Dorsch is opposed to everything Parr is in favor of.
Not only is Dorsch opposed to OMOV, but Dorsch is anti-computer.
Look at the members of the Dorsch group. All are anti-computer and all are members of the old guard.
Helen Warren and Tim Redman are both clearly members of the old guard. Helen Warren has been in chess politics since the 1960s. Tim Redman was USCF president 1981-1984. Both Warren and Redman are anti-computer.
Dorsch has not come out in favor of USCF online play, nor has Warren or Redman.
Dorsch has been on the board for the past three years. Not once has Dorsch ever said that the USCF should get involved with internet chess.
I think Parr makes a mistake here. He thinks that when Dorsch criticizes something, that Dorsch advocates doing something different. For example, when Dorsch ran for election in 1996, he also criticized the fact that the USCF was not involved in Internet chess.
Dorsch was elected. That gave him the perfect opportunity to propose to the board that he was elected to that the USCF should get active on the Internet. Dorsch did not do that and the USCF is still not on the Internet.
The USCF web site at http://www.uschess.org is contracted to an outside vendor and the USCF does not maintain that site.
If I am elected and my proposals are adopted, that site will be taken over by the USCF and run out of the New Windsor office. That is my campaign promise. If Dorsch and his majority are elected, there is no assurance that will happen. Dorsch has not proposed anything in this regard.
I have devoted several postings to moving the Federation into the Roaring 90s, which means joining the Internet revolution. This is a major effort that will require major investment.
The Federation Old Guard has thus far proved completely unable to make investment decisions swiftly. Calculated risk, without which no business can long survive and thrive, has for years taken a back seat to the snare and delusion of stasis. The distinguishing characteristic of Old Guard rule has been the idea that the Federation need never change and that the USCF's position and corporate culture can continue forever -- or at least until a new generation of leaders comes along.
The USCF leadership, which has been traditionally long on public sector employees and short on entrepreneurial talent, must somehow energize itself and cease the daydreaming and happy talk.
To my mind, there is no question that major investment decisions will need to be made. The Federation's business plan -- if it had one -- will require constant updating to satisfy market exigencies. Money needs to be spent. Lots of it. The new leadership will have to make dynamic decisions to modernize and undertake investments with calculated risk, or I see no reason why our regular membership will not stand at 20,000 or less by the end of the term of the coming Board. When the slide comes, it will be steeper and faster than any of us currently imagine. It will be awful. It will also be too late.
To my mind the Dorsch Group seems better equipped intellectually and emotionally to make several wrenching decisions. My sense is that this Group will move quickly rather than send every proposal back to committees for further study. If the new leadership does not learn how to manage risk and to undertake calculated risks, then there will no longer be a USCF that is a mass membership organization.
DORSCH AND OMOV
I don't like Tom Dorsch's silly opposition to OMOV, and we exchanged numerous caustic comments about the decision to send and spend on an American team at the Elista Olympiad. If he becomes president, he will probably discover his legitimacy will be quickly underminded as was that of every predecessor going back to 1984 or so. He will wish he had been elected under OMOV. Still, he is the best bet to energize USCF leadership because he at least recognizes that all is not well when the Federation runs an ever-increasing operating deficit and suffers declining regular membership and tournament participation.
AN ALL TOO TRUE STORY
Back in 1993 former USCF President Max Dlugy was casting about for a successor. He found someone, a very wealthy lawyer and entrepreneur, a chess expert and a renowned motivational speaker. This guy had pizzazz and a passion for chess.
GM Dlugy and I could see that if this 20-hour-a-day go-getter were to make the rounds and attend the U.S. Open he would simply blow away opposition candidates with his relentlessly positive and extraordinary articulate outlook. People, even mediocre creatures of the Old Guard, recognize authentic superiority. Oh, yes, this guy also looked the part -- physically and sartorially very sharp.
However, both GM Dlugy and I knew his time was worth a grand an hour and we felt honor-bound to acquaint him with the unsavory USCF cast of characters. I dug up anti-Semitic political mailings, huge amounts of rat crap, and so on. He read through everything and put his finger squarely on the issue of legitimacy: leadership without the consent of its members cannot promote healthy followership.
This man, who held leadership positions in several community self-help organizations, believed he owed society a portion of his very expensive time because of the physical and intellectual gifts with which he had been so liberally endowed. There was absolutely no braggadocio in such talk, simply a quiet statement of highly evident truth about his accomplishments and personal beliefs.
As he expressed the matter, he was a Christopher -- a person who wanted to leave the world better for having lived in it. He chose every new project very carefully, determining its worth and whether he could make a vital difference. If he felt he could make none, then he would not undertake a proposed project because he would be cheating himself and others whom he could help in a decisive way.
This man took a week to make his decision. He told us he was frankly horrified by the socio-political culture of the USCF. He had met some very nasty characters in his years as a lawyer at the very tip-top of his field (bringing companies public) but he had never read anything sadder and badder than the election materials which we felt honor-bound to show him.
He decided instead to seek the presidency of another organization several times the size of the USCF, not because he was afraid of chess types but because he believed he could make a genuine difference in the other organization but could not help the USCF given its current dysfunctional political system.
The above is an all too true story. GM Dlugy and I felt crushed for several days thereafter.
-- Larry Parr
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