Giving Away the USCF Web Site

by Sam Sloan

It has been announced that the USCF Policy Board has given away the rights to the USCF web site to Interplay, because Interplay was willing to take responsibility for the web site for free.

It is announced in the US Chess Policy Board Newsletter just out, page 3, that "the USCF retains editorial control" over the web site and that "the contract will be amended to include content and editorial control by the USCF".

I would like to explore the possibility of bringing criminal charges against the policy board members who gave away the web site. Giving away a corporate asset is probably a violation of the criminal codes and is probably punishable by years in prison. The USCF web site was almost certainly the most valuable asset which the USCF had.

It has now become obvious that there are certain people in the top levels of the USCF and on the policy board who are hostile to the development of chess on the Internet. Unfortunately, I do not know the personalities well enough to know exactly who those people are. I would like to find out that so that I can go to the DA with this information.

All of the members of the policy board with the exception of Fan Adams have appeared to be nominally in favor of the development of chess on the Internet. However, I have no doubt that there are several who are secretly opposed to this. For example, in California, Mike Goodall has long been known to be opposed to anything to do with computers in chess. To this day, Goodall refuses to use computerized wall charts or computerized pairings. When my friend Mike directs a tournament, he writes out the results by hand and mails it in. When his father died and he inherited his father's new and perfectly good PC, Mike refused even to turn it on. He sold it as soon as he got a buyer. Also, Mike's disputes with me and with Jim Eade which led Mike to send out his now notorious campaign hit mailing had its origins in this. Jim Eade wanted any reports appearing in the California Chess Journal to be submitted electronically, which Mike refused to do. Therefore, Jim Eade wanted to publish my report on the Capps Memorial chess tournament, which Mike directed, to which Mike objected because Mike wanted his own report to be published. Because of Mike's objections, the magazine finally went out without any report on the Capps at all. None of the 43 games in the Capps which I laboriously entered were ever published because of this dispute. This led Mike to send out his poorly typed letter (typed by Alan Glasscoe because Mike cannot type either) attacking both me and Eade. I think that Mike's letter seriously hurt my candidacy, although others disagree.

My point is that there are lots of people like Mike Goodall who are so totally opposed to computers in chess that they will even go on a self destructive bent to stop them. Mike certainly hurt himself by his tirade against me and Eade.

I want to know if their are people in the USCF Policy Board like that. For example, although Bill Goichberg is certainly not totally opposed to computers, he has not well embraced them either. He finally figured out yesterday how to post to a newsgroup, which I have been trying to get him to do for months.

If I had been elected president, I would have extensively computerized the USCF. I am sure that Eade and Dorsch would have favored my plans, so I would only have needed one other vote. Probably, Myron Lieberman would have provided the remaining vote needed. For example, I wanted to put all tournament results on the World Wide Web. The way that this would have worked is that as soon as a tournament was over, the organizer could have submitted it electronically on a form posted on the web. After 15 minutes or so, the report would have come back with all ratings and standings calculated so that the players when they went home would have known their new ratings.

Obviously, there would have been problems with this, such as how to stop fraud and how to stop people from submitting bogus reports or from hacking into the system, but I believe that all of these problems could have been easily solved.

The USCF act of essentially giving the web site to Interplay solely for the reason that Interplay is willing to do it for "free", has to be one of the most incredibly stupid acts ever committed by US Chess. Here we have a resource which could generate potentially a billion dollars in income, which was developed over a period of 37 years that the USCF rating system has been in existence, and we give it away for nothing.

By the way, the reason that I did not expound on my ideas for getting the USCF involved on the Internet in a big way when I was running for president is that I felt that it would not get me any votes and would lose a few. The average USCF voting member is profoundly stupid, knows very little about chess and knows nothing at all about computers. There are no doubt a lot of Mike Goodall types within the USCF.

If anyone would be so kind as to tell me who they think is hostile to computers in the top levels of the USCF, I will try quietly to make use of this information. Please feel assured that I will not betray the confidence of anyone.

Thank you,

Sam Sloan

P.S. The USCF/Interplay web site can be seen at

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