BRAIN PILLS: STILL NO USCF EXPLANATION OR APOLOGY
It has now been more than two weeks since USCF astonished and angered many of its members by announcing an alliance with Natrol, Inc. to promote "brainSpeed (R)," a substance that its maker claims will improve mental performance and take chess players "to the next level."
The USCF news release below appeared on the Federation's website, but was removed without explanation on June 13. Today, this website has rewritten history: the list of press releases at uschess.org shows "Release #18" as the All-Girls National Championships; no mention of what has become of the original #18, the Brain Pill release. The USCF-Natrol alliance is still featured today at this Natrol website: http://www.brainspeed.com/Site/index.cfm?fuseaction=Site.NewsAndEvents.
USCF President Beatriz Marinello has made no public statement, as far as I am aware, regarding the USCF alliance with Natrol. Executive Board member Don Schultz, who opposes the alliance, moved by objections procedure that the Board ask Marinello to reveal the facts behind the Brain Pill agreement, but this motion was killed by an objection from Elizabeth Shaughnessy, a Board member who also vigorously defended the Natrol alliance at the recent National Open.
Executive Board member Randy Bauer has posted on newsgroups that Marinello arranged the Natrol alliance without informing the Board, regrets doing so, and that USCF will not partner with this company in the future. Bauer also opposes the alliance. Stan Booz, co-chair of the USCF Finance Committee, has suggested that Don Schultz supported the Brain Pill deal. Board members Steve Shutt and Tim Hanke, I believe, have made no public statements regarding Brain Pills.
Instead of trying to pretend that the alliance to promote Brain Pills never existed, I believe that the Executive Board should pass a motion apologizing to the membership for this mistake, explaining how it came about, and stating that no further alliances of this type will be considered. This motion should be reported in a new USCF press release, and should appear on uschess.org on the homepage as well, where Brain Pill publicity was previously located.
Home USCF to promote "Brain Pill?"