The young Chinese team dominates – Photo courtesy of ChessBase
L to R: Huang Qian, Zhao Xue, Hou Yifan, Sheng Yang and Ruan Lufei

After crushing Russia and Poland 4-0 and Vietnam 3.5 – .5, China continued to dominate Ukraine and Armenia 3.5 – .5 in the Women’s World Team Championship. The only team that held China to a 2-2 tie was Georgia.

I don’t think the question is if China will win the Women’s World Team Championship, it is by what margin they will win this event by?

I am very happy to see the young Chinese stars doing so well and I would like to congratulate my friend Xie Jun, former women’s world champion. Her success in chess made an incredible impact for chess in China and her government and federation knew how to take advantage of this. They allow her to create chess programs and help her develop the next generation of talents and this success speaks for itself.

At the same time, I am sad for chess in this country. In 2002-2003, Paul Truong and I created the US Women’s Olympiad Chess Training program. The US women’s teams have never won a single Olympiad medal up to that time. We came home with an unprecedented 2 Gold and 2 Silver medals and we even defeated the invincible Chinese team in the head to head match. As a reward for the team’s success after nearly 2 years of training, hard work and ultimate sacrifices, the USCF politicians refused to pay the team members bonuses as stated in the contracts which were written by the USCF. The program was also promptly cancelled.

Without support from the federation, I decided to do things on my own through the Susan Polgar Foundation. History was made. 3 major all-girls events were created and they are fully funded by me and my foundation through volunteers and sponsors. The Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls is in its 4th year, the Susan Polgar National Open Championship for Girls is entering its third year and the 2nd annual Susan Polgar World Open Championship for Girls will be held in a few weeks in Las Vegas.

I am also running boys’ events as part of my plan and vision from a few years ago. I said that I wanted to give the girls a one year head start with these events and I will include the boys starting the second year. I kept my words. The 3rd annual Susan Polgar National Open Championship for Girls and the 2nd annual Susan Polgar National Chess Challenge for Boys will be held in South Texas in January 2008 and with the help of the local volunteers and supporters, I expect the number of total participants to be between 1,500 – 2,000 players!

There will be college scholarships, laptop computers and many other cool prizes, all funded by me, the Susan Polgar Foundation, sponsors and supporters. The USCF does not contribute anything to these events. But the USCF benefits a great deal because these events bring in new memberships, renewals and ratings fees, etc.

It also helps motivate our young players to compete and stay in chess with the college scholarships angle. On top of that, I am also encouraging siblings, parents and coaches to participate by creating open sections for everyone. Scores of parents and siblings will be counted for family / sibling prizes.

This is one of my visions for chess. I want to make our game more popular. I want to encourage family bonding and activities. I want to give our players incentives to play and stay in chess. And everything has been funding by me, my foundation, sponsors and supporters. Not only the USCF does not help, some of our chess politicians do not like this. They cannot stand to see progress and success. So guess what is the new game plan of the chess politicians now?

I will give you a few quotes from a current USCF board member in the past 24 hours:

– She has been told in no uncertain terms that next year she will not be allowed to publicize a “Susan Polgar National Open” or a “Susan Polgar World Open”.

– Chess Life magazine will refuse to advertise her tournament or list it in the TLAs…

First of all, no board member has ever spoken to me about it. But malicious lies are spread every single day and other board members sit back and support this idea of allowing board members to do or say anything they wish. They even created an officially sanctioned USCF forums for this to take place. Not even one current board member spoke out against this kind of destruction.

I was told that nothing can be done until August. Why August? Because the election is over by then. Convenient, isn’t it? And they expect people to buy this. They do not like to see anyone having success in promoting chess. This is the mentality “if we don’t succeed, you can’t either because that will make us look bad and we won’t allow that to happen.”

As GM Andy Soltis just pointed out his his NY Post article, the US has very few home grown talents. Why? Just look at the actions of our chess politicians. How can chess grow in this country when chess players, organizers, supporters, volunteers or sponsors are being chased away? I am funding these events with outside money and the USCF wants to shut me down and not allow these kids to compete. Shocking but true!

Friends and colleagues, this is the kind of behind the scene things that you do not know about and things like this went on for decades. This is how chess politics work and this is why one supporter, volunteer and sponsor after another continue to walk away from chess for good. I hope you understand why this upcoming USCF election is so important. The future of the USCF is at stake. Even if I win the election, there is absolutely nothing I could do to help the USCF or end this path of destruction unless I have a team of qualified people and a board majority to stop this pattern of failure and unethical conducts.

I am very thankful for the encouragement and support of countless parents, coaches and players from across the country. I am also very thankful for the modern technology which allows me to speak out. The chess politicians can no longer silence the truth. Just remember what I said before. How can we expect different results if the same people are elected year after year?

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