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©

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Self interest and personal ego by USCF EB harms the USCF further

SS is correct!

The USCF Executive Board is wrong on two counts. If did not send a delegate to the Continental meeting, and then compounded this mistake by not letting Beatriz represent the interests of the USCF at the Continental meeting.

This incident exemplifies a tendency towards xenophobia that I have noticed on recent USCF Executive Boards. They have tended to view FIDE as totally corrupt and want nothing to do with it. It is true that the conduct of the Presidential elections is corrupt. Buying votes is considered the norm. For this purpose Kirsan had a war chest rumored to be about 4 million dollars.

However the internal affairs of FIDE are not corrupt. The current treasurer, Nigel Freeman, and his predecessor David Jarrett, have managed to keep FIDE finances out of the political fray. In the four years I was on the FIDE PB I was able to observe this up close, and worked with Nigel on several occasions to prevent payouts of dubious validity to cronies of Kirsan.

On the committee level, FIDE is staffed by well meaning conscientious volunteers much like the USCF. These volunteers and the delegates from other countries who come to FIDE meetings mostly have a have a poor opinion of the USCF. Unfairly or not, they view the USCF as a truculent child who throws tantrums when it does not get its way, but does not contribute anything positive. Not sending a delegate to an important continental meeting and then refusing to let a past president represent our federation merely reinforces this perception. It is our players who will suffer the consequences of these actions.

Beatriz supported Kirsan against the wishes of the members of the USCF EB, and now it is clear that they are exacting revenge. I also did not support Kirsan and as a result lost my position on the FIDE PB. Effectively I was replaced by Beatriz. Nonetheless I think it is foolish and self-defeating not to let Beatriz be our representative. Politics aside, she is a competent and hard-working person. Allowing political disagreements to determine policy decisions is no way to run the USCF.

Bill Kelleher
FIDE Delegate 1998-2006
FIDE VP 2006-2010


Thank you, Bill K., for underscoring that SS is correct on this issue.

Your description of the international perception of USCF is very colorful...but also accurate. I have often noticed that USCF tries to get its way in FIDE...based on size or "importance" of zone 2.1...without investing or spending a dime on FIDE projects. Instead of putting money into often wants money or action out of FIDE.

That is indeed bullying...much as some national groups inside USCF try to influence USCF affairs without ever hosting events or spending/investing/giving money to USCF. That is bullying on a national level...and USCF does it on an international level.

I dare say that if USCF wanted influence inside FIDE, then for the past few elections they would have seen the realpolitik solution was to support Kirsan's re-election. But they didn't...and so USCF got nothing.

And if USCF wanted to be on the inside track for reforming FIDE...then it should act like the Turkish federation and invest money in FIDE -- i.e. host events for FIDE and help FIDE get the events on its calendar funded and/or organized.

Just like USCF...FIDE feels pressure to get these events held. National federations who make FIDE's job easier will be favored over those who make its job harder.

Is it really that hard to understand that FIDE governance will consider those federations who help organize events, help raise money for FIDE or who help solve FIDE be strong FIDE allies...and those federations who never run events (not even world championship matches involving their own players!!) and who only complain, complain, complain on the be weak FIDE federations (regardless of size)?

I'm sure the USCF board can identify a half dozen state federations that it knows it can call in a time of crisis. I'm sure it knows a half dozen state federations who wouldn't give the home office a nickel to make a phone call. Same with FIDE and we know which group USCF is in.

Again...thank you Bill K. When I read SS's story about this...I couldn't believe my eyes that the board could be so short-sighted.

Eric J.

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