Don Schultz, Candidate for the USCF Executive Board
The Executive Board should stick to policy matters, establish goals, review performance and report to the membership. Let the Executive Director manage and make operational decisions.
When I became USCF President in 1996, I arranged for confidential independent interviews of all employees for purposes of assessing employee morale and identifying potential problems. I would like to see this repeated every two years.
As for Internet chess: Suppose USCF announced that all over-the-board rated tournaments would be done by a single organizer – not a very good idea, right? Yet that is precisely the approach the USCF has taken towards Internet chess. I support establishing a separate Internet rating system, a USCF organized National Internet Chess league and a reduced Internet-only membership fee. Through non-exclusive sanctioning of National Internet Championships played over Yahoo, AOL and other Internet providers, large sponsorships can be realized. If elected, I will vigorously pursue these potential sponsorships.
The USCF Book and Equipment business should not only be a source of supplementary income to USCF but a valuable member service providing members with the widest range of products and books at the lowest prices.
USCF should return to past practices of releasing monthly consolidated financial statements. Its accounting and reporting system should be fully in-line with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
Volunteers deserve more recognition. I want to see a return to the “Volunteer of the Month” program that I instituted when I was President; we need to better utilize the specialized knowledge of our volunteers.
Many of our volunteer committees are floundering because of lack of direction. As an Executive Board member, I will promote a policy of involving standing committees in the decision process.
There is too much secrecy in the way our current Executive Board operates. I would like to see fewer closed sessions, more open forums and periodic reports from all EB members both posted on the Internet and given at open forums during major chess events.
Affiliate discounts were first approved at a meeting many years ago when former USCF President Jerry Spann so eloquently argued for them. I supported Spann’s initiative, always have favored affiliate discounts and applaud the federation’s return to this wise policy!
Regarding FIDE issues, I favor a return of world class chess to traditional time controls, limits on gift acceptance from FIDE by USCF officials and staff, strict guidelines for supporting visa requests of foreign players and officials, opposing mandatory drug testing of our players, greater publicity and recognition for our Olympiad teams and timely availability of reports from all USCF representatives at FIDE meetings.
Born in New York State in 1936. I learned chess from my father when I was seven. I attended Manhattan College and in 1957 received my BSEE degree in record time. Upon graduation, I married and went to work for IBM in Poughkeepsie, NY as a computer engineer.
Shortly after joining the USCF in 1958, chess became a major part of my life. Under my leadership, Poughkeepsie became a hotbed of chess activity. US Champion Bobby Fischer, GMs Larry Evans and Pal Benko won major tournaments organized and directed by me. During the two-year period that I served as President of the New York State Chess Association, USCF membership in NY more than doubled.
Moved to Raleigh, North Carolina in 1965 and tied for the state championship raising my Elo-rating to 2103. I began to dabble in USCF politics and became friends with the big three of US Chess: Col. Ed Edmondson, Jerry Spann and Fred Cramer. We planned and raised the necessary funds to implement Operation Hi-Gear bringing Edmondson, upon his retirement from the Air Force, to NY as USCF’s first Executive Director.
I transferred to Brussels in 1971, joined the Waterloo Chess Club and represented them in the Belgian Chess league. It was during this period that I had the opportunity to serve as Bobby Fischer’s administrative second during his 1972 World Championship match with Boris Spassky.
In 1976, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia, organized weekly chess tournaments in my home, played for the Atlanta Kings in the National Chess League and became state association president. I raised funds to host the only ever FIDE Congress in the USA. Although it did not take place until two years after I returned to Europe, I was still able to organize a first class event even arranging a wonderful kickoff speech by US Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young.
From 1979 to 1984, I lived in Paris, co-chaired FIDE’s UNESCO committee and traveled extensively – visiting more national federation headquarters than perhaps any American ever has.
Moved to Florida in 1984, retired from IBM in 1988 at age 52, achieving my lifelong dream of devoting full time to promoting the game I love. Since my retirement, I organized numerous major tournaments, edited floridaCHESS, represented the USCF to FIDE in various capacities, served as state association and USCF president, wrote CHESSDON (a book on chess politics that received high praise as a unique contribution to the history of chess), organized a series of children’s matches between Israeli children and US children in six US cities – Tucson, AZ; Bakersfield, CA; Fond du Lac, WI; Rochester, NY; NYC, NY; and Washington, DC and together with GM Yasser Seirawan ran a chess school for children in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
One of my most rewarding experiences in chess was helping a young boy named Gabriel Schwartzman and his family move from Romania to Florida. In 1997, Teresa and I were honored to be guests at Gabriel’s graduation from the University of Florida; he was class valedictorian! Gabriel is now a Grandmaster and successful businessman.
I would like to end this page with a comment taken from a review of my book by GM Larry Evans: “his (Schultz’s) love of chess shines through brightly on every page.”
Responses to Election Questions
The following are my answers to questions asked by Stan Booz, Past Chairman of the Life Member Asset Committee:
SB – Tell us why we should support you over the other candidates.
DS – Primarily my knowledge, experience and contacts. Knowledge and experience are explained a bit more in answers to your other questions. As for contacts, one example is the help I gave to Al Lawrence in his securing a $50,000 donation to the Hall of Fame from my friend Dato Tan Chin Nam of Malaysia. Also, I believe I have worked and will work harder than the others (not that they don’t work hard). I’m up by 7:00 am each day and work on chess projects all day long and well into the evening. I do this most every day with some breaks for going to shows, dinners, spending some time with my family and following Notre Dame football.
SB – Tell us about your understanding of the USCF problems and how you would surmount them.
DS – “I” won’t surmount them but the entire EB, a very good Executive Director and a dedicated and professional staff will. We are already on the road to recovery. In my opinion, the decision to maintain a large book and equipment business is a step in the right direction. Providing the same benefits and services to Internet chess players as those provided for over-the-board chess players is essential.
SB – While you’re at it, tell us your thoughts on the political process and what support you have from existing board members. Who is in your pocket? Whose pocket are you in?
DS – We have a good Board of strong willed individuals. And even though I have supported everyone of the current EB members in their election, none are in my hip pocket. When I supported you for the LMA I never thought I would get you in my hip pocket; I would have been a fool to think that. The current EB members are just as independent as you. The fact is whoever of this group of candidates is elected will have no EB members in their hip pocket nor will they be in the hip pocket of any other EB members. I envision a campaign of cooperativeness among the candidates which will be a good indicator of how well the members of the next Board get along.
SB – Tell us what you bring to the table to improve the adherence to the mission and the financial results. Be specific.
DS – I have knowledge acquired from over 45 years as a volunteer chess person at the local, national and international level. USCF needs new ideas; as an innovator I’ve demonstrated an ability to conceive and implement new ideas. Some examples: I conceived, organized and directed the only US 30/30 championship; introduced a unique win pool idea at the 1996 NY Invitational that resulted in fewer GM draws. This past year I conceived and organized the first ever US Over-80 Championship. At the 1994 US Championships in Key West, Florida, I introduced the US Championship Ring that was won by GM Boris Gulko and is shown below:
“We the undersigned strongly urge you to vote for Don Schultz for the Executive Board! He will bring to the table a lifetime of useful knowledge and experience.”
US Chess Champions: Arthur Bisguier, Arnold Denker and Yasser Seirawan
Former Executive Director of Chess-in-the-Schools, Allen Kaufman
Co-Founder & Former Chairman of the US Chess Trust, Harold Dondis
Founding Editor of Chess Life Magazine, Dr. Frank Brady
USCF Secretary and former President, Bob Smith
USCF Executive Board Member, Dr. Joe Wagner
Continental Chess President, Bill Goichberg
Former USCF Vice President and Legal Advisor, Harry Sabine
Organizer of the 2001 Kansas City Super-Nationals (K-9) Championship, Ralph Bowman
Frank Brady, NY; Steve Cernobyl, FL; Joel Channing, FL; Bill Cornwall, FL; Vesna Demitrijevic, MA; Arnold Denker, FL;
Harold Dondis, MA; Peter Dyson, FL; Bob Ferguson, PA; Jerry Hanken, S. CAL; Paul Hargett, FL; Jon Haskel, FL;
Allen Hinshaw, VA; Helen Hinshaw, VA; Joe Hornick, NY; Carol Jarecki, NY; Bill Kelleher, MA; Harvey Lerman, FL
Myron Lieberman, AZ; Rachel Lieberman, AZ; Blas Lugo, FL; Wayne Meyerson, FL; Charles Musgrove, FL
Bob Persante, FL; Mikel Peterson, FL; George Ringel, FL; Harry Sabine, TN; Diane Schmidt, FL
Steve Schneider, GA; Gabriel Schwartzman, FL; Steve Shutt, PA; Bob Smith, FL; Larry Storch, FL
George Swift, WA; Joe Wagner, S. CA; Ed Westing, MD