Koepcke did it!

Jim Eade has challenged my statement that during the August, 1999 US Open in Reno, Cavallo was approached by a representative of Dorsch and his wife, Carolyn Withgitt, with a request that Withgitt be awarded the National TD title, without taking the test.

Since I happened to be present during the conversation, I was asked not to say anything about it on the Internet and I have not done so. I always go to extreme lengths to keep confidences, which is why people give me confidential information. However, now with two of the principles challenging me on this, I have decided to reveal more about this.
Tom Dorsch, a heavyweight in chess politics

The person who asked Cavallo to grant the National TD title to Withgitt was Richard Koepcke, President of the Northern California Chess Association, the same association of which Dorsch and Eade were delegates.

Koepcke made a convincing case, and in fact I agreed with Koepcke. When Cavallo asked why Withgitt objected to taking the test, he said that she felt that the persons who grades these tests would be biased against her for political reasons, because of her husband, Tom Dorsch.

I did not know at the time that this was a hot issue and that for at least two years since 1997 efforts had been made to obtain a special exemption for Dorsch and Withgitt from taking the test. If Cavallo knew, he gave no indication of that in the conversation.

I also did not know that when Dorsch and Withgitt ran chess tournaments, they submitted tournament reports under another person's name to conceal their involvement, although I now seem to recall that Dorsch once casually mentioned this to me. (Remember, it is only fairly recently that Dorsch started attacking me. We were friends before that.) This is why Dorsch writes: "I'll admit I have a low profile as a director."

I hasten to mention that Dorsch, Eade and Koepcke are very close. Not only are they members of the same chess association, but they are physically near to each other. All three of them live in the Menlo Park area, on the Peninsula of the San Francisco Bay. They all live within a few miles of each other.

The reason I feel constrained to reveal this is that in a posting on February 24, 2000, Eade said:

"Sammie's last posting is silly multiplied by inane. Neither Dorsch nor Carolyn ever asked for Cavallo to upgrade their certification level. I doubt very much that Carolyn ever suggested that she didn't take the test because she might be graded harshly (although that probably would've been the case). She told me that she had better things to do than take a test, and if the USCF didn't want her to run tournaments, she had plenty of other things to do as well."

It is true that I never saw Carolyn speak to Cavallo about this, but Koepcke was clearly speaking in Carolyn's behalf.

Furthermore, until Eade posted on this subject, I did not know that the delegate's resolution which gave the Executive Director the authority to award the TD title up to Senior TD in concurrence with the Chairman of the Tournament Director Certification Committee was specifically passed to get Tom and Carolyn the TD title, without passing the test.

Eade wrote:

"Since neither they nor the office showed any willingness to budge from their positions, I tried to forge a compromise. I sponsored and got a Delegate's Motion passed (with invaluable help from Tim Just) which allowed the ED to upgrade a TDs certification level after consultation with the TDCC."

This apparently happened in 1998 in Hawaii (although I cannot find it in the minutes). The reason Eade mentions "with invaluable help from Tim Just" is that Tim Just is now the person who as the Chairman of the TDCC refuses to agree that Tom Dorsch and his wife should receive the TD title without passing the tests.

Eade also asks whether Goichberg and Jarecki took the test and why should Dorsch be required to take the test if they did not take it.

In the first place, Goichberg and Jarecki wrote the rule book and probably wrote the tests as well. In addition, Goichberg and Jarecki are both International Arbiters, a title awarded by the World Chess Federation. They have both been International Arbiters for more than 20 years.

The International Arbiter title is a difficult title to obtain and only a few Americans have it. It can be awarded only by the full FIDE Congress. The International Arbiter title gives one the right to direct any event rated by FIDE, so it would in most cases not be necessary for them to have the USCF TD title, as almost all major chess events are rated by FIDE.

The International Arbiter title compares with the National TD title in much the same way that the International Grandmaster title compares with the USCF Master title. International Arbiter is a much higher title.

Also, Dorsch states: " I've been directing tournaments for as long as Bill Goichberg -- I was trained by most-experienced NTD/IA GM George Koltanowski about the time Goichberg started running events."

This statement is ridiculous. I knew Dorsch extremely well in the early 1960s. Although he and I played together in many tournaments directed by George Koltanowski, I do not recall Dorsch working as a director at any of them. Also, Dorsch joined the Army in 1964 to escape a lawsuit filed by Sam Sloan. He got out in the 1980s after serving 20 years.

After a career in the military, Dorsch started organizing chess tournaments in the late 1980s. Although he is experienced, he is not nearly as experienced as Goichberg or Jarecki. Also, as noted, Dorsch has been directing under somebody else's name, since he himself did not even have the TD title. There is doubt that he knows the rules well enough to pass the National TD test.

Finally, during the time when he was refusing to take the TD test, Dorsch was Treasurer of the United States Chess Federation. Dorsch was clearly trying to use his political position to get out of a requirement which applies to members who are not politically connected.

I need to add that, once again, Eade is speaking on behalf of Dorsch. Dorsch posts very actively to the chess newsgroups. One wonders why Eade so often speaks for Dorsch, when Dorsch is capable of speaking for himself.

Dorsch clearly knows that Koepcke asked Cavallo to grant the National TD title to Dorsch's wife. Eade should have kept his mouth shut about a matter which he knew nothing about.

Sam Sloan

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