Why We Can't Leave FIDE

For the past 10 to 20 years, Larry Parr has been advocating that the USCF withdraw from FIDE and lead the way to establishing another world chess organization.

There are several reasons why this cannot be done or at least would not be a good idea.

First, many efforts have already been made to do this, and all have failed. For example, Ignatius Leong of Singapore founded a "World Chess Organization" and held a few events, but never received much support. He has since abandoned this idea and is now back in the FIDE fold.

Also, Ray Keene and David Levy, back long, long ago when they were still partners, tried to establish alternatives to FIDE, without success.

Perhaps more importantly, the Larry Parr idea that the USCF should lead this new organization will not work. The USCF has yet to be able to get its own house in order. How can the USCF expect to lead an international body, if it cannot even lead itself?

Although the USCF now has a new board and a new Executive Director and we are all very hopeful for the best, we need to remember that is was only a few months ago that the Redman Gang was ousted from control of US Chess. In the space of only one year, from August 2000 to August 2001, the Redman Gang all but destroyed the USCF. Apparently Mr. Parr has forgotten about the fiddle points scandal or the decision the Redman Gang made to close down the books and equipment business, which was the only profitable area the USCF has.

Parr may say that the Redman Gang has been swept into the dustbin of history and will never be back, but how can Mr. Parr be so sure? How can we know that somebody even worse than Redman might not emerge and gain control of the USCF in the future?

Next, Parr ignores the fact that before leaving FIDE, we should at least try to reform it. The representatives sent by the USCF to Istanbul did a poor job. Probably the worst of a bad lot was Jim Eade. Eade is the USA Zone President. As Zone President, his primary job is to protect the rights of the players in our zone and to keep us informed. Eade has not done that. We have not heard anything from Eade about the status of our zone. We do know that the entire zonal system is being to some extent phased out. That is the reason why our zone president should become active and informative. We wonder why the USCF paid the air ticket and hotel expenses for Eade to go to Istanbul.

Even worse, it was reported that the USCF paid Redman one thousand dollars ($1000) for entertainment expenses in Istanbul. I was there. I did not see Redman doing any entertaining. (Perhaps he had some private meetings with his gay buddies). Redman was only in Istanbul for three days. Yet, he published a glowing report in Chess Life about what fine work our representatives had done there, when he had no way of knowing, because he spent less time there than anybody else.

Our Steve Doyle seemed fairly independent. But then, at the conclusion of the main meeting, I saw Steve Doyle get in a private car with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, and they sped off to a private destination, so I realized that Steve was on the take too. I took the photograph: http://www.samsloan.com/day-14.htm

(By the way, I spent more time at the Istanbul Olympiad than anybody else. I was absolutely the first person in the door. I arrived at 7:00 AM on opening day when nobody else was there except for a few security guards, and I set up my computer in the press room before it was even a press room. I was also the very last person out the door when the Olympiad closed down 18 days later.)

More than that, Larry Parr always brings up the drug testing issue. However, three out of the four USCF representatives in Istanbul are proponents of drug testing: Eade, Doyle and Redman. Only Kelleher has not taken a position one way or the other that I know of on drug testing.

We cannot think about reforming FIDE until we start sending suitable people to FIDE meetings. At a recent FIDE meeting, we sent George DeFeis, who knew zero about chess, did not want to learn either, and was not even able to find the meeting. He got lost.

Also, Eade, Doyle and Redman have all unsubscribed from the FIDE discussion group, almost the only group members to do so, so they are clearly not interested in hearing the opinions of others.

In Istanbul, the strongest advocates of democracy and reform in chess were the representatives of Holland, Portugal and Germany. Also, Spain too, but somewhat controversially. If we want leadership, we need to look to those four countries (England might help too). The USCF is not the place to look for reform and leadership, until we get our own house in order.

Sam Sloan

Here are links:

Sam Sloan's Chess Page

My Home Page

Contact address - please send e-mail to the following address: Sloan@ishipress.com