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THE U.S. CHAMPIONSHIP HAS NOW concluded and I would like to extend hearty congratulations to Hikaru Naka- mura, 2012 U.S. champion. Hikaru has been having exceptional results lately, and at the time of writing, he ranks num- ber five in the world in the live rating list! Irina Krush is our new U.S. Women’s

champion and showed her strength with excellent opening preparation and con- sistent strong play. Congratulations to the 2012 U.S. women’s champion, Irina Krush! Once again, the Chess Club and

Scholastic Center of Saint Louis exceeded all expectations in providing a truly exceptional experience for our champions with their outstanding organization of the U.S. Championships and commit- ment to excellence. Be sure to stop by the club in St. Louis if you are in the area this summer for your vacation. You can have a friendly game of chess and also visit the World Chess Hall of Fame across the street. See the club website for a list of upcoming events. Last weekend USCF launched our beta

for online play. I urge all of you to regis- ter and try out USCF online play at Be sure to send in your comments and suggestions to our development team. The remarks below were made to open

the USCF executive board meeting on May 19-20 in St. Louis. Today, I am going to speak first about

our scholastic and national events. Then, I will discuss our “chess community” and my thoughts on new challenges facing the organization. Finally, I will discuss our promising future. The 2012 scholastic chess nationals

have brought chess in the United States fantastic publicity this spring. These scholastic events include the National Elementary Championships, this year held in Nashville; the National Junior High School Championships held in San Diego; the National High School Champi- onship held in Minneapolis; and the KCF All-Girls Nationals held in Chicago. Kudos and thanks from all of us to Pat Knight- Smith, National Events Director and Assistant Executive Director for doing all needed to make these events successful. The 2012 headline is not the attendance

numbers but rather the fantastic rock and roll performance of Brooklyn Intermedi-

12 Chess Life — July 2012

ate School I.S. 318 who wowed us all with their fairy tale win by a junior high team of the National High School Championships. This exceptional result was featured in

two New York Times stories, with coverage in Forbes magazine and on MSNBC and the Minneapolis CBS News affiliate. This public relations storm followed on the footsteps of the release of the film “Brook- lyn Castle,” which is a documentary about I.S. 318, “the inner city public school that’s home to the most winning junior high school chess team in the country.” If you get a chance, go see this film! The KCF All-Girls National was held in

Chicago in April and broke last year’s attendance records. 238 girls played in this event! But best of all, the 18 and younger section was won by 11-year-old Anupama Rajendra! The All-Girls National is a qualifier for the World Youth. Quali- fiers include all perfect 6-0 scores and all players who take first place in a section. Here in St. Louis, on the 19th of May,

2012, the USCF executive board is proud to be a witness to the final rounds of the U.S. Championships. Our top players are truly world class competitors. As expected we have tough battles for top honors between Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky as well as between Irina Krush and Anna Zatonskih. Since we have such strong U.S. chess champions, their accomplishments sometimes overshadow the accomplishments of the other players. We should note with extreme pride the results and commitment of all of our championship contenders who are battling long and hard to victory. Team USA will be very competitive at the Olympiad in Istanbul. St. Louis hosts some of the best fighting

championship games in the world, featur- ing the no-draw before move 30 rule, and organizational excellence of exceptional quality. We are also very pleased to have a superstar team of chess commentators for the U.S. Championships, Woman Grand- master Jennifer Shahade and Grandmaster Ben Finegold. These two “talking-heads” have a world-wide following and are blaz- ing a trail for the future of chess newscasting with their insightful analysis, stories, and interviews. National events in the second half of 2012

include the Game/10 Championship in Las Vegas, the National Open in Las Vegas, the

U.S. Open in Vancouver, Washington, the Game/30 and Game/60 Championships in Pleasanton, California, and the K-12 Grade in December in Orlando. These are all great events and you should come out and participate if you can. As you may have concluded from my

remarks about our national events so far this year, USCF continues to have stable and healthy revenues which I have com- mented on at length in previous messages. Since we have successfully defeated

the dragon of impending financial doom, and we now have a more fiscally healthy organization, I will note that we still have work to do on governance and are await- ing our 501(c)(3) approval. With this as a backdrop, we now need to change focus and work to raise funds to support our national teams. This year is an Olympiad year and we are seeing substantially higher fees from the organizer. We need to increase our fund raising efforts to ensure our team has first class accommo- dation and support in Istanbul. In chess terms, USCF was under

attack. We defended our position and have consolidated. We are now putting our pieces in the best possible strategic posi- tions, looking for opportunities to make our position even better. Today the situation which we must

examine is not on the chessboard, but with the people who move the pieces. The chess community includes play- ers, coaches, teachers, tournament directors, organizers, parents, family members and other volunteers sup- porting our chess endeavors and events. We all are working together to develop chess, to develop our players to their full potential, and support the organized activities of schools, teams, clubs, and affiliates. Many of our members who are involved

in organizing tournaments, coaching, training and tournament directing came up through the ranks as a chess enthu- siast and tournament player. As such, we have developed a taste for winning at chess and enjoy the fruits of victory. When your goal is to promote chess,

“victory” should be defined as the promo- tion and growth of the game for the betterment of the entire community. This means introducing more people to chess, showing them it can be fun and chal-

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