Saturday, January 30, 2016

US Open New York 1974

Hotel Pennsylvania
The US Open in New York in 1974 was a magnificent tournament.  While many tournaments have been held at the Pennsylvania Hotel (in its many incarnations) this was the only one that used the huge ground floor ballroom.  I don't think that space is part of the hotel anymore.
GM Ron Henley with President Clinton

I played Leslie Braun the first round.  My boyhood friend, NM Danny Larouche was there.  I played bughouse with GM Ron Henley.
IA Bill Goichberg

It was also the biggest loss ever for Bill Goichberg, and possibly the USCF as well.  It was at this tournament Bill announced that the CCA would become a non-profit organization.  He said, if I may paraphrase, "While there should be a large profitable chess organization, there isn't one."  Years later the CCA would again become profitable, but unfortunately the USCF decided to never hold the US Open in NYC again.

It was one of the two USCF Delegates meetings I attended, though at the time, the Delegates were called Directors, and this would be the last
Judge Lackland Bloom
meeting where the they would be called Directors.

At the time, proxies were allowed.  It would be the last meeting where proxies were allowed.

The USCF was first incorporated in the state of Illinois.  Well into the meeting a man named Judge Lackland Bloom stood up and said that proxies were not allowed in such an organization incorporated in Illinois. 

President Frank Skoff and long-time USCF Counsel David Hoffmann (Asa's father) seemed surprised.  I'm not sure, but I think Col. Edmondson was surprised too.

They had to ratify all the decisions made by previous Directors Meetings.  It would mean a shift in power, because no longer could certain individuals accumulate huge numbers of proxies.

NTD Joe Lux
Another shift occurred about a year later.   There was a debate at the Marshall Chess Club by two candidates for USCF Treasurer Fred Cramer and Norman Peacor.  It was organized by Joe Lux and moderated by Gary Sperling and was attended by various USCF Delegates.

When Fred Cramer started speaking, he started attacking not Norman Peacor, but Ed Edmondson.  Fred Cramer was one of the elder statesman of the USCF.  Ed Edmondson had been president of the USCF before he became executive director, and Cramer was president before him. But it was not clear whether his exact utterances were credible.  What was clear is that many people had come to dislike Ed Edmondson for the their own reasons, and he was nearing the end of the line.  Edmondson who had been executive director since 1966 resigned in 1975, and died in 1982.

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