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The Road to Heck

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Saint Francis probably said it first, but Shaw said it best: "Hell is paved with good intentions, not with bad ones. All men mean well." The hailstorm of e-mail and comments about the April 21 entry on Anna Hahn and the 2004 US Championship included some new information and reflected a few misconceptions.

The first relates to an omission on my part. Hahn made it very clear to me that the AF4C has been very supportive of her throughout. I was aware of this and should have made it clear that the AF4C's intentions have been very much in the right place. They consistently went to bat for Hahn with the USCF to make sure Hahn was on the Olympiad team.

All of this left incoming USCF Executive Board President Beatriz Marinello in an impossible position and she already had a massive financial crisis on her plate. (Full disclosure: she's a friend and former co-worker at KasparovChess Online.) She wanted to keep the A4FC happy and do right by the US title and Hahn. On the other side she was suddenly presented with a paper signed by the disgraced former executive director (Niro) changing the rules for Olympiad team qualification.

My beef is with the solution and my point was to highlight how secrecy (and stupidity) led to a disaster. The AF4C ran into the USCF's burning house to try and save a messy situation, but the blaze was already out of control by the time the facts came out (assuming they are all out now). The solution we are left with, an ad hoc US championship with convoluted rules, is a tough pill to swallow.

The irony is that according to the current (new) qualification rules, Hahn isn't on the team and this tournament is being held as a compromise to give her a chance to be on the team. This is a surreal twist. Two months ago she was told she was on the team and now she's asked to defend her spot and her title on two month's notice. (I guess 'A' for effort, and the AF4C is footing the bill. [Actually it is not the organization itself, but some of its founders making personal contributions. Erik Anderson, Yasser Seirawan and Yvette Nagel Seirawan.])

Everyone was pushing so hard behind the scenes that it apparently never occured to anyone make a public statement. Of course it's easy to criticize with 20/20 hindsight, but that's pretty much the job description around here and no one asked me a year ago anyway. (Although I did write about it. Scroll down to #69. (Dude.) And various others on that page.)

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on April 23, 2004 11:02 PM.

    Samford and Daughter was the previous entry in this blog.

    USCF Watergate? is the next entry in this blog.

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