Governance FAQ's Print E-mail
Governance

Q: What is the US Chess Federation (US Chess)?  

 

A:  US Chess Mission US Chess is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people through chess one move at a time.

 US Chess Vision Our vision is to enrich the lives of all persons and communities through increasing the play, study, and appreciation of the game of chess.

 US Chess Core Values

  • Education. Chess is an educational tool aiding in the learning of planning, cause and effect relationships, pattern recognition, and research, all key skills for success in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).

·         Customer Service. We strive to be responsive, adaptive and pro-active in providing services to our customers, including all necessary follow through to resolve issues.

  • Excellence. We recognize the value of excellence both in chess as an activity and the services we provide to our customers.
  • Communication. We will continually inform and be responsive to our members and customers.
  • Integrity. We respect and maintain good relationships with our customers and stakeholders as well as the game of chess itself.
  • Accessibility. Chess can and should be enjoyed by individuals regardless of social or economic status or physical or developmental capability.
  • Love of the Game. Chess is a historic and iconic game, and we celebrate its history, growth and evolution in our activities and services.
  • Outreach. We work to extend the knowledge and appreciation of chess.

US Chess Goals

·         Expand the knowledge, enjoyment and playing of chess to under-represented segments of society (geography, gender, economic status).

·         Educate children, parents, teachers and school administrators on the benefits of chess as a part of a school curriculum and as an extra-curricular activity.

·         ‘Grow the game’ by expanding the membership base and increasing the retention of existing members.  

·         Improve the overall strength and security of the USCF as an organization, including improving finances, internal systems and operations and governance.

 

Q: What does the Executive Board do?  

A: In accordance with the Articles of Incorporation, the Executive Board shall be the Board of Directors which is the administrative and managing body of US Chess and is vested with full power to conduct all business of the Federation, subject to the laws of the State of Illinois, the Articles of Incorporation, the Bylaws and the mandates of the Board of Delegates. The Executive Board’s direction to the staff shall generally be given by the US Chess President.

Q: Can I become a member of the Executive Board?
A:
Any US Chess member not a current employee of US Chess is nominated for election to the Executive Board upon submission to the Election Committee of the following by December 31 of the year before an election year:

1.    A valid nominating petition containing the signatures of fifty (50) or more members who meet the requirements specified in Article IV Section 2 to be eligible to register to vote, of whom, at least fifteen (15) shall be Delegates at the time of signing the petition.  The fifteen (15) Delegates must represent at least five (5) different states.   A nominating petition listing more than one candidate is not valid.

2.    A filing fee of $100 made payable to US Chess

3.    A signed statement that they are running for the Executive Board and that they will serve if elected.

An employee of US Chess may not be nominated for election to the Executive Board.  Currently paid contractors/consultants working as Chess Life Editor, Events Coordinator, or Computer Consultant may not be a candidate for the US Chess Executive Board. An Executive Board member who has served nine or more consecutive years may not be nominated until at least two years have elapsed since the end of his/her term.

The Election Committee shall have advertised a call for nominations in the issue of Chess Life published no later than November 20 of the year prior to an election year and shall publish a list of all duly-submitted nominations in the issue published not later April 10 of an election year.

Once a candidate is certified, the candidate may purchase labels of Voting Members at the same rate as affiliates.  These labels may only be used for campaign purposes.  

Q: How does the US Chess run their Elections?

A: Executive Board members shall be elected by the Voting Members. At the discretion of the Executive Board, ballots for that purpose shall either be mailed directly or included in an issue of Chess Life, and mailed prior to June 10. The Election Committee shall, by January 31st of an election year, select the time and place for the counting of the ballots.  The ballot instructions shall include this information plus other election regulations.  For a special election, the time and place shall be determined prior to issuing the call for the special election.  Electronic voting may be used in addition to mailed ballots or ballots in Chess Life. The ballot shall list all duly submitted nominations. Each voting member may vote for as many persons as there are Executive Board positions to be filled. The persons receiving the largest vote totals shall be elected to the available Executive Board positions. The ballots shall be returned by mail to an independent agency, and counted by an independent agency, or by the Election Committee, or by tellers appointed by the Election Committee prior to the Annual Meeting of the Board of Delegates. Ties, if any, shall be broken by a secret ballot vote of the Delegates present in person at that year’s Delegates meeting, taken at the time that election results are certified.

Q: What are special Elections?

A: The Executive Board, or the Office if the Executive Board is unable, may decide the schedule for a Special Election for the Executive Board, using the deadlines and dates for a regular election as a guide for scheduling reasonable intervals for announcing the special election and calling for nominations, the date for candidate petition filings and the issue of Chess Life which will contain the ballots. The requirement for candidate statements and election supplements may be reduced to having this information in a single issue of Chess Life. The Board may choose to waive any filing fees for a Special Election. The Executive Board, shall by January 15th of an election year for a regular Executive Board election, choose a date on which ballot counting shall be performed, which date is to be no earlier than the 20th of July and no later than the Wednesday prior to the annual meeting of the Board of Delegates. For a special election, the Executive Board shall choose a date for ballot counting no later than 90 days prior to that date. Ballots shall be authenticated by use of voting member information to be provided with or printed on the ballots. All properly authenticated ballots that have been received by the date designated for counting the ballots shall be counted. The Executive Board shall designate an address for the return of ballots at the time the date of counting ballots is set.

Q: How long is a term of office?

A: The terms of office of the Executive Board members shall commence at their first meeting, which shall immediately follow the Annual Meeting, and effective with those elected in the 2011 regular election shall continue for three years, except as provided in Section 9 of this article and in the implementation schedule in this article. The terms of the Executive Board officers shall commence at their first meeting, which shall immediately follow the Annual Meeting, and shall continue for two years, except that the term of an officer who leaves the Board after one year would expire. No individual shall serve more than nine consecutive years on the Executive Board. No person shall serve as US Chess President more than four consecutive years.

 

For the purpose of implementation of the terms of this Section, the following will apply to those elected in the 2011 regular Executive Board election and thereafter. The terms of those elected prior to the adoption of this implementation schedule will be observed as they were defined by the Bylaws at the time of their election.

 

2011: Three Executive Board members will be elected to three-year terms.

2013: Four Executive Board members will be elected, with the top two to receive three-year terms, and the next two to two-year terms.

2014, 2017, etc. Three Executive Board members are elected to three-year terms.

2015, 2018, etc. Two Executive Board members will be elected to three-year terms.

2016, 2019, etc. Two Executive Board members are elected to three-year terms. 

Q: What are the duties of the Secretary?

A: The Secretary shall review Minutes of all Executive Board meetings, Delegates' meetings, and Membership meetings. The Secretary shall post these Minutes, after Executive Board review, on the US Chess website within six weeks for each meeting and shall mail the Minutes to all the Delegates and Alternate Delegates who request such mailing and pay a printing and mailing fee, set by the Executive Director, sufficient to offset the costs of printing and mailing. Printed copies of the Minutes of the Membership Meeting and Delegates' Meeting of the previous year, and of all Special Delegates' meetings and Executive Board meetings held thereafter, shall be available at the Delegates' meetings.  The Executive Board shall determine a means of recording all meetings. The Secretary shall act as the custodian of the corporate seal, ensure that the annual report is filed with the Secretary of State of the state of Illinois, and perform such other duties as are prescribed by the Bylaws.

Q: What happens when an Executive Board member resigns or can no longer serve on the Executive Board?

A: If a vacancy occurs on the Executive Board, the Executive Board may decide to fill the vacancy by a Special Election in accordance with Art. VI, Section 5B of the Bylaws.  If two or more vacancies occur, the Executive Board will instruct the Election Committee to hold a Special Election in accordance with Section 5B of the Bylaws.

The Election Committee will decide the schedule for a Special Election for the Executive Board, using the deadlines and dates for a regular election as a guide for scheduling reasonable intervals for announcing the special election and calling for nominations, the date for candidate petition filings and the date for mailing the ballots via Chess Life or direct mail. The requirement for candidate statements and election supplements may be reduced to having this information in a single issue of Chess Life. The Executive Board may choose to waive any filing fees for a Special Election.

Q: What happens when someone is nominated?

A: Each duly nominated candidate who has met the requirements established in Section 4 is entitled to a 150 word statement plus photo in the issue of Chess Life published no later than April 10 of the election year. Election supplements shall accompany or be inserted in issues of Chess Life published no later than May 10 and June 10 of the election year. Each duly nominated candidate who has met the requirements established in Section 4 is entitled to one-half page of space in each election supplement. The purchase of additional campaign space in the election supplements or other US Chess publications is prohibited. 

Any candidate for the US Chess Executive Board who has been convicted of an adult felony in the US must disclose that fact in their Chess Life statement. The Candidate will be allowed an additional 100 words in the candidate’s statement in their first statement in Chess Life for this purpose. Failure to disclose a felony (conviction) would be grounds for immediate recall.

Any candidate for the US Chess Executive Board who is currently a party against US Chess in a lawsuit must disclose that fact in their Chess Life statement. Failure to disclose such a lawsuit would be grounds for immediate recall. The candidate will be allowed an additional 50 words in the candidate's statement in their first candidate's statement in Chess Life for this purpose.

Q: Who can be a Voting Member?

A: Members with memberships of less than one year duration at their start are not eligible to become voting members. All other US Chess members are entitled to register as a voting member provided that any voting member must be age 16 or over as of June 30 of the election year.  All Delegates and Alternate Delegates are voting members.

Eligible members who are not already registered as Voting Members must register with the US Chess office by May 1 to be eligible to vote in that year’s regular election, except that all members who are selected as US Chess Delegates, Alternate Delegates or Executive Board members are automatically registered as Voting Members.  There is no registration fee.  Once registered, a member’s status as a Voting Member continues as long as he or she is a member.  When a membership lapses, Voting Member status ceases and the member must, after rejoining, again register by May 1 to be eligible to vote in that year’s regular election.

 

In order to vote in a regular election, registered Voting Members must be US Chess members on May 5th of the election year, for the entire day Central Time.

Q: Who are Delegates and what do they do?

A: In accordance with the Articles of Incorporation, the Board of Delegates shall be the legislative body of US Chess. The Board of Delegates shall be the authoritative body of the Federation to determine the policies that shall govern US Chess in all of its activities. Among other things, it shall have the authority to amend the Bylaws and the US Chess Official Rules of Chess, approve the annual budget, approve the sale of real estate owned by US Chess, approve any borrowing secured by real estate owned by US Chess, establish, amend or revoke one or more trusts for the management of Life Member assets and appoint or remove one or more Trustees for the purpose of administering said trusts, and supervise the ethics compliance process of the Federation.

The Board of Delegates shall be composed of the Executive Board members, the Delegates at Large, and 125 Delegates, apportioned among the states in proportion to their resident US Chess membership as of May 31 of the year prior to Delegate elections, except that each state with thirty or more members must have at least one Delegate. Each state with 1000 or more US Chess members must have at least two Delegates. In addition, any Executive Board member-elect who is not already a Delegate becomes a Delegate immediately upon certification of the election result.

Q: What are Alternate Delegates and what do they do?

A: There shall be 125 Alternate Delegates, with each state having one Alternate Delegate for each Elected Delegate. All Life Voting Members under previous editions of these Bylaws shall automatically become Additional Alternate Delegates if they are not elected as Delegates.

If one or more Delegates and higher-ranked Alternate Delegates from any state are not present or are unable to attend the Annual Meeting, they can be replaced by Alternate Delegates only if the Delegates and higher-ranked Alternate Delegates resign in writing, except that for each state, if Alternate Delegates are available to attend the Annual Board of Delegates Meeting, those Delegates who have not picked up their credentials by 9:30am of the first day of the Delegates’ meeting will be deemed to have resigned as Delegates and the available Alternate Delegates will become Delegates per the ordered list.  If a Delegate or Alternate Delegate gives advance notice of a delay in arrival by signed fax or email or telephone call to the US Chess President or Secretary, such a Delegate or Alternate is not deemed to have resigned unless their credentials are not picked up by 2pm on the first day of the Delegates’ meeting.  The Delegates deemed to have resigned will only be those equal in number to the available Alternate Delegates and will start with the lowest ranked Delegate on the ordered list per Article V, Section 4.

If a Delegate dies or resigns during the term of office, the vacancy shall be filled for the duration of the term of office in accordance with the ordered list. If a Delegate or Alternate Delegate moves from the state of residence, that person shall be deemed to have resigned as Delegate unless the State Chapter indicates otherwise.

Vacancies in the position of Delegate or Alternate Delegate for any state chapter, including those resulting from the promotion of an Alternate Delegate to Delegate, may be filled by the state chapter for the remainder of the term, provided that such appointments are placed at the end of the ordered list for that state chapter.

Q: How are Delegates selected?

A: State Chapters shall designate the initial Delegates and Alternate Delegates for their states, as provided for in Article V, Sections 2 and 3, submitting the Delegates and Alternate Delegates in ordered lists. State Chapters must designate their initial Delegates and Alternate Delegates after the conclusion of the Annual Meeting, by November 1 of that year, or as soon thereafter as feasible. The term of each Delegate shall commence on January 1 for the year for which selected and continue for one year and thereafter until a successor is selected and qualified. 

Q: Where can I find the Bylaws of US Chess? 
A: US Chess Bylaws

Q: Where can I find the current Executive Board Members?
A: Meet the Board.

Q: What is the Standard of Conduct for the Executive Board and where can I find it?
A: Standards of Conduct.

Q: Where can I find the Code of Ethics?
A: Code of Ethics.

Q: Where can I find the Financial Statements of US Chess? 
A: You MUST be logged in to the USCF website before this link will work. http://www.uschess.org/org/govern/reports_index.php

Q: Where can I find the minutes and motions from the Executive Board Meetings?
A: Recent EB minutes and motions.                                                                           

(EB Archive - July 2006 and back)

Q: Where can I find the different US Chess Committees?
A: Committee area.

Q: Where can I find out information on Chess Trust?

A: U.S. Chess Trust and Patron webpage.

 

 
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