“What is your stand on ICC-USCF relationships?”
This is the answer from FM Paul Truong, one of the most important candidates in the upcoming USCF Executive Board Election:
I think the USCF should reach out and partner up with ICC, FICS and other reputable Internet servers. Why? There are several reasons:
* I truly believe that the past management / boards missed the boat because they did not understand the importance of the Internet. Some did not think that it is important to improve the USCF to stay current. I was in college from the early to mid 80’s. My first and main major was computer. Even though I did not pursue a career in computer (I decided to go with Marketing and Management), I constantly train myself to stay current.
I remember playing in a number of Bill Goichberg’s events back in the 80’s. I also remember how he used to make pairings using index cards. Now, TDs can use WinTD or SwissSys to make pairings faster and more efficient. Whether we like it or not, technology will improve.
* There are a lot more games played on the Internet today than OTB chess. Many kids and even adults I know have never played a single OTB tournament game and yet they have played thousands of online games. This opens up an incredible opportunity for the USCF to increase memberships and revenues.
* I never liked the idea of “exclusive” contracts with any server. If the USCF does that, they will alienate others since many of these online members are very passionate about the server they play on.
I would like to see the USCF having co-promotional agreements with many reputable servers. This would be a win-win situation for all sides. This can be done without costing the USCF a penny and it can bring to the USCF badly needed revenues.
If elected, I will push for co-operation between the USCF and online servers. ICC is obviously ranked among the top servers in the world. FICS also has a strong membership core. PlayChess and WCN are some other big names.
How important is Internet chess and national federations like the USCF? What is your take?