the thousands of dollars I raised from donations to organize the event. Strangely, Bill Goichberg gives credit to Mike Nietman instead of Don Schlultz who had a relative on site and had obtained the FIDE bid.

    If I raised the money and created the financial model and Don Schlultz picked up the ball with FIDE and ran with it, what organization did Mike Nietman do? Tables and chairs?

    Don Schlutz always claimed there was a (undocumented) loss on the event. Did Mike Nietman pick up the check for the loss? Don claims not. Don said he suffered the loss.

    If Mike Nietman was a volunteer on staff, it certainly does not make him the organizer. Even I would give credit to Don Schultz. Perhaps Bill Goichberg (who was not there in Fond du Lac) should quiz Mike Nietman on whether he really wants that claim on his resume.

    Richard Peterson

     

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home