Wednesday, May 27, 2009

USCF Delegate Proposals In Search of a Delegate

I think the deadline for Advanced Delegate Motions is 1 June 2009. I hope these two proposals can find a delegate or delegates to champion them in Indianapolis.

1) Correspondence Chess
Posted at the USCF Issues Forum

Correspondence Chess has again fallen by the way side in the USCF. Two years ago we faced a crisis and the USCF stepped up to make sure that CC players in ICCF-US retained our representation in ICCF. IM Corky Schakel has taken over operation of ICCF-US and is doing a bang up job (see

Also two years ago there was one USCF CC event offered via web server on the ICCF server (WALTER MUIR E-QUADS) according to the CC web page ( There is still only that same event offered via web server. CC via web server is the preferred method of most CC players by far (see

Alex Dunne's column, in addition to being taken out of Chess Life (print and online) has not been made available via syndication (RSS, Atom, etc...) and is not promoted in the print or online Chess Life. I have spoken with quite a few CC players who used to read Dunne's column with regularity but now forget about it for months at a time as there is no way to be reminded that a new column is out.

We need a delegate to propose the following:
1) That all* USCF CC events be offered via web server (our own or the ICCF server) in addition to the current practice of offering them by post or email.
2) That failing the restoration of Check/Mail to Chess Life, that it should be syndicated via RSS/Atom and promoted in at least the online Chess Life.

*I understand that some events must be postal or email. However, almost every event I see on the Events page should be offered via web server.

I also understand that the USCF has been exploring setting up our own server. However, that exploration is now at least two years old. We received a bequest that was designated, at least in part, for CC. All I have seen from that is the proposal of starting a new CC event. With the current troubles cause by the varied litigants who have sued the USCF I understand that the bequests have had to be spent on litigation. However, the cost to the USCF to accomplish the two points above should be negligible and entry fees should offset that expense.

2) Online Chess Rating
Posted at the USCF Issues Forum

We need a delegate to champion the cause of those USCF members who can not play traditional OTB chess because of geographical or economic restraints but who CAN play online on one of the various ICS systems.

The USCF should establish an OnLine rating to be used for "standard" games. "Standard" games are usually defined as 10 minutes per game or longer. These games would differentiate from currently sanctioned ICS games in that they would not have TDs attending them at each location. Currently sanctioned online play under those terms are already rated under the current rating system.

-This new rating would necessitate an addition to the current "Regular" "Quick" and "Correspondence" ratings.
-Accommodation would have to be negotiated with an ICS (WCN seems the most likely candidate though I would prefer ICC) if the USCF chooses to have the ICS TD and charge rating fees. Alternatively, the USCF could set up an area on the website for players to submit their games and fees.
-Rating fees would have to be researched to see what would be profitable and what the market would bear.

This new rating could result in more than just friendly matches. The ability to hold OnLine tournaments and other events would be available to non-traditional players just as they are for traditional OTB players.

I know many former members who would have stayed if the USCF were relevant to them. If the USCF is to grow - and meet the organizational mission of promoting chess - it must find a way to develop an affinity for the organization among those who can not play traditional OTB events. The goal of this and the CC proposal ( is to develop that affinity and promote chess where the USCF is currently absent or has a very low profile.
If you are a member of the USCF and have an opinion or input about these issues, please go to the forum and get involved. If you are a delegate and agree with one or both please consider advancing an ADM on the topics.

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