April Chess Life:

I am a Los Angeles attorney (business and real estate litigation) and an FM. I also have a Ph.D. in mathematics. I graduated from the University of Texas in 1964 and received my Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1967. After being in academia for many years, I went back to school and received my J.D. from the University of Michigan in 1976.

In chess, I won the Southwest Open in 1958 at the age of 15. Among other titles, I also won the 1968 U.S. Amateur and the 1973 Massachusetts Championship. I won the 2002 U.S. Senior Open. I have twice won the U.S. Correspondence Championship (9th and 11th).

In my spare time, I do volunteer work as a mediator/arbitrator for the courts. I owe chess at least as much. I intend to work ably and professionally toward helping the USCF move forward.


        May Chess Life:
I have been an attorney for over 30 years. I am a former professor of mathematics and an FM.  I do not make money teaching, organizing, or directing chess.  I have never had any financial dealings with the USCF.  In short, I view chess as an ordinary player, like the vast majority of all USCF members.  It=s only a game.
Most of my ideas just benefit chess generally.  As a Board member, I could only help facilitate and not actually implement them.  Any implementation depends on the efforts of volunteers and other chess promoters throughout the nation.
I believe that chess is an extraordinarily valuable game for the young. I fully support all efforts to promote youth and scholastic chess. This includes everyone and not just potential new grandmasters.  In addition to encouraging teaching in schools, I would encourage scholastic leagues and teams which are more fun and allow weaker players to contribute to a group effort. As many as possible should be able to represent their schools and share that camaraderie and school spirit.
Second, most chessplayers play chess because they enjoy it.  Some players, including myself when I was young, started playing chess as a challenge to prove themselves. But sooner or later they realize that they will never be the next Fischer.  Worse, they realize that, through lack of time, desire, or talent, they will never get much better than they already are.  The question for the USCF is, after they have realized that they are mortal, why -- or why not -- do they continue to compete and be members?  Myself, I continued because of the people, the friends I met and made.  Otherwise, I could play anonymously on the internet or against Fritz, which is an option that all players now have.  In today=s computer world, part of the USCF=s focus should be to make chess more fun, more people friendly.  As just an example, I would like to see the re-emergence of chess leagues, if possible.  I loved driving together with my Ann Arbor teammates to the Detroit league or going to Lina Grumette=s to play for Los Angeles in the old telephone league.  Basically, the backbone of the USCF is not grandmasters but ordinary players.  They should feel that they are getting their money=s worth from their USCF dues.
Third, the USCF should get involved in internet play, which is a real part of chess today. If the USCF is to be the umbrella over United States chess, it must include internet as well as youth, scholastic, adult, and correspondence chess.  Unfortunately, the USCF=s previous ventures into internet chess have not fared too well and now it is late in the day to get started from scratch.  The existing internet chess giants will have to be a part of the solution.  As just a starter, the USCF could begin taking bids for an Online US Open, Junior, Team Amateur, etc.  But, eventually, the USCF needs to get involved in the internet play itself. 
June Chess Life: 
Rightly or wrongly, many members complain about the manner in which the USCF has been run. Trying to cash in on this perception, all the candidates claim that a vote for them will improve the situation. Will it?
One perception is that Board decisions are dominated by backroom politics, with the accompanying suspicion of secret deals benefiting friends or even the board members themselves.  My response to this concern is an answer that is already required by law.  It is to expose all USCF dealings to the sunshine.  All members have the right to know what is going on and to see the terms of all the USCF=s deals.  If an agreement cannot stand the light of day, it should not be made in the first place.  If elected, I would seek to have every contract of the USCF posted on the members-only website.
Some candidates, while loudly criticizing decisions supposedly made in secret deals for personal reasons, urge the members to vote for a slate of candidates who all support each other.  But a slate is itself a political alliance of candidates who, if elected, will simply vote together as a block.  If there are not enough political decisions now being made, a vote for such a slate will guarantee that soon far more decisions will be based on personal friendships and alliances.
Another perception is that there is a lack of respect and courtesy between the board members, with one member making repeated personal attacks on the others.  This is counterproductive to any effective operation of the board.  I am a volunteer mediator for the courts and have had over 80 hours of mediation training. As a mediator, you have to know how to respect and listen to others without injecting personal criticisms.  Courtesy toward others and consideration of their opinions is a learned talent.
Still another perception is that there is a lack of expertise in financial matters and in the management of a national business.
To have the needed expertise on the board requires that the members not be all cast in the same mold. Expertise in running chess tournaments or teaching chess should be represented on the board, but not exclusively.  I have a Ph.D. in mathematics and am admitted to practice in the United States Tax Court.  I am familiar and comfortable with both financial statements and business ventures.  If elected, I would be the only attorney on the board. This qualification would be very helpful to many of the issues before the board, and might reduce some of the USCF=s legal expenses.
Finally, I have expertise in chess as well. I am a FIDE master and have been a member of the USCF for over 50 years. I was one of five persons who organized the Korchnoi-Kasparov candidates match in 1983, although it was ultimately boycotted by the Soviets. And, in 1972, I was one of a small handful of American spectators in Iceland.  I love the game.
Editor's comment:  I urge you to vote for Stephen Jones.  An attorney on the Executive Board will be a big asset, and Steve Jones is not just your average attorney, as his Ph.D. in math and FIDE Master title demonstrate.  We need more high caliber professionals like Steve Jones on the USCF Executive Board.