President's Report From Tromso
By Ruth Haring   
August 19, 2014
L to R: Walter Brown, Jean Hoffman, Sophia Rhode, Ruth Haring, Franc Guadalupe, and Tony Rich

I hope you have enjoyed the Captain's Reports by IM John Donaldson and the observations and reports of the USCF representatives who attended the FIDE congress in Tromso. Our FIDE Delegate, Michael Khodarkovsky and his wife Lily are on vacation sailing  through the Norwegian fjords and so I report on his behalf. I’d like to thank GM Melik Khachiyan, and coaches GM Yuri Shulman and GM Wesley So for their hard work and doing such a great job- stay tuned for more from them on CLO.

When the FIDE Congress coincides with the Olympiad, the US delegation is always very busy, and not only with FIDE related Commission meetings. We also had an opportunity to talk to players in Tromso and hear their stories, as we told ours to the chess representatives from the four corners of the world.

The first story is of course the FIDE election and General Assembly.  In the Presidential race, the incumbent, Mr. Illyumzhinov retained power, with FIDE delivering 110 votes on election day to win. (I say FIDE rather than Illyumzhinov because the power of the incumbency is a big factor in FIDE elections). 

Unfortunately for delegates worldwide representing their national federations, and looking forward to doing FIDE's business the next day, when the biennial meeting of the General Assembly was scheduled to continue with the non-election related agenda items, many of the voters who secured the victory for the incumbent did not show up.  There was no quorum, and no general assembly business was conducted.

The USCF had its own Rex Sinquefield on Garry's ticket.  I had the opportunity to dine with Rex a couple of times in Tromso and talk casually with his wife Jeanne.  They are both looking forward and optimistic about the future of US Chess.   They are very excited to be holding the strongest chess tournament ever, the upcoming 2nd Sinquefield Cup, in St. Louis! If you have a chance to visit the St. Louis, stop by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center and also visit the World Chess Hall of Fame across the street.  

Garry Kasparov, whose KCF is a big USCF sponsor for many key events including the Olympiads and KCF All-Girls Championship is also looking to the future.  Garry released a statement after the election, "The Future of Chess, Not FIDE" on his campaign website, where he summarizes the back story.    USCF looks forward to continuing our close relationship with KCF and to new and exciting projects in the future.
Our USCF chess story includes GM Sam Shankland's outstanding performance of 9-1 as  a reserve, winning a gold medal and raising his FIDE rating up to 2646.  Congratulations to Sam and the team.  In the final round our women's team swept Argentina, who we were tied with going into the match, and we expect to named as the top team in the Americas and qualify for the Women's World Team.
Executive Director, Jean Hoffman, Events Director Franc Guadalupe and I met with team captains IM John Donaldson and GM Melik Khachiyan after the Olympiad to do an event post mortem.  We had a fruitful discussion and  good suggestions for improvements including the subject of pre-Olympiad training and other important topics of interest to our national teams. 

USCF would like to thank our sponsors St. Louis Scholastic Chess Club and Scholastic Center, Kasparov Chess Foundation and all others who donated to the national team.  We also thank Team Captains' John Donaldson and Melik Khachiyan and coaches Yuri Shulman and Wesley So and our national team members,  Bd 1: Hikaru Nakamura, Irina Krush, Bd 2: Gata Kamsky, Anna Zatonskih, Bd 3: Alex Onischuk, Tatev Abrahamyan, Bd 4: Varuzhan Akobian , Katerina Nemcova, Reserve: Sam Shankland, and Sabina Foisor.