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Old August 19th 03, 11:31 PM
Don Mihokovich
 
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Default Why Do Chess Players Manage the Business of Chess?

Although I know I am asking this question to a potentially hostile
audience of chess players, it is a legitimate question to which I hope
someone has a legitimate answer, or at least a reasonable opinion.

Why do chess players manage the business of chess? The Commissioner
of the NBA is not a basketball player, but rather the former lawyer
for the former-commissioner. The Commissioner of the NFL is not a
football player, but rather, the former lawyer for the former
commissioner. One of the most powerful men in MLB right now, Bob
DuPuy was the lawyer for the Milwaukee Brewers/Bud Selig (with my
prior law firm of Foley & Lardner), and as far as I know, was not a
professional ball player. These men govern multi-billion dollar
enterprises for sports they themselves do not play. Now some may
argue that they do not govern them well, but that is always open to
debate. I know that Chess is not a major spectator sport like
football, basketball or baseball, but I still wonder, why is chess an
exception, at least on the National level? Why is it be governed by
chess players? Is it that nobody else is interested? Of course, I
know that the USCF cannot afoard the salaries of the professional
sport Commissioners, but for what we have paid ED's in the past
($100,000-$120,000 + ???), why not hire a non-chess playing
businessman? (For you cynics out there, I do not mean me -- at this
point in my life, I am not qualified and not interested, and confident
that the USCF is not interested in me-- I'm just a ChessDad).

The most active scholastic chess organizers and FCA and/or FSCL
directors in the State of Florida are relatively low rated players,
and most don't play actively at all, and yet the state of scholastic
chess in Florida, for example, is bright. So why does it appear that
to be a leader in Chess at the U.S. National level, one must generally
(with few exceptions) be a rated A player, Expert or Master? Does
knowing the game equate to knowing the business? Why not hire a
non-player as the next ED?

KidDon
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Old August 20th 03, 01:31 AM
Doctor SBD
 
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Default Why Do Chess Players Manage the Business of Chess?

I am sure those fellows played the game in their youth, and followed it at
least occasionally through the media, before they became comissioners.

I believe you must understand your business to succeed. A non-player would
require too much time to come up to speed; now a casual player (maybe someone
who played a few rated games in his youth, but still at least followed the
game) might not be a bad idea. And there are lots of people out there; since I
started playing chess at age 13, I know quite a few players who are successful
in business. One is a retired multi-millionaire who spends his time collecting
orientalia (he ran a successful software company, sold out for $250 mill before
35 just like he predicted he would - he also earned his BA and MBA in 2.5
years) and following chess, although chess is more of a minor hobby. But he
could run the USCF and would do well in my estimation. He would take the role
seriously, even if he only did it for a few years.

Another idea that is big in academia these days, due to the large numbers of
retirements coming up in the near future (aging baby boomers) is leadership
development. A faculty member works with a Dean or President of a school to
learn the ins and outs of administration. It is like an internship. Maybe the
Samford monies need to do this for a year or two. But honestly, chess has
been horrible in leadership development and this is a point that needs to be
made. Perhaps UTD could develop another certificate in the management of
non-profit chess organizations, or a non-profit organization certificate where
a student could choose chess as an option.

A third idea I have had was to try to hire an ED who runs one of the successful
chess supply companies, and write in the contract that we would let him be the
USCF's preferred vendor. This all seems up front to me, and the ED would be
motivated to succeed, but I bet it violates 10 thousand conflict of interest
laws. However, it seems win-win but I am sure we would find a way to screw
it up.

Perhaps the question should be how can we make chess players better able to
manage the business of chess?

SBD
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Old August 20th 03, 01:35 AM
Kevin L. Bachler
 
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Default Why Do Chess Players Manage the Business of Chess?

In article , Don Mihokovich
says...


Why do chess players manage the business of chess?


Oh Don, how funny! The answer you will get of course is that USCF had one
non-chessplayer ED. This logic will then be extended to make it clear that all
non-chessplayer ED's would be horrible. Of course, one problem is that USCF has
a salary for the ED that is non-competitive for an experienced and competent
person in that area of the country.

Salary is, of course, the issue. As long as we can pay someone who does it out
of love, then we can pay less.

Except that, of course, it costs us all more in the long run.

Kevin L. Bachler

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Old August 20th 03, 04:16 AM
Kevin L. Bachler
 
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Default Why Do Chess Players Manage the Business of Chess?

In article , Kevin L. Bachler says...

In article , Don Mihokovich
says...


Why do chess players manage the business of chess?


Oh Don, how funny! The answer you will get of course is that USCF had one
non-chessplayer ED. This logic will then be extended to make it clear that all
non-chessplayer ED's would be horrible. Of course, one problem is that USCF has
a salary for the ED that is non-competitive for an experienced and competent
person in that area of the country.

Salary is, of course, the issue. As long as we can pay someone who does it out
of love, then we can pay less.

Except that, of course, it costs us all more in the long run.

Kevin L. Bachler


So far, 2 out of 3. Sigh. Keep em coming.

Kevin L. Bachler



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Old August 20th 03, 05:58 AM
John Fernandez
 
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Default Why Do Chess Players Manage the Business of Chess?

Don Mihokovich wrote:

Why do chess players manage the business of chess?


Pretty ignorant, Don. You don't realize how many non-chessplayers are long time
political stalwarts, both in FIDE and USCF.

Also, another reason is that it is much easier to be a chess player (learn the
rules), than be a professional player.

So that needs to be your criteria. Professional players are rarely involved in
running sports. Same goes for chess.

John Fernandez
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Old August 20th 03, 03:40 PM
Kevin L. Bachler
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why Do Chess Players Manage the Business of Chess?

In article , Don Mihokovich
says...
SNIP


O.k. let me see if I understand this. We had a non-chess playing ED
who many apparantly think was a failure, so the conclusion of some
(i.e. RHaas) is: "been there, done that" -- if one was bad then they
must all be bad. We'll we've had quite a few chess-playing ED's.
Using the same logic, is the conclusion still: "been there, done
that," or is there a different standard?


Stop using logic! These are chessplayers!


Too often, when we see news releases for new USCF hires, we see: He
is a Master Chess Player, won this tournament and that, played for his
college, etc.... but don't see much of anything about business
experience.

Kevin's answer appears more on point, logical and practical. The USCF
is not likely to attract many top candidates for the salary the USCF
can offer, without the candiates also having a love for the game.
However, does one have to be an A, Expert or Master player to have a
love for the game? To me, ability OTB does not necessarily translate
to ability in the marketplace.

KidDon


Neither is it exclusive; transference is possible. And, I think there is
clearly a benefit to testing ideas out on selections from the chess playing
public as a sounding board.

One could also note that many of the EB members were not ACTIVE players, as goes
for many of the delegates. Yet there are no requirements there.

Generally, the argument is bogus, and we get what we pay for.

Kevin L. Bachler

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Old August 20th 03, 03:42 PM
Kevin L. Bachler
 
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Default Why Do Chess Players Manage the Business of Chess?

In article , John Fernandez
says...
SNIP

So that needs to be your criteria. Professional players are rarely involved in
running sports. Same goes for chess.


1. Depends on the level of "running".
2. I think that is changing as players get richer.


John Fernandez


Kevin L. Bachler

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Old August 20th 03, 05:56 PM
Bill Wong
 
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Default Why Do Chess Players Manage the Business of Chess?



Salary is, of course, the issue. As long as we can pay someone who does it out
of love, then we can pay less.



Kevin L. Bachler


What is the salary that we pay the ED?--Bill Wong

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