You know things are serious when the Armchair Warrior resorts to paraphrasing the devil himself, President of the Disunited States, Abe Lincoln. Dishonest Abe did, though, have a point.
I wrote some time ago about a state which had divided into separate organizations when the scholastic group broke away after developing their own organization. I recently discovered the Great State of Virginia now has two separate and distinct chess organizations, the Virginia Chess Federation (http://www.vachess.org/), and the The Virginia Scholastic Chess Association (http://www.vschess.org/).
That is two split state organizations and for all I know, there may be more. If, or when, the third state decides to split, the words of Arlo Guthrie in the immortal song, “Alice’s Restaurant” could be prophetic:
“And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.”
With lyrics- (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPx2t7xoF1k)
Decades later- (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_7C0QGkiVo)
How many states split before the scholastic faction decides to break away from the USCF and have their own organization, the USSCF? There are many who now consider the USCF to be a defacto USSCF. Bill Hall, the former Executive Director of USCF, was an expert player. After being forced out he was replaced by Jean Hoffman, a person highly touted for her word in scholastic chess. She played in 22 tournaments in the early to mid 90’s, crossing into the “C” class. Ms. Hoffman came back to next play in once in 2004 and twice in 2006, dropping back into the “D” class. You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RS7-hbc9s7k)
This was posted on the USCF forum recently:
by jjamesge1 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:25 am #281436
“I guess Dr. Bell summed it one pretty good one day. (I was at the local chess meet): I asked him about the collegiate chess players, since the few that showed up were *mediocre C maybe B level at best. He replied that there were several really good players at the university (Murray State University), but they didn’t play at the collegiate level, since they considered chess to be “something they played as a kid”. (http://www.uschess.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=20209&sid=4d9c167c450bbaee5df8ecc338d4f264)
This struck a cord because sometime during the last decade I was at a bookstore coffee shop and a young fellow broke away from his group to talk with me. It turned out he had no interest in chess, but in one of his Frat brothers. He told me the fellow said he had been a Master as a child, and gave me his name. Of course I knew the boy. I told the inquirer the chess community wondered why he had stopped playing. “Oh,” he said, “he told us chess was only a game for children.”
Perception is reality. The general public also thinks chess is a children’s game because most everything positive they read concerns scholastic chess. The vast majority of stories about chess one sees on the internet emanate from local papers and concern children. I was in one of my favorite restaurants, the Mediterranean Grill (http://www.mediterraneangrill.com/) wearing a chess tee-shirt when the owner, who had lived in Chicago for twenty years, noticed and said, “Chess is getting younger.”
On August 22, 1862, Abe Lincoln wrote this to Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune:
“I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored, the nearer the Union will be ‘the Union as it was.’ If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps save the Union.”
Who will save chess?
Alice’s Restaurant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPx2t7xoF1k
Decades later- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_7C0QGkiVo
Subterranean Homesick Blues: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RS7-hbc9s7k