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Cross Over Crossville

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The potential knicker-twist about the US Chess Federation building a new office in Crossville, Tennessee has come to pass with no delay. A new executive board majority was just elected, but they don't come into power formally for another week or two. The four incoming board members, plus one current member, quickly (July 26) dashed off an open letter to USCF president Beatriz Marinello asking her to hold off on signing the deal to break ground. A day later, a letter was sent out saying that the resolution to do so had been passed on July 20.

All the correspondence is included below. Lame duck decisions are always debatable, but since the move was part of the old board's agenda why wouldn't they follow through on it before leaving? It's not as if the 7% of USCF members who voted did so to repudiate build vs buy in Crossville.

July 26, 2005

Dear Beatriz:

With slightly over two weeks remaining before the Delegates meet in Phoenix and the new Executive Board takes office, you have declared your intention to sign a contract with a builder to construct USCF's new headquarters in Crossville, and to arrange a mortgage to fund this construction cost.

The estimated cost of this construction is about $550,000. The real cost is likely to be more, as such projects frequently run over budget. There will also be interest charges.

The five signers of this letter will be on the new Executive Board that takes office August 14, a majority of that seven person Board. None of us supports moving USCF out of Crossville, but all are concerned that the Federation is about to commit to spending a great deal of money without having carefully considered alternatives. Randy Bauer, a current Board member who you supported for re-election, has expressed the same concern and suggested that you not sign the construction contract.

There appear to be appropriately sized office buildings in Crossville advertised for sale at prices well below what it will cost to construct this building. Especially if we are able to obtain compensation for returning or selling the land we currently own, it is possible that USCF might save a great deal of money by purchasing in Crossville rather than building. While this is not certain, we do not feel it is prudent to eliminate this possibility by the immediate signing of a contract, nor do we understand why such signing is so urgent that it justifies shutting the Delegates and the new Board out of the process only about two weeks before the meetings.

Too often in the past, USCF has signed contracts without adequate consideration and it has cost us money. Maybe the arrangements currently negotiated are desirable for USCF and maybe not, but analysis of our options before taking a fateful step is surely appropriate at this time.

Joel Channing, Bill Goichberg, Don Schultz, Greg Shahade, Robert Tanner


The following e-mail was sent to the Executive Board and upcoming members of the EB. I am posting a copy of this e-mail for all our members information.

The keys of the financial recovery of the USCF were that we were able to greatly reduce expenses, the outsourcing of the B&E and the relocation of the USCF's HQ to Crossville, TN. The USCF has about $800,000 in liquidated assess and a functional model to continue financial viability.

The City of Crossville donated $264,000 worth in a piece of property that will be used as a down payment for the building of the new Headquarters. The LMA Committee authorized the use of a $100,000 additional down payment for the permanent loan. If everything is done correctly by our leadership in 15 years from now we will have a full paid building and healthy reserves in investments. This is for the future of our organization.

Yours for Chess,

Beatriz Marinello
US Chess Federation

Dear All:

The construction loan's contract, as well as the contract with the construction company selected by the Executive Board have been signed.
Today, the construction company started to break ground on the land.

Section 9 of the bylaws, item B states: 'The building and land cannot be encumbered, liened or mortgaged in any way without action by the Delegates at a regular meeting or special meeting called for that purpose except as in Section 10 below;

Section 10 states that:

1. The ED certifies that there is a need for such borrowing. This was done.

2. The EB approves. I am enclosing a copy of the resolution passed by the Executive Board on July 20, 2005 at 7pm.

3. The LMA Assets Management Committee approves The same resolution enclosed was passed 5-0 by the LMA Committee prior to passing this
motion by the Executive Board. Bill Hall has a copy
of this doc.

4. A report should be to the Delegates in the Annual report describing the funds borrowed and paid during the year. A report from Bill Hall will be enclosed in the Delegates' packets along with a copy of the resolutions, legal advise from Harold Winston, Harry Sabine and Mike Matzler. I am attaching a copy of the legal advise.

Have a good day!

Beatriz Marinello
US Chess Federation


WHEREAS, at the United States of America Chess Federation (USCF) Delegates meeting held on August 3-4, 2002, in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, a motion was passed (DM02-15 - NDM 02-54) to authorize the Executive Board and the Executive Director to sell the building in New Windsor, New York, and to obtain alternative facilities; and

WHEREAS, the Executive Board voted by conference call on June 9, 2003, to move the USCF office to Crossville, Tennessee, said vote being ratified by the Executive Board by conference call on October 17, 2004 (EB 05-15), and the Executive Director has approved of the move to Crossville, Tennessee; and

WHEREAS, the City of Crossville, Tennessee has donated three acres of land to the USCF on which the USCF proposes to construct a new building; and

WHEREAS, Progressive Savings Bank of Crossville, Tennessee, has made a commitment to make a construction loan to the USCF to construct the building and the Executive Director of the USCF has certified the need for such borrowing; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Executive Board of the USCF, acting by conference call on , as follows:

1. The borrowing of up to $561,000.00 as a construction loan from Progressive Savings Bank is hereby authorized to build the new building. The interest rate for the one-year term of the construction loan is to be 5.75%.

2. The land and building is to be collateral for the loan with a deed of trust and other appropriate documents to be executed.

3. The note, deed of trust, and all other loan documents are to be signed by any two of the following: Beatriz Marinello-President, Tim Hanke-Vice President for Finance, or Bill Hall-Executive Director.

The undersigned Executive Director of the United States of America Chess Federation certifies that the foregoing is a true, full and correct copy of the resolution adopted by the Executive Board of the USCF acting by conference call on , at which a quorum was present and voting throughout, and that the resolution is on this day in full force and effect, and has not been changed in any way, modified or rescinded, and do further certify that the foregoing resolution is in accordance with and authorized by the bylaws of the corporation.

This day of July, 2005.

Bill Hall, Executive Director


I remember back in the late 90's, the USCF board was "investing" the LMA assets in dot-com stocks and high growth mutual funds, along with all of the other greater fools. It is clear how that ended.
Now that anyone who can fog a mirror can qualify for a no-downpayment, interest-only adjustable rate mortgage to buy 1-3 rental/investment houses here in the U.S., the current board will not be held back from making this latest real estate "investment" of LMA assets, secure in the belief that this "can't go wrong". If the USCF were a stock, I'd short all the shares I could get my hands on.

As a member of USCF since 1972, I have observed over three decades of this seemingly never-ending saga of financial, political, and interpersonal strife. While I was at the "OleChess 2005" chess camp in Minnesota this June, I asked several people just what the heck is wrong with the people who purport to lead the USA's chess establishment. One Master replied that it is simply not possible to create collaborative, mature working relationships with people who are attracted to the mental violence of playing chess. Too many egos. Too much one-upsmanship. Too much history and too many resentments. People are playing politics to win with the organization dedicated to furthering chess in this country. I am not saying there are not well-intentioned, good people trying to do their best. But I think the point made is that people who fight until the death at the chessboard have a hard time casting aside their aggressive tendencies to work together on behalf of all.

Does anyone really believe that any of this will really make any difference to US Chess? THAT'S why only 7% voted. As long as the USCF exists, US Chess will suffer.

"One Master replied that it is simply not possible to create collaborative, mature working relationships with people who are attracted to the mental violence of playing chess."

Logically, then, every other nation's chess assocation must be in ruins? I can't say I buy this particular point.

Derek: I agree with your point and I wonder how the various leadership groups deal with the diverse and often argumentative personalities found among chessplayers.

I think the decisions over Crossville have been made and we must move on from here. The real problem with chess in America is not a building in Crossville.

I am personally very proud of Susan Polgar. With all the turmoil in chess in america. she stands out as a leader. She moves ahead continuously enriching the chess scene in america. Today she is down in Florida promoting chess with an attempt at a guinnes book of world records on a sumultaneous record. what a wonderful person. Everyone seems to love her. She seems to love everyone. She is so good for children and for chess.

May everyone on the Executive Board of USCF be as loving as Susan Polgar and full of the energy and creativity as she is and chess will flourish in america.


USCF life member

I have never met Susan Polgar. I just read what I read. and I am impressed by what I read about her.

Just an asside. I am shocked that Bill Goichburg can claim that the problem with Chess in USA is the high cost of membership in USCF. and he wants to reduce the dues by $2 per year. and at the same time he is charging $200 to over $300 for a simple weekend tournament almost every weekend somewhere in america. Maybe Bill is suffering from pains of guilt over his own outrageous tournament costs and wants to put salve on his guilt by reducing the USCF dues.

Is this post by "Tommy" yet another post under a fake name by Paul Truong? Do the IP addresses match, mig?

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 29, 2005 11:31 PM.

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