USCF Matters

by Michael A. Mulford, USCF Delegate, member, Audit and Bylaws Committees


In a few weeks those who have registered to vote in United States Chess Federation (USCF) elections will receive a ballot for the USCF Executive Board Election. The deadline to register to vote has already passed, but if you wish to vote in future elections you may do so at . Once registered, you remain registered as long as your membership does not lapse for more than 28 days. So if you are not a registered voting member now, you may register right now and be able to vote in future elections.

In last year’s election only 17 Georgians voted. That is not totally shocking, because there were the same number of candidates as there were open positions. This year’s ballot will also show two candidates for two positions. Yet appearances can be deceiving! Incumbent Randy Bauer and Anjelina Belakovskia will be on the ballot. Boyd Reed is running a write-in campaign. Under USCF bylaws he is not permitted to submit a candidate’s statement or purchase an advertisement in Chess Life. However, he is worthy of your consideration, which motivates me to present a case for Georgia voters to consider.

A very natural question is why Reed did not submit a nominating petition by the December 31 deadline. The answer, quite simply, is because he was not intending to run. Like me, he believes it is important for us to have contested elections. He believed we would have one, but the other incumbent running for reelection failed to meet the requirements, leaving us with only two candidates. Reed immediately decided to wage a write-in campaign.

Boyd Reed is a well-respected National Tournament Director who frequently works national events. He is also a FIDE International Arbiter. He has served as chairman of the USCF Website Advisory Committee and as a moderator for the USCF forums. He has served as a USCF Delegate for several years.

I have observed his work within USCF for several years and in my opinion he consistently demonstrates sound reasoning, an ability to work well with difficult people and the ability to present himself well when discussing contentious issues with those who disagree with him. He has shown a servant’s attitude. He would be an excellent addition to the USCF Executive Board, and I endorse his candidacy.

Some may recall that I circulated nominating petitions for Belakovskia. I too believe it is important to hold contested elections, and I consider her to be a qualified candidate. I believe that her qualifications are not as strong as Reed’s. She has not served in as many areas as Reed and I think his skills and personality will mesh well with the rest of the board.


For the eighth consecutive year, I will represent Georgia at the annual delegates meeting in Phoenix. Prior to this run, Georgia had not had a delegate attend for at least a decade. The first two years I served solo, but since then we have had at least two delegates present, and due to increases in USCF membership we are now allotted three slots. In fact, we have had four delegates in the last two years, because we had interested members present and they were able to fill vacancies from adjacent states in accordance with USCF Bylaws.

I am not aware of any particularly controversial issues on the table for Phoenix. I am submitting an Advance Delegate Motion (ADM) which will repeal sections 14H and 14I of the rule book (insufficient losing chances). It has been thoroughly vetted on the USCF forums. The full advance agenda will be sent to the delegates and alternate delegates in July. Last year, Georgia Chess Association President Fun Fong opened up a mechanism for the Georgia contingent to discuss the issues prior to the delegates meeting, and I expect we will use it more thoroughly this year.

This will most likely be my last year serving as delegate. That is not absolutely certain, but it is likely. Anyone interested in being a USCF delegate is welcome to contact me. Please note that the ONLY responsibility of a delegate is to attend the annual meeting in its entirety on the last weekend of the US Open, ending approximately noon on Sunday. If you are not willing to commit to that, being a delegate is not for you. In addition to attending the meeting, I do my best to attend as many of the workshops on Wednesday-Friday as possible. It is at those meetings that the most important work is done; all ADMs are discussed by the relevant committee, and often they are amended at that time. The most important committees (at least those with the hottest issues and ADMs) usually meet later in the week. For that reason, delegates who wish to play in the US Open are advised not to play in the 4-day schedule.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the official views of the Georgia Chess Association.



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