Main
Date: 22 Dec 2008 13:05:29
From: B. Lafferty
Subject: The Role of the USCF??
From the USCF Issues Forum. Hopefully this will start a needed discussion.

by hmb on Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:36 pm #121015

As I read the posts in the "$350,000 bequest" topic, I can't help but
thinking that this discussion is off topic, in that USCF's real issues
are not how to spend or save this money, so much as how to address the
long term - how to be stable and effective. Lawsuits are a pain, and a
drain, but cash flow problems have been systemic for many years, due to
the overall way USCF is managed. No matter what is done with this money
now, if nothing changes about the way USCF manages for the long term,
the same types of monetary issues will recur, as they have repeatedly.

Much of what Grayson wrote when he started the topic "Get a Grip" is
correct.

Long after Susan Polgar has become involved in prison chess, or become
full-time spokesperson and hostess for chess in Europe, or whatever else
becomes of her after these lawsuits are over and done with...long after
Sevan Muradian or Mark Nibbelin or others have started seperate chess
organizations and left, or have given up on such ideas and stayed and
ceased promoting them...long after Gata Kamsky has climbed to or near
the top of chess's Olympus, USCF must come back to the question of what
the organization is really about, and find a sustainable approach to
honoring that.

Before the meteoric rise of Bobby Fischer caused USCF leadership of the
1960s to become excited about chess playing a greater role in American
society, USCF appears to have been a membership club, if you will, of
maybe 4,000 dedicated amateur chess tournament competitors. Professional
players were looked after by patrons, or not at all. Casual players who
did not know of or wish to compete were probably not members -
certainly, there could not have been many such members, and the
publications of the day do not seem to have catered to such players.
Fischer's ascendance attracted new members, to a peak of 72,000 as I
recall, then a levelling off at 60,000. Since then, all that has changed
have been (a) the slowly aging demographics shift and (b) the
establishment of the scholastic segment. Membership seems to fluctuate
now in the 80,000's and 90,000's, depending on scholastic ups and downs.

The mission statement is very high-minded and broad, and I doubt it is
valid for the organization, no matter how nice it sounds.

My personal opinion is that USCF should be doing some core things
better, and that would make a lot more ancillary things work in chess's
favor, often without USCF needing to do much heavy lifting.

The main core thing is maintaining and servicing the integrity and good
operations of the system of formal competitions that USCF sanctions.
People who wish to compete need this, and some - albeit small -
percentage of all people who take up any activity seem to feel a need to
compete. Beyond that, USCF should provide whatever services and
encouragements it can that help people do all the things that might
allow them to learn and improve - and enable people to provide support
and encouragement to more people to do the same - and that help chess
players feel connected to one another and to the culture and
accomplishments that are associated with the game, and to those who play
it most seriously.

The expression of the above in terms of services is something I think we
should explore. I don't know whether the result would become an
organization that is like the pre-Fischer USCF, but stable at some level
of membership such as the current level, or whether it would be a lot
different. The internet makes a great deal of communications possible -
both for USCF and for myriad others who may wish to provide services or
information - and the internet makes operations costs very low for many
kinds of things, too.

In the mid-90s, I worked for someone who saw the internet coming, and
saw many of the possibilities, long before most of us ever had any idea
of what the internet was. In 1995, this fellow redesigned the FedEx web
site, and soon, FedEx was saving millions of dollars that had previously
been spent answering calls on 800 number (toll free) phone lines to help
people track their packages, because they tracked them online without
live human customer service support - the first documented case of
realizing so much value from the internet. Next, he came up with the
idea of auctioning off airline seats that were about to go forever
unsold, and Cathay Pacific Airlines had him implement it. As director of
site development for this man's company, I was exposed to an incredible
range of ideas and ways of thinking about the new possibilities created
by the internet, and I got to watch from a front row seat (or sometimes,
from the driver's seat) many new business models tried, evolved, and
eventually established.

USCF is late to this party, and is still early in this process. USCF is
essential to certain things in chess in the US and in the world, and has
established and effective processes that attract and retain tens of
thousands of chess players. Even as we approach the middle of the second
decade of the internet age, USCF should be very much able to find roles
that are appropriate and worthwhile. There are many mistakes waiting to
be made, but many good moves, too. And, at the end of the day, USCF
cannot be all things, but it can fulfill numerous central purposes in
the world as it has evolved thus far, just as it did in earlier eras,
such as the era that saw the confederation of the state chapters that
formed USCF, and the pioneering of the now-standard Elo rating system
and Swiss pairing system.
Hal Bogner




 
Date: 22 Dec 2008 05:52:21
From: parrthenon@cs.com
Subject: Re: The Role of the USCF??
HOW SHOULD THE BEQUEST BE USED?

Subj: Re: [fide-chess] Susan Polgar's Proposal to Create Five Funds
Date: 12/21/2008 11:07:49 PM
From: Paultruong@aol.com

In a message dated 12/20/2008 12:18:08 P.M. Central Standard Time,
HC.Dondis@verizon.net writes:

To all: Sam Sloan says that the USCF has received a bequest of
$350,000. If true, does anybody know rthe details of this? HBD

This was what she said:

Mr. Dondis,

It is true. However, I do not know too much about what it will be used
for. I hope the money will be used to pay off the mortgage and payback
the LMA.

Best wishes,
Susan Polgar








B. Lafferty wrote:
> From the USCF Issues Forum. Hopefully this will start a needed discussion.
>
> by hmb on Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:36 pm #121015
>
> As I read the posts in the "$350,000 bequest" topic, I can't help but
> thinking that this discussion is off topic, in that USCF's real issues
> are not how to spend or save this money, so much as how to address the
> long term - how to be stable and effective. Lawsuits are a pain, and a
> drain, but cash flow problems have been systemic for many years, due to
> the overall way USCF is managed. No matter what is done with this money
> now, if nothing changes about the way USCF manages for the long term,
> the same types of monetary issues will recur, as they have repeatedly.
>
> Much of what Grayson wrote when he started the topic "Get a Grip" is
> correct.
>
> Long after Susan Polgar has become involved in prison chess, or become
> full-time spokesperson and hostess for chess in Europe, or whatever else
> becomes of her after these lawsuits are over and done with...long after
> Sevan Muradian or Mark Nibbelin or others have started seperate chess
> organizations and left, or have given up on such ideas and stayed and
> ceased promoting them...long after Gata Kamsky has climbed to or near
> the top of chess's Olympus, USCF must come back to the question of what
> the organization is really about, and find a sustainable approach to
> honoring that.
>
> Before the meteoric rise of Bobby Fischer caused USCF leadership of the
> 1960s to become excited about chess playing a greater role in American
> society, USCF appears to have been a membership club, if you will, of
> maybe 4,000 dedicated amateur chess tournament competitors. Professional
> players were looked after by patrons, or not at all. Casual players who
> did not know of or wish to compete were probably not members -
> certainly, there could not have been many such members, and the
> publications of the day do not seem to have catered to such players.
> Fischer's ascendance attracted new members, to a peak of 72,000 as I
> recall, then a levelling off at 60,000. Since then, all that has changed
> have been (a) the slowly aging demographics shift and (b) the
> establishment of the scholastic segment. Membership seems to fluctuate
> now in the 80,000's and 90,000's, depending on scholastic ups and downs.
>
> The mission statement is very high-minded and broad, and I doubt it is
> valid for the organization, no matter how nice it sounds.
>
> My personal opinion is that USCF should be doing some core things
> better, and that would make a lot more ancillary things work in chess's
> favor, often without USCF needing to do much heavy lifting.
>
> The main core thing is maintaining and servicing the integrity and good
> operations of the system of formal competitions that USCF sanctions.
> People who wish to compete need this, and some - albeit small -
> percentage of all people who take up any activity seem to feel a need to
> compete. Beyond that, USCF should provide whatever services and
> encouragements it can that help people do all the things that might
> allow them to learn and improve - and enable people to provide support
> and encouragement to more people to do the same - and that help chess
> players feel connected to one another and to the culture and
> accomplishments that are associated with the game, and to those who play
> it most seriously.
>
> The expression of the above in terms of services is something I think we
> should explore. I don't know whether the result would become an
> organization that is like the pre-Fischer USCF, but stable at some level
> of membership such as the current level, or whether it would be a lot
> different. The internet makes a great deal of communications possible -
> both for USCF and for myriad others who may wish to provide services or
> information - and the internet makes operations costs very low for many
> kinds of things, too.
>
> In the mid-90s, I worked for someone who saw the internet coming, and
> saw many of the possibilities, long before most of us ever had any idea
> of what the internet was. In 1995, this fellow redesigned the FedEx web
> site, and soon, FedEx was saving millions of dollars that had previously
> been spent answering calls on 800 number (toll free) phone lines to help
> people track their packages, because they tracked them online without
> live human customer service support - the first documented case of
> realizing so much value from the internet. Next, he came up with the
> idea of auctioning off airline seats that were about to go forever
> unsold, and Cathay Pacific Airlines had him implement it. As director of
> site development for this man's company, I was exposed to an incredible
> range of ideas and ways of thinking about the new possibilities created
> by the internet, and I got to watch from a front row seat (or sometimes,
> from the driver's seat) many new business models tried, evolved, and
> eventually established.
>
> USCF is late to this party, and is still early in this process. USCF is
> essential to certain things in chess in the US and in the world, and has
> established and effective processes that attract and retain tens of
> thousands of chess players. Even as we approach the middle of the second
> decade of the internet age, USCF should be very much able to find roles
> that are appropriate and worthwhile. There are many mistakes waiting to
> be made, but many good moves, too. And, at the end of the day, USCF
> cannot be all things, but it can fulfill numerous central purposes in
> the world as it has evolved thus far, just as it did in earlier eras,
> such as the era that saw the confederation of the state chapters that
> formed USCF, and the pioneering of the now-standard Elo rating system
> and Swiss pairing system.
> Hal Bogner


  
Date: 22 Dec 2008 07:46:53
From: parrthenon@cs.com
Subject: Re: The Role of the USCF??
THE FIDE NEWSGROUP

<Where did you get this? I have not seen it. > -- Sam Sloan

Apparently Paul Truong prefers to omit your name from the FIDE
newsgroup that you created.

Yours, Larry Parr

samsloan wrote:
> On Dec 22, 8:52?am, "parrthe...@cs.com" <parrthe...@cs.com> wrote:
> > HOW SHOULD THE BEQUEST ?BE USED?
> >
> > Subj: ? Re: [fide-chess] Susan Polgar's Proposal to Create Five Funds
> > Date: ? 12/21/2008 11:07:49 PM
> > From: ? Paultru...@aol.com
> >
> > In a message dated 12/20/2008 12:18:08 P.M. Central Standard Time,
> >
> > HC.Don...@verizon.net writes:
> >
> > To all: Sam Sloan says that the USCF has received a bequest of
> > $350,000. If true, does anybody know rthe details of this? HBD
> >
> > This was what she said:
> >
> > ?Mr. Dondis,
> >
> > It is true. However, I do not know too much about what it will be used
> > for. I hope the money will be used to pay off the mortgage and payback
> > the LMA.
> >
> > Best wishes,
> > Susan Polgar
>
> Where did you get this? I have not seen it.
>
> Susan gives a simple and logical answer, and not the ridiculous
> proposal to create five funds to spend the money that Donna Alarie is
> circulating.
>
> This makes it clear that Donna is the real author of what she says
> will be Susan's proposal.
>
> Sam Sloan


  
Date: 22 Dec 2008 06:02:17
From: samsloan
Subject: Re: The Role of the USCF??
On Dec 22, 8:52=A0am, "parrthe...@cs.com" <parrthe...@cs.com > wrote:
> HOW SHOULD THE BEQUEST =A0BE USED?
>
> Subj: =A0 Re: [fide-chess] Susan Polgar's Proposal to Create Five Funds
> Date: =A0 12/21/2008 11:07:49 PM
> From: =A0 Paultru...@aol.com
>
> In a message dated 12/20/2008 12:18:08 P.M. Central Standard Time,
>
> HC.Don...@verizon.net writes:
>
> To all: Sam Sloan says that the USCF has received a bequest of
> $350,000. If true, does anybody know rthe details of this? HBD
>
> This was what she said:
>
> =A0Mr. Dondis,
>
> It is true. However, I do not know too much about what it will be used
> for. I hope the money will be used to pay off the mortgage and payback
> the LMA.
>
> Best wishes,
> Susan Polgar

Where did you get this? I have not seen it.

Susan gives a simple and logical answer, and not the ridiculous
proposal to create five funds to spend the money that Donna Alarie is
circulating.

This makes it clear that Donna is the real author of what she says
will be Susan's proposal.

Sam Sloan