BREAKING NEWS (but NOT so good news)!

by Paul Truong
Coach of Webster University Chess Team

What I was afraid of over the last few days is now a BIG BIG BIG problem! 

After the dates for the College Chess Final Four was firmly set for April 3-5 (it has always been held during the 1st weekend of April) in NY City, the USCF just confirmed that the US Championships will be held on March 31 – April 13 in St. Louis. We were also informed that the dates for the US Championships, which is just announced less than an hour ago, cannot be changed, and we still do not even know the format or players.

This means that GM Ray Robson (Webster), GM Alex Onischuk (TTU), GM Conrad Holt (UTD), IM Nazi Paikidze (UMBC), and probably some others, are forced to miss the US Championships or the Final Four. How is it possible for the USCF to approve 2 major National Championships on the same dates?

Can you imagine the media nightmare if the dates for the Final Four cannot be changed? Ray Robson, a full time St Louisan of 3 years, and the highest rated American born player in the United States, has to miss the chance to compete in the US Championship to try to qualify for World Cup, through no fault of his own, because someone decided that these are the ONLY possible dates?

Incredible! This is NOT the fault of the organizers and sponsors (Final Four and US Championships). It is the duty of the national federation to schedule national events well in advance, and to make sure that there would be no conflict.

Why can’t important events like the US / US Women’s Championships be planned a year in advance? Why do players have to be penalized for things beyond their control? This is simply inexplicable!

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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