Sloan vs Schiller - the Heavy Weight Championship

Subject: Re: Sloan vs Schiller - the Heavy Weight Championship
From: Larry Parr <75227.3707@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 31 May 1996 03:00:52 GMT
Message-ID: <4olnd4$c5i$>

< confirm, his attitude and behavior underwent a serious
adjustment when he finally saw Campo in a true light....Parr
deserves great credit for his courage during those years [as
Chess Life editor] when the entire USCF powerbrokers were
against him.>> -- Eric Schiller

The New Schultz?

As with Richard Nixon, USCF presidential candidate Don Schultz often reinvents himself. Eric Schiller postulates that there is a new Schultz, just as writers for Life and Time once argued there was a new Nixon.

Oh, please! The same old Don who still flows silently into our USCF chess scene. I think he has learned a few lessons. For example, he has learned that there is more success and less pain telling the truth than telling lies. Now we might wish that his improved behavior patterns were based upon a sudden discovery of the truth of the Sermon on the Mount, but I'm afraid his reasons are practical. Don has decided that it pays to be good -- or at least better.

I think that Sam Sloan should continue to post information on Don's record, and I want to assure most of you that what he writes is largely accurate. Yes, he gets dates wrong, names wrong, some trivial details wrong. But Sam Sloan gets the big picture right.

However, the fact of the matter is that Don Schultz is going to be the next USCF president. At some point we must all wish him well -- for the good of chess, which is so intimately linked to positive budget balances at USCF HQ.


Since Eric Schiller has brought my name into the polemics between himself and Sam Sloan, I'd like to say a few words.

First, I don't think it required courage to act as I did. This idea that it takes courage to attend a policy board meeting has always amazed me.

I well remember one battle with Don Schultz about seven years ago when he challenged me -- I kid you not, he used the word "challenge" -- to attend a board meeting to denounce him in front of the soaring eagles of American chess, including such fearsome lightweights as president Harold Winston. Of course, I took up Don's "challenge" with delight and wrote a letter to Mr. Winston that one of his officers Mr. Schultz had asked me to attend the meeting for a confrontation in front of the board. Winston refused the request and pointed out that Mr. Schultz did not speak for the board.

I find it interesting that Don genuinely believed it required some kind of courage, physical or moral, to face down our USCF political wienership. Eric's remark, albeit in a different context, is in some attenuated fashion redolent of Don's earlier views.

Where's the courage? What can these petty chess politicians do to anyone? Of course, they can skulk around corners and attempt to destroy the careers of various grandmasters (which they do from time to time) or campaign to remove Larry Evans' great weekly chess column from some newspapers.

But I was a journalist who never looked upon chess writing as a lifelong vocation. Indeed, in my youthful conceit, I thought that my decision as a mainstream journalist to accept the editorship of Chess Life was doing the USCF a favor. I feared that a too extended tour of duty (mine lasted from 1984-88) might ruin my resume.

When president Winston decided to fire me, I was relieved because the decision to resign was taken from my hands. Mind you, I hated the idea of resigning because the political class would gloat that I couldn't take the heat. On the other hand, I hated the idea of NOT resigning because I worried that another year or two at Chess Life would usher me out of the mainstream writing market.

So, when Arnold Denker and others phoned me on that fatal weekend back in October 1987 when the board wanted to get rid of me within six months, I told him and other friends I had no intention of going to the meeting in Chicago to fight for the job. I was told I'd have an even chance of hanging on because the board didn't want to fire an editor on a 4-3 or even a 5-2 vote. So I didn't go. The eventual tally was 6-1 with GM Lev Alburt the lone dissenter. At which point, the USCF settled upon me a handsome five-figure separation package in return for my agreement not to sue on certain legal grounds.

So, I bear no grudges. I wish Don Schultz well as he undertakes the daunting task of leading the USCF into the next century. Like Nixon opening the door to China, perhaps Don can enact One Man One Vote which he has vigorously opposed in the past.
Larry Parr

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