Tuesday, July 21, 2009


written by Abed

Chess is not always fortunate enough to be mentioned in the New York Times but like all news, only the bad tidbits get published. Absent from one of the leading papers in the United States are the positive contributions from regular folks on behalf of chess.

The feud at the USCF Executuve Board, between the old and the new guard, has finally transcended to an entire different level, from the civil to the criminal courts.

Power is an awesome thing because it is invisible but its effects can be felt, and so it is with the power struggle on the board of directors.

The feud has been between the USCF Executive Board's handling of the chess organization and GM Susan Polgar with an entirely different vision.

Who is right and who is wrong is not for us to decide but one thing is to fend off a civil lawsuit and another is to actually do prison time.

Chess has evolved so much in the last few decades from the game, where one shook hands and moved the pieces, to a game saturated with politics that set an enormously aweful example to our children. The NFL and MLB, with its enormous financial coffers do not even go through a small percentage of what our minuscle chess federation undergoes.

As for now, WE made the New York Times - not the kind of public relations and marketing we were expecting from the United States Chess Federation.

Don't we still have a Prision Chess at USCF?

Someone on the USCF Executive Board might need it.

U.S. Chess Federation Lawsuit Becomes Criminal Issue

Published: July 17, 2009

A dispute among board members of the United States Chess Federation that has prompted several lawsuits has now become a criminal matter.

A member of the federation was arraigned Friday in Federal District Court in San Jose, Calif., and charged with identity theft and breaking into the e-mail account of a federation board member.

According to the indictment, the accused, Gregory Alexander of Everett, Wash., accessed the e-mail account of the board secretary, Randall Hough, at least 34 times.

The federation has alleged in a lawsuit that Mr. Alexander read messages between Mr. Hough and an outside counsel hired by the federation, the governing body of chess. The counsel, Karl S. Kronenberger, had been hired to investigate accusations that two federation members posted thousands of obscene and defamatory messages on Internet bulletin boards under the name of a board member in order to get themselves elected to the board.

A woman who answered the phone at Mr. Alexander’s residence declined to comment early Friday evening.

The two members, Susan Polgar and Paul Truong, who are married, were elected in July 2007. Ms. Polgar, who was the women’s world champion from 1996 to 1999, is the oldest of three highly successful Hungarian-born chess-playing sisters. The youngest, Judit, is the only woman ever to be ranked in the top 10 players in the world.

Many of the messages were posted in the name of Samuel H. Sloan of the Bronx, who lost in his bid for re-election to the board in 2007.

Mr. Sloan filed a lawsuit over the postings in 2007, naming Ms. Polgar, Mr. Truong, the federation and others as defendants. That case was dismissed in August 2008. But before it was, the federation hired Mr. Kronenberger to look into Mr. Sloan’s claims. Mr. Kronenberger concluded that Mr. Truong was responsible for the Web postings.

The federation subsequently filed a lawsuit to have Ms. Polgar and Mr. Truong removed from the board. Ms. Polgar filed her own suit against the federation last August, claiming libel, slander and “business disparagement.”

In the course of Mr. Kronenberger’s investigation, Ms. Polgar quoted on her chess Web site some of the e-mail messages he exchanged with other board members.

In an interview last year, Ms. Polgar said, “the messages were public knowledge; they were on the Internet.”

In June 2008, the federation, contending that the e-mail messages had been stolen, filed yet another lawsuit seeking to force Internet service providers to turn over the protocol addresses that had been used to gain access to the board’s e-mail accounts.

Based on the responses it received to the subpoenas, the federation amended its suit in October, naming as defendants Ms. Polgar and Mr. Alexander, who has managed Ms. Polgar’s chess discussion Web site.

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