Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Let no one say I threw the first rock

I've had a post about Susan Polgar and Sam Sloan in draft for about a month but haven't posted it because I've been busy with other topics and because I thought it might just be a gratuitous attempt to create controversy out the fact that the two simply see the world very differently (not that I have any problem with gratuitous controversy, mind you). However, now with the blogosphere and mainstream media all in flames over Sloan's lawsuit against Polgar, I figure I can slip it by without much notice.

Before that, though, here's a roundup of the lawsuit coverage (links in no particular order):
I'm reminded of the time that Dennis Monokroussos' blog got spammed with pro-Polgar comments. All of this makes one wonder who might have been the culprit in that case.
OK, without further ado, here is my original post (which now seems rather mild in comparison):

The Light of Day!?

In her campaign for the USCF Executive Board, Susan Polgar promised a new spirit of openness and transparency. Now she has delivered by describing the backroom dealing that resulted in her being elected to the new position of USCF Chairman:
How did the USCF Chairman position come about? What is your opinion about these new titles?

After the new board was elected, there were two candidates for the position of President, current President Bill Goichberg and myself. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses. Bill and I discussed this situation at length to come up with the most efficient way to maximize our talents to best help the USCF.

In addition, we have a very unique board with exceptional talents and expertise in various areas that can greatly help the USCF.

So the idea of creating different positions arose. Bill, with decades of experience, knows the ins and outs and the structure of the USCF quite well. I am best in my own environment, which is to be the public face and voice of the USCF to positively promote chess and deal with potential supporters and sponsors.

The USCF by-laws committee and Mr. Harold Winston were consulted about the legality of this idea. They came to the conclusion that there is nothing in the USCF by-laws that would prevent it. Therefore, in the first meeting of the new board, this idea was proposed and we had unanimous votes for every position. This was a triumphant first step to unite the board, especially after a very bitter election.
Of course, all this fluff about unique expertise and maximizing individual talents is just spin. Nevertheless, it seems like a clear blue sky compared to how things used to work.

Or is it? Consider this perspective from Sam Sloan in an interview with Chess USA:
Polgar and Truong ran for election with the obvious plan and intention to [sic] taking control of the USCF through their four-person slate. They must be deeply disappointed now that things did not turn out the way they had hoped. They must be especially disappointed in Bauer for voting against them on several key votes. Susan wanted to be president but Bauer voted against her, so she could not get enough votes. She took the honorary title of Chairman, which is an unofficial title with no powers or duties and is not recognized in the by-laws.

What they will do I will not know but they are certainly not happy.
Now, I certainly wouldn't hold up Sam Sloan as any paragon of truth and virtue. Nevertheless, it makes one wonder if team Polgar is being as upfront as they claim to be.

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