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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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
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.