by Sam Sloan
In spite of the great hue and cry which has been raised over this issue, including more than 100 newsgroup postings over the past two months, nothing has been done to restore the USCF web site to its former splendor. In fact, it is getting even worse. I am starting to hear complaints from a wide variety of persons who were previously unaware of this problem.
Don't take my word for it. Check it out yourself at http://www.uschess.org .
You will see that many of the pages on the menu are now dead, whereas previously they were working. That is only the beginning. Try doing an AltaVista search on the United States Chess Federation. You will find listed more than 50 web pages. Now, try hitting a few of those pages. You will find that all or almost all of them have gone dead. "No such URL address found", it will say,
Regarding the "news" which the USCF web site supposedly offers, you will find only one reasonably current item. That is the "President's Letter" dated mid-January. The other news items are all dated as of last August. Regarding the President's letter, it is clear that the maintainers of this web site correctly perceive that the purpose of the USCF Web site is solely for the personal benefit and personal publicity of the USCF president, Dirty Don Schultz. You will see prominently displayed that same beaming stupid looking smile of Don Schultz that you have seen so frequently.
Previously, the USCF rating list was available on line several weeks before the printed copy arrived in the mail. As soon as the USCF rating list was sent to the printer, it was also posted on the web. Try looking up the USCF ratings now. You will find that you can't do it. Meanwhile, the printed version of the USCF rating list has arrived in the mail.
If you want to find out information about USCF ratings, don't look at the USCF ratings page. Look instead for Ken Sloan's web page (no relation). Try searching for the ACF, not the American Chess Foundation, but rather the Alabama Chess Federation. There you will find all kinds of rating information, including FIDE ratings. You cannot get that information from the USCF.
But of course there is a difference. The USCF is paid in the form of membership dues and ratings fees to provide ratings information on the players. Ken Sloan does it for free.
Why is the USCF web site so bad? The reason is obvious. In one of his brilliant cost cutting measures, Dirty Don Schultz decided to fire the USCF WebMistress and to replace her with a company willing to do it for free, providing only that it obtain a cut on all book and equipment sales. Since chess ratings and chess news are not going to generate any income for this private company, it simply doesn't bother.
FIDE rated master Jason Luchan has asked in a newsgroup posting why the exciting last round draw in the US Open between grandmasters Wojkiewicz and Serper was never published. Had Serper won that game, he would have tied for first. The reason is not as Luchan suggests, that this game was simply overlooked, but rather that the final results of the US Open Chess Championship were never posted at all!
Look on the USCF web site under "news". One of the news items said to be available is the final results of the US Open in Alexandria, Virginia last August. However, if you hit that page, you will see that only the 11th round results and standings are available. The US Open had 12 rounds. Apparently the organizers of the US Open, Woodrow Harris and Helen Hinshaw, were so busy calling the cops trying to have my eight-year-old daughter arrested, that they never bothered to post the final results of the US Open. In addition, I suspect that the bulletin editor was never paid for his services. Furthermore, I posted my own report on the US Open. Apparently, Fan Adams, Helen Hinshaw and the other powers that be liked my report so much that the organizers never bothered to write their own.
If you want to find out what happened in the US Open, look at my web site at:
It is being said that the real reason that in December Dirty Don Schultz decided to publicly censure the USCF Treasurer for misconduct was that, only a few days earlier, the Treasurer had turned down a proposal that Schultz take a trip to Europe at USCF membership expense. I am not sure that it is such a good idea for the president to be taking a trip to Europe at a time when the USCF internally is in such total disarray.
PS I get 2500 hits per day on my web pages, without any advertisements or announcements. If I announce or advertise my web pages, I get closed down, because my daily number of hits goes over 9000 which is the maximum that my server will allow. If the USCF were to give me its web pages, I can guarantee more than 20,000 hits per day. My secret: All I will need to do is post lots of pictures of Anjelina Belakovskaia, the US Woman's Chess Champion.