Shame on the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame... Chess forum

11 replies. Last post: 2019-05-26

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Shame on the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame...
  • unique at 2019-03-14

    for inducting Susan Polgar :(

  • psikonauta at 2019-03-14

    Shame? Why?

  • unique at 2019-03-17

    She and her husband almost ruined the USCF via lawsuits

  • ypercube at 2019-03-18

    It’s a shame that you feel shame... 

  • Carroll ★ at 2019-03-18

    Susan Polgar’s view on this matter:

    i-am-no-longer-a-chess-player-the-uscf-decided-to-remove-my-name-and-lifetime-pl

    and some context where it is clear that USCF sued her and her husband, not the other way round:

    lawsuits-chess-and-susan-polgar

    @unique, not everyone here is a chess specialist, if you could put, first a little context and then your analysis on a subject, that would be nice...

  • Dvd Avins at 2019-05-21

    "In December 2006, she announced that she would run for election to the executive board of the United States Chess Federation.27 Polgár, Randy Bauer, and Paul Truong—three of four of Polgár’s slate—were elected to four-year terms. She was elected as the first ever chairman of the USCF.282930

    On October 2, 2007, one of the candidates for the Executive Board position, who had been defeated by Susan Polgár, filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the results of the 2007 election, alleging misconduct.31 Polgár denied any wrongdoing.3233 Polgár and Truong filed suit against the USCF, who counter-sued them, with both sides issuing a variety of allegations. The suit alleging election campaign misconduct was ultimately dismissed by the court.34

    On January 15, 2008, four Board members issued a statement which requested Susan Polgár’s husband step down from his position on the Board for "neglecting his fiduciary duties" through not providing an affirmative defense to the lawsuit.35 This was not, however, an official vote of the Executive Board. Polgár subsequently published a statement asserting that the Board members who voted in favor of this request made a number of misrepresentations.36

    On August 7, 2009, the Executive Board of the USCF rescinded the membership of Polgár and her husband, and they appealed to the Board of Delegates of the USCF. On August 8, 2009, the Delegates of the USCF ratified the previous year’s actions of the Executive Board with respect to the litigation. In a closed Executive Session, the Delegates upheld the membership revocations.3738 The lawsuits were all settled in 2010, with Polgár and Truong severing all affiliation with the USCF (though both can still play in USCF events under “Playing Non-Member Status”); the USCF’s court costs of $131,000 were paid out by its insurer and it had to pay Polgár’s attorney fees of $39,000.39"


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Polg%C3%A1r#US_Chess_Federation_and_FIDE

  • Dvd Avins at 2019-05-21

    My last link may be to fabrication, I can’t tell.

  • Ray Garrison at 2019-05-24

    this chess.com article details the conflict(s) between Polgar and USCF

    https://www.chess.com/article/view/lawsuits-chess-and-susan-polgar

  • MisterCat at 2019-05-26

    Ah, way, way back when this was all happening, I was a USCF member.  I read the forums, the blogs, the posts, the attacks – pretty much all of it.  This was like a soap opera to me; I had no real stake, but it was kind of fun watching the total train wreck unfold!  I concluded that all sides were to blame.  To wit – the USCF leadership, under Goichberg and his predecessors and followers, was simply a network of cronies, practicing exclusion to all who were not part of their ‘club’.  For evidence, before the Polgar debacle, there was the terms of Lev Alburt (who has written about his frustrations with the USCF), and Steve Doyle – who’s presidency was completely ignored by the board, allowing him to accomplish nothing!  But here comes Polgar, with her degree of fame, expertise, and devotion, that threatened the powers that be; steps were taken to sabotage her chances for success of any sort.

    Why the cronyism, you may ask?  Isn’t this a non-profit organization, so surely it couldn’t be for profit?  Well, as I see it, besides the fact that there are always under-the-table profits to be had (through payoffs, awarding contracts, and the like), these people had enormous egos, and were simply on a power trip.  The control went to their heads, and they did not wish to lose it.  It is my belief that the same sort of exclusivity and cronyism doomed the Manhattan Chess Club, despite their years of history.

    Here is the rub, though: Polgar and Truong saw what they were up against, and made the decision to fight fire with fire.  This was an unfortunate choice, and I really don’t know if they are both to blame, but if the shoe fits ... Among the underhanded tactics that come easily to mind would be their sabotage of Sam Sloan – a strange bird, to be sure, but a devoted chess player who promoted lots of intelligent ideas while he was on the board; and also the theft of the laptop in the USCF office, containing the records of ‘deals’ made by Polgar, among others, that she was guaranteed more money then other Chess Life columnists.  All this was unfortunate, and after reading about this for years, I had such a bad taste in my mouth that I no longer wished to support the USCF.  I let my membership end, and for years as a chess teacher, I could not bring myself to recommend joining the USCF to any of my students (and still do not).  I would tell them to play Chess on the internet, or in local clubs.  So I blame everyone – separately, but equally.

     Now, regarding the posted topic of this thread: should Susan Polgar be in the Chess Hall of Fame?  I have to say YES!  As disillusioned as I may have been by her behavior regarding the USCF, there is no denying her accomplishments for US Chess.  A gold medal for the women’s Olympiad team comes to mind, plus successfully coaching college teams in Lubbock, and now St. Louis.  Many successful new players have benefited from her coaching and organization; in fact, Fabiano Caruana came up playing at her club in Forest Hills, Queens!

     I met Susan twice, at her club, and when I played against her in a simultaneous exhibition.  She was consistently friendly and professional.  As far as her behavior regarding the USCF in the 1990’s, well, it IS on record, and unfortunate as it may be, it was known to the folks running The Chess Hall of Fame.  They did not disqualify her on this count, and who am I to argue?  By the way, I was the last board alive at her 30 board simul in Central Park; maybe I could have drawn the endgame, but with the 29 other players eliminated, she was standing right over me, moving almost instantly.  Spectators were surrounding our board!  Let us say, I cracked under the pressure.  Susan finishted with 30 wins.  (meow) 







  • struggler at 2019-05-26

    MisterCat, pretty interesting reading, thanks for the insight.

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