MORE ON TOURNAMENT LIFE ANNOUNCEMENTS
by Roy Greenberg
Mr. Deer (5/11) is on the right track. I disagree that a "template" is necessary; I've successfully composed concise TLAs, and submitted them by e-mail to USCF (before the current madness). Due the outrageous increases in TLA fees, my club, like many others, was forced to suspend TLA advertising
I vehemently protested the DeFeis TLA madness when announced in October of 2000.
In DeFeis' lengthy letter of explanation of the ridiculous increases:
a) He complained of " $ 6 TLAs" and the nuisance of collecting small fees.
b) He revealed for the first time to most TLA submitters that USCF could easily handle TLAs submitted by e-mail, compared to postal or fax submissions.
I immediately came up with a practical set of ideas, which I felt would be a waste of time to submit, given Mr. DeFeis' lack of understanding of the critical nature of the TLA in USCF operations, and the "gang of four" seemingly hell-bent on wrecking USCF. Perhaps saner voices will prevail shortly and USCF may save itself.
1) The minimum TLA fee should be $ 10 (the current minimum is $ 20 ) . Given the production and distribution problems of CHESS LIFE, the fee should cover two printings (if submitted in time) . I think that the $ 10 should cover up to five lines; lines 6-10 $ 3 each, 11-15 $ 5 each . Mr. DeFeis seems to think that ads >15 lines should be at display rates; he may be correct.
2) USCF affiliates could set up an "Affiliate Depository Account" (ADA) with USCF. The account, with authorization by PIN, could be tapped to pay for TLAs, rating fees, and memberships and even affiliation renewals.
a) Minimum amount to
establish the account would be $ 50 . Normal maximum balance should not exceed $
b) All deposits by check only (credit cards or other transfers are significantly costly to USCF).
c) In lieu of interest on the accounts, USCF would annually issue a catalog credit (providing USCF still has one!) equal to six percent of the average monthly collected balance (computer software can easily handle this).
d) The lowest TLA rates (above) would be for e-mail TLAs paid through an ADA. The practical advantages for the typical affiliate (besides the TLA savings) would be a significant annual reduction in postage/telephone and perhaps even banking charges. N.B. Payment of rating fees by ADA makes e-mail submission of rating reports more practical. The TLA administrator could provide e-mail confirmations of submitted TLAs, and payment would be immediate; I believe this adequately handles the DeFeis objections noted above.
The apparent attitude of the Redman gang has been to destroy modest-sized chess clubs and tournaments, or at least convince them to distance themselves from USCF. An immediate change in policies, including implementing the above, is necessary if USCF is going to survive.
Roy Greenberg, President Elmwood Park Chess Club
USCF Life Member USCF Original Life Master
Editor's comment: The Affiliate Committee and Membership Growth Committee are working jointly on a proposal for the Delegates meeting which would lower TLA fees while encouraging a greater use of technology and simplifying office procedures.
One thing I disagree with Roy on is that accepting credit cards is significantly costly to USCF. The cost is probably only about 2.5%, and much of this is made up for by avoiding the nuisance, losses and service charges of bouncing checks. Accepting cards also enables online and telephone payment, which are faster and thus more popular with customers. There is an administrative cost to maintaining deposit accounts, and some affiliates will not wish to lay out a relatively large sum in advance. CCA accepts credit cards at tournament sites, but not checks, because dealing with all the bad checks was a far bigger problem than paying the credit card fees.