Helen Warren letters to USCF Policy Board

26 March 1999

Gentlemen and Rachel,

Never let it be said that you fellas seriously want to promote quality chess. My experience in the last six weeks, since submitting my bid for the US Masters 2000, has been nothing short of exasperating, deflating, enraging, and whatever other adjectives you collective bozos can conjure. And you wonder why sponsors and patrons shy away from writing checks, volunteering time, producing dynamic ideas, and otherwise sharing your myopic brotherhood.
Helen Warren

The US Masters is not a money-making tournament; perhaps that's the reason some of our stellar organizers haven't organized the event themselves. I'm one of those recurringly stupid individuals who believes that quality matters, that players who have spent their chess careers in the pursuit of a personal goal have the right to exercise their talent free from the insidious fungus of class prizes, that a national federation has the duty to encourage the pursuit of chess excellence as well as churn the chaotic pot of a kid-in-kid-out, programless, regressive, self-immolating youth policy.

USCF's financial straits, most of its own making, all of its own responsibility, is a vacuous excuse for not taking action on the US Masters 2000. The Hyatt Oak Brook had reserved space for this event, after the most intensive and backbreaking negotiation I've ever been through. Recurrent calls from them, continuous stalling awaiting office and PB action by me, indecision even after I upped my personal contribution from $3000 to $5000 and lowered USCF's donation to $7000 from $10,000--and this after NO Masters will even be held in 1999--$10,000 never spent--this is a disgrace. Shame on the lot of you.

This should have been taken care of in a timely way immediately after I submitted my bid either by the ED himself or by objections procedure. I discussed this matter with Mike Cavallo in Las Vegas last week. I discussed it with Eric Johnson. I made generous revisions as mentioned above. Eric Johnson spoke with the hotel before Vegas asking for a time extension until March 18. Calls from the sales manager at the Hyatt awaited me when I got home from Vegas, a call I could not return because I had nothing to tell the sales manager, Ms. Bock. The hotel called me again this morning. This morning I spoke with Eric Johnson, asking for some action. He returned my call a few hours later stating that Cavallo had dumped it in the PB's lap, that it wouldn't pass by objections procedure, and that it would be on the agenda for the MAY meeting. The hotel will not guarantee the space unless Eric has been able to wheedle yet another extension from the Hyatt.

I'd really love to list the myriad ways this federation wastes dollars; I could hold a US Masters every other month with the money. You people possess an absolute genius for alienating your best supporters. Your priorities are screwed up. You need a vacation from power.

Helen Warren

27 March 1999

Gentlemen and Rachel,

It's now apparent that Pres. Schultz deliberately thwarted the recommendation of the majority of the PB by undermining an agreement I had with Mike Cavallo in Las Vegas on Monday. Four PB members have stated they supported the Masters 2000. (Scott unheard from) While no PB input was even necessary, the ED sought the opinion of the pres. and then changed his mind, never even bothering to inform me and leaving it to Eric Johnson do use his doggie bag. The personal animus that has entered this matter is reprehensible. Pres. Schultz has used the office of the ED to politicize a national tournament--just as he did in 1997 when he lobbied against the Masters. Shame on you, Don Schultz. I am notifying the PB and ED herewith that I intend to go forward with signing a contract for the US Masters 2000 on Monday. Now, once again, Mr. Schultz or Mr. Cavallo can sabotage this national tournament by overriding my action and calling the Hyatt themselves. In which case I shall still sign the contract for the Midwest Chess Association and run The American Masters 2000. The rest of you--get a grip on your lame duck president. Urge him to do what's best for chess and the USCF or resign. Half his travel expenses for the year would pay for this event; half of the loss on the 98 Masters in Hawaii would pay for this event; no money will have been spent on this event at all in 1999. Here is a president who wants to subvert an event on financial grounds while telling the world there is no financial crisis. Your credibility is shot, Mr. Schultz. You are not a lame duck; you are a vulture. Now file that with the Ethics Committee.

Helen Warren

Here are links:
Sam Sloan's Chess Page

My Home Page

Contact address - please send e-mail to the following address: Sloan@ishipress.com