Bill Goichberg's Choices

I have not been keeping close track of developments lately and thus it is only today that I read an article posted by Bill Goichberg one week ago at

Although Bill is usually careful with his facts and his opinions are to be respected, this time he made several serious errors and I would like briefly to point them out.

For example, Bill states: In his statement in the June Chess Life (which, strangely, he repeated without change in the July issue), he says, "I have just received a confidential report that $200,000 in USCF funds have gone missing."

However, this is not true, because while I did state that in the June Chess Life, but I did not repeat that statement in the July Chess Life. I am surprised that Bill would make such an obvious error of fact.

Another factual error comes where Bill states: "Also, the FIDE Zone President (actually the former FIDE Zonal President)". This is not correct. Jim Eade was still the USA Zone President of FIDE in August 2002 and continued to be so until he was either removed or forced to resign in October or November 2002. (The exact circumstances have never been revealed). Also, in August, 2002, Frank Niro was still the Acting Executive Director. He had not become the Executive Director yet.

Bill is also mistaken when he says that the deal was not illegal. The deal was clearly prohibited by the USCF by-laws, something which the FIDE Zone President obviously knew, because he helped write those by-laws. The USCF by-laws are available online at

Article III, Section 9 authorizes Promotional Memberships by the Executive Board. The Executive Director does not have the authority to issue promotional memberships. Only the Executive Board has that authority, something FIDE Zone President knew because that issue came up while the FIDE Zone President was on the board.

Here are a few more errors:

About Candidate Don Schultz, Bill says: "Don is the only board candidate to raise the secrecy issue in his Chess Life campaign statements." While it is true that I did not mention the secrecy issue in my statements published in Chess Life, I have been outspoken about this issue on my website and on the newsgroup postings. The current USCF President is the most secretive president in the entire history of the USCF and if I am elected I will demand his immediate replacement. I will vote for anybody but him, because the present level of excessive secrecy is intolerable.

Here are a few other brief comments:

Bill states that it would be ridiculous to reduce USCF adult membership back to $39 or $40. He further states: "This would be such an enormous mistake that I immediately eliminate from consideration any candidate supporting such a position." It was primarily Bill Goichberg who was the architect of the scheme to raise USCF adult dues from $40 to $49. At the time he first called for this increase, it was dismissed as ridiculous. However, Bill persisted and finally got what he wanted. As strongly as Bill Goichberg feels about his dues increase, I do not think he should so readily criticize the opinions of those including myself who feel differently.

Next, Bill Goichberg reopens the scandal in which International Master Igor Khmelnitsky intentionally forfeited his last round game at the 2002 US Open. I stand by my statement, which was: "It is abundantly clear that Igor Khmelnitsky lost by forfeit on purpose to Olga Sagalchik in the last round of the US Open at Cherry Hill so as to guarantee Olga Sagalchik a spot in the US Championship."

Bill opines that if IM Khmelnitsky had wanted to do that he would have simply not shown up, rather than call just 15 minutes before the round was scheduled to start to say that he was withdrawing. I disagree. IM Khmelnitsky revealed more than he intended when he later posted, "Why should I care how my withdrawal affected the other players in the tournament?" An experienced International Master is supposed to care how his results affect the other players in the tournament. IM Khmelnitsky had been in clear first place throughout much of the US Open, but a loss in Round 11 had put him out of the money. An experienced International Master certainly knows the proper method to withdraw from a chess tournament, and IM Khmelnitsky did not do that. Also, it is appropriate and important to publicize these instances of thrown or fixed last-round chess games in order to try to stop their all-too-frequent occurrence.

IM Khmelnitsky lives in a suburb of Philadelphia, only about 20 miles from where the US Open was being played, and once he found out that he had not withdrawn and had been paired for the last round, he could easily have driven over and played his game and indeed he was morally required to do so, since he obviously knew that his game affected qualifications for the US Championship.

I am surprised that Bill Goichberg so strongly criticizes me for publicizing this incident, since he publishes his own CCA Ratings list which is essentially a list of known sandbaggers. Also, it is largely because of my publicizing this issue that Laura Ross, the player who did not qualify because of the actions of IM Khmelnitsky, received a special invitation to the US Championship, in which she scored a full point more than Olga Sagalchik.

Bill Goichberg also states that I operate "websites of a sexual nature". My websites are no more of a sexual nature than any daily issue of the New York Post. Take a look and compare. I have found that sexual issues are what brings in the readership, a discovery that most of the major news publications made long before I did.

Finally, Bill concludes: "Sam Sloan also supports the ridiculous idea of lowering adult dues. Otherwise, I probably agree with his positions on most issues. However, it is inappropriate for USCF to have a Board member who attacks so many people on the internet and is so careless with his facts."

It often happens that I am accused of making false statements, but then that person fails to specify which statements are false. Here are two examples. I am confident that my statements about the game that was thrown in the last round of the 2002 US Open and about the special $1 membership deal are true and accurate. Bill has failed to show that what I said was not correct and, as far as I am aware, the majority of persons familiar with these two incidents agree with my version and not with his. Bill is of course entitled to his opinion but he goes too far when he claims that his interpretation of the facts is so clearly correct that nobody should vote for me.

Also, as far as his claim that I attack people on the Internet, what I am really doing is providing information about chess related issues, information not available on any other website, and I feel that this is a good reason to vote for me, not a reason to vote against me.

At least, if I am elected, you will know what you are getting. How much, if anything, do the voters really know about any of the other five candidates?

Sam Sloan

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