Tom Maser is Right

I was just reading the letter Tom Maser sent out in the USCF election campaign, in which he says:

"The Tom Dorsch that I met in 1958 became my life long friend. He was funny, generous of spirit, and someone I learned to trust completely.

"I tell you this because of the fierce political attacks on Tom which you have all seen. The Tom Dorsch depicted in these insulting mailings bears no resemblance to the Tom Dorsch I know."

This letter is posted at

Tom Maser is right, but for the wrong reasons. I know Tom Dorsch for almost as long as Tom Maser does. I met them both in the Fall of 1962, when I came from Lynchburg, Virginia to attend the University of California at Berkeley. We three played chess and poker together. Actually, it was Tom Dorsch who taught me how to play poker.

True, Tom Maser has a selective memory. It was Tom Maser who told me that at the check cashing window at the ASUC Student Union of the University of California at Berkeley, there was a sign posted saying: "Do not cash checks for Tom Dorsch."

However, Tom Maser is entirely correct when he says: "The Tom Dorsch depicted in these insulting mailings bears no resemblance to the Tom Dorsch I knew."

Tom Dorsch has in fact changed. He has become obsessive compulsive in his attacks on Bill Goichberg and others. I sat through two days of USCF Policy Board meetings on May 1-2 and Dorsch never stopped talking except for an occasional pause to take a drink of water. He so disrupted the meeting with his constant personal attacks that it became almost impossible for the board to do business, except that usually there were two or three people talking at the same time.

Even Leroy Dubeck, a Dorsch ally, expressed annoyance at the fact that Tom Dorsch would not stop talking.

His obsession is to destroy Bill Goichberg and the other big East coast organizers. That is the reason why so many fear his election as president.

I have even seen Jim Eade, who publicly supports Dorsch, try to talk reason to Tom Dorsch. Even if Dorsch is right (and he almost certainly is not right) it accomplishes nothing for Tom to engage in non-stop diatribes attacking Goichberg, Schultz, Rachel Lieberman, Garrett Scott, Mike Cavallo and numerous other chess personalities. These people are not going to change.

I have not kept up, but as far as I know the only chess event Tom Dorsch now organizes is the "Universe Open", a direct take-off on the World Open organized by Bill Goichberg on the same weekend. Tom Dorsch used to organize the Coon Day Open, but stopped doing that about five years ago.

Bill Goichberg has tried his best to make peace with Tom Dorsch, even hiring him and giving him jobs. Dorsch and his wife directed the Western Class Championships, a Goichberg tournament held in Concord, California in 1996, and several other Goichberg tournaments.

By the way, Tom Maser has done better than all of us. Tom Maser is a prominent, hot shot and very successful lawyer in Palo Alto, California. His law firm was the law firm for my company, Ishi Press International.

However, Tom Maser has not been active in chess since the early 1960s. I was surprised to see him name on the current list of USCF voting members.

Sam Sloan

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