Talk:United States Chess Federation

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I have to disagree with the low importance rating, arguably Top was an exaggeration. The importance rating should be an indicator of how important an article is within a project. It is definitely not Low importance (Subject is mainly of specialist interest) in the chess project since it is the main governing chess organization within the United States. Furthermore there are well over 100 different wiki chess articles linking to it, making it an important article to get right. I am therefore changing this back to High. Voorlandt 20:52, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

I do not understand clearly how the fact that it is the main governing chess organization within the United States makes it to High-importance. I mean, I can always say that the "Zimbabwe Chess Federation" is the most important governing chess organisation within Zimbabwe, but that does not make it especially Top-importance, does it ? If this argument must be exposed sensibly, it must include an explanation of why USA is a country that matters when it comes to chess. I am not saying it is not the case, but that should be explained.
I am more sensitive to the argument of internal links, but this could include a part of systematic bias. SyG (talk) 09:48, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Sloan lawsuit[edit]

Since the Sloan lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, my opinion is that it is not notable enough for mention in this article. It can get whatever discussion it deserves at Sam Sloan. Also, this article desperately needs some references. (talk) 05:29, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree, but note that the other item under "Controversies," the Fischer business, is very old news indeed, and no one except Sloan cares about it any more. If you really need "controversies," there are a number of more recent ones available. However, I fail to see much point, and finding someone neutral to write it would be almost impossible. Eddore (talk) 06:42, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

rating table problem[edit]

The rating table is not showing up correctly but I don't know how to fix it. Bubba73 (You talkin' to me?), 04:18, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

I got it displaying correctly, but is there a way to put the text to one of the sides? Bubba73 (You talkin' to me?), 04:26, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

 Done Bubba73 (You talkin' to me?), 04:29, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Membership numbers after 1980[edit]

Anyone have them? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:47, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

membership numbers[edit]

I think the membership numbers are from the yearbook, that they print in Chess Life from time to time. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 02:12, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. The 2006 yearbook is a good resource up to 2006. I used it as a reference for U.S. Open Chess Championship, but I wasn't able to find any more recent editions online. Quale (talk) 06:06, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
The yearbook is in Chess Life every few years. I think it has been printed since 2006, seems like within the last year. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 12:52, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
The April 2013 issue has the latest yearbook. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 17:27, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Excellent. If it has tournament winners for more recent years it could replace or augment the 2006 yearbook used as a reference for U.S. Open Chess Championship. I just noticed that U.S. Chess Championship doesn't list the tournament locations, which is standard information in these articles. It needs work. Quale (talk) 23:03, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
I have that issue around here somewhere. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 23:15, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

A PDF of the 2012 USCF yearbook (published April 2013) is here. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 23:28, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

The membership table needs to have more columns so it isn't so long. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 23:32, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

FIDE lawsuit[edit]

Evidently there was a lawsuit involving the USCF and FIDE which the USCF lost. Does anyone have the details of this lawsuit? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:32, 12 September 2013 (UTC)


Is the USCF really a 501(c)4, as in Citizens United? Or is it a 501(c)3 (non-profit)? Thebombzen (talk) 00:15, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

It used to be a 501(c)4 but it's now a 501(c)3. I'll update the Category reference accordingly. Strawberry4Ever (talk) 19:49, 26 December 2015 (UTC)

Website address[edit]

@79ace: I reverted your change of the website from to, but left the rest of your edit alone. In the first place, doesn't exist. It's true that redirects to, but this may be temporary while the website changes are being put in place. The official website address is Strawberry4Ever (talk) 20:02, 29 December 2015 (UTC)

Multiple issues[edit]

As I see it, there are multiple issues with this article. Maybe it's inevitable given the nature of US Chess, but most references come from US Chess itself rather from neutral, outside sources. Many facts are presented without attribution. I also think some of sections are more detailed than necessary. A reader wanting precise details of the rating and title systems can go to the Glickman/Doan rating system documents. The Wikipedia article should give a general overview, with references which can be followed up for more detail. Strawberry4Ever (talk) 18:52, 30 December 2015 (UTC)

I've removed the {{Overly detailed}} tag because the excessive detail was removed by Bruce leverett's edits. Strawberry4Ever (talk) 00:56, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

"US Chess"[edit]

Opening this thread based on IP edits that change every instance of "USCF" to "US Chess" (and adding e.g. "(formerly known as USCF)"). I have reverted on the basis of the common name for the organization being USCF, regardless of what the USCF marketing team has decided the branding strategy will be. Regardless of whether it prefers to be known as "US Chess", it is still the "United States [or US] Chess Federation", which bears the acronym USCF. That acronym is also the common name for the organization, used in the overwhelming majority of sources. Now, we should have the organization's legal name correct, but again, organizational branding is not a priority of Wikipedia. In other words, Wikipedia did not use "USCF" because the organization uses "USCF". It uses "USCF" because (a) it's an acronym, and (b) it's an acronym the reliable sources we cite use. Please stop changing it. Hoping others will weigh in here.

Also, the pattern of editing on this article has many hallmarks of paid/WP:COI editing. Perhaps this is not the case, but know that Wikipedia requires disclosure of paid editing/financial interests (e.g. employees of an organization) in its terms of use. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 02:54, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

The U.S. Chess Federation announced its new branding policy (US Chess rather than USCF) in August 2015. The federation had suggested the use of "US Chess" some years earlier but it hadn't caught on. It remains to be seen whether this new policy will suffer the same fate. My feeling is that that the Wikipedia article should at least mention that the U.S. Chess Federation now prefers to be called US Chess, but it may be premature to make a global edit to the article changing USCF to US Chess. We need to look at how secondary sources written since August 2015 refer to the federation.
As for the conflict of interest point raised by Rhododendrites, I doubt that anyone is being paid by US Chess/USCF to edit the Wikipedia article, but some of us might be considered to have a conflict of interest because we are certified tournament directors and in some cases committee members and/or delegates (but not U.S. Chess Federation employees.) Being new to Wikipedia editing I'm not sure where the line is drawn. Strawberry4Ever (talk) 18:23, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
@Strawberry4Ever: Thanks for the reply. I agree with your first paragraph. WP:COI is slippery. I don't think think TDs editing is a problem any more than members editing is a problem. Delegates gets a little more shaky, but even still because they're not paid (at least not for being delegates, as I understand it) it's probably not an issue. One could still make the case, but the bigger problem is paid editing. It's perfectly possible that the IPs edit warring over branding are just interested third parties, but this sort of thing (combined with previous edits), look to me like an employee. That's not to say anything should come of my speculation, because speculation is all it is. I only mention it to suggest it's something to keep an eye out for. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 01:58, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
@Rhododendrites: If is who I think he is he isn't a US Chess employee, just a certified tournament director and frequent contributor to the US Chess Forums. Delegates aren't paid. Until 2013 the Board of Delegates was the board of directors of the U.S. Chess Federation. It's no longer the board of directors but still has certain enumerated powers, such as amending the bylaws and the USCF's Official Rules of Chess and approving the annual budget. Strawberry4Ever (talk) 02:43, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
@Rhododendrites:@Strawberry4Ever: You should be aware that the Chess rating system Wiki has been "branded" similarly. BTW the USCF's own website still prominently features the word "Federation" in two places, albeit in smaller type than the words "US Chess". The website gurus at USCF have evidently been judicious about their branding practices. Bruce leverett (talk) 03:53, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
@Rhododendrites:@Strawberry4Ever: FYI, part of the reason why the U.S. Chess Federation has moved away from the use of "USCF" and toward "US Chess" is that the domain was owned by USA Cycling, formerly the U.S. Cycling Federation. 2602:306:CF67:921F:686A:41DF:5457:EE1F (talk) 17:00, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

Corporations change their name all the time, including nonprofits. Corporations rebrand without a legal name change, too. Because Wikipedia is first reference for many users, I think it's appropriate that the new preferred name be reflected in Wikipedia after a certain period. Note that a layperson can reasonably infer what organization "US Chess" might be, but might well be mystified as to the referent of "USCF." Pedantically, the legal name of US Chess is actually "United States of America Chess Federation" (Illinois Secretary of State file # 26425905). Who uses that? Billbrock (talk) 19:21, 9 August 2016 (UTC)

Until consensus is reached by editors, I've flipped the first attribution to "US Chess or USCF" while letting "USCF" stand in the remainder of the article. Rationale: "US Chess" is preferable current usage. Of course, users will encounter "USCF" almost exclusively in historical references. Billbrock (talk) 19:30, 9 August 2016 (UTC)

I think that's reasonable. For consistency, I've also switched the order in the infobox. Strawberry4Ever (talk) 13:05, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

Edits planned[edit]

I have drafted a program of improvements to this Wiki. It can be found at

Comments welcome. I intend to work on these changes over a period of several weeks. Bruce leverett (talk) 02:28, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

@Bruce leverett: Instead of spending several weeks working on a new version of the article on another website and then copying it to Wikipedia (assuming that's what you're intending to do) I suggest that you make the changes incrementally on Wikipedia itself, so we have a chance to review the changes one by one. Otherwise there might be changes made by other editors between now and when you finish your rewrite, and you'll either have to merge those changes with yours or lose them. It would also be very difficult for other editors to accept some of your changes and reject others. Since you appear to be new to Wikipedia I suggest that you read WP:PRIMER if you haven't already. Full disclosure: I'm fairly new myself, having started editing last month. I'll probably have more to say when I've had a chance to look over your program of improvements. Strawberry4Ever (talk) 04:41, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
@Strawberry4Ever: Incremental editing was always my plan, sorry if I gave the wrong impression. I am acutely aware that I am new, and am reading the introductory stuff, but will probably make mistakes anyhow. Bruce leverett (talk) 12:45, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
@Bruce leverett: OK, it sounds like you're on the right path. My initial impression of your proposed changes is that they look good and will improve the article. Strawberry4Ever (talk) 04:11, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
@Bruce leverett: Your changes look good so far, but you need to cite your sources. Strawberry4Ever (talk) 13:06, 31 January 2016 (UTC)

I have removed the discussion of the pros and cons of having separate ratings for regular, quick, and blitz play. This is not such a burning controversy that it ought to be featured in an encyclopedia article about the USCF. I have also removed the explanation of rating floors. This is an arcane topic and not even interesting to most rated players. (I admit, however, that I am mighty concerned about my own floor, since my rating is just inches away from hitting it.) Bruce leverett (talk) 04:28, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

@Strawberry4Ever: I looked up online ratings, and I feel sure I found some place that assured the reader that they were OTB ratings, but I can't find it now, and the Glickman & Doan document says they are separate, so I must have made some mistake. However Glickman & Doan says there are two online rating categories, Quick and Blitz, so I will slightly revise the text to get that correct.

I thought that my admonishment about the unsatisfactoriness of using "Master" as a title was necessary clarification, but if you don't think so, I'll defer to your judgment. However, "Senior Master" is treated analogously to "Master", i.e. you get a certificate, etc., so I will add that. Bruce leverett (talk) 01:03, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Also, this website: claims that online ratings are posted to the Player Search website, but I don't see them there. I dunno, maybe if I had an online rating, I could look it up there, but right now, I do not know where they are posted or how you can look them up. If anybody reading this knows, please either fill me in or edit the Wiki yourself. (That website, by the way, is the one that tricked me into thinking that online ratings were the same as OTB ratings.) Bruce leverett (talk) 01:15, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

@Bruce leverett: I didn't know there were online quick ratings. I've only seen online blitz ratings. They're posted in the Blitz column on the Tnmt. Hst page, marked ONL. I assume online quick ratings would be posted in the Quick column. I also wasn't aware that US Chess mails Senior Master certificates to players who break 2400. I'd rather stay away from the debate about using "Master" as a lifetime title. The Chess title article asserts that "In the United States, the title of "National Master" is awarded for life, regardless of whether the rating of a National Master subsequently goes below 2200.[8] In August 2002, this position was codified (after being recognized as the existing status quo) by the USCF Policy Board with the passage of a motion stating "Any USCF member who has had a regular post tournament rating of 2200 or higher (published or not) has demonstrated a significant level of chess ability and is recognized by being automatically awarded the lifetime title of National Master", citing the minutes of the board meeting (not necessarily available to the public) as its source. Strawberry4Ever (talk) 05:20, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

It appears that not only has the "Sales" section been deleted before I got to it, but it had already been deleted before I described my plans to delete it. OK with me! Bruce leverett (talk) 04:36, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

In the Controversies section, I could not find a source that I could cite regarding the Executive Board decision of 2006, but I have not removed the reference to that decision, as I hope to find a source before long.

I have removed the reference to the lawsuit by Sloan. The USCF was not a party to the lawsuit. It was dismissed, and the plaintiff has not refiled. Bruce leverett (talk) 04:36, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Of the program of improvements I drafted in January, there are only two items that I have not done but still intend to do: the section on USCF participation in FIDE, and the missing citation in the Controversies section. I still intend to take care of these, but I don't know when. Any other discrepancies between what I said I was going to do, and what I actually did, are probably due to my having changed my mind. I am grateful for the assistance of several editors (whose names can be found in the history). Bruce leverett (talk) 02:49, 15 March 2016 (UTC)