US Chess Championship to be Held in Seattle in October

NEWBURGH, May 21 - The Executive Board of the United States Chess Federation has approved a deal to have the US Championship held in Seattle in October. The event will be organized and held by a private group of businessmen brought together by Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan and a Mr. Oke.

Last October, the Executive Board canceled the 2000 US Championship for financial reasons. This led the Seirawan group and several other groups to try to put the championship together on a private basis.

Two Executive Board members, Doris Barry and Helen Warren, expressed opposition to the event being held at all. In a telephone conference call earlier this month, the board voted 5-2 to pay travel expenses to allow George DeFeis, Executive Director, to go to Seattle to negotiate with the Seirawan Group. Barry and Warren voted not to authorize DeFeis to travel and to negotiate. Garrett Scott was not in on the conference call.

DeFeis went to Seattle and came back with a agreement. The main points are as follows:

1. The Seattle Group will incorporate by June 15. The name will be the "Seattle Chess Foundation".

2. The Seattle Group will produce proof by August 15 that it has $100,000.

3. The Seattle Group will have an option to hold the championship every year for the next ten years. However, if the Seattle Group fails to hold the event in any year, then the agreement for all future years will be canceled at the option of the USCF.

4. Within 60 days after the US Championship has been held, the Seirawan Group will notify the USCF whether it intends to hold the championship the next year.

5. For the rights to hold the US Championship, the Seattle Group will pay the USCF $5,000 per year for the first five years and $10,000 per year for the last five years.

6. The Executive Director will be on the US Championship Organizing Committee.

7. Standards will be maintained so that the Seattle Group cannot hold an "el cheapo" event in one year and still retain the rights to future years.

8. All games from the US Championship will be broadcast on the Seattle Group's website. The USCF website will link to that website but will not broadcast the games itself.

Doris Barry, who obviously remains opposed to this agreement, objected that the games from the US Championship should be on the USCF website. However, it was pointed out that the Seattle Group hopes to make money from advertising on its website. Therefore, if the USCF were to insist that the games be on the USCF website, there would be no deal.

Doris Barry nevertheless continued to insist that the games be on the USCF website. Doris Barry also said that Al Lawrence had been working on a backup plan.

Sam Sloan

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