My first USCF rated chess tournament was the 1956 North Carolina Open. I have been actively involved in tournament chess for more than 40 years.
I am the author of several books. My book, "The Slave Children of Thomas Jefferson", was widely disbelieved when published in 1992, but now my thesis has been proven to be correct.
I have seven children, two of whom are rated chess players. My eldest son, Peter Aravena Sloan, is rated 2117 on the current weekly USCF list. (He has finally edged above me in rating.)
Here is why I feel that you should vote for me for Executive Board:
I am not a member of any clique, group or slate. I am completely independent of all of the other candidates. One major problem in the last several policy boards has been the existence of factions on the boards. When votes were cast, they were often cast not for the advancement of chess but for some unspoken political reason. In my case, you can feel confident that every opinion I express on any chess-related subject is my actual opinion, not a position dictated by some political alliance that I happen to be in.
Having been involved in chess for the past 40 years, by now I should have formulated an opinion on most chess related subjects. I am not known for being hesitant about expressing my point of view. I believe that I am the only candidate who says what I really think. I will prove that right now:
If you are receiving this letter by mail, that means that you are a member of that privileged elite of just 453 members who are entitled to vote in the coming election. You can be sure that neither I nor any other candidate will spend money on postage to inform those who are not in your exclusive club of 453.
In short, I want to break up your club. I want to throw you out and give all fully dues paying members the equal right to vote directly for the Executive Board.
No other candidate will openly advocate this, and this alone proves that I am independent from the other candidates. (I believe that one or two other candidates are secretly in favor of OMOV, but they are afraid to reveal their positions, feeling that this is a losing issue.)
I am sure you realize that even if I am elected, that will not be enough to bring about the implementation of OMOV. However, my election will send a strong message that even some of those who have the votes feel that the right to vote should be given to everyone who pays full dues.
I must also mention here that the so-called SOMOV or State One Member One Vote system is nothing more than a fraud and a sham, which will do nothing to alter the present power structure. Almost all of the members of the so-called "Blue Ribbon Committee" which formulated this ridiculous alternative are now candidates in this election. The SOMOV system simply will not work because those who run for election as delegates must pledge to attend the political meetings at the US Open at their own expense. Few members are willing to do this. For example, at the most recent delegates meeting, only 72 delegates actually appeared and many of those were substitutes for the real delegates. As long as there is a shortage of those willing to be delegates, a contested election for delegate spots is meaningless, since many states may not even have enough candidates to fill all the available slots.
Here is another example: My dear friend Mike Goodall, who three years ago mailed a notorious hit letter attacking me, had always been a voting member of the USCF since he has been the leading chess organizer in Northern California.
However, this year, for the first time, he was kicked out, erased and expunged, largely because of that same hit letter, which also attacked another candidate.
Mike Goodall has always been the hardest of the hard core opponents of democracy in chess. If there was ever a strong opponent of OMOV, Mike was it! However, now suddenly he finds himself out among the great unwashed masses of those 85,000 who cannot vote. Will Mike now change his opinion on this subject?
It is not only Mike who was kicked out. Yasser Seirawan, publisher of Inside Chess and the highest rated and most widely respected active American Grandmaster, was also kicked off the list of voting members!
Let me try to explain this in a way you can appreciate: If you, the voting members, agree to give up your tiny hold on power and allow all regular members the right to vote, you will get more money! More chess players will be encouraged either to join the USCF or to upgrade from youth or scholastic membership to regular membership. In addition, this will give chess more political clout. The President of the USCF will be in a position to tell Bill Clinton to come up to see him and to advocate programs for the advancement of chess, just as other special interest groups are able to command the attention of real politicians. As long as only 453 USCF members are allowed to vote, this will not be feasible.
Finally, the main objection to OMOV has been the cost. However, the SOMOV plan will cost just as much as OMOV and since SOMOV has already been approved, the cost objection is no longer valid.
Our Executive Director, Mike Cavallo
The USCF is fortunate to have a supremely qualified person to be USCF Executive Director, Mike Cavallo. The only reason we have him is that he happens to be a chess enthusiast. I fully support Mr. Cavallo.
The reason I say this is that certain candidates in this election have a secret agenda: They want to throw Cavallo out and replace him with someone to their liking.
I will not say who those candidates are and indeed I will not mention the names of any other candidates in this letter. They may deny that this is on their agenda, even though it is.
The same situation existed three years ago. In 1996, three candidates, plus Fan Adams who was being carried over from the previous policy board, planned to throw out then Executive Director Al Lawrence, if elected. They denied this then as now, but only one hour after the votes were counted, Al Lawrence was out. Actually, Al Lawrence agreed to be bought out and received a generous deal, but he knew that this was the best deal he was going to get, and agreed to go peacefully.
The details of this disgusting, despicable deal have never been deposed. I want to make sure that this does not happen again. If I am elected and those bad guys who want to get rid of Cavallo are also elected, any moves against Mr. Cavallo will be blasted by me all over the Internet. As I will be a member of the Executive Board, they will have a difficult time keeping their dirty deals a secret from me and you can be confident that if I know about it, you will know about it too!
For example, I was the world's number one defender of the three Polgar sisters at a time when they were regarded as pariahs and were banned and blacklisted from many chess events. I have also supported Calvo, Quinteros and other chess personalities who have been banned from chess.
Right now, there is hiding out in Budapest at a secret location which only I and a few others know, a leading American grandmaster who is afraid to return to America because he under indictment for playing a chess match in Yugoslavia!
This criminal indictment has absolutely no basis in law, and remember that I am a person who has successfully argued a case before the United States Supreme Court.
If I am elected, I will try to use what influence I have to bring about the dismissal of the criminal indictment against this person, so that he can safely return to America.
Furthermore, there is an American International Chess Master who has been incarcerated for the past 35 years. I am right now working on trying to get him out of jail. If I am elected, the chances of this happening will be increased.
I admit that these are unpopular causes involving unpopular persons. My willingness to embrace unpopular causes is one thing which separates me from all the other candidates. You may not agree with me on these two issues and indeed I expect that most voting members will not agree, but I hope that you will agree that I represent an independent voice which is entitled to be heard.
The USCF has tended to take a passive role with regard to FIDE, sending a team to the World Chess Olympiad and delegates to FIDE meetings, but almost nothing else.
I am not opposed to FIDE. Rather, I want to make FIDE better. Several major chess events have been held in the United States, including the Kasparov-Anand match for the World Championship and the Kasparov-Deep Blue match. However, these events took place in spite of, rather than because of, the USCF.
Right now, the FIDE World Championship is supposedly going to be held in Las Vegas. Again, the USCF role in this has been to watch from the sidelines (with good reason, because there are serious doubts as to whether this event will take place).
I believe that the USCF should become more actively involved in international chess. I would like to see a World Chess Olympiad held in America, something I have long advocated but which has never been attempted.
However, this is not without controversy. Critics said that the American Chess Foundation used to provide funding for grandmaster tournaments, but stopped that after Fan Adams became president of the Foundation.
I am unable to comment on the specifics of that issue. However, I will say that if I am asked to chose whether to hold a chess event with 35,000 children in it or a chess event with 16 American grandmasters in it, I will vote for the 35,000 children.
In addition, I correspond by e-mail with chess players and officials around the world. I am in contact with at least one representative of every one of the 145 member nations of FIDE, with the exception of a few nations which do not have Internet access.
The USCF needs to get active in on-line chess. Everybody claims to be in favor of this, but nevertheless it has not been done. If I am elected, I intend to make this a matter of top priority.
Now, please look at the letters you are receiving from the other candidates. I think you will find that none of them address the issues, or even tell you what the issues are. In contrast, I am not afraid to express my views and I act on them, not just talk about them.
I hope that you will vote for me and give me your support as a candidate for Executive Board of the United States Chess Federation.
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