Kindred’s Special: USCF–A Trojan Horse

What is wrong with American chess?  There is no simple answer, only a simply excuse that emits jealousies, self-interests, rule by the petty and weak who, for years, ever since their condemnation of Bobby Fischer and after, Samuel Reshevsky, just to name a few American chess heroes, now are sneering at unseated Woman World Champion WGM Susan Polgar.  Thankfully the CHESS LIFE managed to credit and praise our Olympic teams returning from Dresden, Germany for taking third place respectively while also addressing various lawsuits that smack of partisanship and the same old desire of a few to rich themselves by attacking our Susan. Any wonder she refused to comply with the requests of USCF officials. Here we have a woman, a true prodigy and champion from Hungary who emigrated here and started a chess school for girls and spread the game across North America as well with pride and dignity for advancement of women chess.

First place in the world for women teams went to Georgia and deservedly so.  WGM Nona Gaprindashvili is a heroine in her country and loved by the people of Georgia. She first won the World Championship at age 20.  Chessization of Georgia followed and the game subsequently grew in the hearts of its people.

In Georgia Nona is a legend and recognized as the greatest sports champion of the 20th century.  Georgia has sports stars galore with triumphs in European and Olympian events. So well respected, she was elected President at the founding session of the National Olympic Committee.  She once noted, “I am often asked what chess has given me. I have one answer: my biggest achievement is the love of the people, which makes me a very happy person. I could never repay this love. This I see as the meaning of my life in chess.” She is an 11 time Olympic champion and a special cup carries her name and had a a precious stone.

                                         Return of the Pink Panther

This year the Ukraine won the cup and was lost from the luggage on its arrival.  So we have a mystery as to what happened to the cup and maybe more important what happened to the precious stone? Is it possible that we have with us that elusive and clever gem thief who used the well known “losing luggage from airport terminals” to lift and make off with the cup. Only one good thought emerges, the panther knows value when he sees it. Hopefully it will be recovered.

Nona Gaprindashvili won and defended the world women’s title five times to be followed by Maya Chiburdanidze who defended the title for five additional times.

WGM Maya Chiburdanidze did not play a rated game in 2008 came to play in the Olympiad for her Georgia team and amazed the players and spectators alike amassing 7.5 – l.5 for a TP rating 2715!


Anyone who sends an e-mail or text message is open to having such information broadcast. One only need be reminded of kids who send their photos of themselves to others to see some of the dangers that can occur regarding privacy. Frankly I am interested in only the game now and no longer engage in the politics that I found sometimes dispicable while serving both our state and national bodies, not to leave out my own club.

As being honorable, I applied all organization work to the rules and regulations of the USCF and advice given regarding the horrible low life membership of $100 cost me dearly by disagreement with Ed Edmondson.  Likewise I was chastized for pointing out that once a fee is announced in Chess Life, that fee can be changed only by a subsequent ad change. The rule at the time was that the announced fee could not be raised at the event which it was and over half the players (mostly kids) quit and walked out. All wanted to know why I was no longer in charge of the club activities. Another problem was that a small tournament held at a farm was a long time regular event over a 3-day weekend. Our club held some major regional events. Again, one of my policies set up was that no one could hold a tournament that conflicted with one of the standard events. The other club officers at the time saw no reason to inform me and when I learned of their plans and objected I was told that I was the main reason why Rochester chess did not prosper. Apparently leaving a 3-day weekend to the whims of a farmer who attracted regularly a fairly good turnout and strong players could be thrown to the wolves. Unfortunately I did not know that he blamed me for the action until years later. He invited all to enjoy an oldfashioned cookout and corn on the cob dinner and was an annual fall event.

No sour grapes although it may sound so. I had to leave chess due to my job, education and growing responsibilities at work and home. Chess just about died in Rochester until I organized and ran the 1986 Chessorama Festival held at two major malls over two weekends which my bank supported with a theme: Chess Not Drugs. Many school principals and officials including public wrote letters of appreciation to our bank and hoped we would continue it as a yearly event. The school team event drew several of the top school clubs and teachers assisted in helping out. It opened the door to spreading chess in the school systems, something not previously achieved despite efforts of our club. Unfortunately the club refused to help me and demanded the event be turned over for the club to run. The mall officials contacted me after the lst time they held it and said unless I organized and ran the event, it would be cancelled. It was.

Today I sit on the sidelines and write my blog. Frankly I do not care as one now nearly 71 to stir the boiling pot but felt that somebody has got to speak up and raise a little dander. I have no personal interest one way or the other but my silence through the years I think sometimes contributed to the debacle of USCF stupidities and cost overruns nearly brought the Amercian chess scene to its knees. No doubt if any USCF official reads this, I may get a white feather for being disloyal but who cares.  I plucked many a white feather out of birds before the feast.

Why I devulge so much is simply that my wonderful English teacher taught me that personal experience adds to an essay especially one that sizzles with such a topic I chose here.

In my chess adventures, I can only say that I did it my way just as I do my blog.

Adios for now!!


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