Thursday, April 2, 2009

2009 USCF Executive Board Election

It's official - I renewed my membership and now I will be able to vote in the 2009 election for four Executive Board seats. I don't know how many of the people who visit here are USCF members, but to those of you who are, I would urge you to study the candidates as best you can, and above all, vote. You can find out about the candidates by googling their names, also by visiting chess blogs and discussion boards, and if you receive Chess Life Magazine, reading the candidates' statements. I believe (although I am not certain) that you will also be able to read the candidates' statements at Chess Life Online. If your membership includes receiving Chess Life magazine, I think it's in the June edition that you will receive a paper ballot which you can fill out and mail in. I'm not sure what happens if you've got one of the new elective memberships where you do not receive the paper magazine - there may be a way to vote online, or perhaps you'll receive a separate paper ballot in the mail. One way or another, you will be able to vote, and I urge all USCF members to vote after doing your own "due diligence" (a legal term of art, forgive me). There are four seats up for election in this cycle, for four year terms. Here are the eleven registered candidates in alphabetical order: Mike Atkins Jim Berry (running for re-election) Bill Goichberg (running for re-election) Ruth Haring Eric Hecht Mikhail Korenman Brian Lafferty Blas Lugo Brian Mottershead Mike Nietman Sam Sloan A lot of information is available on the internet about some of the candidates, but not so much on others. Sometimes it takes a little digging, but you can find info. You can check Mark Weeks' blog for information. He links each candidate to google searches under their names. At Chess, I was led to these opinions on the candidates offered by John Hillery at his blog, Western Chess. In her blog, popularly known as Lizzy Knows All, U.S. chessplayer and chess coach Elizabeth Vicary interviewed candidates Mike Atkins and Brian Lafferty. I know none of the candidates personally. I have read much on some of the candidates, have read what information I can find on other candidates who have pretty much steered clear of chess politics, and have read what some of the candidates have written and said for themselves. I have formed my impressions of the candidates accordingly. Here are the candidates of which I know of no evil and I am voting for: IM Ruth Haring Mike Nietman Mikhail Korenman Mike Atkins This election, like others before it, is contentious. USCF members who are interested in voting can well educate themselves on the issues and the candidates. I hope this election will result in peace among the members of the Executive Board and a shared vision to promote chess in the United States to the best of all EB members' unique abilities and talents. I give a special plug to fellow Wisconsinite Mike Nietman. He has been a TD and promoter of chess in Wisconsin for many years, a rated player here (in Wisconsin's top 100), the President of the Wisconsin Chess Association and involved in promoting scholastic chess. In talking to local chess folks about Mr. Nietman, I hear only good things. I also really like the idea of adding another experienced female chessplayer to the EB in the person of IM Ruth Haring. We could do with a bit less testosterone on the Board, I think, and Haring will add not only a feminine point of view but the voice of a well-seasoned competitive tournament player.

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