Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Adventures at

I've begun posting at's USCF/FIDE forum.  It has been quite the experience.

I was under no delusion that my opinions would be popular there.  I was under no illusions that I would "convert the pagans" as one poster charmingly put it.  I was hopeful that we could discuss some of the issues politely and, perhaps, cut back on some of the hyperbole that is so prevalent there.   I've tried to be polite and respectful -- to obey the hostess's exhortation to "be nice."

It's been a challenge.  A few observations.

1.  The exhortation to "be nice" seems to be regularly ignored.  For a bunch of people who complain about dirty politics, they are sure liberal in the use of words like "corrupt", "vicious", and "goon". They seem to be imitating the behavior that they attribute to "the enemy."

2.  They get oddly offended when asked to back up their claims.  For example, one poster referred to Randy Bauer as attacking Susan Polgar viciously.  I politely disagreed, and asked him to provide an example.  I was roundly ignored.  The claim was also been made that Bill Hall's Chess Life statement was defamatory.  Having read the statement, and having thought it was remarkably measured, I took issue with this and challenged them to point to a single false statement in the report.   Multiple folks claimed it was defamatory, but not a single poster could cite a single false word.  

Now if Mr. Hall's statement were really all that heinous, you would think they would be eager to point me to all the false statements.  Nada.  Squat.  Bubkis.  Lots of sound and fury, but no actual proof was cited.

It got worse.  The claim has been made, repeatedly, on chessdiscussion, that that Ms. Polgar was sued by USCF before she sued USCF.  This statement is factually incorrect.  They attempt to rely on statements by attorney Kronenberger.   When I went to the document that Kronenberger actually filed and posted the actual words that Kronenberger said, the post got pulled, and the thread was locked.  If people have different opinions than I do, I can live with that, but I have to confess I find it very annoying when people make incorrect statements of fact, and I am not allowed to make the record clear.

3.  For all the whining about the moderation on the USCF forums, ChessDiscussion is much more heavily moderated than the forums.

4.  My favorite chessdiscussion moment came courtesy of Albert:

"I come here to be with people who share my opinion. "

Kinda says it all, right there.   


  1. Sorry about all those problems, Wick!!!

    I've been doing taxes and have been out of commission for the last month or so. Since the 15th. I've been gradually getting back into the swing of things again. Will try to beef up the moderation of that forum.

    (I am one of the moderators over there.)

    Sounds to me like you've got a legitimate complaint.

    My problem as a Moderator is that I value freedom of speech; I don't like the tone of the comments there, either. Do you delete stuff just because of tone?

    My problem with the USCF's moderation is that they've been too heavy handed and I don't want to be that way.

  2. Jack:

    I am seeing signs of improvement.

    I would like to see feedback from moderators as to why posts get pulled.

  3. Hello Wick,

    I enjoy your blog very much. Further, I admire your patience navigating the moderational obstacle course. Personally, I have decided to stop posting after the moderator decided that my request for substantiation of a claim was considered a provocation.

    Good luck posting and I am looking forward to more well written posts.

    Dietmar (aka dietchess)

  4. Thanks for your kind words.

    Interesting metaphor with the "moderational obstacle course." I haven't had many issues with the moderators in the last couple of weeks, with only one post not making the cut. Of course, this does require a fair bit of self-censorship. At this point, I have a pretty good idea where the boundaries are.

    I keep trying, mainly in order to keep the lurkers aware that the issues aren't quite so black and white as many at CD portray them.