2/27/2004 10:10:56 PM Eastern Standard Time

 

Fellow EB members,

 

As many of you know, my reward for defending the USCF against the attempted financial depredations of Paul Truong and Susan Polgar was a letter from their lawyer some months ago, threatening to sue me.

 

Before Frank Niro left, he cut several sweetheart deals with Truong and Polgar, which we are now finding it difficult or impossible to undo. For example, Niro made an unauthorized and inappropriate deal--one of several such deals he made with Truong and Polgar--in which Polgar gets paid $30,000 over 5 years for writing columns in Chess Life. Note the many problems with this deal:

 

(1) The pay scale is too high.

(2) Niro is not the Editor of Chess Life.

(3) Niro did not seek Board permission to spend this $30,000.

(4) The Editor of Chess Life does not want to publish these columns, but our lawyers say he must, due to the commitment made by Frank Niro.

 

(Note: We really should ask our lawyers if we can sue Frank Niro to recover some of the many thousands of dollars he irresponsibly spent in USCF's name.)

 

When I received the aforementioned letter some months ago from Truong and Polgar's lawyer, I immediately notified the chess newsgroups of their legal threat. (Stan Booz, Chair of the USCF Finance Committee, received an identical letter from Truong and Polgar.) In my opinion, sunlight is the best way to deal with people like this.

 

Some of you may also be aware that I have repeatedly been accused on the Internet of sexually propositioning Susan Polgar, and conducting a personal vendetta against her after she declined my alleged offers. This worse-than-ludicrous accusation was never denied by Truong or Polgar, although they knew, of course, that it was not true. Indeed, I would not be surprised to learn they had planted the rumor, in an attempt to discredit me.

 

Now I have received three more threatening emails from Paul Truong, in which he makes veiled legal threats and accuses me of writing about him and Polgar on the Internet. I was rather surprised, because I have not done this. Till now: tonight I immediately notified the chess.politics newsgroup of Truong's latest threat against me. As always, I believe the best way to deal with people like this is to reveal what they are up to.

 

As I have consistently been saying since last August, I firmly believe the USCF should have no formal connection with Paul Truong or Susan Polgar. THEY ARE BAD NEWS. We should not pay either of them any more money (beyond commitments already made). We should not distort the selection procedures of our Olympiad women's chess team to accommodate Polgar. We should not give Truong the title of "Captain" of our Olympiad Women's team, or indeed any titles or committee memberships or formal affiliation with USCF. We should try to avoid any further entanglements, beyond those to which USCF was unwisely committed by Frank Niro.

 

By now I know Truong and Polgar very well. I have a zero-tolerance policy for their shenanigans. If they threaten me, I will not back down. If they push me, I will push back. Grant Perks, who kicked Truong off our online chess server for cheating using a computer, can tell you all about these people. I urge you all to open your eyes to the truth about these two individuals, before matters get even worse than they already are.

 

Tim Hanke

USCF Vice President of Finance

 

*****

3/18/2004 9:36:21 PM Eastern Standard Time

 

Bill,

 

Over the last several months, I have repeatedly warned this Executive Board, and I have copied you, about the dangers of USCF working with Susan Polgar and Paul Truong.

 

These two individuals are constantly trying to rip us off, and they have often succeeded. For example, the highly unusual five-year, $30,000 contract Susan Polgar was given to write for Chess Life. There are many other examples. We used to have an Executive Director, Frank Niro, who connived to benefit Polgar and Truong at USCF's expense, but I thought we had solved that problem.

 

To my personal knowledge, Susan Polgar has threatened, since August 2003:

 

--To sue USCF EB President Beatriz Marinello.

--To sue USCF EB Vice President of Finance Tim Hanke.

--To sue USCF Finance Committee Chair Stan Booz.

 

And I have just learned today, that Susan Polgar has now told us SHE WILL SUE THE USCF, if the USCF EB does not vote by April 1, 2004, to change the U.S. Women's Olympiad Team selection rules to please Susan Polgar and make sure Anna Hahn does not play on the team.

 

Oh, and I also heard today, Susan Polgar is also threatening to sue Erik Anderson of America's Foundation for Chess! (I have no idea why.)

 

Despite these many problems, I understand that USCF Events Coordinator Diane Reese has recently hired Susan Polgar to appear at EVERY upcoming USCF national scholastic event, for how much money and how many years I don't know; and you personally have signed a contract to this effect--despite the Executive Board's specifically stated desire to avoid any such arrangement with Susan Polgar, clearly expressed at the last Executive Board meeting in Boca Raton, Florida, where you were present and involved in the discussion!

 

I'm speechless. Do you not get it? Does the USCF EB not get it? What will it take, for everyone to understand that we should avoid Polgar and Truong like the plague?

 

Polgar and Truong REPEATEDLY take financial advantage of USCF.

 

Polgar and Truong REPEATEDLY threaten us with lawsuits.

 

In response to Polgar and Truong's threats, we REPEATEDLY cave in like a house of cards.

 

Despite their well-established unsavory character, we REPEATEDLY write large checks to Polgar and Truong.

 

I can only conclude that the Executive Director and Executive Board have learned nothing, and we are collectively guilty of gross stupidity. Do you have another explanation?

 

Tim Hanke

USCF Vice President of Finance