Parr for the Course Column by Larry Parr
Tuesday, October 25 2005 by Larry Parr
USCF Executive Board Caves in�to ChessCafe
October 12 2005 by Larry Parr
����� During the Dlugy presidency,� Friends of the USCF managed to get passed a resolution limiting Board secrecy to sealed bids (which had to be revealed once they were all received) and salary and personnel information for employees other than, if memory serves, the ED and the editor.
In short, lower-level personnel were not subject to Federation political debate.

����� The current secrecy over the Book and Equipment negotations is likely in violation of the Federation's own rules, which I believe could affect the legal protection offered to Board members if a suit is eventually filed.

����� Now, then, is it a practical proposition to pressure these people?

����� If you have the will, then the money, which is to say, the cash side is relatively minuscule.� It involves some mailings and some trips, though these
latter can be local once the committee or committees are established around the country.�
����� A few years back Larry Evans and I began to put together a network to fight drug testing and collected hundreds of signature.

��� Then this writer and GM Evans received communications��from Tim Redman, John McCrary (if memory serves) and others��begging us to desist on two grounds.

���� First, the Federation really would oppose drug testing (which they have yet to do); and secondly, the financial situation of the USCF was so shaky that even a partially successful boycott could fatally undermine
�the USCF.

����� Larry and I bought the second argument, never believing for a second the first.� We figured that the politicians were about right on the finances, and we decided that there was no point in forcing the Federation to do the right thing if there would be no Federation (even remotely as we know it) to do that right thing.

����� Right now, the Federation is in a cash crunch that does not, however, threaten its existence.� Later today, I will post a drug-testing petition asking all of you on rgcp and rgcm and the fide-chess group to think twice about purchasing products from the USCF until the Federation finally keeps its word to oppose drug testing, root and branch.

����� The petition does not ask you NOT to purchase memberships or products, but it does ask you whether you might forego purchases at this time or cancel them altogether or buy from a different dealer until the USCF
�takes an affirmative stand in favor of social freedom.�
������ Please post this petition at your local clubs and let Board members know that you are fed up and will not support the USCF further until they do the right thing.

����� Many of you who supported the earlier effort by GM Evans and this writer:� I ask you to contact me again, and I think it time we set up local action chapters against drug testing in chess.� I know that a number of websites will carry our appeal, and if you want to force this Board to communicate with Federation members and the chess community at large,
then the campaign against drug testing in chess is the place to begin.

Larry Parr 
������ The USCF Executive Board has caved to the ChessCafe.
That is the report I received from a source.

������ By a 5-1 vote the EB has decided WITHOUT OFFERING A PUBLIC TENDER to alter favorably for the Cafe the terms of its contract and to extend the Cafe's sales agreement until 2012.� Further, the Cafe
will have over $100,000 of its $250,000+ debt to the USCF forgiven.

������� One of the signs of a sweetheart contract is when the side failing to fulfill the terms has the contract altered to its advantage without reoffering
the contract for PUBLIC TENDER.� Another sign of such a contract is when it is extended for several years, thereby locking the debtor into a position offering still more leverage.� Finally, the Cafe will NOT be
required to repay the USCF from profits it has made on the sales franchise deal or from future profits.

-- if my source is correct.� You get your debt forgiven now,
and you never have to make it good in the future from profits.

������� If true, it is sugar sweeeeet!

������� Under the new terms of the contract, if my source is accurate, the Cafe will be required to provide an annual subvention of $150,000, less than
half the previous figure of $350,000.� That may mean the Cafe's percentage contribution will be about 40% of its successful bid in 2003.� This deal has been made without reopening the sales franchise for PUBLIC TENDER.

������� I am told that Grant Perks conducted an audit of the Cafe, but we do not yet know the results.� It appears that portions of the Cafe's sales program that bring in profits were outside the deal with the USCF.
My sources states that profits from these sales need not be used by the Cafe to repay its debt to the USCF.

������� About 22 months ago, book and equipment sales were put at about $2.7 million.� The new Cafe requirement is to subvent only $150,000 annually.� The profits made by the Cafe from this sweetheart deal
need not be paid by the Cafe to retire its debt.�
� ����� I am told that the EB feared that Hanon Russell, who has been described as a reputable lawyer, might declare bankruptcy, stiffing right up the nether region those to whom he owes money.

������� THE BOTTOM LINE:� The Cafe, if the report I received is accurate, has a lock on Federation B and E for the next seven years.� By that time, there will no longer be any wherewithal in the Federation to resuscitate a once successful sales program, and there will likely no longer even exist the capability of putting the B&E franchise up for competitive bidding.

������� Near total silence now emits from the USCF Executive Board.� I know that many Delegates read both this site and the fidechess group where I will also post this report.� One hopes that questions will be asked and attacks eventuate that will sting, if the report I received is accurate.

������� My source, if correct, paints a picture in which the ChessCafe, a debtor delinquent, has received a reward -- not a punishment -- for threats to declare bankruptcy and for failure to fulfill a contract.
Larry Parr
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