Election Fraud and Don Schultz,

Candidate for President of the United States Chess Federation

by Sam Sloan

Over the 4th of July weekend, two major chess tournaments were held in America, the World Open in Philadelphia, which attracted more than 1300 players, and the (apparently much smaller) Pinfork Dallas Six event in Texas.

At both events, there was active campaigning by candidates for the coming election for the USCF Policy Board. I believe that what transpired at these events tell us something about the candidates themselves.

I attended and played in the World Open. I was the only candidate actually to play in that tournament, the others preferring to spend their time politicking. I finished the expert section with an even score of 4 1/2 - 4 1/2. My election opponent, Don Schultz, to his credit, won the Class A prize of $1000 in Dallas. Here is what he has said about that event:

"I just got back from the Pinfork Dallas Six Grand Prix. I went there to campaign. VP Candidate Bob Holliman and I had a wonderful meeting with Texas voting members at a breakfast meeting sponsored by former USCF president Tim Redman. The meeting lasted about two hours and during that time issues and ideas were constructively dialogued. Personalities and name calling never came up. We need more of that."

In contrast, in Philadelphia, there were no closed breakfast meetings with a select group consisting only of voting members. Instead, there was an open and publicly announced debate which all chess players, both voting and non-voting, were invited to attend.

The debate was not a great success, I must admit. I did not do a head count, but there were easily less than 30 persons in the room, and certainly less than ten voting members, not counting the candidates, present. Moreover, there was only one real debate, that being between Jim Eade and Alan Kantor. The rest of us, candidates who did not have an opponent present, including myself, Bill Goichberg and Tom Dorsch, were each given three minutes to speak, after which Ira Lee Riddle, the moderator, announced "Time's up" and disbanded the meeting.

Also, as one wag pointed out, having a debate between Jim Eade and Alan Kantor is kind of like having a dual between Wyatt Earp and an unarmed man. Alan Kantor may have good ideas, but he was unable to articulate them well. Nevertheless, at least he showed up and tried.

However, I believe that there is a point to be made here. In Dallas, the voting members were invited to breakfast, where they presumably got a free meal. Those who do not have the right to vote did not get the meal. Don Schultz says: "Personalities and name calling never came up." What he is apparently referring to are the allegations by myself and numerous other chess personalities that in the past Don Schultz has voted to have various chess players banned, blacklisted, declared persona non-grata and generally ostracized from the chess playing community, and has called for action and even lawsuits against journalists who defended the rights of those chess players to play chess. Don Schultz apparently believes that whenever his own voting record is brought up, this constitutes a "personal attack" on him. In short, Don Schultz feels that it is perfectly all right for him publicly to attack chess players and journalists, but it is foul play if the objects of his attacks counter-attack him.

Here is what Donald D. Shulltz said recently about this. (I am attaching two of his statements together, to place them in proper context):

"Some that pose this question are perhaps being a bit disingenuous. The fact is this issue along with many other issues of the last decade was debated ad nauseam at that time. The details of the election fraud charges are well known to them.

"To again debate the election fraud charge would lead to the never ending stream of other issues needing explanation (all of which occurred during the eighties). Furthermore each time a new link is brought up, attention to the last issue discussed is diverted and ultimate truth never determined. The real issue under discussion was whether or not I spoke during the Calvo debate. Election fraud was brought up during this discussion. Its relevance was that it WAS an issue and part of the debate. To switch debate to the intricacies and merits of this side issue shifts focus and adds nothing to whether or not I spoke during the Calvo debate.

"A point was raised that seems new: "The Policy Board voted against the FIDE vote on Calvo". I think not. There may have been a vote that Larry Parr interpreted one way and I another. The only fair way would be for Larry to post the text of the PB motion he refers to and let everyone draw his own conclusion. However there was a delegate vote at the Boston US OPEN and Annual Convention following the Calvo vote in FIDE. After debating the issue almost two hours, by a three to one margin, the delegates expressed overwhelming support for the USCF FIDE delegation and refused to rescind their vote.

"I don't say we always did the right thing. Hopefully lessons were learned. To look back and learn is fine, but with the very major problems facing chess and the USCF today, these should be put in perspective. Furthermore when looking at the great debates of yesteryear, one must carefully examine their many nuances before drawing superficial conclusions.

"Today we have a scholastic community ready to bolt from the USCF. The world chess organization is in shambles. USCF just raised their dues and still finances remain strained. Yet opportunities abound. The internet opens the door to unlimited possibilities. The recent Deep Blue - Kasparov match attracted more publicity since Fischer became World Champion. As a candidate for president of the USCF, I intend to place my focus and efforts on these topics - the issues and challenges of today.

"I'm trying to use my time most effectively and simply cannot tune in to rec.games.chess on a daily basis and post reply upon reply on the debates of the eighties. I'm currently devoting a great deal of time to traveling and soliciting opinions concerning "how to get the promotion of the US Championship and the US Champion off square one". It has an unrealized potential of enormous magnitude. When time opens up I'll shift to other productive ventures.

"I'll give one example of how I could easily get embroiled in ungoing non productive dialogue. Years back I stated that I never opened my mouth during the FIDE debate on Calvo. Right after I said this and many times since including recently on this network it was reported I did open my mouth during the debate. Now many may think this is easily answered, I did or did not open my mouth - period. I once thought it would have been easy but here is what happened and would happen again. The question shifts to what constitutes the debate. If you consider it from the start of the debate to the point where the FIDE president asks for objections and hearing none announces that a consensus was reached, then my statement is accurate, I did not speak during the FIDE debate. I did speak immediately AFTER the announcement that a consensus was reached. I requested a poll of countries to show that we mean business. This reply of mine causes the discussion of whether I opened my mouth in the FIDE debate to jump to "did I threaten journalists by saying "to show we mean business". There is then the need to explain what I meant by to show we really mean business". Was I threatening journalists? I explain that we were referring to those who cheat in FIDE elections and not to journalists. I point out that US FIDE Zonal President GM Arnold Denker announced six times during the course of the FIDE debate that the US position was based solely on election cheating and not what was written about 3rd world countries. Election cheating? What is that all about? And so that is explained and the discussion goes on and on.

"If I continue to reply I must rely on remembering things that happened many years ago or do considerable research to make sure I am on solid ground. If by not responding I give the impression of not being as responsive as some think I should, I am sorry. But that is my trade off on how I should best use my time.

"One last point: While the Internet rec.games.chess and other electronic bulletin boards are excellent forums for discussion and airing ideas etc. They are not so good when they becomes personal. They force unconstrained debate where those that have the time can dominate the debate. They discourage those with less time from speaking out. Take a look at floridaCHESS where BOTH SIDES are given equal space to present their views. That was my answer to the CJA question and I stand by it."

While all of the above sounds well and good, especially to the uninformed, at least two commentators are not convinced. Here is what Dr. David Quinn, a Life member of the USCF, now living in Hong Kong, has to say about this:

"Well this all looks pretty damaging to Schultz. I hope he will post a rebuttal, giving the facts supporting his position that he acted reasonably. From what I have seen, he and Denker did not act reasonably.

"I don't know what "election fraud" could have to do with this. The only thing I've read was that Kasparov could have given some simuls in some delegates' countries. It would be fraud only if promised simuls were never given, and everyone agrees that no simuls were promised in the event of a Campomanes victory. Therefore, nothing _fraudulent_ is even alleged.

"There seems to be nothing here besides normal campaigning. I don't know if simuls were promised, or hinted, given a Lucena victory. But even if so I don't see anything wrong with it ... a chess related activity and clearly something within FIDE's mission. It was at most a candidate promising to do something for some constituents. How do we vote for, say, President? Well Presidential candidates always have the electoral-college constituencies (the states) in their mind and have statewide and regional strategies to appeal to particular voters. They have to balance out their promises so they attract more votes than they repel. That way the winner is the one that appeals to the majority of the voters. Sorry for reciting such kindergarten level stuff but it refutes Schultz's claim that there was fraud.

"Kasparov would have done the simuls for free, as I understand, it's not as if the US would have had to pay Kasparov a big fee (even indirectly) for a simul he would give in Venezuela. Why should a delegate have voted for either Campomanes or Lucena? Because of how nice their cologne smelled? I see everything right with a candidate proposing to do good chess related things. (Would it have been better if Lucena himself gave the simuls? Nah, it's OK to delegate this task to Kasparov I think.) If the US didn't think those things were in the US interest they could vote for the other candidate. That's all.

"Is a fuller text of Calvo's article somewhere on the internet? I'd like to have a look.

"Please if I'm missing something big here, someone tell me where I'm wrong. But Schultz looking really bad on the evidence here and it's all his own fault. (Either for performing poorly, or for failing to contribute the evidence for his side.)"

In answer to one of Dr. Quinn's remarks, I do have the full article, which is entitled "One Bridge Too Far", by Dr. Ricardo Calvo. I have been carrying it around in my pocket for the past five months. I plan to type it and post it in full text. (I doubt if Dr. Calvo will protest this infringement of his copyright.) Unfortunately, I am not a typist and the article is four pages of small type. There is nothing in the article which demonstrates election fraud on the part of Dr. Calvo. What the article does charge is corruption within the FIDE administration, of which Don Schultz was a part, and this clearly was the reason why Don Schultz, Arnold Denker and other FIDE insiders had Dr. Calvo declared persona non grata. It was nothing to do with "election fraud."

Here is what yet another commentator has had to say about the above remarks by Don Schultz:

"Subject: Re: Election Fraud
"From: David Ottosen

"A couple of comments from a non-USCF non voter (though I guess joining the USCF doesn't give me any more opportunity to vote):

"1) If there is suggestion of misconduct by the presidential candidate, I can't understand why he would refuse to answer the charges here. It would seem to be the simplest way to reach the largest audience with the most minimal expenditure of time, effort, and finances. His comment that one question merely leads to another link of questions only gives me one thought: if every action the candidate has performed has some hint of scandal, and clearing his name from one leads to questions on some other scandal, would that not tend to indicate that the candidate is SURROUNDED by alleged scandals? If I am accused of something, I would prefer to clear my name.

"Mr. Schultz sounds like a criminal, who when the police bust into his house and ask him where he got his TV, he responds "well if I tell you where I got the TV you will ask where I got the radio. And then if I explain that, you will ask where I got my car. And then if I explain that, you will ask.." well you get the point. Basically, my feeling is that someone who wants to run as big an organization as the USCF should be willing to lay his record out and defend it, to whatever extent is necessary to satisfy his "constituents".

"David Ottosen"

The fact is that Don Schultz has changed his story about the Calvo ban several times. He has also filed a lawsuit over this. This is the reason why he now claims that the details of these events are fuzzy in his brain. Here is what he said in an article he wrote for Inside Chess about this, at the time that these events occurred (Inside Chess, January 13, 1988, page 17):

"FIDE Rhymes with D-Day"

Don Schultz

"Spanish Writer Ricardo Calvo"

"He was condemned by FIDE and declared Persona non Grata by a vote of 72-1. Further action was deferred to the Executive Council. Many nations wanted a much stiffer penalty including a 10 year ban to all FIDE competitions. The penalty was imposed for his racial attack on Latin Americans in the publication New in Chess. He also openly stated in the same article that he violated election ethics by offering free Kasparov simuls to certain countries in exchange for their voting for Mr. Lucena (Campomanes' opponent) in the recent FIDE elections. Another issue was his erroneous charge that a Latin American woman was beaten up by supporters of President Campomanes.

"The US delegation, which repulsed by Mr. Calvo's behavior, fears for freedom of the press. We voted for condemnation because of election violations. Arnold Denker, our Zonal President, insisted, and the Assembly agreed, that Mr. Calvo be given the right of appeal."

Although this version sounds somewhat plausible, several eye-witnesses to the events in Seville have reported that is was actually Arnold Denker and Donald Schultz who led the campaign to have Calvo banned from chess and that they were not simply passive participants urging restarting and compromise as they have since implied. Here is what Kasparov said about this. (Inside Chess, August 24, 1988, page 9):

"INSIDE CHESS: At the FIDE Congress in Seville, the American representative, Don Schultz, voted in favor of a motion to declare Spanish IM Ricardo Calvo persona non grata because of a letter that the latter had written to New in Chess. Were you surprised by this vote?

"Kasparov: I was surprised - very surprised. When one thinks of the United States, one thinks of the press. Even people from my country would not have asked for such a strong condemnation as your representatives tried to get. They wanted a five-year ban on Calvo to prevent him from playing in tournaments. It was all absolutely illegal.

"INSIDE CHESS: Donald Schultz has stated over Leisure Linc that he "never opened his mouth" over the Calvo debate. Any comment?

"Kasparov: Of course, Schultz opened his mouth. It's absolutely clear. His claim is so ridiculous that I don't know how to comment on it. Yes, to repeat myself, I was surprised by the persona non grata motion - very surprised. Since an even stiffer penalty was recommended by a committee headed by Arnold Denker, everyone assumed that Schultz supported it.

"INSIDE CHESS: Donald Schultz claimed over Leisure Linc that Campomanes played no role in the censuring of Calvo. What do you know about this?

"Kasparov: Schultz's claim is simply incredible, and I find it funny even to comment on it ...

"INSIDE CHESS: Has Don Schultz and his policies soured you on cooperation with the USCF? Do you see a time when our national federation and you can work together fruitfully?

"Kasparov: Everything passes, and so will Donald Schultz and the pro-Campomanes crowd at the USCF. Yes, there probably will come a time when we can all work together for the promotion of chess."

I think that everyone will note that the time of Donald Schultz has not quite yet passed, as he is now threatening to become the President of the USCF, to the great alarm of numerous professional chess players, who clearly remember those events which Donald D. Schultz now states he has almost forgotten.

Here is what American Zone President Arnold Denker actually said during the Calvo debate in Seville (while Don Schultz sat next to him, smiling broadly, but "never opened his mouth on this except to say he didn't read the article"):

Mr. Denker: "Well, this is, I think, a very, very grave subject, and we considered it very seriously. I think many of you have a copy of the article that was written, and it was decided that Mr. Calvo, for want of any better punishment, should be prevented from playing in any Fide event for a period of three [actually 5] years. In the event that he asks for a hearing with the committee, we'll be happy to go over it and reconsider, providing that he can provide some information that would show extenuating circumstances. In addition, it was also decided that the magazine that published this article should be spoken to and that they should print either a retraction or an apology. If not, Fide would take up more serious action against this magazine."

Unlike other matters, including bans of chess grandmasters such as Quinteros and Pachman, which were passed without significant debate, Dr. Calvo, who had done nothing more than write an article which Schultz, Denker and other Fide bureaucrats found objectionable, did have his defenders. Here is what Rolf Littorin, the delegate from Sweden, said:

"As many of you know, I am a lawyer, and I'm sure that many of you in this assembly are lawyers too. Let me point out the following facts to you. First of all, this case was not in the agenda; it was not in the agenda. The article written by Calvo is one year old. Why haven't we heard criticism before? For the third, this article was distributed only today, and you asked the assembly to take action anathema against a man on account of what you have read right now in this article. I heard that members of the Central Committee yesterday had not even seen the article themselves. Now, in the Central Committee, it says that Mr. Calvo committed election irregularities. I'd like to know what they are."

"Other speakers have pointed to the fact of freedom of press, freedom of speech. And I think that this case is primarily a matter to be settled between Mr. Calvo and the publisher and those who feel offended. Now, if Fide follows the recommendations of the Central Committee, then I'm sure as some of the other speakers have pointed out here this case will circulate through the news media of the world. And every detail will be dug up -- pro and contra by both parties. And this, in my opinion, will hurt Fide and chess more than Mr. Calvo has done. After all the negative publicity that Fide was involved with in the past years, we should avoid adding fuel to the fire."

Another defender of the rights of Dr. Calvo was Dr. Nathan Divinsky, the delegate of Canada, who, in real life, is a distinguished professor of mathematics. Here is part of what Dr. Divinsky said:

"If we punish or even threaten to punish, then people will be hesitant about writing their real thoughts. And some future Fide may even punish us for what we think. I think that the crux of the matter, Mr. Chairman, is that we are not being asked to decide whether what Mr. Calvo wrote is good or bad, right or wrong; it is perfectly honorable to disagree completely with what he wrote and still not vote against any motion to punish him. But if the vote is close, others will be afraid to voice or write their opinions. Therefore, I urge you to vote 'No' and make this a large 'No' vote. We need healthy criticism and genuine controversy, and inhibiting it is bad for Fide. Free speech, free choice, glasnost, freedom in Fide! Thank you."

What did Dr. Calvo actually say in his article, "One Bridge Too Far", which was found to be so objectionable? It turns out that Calvo said nothing especially noteworthy. Indeed, this is the reason why so few people can even remember the article appearing. The article would have been completely forgotten were it not for the debate on the ban on Calvo. Here are the parts of the article (an article which Schultz later admitted that he had never actually read) which were said to be so objectionable, in their entirety. (New in Chess, 1986, No. 8, pages 7-9):

"The story began in London, in August, during the first part of the third Karpov-Kasparov clash. Under the (questionable) assumption that Kasparov represented the Truth, and the (even more questionable) that Truth always triumphs, a worldwide campaign was quickly designed. ... My only weapon was a letter by Gary Kasparov giving me full powers to arrange a tour of simuls, exhibitions and lectures to most Latin American countries. It opened me, as expected, even the iron doors of the most reluctant pro-Campomanes federations, and so I had at least the opportunity to talk. ...

"Venezuela had a new chess president, a delightful old woman called Adalgisa de Briceno. She was physically beaten during her campaign by her rival, a pro Campomanes man. In Dubai, she wore an orthopedic collar around her neck, because of vertebral injuries. Chess is not a pacific game any more. ...

"The rest is known. I have tried to understand why. I have seen that many countries have so many problems that to speak about purity in elections of a chess federation seems almost a joke. There is an atrocious civil war in many of these countries, and most Europeans simply do not realize how cruel this can be. There are also open veins in the economy of these regions, where a girl must become a prostitute from fourteen years on, or a boy must become a policeman or a soldier of the dictator if they want to survive. In these situations, chess delegates are delighted with a small piece of the big cake of money, or power, or traveling away from their unhappy surroundings. They are grateful for a free ticket, or a good meal, or oh my God, the possibility of a post in Fide, with a beautiful flag over an international table. I believe that this is the kind of people who have supported Campomanes.

"But I have seen, in remote towns, chess players meeting for a lecture, with shining eyes when they discover the second idea of a study by Liburkin. In many chess circles, the daily work of the enthusiastic teachers has impressed me, and one is touched when the parents come with a seven year old boy with an Indian face, dressed with his best shirt, to ask to play a game against the boy, because he is talented, and not many masters have visited the town. As an emanation of these people, appear to me many Latin American delegates, clever, resourceful, trying to help Lucena and his campaign even if they must do it in a hidden manner. Because of these people, I believe that the battle is not over, and that the third bridge can be taken one day.

"Ricardo Calvo
"Madrid, Spain"

[In 1996, I ran for President of the United States Chess Federation. I was defeated by a vote of 309 delegates to 30, with 34 protest and write-in votes. For my campaign literature, see: Sam Sloan for President of the United States Chess Federation!! For comments about hit mail, see: Hit Mailings in USCF Election Campaigns. For an article by Ricardo Calvo, see: One Bridge Too Far.]

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