LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI ASSOCIATIONS TO DROP OUT OF USCF
MUTINY ON THE USCF
Ladies & Gentlemen:
Beautiful things are about to happen as stated in the flower ad on the inside cover of the March issue of Chess Life magazine. Hunting season is now open for the rare species the USCF chess tournament. Try to find one in your state. If you cant, then use what would have been your tournament entry fee to order some flowers.
As President of the Louisiana AND Mississippi Chess Associations, if the USCF continues on its present course, both organizations will NOT renew affiliate memberships when they expire.
Regarding the scholastic state championships, after March, 2001, we will no longer require players to be USCF rated. Since there will be no fees for TLA's, ratings reports or USCF paperwork, we feel that this will lower entry fees which will result in increased attendance. We plan to implement our own state ratings system which will be free to our players and will give immediate results at the end of each tournament, thereby eliminating the time it takes for USCF to calculate and post ratings.
Regarding the open (adult) state tournaments, these will also no longer be USCF rated.
My reasons for this action are listed below:
1. Elimination of Affiliate Commissions and replace-ment with useless incentive programs;
2. Enormous Increases in TLA Fees;
3 Slashing in half the state grant funds for state affiliates;
4. Mismanagement of USCF funds;
5. Affiliates and Chess Coaches newsletters have been non-existent for the past couple of years;
6. Chess Life magazine consistently being sent late which, in turn, hurts tournament organizers;
7. School Mates magazine cut to four times a year;
8. USCF employees (including many at the executive level) not returning phone calls.
Most of the results of the above are already apparent. For instance, the lateness of Chess Life was the cause of poor attendance at several tournaments. The elimination of affiliate commissions provides no incentive to go through the trouble of all of the paperwork to sign up new members. The result of the increase in TLA fees is apparent by looking at this month's Chess Life magazine where only 3-1/2 pages contain tournament ads, representing a 55% decline in ads from the same month last year.
USCF has lost sight of the fact that the most important people they have working for them are the tournament organizers. These are the people who are promoting the USCF, obtaining memberships and providing tournaments throughout the country. The attitude that state and local organizers do not matter is quite apparent due to the outrageous policies that have been recently implemented. Without the support of these organizers, the USCF is doomed.
I feel that the USCF's slogan of 2001 being the "Year of the OTB Player" is a misquote. It should have read, "Year of the 'Missing' OTB Player."
As we have no faith in the USCF Executive Board's and Executive Director's decisions, our delegates will be signing Sam Sloan's recall petition. We have voiced our opinions in the strongest way possible. "WE NO LONGER SUPPORT OR ENDORSE USCF."
Sincerely, Richard L. Crespo
President, LOUISIANA CHESS ASSOCIATION
President, MISSISSIPPI CHESS ASSOCIATION
President, CAJUN CLASSICS CHESS,INC.
President, CAJUN KNIGHTS CHESS CLUB
President, LOUISIANA HIGH SCHOOL CHESS LEAGUE
Editor's comment: For many years, all 50 states have had state chess associations affiliated with USCF. When I first joined the federation in 1961, some states did not yet have a state association, but I cannot recall any state affiliate ever withdrawing from USCF since that time. I hope the Executive Board sees Richard Crespo's message as a very serious development, a warning of what may follow in other states if the federation does not quickly alter its current organizer-unfriendly policies.