Thumbnail Sketches of the Candidates for USCF Executive Board

Now that April Fool's Day has passed the USCF Secretary has certified the list of fools who have decided to run for executive board. Here is the list, in the order in which they were certified:

Bob Holliman----- MO
George C. John----TX
De Knudson------ SD
Frank Brady-------NY
Frank Camaratta--AL
Steve Shutt--------PA
John McCrary-----SC
Sam Sloan---------NY
Jim Pechac--------OH
Bruce Draney-----NE

In my opinion, none of the candidates are strong. All have serious weaknesses. I have decided to write my own (biased of course) list of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the candidates.

It is a relief to note that Redman is not on the list. Redman has been a disastrous president again and we hope that he waits at least another 15 years before trying to become USCF president a third time.

At the outset, I must state that three of the candidates are so new at this that they seem unlikely to realize what is involved in being a candidate for USCF office. Any person who runs for this office will be attacked, vilified and defecated upon. It seems to me unlikely that De Knudson, Frank Brady and Steve Shutt fully realize this. They are such nice people that it seems unlikely that they realize that they are going to be attacked. They might not take it well or know how to respond when this begins to happen. Nobody likes being attacked, especially when they do not know who the person is or why they are being attacked.

Bob Holliman - Bob Holliman is a candidate who is widely disliked on the grounds that he is a phony. He was unknown outside of his local area until 1996 when he conducted the dirtiest election campaign in USCF history in a failed effort to stop Bill Goichberg from being elected USCF Vice-President. Holliman claimed to be an Internet expert when he knew nothing about the Internet and did not even have his own e-mail account.

Holliman is now recognized as a front man for Leroy Dubeck and nobody gives him much chance of being elected.

George C. John - George John pretends to be a nice guy but has established a reputation for being a hatchet man for Tim Redman and for often saying things which are not true. For example, he got himself appointed as a substitute delegate for Lynn Babcock at the 1999 delegates meeting in Reno by telling Lynn Babcock that he was going to vote in favor of OMOV. He then voted against OMOV without informing Lynn Babcock. Later, he claimed that he was not a candidate for election to the USCF Executive Board when he clearly was a candidate. Most recently he has been writing private letters to known OMOV supporters claiming that he has changed his mind again and is now in favor of OMOV.

He seems to be a person who will say anything to be elected. The fact that he is the principal defender of spyware in US ChessLive will not help his candidacy. George John has become one of the most actively disliked candidates in this election, especially among those who know him well.

The fact that George John is not really a chess player and got involved because his son is a player also will not help him.

De Knudson - Everybody who knows her has nothing but good things to say about De Knudson. Her problem right now is that the Goichberg Group thinks that she is a stealth candidate for the Redman-Barry Group and the Redman-Barry group thinks that she is a stealth candidate for the Goichberg Group. Nobody seems to consider the possibility that she might be her own candidate. The fact that she has no real experience in chess politics and may not know what she is getting into may hurt her.

Frank Brady - Frank Brady has a name that every chess player knows because he is the author of the most authoritative biography of Bobby Fischer. A less known but more important contribution that Frank Brady made is that he established Chess Life as a magazine. Prior to Brady, Chess Life was a bi-weekly newspaper. Brady was fired as USCF Business Manager by Mrs. Piatagorsky for writing an editorial in Chess Life magazine supporting Bobby Fischer in the famous Fischer-Reshevsky match scandal. Many remember that and a failed chess magazine Brady started thereafter. Brady is well qualified except for the fact that he has been out of chess for more than 35 years and is not familiar with the current cast of characters. Also, he appears to have been drafted as a candidate and his commitment to run a hard campaign is unknown.

Frank Camaratta - Frank Camaratta was USCF treasurer for three years from 1993 to 1996. His negative point is that he was viciously attacked while treasurer and many voters remember that. What the voters do not seem to remember is that he was attacked by Tom Dorsch and Dorsch surrogates, and Dorsch has since firmly established himself as one of the truly bad guys in chess. Also, Camaratta was a candidate but did not campaign in 1999 and it is unknown whether he will really campaign this time.

Steve Shutt - Steve Shutt is a scholastic organizer and professional chess coach who seems to be well liked. However, his positions are unknown plus he seems to have been drafted and to be uncertain that he really wants to run. He has already been attacked by members of the Dorsch Group who perceive him as being a candidate of the opposing group.

John McCrary - John McCrary is well qualified and an outstanding candidate. His problem is that he is hated by the Redman-Warren-Barry-Pechac Group who are so desperate to stop him from becoming USCF President that they want to retain Redman as president even though everybody but Redman recognizes that Redman is really terrible.

Sam Sloan - Naturally I am biased but anyway I perceive myself as the candidate most likely to really throw the bums out. Almost nobody in chess likes the current group of chess politicians and if they really want to throw the whole gang of them out on the street for good, Sam Sloan is by far the most likely man to do that. However, this means that all or almost all of the other candidates will oppose me.

Jim Pechac - Jim Pechac got elected in 1999 as a financial expert. He has turned out to be really bad. Primarily because of Pechac, the annual report for fiscal year ending May 2000 has not come out yet and is now nearly one year late. Also, Pechac has been a staunch supporter of all of the bad things Redman has done. Has a result, Pechac is tremendously unpopular and almost nobody wants him re-elected.

Bruce Draney - Bruce Draney is a minor chess organizer and Nebraska Chess official who is now best known for posting more than ten thousand usenet messages on over the past five years.

Having Bruce Draney in the race creates a new dimension, because he posts so much that nobody knows what impact he will have.

Among the people I know, nobody would vote for him. However, we do not know how many lurkers there are out there who agree with him.

"Some have the opinion that Mr. Draney has a long time affiliation with state chapter politics and is therefore definitely an insider. He is even more to the right of Dorsch on the idea that the USCF is solely a federation of chess clubs and to the right of Eric Johnson that the business of the USCF is tournaments. He dislikes anything from Mr. Goichberg and Schultz while overlooking the indiscretions of Redman, Dorsch and Doyle. He leaks information to his allies and threatens to quit USCF committees when things do not go his way. He says one thing in public and another in private. He calls Sam Sloan names and ridicules him and then calls for a clean campaign. He used to use his school district account to conduct a chess business. They say he will be a perfect fit for the Board."

The above is my analysis of the ten candidates for the four open spots on the Executive Board. I welcome other opinions.

Sam Sloan

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