Tuesday, November 10, 2009

USCF Cancels Girls Championship

The USCF announced today that they have, in effect, ended the national girls champtionship. This event had been founded and organized by Susan Polgar. At their Executive Board Meeting, they chose to not renew the contract with Polgar. They have not announced a replacement event or the intent to put one out for bid.

Susan Polgar is allowed to hold a girls championship on her own, and the players will have their games rated by the USCF, but the event will no longer be recognized by the USCF as a national event.


In a related story, this brings to a climax a long controversy between myself and various figures within the USCF regarding how USCF politics ought to be reported to the outside world. I first broke this story last month when I stated that the USCF "may" not renew the Polgar contract. People took issue with this statement, saying that without any official announcement, such speculation was unwarranted. My position was (and is) that chess politics ought to be reported like regular politics: all factors ought to be taken into account when deciding on the merits of the story, not just whether or not officials have made a statement.

In any case, my story turned out to be true.


And in yet another story related to this, a plethora of challenges were raised to my after-the-fact questioning of the USCF Board's official actions. USCF folks didn't want this story to come out before the event and they opposed the story coming out after the event, too.

Footnote: The announcement.

The contract between USCF and Susan Polgar to recognize the Polgar Invitational as a national event expired with the 2009 tournament. This has been a fine event, has an outstanding sponsor in Texas Tech, and we hope that it will continue. Even though it is no longer a national, Susan Polgar has the right to organize it, as well as other tournaments, as USCF-rated events.

Bill Goichberg

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lamer than lame

Ms. Polgar's attorneys filed their response to some of the summary judgment motions today. In yesterday's filing, there is a claim regarding the alleged defamation by the CCA that boggles the mind. The brief filed by Ms. Polgar's attorneys states:

10. Defendant Continental Chess, in two postcards, accused Plaintiff of violating fiduciary duties to the USCF and working for the destruction of the same. See Exhibit D, Appx. pp. 15-16. Each of these statements constitutes a purported statement of fact about Plaintiff, which is false and defamatory. Further, each statement is defamatory per se, in that it imputes a crime, injures Plaintiff in her occupation as a chess personality and USCF member and Board member, and impeaches her honesty, integrity, virtue, and reputation. Thus, injury to Plaintiff’s Reputation is presumed.

What did the postcards actually say:

USCF has been sued for $10 million by a member of its executive board, and $20 million by a board candidate. Executive Board members have a fiduciary duty to work for the interests of their organization, not for its destruction, and I find these lawsuits outrageous.

First of all, the statement is a response to the lawsuit. Suing someone for defamation and then basing the claim on statements made only after the lawsuit was filed is dirty pool.

Secondly, there is nothing even remotely defamatory about the statements.

Finally, and most importantly, the statements are true.