Goichberg to be fired by Beatriz and replaced by Beatriz

It is now an open secret that USCF President Beatriz Marinello plans to fire Bill Goichberg and replace him with herself. The only question is when and how.

This controversy has just come to the fore in the past few weeks. It had always been assumed that a member of the USCF Executive Board could not also be an employee of the USCF. However, there is no law against it. It had been assumed that the USCF by-laws prohibited this too, but that is not the case either.

Many past USCF Presidents have no doubt thought about pulling off such a maneuver, but Beatriz Marinello is apparently the first one to have the balls to try to do it.

The sealing on the coffin took place last Sunday night when a telephone vote was taken to move the USCF headquarters to Crossville, Tennessee. It had been said that the position of Executive Director would not be filled until a final decision had been reached on where the USCF would be relocated. This explains not only the timing of the vote but also the outcome. Goichberg favored a move to Liberty, New York. Another strong candidate was Lindsborg, Kansas. However, both locations were backed by pro-Goichberg people. A vote to move to Crossville was necessary to pull off the plan to get rid of Goichberg.

As to the reasons for the move, Beatriz Marinello needs a paying job. She has serious health problems and needs the health insurance which employment as Executive Director of the USCF would provide.

In the last eight years since 1996, the USCF has had nine Executive Directors: Lawrence, Filippone, Cavallo, Dullea, DeFeis, Niro, Nolan, Perks and Goichberg. The USCF lost money eight years in a row. However, this past year, with Goichberg at the helm, the USCF turned a profit. This means that the USCF now has enough money to pay a salary to Beatriz.

In addition, the USCF sold the building two weeks ago for $513,000 and the cash is in the bank. Now, instead of having trouble making payroll, the USCF is awash with cash.

As to the reasons why the USCF would fire the only Executive Director who has turned a profit, Stan Booz, a USCF insider, has just provided this explanation:

"Bill's agreement expires December 31, 2004. It is well known that the position of ED can directly affect his CCA business. As such it wouldn't be fair to the Bill to reappoint him and leave him open to self-dealing claims.h

However, there is a new fly in the ointment. Randy Bauer, who was expected to vote for the move to Crossville and for the replacement of Goichberg by Beatriz, instead abstained from voting. As a result, the motion passed, but only by a vote of 4-1-2. Beatriz will need four votes to make herself Executive Director. It has been assumed that the way this would be done is that Beatriz would resign from the board and one minute later the remaining board members would vote her in as Executive Director and Steve Shutt would become the new USCF President. However, Beatriz will need to vote of Bauer to pull this off. Schultz and Brady will definitely not vote in favor of this proposal. So, to do this, Beatriz will have to stay on the board to insure the four votes for herself.

Also, there is a new election coming up in August 2005. At that time, the terms of Shutt, Brady, Bauer and Shaughnessy will expire. Beatriz, Hanke and Schultz will remain on the board. The four new people, whomever they might be, will likely want to fire Beatriz immediately. Therefore, Beatriz will have to vote herself a golden parachute, to make sure that she carries away a basket full of cash when she is thrown out of the office.

As to how this situation came about, one must look at the four board members who are in favor of this plan. Beatriz, Shutt and Shaughnessy are all scholastic organizers who have little involvement with adult chess. Hanke has a long record of being anti-USCF. Many people who voted for Hanke have said that they were confused. They thought that they were voting for Jerome Hanken, a former board member who was the organizer of the US Open in the year when Hanke was elected. This would certainly explain the surprising election result and would explain why Tim Hanke got so many votes from California and Oregon, states where Hanke has never played chess but where Hanken lives.

Shutt looks forward to becoming USCF President. He is now Vice-President and will become president automatically after Beatriz becomes ED. He will probably be thrown out when the new board takes over in August, but at least it will look good on his resume.

Elizabeth Shaughnessy is said to be firmly in the pocket of Beatriz. Several California players who voted for Shaughnessy have expressed disappointment in her performance thus far. She has health problems and was recently hospitalized. For the first time in many years, Shaughnessy is not participating in the World Chess Olympiad, which is now taking place in Spain. Shaughnessy usually plays bottom board for the Irish Woman's Team.

So, Beatriz has four solid votes for her scheme to take Bill Goichberg's job. However, the big question now is how will Bauer vote. If Bauer votes for Beatriz, then her position is secure. She can safely resign from the board and almost simultaneously have her four secure supporters vote her in as Executive Director. Goichberg will be fired officially as of December 31, 2004.

However, what if Beatriz cannot be sure of Bauer's vote? Then, for her plan to succeed, she would have to stay on the board and serve as both Executive Director and as USCF President.

Will Beatriz Marinello have the balls to do this? It is noteworthy that the two people who voted in Beatriz and who made her USCF President, Schultz and Brady, are now firmly against her. On the other hand, Shutt, who was the outside man, generally against her until last month, is now in her favor because he wants to be USCF President. Tune in next week to find out the next episode of this amazing story.

Sam Sloan

Express Your Opinion in the Guestbook.

Here are links:
Sam Sloan's Chess Page

My Home Page

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