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Old February 20th 06, 07:28 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Eric
 
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Default EB meeting and stuff (very long)

With nowhere else to go I wandered into the EB meeting at the
Parsippany Hilton Sunday afternoon. I had seen the meeting listed on
the USCF Web site and thought it might be fun to attend the member's
forum at 4. I had never been to an EB meeting, though I sat through
part of the Delegates meeting at Cherry Hill 2002, the Finance workshop
at USATE 1999 and the coming-out party for the doomed Dubeck slate at
the crack of dawn last year in Parsippany.

The forum was delayed for more than an hour as an open-session EB
meeting broke out to discuss a proposal from Susan Polgar. The board
endorsed Polgar's idea, as she requested, but getting there was like a
Knight's Tour with no rules.

Before getting into that, a few items of interest. (This will be a long
post; please break up replies as needed.)

There will soon be a separate publication for juniors again; aimed at
12 and under. The name has not yet been decided. It's not clear (to me)
how if at all that will affect the dues structure

The minimum prize to qualify for a money-based rating floor has been
doubled from $1,000 to $2,000. Goichberg said this happened "about two
weeks ago," which I assume means a conference call. A thousand bucks is
noit as impressive as it was when dollar-floors were implemented, Bill
said.

The EB also took action on rating floors related to rating regualtions
for matches, though it was not clear to me exactly what they did. This
took place at the Friday-Saturday EB meeting at the Hilton. Perhaps a
board member of someone who was there can share.

Also it seems that Robert Tanner---a very nice man I played in round 4
following the meeting, when my team was paired with the Board+ Bill
Hall team---recently became the latest USCF board member/employee to
have his rating floor raised. (This did not come up at the meeting. I
noticed it when I checked online at MSA after our game. For all I know
it's totally legit and the timing was a coincidence. Bob was a
gentleman at the board meeting and at the chessboard.)

Once the members forum finally started, Sam Sloan sounded off about the
ChessCafe quagmire, telling the board members they did a horrible,
terrible thing by forgiving Mr. Russell's unpaid debt and
re-structuring and extending the deal. Sam said they should have sued.

"Don't blame us," replied Joel Channing, who said if anything the
current board erred in not re-doing the deal sooner. The gist of the
argument, according to Channing and Goichberg, is that

A. The $350K figure was unrealistic, based in part on bad information
supplied by USCF to Russell. (USCF over-stated its sales totals,
apparently.)

B. The original deal did not name Russell personally, but rather his
company; thus it would require huge amounts of money and time to
recover the money through the courts. That might not work anyway and in
the meantime the Fed would take a huge hit in lost sales, especially at
holiday time.

C. The new/restructured deal names Russell personally, so if he does
not meet the revised guarantee of about $150K the Fed can go after his
personal assets---which, we are told, are sufficient to cover any
future shortage.

Also, Goichberg said---in response to a comment from Sam Sloan---that
Jennifer Shahade will not be paid $75,000 per year, as has been
reported on the Internet. (Her salary will be much less than that, he
said.) Tanner quickly started to interject that the board could not
reveal her salary because it was a personnel matter, but before he got
that far Sam had moved on to something else.

Now for the Polgar matter.

Susan Polgar sent an email to the usual suspects Saturday asking the
board to support her efforts to create an all-girl All-America team,
with the team members given the chance to spend a week in intense
training with Polgar and other top master/coaches. She said she would
supply jackets to the team members and her foundation would "sponsor"
the week-long training sessions.

The board's endorsement would help her line up sponsorship for the
plan, according to Don Schultz, who moved to endorse the Polgar
project. I wish I had brought a notebook and pen with me to write down
the exact wording of the Schultz motion, as well as the numerous
parliamentary contortions it inspired.

Beatriz Marinello opposed the motion on the grounds that we should not
dumb-down chess for girls and women. She made it clear she feels
strongly about that and will not support female-only events or teams
which some girls might find insulting. She mentioned how she would have
gone farther in chess had she set her sights on "open" chess rather
than women's chess when she was growing up.

Beatriz also raised the issues of liability and the ownership of the
"All-America" name.

Goichberg did not like using ratings to determine the All-America girls
team, especially since the Polgar plan as Bill G. described it would
use the All-America qualification formula but with 100 points
subtracted. (More "dumbing-down" which some could find insulting.)

The proposed ratings formula came in an attachment to Polgar's email
message, apparently. Things started to really get weird when the debate
turned to whether the Schultz motion pertained only to the text of the
email or if it also included the attachment with the ratings formula
and other suggestions.

Goichberg did not want to endorse the plan as long as it incuded
ratings. He offered an alternate motion to endorse the plan "in
principle" and refer it to the Scholastic Council, the Women's Chess
Committee and I believe one other body.

Schultz said he would not budge or change the wording of his motion,
because, he said, he "made a commitment to Susan." He repeated that
several times. Schultz and Channing noted that Polgar would be offended
if the board's support was watered down that much. That seemed to
baffle Goichberg.

Schultz called the question on his motion. Then the board voted whether
to object to the calling of the question. And so on. And on. Board
members asked more than once whether what they were doing was
procedurally correct; there was no one on hand to give them a clear
answer. I thought for sure someone was going to call Mike Nolan on the
spot. (One thing that might help future board meetings is a refresher
course in Robert's Rules.)

The key to wrapping up the debate was Myron Lieberman's suggestion that
the text of Polgar's email message be noted for the record and attached
to the minutes. (The Liebermans were there to take the minutes and to
record the meeting.) He also noted that the issue of women's chess is
so controversial that no matter what the board did it would offend
someone, so that should not be a factor in their vote.

As I understand it, the Schultz motion that passed pertains only to the
main text of Polgar's email, in re endorsing the concept of an
all-girls national chess team, and NOT to the supporting material,
including the rating formula, contained in the attachment. I would not
bet big bucks on it, though.

Before the board voted on the Schultz motion, however, they first voted
on an amendment to the motion sponsored by Channing. Yep, that's right.
The vote on the amendment came before the vote on the main motion.
Schultz called it "splitting the motions," but by then I was biting my
lip.

Channing's amendment concerned confidentiality. He moved that once
Executive Director Bill Hall begins to negotiate with the Polgar
Foundation over the specifics of the girls' chess team plan, both sides
must vow to remain mum untl the deal is done. It's how things are done
in his business, he said.

Channing was the only board member who strongly supported the Schultz
motion at first....and about one hour later---after Goichberg and
Tanner had been grudgingly won over---Channing told Schultz he would
not vote for his (Schultz's) motion unless it included the
confidentiality amendment. Schultz still would not budge, so the board
first voted on the Channing amendment and then on the Schultz motion.

Both passed. I believe it was 4-1 in favor of the Schultz motion, with
Marinello the lone "no" vote, and 3-2 in favor of the Channing
amendment, with Marinello and Schultz opposed.

I asked Joel Channing at what point in the meeting did he suddenly
realize the motion needed a confidentiality amendment so badly that he
went from a strong supporter of the motion to saying he would not
support it if his amendment did not pass. I forget how he replied.

I also told Don Schultz that I cover municipal and county-level
meetings as part of my job, and had an elected official at one of those
meetings repeatedly stated he would not budge on a proposed motion on a
controversial topic because he "made a commitment" to a controversial
local figure that official would never hear the end of it. He did not
seem impressed.

This thing has the potential to be a major mess, but I hope that does
not happen. Despite the strange doings, there was a good feeling in the
meeting room on Sunday. Bill Hall seems like a pleasant guy and a good
choice for ED---though I really don't want to lay that label on him,
considering recent history.

It was an interesting variation of Sunday afternoon chess, anyway.

Regards,
Eric M

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Old February 20th 06, 01:11 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Andrew Zito
 
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Default EB Virus

(Also, Goichberg said---in response to a comment from Sam Sloan---that
Jennifer Shahade will not be paid $75,000 per year, as has been
reported on the Internet. (Her salary will be much less than that, he
said.) Tanner quickly started to interject that the board could not
reveal her salary because it was a personnel matter, but before he got
that far Sam had moved on to something else.)

So they are hiding it as usual. What else is new?

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Old February 20th 06, 04:27 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
 
Posts: n/a
Default EB Virus

DIRT ON THE STICK?

So they are hiding it as usual. What else is new? -- Andrew Zito

That's right: they are hiding the salary. If
the salary is a lot less than $75,000 and if she is
not in the upper-rung, then there is justification for
not revealing it.

Indeed, if Jennifer Shahade is just manning the
equivalent, say, of one of the lesser editorial
positions within the publications hierarchy below the
director and editor, then you can justify in some
instances not advertising the position to the general
chess community. But the quiet resignation of her
brother from the board and her quick hire arouses suspicion.

I will do some checking up as best I can and
try to find out whether there is dirt on the stick.

If I were a betting man at this point and had
to lay a wager, I would bet that the whole deal
stinks. But we don't know that yet. I have some
spare time and will ask around and also try to figure
out the woman's likely position in the hierarchy.

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Old February 20th 06, 06:30 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Louis Blair
 
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Default EB Virus

Larry Parr wrote (20 Feb 2006 08:27:34 -0800):

the quiet resignation of her brother from the board
and her quick hire arouses suspicion.


_
Statement by Greg Shahade on his resignation from the
USCF Executive Board

It is with regret that I find myself forced to resign from the
Executive Board. According to the USCF bylaws it is impossible for an
immediate family member of a EB member to have a paid position within
the USCF. In the midst of the Chess Life interviews and hiring decision
made by the EB (of which I wasn't a part of due to a conflict of
interest), it was decided that Dan Lucas would be the best choice for
editor, but that the USCF should also utilize the skills of my sister,
Jennifer Shahade, as a website content editor. Once it was made clear
to me that the USCF was prepared to consider her for a job, yet could
only do so if I resigned from the board, I felt there was no choice but
to do so.

Our website has been lacking for a long time and often has very
uninteresting news stories and fails to properly cover many of our
major events. I ran on a platform of improving Chess Life and the
website, and I believe that my sister is the perfect person to help
bring our website into the 21st century, and make it the top source for
American chess news. I feel that her having this position is more
important than my position on the Executive Board, and to make this
happen, I feel that my resignation is the best thing for the USCF.

It has been an eye opening experience being part of the USCF Executive
Board and I have high hopes for the future. The current Board has a
good rapport with one another and every one of them are very dedicated
to improving American Chess. I am also very impressed with the job that
Bill Goichberg is doing as President of the Board. When I first was
elected I was not so sure that he was the right person for the
Presidency but during my time on the board I feel that he is by far the
best candidate for the position and as long as he is the president I
have optimism that the USCF will make responsible and well thought out
decisions.

Greg Shahade

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Old February 21st 06, 02:58 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Eric
 
Posts: n/a
Default EB Virus

wrote:
DIRT ON THE STICK?

So they are hiding it as usual. What else is new? -- Andrew Zito

That's right: they are hiding the salary. If
the salary is a lot less than $75,000 and if she is
not in the upper-rung, then there is justification for
not revealing it.

Indeed, if Jennifer Shahade is just manning the
equivalent, say, of one of the lesser editorial
positions within the publications hierarchy below the
director and editor, then you can justify in some
instances not advertising the position to the general
chess community. But the quiet resignation of her
brother from the board and her quick hire arouses suspicion.


Yes, the fact that the position was not advertised, (as far as I know),
and then given to someone with little or no experience as webmaster
(again, as far as I know), is the real issue, I think.

Greg did what was necessary when he resigned. Had he tried to stay on
the board through some tortured interpretation of the bylaws and
standard ethics, 'then' we would have a story.

Jennifer Shahade has solid qualifications as a player, coach and
writer, but it seems strange to me that she was hired as webmaster
rather than several other positions that could have been created with a
straight face, such as senior correspondent for Chess Life, roving
coach, lecturer and ambassador on behalf of the Fed or liaison between
USCF and the corporate world, including corporate media. In the latter
case, she could have been paid partly on commission for raising
advertising and sponsorship revenue.

I'm not sure there was any evil intent. Improving the Web site is a top
priority, Jennifer is a fairly hot property with a fairly high public
profile and no matter the level of her cyber-skills she knows chess,
chessplayers and she can write well, as long as she remembers that the
wee ones receive and read Chess Life and moreso log onto the Web site.

All that plus her willingness to take the salary offered, (where did
the alleged $75K come from, anyway?) made hiring her seem like a great
idea at the time, I'm sure. The few webmasters I know do not work
cheap, and none of them work for companies bigger than USCF, by most
measures.

I say give her a chance to prove herself. I also say that all salaried
positions that can be considered middle-management level should be
advertised. Especially newly created ones.

Regards,
Eric M



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Old February 21st 06, 03:20 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Paul Rubin
 
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Default EB Virus

"Eric" writes:
Jennifer Shahade has solid qualifications as a player, coach and
writer, but it seems strange to me that she was hired as webmaster


Was she hired as a webmaster or is that speculation/innuendo/rumor/
misinterpretation? I know what a webmaster is and I don't think JS
was hired as one.
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Old February 21st 06, 03:22 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Louis Blair
 
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Eric M wrote (20 Feb 2006 18:58:22 -0800):

where did the alleged $75K come from, anyway?


_
After a quick search, the earliest rgcp reference to
it that I can find is:
_
VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
From: "Ray Gordon"
Newsgroups:
rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,rec. games.chess.computer
Subject: Don Schultz gave Shahade a $75K a year position
Date: 1 Feb 2006 05:58:53 -0800

Shutz gave her the job with no experience beside being a ****. How come
Parr and Innes are so quiet about this? The job was not posted to the
public. The USCF has very little money. Why give $75,000 a year to a
girl who has no professional experience? Oh, I forgot. She did write
the Chess **** book. Something is rotten somewhere.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

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Old February 21st 06, 03:27 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Eric Mark
 
Posts: n/a
Default EB Virus


Eric wrote:
wrote:
DIRT ON THE STICK?

So they are hiding it as usual. What else is new? -- Andrew Zito

That's right: they are hiding the salary. If
the salary is a lot less than $75,000 and if she is
not in the upper-rung, then there is justification for
not revealing it.

Indeed, if Jennifer Shahade is just manning the
equivalent, say, of one of the lesser editorial
positions within the publications hierarchy below the
director and editor, then you can justify in some
instances not advertising the position to the general
chess community. But the quiet resignation of her
brother from the board and her quick hire arouses suspicion.


Yes, the fact that the position was not advertised, (as far as I know),
and then given to someone with little or no experience as webmaster
(again, as far as I know), is the real issue, I think.

Greg did what was necessary when he resigned. Had he tried to stay on
the board through some tortured interpretation of the bylaws and
standard ethics, 'then' we would have a story.

Jennifer Shahade has solid qualifications as a player, coach and
writer, but it seems strange to me that she was hired as webmaster
rather than several other positions that could have been created with a
straight face, such as senior correspondent for Chess Life, roving
coach, lecturer and ambassador on behalf of the Fed or liaison between
USCF and the corporate world, including corporate media. In the latter
case, she could have been paid partly on commission for raising
advertising and sponsorship revenue.

I'm not sure there was any evil intent. Improving the Web site is a top
priority, Jennifer is a fairly hot property with a fairly high public
profile and no matter the level of her cyber-skills she knows chess,
chessplayers and she can write well, as long as she remembers that the
wee ones receive and read Chess Life and moreso log onto the Web site.

All that plus her willingness to take the salary offered, (where did
the alleged $75K come from, anyway?) made hiring her seem like a great
idea at the time, I'm sure. The few webmasters I know do not work
cheap, and none of them work for companies bigger than USCF, by most
measures.

I say give her a chance to prove herself. I also say that all salaried
positions that can be considered middle-management level should be
advertised. Especially newly created ones.

Regards,
Eric M


For the record and for those who care, I should have signed my full
name, Eric Mark. USCF ID#: 12119310. When I set up my current Google
account, I neglected to put my full name in the "nickname" field. I
just fixed that, or so I hope.

The proliferation of no-name and fake-name posters is one reason I all
but stopped posting here and cut way back on my lurking in the past few
months....

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Old February 21st 06, 03:38 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Eric Mark
 
Posts: n/a
Default EB Virus


Paul Rubin wrote:
"Eric" writes:
Jennifer Shahade has solid qualifications as a player, coach and
writer, but it seems strange to me that she was hired as webmaster


Was she hired as a webmaster or is that speculation/innuendo/rumor/
misinterpretation? I know what a webmaster is and I don't think JS
was hired as one.


Perhaps I erred. Folks in Parsippany referred to her as "webmaster"
more than once, but I believe her proper title is "web content editor."
Maybe it's "web site content editor."

Whatever it's called, her job involves improving the Web site.
"Content" can mean almost anything these days---journalism seminars are
about as weird as the EB meeting I attended on Sunday---but I suspect
she will write quite a bit for the Web site and probably also for Chess
Life.

ED Bill Hall mentioned Sunday that the plan is to use the Web site to
promote Chess Life and also use Chess Life to promote the Web site.
That theme runs rampant in journalism these days. It sounds
great....and I hope USCF has more success achieving it than the
industry standard, which is not great.

If someone knows for sure her title and the duties that come with it,
please share.

Regards,
Eric Mark

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Old February 21st 06, 03:54 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
Louis Blair
 
Posts: n/a
Default EB Virus

Paul Rubin wrote (20 Feb 2006 19:20:05 -0800):

Was she hired as a webmaster or is that
speculation/innuendo/rumor/ misinterpretation?
I know what a webmaster is and I don't think JS
was hired as one.


_
"In the midst of the Chess Life interviews and
hiring decision made by the EB (of which I
wasn't a part of due to a conflict of interest), it
was decided that ... the USCF should ... utilize
the skills of my sister, Jennifer Shahade, as
a website content editor" - Greg Shahade
_
http://www.uschess.org/shahade_statement.php
_
"We ... decided on having her manage the
Web Site content." - Don Schultz
_
http://www.uschess.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=913

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