April Chess Life:

A little about myself:

I am age 61 and single. I have never been arrested, don't smoke, don't drink, and have no debts. I share a suburban house with three chessmasters in a town near San Francisco. I am interested in politics and have voted in every presidential election since 1968. I am a newspaper junkie, devouring two newspapers daily: The New York Times and The San Francisco Chronicle.

I have had many jobs: From postal clerk to Scientific Data Analyst at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory; from taxi driver to PBS Television executive; from retail clerk to Benefit Authorizer for the Social Security Administration. I am now retired.

Last summer I was lying in the hospital, with a broken back, when I received a get-well card signed by 44(!) of you. Thank you very, very much!!!

Next month I will discuss my chess experience and some issues.

        May Chess Life:

Last month, I talked about some of the non-chess aspects of my life. This month I will discuss my chess involvement. I am a Life Member of the United States Chess Federation, and I have played in scores of chess tournaments. Most of my life I performed at the low Expert level, but due to fading energy I now hold a Class "A" rating. I have beaten many chessmasters, the most recent one being Batchimeg Tuvshintugs, in 2004.

I earned the titles of National Tournament Director and International Arbiter. In addition to directing five U.S. Championships (closed), I have also directed several international tournaments and a dozen all-master, round-robin state championships. I was one of the Founders of CalChess, the Northern California state affiliate, which I represented at a dozen USCF Delegates Meetings. The United States Chess Federation once presented me with The Outstanding Career Achievement Award. I am a member of The Chess Journalists of America, and I once won a CJA award.

I contribute regularly to The US Chess Trust and to The USCF Patron Program. I am a founder of The World Chess Hall of Fame & Museum. A year ago, I bought "A Brick" at the USCF Headquarters in Crossville, Tennessee. I am a frequent contributor to my chess club, The Mechanics Institute Chess Club, in San Francisco.

Some issues:

Drug testing is a menace that will never be imposed in this country, but it still plagues FIDE (The International Chess Federation). Drug testing is a blatant assault on human dignity, and it has no place in chess. It was born of a desire to get chess into the Olympics, but that will never happen, so it should be dispensed with entirely. I favor campaigning in FIDE to eliminate drug testing.

One way to increase membership in The United States Chess Federation is to exploit the star power of our grandmasters. I favor hiring a publicity agent whose sole job would be to garner publicity for our top players, and to make their names familiar to the general public. Chess Life covers should always feature one or more of our grandmasters, based on the proposition that what is good for our grandmasters is good for the USCF.

The Professional Chess Players Health and Benefit Fund is a pot of gold for which no eligibility rules were ever developed. I favor limiting eligibility to American International Masters and International Grandmasters who depend on chess for a living. The well will run dry if we give it to every prominent chess personality who gets sick, however deserving they may be.

I am not part of any slate, and I promise to work with whoever else is elected.

If you have any questions or concerns don't hesitate to contact me.

Mike Goodall
461 Peachstone Terrace
San Rafael, Calif. 94903-1327
(415) 491-1269

Thanks for your vote.

        June Chess Life:

Several years ago the USCF adopted a new type of governing structure, one in which every adult member got to vote for members of the Executive Board. I was opposed to this, thinking that most members just wanted to play chess, and cared little for chess politics. So far I appear to have been correct, since less than 10% of you have bothered to vote. All ten candidates in this election welcome more participation from you, the members, and we all hope that more of you vote. It just takes a few minutes of your time to read all the candidates' statements, and to select those candidates who best reflect your attitudes, opinions, and priorities. If you want more information every candidate is happy to provide it. Ask around, talk about the election with your friends. Ask questions. This election is important only to the extent that you participate. I urge all of you to take an interest, and vote.

Mike Goodall

Here are a couple of my wins against masters:

White: Mike Goodall
Black: Nick De Firmian
Berkeley, 1979

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 0-0 5. Bg2 d6 6. d4 Nbd7 7. 0-0 e5 8. e4 c6 9. b3 exd4 10. Nd4 Re8 11. Bb2 Nc5 12. Re1 a5 13. Rb1 Qb6 14. Nc2 Ng4 15. Re2 Ne5 16. Ne3 Ncd3 17. Na4 Nxb2 18. Nxb6 Nxd1 19. Rxd1 Ra6 20. Nxc8 Rxc8 21. Rxd6 Bf8 22. Rd1 Bc5 23. h3 f6 24. Kh2 a4 25. f4 Nf7 26. Ng4 axb3 27. axb3 Kg7 28. Rd7 Ra1 29. h4 h5 30. Nf2 b5 31. e5 fxe5 32. fxe5 Ra7 33. Rxa7 Bxa7 34. e6 Nh6 35. e7 Bxf2 36. e8=Q Rxe8 37. Rxe8 bxc4 38. bxc4 Ng4+ 39. Kh3 c5 40. Bf3 Ne3 41. Be2 Kf7 42. Re5 Nf5 43. Kg2 Bd4 44. Re4 Ne3+ 45. Kf3 Nf5 46. Bd3 Nd6 47. Re2 Kf6 48. Ra2 g5 49. hxg5+ Kxg5 50. Ra6 Nf5 51. Re6 Bc3 52. Bxf5 Kxf5 53. Rh6 Kg5 54. Rd6 Bb4 55. Rd5+ Kg6 56. Kf4 Kh6 57. Rd6+ Kg7 58. Kg5 Be1 59. Rd7+ Kf8 60. Rd3 1-0

White: Mike Goodall
Black: Batchimeg Tuvshintugs
San Francisco, 2004

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 d6 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. Nge2 g6 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Nxd4 8. Qxd4 Bg7 9. 0-0 0-0 10. Bg5 Bd7 11. Rad1 Qa5 12. Qd2 Qe5 13. Rfe1 Bc6 14. Nd5 Rae8 15. c3 Bxd5 16. exd5 Qf5 17. Re2 Qd7 18. Rde1 Kh8 19. Qf4 Qb5 20. Rxe7 Rxe7 21. Rxe7 Nxd5 22. c4 Nxf4 23. cxb5 Nxg2 24. Kxg2 Bxb2 25. Rxb7 Bd4 26. Bh6 Rc8 27. Rxf7 Bb6 28. Rd7 Rc2 29. Rf7 Rc8 30. a4 Kg8 31. Rg7+ Kh8 32. Rd7 Rc4 33. a5 Bc7 34. Rf7 1-0

Thanks for your vote.

Editor's note: Mike Goodall has done some fine work as a chess organizer and director.  But he has also stated that Sam Sloan is a good board member, which leads me to believe that Mike lacks the good judgment we need on the Executive Board.  Mike admits that Sam "fires shots at random" attacking people often without justification, but he sees these attacks as desirable because on occasion they are correct.  I strongly believe that reckless random attackers are not what USCF needs on its governing board.

Shots at Random: Mike Goodall and Sam Sloan email exchanges with Bill Goichberg, March 2007