Sunday, August 5, 2007

Oh Goddess - Same Old Politics?

What's going on? Here is an entry tonight from Susan Polgar's blog. Is Susan Polgar, who has been elected "Chairman" of the USCF (Chairman? What does THAT mean?) already sidelined by politics as usual? Bill Goichberg is still President - oh please! If these people were attorneys in Wisconsin they'd all be disbarred for countenancing such an obvious conflict of interest. Is this just more and more hooey going on? Perhaps next year we'll run our Brilliancy Prize Funds through Mig - that way we know for sure they'll get to the player they are supposed to get to on a timely basis and they won't be funnelled through USCF. Geez!


Anonymous said...

Polgar lists 'Chairman' ahead of 'President' without defining what 'Chairman' means. Is this a new role, invented for her? Does she think it's more important than President?
Certainly, the voting for President hasn't gone as I expected, especially as it was "unaninous" according to Polgar.
However, the Polgar-Truong team seems to have the liaison roles they wanted, and for which they are quite suited.
Things have got to improve for the USCF: it seems to be at a low point that can't go lower.

Jan said...

In the real world a Chairman is a ceremonial position, basically, a sort of honorary title. It doesn't seem that the officers of USCF have any real power, other than to sign documents; the day to day operations lie in the Executive Director position and that's Bill Hall. I'm not very pleased with him - he does not answer email. I never even got a letter of acknowledgement from USCF for the Goddesschess brilliancy prize contribution to this year's Women's Championship. That's no way to do business! Yeah, it was only $300, but it was more than they would have had otherwise! No wonder they're in such trouble! I hope you're right and things turn-around, but I'm not hopeful. I think the first test will be what kind of sponsorship USCF can attract for the U.S. Chess Championship - and whether a separate event will again be held for the women in 2008 or if the events will again be merged and the women play in a large swiss with the men, or if the women's event will be dropped altogether. Scholastic chess is fine, as far as it goes, but most adults don't care about a bunch of kids playing chess; they want to see premier players playing in premier events.

rd said...

I amused at how threatened many within the USCF seem to be at having a female "infiltrate" the ranks. Heaven forbid there be a female influence in US chess!

Well surprise... women have been an increasing influence in the sport for a while now it seems. Some of them need to get comfortable with this.

Oh BTW... I'm a guy.

Great blog - been reading for some time now, but I think this is my first comment... Rich

Jan said...

Hi Rich,

Complements are always welcome :)

From what I've been reading at various places, it seems the idea is to put Susan Polgar out into the public eye as much as possible - she will be the new "face" of USCF - and the title of "Chairman" was created specifically for her because it sounds important. This isn't necessarily a bad idea; Polgar is an asset, after all, and it makes sense to put her forward in this kind of role.

Are some of the guys at USCF threatened by Polgar? I've no doubts about that. What does that auger for the future - guess we'll have to wait and see. I remember a few years back when Angelina Belakovskaia, a go-getter if ever there was one, was the U.S. Women's Chess Champion and USCF set up a women's panel, which I believe she headed, to explore ways to get more women into chess, etc. That faded into oblivion and I don't think a single initiative came of it (of if anything did, it was promptly buried). There is a part of me that would not be surprised if Polgar is sidelined in much the same way - although her blog is a powerful thing and she won't go quietly into the good night!

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