Wednesday, February 25, 2009

United States Chess Federation: 2009 Elections

Hola darlings! I've been getting these little green postcards in the mail the past few months from the USCF reminding me that my USCF adult membership will soon be expiring and to hurry and renew today at a rate of only $42. Hmmm, seems the last time I remember renewing it was $39 on a special sale price. Oh well - A little bit of history: I first joined the USCF in 1999 under the mistaken belief that I might have to be a member of a chess federation recognized by FIDE in order to be able to view the World Chess Championship that was taking place that year in August at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Imagine my shock and horror when the lovely young lady at the table collecting fees for entrance from spectators not only did NOT ask to see my chess federation ID card, she held my State of Wisconsin non-drivers license ID hostage for headphones so I could listen to GM commentary about the games! If I returned the headphones I got my ID back. Oh my! I no longer remember - I think there may have a small fee tendered as well - $5? Well, it broke down to less than $1 an hour as I sat, day after day, through six and more hours of watching this game and that, as the players knocked each other out, one by one, listening to the commentary that, for the most part, I did not understand. I do remember that oftentimes the pieces on the projected playing boards froze in place for hours on end... This was my introduction to the world of high-stakes international chess, such as it existed in August, 1999. Darlings, after that experience, Ms. Naivite' realized she did not have to be a member of any chess federation in order to either attend a game as a spectator or to report on an event and be taken seriously (or not). And thus I've continued down until today... Okay - back to the USCF elections. In 2007, shortly after Goddesschess established this blog, I experienced my very first online USCF Executive Board election and was introduced into the world of chess politics. That is not a topic on which I wish to spend much time. However, the future direction of the USCF is something in which I take an interest, since I have to pay every year to be a member and I'd like to know where my money is being spent. The USCF operates like the Federal government under George W. Bush for the past 8 years - no accountability whatsoever until the taxpayers finally had it up their earlobes and decisively voted for a change in direction. But the USCF doesn't have the leeway of the Federal Government - it has by-laws that control how it is supposed to operate and a membership to which it is accountable. Perhaps a sea-change is in the air... So, USCF, do not despair. I will be renewing my membership for 2009 and you'll be getting my $42 for another year, only because I wish to vote in the upcoming election. To that end, I will do the best I can to find information and present it here about each and every one of the people who are running for positions on the USCF Executive Board for 4-years seats. It probably won't be an exhaustive survey because there's so much more interesting stuff on which to blog! But I'll try to hit the highlights - or lowlights - as they appear to yours truly.

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