REDMAN: ELIMINATE CORRESPONDENCE CHESS
After describing as "rubbish" the claim that "Several members of the Executive Board are known to want to close down the books and equipment business and to close down USCF correspondence chess," USCF President Tim Redman has now gone public with a call for the federation to eliminate its correspondence chess program.
In his March 21 letter to USCF Delegates, Redman not only called the above claim by Sam Sloan "rubbish," but also said, "Board members expressed strong support for USCF correspondence chess at our Miami meeting." He offered no hint in that letter that any Board member favored terminating correspondence chess.
While Redman's letter avoided saying that he personally supported correspondence chess, his emphatic denunciation of Sloan's claim is hardly what one would expect from one who favors shutting down this activity. At the recent Kansas City EB meeting, Redman was not the only Board member who appeared to support discontinuing correspondence chess, so Sloan's claim does not appear to be rubbish at all.
Redman posted the following yesterday on the chess politics newsgroup:
My repeated suggestion that we eliminate or outsource correspondence chess has met with cries of outrage from afficionados on and off the Board. Do you know how many people participate in ALL USCF correspondence tournaments -- ALL sections of all tournaments? 540. How many members is that? Fewer, because many players play in more than one section. Say 300. We make a small profit on entry fees over prizes, if you don't count the work of one full time staff member. One staff member serving 300 members. The Federation needs to wake up.
How accurate is Redman's complaint about "One staff member serving 300 members" ? The current USCF correspondence rating list includes all players active in 2000 and begins with "Masters." There are 483 Masters listed. Hmmm... with 483 Masters, you would expect the total of all players to be a whole lot larger than 300. I couldn't count them all because I was able to display only the players between "Adams" and "Tarrant," but I found 1645. Add the ones after "Tarrant" and the unrateds, and you may have over 2000.
Apparently, Redman's analysis, which led him to call for eliminating correspondence chess, was of similar quality to that which produced other decisions such as the huge increase in TLA fees, the dumping of a profitable agreement with ICC in favor of a big money loser with Games Parlor, and the drastic cutback of USCF's profitable books and equipment sales program.