Apr 19, 2010

USCF Special Election: Candidate's 3rd and Final Statement

Below is my third and final USCF Special Election Candidate's Statement, scheduled for publication in the June issue of Chess Life

At the heart of the USCF is a great game. Nothing I or you do off the chessboard—and that includes participating in governance of the USCF—is going to change that. Put simply, the organization has a superb product, one that I spend a peculiar amount of time thinking about (according to some dear to me), especially since I’m not a professional and I derive none of my income from chess. Most of my time is spent thinking about such things as whether Black is busted in the Poisoned Pawn variation of the Najdorf and similar problems. I play a lot chess. Since early 2007, I’ve completed approximately 225 correspondence games in the USCF and ICCF, and I’ve played in OTB tournaments in Ohio, California, Florida, Connecticut, and New York. I am the 2009 Absolute co-champion. Beyond playing the game, I would like to help present the Federation in the best possible light to others who play the game, who might play the game, or who simply see the game as deserving of support. My goal is simple—get more people to play and enjoy chess under the best possible circumstances.

Governance of the USCF is critical to this goal. At present we govern and operate the USCF with an Executive Director, a professional staff, seven Executive Board members, more than 100 delegates, and countless volunteers. As is obvious, I’m running for one of the seven seats on the Executive Board. It is a volunteer position. My qualifications are straightforward. I’ve run large organizations in the Army as an officer, including in combat; I am a lawyer engaged in complex civil litigation every day on large cases, including representing Not For Profit organizations that you would recognize; I manage large budgets on cases where annual expenses substantially exceed the annual revenues of the USCF; and I believe in the game.

One of the central features of governance of the Federation at present is the concept of “one member, one vote” (OMOV). What that means is that USCF members (over sixteen) elect the seven Executive Board members. I support OMOV. Members have a voice in running the Federation because of OMOV. If you’re reading this, you’ve likely received a ballot. Please inform yourself and vote.

Regarding service on the Executive Board, my only interest is in advancing the game. My only affiliation with any other members of the USCF, or any of its present or past leaders, is in connection with the play of the game or with specific ideas and positions with which I agree. The best ideas and policy positions must be measured purely against what’s good for chess and what’s good for those members of the Federation who play, teach, learn, organize, and direct chess. In the end, we have to put aside any differences we may have and go forward maintaining and growing a healthy organization whose members enjoy the game. I’m not suggesting that’s always easy.

Please see my blog at http://graysonebc.blogspot.com/ for more.


  1. Gary, although I've had no more to say about the election since the irascible and curmudgeonly post you quoted earlier, I've been favorably impressed by your qualifications and campaign statements. I don't agree with you on every issue, but I plan to vote for you, and would do so even if the alternative weren't the egregious Sloan. Good luck.

  2. Thanks, John. I appreciate your support.