The Dirty Hidden Truth
By Susan Polgar
How could a national organization, an organization which claims that it has no money to do many things for the benefit of chess and it members, afford to spend $500,000, $600,000, $700,000 or perhaps even more than $1,000,000 in legal fees for political purposes? How could a national organization, an organization which at one time had annual revenues over $6 million, sink this low? Finally, how can we fix the problems, to make things better, when the problems are being hidden and kept secret from the membership at large?
One of the key problems is the structure of the organization itself. It is very difficult to implement sound changes when the leadership is so far behind understanding the rapidly changing business world. If we do not understand our customers and do not offer what they want, we are doomed to fail. So many chess politicians have hung around for decades doing everything imaginable to grab and hold on to their power. Some have done this for three, four or even five decades.
Why? For some, it is very lucrative. For others, they are addicted to power. Many care more about their personal, financial and political agenda than the welfare of chess, the USCF and its members.
Many of my friends, including 3-time U.S. Champion Grandmaster Lev Alburt, have warned me about the dirty and vicious chess politics. I know that it is not easy to make positive changes. However, if no one is willing to step up to the plate and go to bat for the members, how can things get better?
… My experience on the USCF Executive Board in the past two years is like a mirror image of what GM Alburt said, except a lot worse. I am not a chess politician and I have no desire to get involve in the filthy disgusting world of chess politics. I did not want the failed status quo to continue. My sole intention was and is to help chess and the USCF.
In the past two years, instead of working with me and helping me promote chess to benefit our entire sport, some of these chess politicians have spread the most outrageous and vicious rumors and lies, trying to destroy my reputation, my employment at
Knowing that I am a one of the biggest advocates for scholastic chess in this country, especially for girls, some of these people spewed out the disgustingly offensive rumor that my husband and I were child abusers. They claimed that we abused my children and we even forced them to consume hot sauce. This sort of despicable thing made its way to the internet and even made its way to my employer
There were countless remarks and postings telling my husband and me to “go back to where we came from.” Some said this is the United States Chess Federation and not the United Nations Chess Federation, and a foreigner had no business running the USCF, while others were openly discussed ways to deport me back to my native
Ironically, the USCF and some board members have continued to deny that they have had anything to do with this despicable conduct, but their own attorney made sure to demand that I show proof that I am in the U.S. legally and if I “hot-sauced” my children in the past!? Outrageous, despicable, but true! Coincidence? You decide.
Some called me a “whore,” “bitch” and worse, with words that are not appropriate to print. They even created a public website about this. I informed the USCF and its board members, but they chose to ignore this and do nothing. Instead of investigating such vile and despicable conduct, the USCF and the board majority spent hundreds of thousands of dollars investigating us!
To support their personal and political agenda, misleading and one-sided information was published in Chess Life, the USCF website, in mailings and to the email list so I would have no opportunity to respond or correct the record. These people do not want the members to know the truth. This is absolutely outrageous. If they can do this to me, what will they do to people who have no voice to speak out?
In spite of the dire financial situation of the USCF, some of these people still choose to spend USCF members’ money like it’s their own for their personal and political interest instead of the best interest of Chess, USCF members, and the USCF.
It is a tough battle fighting “the system“. But it is a fight that all USCF members must take on to save what’s left of this federation. Some of the same people have chased away so many good sponsors, volunteers and even members for years by attacking and destroying them so they can keep control of this federation.
If they can do this to me and my family, they will not spare anyone standing in their way. The USCF will not survive financially much longer if this trend of destruction continues. They have damaged the USCF enough. It is time to bring in professionals to fix and rebuild this federation. Please help me get the word out. Thank you!