USCF Legal Update
By Bill Hall   
April 17, 2009
Legal Update

As mentioned in the March Chess Life (page 48) or on this CLO link , Executive Board member Susan Polgar has filed a Texas lawsuit against USCF, most Executive Board members, and others. The $25 million suit alleged twelve causes of action. On February 19, the presiding judge dismissed four of these alleged causes, ordered the plaintiff to file an amended pleading to uphold jurisdiction over four defendants, and rejected defendants’ motion to require a more definite statement from plaintiff. On March 5, USCF filed a third party complaint against Paul Truong, alleging defamation, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and conspiracy. For details of this and other legal cases, see

On February 13, Susan Polgar was served in the Illinois lawsuit USCF vs. Polgar and Truong, which seeks to remove the defendants from the Executive Board.  At the time of this writing (March 10), USCF has still been unable to serve this complaint on Paul Truong.

Sam Sloan is appealing dismissal of his $20 million New York lawsuit against USCF, its Executive Board and numerous others. Sloan’s request for a delay in the deadline to file moving papers to April 3 was granted, and defendants have until May 4 to file opposition papers.

Life Memberships

USCF has revised its member categories, dividing most into “Premium” with paper magazine and “Regular” with online magazine only. This allowed a necessary dues increase for those receiving the paper magazine, but with the option of a decrease in most categories for those who are price sensitive and/or comfortable reading an online publication. The new setup appears off to a good start financially.

For Life Members, the new structure requires no major change. The Federation will soon send a letter to Life Members asking them to choose between Premium and Regular benefits. Those  satisfied reading the online magazine may select Regular benefits, saving USCF some money; they will be able to switch back to Premium benefits at any time.

Life Members who do not reply will be assigned Regular benefits, but can switch to Premium upon request. Our intention is to ask Life Members to reconfirm their choice approximately once every three years, with no fee for Premium benefits.

Benefactor Memberships

A new option now available to donors is the Benefactor Membership , priced at $3000 (existing Life Members, $1500). Benefactors receive a special membership card, and are recognized on a Benefactor page of our website and periodically in Chess Life.

LeCornu Bequest and Olympiad Fund

USCF is greatly indebted to the late life member Philip LeCornu, a former Michigan Open champion, who has left the Federation a $350,000 bequest. $50,000 of these funds are being used to start a Philip LeCornu Olympiad Fund, with 10% of the fund available each two years to support American teams. We expect investment and donations to exceed this payout so that the fund can grow to eventually provide significant, regular support for our players. USCF will also apply at least $100,000 of this bequest to pay down our building mortgage. For information on how you can establish long term support for a favorite project, please contact Bill Hall at [email protected] or PO Box 3967, Crossville, TN 38557.

~Bill Hall, Executive Director