Saturday, May 12, 2007

Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence

Hola! This will be a short entry. I've spent the day doing yard work and - during breaks - reading a trashy regency romance novel :) Now it's time to go to sleep and tomorrow I'll tackle the REST of the yard work. Sigh. At least the weather is cooperating :) Today Susan Polgar and Texas Tech University announced the formation of the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE - can't help it, I'm thinking Spice Girls!!!), and the hiring of Susan Polgar and Paul Truong (Polgar's friend of many years and her business manager) to head the Institute. I was totally WRONG in my guess that this announcement would have something to do with chess scholarships. This is much better! Dr. Eric Moskow made a post at Susan Polgar's website, offering to sponsor a memorial chess tournament - if I understand him correctly - in honor of his father: "I would like to congratulate the university on thier wise decision to ake this type of commitment. It is consistent with their history and good judgement. As my father graduated from texas college of mines, I would like to spnsor a international tournament at a time of their choosing. Of courseI will be responsible for all ocsts and hope that we could make it an annual event. As a father of a college football player that also is a tourament chess player this is an easy committment to make." Congratulations to Susan Polgar and Paul Truong - by the way, Texas Tech awarded SP an honorary doctorate degree. In my opinion, Texas Tech did a no-brainer in awarding SP this degree. Kudos also to Dr. Moskow for offering to fund a memorial chess event at Texas Tech. I have a feeling that SPICE is going to have a positive long-term impact on women and chess in the United States. Well damn, it's about time!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Random Round-Up

Hola darlings!

I'm tired tonight. It's been a long hard week. This will be short and sweet (I hope). I'm borrowing a phrase that dondelion thought up when we introduced our new feature at Goddesschess - called (have you guessed???) Random Round-up!

Susan Polgar will be presenting two commencement speeches tomorrow at Texas Tech U (morning and afternoon) for the Undergraduate ceremonies. At her website on Thursday May 10, 2007 GM Polgar posted that a big announcement would be made at the commencement ceremonies:

"All I can tell you right now is this has never been done anywhere in the world. This will be an incredible event for chess and it will make a big impact for the entire chess community. More news to come on Saturday!"

What will happen tomorrow - well, what hasn't been done under the sun before? My guess - and it's only that - is that GM Polgar will announce a new partnership between her Foundation and Texas Tech to fund sustained scholarship prizes or perhaps an endowment for scholarships for girls who participate in Polgar Foundation national tournaments and finish in the top spots. That would be great.

I don't have cable t.v. so I can't watch the speech and afterwards-promised press conference on CSPAN. What, exactly, is CSPAN, anyway? I'm sure the news will be presented in due course.

M-tel is going on right now but, frankly, since no chess femmes are partipating in that event, I'm not paying much attention, although I am rooting for GM Nisipeanu, for sentimental reasons. He was sooooo cute in Las Vegas in 1999. I'll see if I can dig up some picture of him from back then. The picture published at the beginning of this article is from his FIDE file, and he looks much better in it than he does today, but not as hot as he was in 1999. There's no year associated with that picture, so I don't know when it was taken, but at least he still had short hair!

I don't think he's so cute today, what the heck happened to the guy? He's 30 this year - he should be a GOD among chessplayers, in his prime and making women melt from longitude to latitude - and yet he looks like he's 60 years old with a beer-belly paunch. And that hippy-style pony-tail - what the heck is that all about? Yech! Oh, Kid (that was my nick-name for him back in 1999), what happened to you? You've even got adult-onset acne. You were once the stuff of women's dreams. Darling, you've to go on a serious diet, get a good haircut, and start using Pro-activ for that acne.

If you want to read about my experiences in Las Vegas during the 1999 FIDE World Chess Championships, check them out here. The posts cover a longer period surrounding the 1999 FIDE Knock-Out Championship, but you can scroll down to the dates you want. I arrived in Las Vegas on Friday the 13th (I'm not kidding), 1999, in time to watch GM Alexander Khalifman offer GM Judit Polgar a draw in the quarter-finals, which knocked her out of the event. I was there long enough to see The Kid (Nisipeanu) go down in defeat after a hard fought match with Khalifman. The equally cute Mickey Adams went down to defeat against Vladimir Akopian. Akopian was a super hunk back then - I bumped into him one day when he was exiting a taxi outside Caesar's Palace, I'm sure he doesn't remember. I wasn't arrested by hotel security, probably because they figured a woman of my age posed no serious security threat :)

I sat in the small audience that attended the 1999 Championships for six hours every single day during my stay there, getting a flat butt (ouch), just loving all that eye candy and trying to follow the moves they were making on the chessboards projected on overhead screens (a hopeless task for me). I enjoyed listening to the analysis provided by GMs on the headphones, they almost made things understandable to someone who aspires to patzer level.

Khalifman went on to play against GM Vladimir Akopian (he's let himself really go, it's too bad) and, as we know, Khalifman won the FIDE Knock-Out Championship. He's let himself go too; he looks like he's forgotten what a razor is and is in need of a good barber!

I'm geared toward the upcoming Candidates' Matches when GM Judit Polgar will be battling for a spot in the World Chess Championship Tournament. That's silly, really - I mean, once the candidates do the matches, why do they then have to do another set of matches later in the year in Mexico, where the current World Champion Kramnik will be playing and yet it doesn't mean a thing to him, since he'll still get to play the eventual winner anyway? Like - duh! Is Homer Simpson running FIDE?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

How You Ask the Question May Determine the Answer-2

One of the reccurring questions regarding women in chess is "why don't they play as well as men?" and we have published articles over the years at Goddesschess discussing this issue and approaching it from many different angles. Until recently, no one had come up with what I considered a satisfactory answer to this question. Silly me - I should have realized - all along the question was being phrased in the wrong way. Duh! We recently published an article at Goddesschess "The Experts Say - It's Just a Numbers Game." It provides a summary and overview (in layman's terms) of statistical evidence and a discussion of cultural and other phenomena from which can be deduced reasons why there are so few women playing chess relative to the percentage of men playing chess and relative to their numbers in the population (we femmes are a slight majority, at least in the USA). It also addresses the issue of why there aren't more women in the "top" ranks of players which - except for Judit Polgar - are all men. I feel, at last, that the correct question has been asked and that is - why aren't there MORE women playing chess? In order to answer that question, a number of subsidiary questions must first be framed and then answered. I'm paraphrasing now and summarizing very badly but, basically, the research indicates that at early ages - at least in the United States - boys and girls start out playing chess in equal numbers (there might actually be slightly more girls playing than boys at the earliest stages), and they do about as well as far as developing playing skills. Some players are better, some players are not so good, but basically playing good chess is not a gender-derived skill set. But then something happens; as girls approach puberty they begin to drop out of chess, despite the fact that statistically there is no reason for them to be doing so, win/loss wise. And as they enter their teen years, those girls who have stayed drop out more and more. Until there are very few left. By the time a female reaches age 25, in the United States, well - the numbers speak for themselves. And so the question really should have been all along - WHY do the females drop out? Statistically, when girls drop out of the chessplaying ranks in larger and larger numbers, the figures get skewed and data reads "false" - that is - the data shows that males are "superior" to females in chess simply because there are so many more of them left playing the game. That data does nothing to address the underlying issue of why the girls are leaving the game in droves after a certain point and, therefore, says nothing about alleged male superiority in chessplaying skills. At most, all it can give us is a relative ranking of male v. male "superiority." So - one of the underlying questions - what can be done (if anything), to encourage girls to stay in the "sport" of chess. Well, I can name one thing right now - don't continue to insist in calling chess a fricking SPORT. It is NOT a sport. Chess has no similiarity whatsoever to any sport that I know - baseball, football (NFL football, that is), basketball. On a skill level, it is perhaps more closely aligned to billards - is billards considered a "sport?" On a mental level, it is perhaps more closely aligned to certain card games. Whatever chess may be, it's not a SPORT. FIDE is grossly wrong in pursuing that avenue in a vain attempt to increase the popularity of the game and trying to get it admitted to the Olympics as a permanent feature. Oh, please! About three-four years ago, Susan Polgar put together a first "girls only" mega-tournament and, since then, has continued to develop events, bigger and better each year, and now her Polgar Chess Foundation is sponsoring a boy's event too. Susan Polgar was raised by two parents who are well-versed in educating young people and they are vital and active people; I wouldn't be surprised that the senior Polgars have kept themselves well abreast of all the latest research on educational theory during the years and, as an owner of a chess school, Susan Polgar would have made herself familiar with these theories too. I recall reading, first starting a couple of years ago, an article here and there in my local newspaper about the really "upscale" schools (in the high property tax districts) experimenting with going back to "girls only" and "boys only" classes during part of the school day. I wouldn't say it's an avalanche, exactly, but more of such articles have appeared, invariably reporting on the success of such fledgling programs and, so I read these days, the students like the separation of sexes a lot. I don't know what this all means; I never thought about it as a girl going to school with boys along with all the rest of the kids in the neighborhood; I never felt I was "competing" with them - they were just 'boys' - you know? And so doing good at math and science didn't phase me; I was jealous of Keith Klima because I was no good at gymnastics (I could hardly get my butt over the "horse") and he was very good. But he sucked at ancient history and I got A+++ all the way through and I was teacher's pet - I know I was :) We shared a few dates in high school and a kiss or two, and it had nothing to do with how either of us were doing in school, or ancient history, or gymnastics. He was cute and I was cute and we'd had each other's eyes for years before those few dates in our junior year. That was enough to know. We weren't going to be a "couple." Things seem to have gotten oversexed somehow, these days, for the young ones. Well, maybe that's the wrong description; things seem to have gotten so much more complicated between boys and girls now; and yet I don't believe we've changed all that much, on a fundamental level. And so you have girls liking "all girls" classes and boys liking "all boys" classes - and somehow this seems like a big step backward to me, because we've lost the ability to "speak" to each other. So - maybe we're still not asking the question in the right way?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

2007 U.S. Championship-6

There's been a lot of interesting reading at Susan Polgar's blog and Mig's Daily Dirt blog lately. I read some things last night that explain a great deal with regard to certain posts I've read at both blogs, and need to clarify some statements I made in my prior entries here about the U.S. Chess Championships. First, Mig made it clear that AF4C did not "withdraw" from running (and getting sponsorship lined up for) the U.S. Chess Championships. The contract between AF4C and USCF had expired at the end of 2006; his statement was the first time I'd seen this explained. AF4C and USCF could not/did not reach a new agreement; this was in January, 2007. Second, Mig also made it clear that Eric Anderson (one of the founders of AF4C) had pledged to contribute $25,000 to USCF for the 2007 Championships, but before the contribution was paid the actions of a certain board member who posted on the USCF forum that AF4C was publishing pornography on its website (see comments in 2007 U.S. Chess Championship 2 and 5) led to Mr. Anderson reconsidering making a contribution to USCF while that certain person is on the Executive Board. No contribution has been made; therefore, the statements I made about the USCF and the $25,000 were incorrect. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * The upcoming election for four seats on the USCF Executive Board is certainly fraught with drama. A few days ago Susan Polgar felt it necessary to impose moderator controls at her blog (frankly, I'm surprised she didn't do it much sooner - she has a much higher tolerance threshhold than I do, obviously). Then, she opened up a continuing topic about what's going on with the USCF and the upcoming election for Executive Board members. Reading some of the stuff posted there has been an education, to say the least. A lot of people post anonymously, which bothers me. I know it's silly to be bothered by such a thing since a person could call himself anything and make up ten different identities and post under all of them anyway, so why not just be anonymous? It could even be worse - I've seen one instance at Mig's blog where a poster was using a name made deliberately almost identical to the name used by a well-known chessplayer and making posts while "pretending" to be the well-known chessplayer. That's disgusting, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I've seen that kind of crap go on for years at the yahoo finance message boards, why should there be any less idiots on chess message boards? I don't know why I continue to be amazed at the level of venality that seems to exist in so many people (particularly on the internet), but I do continue to be amazed by it. Hmmm, I wonder what that says about me? Hopelessly naive? Hopelessly stupid? May the Chess Goddess smite all venal chessplayers (or venal people pretending to be chessplayers) who think they're being "terribly clevah" with the Chess Yips. One of the funniest things I read at Susan Polgar's blog this afternoon was a post done by "anonymous" stating that USCF should NOT moderate its forums, but if there must be a moderator the guidelines should be the least restrictive possible, because "Everybody who participates in that forum is a paid-up member of the USCF. It turns out that the ratio of social misfits and, worse, sociopaths is high amongst chessplayers, and therefore the forum is not very decorous." So, everyone knows that a lot of chessplayers are sociopaths (more sociopath chessplayers than sociopaths in the general population, I gather) and, therefore, why would anyone ever expect a chess forum to be conducted with decorum and civility? Ohmygoddess! I couldn't make this stuff up! I don't know how this election will turn out. My best guess is that the vast majority of USCF members who can vote in the election don't read the stuff at USCF forums or places like it and could give two hoots about chess politics, per se, but they do recognize Susan Polgar's name and will vote for her (and hopefully the slate of candidates she is backing) based on her standing in the game and her ability to get backing and prizes for scholastic tournaments. What could happen is that people vote for SP but not for her slate, and she ends up on the Board with people who have gone out of their way to try and ensure that she wouldn't get elected! Ohmygoddess!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

1st World Women's Team Chess Championship

You've never heard of the "World Women's Team Chess Championship?" Well, neither had I - until yesterday. I discovered it accidentally while perusing the latest chess news that a team from Vietnam would be participating in this championship. To be fair, this is the very "first" event of its kind - sponsored by FIDE - so we couldn't have heard of it before. But I follow the news about women's chess events rather closely and until yesterday I don't recall reading anything about this event. The Championsip will be held in Ekaterinburg, Russia from May 19 - 30, 2007. According to the official "rules" 10 teams will participate - the top five Women's Teams from the 2006 Chess Olympiad , four teams that won their respective (I guess) Continental Team Championships, and one team from the host country. The United States Women's Olympiad Team finished 4th in Turin in 2006, and I assumed it would be participating - but - well, you'll see why this assumption was way off base! The May 7th article from Vietnamese Thahn Nien News, said this: "Vietnam won the right to compete at the event as a champion of the 2005 Asian Women’s Team Championship. "The team’s five members are master Le Kieu Thien Kim, grand master Hoang Thi Bao Tram, GM Nguyen Thi Thanh An, master Le Thanh Tu, and master Pham Le Thao Nguyen. "According to the world’s chess governing body FIDE, the ten best women’s teams are eligible to attend the first edition of the tournament to be held at four-year intervals, including four continental team champions, five top teams at world Olympiad, and a host. "Among the participants are Ukraine, Russia, China, Armenia, Georgia, Netherlands, Poland, Vietnam, Botswana, and the tenth team to represent the American continent to be decided later. "The World Chess Team Championship for Women is the sequel to the Women’s Continental Team Championships and the Women’s Chess Olympiad. "Source: FIDE, Tuoi Tre – Compiled by Minh Phat" The official website for this event (which I found this morning at the FIDE website) reports the following teams will be participating in this event: Armenia; Botswana; Vietnam; Georgia; China; Poland; Russia; Ukraine; Germany; Czech Republic. Nary an American to be found! Hmmmm, so I guess the "team to represent the American continent" mentioned in the May 7th article that had yet to be determined has, sadly, fallen by the wayside. I wonder - will we read about this in the USCF's Executive Board minutes some five years from now - as a footnote? The U.S. Women's 2006 Olympiad team was composed of WGM Anna Zatonskih, IM Irina Krush, WGM Rusudan Goletiani, WGM Camilla Baginskaite. Krush will be playing in the 2007 U.S. Championship that begins May 15th and runs through the 23rd; Zatonskih is not playing in that event because she recently gave birth to her first child. Susan Polgar said at her blog that Goletiani would not be playing in the U.S. Championship for personal reasons. That leaves only Baginskaite - but she is not playing in the U.S. Championship either and, as she is much higher rated than two other women who will be partipating in that event, I assume she has other commitments too. So, none of the women from the 2006 U.S. Women's Olympiad Team were/are available to play in Ekaterinburg. But this surely didn't come up over night. I'm sure I read in the official FIDE rules something about at least 6 months' notice to the representative chess federations? But reading through those requirements - well, suffice to say I came away confused! Maybe the folks who are running USCF came away confused too, but then - what are we paying them for? Particularly upsetting to me is that I could not find any mention of this event at the USCF website. I'm eternally naive, it seems; I thought it would be big news! Nor has the story been picked up by the press - and yet - think about it: Vietnam is sending (and paying for) a women's team to play in this Championship in Russia - and the United States' team is disbanded and our chess federation has no money to send them to play even if we could get them together again. Once again, a very sad commentary on the state of chess in the United States.

Monday, May 7, 2007

2007 U.S. Championship-5

Okay, the Chess Goddess has come through again :) I asked for more information, and I found some - today - at Mig's Daily Dirt. Thanks, Chess Goddess, you are the greatest. John Donaldson posted the following: The US Championship has recently been increased to $70,000. Additionally there are daily $100 most interesting game prizes decided by a vote of the public over the Internet and the return of the Crenshaw special game prize. The first five finishers advance in the FIDE World Championship cycle. The next five receive free room and board at the Continental Championship. The National Open is offering several prizes. The hotel in Stillwater is half the cost of San Diego and the organizers are ferrying the players 70 miles from Tulsa to Stillwater. Only 3 spots were assigned to women ( there will be a ten players womens event in July - also in Stillwater. We are very lucky to have the Berrys).Krush accepted immediately. For various reasons, principally work and school, many declined until Iryna Zenyuk and Chouchan Airapetian accepted. Considering that two months ago it looked like there would be no US Championship things look very good, particularly as it was not easy for many folks to make arrangements on such short notice. They will be treated very well by Jim and Frank Berry. I hope that Joel Ripken-Gehrig Benjamin returns next year! Posted by: John Donaldson at May 7, 2007 14:07 *********************************************************************************** I checked earlier today and could not find any of this information posted at the USCF website (what's new?) So - we now know that there will be 10 women playing in the Women's Championship - we just don't know who they are yet - except that they won't be any of the higest rated women players in the United States. We also know that - since it doesn't seem very likely anyone else will come forward with a "bid" at this late date (particularly since bids haven't been been solicited), the Berry brothers will host the Women's event in Stillwater. I'm glad a Women's championship will be held, after all, but I'm sad because this is certainly a much diminished event from the ones hosted by AF4C the past several years - and I'm not just talking about the prize money. Some random thoughts:
  • So the prize fund for the "Men's" event has been increased to $70,000. Either Mr. Berry has found one or more additional sponsors, which is always good news, or the USCF has been shamed into kicking in another $5,000 from the $25,000 that Erik Anderson contributed to the USCF that, as I understand it, was specifically to be used for prize money for the 2007 U.S. Chess Championsips when AF4C and USCF said adieu.
  • The first five finishers advance to the FIDE Championship cycle? Oh for goodness sake - well, I suppose that could be a "carrot" for some players. The better carrot is the offer of free room and board at the next Continental Championship for players 5 through 10. Now THAT has a monetary value to it, and it's far more realistic that American players who, lets face it, except for Gata Kamsky and Irina Krush, are not exactly playing in the European circuit, will find that a prize of value.
  • Will the tempting "second level" prize (the free room and board for 5 members at the next Continental) cause a bunch of late-level draws where wins would otherwise be at hand? Or, even worse, losses? Ohmygoddess! Can you see it - players battling for the 5th through 10th spots on the final board???
  • Where's the money coming from for the daily $100 most interesting game prize?
  • Who the heck is Crenshaw?

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Chess and Squirrels

(A view of part of my backyard and one of my little friends, with a peanut in its mouth, September, 2006).

Since the last of my three dogs went to the Happy Hunting Grounds in April 2004, I no longer have any "official" pets. However, I live in a semi-suburban area where the yards are large, there is still open green space, and there is lots of wildlife, including deer that on occasion forage down from a county park a few miles away.

This morning while I was standing at the kitchen sink doing dishes and looking out at the back yard (which is in need of a good house cleaning, tsk tsk), a young robin suddenly appeared and settled on a branch on the giant Chinese Elm that towers over the northwest side of my house – a scant 15 feet away from me. The robin wasn’t aware of me, hidden, as I was, by the window, but I could clearly see him and was just amazed at how loudly he could sing when he opened his beak and burst into song. It lasted for about a minute, and I was transfixed, and so glad it’s finally spring here, after a long nasty winter and budget-breaking heating bills. How can such a small creature (he can’t weigh any more than a 3-4 ounces) make such a voluminous yet melodious sound?

Creatures such as that robin, the yellow finch and his mate who visited the white bird bath this morning (you can see it in the photo), the cardinals, blue jays, red-winged blackbirds, crows, and various species of sparrows – and the skunks, the bold raccoons, the possums – and lots of other critters, all bring a sense of wonderment and joy to me.

I now have "pet" squirrels and chipmunks. Oh, those chipmunks are fearless and bold, they are! They are the favorite of Isis and Michelle who have visited each of the past two summers, and will be here again for a week in July – I can hardly wait to see my dear "sister" and my honorary niece again. How amazed they were when, 2 summers ago on their first visit here during the lay-over before and after our trip to New York City, the chipmunks would boldly come right up on to the deck in order to fetch the peanuts we tossed to them – within inches, sometimes, of our feet. How we laughed at them as they would stuff peanut after peanut into seemingly endlessly expanding cheeks, just like "Chip and Dale" the cartoon chipmunks – they seemed likely to explode, but as far as I know, not one of them did!

My favorite critters are the squirrels. I am probably single-handedly responsible for the explosion of squirrels in the neighborhood since I started my feeding program (peanuts and sunflower seeds) shortly before Tasha died in April 2004. This February, as I was walking home one evening, I counted 13 nests in the trees within a block of my house. The bare branches made it easy to see them. When my dogs were in their hey-days, no self-respecting squirrel would venture within the fenced confines of my yard; but as the dogs aged and then passed away one by one, it was as if those critters were watching and waiting, and even laughing at the dogs as they laid in the sun those last couple of years, mostly blind and far too old to move fast enough to give chase even if they could have seen the critters! Spencer died in May, 1999; Jocques died in January, 2001, and Tasha, as noted earlier, in April, 2004.

Well, what can I say? My heart was broken three times, and I will never own another pet. But feeding the wildlife is a form of substitute for that special connection between woman and nature, and the squirrels have been very obliging. A few weeks ago, one of my sisters was absolutely amazed when we stepped out onto the deck and I said "watch this." I made my special "squirrel smoochy" noise and in less than 30 seconds three squirrels ran from different directions toward the deck where they expected to – and did- receive a reward of several salted peanuts in the shell. "How did you do that?" she wanted to know. LOL!

I haven’t yet succeeded in getting any of them to eat out of my hand. In the inner rings of the city, where the houses are closely bunched together on 30-foot wide lots and often doubled-up, back to back with a small patch in between on 120-foot long lots, the squirrels aren’t afraid of people. I used to live next store to a fellow who would "call" "his" squirrel; the squirrel would come running down the narrow concrete walkway between our two houses, up his leg and settle on his shoulder, where the young man would feed him treats. I wasn’t quite brave enough to let a flea-infested squirrel crawl up on my shoulder, but several mornings a week I would put peanuts out on a stone ledge beneath my kitchen window and then watch the squirrel eat from inside my kitchen as I drank my morning coffee.

"My" squirrels here are feeling pretty comfortable these days. Once a month the ladies in the "Invest Wise" investment club meet at my home, and they never fail to be amused by the antics of the squirrels coming up to the glass patio door and peering into the kitchen dinette where we hold our meetings. I don’t know if they can actually see us, but we sure see them – "oh look", the ladies say almost in unison – they’re coming for more peanuts, Jan."

So, you’re asking, what the heck does any of this have to do with chess? Well – I’ll tell you – I don’t know. I once started an article when I'd had one too many glasses of wine about "Squirrels and Chess" ( I didn’t get very far, I was laughing too hard); the next morning and ever since I have no idea what I was going to write – but it sure seemed like a brilliant idea at the time :) I’m sure I’ve got the start of an absolutely brilliant article about squirrels and chess saved on this hard-drive – somewhere – but I’ve yet to find it. I can’t remember what I saved it under…

Just a few days ago dondelion, Isis and I were having an email chat, as we tend to do – this time, about mazes, labyrinths, crop-circles and Morris dancers. Dondelion sent me this little ditty:

"Morris Dancers! They are verry cool... hobby horses and raggish
costumes.... special steps - tied in with troubadours and mystery plays...

"Plot element?? Jan Xena opens her back door to do yard work and finds squirrels dancing around a miniature crop circle. She puts down her rake and takes out her magic compass and some string. And that is how the game of twenty squirrels was invented…"

JanXena and her magic compass is another story – I’ll save that for another day.

2007 U.S. Championship-4

Happy Sunday everyone. It's a beautiful day here today - the sun is out, it is about 65 degrees and very breezy, but it is very warm in the sun if you are wearing a black sweatshirt (which I am). I am taking a short break from my reading session on the deck (Susan Polgar's "Breaking Through"), after having done several loads of laundry and cutting and trimming the front lawn. The back yard looks horrid and needs another raking and a good cut, but that will have to wait another day :)

I won’t give you the back-story of how I got there, but earlier today I had to read Mr. Bill Goichberg’s website (where he is actively endorsing some candiates for the USCF Executive Board slots that will be voted on next month - how can the President of the USCF do such a thing? Isn't that a conflict of interest to actively endorse candidates?) in order to learn this news about the 2007 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship:

Jim and Frank have also submitted a very good bid to host the US Women's Championship in Stillwater.

What? Why hasn’t this news been posted at the USCF website so that everyone can know the current status of the event? What on earth is going on?

I couldn’t even FIND an announcement anywhere at the USCF website that bids are being requested for the 2007 Women’s Championship! So now there’s a bid by the Messrs. Berry (the "Jim and Frank" referred to) – well, I’m glad of that but – honestly, folks, this is NOT the way to run a business. At least, not in the United States. Who ARE these people running the USCF anyway? Geez!

So – what are the particulars for the bid? When and where? How many players? What kind of prize structure? Don’t the members who pays dues to support the USCF have a right to know the answers to these fundamental questions? After all – it could be your friend, daughter, wife, sister, cousin or mother playing in this event, or one like it. So what’s going on – that’s what I want to know.


Can anyone out there give me (and the rest of women's chess fans who are also interested) some solid information?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...