Parr's Election Report

I want to thank Larry Parr for endorsing me for the USCF Executive Board.

However, in his simultaneous endorsement of Tom Dorsch, Larry Parr is engaging in a process known as "projecting".

Larry Parr is in favor of certain things. Since Parr favors Dorsch, Parr assumes that Dorsch is in favor of the same things that Parr is in favor of.

I know Tom Dorsch a lot better than Larry Parr does. Tom and I go back a long time. Tom Dorsch lived in my apartment at 2119 Carleton Street in Berkeley during the 1963-64 school year at the University of California at Berkeley.

I call it "my apartment" because my mother, Dr. Marjorie Sloan, actually paid the rent. The other three persons who lived there were supposed to pay their share. One was Ahmed Shayegan, an Iranian dissident who was trying to overthrow the Shah from our apartment. His father had previously been the Minister of Education of Iran. The second was a young woman named Anya who was pregnant with an illegitimate child and had fled her home in Scarsdale, New York to give birth in California and give away the child for adoption. The third apartment-mate was Tom Dorsch. I do not believe that Tom ever paid his share of the rent. Ahmed sometimes paid and a year later his father, Dr. Ali Shayegan, paid the balance due from him. Anya (whose real name was Ann Allister) probably did not pay, and moved out shortly after giving birth. That is why my mother wound up paying almost the entire rent.

When I tried to collect his share of the rent and filed a lawsuit against Tom Dorsch, Dorsch joined the Army, fled to Vietnam, and became a CIA agent and Russian language expert and translator. Dorsch has often since stated that it was because of Sam Sloan that he joined the Army and went to Viet Nam. Another version was that Dorsch preferred to face the Viet Kong rather than to face Sam Sloan.

In short, I know Tom Dorsch rather well.

Here is a recent quote from Larry Parr, in endorsing Tom Dorsch for Executive Board:

"One wonders what the Federation leadership has been doing lo these many years. Why is the USCF without an inhouse website and web master both for play and sales? Why no online rating system at this late date? Where is the online membership option? Why no online catalogues and publications? What happened to an online news service? When will the Federation begin exploring possibilities for online virtual tournaments?"

Here is where I state that Parr is projecting. None of the items on the above list are things which Tom Dorsch has ever advocated. Tom could have put any of these items on the policy board agenda and called for a vote. Tom never did. Tom Dorsch constantly criticizes and attacks others, most recently Mike Cavallo, for various presumed deficiencies, but Tom Dorsch has no program of his own that I am aware of.

Furthermore, Tom Dorsch is by far the most adamant hard-core opponent of One Member One Vote among any of the candidates. I am the only candidate that I know of who is completely in favor of One Member One Vote, but several of the others, while opposed, could probably live with it.

Larry Parr is a strong advocate of One Member One Vote. I believe that Mr. Parr has made an honest mistake when it comes to Tom Dorsch and that Mr. Parr should learn more about the actual views of Mr. Dorsch before endorsing him.

I must add that I, too, was a strong supporter of Tom Dorsch until only about one year ago, but Tom's actions have led to my re-appraisal of him.

Sam Sloan

Tom Dorsch ought to be elected president of the U. S. Chess Federation.

For much of the past three years, he has been telling anyone willing to listen that most of the trends were running against the USCF. Specifically, he said that expenses were exceeding income alarmingly and that the Federation was failing to adapt to a new marketing environment. He has been proven right on both counts. He deserves a chance to back up tough talk with tough action.

The Dorsch program comes down to two propositions: 1. There must be immediate and painful retrenchment in spending to restore the USCF financial position; and 2. There must later be aggressive investment for the future (see recommendations of the Dubeck Task Force).

Aggressive investment for the future means managing risk as one invests in expansion. Historically, chess leaders have mismanaged risk and bungled investments in expansion. Like primitive beasts, the Federation is at the mercy of its environment -- largely because of a slow-moving decision process and annual Delegates' meetings that place political compromise ahead of revving up to market speed.

Mr. Dorsch will need to seek out rigorous business executives. The late Fan Adams several years ago praised Mr. Dorsch's business acumen in an otherwise critical letter to the "voting members." Fan once told me of his frustration that the then USCF President Harold Winston, a long-time government bureaucrat, had refused to look outside the chess community when hiring a new executive director. "He wants someone he can control," said Adams. Never mind, for the moment, that Mr. Winston did not make such a bad choice in Al Lawrence. The point is that the decision-making process was badly flawed.

Mr. Dorsch knows that his presidency will rise or fall based on the quality of the new people that he attracts because they will be the ones handling his investments in expansion. The best thing that can be said for him is that he believes in expansion rather than the fatal alternative, as de facto advocated by his opponents, of seeking stasis in a market economy.

I am more impressed with Mr. Dorsch's understanding that the Federation has stood still during the Roaring 90s than with his being right about the financial dangers facing the USCF. After all, there is no way to get the Federation moving forward if you deny that it is currently standing still or moving in reverse. As an example of such Happy Talk, see Don Schultz's "state of the union" summary this June in Chess Life.

At the turn of the last decade nearly everyone recognized that computers and the Net would result in a revolutionized business environment. In the past nine years the U.S. economy has transformed itself as thousands of tiny shops became national and global marketing giants. As for established businesses, most of them approached the information revolution with a sense of urgency and thus survived

and prospered. The USCF an exception. It has not adapted.

When one reads the relatively modest recommendations of the Dubeck Task Force, one wonders what the Federation leadership has been doing lo these many years. Why is the USCF without an in-house website and web master both for play and sales? Why no online rating system at this late date? Where is the online membership option? Why no online catalogues and publications? What happened to an online news service? When will the Federation begin exploring possibilities for online virtual tournaments?

The thinking among many of the stand-pat opponents of Tom Dorsch is that moving the Federation into the Net age is pie-in-the-sky dream stuff. Mr. Dorsch argues in response that it is pie-in-the-sky thinking to imagine that the Federation can survive in the global economy by standing outside the information revolution.

Some of Mr. Dorsch's opponents try to paint this election as a Goichberg vs. Dorsch referendum. It is not. If Mr. Dorsch is elected, if he is able to shift the Federation into overdrive, if, if, if -- if he can do these things, then the biggest beneficiary will be Mr. Goichberg himself, who as the tournament impresario of American chess will rake in still more money because of rumbustious USCF growth.

Mr. Goichberg, meet Mr. Dorsch: your unintentional best financial friend.

Regular memberships in the Federation stand below where they were over a decade ago. The stand-patters say don't worry and downplay the financial crisis. Even contributors to Chess Life are being paid later and later each month. To his credit, Mr. Dorsch has not kept mum and has not indulged in politically profitable happy talk. This man is abrasive on occasion, but he also has the courage of his convictions. Despite all the hit letters seeking to discredit him, he is the best bet for the Federation's future.

Several candidates are more or less closely associated with the ideas espoused by Mr. Dorsch. These include Doris Barry, Steve Doyle, Bob Holliman, James Pechac, Tim Redman and Helen Warren. Barry and Warren, Redman and Doyle, could provide Mr. Dorsch with a working majority on the seven-member Executive Board.

I also support Sam Sloan, the single overt OMOV candidate, and John McCrary. These two would constitute, respectively, a loud and cunning opposition. Mr. Sloan will holler to the world what is happening behind closed doors while Mr. McCrary (who lacks a single progressive idea) would slink and slither behind the scenes to drive a wedge in the majority. Mr. Dorsch will need an opposition, and these two could prove effective.

If you want happy talk and warm fuzzy feelings, then Tom Dorsch is NOT your man. Vote for Frank Camaratta instead. If you believe that standing pat for another three years will best serve the USCF, then Tom Dorsch is NOT your man. Vote instead for Bob Smith, an ally of Don Schultz. If, on the other hand, you believe the USCF faces marginalization

if it does not adapt to the Net age and the global market, then Tom Dorsch is your best bet among the available candidates for energizing both the staff and the volunteer base. -- Larry Parr

Here are links:
Sam Sloan's Chess Page

My Home Page

Contact address - please send e-mail to the following address: