AMATEUR TEAMS APPEAR BACK TO FOUR
The controversy regarding the cancellation of the U.S. Amateur Teams South and Midwest has apparently been resolved. Though we are not yet aware of an official announcement by USCF, Steve Doyle of the New Jersey State Chess Federation has supported a reversal of the decision to cancel these events, and USCF Executive Director George De Feis has stated that he will reinstate the two tournaments if the New Jersey Federation supports this.
Doyle explained that he was not opposed to the continuation of the two tournaments in this email of Sept 17:
The concept of expanding the Team events happened during my term as President. Denis Barry suggested the idea and I jumped on it---I thought it was a great idea. I would proudly stand at the microphone each year and announce the attendance at each event. The year the South hit 50 was a very happy one indeed.
No one was sadder than me when the numbers in the South kept plunging. No one was seemingly taking an interest in the event and this last year holding it in a school with just 14 entries didn’t seem to me to be fair to the other 3 events---each title is worth the same. An event of only 14 entries and little organizational effort cheapens the idea. They got to play in the playoff equally with the other sites as we had always agreed—but an event of so few entries does not deserve such recognition. I think reasonable people would draw the same conclusions.
I would be glad to suggest to the NJ board that we withdraw that section of the agreement for 2002 to see how the event performs. I hope you will put your hearts into it and make it great. I am sure if your successful we can proudly count the South event as part of the Team sites for the future.
As for the Mid West I hope Al Losoff will try one last year.
Perhaps the theme for all the locations this year should be Celebrate America—Land of Free and the Home of the Brave.
After five years at a school in Gainesville, the US Amateur Team South is expected to be held at a hotel in Orlando in 2002, which should greatly increase its turnout.
The Amateur Team Midwest has been a money loser for its Chicago organizers, and Al Losoff has stated that he is no longer interested in holding it. I am working on submitting a bid to have Continental Chess organize the event, probably at Hyatt Regency Oak Brook, site of CCA's Chicago Open each May and Midwest Class each October.