Bylaws of the United States of America Chess Federation

Direct links to each article are provided for your convenience:

Article I - Name

Article II - Purposes

Article III - Membership

Article IV - Regional Organization

Article V - Voting Members

Article VI - Delegates

Article VII - Policy Board

Article VIII - Appointees

Article IX - Organizational Units

Article X - Sundry Bylaws


Article I: Name

The name of the corporation shall be the United States of America Chess Federation, commonly known as the United States Chess Federation (USCF).

Article II: Purposes

The purpose of the Federation shall be educational and instructional, to broaden and develop chess as art and recreation, as a significant element of culture in America. The Federation shall cooperate with schools, colleges, hospitals, military bases, community centers, recreation departments, and other groups and institutions, in teaching chess, conducting tournaments, and other activities. The Federation shall disseminate information through its publications and representatives, and the Federation shall select the official USA representatives in all international chess affairs. The Federation shall encourage and support chess programs for handicapped individuals and the participation of handicapped in chess activity, including, where feasible, the expansion of opportunities for meaningful participation by handicapped individuals in all chess competition. The Federation is pledged:

(a) to operate exclusively for educational, recreational, and social welfare purposes;

(b) that no part of its contributions, dues, or net income shall inure to the benefit of any individual, except that trophies or prizes awarded in the course of its educational and promotional program shall not be so construed; and

(c) that the Federation is not operated for profit and that neither principal nor income of any of its funds may be used in any attempt to influence legislation.

Article III: Membership

Section 1. Regular Membership. Any person may become a Regular Member of the Federation upon payment of $40 dues for one year, $75 for two years, or $109 for three years. This may also be referred to as Full Adult Membership.

Section 2. Youth Membership. Any person under 20 years of age and a resident of the United States or Canada (or if he or she submits his or her membership through a USCF affiliate) may become a Youth Member of the Federation upon payment of $17 dues for one year, $32 for two years, or $47 for three years.

Section 3. Scholastic Membership. Any person under 20 years of age and a resident of the United States or Canada (or if he or she submits his or her membership through a USCF affiliate) may become a Scholastic Member of the Federation upon payment of $12 dues for one year, $23 for two years, or $34 for three years.

Section 4. Special Membership. A blind person may become a Special Member of the Federation upon payment of $7 dues for one year, $14 for two years, or $21 for three years.

Section 5. Senior Membership. A person who has passed his or her 65th birthday (and who is a resident of the United States or Canada or if he or she submits his or her membership through a USCF affiliate) may become a Senior Member of the Federation upon payment of $30 dues for one year, $60 for two years, or $90 for three years.

 

Section 6. Family Membership. Any person may become a Family Member of the Federation upon payment of $11 per year, provided that a relative in the same household is a Life, Sustaining, Regular, Senior, or Blind member. Any person under 20 years of age may become a Family Member of the Federation upon payment of $11 per year, provided that a relative in the same household is a Life, Sustaining, Regular, Senior, Blind, Youth, or Scholastic member.

Section 7. Life Membership. Any person may become a Life Member of the Federation upon payment of $850 dues. Any person age 65 years or older may become a Life Member by payment of $425 dues, or one-half of the Life Member rate then in effect. The Federation may require reasonable confirmation of eligibility from time to time as a condition to continuation of Life membership. A blind person may become a life member upon payment of $210 dues.

Section 8. Sustaining Membership. Any person may become a Sustaining Member of the Federation upon payment of dues equal to twice the current rate for Regular (Full Adult) Members plus a surcharge*. After 10 such timely payments, a Sustaining Member becomes a Life Member. (Note, the rate for Sustaining automatically changes with each dues increase for Regular Members.) *The surcharge, set by the Delegates, is currently $15.

Section 9. Promotional Memberships. In order to facilitate the development of membership promotion, the Policy Board may authorize special promotional membership terms and rates for a limited period of time to determine their feasibility by trial; such terms and rates shall be subject to review annually by the Board of Delegates.

Section 10. Rights and Privileges. Each Life, Sustaining, Regular, Senior, Blind, Computer, and Youth member shall be entitled to receive a regular copy of Chess Life. Each Scholastic member shall be entitled to receive a regular copy of School Mates. Each member shall be entitled to have his or her tournament play officially rated, to participate in the Annual Membership meeting, and to enjoy all other rights and privileges of membership not herein enumerated. Members and Affiliates with mailing addresses outside the United States may be charged an additional fee to cover extra costs.

PLEASE NOTE: There is no section in these Bylaws that defines a "Computer" member (although such a category existed at one time) and the membership referred to in Section 10 as "Blind" member refers to the "Special" membership described in Section 4. These inconsistencies should be corrected.

Section 11. Revocation of Membership. The Policy Board, subject to the provisions of Article III, Section 12, may revoke or suspend the membership of any member for good cause. The USCF Ethics Committee may recommend suspending or revoking the membership of any person by applying the procedures established by the Board of Delegates in the USCF Code of Ethics.

Section 12. Revocation of Membership or Affiliation. In the event that the Policy Board shall revoke or suspend the membership of an individual or affiliate pursuant to Article III, Section 11, or Article IX, Section 5, it shall, prior to taking such action, give to the individual or affiliate 30 days' written notice of the proposed action. If it recommends the suspension or revocation of the member through application of the USCF Code of Ethics, the appeal procedures established in the Code of Ethics shall be applicable and the remaining provisions of this section shall not be applicable to that case.Within said time said individual or affiliate may submit in writing to the Policy Board reasons why such actions should not be taken. The Board may thereafter, if it sees fit, act upon the written suggestion or set a date for a hearing to be held at or prior to the next annual meeting of the Federation, but before the meeting of the Board of Delegates. Any person or affiliate aggrieved by any action of the Policy Board may appeal to the Board of Delegates at the said annual meeting if the action is taken at the said meeting, or at the next meeting of the Board of Delegates. The Board shall affirm, reverse, or modify the action of the Policy Board. Only Delegates present in person may vote on any such appeal.

Section 13. Annual Membership Meeting. The President shall call and preside at an annual meeting of the membership, held in conjunction with the U.S. Open tournament, for the purpose of hearing reports and making suggestions to the Board of Delegates. Twenty-five members present in person shall constitute a quorum. The Secretary shall publish in Chess Life advance notice of the meeting. Participation and voting by members at the annual Membership Meeting shall be limited to those members physically present. Participation through the use of conference telephone or other communication equipment shall not be permitted.

Article IV: Regional Organization

Section 1. Regions. The membership, except as provided in Article V, Section 2, and the Federation, shall be divided geographically, for administrative purposes, into USCF regions, which shall be:

(a) compact enough for administration by personal contact,

(b) conformant with conventional groupings of states,

(c) represented by not more than four nor less than two Regional Vice Presidents apportioned by population as in (e),

(d) about 12 in number, and

(e) numbered, composed, and represented as follows:

 

USCF REGIONAL REPRESENTATION

Region

Name

States in Region

RVPs

I

New England

CT,MA,ME,NH,RI,VT

2

II

Eastern

NJ,NY

4

III

Mid Atlantic

DC,DE,PA,MD,VA,WV

4

IV

Southeastern

FL,GA,NC,SC

3

V

Great Lakes

IN,MI,OH

4

VI

North Central

MN,ND,SD,WI

2

VII

Central

IA,IL,MO,NE

3

VIII

Mid South

AL,AR,KY,LA,MS,TN

2

IX

Rocky Mtn/Plains

CO,KS,UT,WY

2

X

Southwestern

NM,OK,TX

2

XI

Pacific

AZ,CA/N,CA/S,HI,NV

4

XII

Northwestern

AK,ID,MT,OR,WA

2

This apportionment by population shall be reviewed every three years.

Section 2. Regional Vice Presidents. Each year the Voting Members from each region shall elect Regional Vice Presidents in accordance with Article VII, Section 5, and Article IV, Section 1. The term of the Regional Vice Presidents shall begin at the end of the annual Delegates' Meeting of the year in which elected and continue three years and thereafter until a successor is elected. No state shall have more than two Regional Vice Presidents at the same time (Northern California and Southern California, each having State Chapters pursuant to Article IX, Section 1, are considered to be separate states for these purposes).

Section 3. Nomination and Election of Regional Vice Presidents

(a) Nomination. Any member shall be eligible for nomination as Regional Vice President in that region, except that no RVP who has served at least half of a three-year term shall be eligible in the year that term expires. A candidate is eligible for nomi-nation when he or she submits his or her name to the Chairman of the Nominations Committee or is nominated for that office by a resident member or state association within the region. Nominations must be submitted to the Chairman of the Nominations Committee by April 1 of the election year.

(b) Nominating Committee. Before December 1 the Policy Board shall appoint a Nominating Committee of five Delegates, no two from the same region. The Committee shall advertise in Chess Life for candidates to become nominees by February 1, and publish its nominees in Chess Life in the issue published not later than June 20.

(c) Election. The election shall be conducted in the same manner as prescribed in Article VII, Section 5. For elections to fill vacancies in the office of Regional Vice President held at times other than at annual elections, the ballots shall be returned directly to the Secretary.

(d) Vacancies. The Secretary shall notify every Voting Member in any region where a vacancy exists of such vacancy. Thirty days shall be allowed for such Voting Members to submit nominations for a special election. The Secretary shall conduct a mail ballot among such Voting Members, allowing 21 to 35 days for the return of the ballots. No special election shall be held if the vacancy arises in the last six months of a term of office.

(e) Regional Vice Presidents who move. A Regional Vice President who moves from the region that elected him or her or who moves to a state that already has two Regional Vice Presidents, shall be deemed to have resigned his or her office unless each State Chapter in the Region (in response to a poll by the Secretary) indicates no objection to the Regional Vice President continuing.

(f) Seniority. A Regional Vice President's seniority is determined by the number of years his or her current term has run. A Regional Vice President elected to serve an unexpired term shall assume the seniority of the officer whom he replaces.

Section 4. First Regional Vice Presidents and Duties. The most senior Regional Vice President shall be designated as the First Regional Vice President, except that where two have the same seniority the one with the highest vote plurality shall be the First Regional Vice President. The First Regional Vice President in each region is the senior officer of the region. He or she shall maintain personal contacts by visiting tournaments and chess affairs. He or she shall endeavor to strengthen and develop Federation organization and communication within his or her region.

Section 5. Duties of the Regional Vice Presidents. Each Regional Vice President shall assist the First Regional Vice President, carry out assignments received from him or her, and endeavor to strengthen and develop Federation organization and communication within his or her region.

Article V: Voting Members

Section 1. Responsibility. The Voting Members are responsible for electing the Policy Board and the Regional Vice Presidents.

Section 2. Number. There shall be 400 Voting Members apportioned among the states in proportion to their USCF membership as of May 31, except that each state with 10 or more members shall have at least 1 Voting Member, each state with at least 100 members shall have at least 2 Voting Members, and each state with at least 300 members shall have at least 3 Voting Members. In addition, Policy Board Members, Regional Vice Presidents, and Life Voting Members shall be Voting Members.

Section 3. Selection. In those states which have affiliated USCF State Chapters on August 31, the state Voting Members and Alternates, who shall be USCF members, shall be certified in writing to the USCF Secretary by the authorized state officer by November 1. Certification of Voting Members shall indicate the method of selection, including whether they were elected or appointed, and the person or class of persons making the selection. Included shall be an ordered list of Alternates at a minimum of two or 10% of the total number of Voting Members of the state, whichever is greater. In states which do not have State Chapters or which fail to submit the specified list of Voting Members and Alternates, these Voting Members and Alternates shall be selected by the Regional Vice President first in seniority in that region. If this Regional Vice President does not make a selection, the Regional Vice President next in seniority in the region shall make the selection. The names and addresses of the Voting Members, Alternates, and certifying affiliates shall appear in Chess Life no later than March 31st of each calendar year. State Chapters may appoint Voting Members residing outside their respective states; however, Voting Members appointed by a Regional Vice President must reside within the state they represent. State Chapters are responsible for the payment of the membership dues of all Voting Members they appoint. No one may be a Voting Member from more than one state simultaneously. The USCF shall reconsider recognition of any State Chapter which fails to appoint Voting Members. State Chapters may appoint at the annual meeting as additional Alternates only residents from their own state or USCF members from other states that were and are members of that State Chapter prior to the start of the annual meeting of the Board of Delegates. If a quorum cannot otherwise be obtained at the Delegate's Meeting this provision shall be waived.

Section 4. Term. The term of each Voting Member shall commence on January 1 for the year for which selected and continue for one year and thereafter until a successor is selected. Should a vacancy occur it shall be filled promptly from the ordered list of Alternates. A Voting Member may resign his or her position by submitting a signed letter of resignation to the USCF Secretary. A Voting Member who moves from the state which appointed him or her or who moves without leaving a forwarding address shall be deemed to have resigned his or her Voting Membership unless the State Chapter for his or her state notifies the Secretary to the contrary.

Section 5. Life Voting Members. Life Voting Membership, including honorary Life Membership, shall be conferred upon a motion duly listed in the advance agenda:

(a) automatically upon each USCF President upon completion of his term of office, and

(b) upon contributors of outstanding service to chess, up to a total of twenty, who are so designated by the Board of Delegates by at least a 3/4 vote at each of two consecutive annual meetings, and.

(c) upon a former or departing Executive Director who has completed five or more years of service, by at least a 3/4 vote of the Delegates.

Any USCF Life Voting Member who does not submit at least one ballot in three consecutive annual USCF mail ballot elections shall lose his/her status as a LVM.

Article VI: Board of Delegates

Section 1. Responsibility. The Board of Delegates is responsible for the management of the USCF. It shall formulate general policy, adopt the annual budget, and write the Bylaws.

Section 2. Number. The Board of Delegates shall be composed of the Policy Board members, the Regional Vice Presidents, the Delegates at Large, and 100 Delegates, apportioned among the states in proportion to their USCF membership as of May 31, except that each state with thirty or more members must have at least one Delegate. In addition, any Policy Board member-elect who is not already a Delegate and whose election has been certified may serve as a member of the Board of Delegates until he or she takes office.

Section 3. Selection. From its Voting Members each State Affiliate shall designate the appropriate number of Delegates at the time Voting Members are certified. Certification of Delegates shall indicate the method of selection, including whether they were elected or appointed, and the person or class of persons making the selection. Voting Members not named Delegates shall be submitted in an ordered list to serve as Delegates in the absence of their state's Delegates from the annual Delegates Meeting. The Board of Delegates will be selected without regard to sex, race, color, religion, or national origin.

Section 4. Delegate Vacancies. If a state has insufficient Voting Members present at the annual meeting to fill its quota of Delegates, its Alternates may serve, as needed, as Delegates. If Voting Members or Alternates are available to attend the annual Board of Delegates meeting, those Delegates who do not attend the meeting will be deemed to have resigned as Dele-gates, and the available Voting Members or Alternates will become Delegates per the ordered list. (Refer to Article V, Section 3, for designation of Alternates.)

Section 5. Annual Meeting. The President shall call and preside at an annual meeting of the Board of Delegates, held in conjunction with the U.S. Open tournament, for the purposes of hearing annual reports, installing officers, and considering other USCF business. A quorum shall consist of one third of the whole Board of Delegates present in person. The Secretary shall mail to each Delegate, between thirty and forty days before the Annual Meeting, a notice of the meeting and an agenda.

Section 6. Delegates at Large. Any Life Voting Member may be elected a Delegate at Large by the Board of Delegates. His or her term shall begin at the end of the meeting in which he or she is elected and shall run for three years. However, the term of a Delegate at Large who is not already a Delegate shall start immediately upon election and expire at the start of the third following annual meeting of the Board of Delegates. A Delegate at Large whose term is expiring may be re-elected to a new term.

Article VII: Policy Board

Section 1. Composition. The Policy Board shall consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and three Members at Large elected by all Voting Members. The three Members at Large shall have terms of three years. All Policy Board members are national officers of the Federation.

Section 2. Functions. The Policy Board shall manage the affairs of the Federation, including employment and other contracts, between meetings of the Board of Delegates and shall perform other duties as are specified in these Bylaws. The Policy Board shall be subject to the authority of the Board of Delegates, and none of its acts shall conflict with actions taken by the Board of Delegates. The Policy Board may refuse to publicize or rate a tournament for cause, including anything tending to discredit the Federation. The Policy Board's direction to the staff shall generally be given by the USCF President.

Section 3. Meetings. The Policy Board shall meet at least twice per year, the day and place to be fixed by vote of that Board. Special meetings, including conference telephone calls, may be called by the President or upon the written request of any three members of the Policy Board. Reasonable efforts to notify all Policy Board members of the meeting shall be made by mail, fax, telephone, or other means approved by the Policy Board. The minutes of the Policy Board shall be sent to all USCF Delegates and Voting Members within six weeks of each meeting and shall be made available to all USCF members. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the Policy Board present in person. The affirmative votes of at least three different Policy Board members will be required to approve any action, as long as there are at least four members on the Policy Board, except that the affirmative votes of at least four different Policy Board members will be required for the removal of an Executive Director.

Section 4. Nomination. Any USCF member shall be eligible for nomination to any elected office upon submitting to the Secretary by April 1 of any election year a nominating petition containing the signatures of at least ten Voting Members for the three year term positions. However, no incumbent member of the Policy Board who has served at least half of a three-year term shall be eligible to succeed himself or herself, with the exceptions of the offices of Secretary and Treasurer, whose occupants are eligible to serve one additional succeeding three- year term. The retiring President may not be elected to any office in the term immediately following his or her term as President, and no person may serve on the Policy Board more than nine consecutive years. No full time employee of the USCF shall serve in any elected office on the Policy Board. The Secretary shall advertise for nominations in the issue of the Federation's official magazine published not later than January 20 and shall publish a list of all duly submitted nominations in the issue published not later than June 20.

Section 5. Elections. Between thirty and forty days before the announced Annual Meeting of the Board of Delegates in each year in which a Policy Board election is to take place (referred to as an election year) the Secretary shall mail to every Voting Member a ballot for a secret mail vote, listing all duly submitted nominations. These ballots shall be mailed to a post office box in the locality of the U. S. Open and must be received by the day on which the official vote count is held. The ballots shall be opened and counted by the Secretary and by tellers appointed by the Policy Board prior to the Annual Delegates Meeting. A plurality shall elect and the President shall break any ties.

Section 6. Term. The terms of the Policy Board members shall begin at the end of the Annual Meeting after their election and shall continue for three years except as provided in Section 1 above.

Section 7. Duties.

President. The President shall preside at all meetings of the membership, Board of Delegates, and Policy Board; carry out all requirements of these Bylaws, represent the Federation officially on occasion, and report annually to the Board of Delegates. In case of a tie vote the President, if he has already cast his or her vote, may cast an additional tiebreaking vote.

Vice President. The Vice President shall execute the duties of the President when the President is unable to serve and such other duties as are assigned by the Policy Board or the President on its behalf.

Secretary. The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings of the membership, Board of Delegates, and Policy Board; act as custodian of the corporate seal, carry out all duties prescribed by these Bylaws, and insure that the annual report is filed with the Secretary of State of Illinois. The Secretary shall publish in an official USCF publication the minutes of the annual meetings of the membership and the Board of Delegates and shall publish in the Federation's official magazine a summary of the same.

Treasurer. The Treasurer shall obtain records of the financial affairs of the Federation, shall be the Policy Board liaison to all committees primarily concerned with the finances of the Federation, shall review the travel and other reimbursable expenses of all other Board members, shall report to the Board of Delegates, and shall counsel and assist the Policy Board on financial matters.

Member at Large. The Member at Large shall carry out such duties as are assigned by the Policy Board or the President on its behalf.

Section 8. Vacancies. If a vacancy occurs in any elected office, a successor to serve the unexpired term shall be nominated and elected under the procedure in Sections 4 and 5, except that a vacancy in the office of President shall be filled by the Vice President. If the offices of both President and Vice President become vacant, the office of President should be filled by the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Members at Large in order of seniority, respectively.

Section 9. Recall of Policy Board Members. A recall election for Policy Board members shall be held upon receipt by the USCF Secretary, or by the USCF President if the Secretary is being recalled, of a petition signed by seventy five voting members. Notice of the recall election shall be sent by the Secretary to all voting members thirty days after the petition is received and a recall ballot will be sent to all voting members by the Secretary thirty days after the mailing of the notice. The ballots must be received twenty one days after the date mailed. The ballots will be opened and tabulated by three Tellers, one appointed by the first available signer of the recall petition, one by the person being recalled, and one by the Chairman of the Nominations Committee. If at least two thirds of those voting support recall, the Policy Board member is recalled and also loses the automatic Delegate position.

Article VIII: Other Officers, Appointees, and Committees

Section 1. Officers appointed by the Policy Board. The Policy Board shall appoint an Executive Director.

Section 2. Duties of Appointees. The duties and objectives of the Executive Director, the Editor, each Committee Chairman, and each other officer, shall be set forth in written memoranda by the President with the approval of the Policy Board, a copy of which shall go to the Secretary for the minutes of the next meeting of the Board of Delegates.

Section 3. Committees. The Board of Delegates or the Policy Board may appoint any committees, standing or ad hoc, which are deemed necessary to advance Federation purposes.

Section 4. Counsel. The counsel shall be appointed by the Policy Board.

Section 5. Eligibility. None of the National Officers (including the Policy Board and Executive Director) shall be officers of other sports organizations recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee as a national governing body.

Article IX: Organization Units

Section 1. State Chapters. Every state (the District of Columbia being treated as a state for all Federation purposes and Northern and Southern California being treated as separate states for all Federation purposes) shall be entitled to have an affiliate designated as the State Chapter, provided that any state having more than 5000 members may have two state chapters divided on geographical grounds. Credentials of affiliates applying for designation as State Chapters shall be presented by the Policy Board to the Board of Delegates with recommendations, if any, one month before the next regular meeting of the Board of Delegates.

Section 2. Functions. Each State Chapter, to be a body representative of chessplayers and organizers within the state, shall guide the chess activity within the state and fulfill any other responsibility which the Board of Delegates may from time to time designate.

Section 3. Affiliation. Any organization of chessplayers may affiliate with the Federation upon payment of the fee of $40 per year. Any organization of chessplayers who are incarcerated in a penal institution may affiliate with the Federation upon the payment of the fee of $15 per year. Affiliation does not constitute the affiliate or chapter an agent of the USCF for any purpose.

Section 4. Rights and privileges. Each affiliated organization shall:

(a) receive a regular copy of Chess Life. Scholastic affiliates shall also receive School Mates.

(b) be entitled to conduct USCF rated tournaments in accordance with USCF tournament rules, and

(c) be privileged to issue Federation memberships per Article III above, to collect and forward to USCF the dues, and to retain commission thereon at a rate set by the Board of Delegates.

Section 5. Revocation. The Policy Board, subject to the provisions of Article III, Section 12, may revoke or suspend the affiliation of any affiliate for good cause.

Article X: Sundry Bylaws

Section 1. Authority. These Bylaws have been adopted by the Delegates under the authority of the charter issued to the United States of America Chess Federation by the State of Illinois.

Section 2. Amendment. These Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the Delegates present at an Annual or a Special Delegates' meeting except that any proposal not specifically included in the Delegates' advance agenda shall require a 2/3 majority vote to pass.

Section 3. Office. The registered office of the Federation shall be at such address in the State of Illinois as is designated by the Policy Board.

Section 4. International Affairs. The Federation is the official USA unit of FIDE and shall be represented officially in all FIDE affairs by a Permanent Delegate appointed by the Policy Board.

Section 5. Publications. Chess Life, a periodical, or its successor publication, is designated an official publication.

Section 6. Fiscal period. The Fiscal period shall be the year ended May 31.

Section 7. Fund Depositories and Disbursements. All funds, other than Life Member Assets, shall be deposited in one or more federally insured depositories, or other vehicles approved by the Policy Board, disbursable only by withdrawal authorized by two or more of the following: President, Treasurer, Executive Director, and such senior staff as the Policy Board shall designate. The Policy Board may authorize petty cash accounts, whose amounts may not exceed $500.00, and disbursable only by check signed by one of the above, or any two employees approved by the Policy Board.

Section 8. Accountants. Early in each fiscal year the Policy Board shall engage properly qualified independent certified public accountants to review the Federation's accounts in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The choice shall be subject to ratification by the Board of Delegates.

Section 9. Encumbrance.

(a) No asset of the Federation may be encumbered without the approval of the Policy Board or Board of Delegates, and any mortgage, loan, or borrowing agreement must be signed by at least two of the following: President, Treasurer, Executive Director. The Life Membership Assets funds may not be used to purchase real estate without approval of the Board of Delegates.

(b) The building and land cannot be encumbered, liened, or mortgaged in any fashion without action by the Delegates at a regular meeting or special meeting called for that purpose.

Section X: Borrowing

Borrowing of an aggregate of more than $200,000 at any given time is possible only when:

The Life Member Assets Management Committee shall consist of the current Treasurer, the Executive Director, a past Treasurer, and two others selected by the Delegates. The Life Member Assets Committee shall choose its own Chair and may appoint other committees to assist it in its work.

The total amount of borrowing above $200,000 shall be limited to 40% of the current market values of the Life Member Assets.

Section 11. Indemnification of Directors and Officers. Each member of the Board of Delegates, national officer (hereinafter "officer"), and employee of the corporation now or hereafter serving as such, shall be indemnified by the corporation against any and all claims and liabilities to which he or she has or shall become subject by reason of serving or having served as such director, officer, or employee or by reason of any action alleged to have been taken, omitted, or neglected by him or her as such a director, officer, or employee; and the corporation shall reimburse each such person for all legal expenses reasonably incurred by him or her in connection with any such liability, provided, however, that indemnification shall be limited to cases in which such person acted in good faith and in a manner he or she reasonably believed to be in, or not opposed to, the best interests of the corporation, and, with respect to any criminal act or proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe his or her conduct was unlawful; and provided further, however, that as a member of the Board of Delegates such a person shall only be indemnified for his or her acts or omissions at an Annual or Special Meeting of the Board of Delegates and not for any local or other activities. To the extent that a director, officer, or employee of the corporation has been successful on the merits or otherwise in defense of any action, suit, or proceeding, or in defense of any action, suit, or proceeding, or in defense of any claim, issue or matter therein, he or she shall be indemnified against expenses (including attorneys' fees) actually and reasonably incurred by him or her in connection therewith. Any indemnification against any and all claims (unless ordered by a court) shall be made by the corporation only as authorized in the specific case upon a determination that indemnification of the director, officer, or employee, is proper in the circumstances because he or she acted in good faith and in a manner he or she reasonably believed to be in, or not opposed to, the best interests of the corporation, and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe his or her conduct was unlawful. Such determination shall be made

(a) by the Board of Delegates by a majority vote of a quorum consisting of directors who were not parties to such action, suit, proceeding, or claim, or if such a quorum is not obtainable, or, even if obtainable, a quorum of disinterested directors so directs, by independent legal counsel in a written opinion, or

(b) if such a quorum is not obtainable, or, even if obtainable, a quorum of disinterested directors so directs, by independent legal counsel in a written opinion, or (c) by the Voting Members.

The right of indemnification hereinabove provided for shall not be exclusive of any rights to which any director, officer, or employee of the corporation may otherwise be entitled by law, and shall continue as to a person who has ceased to be a director, officer, or employee, and shall inure to the benefit of the heirs, executors, and administrators of such a person. The corporation shall have power to purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any person who is or was a director, officer, or employee, or agent of the corporation, against any liability asserted against him or her and incurred by him or her in any such capacity, or arising out of his or her status as such, whether or not the corporation would have the power to indemnify him or her against such liability under the provisions of this article.

Section 12. Ratification of Voidable Acts. Any transaction questioned in any suit brought by any member on the grounds of lack of authority, defective or irregular execution, adverse interest of any director, officer, employee, or member, nondisclosure, miscomputation, or the application of improper principles or practices of accounting may be ratified before or after judgment by the Board of Delegates, or by the Voting Members in case less than a quorum of directors are qualified; and, if so ratified, shall have the same force and effect as if the questioned transaction had been originally duly authorized, and said ratification shall be binding upon the corporation and its members and shall constitute a bar to any claim or execution of any judgment in respect of such questioned transaction.

Section 13. Reliance on Records. Each officer, member of the Board of Delegates, or employee shall in the performance of his or her duties be fully protected in relying in good faith upon the books of account or reports made to the corporation by any of its officials, or by an independent Certified Public Accountant, or by an appraiser selected with reasonable care by the Board of Delegates, or in relying in good faith upon other records of the corporation.

Section 14. Parliamentary Authority. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall be used at all meetings of the membership, Board of Delegates, Policy Board, in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules which have been adopted.

Section 15. Eligibility for International Competition. Eligibility criteria for international competition may not be more restrictive than the eligibility criteria established by the Internationally recognized Chess Federation.

Section 16. Non-Discrimination. Participation in chess shall be open to athletes, coaches, trainers, team captains, managers, seconds, and analysts without discrimination.


Please note: Changes made at the 1997 Delegates' Meeting have been incorporated into this document..

If anyone is aware of other necessary updates or corrections please send feedback


The object for which the USCF was formed, as elaborated in the USCF corporate charter:

(a) To promote the study and knowledge of the scientific game of chess.

(b) To foster the development of players and to help those who seek to become masters; to encourage the formation of chess groups, clubs, and associations.

(c) To hold a tournament once every two years for the chess championship of the United States and to confer upon the winner of such tournament the title "United States Chess Champion."

(d) To hold an open tournament every summer in some major city of the United States.


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Rev 2.3 07/27/97