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USCF Watergate?

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I don't believe in the black helicopters, the second gunman, or crop circles. But I stumbled onto something more than curious while I was looking around for the current and previous qualification regulations for the US Olympiad teams.

I'd heard that the so-called secret agreement between former USCF Exec Director Niro and Susan Polgar may have been known to other members of the executive board, something they have, to my knowledge, denied. I know these matters were discussed during the March, 2003 meeting of the Executive Board. It was controversial because they changed the policy regarding residency required to play in the US Championship and the Olympiad. (The "secret" part specified that the 2003 champion wouldn't play on the 2004 team. The Hahn Rule.)

So I headed to the USCF website where they archive all the minutes from these meetings, which even include digital audio downloads of the open sessions. Great! Here we'd find the details. Was Hahn's 2004 Olympiad participation discussed or not? Was anything other than residency requirement on the table?

I found the page and scrolled down to the March 15-16 meetings. This is when things got weird. The files for that meeting are gone! All the other links on the page work fine. But the minutes and audio links for the March meeting are 404, page not found, content removed! Coincidence? (The link to the agenda is still working.)

The link names on the page are not standardized. That is, the files were there at some point and were removed. Does anyone have the minutes or the recordings? Will they reappear with suspicious edits a la Nixon? Calling Woodward and Bernstein!

I've written a few USCFers about this; I can't wait for the answer. I hope they just put them back up and pretend this never happened.

Sam Sloane attended the meeting and posted a few of what were highlights in his opinion, but only mentions the well-known residency requirement changes. (I'd link to it if it weren't for the obnoxious music that plays when you go to the page.)

It seems unlikely the Olympiad requirements were discussed vis-a-vis the champion, but, as usual, when it looks like something is being covered up your imagination starts to run wild.

[April 25: The minutes from the meeting are found in the Internet Archive here. Thanks to Richard for finding and posting the link. From the minutes it appears the Board did not discuss the Olympiad seeding of the champion so we can continue to assume they were unaware of the agreement between Niro and Polgar/KCF. So why were these minutes removed from the USCF site? And the audio files?]


I used the 'Wayback Machine' at web.archive.org. The minutes can be found at

I hope this helps everyone.


Cool, thanks! I tried the Google cache but didn't find anything. Good show.

Certainly no smoking gun to be found in the minutes. As assumed, the new rules specifying that the 2003 champion wouldn't be on the 2004 team weren't discussed in the board meeting. It does say that in the closed session they discussed "... certain issues concerning contract negotiations that are now pending" but that's not very useful.

We should probably stick with the assumption that the contract between Polgar/Truong/KCF and the USCF (well, Niro exceeding his bounds on their behalf at least) was not known to the Board.

I have a Watergate figure chess set. I purchased it in the late seventies in England. The pieces depict those involved in the entire watergate scandle. Is there a Market for such an item? How much could somelthing like this be worth?

I have the same chess set that I also purchased in England about the same time, maybe a bit earlier. Did you get any responses to your question on this set?

I also have the same set. All caricatures from the Watergate Scandal. Pretty cool, relly. Mine is in the original box, never been used.

Ben, I also have that chess set and the last I checked, it wasn't worth all that much. My question, do you happen to have the listing as to who all the charactors are, and if so, would you share it?

I have been looking for such a chess set anyone interested in selling their set?

I purchased one of these Watergate sets in Germany in the late Seventies. When I returned to the States I lost it.

I sure would be interested in buying another of these.

I've looked and looked and lo and behold, a conversation about the set and others who have one.

I'm willing to pay fair price.

Let me know.


I am unsure if you still have the Watergate Chess Set.

I have been searching for one for many years.

If you still have yours and are interesting in getting a fair price then let me know.



ps.....Hopefully you discovered it's value.


With the depositions going on in the various Polgar lawsuits and the EB pitted against her, some more facts may come out or get clarified.

In addition to what you have stated, Sam has been making lot more allegations. That Polgar was unduly favored and overpaid by USCF and that she and Troung stole a laptop etc.


As previously stated, until someone either wins or loses, preferably a limb or at least goes to jail or is forced to pay out a lot of money, I'm ignoring it. It's too stupid to be interested in and too complicated to follow without far more time than I have. Plus, no chess.

I'm sure there are some tidbits out there on occasion that are interesting, offensive, scandalous, incriminating, or fascinating to some, but I'm not qualified in judging which tidbits those are and I'm not interested in becoming qualified.

To whom it may concern,

I will be selling a Watergate Chess Set with it's original board)that my father-in-law purchased in the 70s while commissioned in Germany. Its condition is mint.

I will be photographing it to put up on Ebay this week. If anyone is interested in making an offer, it would be considered before going up for auction.

Thank you for your consideration.


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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on April 24, 2004 5:22 PM.

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