USCF Home Press Letter From Bill Hall to Life Members
|Letter From Bill Hall to Life Members|
|By Bill Hall|
|June 1, 2009|
I wanted to take a moment
to address some concerns that have been raised due to rumor that Life
Members of the USCF would be losing their printed copies of Chess
Life magazine. This is not the case. Life Members retain
the option to receive Chess Life in printed format at no charge; they
will just be required to confirm this benefit selection approximately
every three years. The letter that is going out this week to Life
Members is provided below to give a more extensive explanation.
The letter references a code to use to tell us their choice online.
This is individualized and will be printed on each member's letter
for security purposes. We will follow up to those not responding
with a post card and then a cover wrap on the last issue to be mailed,
provided we have not received a response. This is to ensure that
we have made every reasonable effort to contact Life Members regarding
the issue. A copy of the letter that will be sent to life members is posted below.
USCF Executive Director
Dear Life Member:
As you may be aware, the USCF revised its membership categories last August, dividing our major member categories into "Premium" membership, receiving a printed and mailed copy of Chess Life, and "Regular" membership with an online magazine only-plus a bimonthly Tournament Life bulletin. This allowed a necessary dues increase for those receiving the printed magazine, but with the option of a dues decrease in most categories for those who are price sensitive and/or comfortable reading an online publication.
Technology has resulted in a changing marketplace with an increasing number of other publications offering an online edition. Now that we are able to provide Chess Life in both online and downloadable-PDF formats, we are better able to service our members and to provide some economically advantageous membership options. In the first few months since December 1-when most of these changes went into effect-the new structure appears to be off to a good financial start.
For Life Members, most of whom are receiving benefits now entitled "Premium," the new structure will require no major change. The Federation is, however, now asking all Life Members to choose between Premium and Regular benefits no later than June 30, 2009 (use enclosed response card or visit http://www.uschess.org/
If you are satisfied reading the online format Chess Life and do not find receiving a mailed copy essential, you may consider selecting Regular benefits, which will save the USCF some money. If you later change your mind, you can switch back to Premium benefits at any time. In selecting Regular benefits, you will have the further option of receiving the Tournament Life bulletin bimonthly or receiving no publication.
Life Members who do not reply by June 30 indicating their choice between Premium and Regular benefits will be assigned Regular benefits with the Tournament Life bulletin, but can subsequently switch to Premium benefits upon request. Our intention is to ask all our Life Members to reconfirm their choice between Premium and Regular benefits approximately once every three years.
A new option now available to those who are able to make a donation to help American chess is the Benefactor Membership. This is a special life membership priced at $3,000 ($1,500 for existing Life Members). Benefactor members will receive a special membership card and will be recognized on a Benefactor page of our website as well as periodically in Chess Life. However, the primary benefit of Benefactor membership is simply knowing that you are among an elite group of Life Members that have made a significant contribution to the Federation and to our great game. To become a Benefactor member, contact the USCF office.
USCF is greatly indebted to the generosity and thoughtfulness of the late Philip LeCornu. Mr. LeCornu, a USCF Life Member and former Michigan Open champion, passed away last year and left the Federation a $350,000 bequest. $50,000 of these funds is planned to start a Philip LeCornu Olympiad Fund, secure.uschess.org/
The USCF is facing a difficult year financially due to a lawsuit filed by current Executive Board member Susan Polgar. She has sued the USCF and several additional defendants for $25 million (later reduced to $10 million). You can follow the status of all USCF litigation at www.uschess.org/legalupdates.
As a result, and in a measure to ensure financial stability in the coming fiscal year, the USCF headquarters will be operating on a four-day work week. Beginning in June, the office will be closed on Fridays, and this will continue until further notice. If you can help the USCF through this difficult period, please donate to the USCF Legal Defense Fund. You can donate online at secure.uschess.org/
USCF Executive Director