Schultz Denies Involvement in Effort to Bring Back Wayward Soviet Girl

by Ismail Sloan

One of the surprising rumors which spread shortly after the defection of Soviet number two woman player Elena Akhmilovskaya was that U.S. delegate Don Schultz was not only disapproving but was actually involved in a sort of conspiracy to send the girl back to Russia.

When confronted with this, Schultz denied it completely.

Schultz said that he had spoken on the telephone to Frankfurt to the U.S. team captain John Donaldson, who had eloped with the Russian girl. He said that he had not told Donaldson to bring the girl back to Greece but rather that he had merely "conveyed certain messages" from others.

Later, Schultz explained that he had conveyed a message that Soviet Grandmaster Gufeld, who claims to be a close personal friend of Akhmilovskaya, wanted to speak to her. He also said that he had told Donaldson to "seek some good advice". Schultz did not elaborate as to what kind of advice he thought that Donaldson should seek.

U.S. Zone President Arnold Denker expressed strong disapproval at the American team captain for running away with the Russian girl. He suggested that Donaldson should be disciplined in some way by the U.S. Chess Federation for this act.

For his part, Gufeld said that the rumors were ridiculous that he wanted to lure Akhmilovskaya back to Greece so that she could be bundled off to Russia. He said that only she should come back to play the last round game to try to help the Soviet women defeat Hungary and also to collect her silver medal for the best performance on second board. After that, according to Gufeld, she would be free to go anywhere she wanted in the world.

Gufeld further elaborated that it was silly to suggest that Akhmilovskaya would be put onto a boat and sent back to Russia via the Black sea. Of course, there are many Soviet ships anchored off the port city of Thessaloniki, but Gorbachov was going to visit Reagan in two days and, Gufeld said, under these circumstances, the Russians would never do such a thing.

In awarding the gold medal to the Hungarian woman's team, consisting primarily of the three Polgar sisters, Campomanes said that their victory had been "occasioned by a mishap on the Soviet second board, but that should not diminish the greatness of their achievement."

The various medals awarded to Akhmilovskaya, including her silver medal for second best result on second board, her share of the silver medal for her team, and also her award for second best performance rating of 2559 (behind Judy Polgar with 2594) for the event, were all accepted on her behalf by Mrs. Rima Bulinova of Moscow, the Soviet woman's team captain. Eric Schiller of the USA claimed to have a power of attorney to accept these medals, but apparently this was rejected.


At 10:16 PM 7/27/00 -0000, Eric Schiller wrote:

"Eric Schiller of the USA claimed to have a power of attorney to accept these medals, but apparently this was rejected."

Where do you get this crap? No such thing ever happened, nor were any such claims made by me.

Eric Schiller

Editor, Chess City Magazine:
Owner/Manager, Chessworks Unlimited:
Autolexical Linguist:

Dear Eric,

You are quoting from an article I wrote for Leisure Linc in 1988, although Leisure Linc never published it.

You did say this. I clearly remember you saying it.


At 10:43 AM 7/28/00 -0000, Eric Schiller wrote:

Your memory is flawed. I have never had power of attorney over anyone or anything in my life! Some members of the US delegation *requested* the medals, I may or may not have been present. But your statement of my role is completely wrong. I was adamantly opposed to the defection, and was not in any way cooperating with it. Someone else in the USCF delegation.

I'll keep it on file, a growing collection of misinformation you have published.

From: Sam Sloan []
Sent: Friday, July 28, 2000 7:04 PM
To: Eric Schiller
Subject: RE: denial.htm

Dear Eric,

I remember you saying this.

I am aware that you were opposed to the defection, but whether the Soviet Delegation had the right to receive the gold medal on behalf of Elena is a different issue.

I am surprised that you raise this issue now about an article which I wrote in 1988 and which has been on my web site since 1995 or 1996.


From: "Eric Schiller"
To: "Sam Sloan"
Subject: RE: denial.htm
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 12:23:42 -0000

It is on your website and is therefore a current document which misrepresents the facts. Again, I have never had power of attorney over anything. I did NOT believe the US delegation had any right to intervene in the medal dispute. That was between an individual and FIDE. Elena was not at the time a member of USCF or an American. It would have been decent of FIDE to give her the medal, but I participated in no attempt to force them to do so.

As long as you keep erroneous information about me on your website, I have the right to complain.

What I can do, which I believe should satisfy you, is post your denial on my web site.

Is that OK?


Here are links: In 1988, I attended the World Chess Olympiad in Salonika, Greece as an accredited journalist. I wrote numerous articles intended for publication. I did not become aware until one month after the Olympiad was over that Dawn of Leisure Linc had banned my articles from that network and that, as a result, none of my articles had appeared. No explanation has ever been given for this. Had this not occurred, I would have been the first to report the sensational defection of Soviet No. 2 woman player Elena Akhmilovskaya, an item which made the world news, not just the chess news.

Here are some of the articles I wrote and transmitted to Leisure Linc which never appeared. And I ask, was Dawn justified in banning these materials from the chess news wires?: FIDE Congress Meets in Salonika , Debates at Meetings of World Chess Federation , Polgar Sisters Defeat Soviets in World Chess Olympiad , American Women Score Upset Draw Against USSR , World Chess Federation Election Campaign for 1990 Underway , Reactions to Soviet Defection Mixed , Schultz Denies Involvement in Effort to Bring Back Wayward Soviet Girl , Mike the Scrabble Player Wins Bronze Medal at World Chess Olympiad and Anti-Israel Boycott at World Chess Olympiad .

Sam Sloan's Chess Page

My Home Page

Contact address - please send e-mail to the following address: