OPEN LETTER TO FLAG (Foreign Links Around the Globe)
I am the Director of the Norfolk Initiative for Chess Excellence (NICE) which, along with Norfolk State University, hosted the Inaugural All-Girls Virginia State Chess Championships which was won by Katya Lifshits who is currently in the FLAG program at Granby High School.
By winning this competition Katya made history, alongside International Grandmaster Susan Polgar, who had flown in for the Women’s History Month event to see who would become Virginia’s first female chess champion.
I just received an email from Katya telling me she is being returned to Russia months earlier than planned – within the next 48-hours.
“They tell me that I have personality problems because I am not social enough,” Katya said. “I did not assimilate and am too serious.”
Please let me clarify that this is a chess player, that is basically the MO of a chess player, male or female. They are not generally knows as party animals. Even Magnus is the silent type. Watch 60-minutes.
I appreciate that your organization has its guidelines, rules and policies, however I think that in light of her situation there can be a compromise and resolution found swiftly.
She is extremely popular in the local chess community having helped found the new Granby High school Chess Club. She was very well liked at tournament and made many new friends. Also, she will represent the State of Virginia in the National All-Girl Competitions including the Polgar All-Girl National Championship at Webster University.
I understand the wheels are well in motion, but I strongly urge you to find a way to stop this process and retain her as per the original term of her contract.
I hope we can work together to solve this situation. I am more than happy to bring any political power, nationally and internationally, necessary to help you resolve any issues with your organization which might be an impediment to reversing this situation.
** Dear Readers:
Please joint me in sending your support of Katya Lifshits to FLAG’s Central Office Toll-Free: 1-800-942-3524
email us: email@example.com