Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Robert Tanner chess improvement program

Maybe I missed it, but I don't remember anyone writing about this bit of US Chess politics:
A chess coach at 10 schools in the Phoenix metro area has resigned from the U.S. Chess Federation executive board under accusations he manipulated tournament results to gain his title as a chess master....

[Current USCF Executive Board Member Sam] Sloan's complaint alleges that [Robert] Tanner achieved the titles of master and "original life master" by playing repeated games in 1991 and 1992 within a closed group of friends that moved together among remote places such as Teton, Wyo., Wendover, Nev., and Ceres, Calif....

Sloan said the players in the group shared Tanner's home address, and none of the nine men except Tanner ever competed outside the group.

"They are quite clearly fake people," Sloan said. "They don't exist."

Tanner maintains he did nothing illegal. He said the matches actually occurred, and the ethics committee supported his claim that the opponents were real people.

However, Tanner acknowledges in his Sept. 15 response to the committee that he circumvented the "spirit of the regulations" in the early 1990s while working to regain the master title he held in the 1980s. None of the opponents, he said, were legitimate masters or even expert-level players.
As distasteful as it is to agree with an convicted alleged pedophile, it does seem that Mr. Tanner got caught with his hand in the "ratings" cookie jar. Here's another more detailed article.

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