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Old May 15th 05, 01:10 AM
The Historian
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Default Role of the Chess Life editor: Historical comment

John Hilbert wrote in 2001:

"As is the case even today, nearly forty-five years later, the role of
Chess Life was coming into question. Should the newspaper be the voice
of the organization, in close step with the views of the officers of
the Federation, or should it be an independent entity, free to
criticize the very organization that gave it life and breath?
[Montgomery] Major, for one, left no doubt as to his own view. "There
have been attempts," Major wrote, "to stifle the independent voice
of Chess Life, and it is no secret that prior to the USCF annual
meeting at Long Beach the USCF Ways and Means Committee made a futile
and clandestine attempt to replace the Editor with someone more
subservient to their mandates. This conspiracy to gag Chess Life
failed; and other like attempts will fail just so long as the
membership at large combines in insisting upon an independent voice,
representing them equally with management." Apparently Major viewed
the role of Chess Life as that of an independent entity, free to
condemn or applaud management, membership, or any other interest group
associated with chess in the United States. What he didn't seem to
understand, however, was the deep resentment engendered in those who
felt Major used Chess Life as his own soapbox, draping his own biases
and political views with the protective cloak of freedom of the press."

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