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Old August 3rd 03, 02:39 AM
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Default Annual Delegates Meeting, Expect Nothing and You'll Not Feel Disappointed.

"USCF will not lower adult dues." (Bruce)
Probably correct. Chess HQ has no real incentive to lower the dues. (RSHaas)

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Old August 3rd 03, 03:28 AM
Eric Mark
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Default Annual Delegates Meeting, Expect Nothing and You'll Not Feel Disappointed.

Bruce Draney wrote in message ...
It's just about time for that annual exercise in futility and stupidity,
the USCF Board of Delegates meetings which this year will once again be
held too late for most educators or their children to attend in mid
August. Not to worry however, the Delegates are notorious for meeting,
passing inane, idiotic and unenforceable motions, enjoying much libation
(and scrod) and then patting one another on the back and talking about
how much cooperation and camraderie there was in discussing the issues
of the year.

Every year of course there are a whole set of sabre rattling issues
brought forth by various special interest groups threatening the end of
the universe if their group is in any way singled out for a 10 cent fee

As most people are aware the majority of the Delegates usually make up
two distinct, but powerful chess interest groups: the Life Members and
the Scholastic coaches, and equipment sellers. There are a few people
that are members of both groups which sometimes makes for an interesting
paradox as these groups try to decide who else besides one another will
pay the bills for the next fiscal year.

There is always great gnashing of teeth, threatening of secession and
complaining until everyone realizes that the best thing to do is to pass
another dues increase on adults, sparing the pocketbooks of the parents
and coaches of Johnny Poorknight, the poor little chessplayer whose
parents can't afford $15.00/year, but buy Johnny $120.00 Nike tennis
shoes for gym class. There is also Fred Forever who feels that he paid
his $50.00 30 years ago and no one has the right to expect him to shore
up an organization that he is a Life Member of.

When it's all said and done, motions will be passed, but no enforcement
will ever occur, a budget of some kind will be drawn up and passed that
no one really knows whether it is accurate or realistic, and the
Delegates will approve whatever meaningless or idiotic actions the Board
took in the past year, no matter how pathetic.

Having said all of this, I fully expect that nothing will get
accomplished by the Delegates of a meaningful nature, that there will be
a lot of customary hot air and complaining, but when push comes to
shove, everyone will commend Frank Niro on what a fantastic job he did
this year. Nothing will be done about the cannibalizing of the PPHBF,
nothing will be done about declining adult membership, nothing will done
about late payments to vendors, nothing will be done about continuous
self interest dominating the organization. Nothing will be done about
conflict of interest. There will be no separate set asides for capital
expenditures. Nothing will be resolved about having an office in two
locations instead of one. If USCF even made $1.00, this will be
trumpeted as the greatest year in the past eight for USCF finances, (an
ironically true statement).

In short, USCF has never been better.

What I expect to happen:

USCF will manage to eliminate the no-mag membership but will increase
its costs in the process because they will not charge enough to cover
the cost of producing a magazine.

USCF will not do ANYTHING to the Board or the ED for the PPHBF fiasco.
USCF will not eliminate the Grand Prix even though it costs money and
brings in no revenue and no longer has a sponsor.
USCF will not do ANYTHING to Frank Camaratta to change his arrangements
with marketing his own products from HOS in our catalog.
USCF will not lower adult dues.
USCF will not seriously look into the recently signed deal between Frank
N. and Games Parlor which sounds extremely fishy.

Finally, I fully expect that the Delegates will, (much like the people
looking at the emperor's new clothes), insist that all is well the ship
is sailing full speed ahead, we're on the right track, stay the course
and pay no attention to the sound of rushing water, it is only in your

Best Regards,


It almost hurts to listen to this after awhile, Bruce. Do you want the
Delegates to pass a motion creating a time machine that will take us
back to the golden era of weekend tournament chess--whenever that
was--and keep us there forever?

You're right, though. Not much is likely to get done at the Delegates
Meeting. Last year in Cherry Hill, I had the opportunity to watch
about half of the two-day affair as one of a handful of spectators.
(Sometimes the only one.) By the end of Sunday's meeting, most of the
people left in the room looked and sounded pretty much like zombies.

I suppose it's possible--maybe it's happened in years past--but
nothing anyone said or did on the floor in Cherry Hill changed the
outcome of the final vote on any motion. That's definitely true of the
part of the meeting I saw first-hand, and I'm pretty sure it was true
for the rest.

Good or ill, with email and alliances and the ADM deadline, plus the
week of whispering-in-the-halls workshops, these decisions are reached
the other 363 days out of the year. One thing to watch for is to see
who is 'not' there for the tournament and the workshops, but shows up
at the delegates meeting anyway, 'fully informed.'

Remember the general membership meeting. I've posted about this
before. My one regret from Cherry Hill that's not connected with the
Olde Country Buffet is that I did not speak or propose any motions at
this meeting. It could be democracy at its best.

Almost nothing happened at the general membership meeting, in fact,
though Sam Sloan babbled a bit to little effect and Jerry Bibuld
responded by calling him "it" and rolling his eyes at him in murderous
fury. We could have just logged on here for that scene.

It would have been worth it to propose a motion prohibiting an
increase in adult dues; or setting a minimum time control of G/60 for
games to be Regular-rated; or mandating a minimum k-factor of 24 for
players rated under 2000; or stipulating that the Games Parlor
contract be placed on the Web site forthwith, with names blocked out
if necessary; or capping the ED's salary at $90K per year, once the
current contract expires; or creating a committee charged with
abolishing all needless USCF committees. Etc.

Probably none of this would have passed Saturday morning at the
delegates meeting, but it might have opened some eyes.

Remember, any USCF member can propose a motion at the membership
meeting. Those motions most be debated and voted on before the
Delegates can start their tortuous two-day Kabuki dance. There's just
enough time between the membership meeting and the delegates meeting
that a really determined man could convince a few people that there's
a method to his madness....

Anyone planning to be in LA next week, go to the membership meeting.
Meet your fellow voters. Form your own goddam alliances on the spot.
If you have an idea to improve this organization, put it before your

I wish I had done it.


Eric M
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