The USCF is at a critical juncture and this election could well determine its fate. I believe the best candidates to unite and lead the Federation are Bill Goichberg, Jim Berry, Ruth Haring and Michael Atkins.

To me, this election is not about chess politics B it is about ensuring the survival of the USCF. It is about electing Executive Board members who will put the Federation= s interest above their own. Ultimately, it is about electing sensible people with strong backgrounds in and out of chess. Bill, Jim, Ruth and Michael all share these important characteristics.

Lately, there have been various claims about A slates@ and factions within the USCF. In no way is this an endorsement for a slate of candidates B in fact, in the last election, I was supported and included on a slate of candidates by Susan Polgar and opposed by Bill Goichberg.

However, after two years of working on the Executive Board, I have learned that Bill Goichberg and Jim Berry are effective board members working for the good of the USCF, and they deserve your support.

There have been a lot of misrepresentations about the state of the USCF. Susan Polgar= s website has been the source of claims about the USCF financial condition that are at best only a partial truth. The USCF has, like many not-for-profit organizations, seen a decline in membership during this very difficult economy B families across the country do not have as much money to spend on recreational activities. That said, the USCF has run remarkably close to budget all year long on the revenue side and has held normal expenses in check as well. The single biggest financial issue the USCF has faced B and will continue to face B are lawsuits where the USCF and Susan Polgar are adverse parties.

Each of the candidates I endorse brings strong qualifications and deserves unqualified support. Bill Goichberg brings unrivaled knowledge and experience at all levels within the USCF and US chess. He has been a strong leader and champion for the Federation. While term limits will prevent him from serving as President, his continued tenure on the Board will ensure a smooth transition. Jim Berry has been a calming influence and a quiet leader during the last two years. His background as a bank executive and tournament director and organizer at the national and international level help broaden our focus.

While Bill and Jim ensure continuity, Ruth Haring and Michael Atkins will bring a new voice and fresh perspective to the challenges facing the USCF. As an international master, Ruth Haring brings knowledge and experience in international and women= s chess; as a successful businesswoman in the A new age@ business world, she will help the USCF adapt to this changing world and the way services are delivered. Michael Atkins is also an experienced tournament organizer, director and player. His professional background as a mental health professional should help the Board work through contentious issues in a positive fashion. I, for one, look forward to him helping me be a > kindler, gentler= Executive Board member.

Make no mistake B the USCF faces significant challenges, but they are surmountable with a united Executive Board made up of strong individuals with a collective willingness to work together for the common good of the USCF. I am confident that Bill Goichberg, Jim Berry, Ruth Haring and Michael Atkins are the most qualified, dedicated and prepared candidates to help the USCF meet its challenges and further its mission.

Randy Bauer, USCF Vice President for Finance

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