Friday, July 17, 2009

Bribery, dirty politics, and USCF corruption

Below are various emails which clearly show the involvement of USCF President Bill Goichberg, Chess Journalist of America President Jerry Hanken, and others in a bribery scheme for votes in July/August 2008. They also clearly show that USCF President Bill Goichberg clearly mislead me and the USCF members about his own involvement.

When I ran for the USCF Executive Board 2 years ago, this is one of the areas I said that I will do everything possible to clean up. This is just the surface of it. Because I am exposing these unethical individuals, they and their supporters have tried to trash my name and reputation.

In the past two years, instead of working with me and helping me promote chess to benefit our entire sport, some of these chess politicians have spread the most outrageous and vicious rumors and lies, trying to destroy my reputation, my employment at Texas Tech University, and my family. They even stooped so low as to use my children (who are only 8 and 10) as one of their targets.

Knowing that I am a one of the biggest advocates for scholastic chess in this country, especially for girls, some of these people spewed out the disgustingly offensive rumor that my husband and I were child abusers. They claimed that we abused my children and we even forced them to consume hot sauce. This sort of despicable thing made its way to the internet and even made its way to my employer Texas Tech University as well as to sponsors and potential sponsors. This outrageous lie was even tossed around within the USCF leadership as a way to pressure my husband and me to resign from the board even though they knew that it was false.

There were countless remarks and postings telling my husband and me to go “back to where we came from.” Some said this is the United States Chess Federation and not the United Nations Chess Federation, and a foreigner had no business running the USCF, while others were openly discussed ways to deport me back to my native Hungary although I have been an American citizen for a number of years and both my children were born in the U.S.But the facts are hidden from the USCF members and delegates. In the mean time, they are using Chess Life, the USCF forums, the USCF website, members' money and other means to mislead the USCF members, to cover up their incompetence and unethical conduct. I highlighted many of these facts here and here.

It is amazing that these people claim that the USCF has no money to promote chess, support chess players, chess clubs, and affiliates. But they have no problem spending over $500,000-$600,000 of USCF members money for lawsuits to go after and silence people who want to expose their misconduct.

These people crossed the ethical line and they clearly abused their political power. Their conduct directly and indirectly caused lawsuits / legal actions in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Illinois, and Tennessee. The financial situation of the USCF is dire. If we do not stand up and fight against this kind of corruption, there soon will be no USCF.

A lot more information can be downloaded here.

Here are just some of the evidence of the bribery scheme:

Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 1:54 AM
To: Polgar, Susan

Hi Susan,

I wanted to forward this to you to prove that I originally had no plans, whatsoever, to attend the 2008 U.S. Open. I was simply going to visit my husband in San Jose, where the two of us intended to spend a week together before I returned to where I am currently living, in San Diego. Only after being convinced to attend, by Jerry, did I change my plans. I will include that proof as well, and you will also be receiving some other forwarded emails corroborating the rest of what I have told you already.

My husband and I are also seriously considering resigning as delegates, considering the fact that we were not otherwise interested in becoming such, except to help please Jerry, and go along with what he felt was right, because it would show loyalty and solidarity to someone who has, to this point, been a good friend. I hope this serves to do at least some good.


Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2008 21:58:06 -0400

Subject: (no subject)

You have a free entry to the US Open (and some possible money for a blog for Jennifer.) You can't transfer the entry to a CCA. event. If I can get your airfare paid and I agree to pick up a few meals for you and Hero, couldn't you handle the room? I think Hero would go for it if I can swing airfare. Don't say "no" quite yet.



Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2008 06:11:49 -0400

Subject: Re: (no subject)

If Bill (Goichberg) says "yes", you wouldn't owe anything to him. I asked for a sponsorship gift, not a loan. At the Open, you could still spend lots of time with Hero. Also you may have some pay for the blog you will do for Jennifer. You will win games like that at 40 in two. You ARE improving-- don't let anyone tell you different. Notice that I am willing to provide some food for you and Hero. I will have a fridge which will help. As to changeing, aren't you on Southwest? They .don't charge to change or cancel a trip.


Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2008 06:21:03 -0400

Subject: Re: (no subject)
To: (Bill Goichberg)

Come on Bill (Goichberg), I will go half on the airfare. There are so many good reasons to do this. Give it some thought. Just think what going half means to me and what it means to you. If we lose a critical vote, you will think of this. All the money you have given the USFCF will be in the toilet if we ultimately lose this fight.



From: (Bill Goichberg)
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2008 11:01:45 -0500
Subject: Re: (no subject)

The affiliate needs to go to the TD/Affiliate area and purchase a 6 month membership.



Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2008 11:35:28 -0400

Subject: (no subject)

Dear Jess and Hero,

If Hero is willing to serve as a Delegate, it is important that you go on line today (when it is still July) and purchase a six month membership in USCF. It is $25 and I will personally reimburse you this money. I hope to talk with you later today, Jess.



7/30/2008 8:53:32 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time (11:53:32 A.M. EST), Chessoffice writes:

As I said, the $25 rate is only available to affiliates.



Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2008 13:30:53 -0400

Subject: Fwd: (no subject)

Could you get this done today so we have the option of having Hero as a delegate I will pay.



Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 2:12 AM
To: Polgar, Susan

Subject: Summing things up

Hi Susan,

By now, I've already sent you several emails, each one forwarded directly from my personal account, and numbered 1 to 9. Included are copies of both my hotel and flight reservations, whose dates exactly match those immediately following the forwarded emails from Jerry, in which he convinced us to come, just so we would be there to vote. That fact is quite clear here, and should be easily demonstrated.

Additionally, I should point out that since my real interest was in playing chess, and NOT getting politically involved, this is proven by the fact that Jerry, on more than one occasion leading up to the delegates' meeting, begged me to forego the Blitz, offering to pay for not ONE future event in speed, but THREE, if only I would be there to vote.

Now, my husband and I will also write the letters you requested, but I thought this data would prove useful in the meantime, considering the fact that it verifies my story for all those critics online. By the way, I still have not been able to locate any posts which specifically claim I am a liar, but I'm sure they are not all that far behind, since I have now pissed off quite a few people on Jerry's side, and all for voting what I could gather, based on fact, and not merely conjecture.

Anyway, I hope this helps.

Take care,


In a message dated 8/17/2008 8:02:17 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, SusanPolgar writes:


Are you saying that you are absolutely not aware of any attempt to offer incentives / pay ordinary chess players and even non-USCF members to join the USCF, come to Dallas, get certified to be delegates, to vote against Paul?

I am not aware that anyone was paid, offered incentives or given free entry in order to vote a certain way.

If board members/ delegates are caught bribing / paying for votes, should you or the USCF report them to the Illinois Attorney General or other appropriate authority? I strongly believe that this is highly unethical and illegal and I certainly hope that you feel the same way.
In addition, should board members / delegates who do such thing resign from the executive board / delegates immediately?

Susan Polgar

Bribes are unethical and illegal, and charges of same should be dealt with as recommended by our attorneys.

Bill Goichberg


In a message dated 8/17/2008 8:31:06 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, SusanPolgar writes:

Thank you for your response. Just to clarify, did anyone approach you about the idea of paying / providing incentives in exchange for votes against Paul at the delegates meeting on Saturday, August 9, 2008?

Thank you.
Susan Polgar


Bill Goichberg

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Kerry Liles said...

This is beyond anything that could be imagined. Good luck fighting this Susan... by the way, when is the voting for the USCF election closed and when will the results be available?

This is one circus I don't want to miss...

USCF Life Member since 89 said...

Bill Goichberg and Jerry Hanken should resign from their positions for their involvement in this illegal conduct.

Bill Hall, Randy Bauer, Jim Berry and Randy Hough should also resign for cover up the illegal and criminal conduct of their colleagues and for wasting hundreds of thousandsof USCF members' money for their disgusting politics.

If they don't, there should be legal actions filed against them. They should also be banned from the USCF permanently.

Anonymous said...

Did the USCF investigate the bribery charges related to USCF President Bill Goichberg and his gang?

Why didn't the USCF turn over all the bribery evidence to the authority? How come the USCF is hiding the facts from its members?

Could you please explain this? Isn't bribery illegal? And now Goichberg is endorsing Ruth Haring, Jim Berry, and Mike Atkins so the corruption can continue?

I voted for IM Blas Lugo, Dr. Eric Hecht, and Dr. Mikhail Korenman.

Anonymous said...

Bill Goichberg and Bill Hall are responsible for multiple lawsuits against the USCF. Bill Goichberg and Bill Hall are responsible for violating the exclusive contract with The USCF may potentially have to pay ChessCafe millions of dollars in damages. But Goichberg and his board majority are hiding the facts from the USCF members and delegates while spending over $600,000 of USCF members' money without authorization. They're protecting each other while running the USCF to the ground. This is the most corrupt group of chess politicians and now they want Jim Berry, Ruth Haring and Mike Nietman to be elected so they can continue hiding the truth from the members. Disgusting!

Anonymous said...

Reliable sources report that the USCF is completely out of money.

This means that the USCF has exhausted the entire $350,000 bequest that it received earlier this year and has exhausted its entire line of credit too.

It is time for Bill Goichberg and Bill Hall to resign and step aside.
They are incompetent and simply cannot do their jobs.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bill Goichberg,

I just got my subpoena to produce documents for your case against Susan and Paul.
Not a problem - I have absolutely nothing to hide.

But I am appalled at who is requesting this information.

Not the USCF. Not Sam Sloan. Nope, it's you, Bill Goichberg.

Why the vendetta? When I found out that you and Jerry Hanken arranged, by paying for rooms and free entries, to have Jessica and her husband Hero, vote to expel Susan and Paul from the board and your lawyer accusing them of doing things that are still in question - I decided I really don't want to associate with an organization run like this.

After your failed attempt Jerry Hanken sent me a " drop dead - get lost" email.

Hanken and you are the reasons I am getting out of chess.

And now you are personally pursuing this. You should be ashamed!!

Fred Gruenberg

(There are a total 9 emails between USCF President Bill Goichberg, USCF EB Secretary Randy Hough, Journalist of America President Jerry Hanken and the individual who was bribed. These two individuals were certified as delegates from Southern California delegate and NY Downstate by Bill Goichberg. These emails are now part of the evidence.)

Anonymous said...

One tournament organizer recently made an excellent bid to the USCF to host various national championships in Chicago. One of Goichberg’s most profitable chess tournaments also takes place in Chicago at a similar time. The motion to award a multiple year bid to the Chicago organizer would have passed 3 (Yes) - 2 (No) -1 (Abstention) if Goichberg had recused himself from voting due to his conflict of interest with Continental Chess. Goichberg refused to recuse himself, and his Board majority refused to ask him (Goichberg) to recuse himself, and the motion was at a 3-3 deadlock when the Board voted. The USCF sees annual cash inflows in the range of $3.2 million through the dues of its 80,000 members, grants, gifts, advertisements, bequests, sponsorships, et cetera. At one time, the USCF annual revenues exceeded $6 million. For the last thirty years, Goichberg, through his constant presence on the USCF Executive Board, has managed to unlawfully cause many thousands of dollars to be unfairly directed to his pocket, his political allies, and the coffers of Continental Chess.

This is why Goichberg, Berry, Atkins, Haring and other Goichberg's friends must not be elected. The corruption must end.

Anonymous said...

Note that the legal fees for Continental Chess is paid for by the USCF instead of Bill Goichberg personally while Goichberg and the USCF denied Polgar and Truong of indemnification.

Also note that Fred Gruenberg is at least the 4th person who has corroborated with the bribery charges against Goichberg, Hough and Hanken.

How come the USCF attorneys are not investigating this issue? How come the USCF attorney are not reporting this illegal conduct to the authority as they have done with others, especially when the proof is in black and white? How come the members are not informed of this illegal conduct instead of the BS that is being put in Chess Life and CLO by Bill Hall?

How come honest Randy Bauer and Jim Berry are not talking out about this? How come honest Bauer and Jim Berry are not demanding an investigation?

How come Goichberg's candidates Ruth Haring, Mike Atkins and people who are on his camp like Brian Mottershead and Brian Lafferty are not demanding for Goichberg and Hough be removed from the Executive Board for their illegal conduct?

How come all these guys are not demanding to have Jerry Hanken removed as President of Chess Journalist of America? And these are pretending to demand for transparency and honesty?

Anonymous said...

Come one, be real. What do you want them to do? Prosecuting Goichberg, Jim Berry, Hough and Hanken isn't on their agenda. This was never about the welfare of the USCF or finding out the truth. This was always about Goichberg trying to knock off people who opposed him, his friends, and his political agenda. This is what he has done for 30-40 years. Why would it be different now? The only difference is all others walked away while Polgar fought back on behalf of the members. She said that's what she would do and she kept her word. That's the one thing they didn't expect. They clearly expect Polgar and Truong to walk away. Now we can clearly see this Goichberg and Jim Berry scheme to be reelected and keep their power for another 4 years. I hope Polgar won't ever back down. She's the only one who can fight the USCF Mafia.

Anonymous said...

Ha. I remember going to one of Jerry Hanken's chess lectures. The organizers told me he was a famous guy so I was all honored to meet him. Ha. What a fool I was.

Anonymous said...

Goichberg and Hall censor everything which points to their illegal conduct. The USCF is full of corrupt chess politicians who run it to the ground.

Anonymous said...

Not everyone reads your blogs but many chess players do not like you because you sue USCF and they are afraid that it will destroy USCF. Goichberg and Co. have much more publicity then you and this is a problem. You have to find a way to address all issues to regular members with a way other then your blogs.
Yours truly supporter!

Anonymous said...

"All of you [General Custer's troops], go back to where we came from. This is not your nation!!!”

~ Chief Sitting Bull (Lakota Tribe, 1831 – December 15, 1890)

Anonymous said...

If Goichberg and his corrupt gang don't resign, USCF members should file a class action against all of them.

Anonymous said...

Americans are using Euro's for bribes??? :)

Anonymous said...

I play in great chess events because of Bill Goichberg's greed. If he resigns, it will be because he will succeed Barack O'Bama and become the 45th President of the United States of America. Our great nation needs an honest man who always can deliver the good bribes. Thank You Mr. Bill Goichberg for knowing how to spend over half a million dollars of members' money! You Rock!

IL Chess Dad said...

How disgusting! I can't believe that the USCF is condoning the conduct of Bill Goichberg and his stooges.

This is why Goichberg and the USCF spent $600,000 to go after Susan and her family. She won't play this corrupt game with them and she exposed their long time pattern of corruption.

How disgusting! I hope the USCF will ban him forever.

Anonymous said...

**Americans are using Euro's for bribes??? :)**

yeah, our confidence in the dollar is that low

Mike Magnan said...

I seriously wonder why you(Of course you don't have the energy) People in the US just down't shut this house down and start over again. How hard can it be?
Just start a new US federation. Throw the bums out and get on with it.

KWRegan said...

The story of Hungarians and hot sauce is absolutely true---but 32 years out of date. During Lone Pine 1977, Jim Tarjan proclaimed that he would save us from diner-dining by cooking for us a feast of "Hungarian Spaghetti". Whatever he added to the tomato sauce, he was off by several orders of magnitude in the proportion, as it came out the most volcanically hot concoction I've ever tasted! We think he misread something on the box. Fedorowicz, Rohde, Tisdall, Diesen, Henley, maybe Yasser and Larry C too---we were all there. If allowed to complete his plan, he could have wiped out all his 1970s junior competition!!

Anonymous said...


ChessFire said...

In response to the lead comment below by Sam Sloan, I have added a note or two about the life of our [chess] times, what seems to be the public sympathy, and indeed, the kind of leaders we want to construct a solid foundation in American chess for the C21st:

> Here, now that we have the evidence, we can see that Goichberg's
> denial was not truthful. However, the members of the USCF Issues Forum
> cannot see the evidence because the Goichberg appointed moderators
> have deleted the evidence from the Forum.

Some of us have been mentioning that instead of a kangaroo court
conducted right here in these newsgroups against Polgar and Truong,
plus any and all 'accomplices', by people supremely confident that
what they think they know is sufficient to redress perhaps more
careful attention by those with less immediate and urgent anxiety to
'solve' it, the right place to resolve the issue is where they ask you
speak the truth,
the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth.
As such, I think the latest development is a strong indicator that we
do not have the whole truth from USCF - all the way back to who
authorized investigation of Truong's private or privileged
Certainly nothing but the truth might be a topic meditated upon by Sam
Sloan whose connective et ceteras challenge Wikipedia in extensiveness
- marvelous as that is in terms of free-relating one thing unto
another, it does not withstand the objection that sane people not only
do not, but cannot possibly attain the fullness of his notions.
When this election is done, I rather suspect a recall motion, either
from within USCF or one imposed upon it, since I think in America in
2009 after so many leaders of our society have proved untrustworthy,
the public sympathy will be all for those who speak the truth, and not
for those who hide it away while professing to attain to the public's
trust as our chess leaders.
Phil Innes

Anonymous said...

Is there any doubt that Goichberg was aware of it and even gave instructions to go through an affiliate to sign up for a 6 months membership? Is there any doubt that Goichberg certified the same person who he told to get a 6 months membership as delegate in the 2008 delegates' meeting? Does Goichberg really want this matter to be thoroughly investigated by the authority? Does Goichberg understand that everything he says can and probably will be used against him? Does Goichberg understand that he abused his power as an EB member and President of the USCF? Does Goichberg understand that his action caused the USCF to be in this legal mess?

Anonymous said...

Shame on Mr. Goichberg! Shame on Mr. Hanken! Shame on the rest of the board and ED for protecting Goichberg's illegal act and hiding it from the members.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe Goichberg and Hanken continue to lie about it. It's worse when Bill Hall, Jim Berry, Randy Bauer and others are protecting them. All of them should be thrown out of the USCF permanently. What a bunch of useless chess politicians.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like they went to the school of Bernie Madoff. Kick the BUMS!!! out Susan you don't need this.

Susan Polgar said...

Thank you. I just posted the following on my facebook page:

I have fought all kinds of corruption and discrimination such as gender, religious, and age, since I was 4 years old, and I would never back down to this kind of intimidation.

So the message that I would like to give to everyone, especially all the young boys and girls is they will likely face barriers, obstacles, and difficulties in life. Don't use this as an excuse to fail. Use these challenges as a motivation to succeed and do better.

I also hope that other chess players from around the world will stand up, unite, and fight against chess corruption. This is beautiful game and we should not allow a few bad individuals to destroy its potential.

Best wishes,

CA Life Member said...

The only way to fix this is for the USCF members to vote Goichberg, Berry, Haring, and Atkins out of the office. I voted for Dr. Hecht, Dr. Korenman, and IM Blas Lugo. They're the only non-corrupt candidates. Everyone must vote! There're only a day or two left to send in their ballots on the cover of the June 2009 Chess Life. We must get rid of these corrupt and crooked chess politicians.

Steve Y. said...

Hi Susan, I don't know you well but I could see the good things you have done for the Scholastic chess. I will like to vote you as the chair for the USCF. I am sorry for the pain they brought to you and your family. It seems they play very dirty tricks. I support you!

ChessFire said...

In response to yet another poster in a public newsgroup, who does not like the current establishment, but who is somewhat abstract about it all:


> As a Hanken watcher for many years, it seems allegedly questionable
> acts within USCF are not complete without Jerry's behind the scene
> involvement.
> Many of us have a learned distrust for Hanken, Goichberg, Schultz and
> company. The allegations of bribery just fit in with our experience.
> We don't really know Polgar but there seems to be more "chess"
> information on her blog than on the USChess website.
> Rp

And ain't that a condemnation all by itself. Even before becoming a board member I counted mainstream media mentions of chess by Susan Polgar Foundation to USCF as 50 to 1.

More recently in terms of blog reporting it is in the order of 200 : 1 of chess events around the world.

Whatever your orientation to chess, the shear scale of difference between sleepy USCF and almost any other reporting source is notable. Between USCF and Polgar-sites it is unconscionable.

Apparently the USCF is established as a non-profit to promote the game. When others do better by 10^3 times, this is of no small import to USCF's future - I mean, is it USCF's intention to promote the game to only those already in it, and at 100 times less effectively than independent agents?

That is a grand critique of those who currently rule USCF, and about their self-interested behaviors, albeit, a diddly-doo interest content with so little.

Phil Innes,

The Real Voice of Reason said...

I like Phil Innes!

ChessFire said...

Thanks for liking me. But the truth is that I have known Susan and Paul for about 7 years - and I don't like them for what they say, and I don't like his ties :))))

I like them for what they do, and seems to me they do pretty much what they say, which is a very big difference to 'official' chess politicians, who say little and do even less.

What I have done recently is to write a chess course which is accredited for high school use, just like if you took Latin 2, or something.

This is an advance on chess in the USA - about half the course is based on Susan's work, otherwise I used a lot of Russian material.

On hearing about this USCF said nothing at all! Except for Randy Bauer who continued to abuse me for a week since I asked him in effect, what had he done for chess other than preside over a massive deficit?

USCF is a chess maintenance organization. Chess developers 'do not go there', since it is a sinking hole.

To balance my views - I have even said to Susan and Paul, what are they doing there? Seems to me that they did more before.

USCF have no real partners in chess since their treatment of me is no different than they have treated everyone else - and their reputation is wide-spread in the chess community.

If you want to evolve chess in the C21st, best you seek active partners, in my opinion, rather than chess politicians who not only add nothing, but who are something of a liability.

Cordially, One and All,

Phil Innes

Anonymous said...

I have been *trying* to follow this whole mess, and the more I dig the more questions I end up with:

IF Alexander and Susan are INNOCENT of breaking into that account with the "Stolen Password" -- and I am tending to think so given that USCF's Atty tried to hide the information that at the very least casts doubt upon their guilt -- then the question becomes how did Susan find those e-mails within "hours" of being written?!? Me?!? I'm starting to suspect the work of a Double Agent either within the ranks of the USCF itself, or from without -- That or those e-mails were intentionally leaked to frame both Alexander and Susan. And like a pair of patzers they fell for the trap.

If the Double Agent is from without, then the question becomes who profits from the whole mess?!?

The best outcome for USCF ** right now ** would be if EVERY judge in every state were to throw out both sides, throw out the entire EB, and mandate that new elections be held, barring everyone involved in this sordid affair from holding office. This is a whole lot to do about nothing. The New York Judge was right when he threw out Sam Sloan's lawsuit as a "frivolous" lawsuit.

God help us all if Bill G. and his cronies win. There is little doubt in my mind that he will try to have CCA absorb the USCF, and then Bill G. becomes chairman for life.