Monday, December 29, 2008

When you're in over your head, keep digging

Since my earlier post on USCF lawsuits has fallen off the page, I have reluctantly decided to add a new one. The latest in the series is a suit filed by the USCF in Illinois (the state in which the USCF is incorporated) seeking to remove Susan Polgar and Paul Truong from the Executive Board.

If you don't want to plow through the whole thing (for which I wouldn't blame you), the key paragraphs are 18-21 (alleging that Truong authored the so-called "Fake Sam Sloan" posts, and 50-53 (asserting that Polgar obtained illegal access to Randy Hough's e-mail account and published illegally obtained material). The first argument seems the weaker of the two, as it simply assumes that childish scribbling on the Internet justifies removal of an elected Board member. (We've had several oafs and buffoons on the Board in the past, and no one suggested removing them.) The second is more serious, as the charges, if proved, could carry jail time. While holding office from jail is an honored tradition in Boston, Chicago and New Jersey, it's one the USCF can probably do without.

What all this demonstrates is that neither side has any interest in compromise. Rather than seeking to reduce the tension, the majority faction on the Board has chosen to ramp it up. Of course, Polgar is equally at fault here (see the frivolous lawsuit she filed in Texas, not to mention the incredibly stupid move of naming attorney Karl Kronenberger as one of the defendants). But the majority faction, being in the stronger position, really ought to be the ones trying to make peace.

Update 1/4/08: There's an account of the latest lawsuit in the January 3 New York Times. Despite the source, it seems fair and balanced.

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