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©

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A message from Mr. Sevan Muradian

Disclaimer: As a matter of fairness, I will publish articles and information from all credible parties when I receive them.

Registering to Vote Requirement
2011 USCF Executive Board Elections

You are receiving this email as you are an affiliate of the US Chess Federation and I am requesting from you a call to action to assist in a very important matter facing the USCF membership community.

This year in order for members to vote, members MUST register, or their voice will be lost in the election. This new rule was approved at the 2010 Delegates meeting. No Vote, No Voice!

I am requesting that you forward this email to your chess email lists, post the content on your websites, make Twitter and Facebook posts - anything to get the word out. Normally there are over 35,000 voting members that would receive ballots. So far only 1216 people have registered to vote!

Voters must be 16 years of age or older to register. Remember family memberships are entitled to vote for anyone that is 16 or older in that family membership!

To register to vote, members will need their USCF ID, Date of Birth, and their PIN number. Their PIN number can be found on their Chess Life mailing label or on their TLA Newsletter. Once this information is handy visit this website - and they will be able to register to vote.

For those of you that do not know me, I am Sevan A. Muradian. I am a candidate in the 2011 USCF Executive Board Elections. You can follow my campaign at The website is operational and there is a feature to sign-up to automatically be notified of new content.

I urge you to visit the website and communicate it out to your chess network.
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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

L.A. chess club under investigation for anti-Semitic e-mail

February 8, 2011
L.A. chess club under investigation for anti-Semitic e-mail
By Ryan Torok

Mick Bighamian, founder and director of the Los Angeles Chess Club, denies writing an e-mail to 22-year-old Israeli grandmaster Anatoly Bykhovsky in mid-January that read, “We don’t allow players from terrorist countries to participate in our tournaments.”

Bykhovsky, a freshman at Texas Tech University, received the e-mail the day after sending a request to Bighamian to play in an upcoming tournament.

In a phone interview, Bighamian said that he usually leaves his e-mail app open on the club’s computer, and anybody there could have sent the e-mail, which included his name at the bottom. He denies being anti-Semitic or being prejudiced against Israelis, but he refused to discuss his feelings about Israel.

“I don’t think my views of any countries is anyone else’s business,” he said.

Bighamian said he has not found out who sent the e-mail, but added that he has placed new restrictions on the computer to limit who can send e-mails.

After The New York Times published an article about the e-mail on Jan. 24, people in the chess community dug up anti-Semitic and anti-Israel messages on Web bulletin boards from the late 1990s written by someone using the name Mansour Bighamian (Mansour is Bighamian’s real first name).

Bill Hall, executive director of United States Chess Federation (USCF), is currently investing a complaint about the e-mail and said Bighamian or his club could face sanctions, probation or expulsion.

Shortly after receiving the e-mail, Bykhovsky forwarded it to officials at the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) at Texas Tech.

“Basically he didn’t know how to deal with the situation,” said Paul Truong, director of marketing and public relations at SPICE.

“He was stunned…. [He] thought somebody was playing a prank or something,” Truong said.

Bykhovsky, who moved to the United States from Israel last year to study at Texas Tech and ranks in the top half percent of 80,000 USCF members, declined to discuss the incident with The Journal. In an e-mail, he said he wants the appropriate authorities to resolve the matter.

He also didn’t respond to the Los Angeles Chess Club e-mail. “He found this was something beneath him to respond to such remarks,” Truong said.

On Jan. 19, SPICE filed a complaint with the World Chess Federation. The World Chess Federation has 170 member federations, including the USCF; the Los Angeles Chess Club is an affiliate member. The USCF started the investigation after the complaint was filed.

A misunderstanding led to the initial e-mail exchange. While reading a chess newsletter, Bykhovsky came across an advertisement for the First Metropolitan International, a tournament in August that is being organized by Metropolitan Chess Club, another Los Angeles group. But Bykhovsky accidentally wrote to Bighamian, whose club was also advertising an event in the same issue.

Ankit Gupta, chief organizer for the Metropolitan Chess Club, denounced the e-mail, whether it was sent by Bighamian or not, and welcomed Bykhovsky to play in his club’s tournament.

— Ryan Torok, Staff Writer
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