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Old April 30th 04, 03:39 AM
Sam Sloan
 
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Default Rethinking the Anna Hahn and US Woman's Chess Olympiad Controversy

Rethinking the Anna Hahn and US Woman's Chess Olympiad Controversy

I have been rethinking the Anna Hahn Controversy. A posting by Mig, a
well-known 1824 player, in his Daily Dirt column at
http://www.chessninja.com/dailydirt/ sums it up:

"I'd heard that the so-called secret agreement between former
USCF Exec Director Niro and Susan Polgar may have been known to other
members of the executive board, something they have, to my knowledge,
denied. I know these matters were discussed during the March, 2003
meeting of the Executive Board. It was controversial because they
changed the policy regarding residency required to play in the US
Championship and the Olympiad. (The "secret" part specified that the
2003 champion wouldn't play on the 2004 team. The Hahn Rule.)"

I have been a member of the USCF since 1956. Every two years since
that time, the USCF has sent a team to the World Chess Olympiad. Yet,
in all those years I have never known anything about the selection
process and how it was decided and who decided which players would go
and which players would not go to the Olympiad.

I have heard a few things on the grapevine over the years. For
example, I heard that Reshevsky was not a valued team member and he
may have been left off the team even though he was the best US player.
The reasons he was not wanted on the team were that he was not a team
player, his financial demands were high, he always wanted white and he
often agreed to quick draws.

More recently, there was controversy concerning the 1984 Olympiad in
Thessaloniki, where Roman Dzindzichashvili played first board on the
US Team. Dzindzichashvili performed well, defeating the first board
for the Soviet Union, but still nobody could understand why he got the
top board.

From this, what appears obvious is that the decisions as to who would
play on the team were made by the USCF office, in particular by the
Executive Director.

For example, I am certain that when Ed Edmondson was Executive
Director of the USCF, he and nobody else decided who would play on the
team or in the US Championship. For example, Edmondson did not like
Zuckerman and in 1972 Edmondson decided that Zuckerman would not play
in the US Championship, even though Zuckerman had a much higher rating
than Larry Kaufmann or Tibor Weinberger who did play.

In 1961, Frank Brady invited James Sherwin to the US Championship,
instead of Kurt Brasket who had a higher rating. Brasket has always
been bitter about this because that was his one and only chance to
play in the US Championship. Sherwin finished near the bottom.

Thus, it seems that Frank Niro, the USCF Executive Director at the
time, did have the authority to decide that Anna Hahn did not have the
automatic right to be a member of the US Team. Furthermore, it appears
that Frank Niro was under no obligation to disclose his decision or
his reasons therefore to anybody.

The claim is made by Mig and others that this agreement was secret.
This is a rather odd claim, because it was disclosed on the cover of
Chess Life magazine in mid-1993 that the US Woman's Olympic Training
Squad consisted of Susan Polgar, Irina Krush, Anna Zatonskih, Rusudan
Goletiani and Jennifer Shahade. The name of Anna Hahn was nowhere
mentioned. Thus, everybody who reads Chess Life magazine knew nearly
one year ago that Anna Hahn was not making the team.

The reason is obvious. Anna Hahn is not strong enough for the team.
Her rating is only 2215. The lowest rated woman on the training squad
is Jennifer Shahade, who is rated 2359, which is 144 points higher
than Anna Hahn, and right now Jennifer is not making the team either.

http://www.uschess.org/ratings/top/apr04/women.php shows it all.

So, the obvious conclusion is that somebody, we do not know who it
was, but we do know that it was somebody, made the decision that Anna
Hahn did not have the automatic right to play on the team. We also
know that whomever that person was he had the ability to get this
information published on the cover of Chess Life.

Enter Beatriz Marinello, who was elected USCF President in August
2003. Beatriz immediately set about to reverse that decision and to
put Anna Hahn on the team. Saying "I am personally opposed of changing
the regulations for the qualification requirements for the upcoming
Olympic for the purpose of excluding a player. No one is bigger than
chess", she launched an attack on Susan Polgar who had agreed to come
out of retirement to play on this team.

As best I can determine, the plan to form a US Woman's Olympic
Training Squad was not the idea of Susan Polgar. It was the idea of
Paul Truong. Thus, I do not understand why Beatriz is attacking Susan
Polgar.

More importantly, Beatriz accuses Susan of "changing the regulations
for the qualification requirements for the upcoming Olympic for the
purpose of excluding a player." However, it is clear that the
requirements were changed in March 2003 by Frank Niro, and it is clear
that Frank Niro had the authority to make those changes. Therefore, it
is Beatriz herself who wants to change the regulations. However,
Beatriz has no right to interfere and to change the regulations.

Why is that? Because the Executive Board is only charged with setting
the policy of the USCF. For this reason it was called the Policy Board
until 1999. The Executive Board does not have the authority to run the
day-to-day affairs of the corporation. The Executive Director has that
authority.

This brings us to a resolution passed at the August 2003 Delegate's
Meeting, which stated:

"DM03-12 ? NDM 03-39 ? (Al Lawrence, NY, Mike Nolan, NE): The
USCF EB is assigned responsibility and granted all necessary authority
for modifying or eliminating services to meet budgeting mandates,
expiration to be effective at the beginning of the 2004 USCF
Delegates' Meeting. PASSED AS AMENDED"

http://www.uschess.org/org/govern/mi...almeeting.html

This provision has been interpreted by certain members of the board to
mean that the Executive Board now has the authority to run the day to
day affairs of the organization. I disagree. I do not find anything in
this resolution which gives the Executive Board the authority to put
Anna Hahn back on the team. This resolution deals with "budgeting
mandates". The Anna Hahn issue has nothing to do with the budget and
it has everything to do with friendship and politics. The bylaws quite
properly put such matters as team selection out of the reach of the
Executive Board. The Executive Board exceeded its authority by
interfering in this matter.

I believe that what the Executive Board did was wrong and that some
members of the board should give consideration to resigning.

Sam Sloan

  #2   Report Post  
Old April 30th 04, 12:37 PM
John Lamont
 
Posts: n/a
Default Rethinking the Anna Hahn and US Woman's Chess Olympiad Controversy

snip

This provision has been interpreted by certain members of the board to
mean that the Executive Board now has the authority to run the day to
day affairs of the organization. I disagree. I do not find anything in
this resolution which gives the Executive Board the authority to put
Anna Hahn back on the team. This resolution deals with "budgeting
mandates". The Anna Hahn issue has nothing to do with the budget and
it has everything to do with friendship and politics. The bylaws quite
properly put such matters as team selection out of the reach of the
Executive Board. The Executive Board exceeded its authority by
interfering in this matter.

I believe that what the Executive Board did was wrong and that some
members of the board should give consideration to resigning.

Sam Sloan


Yeah I don't know about any of that, but isn't Anna a cutie-pie? Much
better looking than some of the Eastern-Bloc imports we have..
  #4   Report Post  
Old April 30th 04, 05:36 PM
Sam Sloan
 
Posts: n/a
Default Rethinking the Anna Hahn and US Woman's Chess Olympiad Controversy

At 08:32 AM 4/30/2004 -0700, Duncan Oxley wrote:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sam Sloan"
To:
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2004 7:29 AM
Subject: [fide-chess] Rethinking the Anna Hahn and US Woman's Chess
Olympiad Controversy


At 11:02 PM 4/29/2004 -0700, Duncan Oxley wrote:

----- Original Message -----
From:


Enter Beatriz Marinello, who was elected USCF President in August
2003. Beatriz immediately set about to reverse that decision and to
put Anna Hahn on the team. Saying "I am personally opposed of changing
the regulations for the qualification requirements for the upcoming
Olympic for the purpose of excluding a player. No one is bigger than
chess", she launched an attack on Susan Polgar who had agreed to come
out of retirement to play on this team.


For the record:

Beatriz never attacked Susan Polgar.


Have you been reading rec.games.chess.politics lately?

There have been a tremendously large number of personal attacks on Susan
Polgar.

Understandably, she has withdrawn from these groups.

When Beartiz wrote "No one is bigger than chess", whom do you suppose that
she was attacking?

Sam Sloan


I have yet to see anything that could even remotely be called an "attack"
from Beatriz.

Duncan


How about this one:

--- On Thu Apr 22, 2004 6:36 pm, wrote:

I am not afraid of the challenges, since August our Board has been
demonstrating a hands-on approach, but we need help. Therefore, we
recognize the importance of engaging new leaders, doers and ideas.
But also we need to drive away the people who has been milking the
USCF for many years.


In the above posting, which I recommend that you read in full, Beatriz
attacked Frank Niro, Susan Polgar, Paul Truong and various other chess
personalities. It is obvious in context that Beatriz considers Susan
to be one of "the people who has been milking the USCF for many years"
and that Susan needs to be "driven away".

As far as I know, Susan Polgar has not taken one dime from the USCF,
other than payments for her Chess Life column. I would like to know
what Beatriz meant by that statement.

Sam Sloan

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Old April 30th 04, 06:26 PM
Angelo DePalma
 
Posts: n/a
Default Rethinking the Anna Hahn and US Woman's Chess Olympiad Controversy


Call me simple-minded, but the solution is obvious. Team selection must
follow the rules in place at the time someone putatively qualified. If, when
Hahn won the championship, the rule was "The US Woman's Champion is
automatically seeded onto the Olympiad team" then she's on the team. If the
rule was changed AFTER she qualified then she's still on.

By the way, there should be a residency requirement of several years.

And finally:

None of this would be a problem if USCF and all tournaments adopted the
ANGELO tiebreak system, at least for Swiss system events. It's very simple,
very logical. Ties should be determined by performance rating. If you play a
stronger field then you played a stronger tournament.

The simplicity and logic of using PRs assures it will not be adopted.
Everybody in USCF-land is hooked on those arcane, illogical, idiotic "sum of
your opponents' wins" methods, the "Tiborg Schwanzberger-ScheissenSchloss"
system and all that other senseless, totally irrelevant bull****. Your
rating is the sum of everything you've accomplished in your career. Our
tiebreak rules say "who cares?"

Angelo
"Sam Sloan" wrote in message
...
Rethinking the Anna Hahn and US Woman's Chess Olympiad Controversy

I have been rethinking the Anna Hahn Controversy. A posting by Mig, a
well-known 1824 player, in his Daily Dirt column at
http://www.chessninja.com/dailydirt/ sums it up:

"I'd heard that the so-called secret agreement between former
USCF Exec Director Niro and Susan Polgar may have been known to other
members of the executive board, something they have, to my knowledge,
denied. I know these matters were discussed during the March, 2003
meeting of the Executive Board. It was controversial because they
changed the policy regarding residency required to play in the US
Championship and the Olympiad. (The "secret" part specified that the
2003 champion wouldn't play on the 2004 team. The Hahn Rule.)"

I have been a member of the USCF since 1956. Every two years since
that time, the USCF has sent a team to the World Chess Olympiad. Yet,
in all those years I have never known anything about the selection
process and how it was decided and who decided which players would go
and which players would not go to the Olympiad.

I have heard a few things on the grapevine over the years. For
example, I heard that Reshevsky was not a valued team member and he
may have been left off the team even though he was the best US player.
The reasons he was not wanted on the team were that he was not a team
player, his financial demands were high, he always wanted white and he
often agreed to quick draws.

More recently, there was controversy concerning the 1984 Olympiad in
Thessaloniki, where Roman Dzindzichashvili played first board on the
US Team. Dzindzichashvili performed well, defeating the first board
for the Soviet Union, but still nobody could understand why he got the
top board.

From this, what appears obvious is that the decisions as to who would
play on the team were made by the USCF office, in particular by the
Executive Director.

For example, I am certain that when Ed Edmondson was Executive
Director of the USCF, he and nobody else decided who would play on the
team or in the US Championship. For example, Edmondson did not like
Zuckerman and in 1972 Edmondson decided that Zuckerman would not play
in the US Championship, even though Zuckerman had a much higher rating
than Larry Kaufmann or Tibor Weinberger who did play.

In 1961, Frank Brady invited James Sherwin to the US Championship,
instead of Kurt Brasket who had a higher rating. Brasket has always
been bitter about this because that was his one and only chance to
play in the US Championship. Sherwin finished near the bottom.

Thus, it seems that Frank Niro, the USCF Executive Director at the
time, did have the authority to decide that Anna Hahn did not have the
automatic right to be a member of the US Team. Furthermore, it appears
that Frank Niro was under no obligation to disclose his decision or
his reasons therefore to anybody.

The claim is made by Mig and others that this agreement was secret.
This is a rather odd claim, because it was disclosed on the cover of
Chess Life magazine in mid-1993 that the US Woman's Olympic Training
Squad consisted of Susan Polgar, Irina Krush, Anna Zatonskih, Rusudan
Goletiani and Jennifer Shahade. The name of Anna Hahn was nowhere
mentioned. Thus, everybody who reads Chess Life magazine knew nearly
one year ago that Anna Hahn was not making the team.

The reason is obvious. Anna Hahn is not strong enough for the team.
Her rating is only 2215. The lowest rated woman on the training squad
is Jennifer Shahade, who is rated 2359, which is 144 points higher
than Anna Hahn, and right now Jennifer is not making the team either.

http://www.uschess.org/ratings/top/apr04/women.php shows it all.

So, the obvious conclusion is that somebody, we do not know who it
was, but we do know that it was somebody, made the decision that Anna
Hahn did not have the automatic right to play on the team. We also
know that whomever that person was he had the ability to get this
information published on the cover of Chess Life.

Enter Beatriz Marinello, who was elected USCF President in August
2003. Beatriz immediately set about to reverse that decision and to
put Anna Hahn on the team. Saying "I am personally opposed of changing
the regulations for the qualification requirements for the upcoming
Olympic for the purpose of excluding a player. No one is bigger than
chess", she launched an attack on Susan Polgar who had agreed to come
out of retirement to play on this team.

As best I can determine, the plan to form a US Woman's Olympic
Training Squad was not the idea of Susan Polgar. It was the idea of
Paul Truong. Thus, I do not understand why Beatriz is attacking Susan
Polgar.

More importantly, Beatriz accuses Susan of "changing the regulations
for the qualification requirements for the upcoming Olympic for the
purpose of excluding a player." However, it is clear that the
requirements were changed in March 2003 by Frank Niro, and it is clear
that Frank Niro had the authority to make those changes. Therefore, it
is Beatriz herself who wants to change the regulations. However,
Beatriz has no right to interfere and to change the regulations.

Why is that? Because the Executive Board is only charged with setting
the policy of the USCF. For this reason it was called the Policy Board
until 1999. The Executive Board does not have the authority to run the
day-to-day affairs of the corporation. The Executive Director has that
authority.

This brings us to a resolution passed at the August 2003 Delegate's
Meeting, which stated:

"DM03-12 ? NDM 03-39 ? (Al Lawrence, NY, Mike Nolan, NE): The
USCF EB is assigned responsibility and granted all necessary authority
for modifying or eliminating services to meet budgeting mandates,
expiration to be effective at the beginning of the 2004 USCF
Delegates' Meeting. PASSED AS AMENDED"

http://www.uschess.org/org/govern/mi...almeeting.html

This provision has been interpreted by certain members of the board to
mean that the Executive Board now has the authority to run the day to
day affairs of the organization. I disagree. I do not find anything in
this resolution which gives the Executive Board the authority to put
Anna Hahn back on the team. This resolution deals with "budgeting
mandates". The Anna Hahn issue has nothing to do with the budget and
it has everything to do with friendship and politics. The bylaws quite
properly put such matters as team selection out of the reach of the
Executive Board. The Executive Board exceeded its authority by
interfering in this matter.

I believe that what the Executive Board did was wrong and that some
members of the board should give consideration to resigning.

Sam Sloan





  #6   Report Post  
Old April 30th 04, 07:45 PM
Sam Sloan
 
Posts: n/a
Default Rethinking the Anna Hahn and US Woman's Chess Olympiad Controversy

On Fri, 30 Apr 2004 13:26:59 -0400, "Angelo DePalma"
wrote:


Call me simple-minded, but the solution is obvious. Team selection must
follow the rules in place at the time someone putatively qualified. If, when
Hahn won the championship, the rule was "The US Woman's Champion is
automatically seeded onto the Olympiad team" then she's on the team. If the
rule was changed AFTER she qualified then she's still on.

By the way, there should be a residency requirement of several years.


Let us go through this again.

Anna Hahn did not win the right to play on the Olympiad Team by
winning the 2003 US Woman's Championship.

All she won was the right to play in the 2004 US Woman's Championship.

The 2004 US Woman's Champinship was postponed from January to June
2004. The winner of that event will have the right to play on the
Olymoic Team.

Also, Anna Z. has been a legal premanent resident with a green card
for four years since she married a US Citizen.

Sam Sloan
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Old April 30th 04, 08:49 PM
David Kane
 
Posts: n/a
Default Rethinking the Anna Hahn and US Woman's Chess Olympiad Controversy


"Angelo DePalma" wrote in message
...
None of this would be a problem if USCF and all tournaments adopted the
ANGELO tiebreak system, at least for Swiss system events. It's very

simple,
very logical. Ties should be determined by performance rating. If you play

a
stronger field then you played a stronger tournament.


Actually the tie-break used in the US championships was that they played
each
other *over the board*. Surely much better than any contrived system
involving
ratings, points scored etc.


  #8   Report Post  
Old April 30th 04, 10:22 PM
Kenneth Sloan
 
Posts: n/a
Default Rethinking the Anna Hahn and US Woman's Chess Olympiad Controversy

"David Kane" writes:

...
Actually the tie-break used in the US championships was that they played
each
other *over the board*. Surely much better than any contrived system
involving
ratings, points scored etc.



Not so surely. The fairest way to break a tie is actually a coin toss.
In a Swiss, there are several "contrived systems" that are just a bit
fairer than a coin toss. A playoff (at a different time control) is
most decidedly the LEAST fair.

Of course, many times the players "prefer" such a playoff - that's
because all chess players think they have an edge in such a playoff and
want to take advantage of the unfairness.


--
Kenneth Sloan
Computer and Information Sciences (205) 934-2213
University of Alabama at Birmingham FAX (205) 934-5473
Birmingham, AL 35294-1170
http://www.cis.uab.edu/sloan/
  #9   Report Post  
Old April 30th 04, 11:06 PM
David Kane
 
Posts: n/a
Default Rethinking the Anna Hahn and US Woman's Chess Olympiad Controversy


"Kenneth Sloan" wrote in message
...
"David Kane" writes:

...
Actually the tie-break used in the US championships was that they played
each
other *over the board*. Surely much better than any contrived system
involving
ratings, points scored etc.



Not so surely. The fairest way to break a tie is actually a coin toss.
In a Swiss, there are several "contrived systems" that are just a bit
fairer than a coin toss. A playoff (at a different time control) is
most decidedly the LEAST fair.

Of course, many times the players "prefer" such a playoff - that's
because all chess players think they have an edge in such a playoff and
want to take advantage of the unfairness.


There are any number of "fair" tie-break systems. OTB play is
superior from a sporting point of view (the main concern) as well
as being fairer.

Tell 100 non chessplayers that those who were tied after the main
event played each other to determine the winner, and it will sound
perfectly reasonable and fair. Only a chessplayer I guess would favor
the use of convoluted calculations over face-to-face competition.

DK



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Old May 1st 04, 06:03 AM
Angelo DePalma
 
Posts: n/a
Default Rethinking the Anna Hahn and US Woman's Chess Olympiad Controversy

Dumb and dumberer. In a Swiss you may or may not play the person you're tied
with. Even if you do, so what? Take two players, one rated 2100 and one
rated 1900. They both play in the U2200 of a five-round swiss tournament.
The 2000 plays an average of 2100 over five rounds and the 2100 plays an
average of 2000. Not a crazy scenario by any means. They happen to meet in
round 2 and the lower-rated player loses. Who had the better tournament?

adp
"David Kane" wrote

Actually the tie-break used in the US championships was that they played
each
other *over the board*. Surely much better than any contrived system
involving
ratings, points scored etc.




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