THE MURADIAN CANDIDACY
There are many reasons why I would never consider voting for Sevan Muradian for the USCF Executive Board. Here is a partial list.
1. Muradian appears to be strongly allied with Susan Polgar and Paul Truong, who were expelled from the federation in 2009 after Polgar, while an Executive Board member, filed a $10 million lawsuit against USCF in 2008. This lawsuit, which in my opinion was totally without merit, cost the Federation over $500,000 in legal fees. In 2009 when USCF's attorneys issued a subpoena to Muradian inquiring about his discussions with Polgar and Truong, Muradian refused to cooperate, and attorneys for Polgar and Truong moved on Muradian's behalf to have the subpoena quashed. Asked about this matter recently, Muradian claimed that the attorneys for Polgar and Truong acted on his behalf without his permission!
2. David and Sheila Heiser run the Renaissance Knights Chess Club, and have had many run-ins with Muradian. On December 29, 2006, a post was made on Craig's list by "Sheila- the Northbrook Hottie" who claimed to be "a 23-year old college student home for the holidays and I'm looking at hooking up with a few good men (one at a time or in a group!)" The post provided the phone number of Sheila Heiser and stated that "emails will NOT be answered." After Sheila Heiser received several calls, the Heisers became aware of the Craig's List post and filed a police report. Craig's List provided the Comcast IP address of the computer used to make the fake "Northbrook Hottie" posts, and a grand jury issued a subpoena to Comcast to reveal the identity of their subscriber at that address. That subscriber was Sevan Muradian.
The explanation provided by Muradian was, "I have an open Wi-Fi connection at home. Yes it is accurate that it is not secure and I do have a professional background in Information Security and Assurance and I willingly leave it open to make it easier when friends and family come by to connect so I don't have to deal with reconfiguring to grant access. I claim that someone hopped onto my connection and made the posting to cause the angst to all parties."
Does anyone see a resemblance between this
incident and that involving the fake Sam Sloan and Muradian's friend, Paul
Truong? Unfortunately, the State's Attorney did not prosecute, but the laws have
since become tougher on impersonation, and I believe that the "Northbrook Hottie"
offense would now be considered a crime. For documentation see one of the
LINK 1 LINK 2
NOTE: In the postcard I sent to voters, I
erroneously wrote that the fake post had been traced to Muradian's computer.
I should have said that it had been traced to his internet connection.
Either way, his explanation that someone "hopped on to my connection" in
order to play a dirty trick on Sheila Heiser sounds not at all credible.
3. During most of 2007, I was not aware of Muradian's negatives and believed I had a fairly good relationship with him. As he had organized some international tournaments, I suggested that the Executive Board honor him with the Organizer of the Year award, and the Board agreed. At the Chicago Open in May, he said that he needed credit towards his International Arbiter title and while playing, he would be a TD after his games ended, and I agreed and listed him for the Under 2300 Section, which was FIDE rated. So in October 2007, I was astonished to hear that at our Midwest Class tournament, he plastered the skittles room with flyers (without asking permission) for an event to be held one year later, one week before the Midwest Class and with the same $15,000 prize fund the Midwest Class had been offering. This would make little sense, having two of the four largest prize fund events in the Chicago area only a week apart. When the Midwest Class TD complained to Sevan about his scheduling, saying it would hurt both tournaments, Sevan responded, "I actually think it will do the opposite and people will play in both." After I joined in and also complained to Sevan, he said, "The financial backer of the event has made it clear that the dates can't change for the event (his original request was to put the event on the same dates as the Midwest Class but the site wasn't available) and to proceed as planned." A week before would have been strange enough, but the same dates!?
P.S. In spite of the "financial backer" supposedly saying "the dates can't change," Sevan's tournament was never held at all!
In response to the above, I have heard the claim that CCA doesn't need to have its dates protected. This misses the point, it's not that I am complaining that CCA is being treated unfairly, rather my point is that an Executive Board member needs to cooperate with others who promote chess, and needlessly conflicting with tournaments held by other organizers reflects a selfish attitude that is not likely to lead to being an effective or loyal Board member.
When Muradian decides to use a date, he seems not to care much about events already planned by others for the same time. A recent example of this is the "All America Double Class" tournament scheduled by a local organizer in the Chicago area for July 2-3, with $12,000 guaranteed prizes (later changed to $12,000 based on entries). Muradian wanted this weekend, but the other organizer had already listed his event on the ICA Calendar and reserved his site, so Muradian simply scheduled his $15,000 tournament for the same weekend, which will surely hurt both events. Note that these are big prize funds for the Chicago area; only the three annual CCA tournaments in that area are larger.
4. There are further reasons to question Muradian's loyalty to USCF.
International Arbiter Hal Bogner posted last month on the USCF Issues Forum, "Mr. Muradian expressed to me that he believed he could obtain recognition of his North American Chess Association to in some way represent all of North America, in the process usurping some of the authority of the national chess federations of the US, of Mexico
David Heiser has reported that Muradian approached him in 2006 with a proposal to "take down" the USCF.
Also in 2006, an anonymous poster on Susan Polgar's blog asked about Muradian's company, North American Chess Association, "Are they a good eventual solution for the USCF?" A reply from "North American Chess Association" began, "Our first step is..." and made no attempt to counter the suggestion that the "eventual solution for the USCF" was to be replaced by or controlled by Muradian's company. SEE POLGAR BLOG POSTS